Sunday, May 29, 2016

WEEK ENDING 5/29/2016
Elder Larry and Sister Bev Elkington
This has been a week devoted primarily to recovery. Elder Elkington had a root canal on Tuesday.  And we decided Sister Elkington was not recovering from the fall she took.  The doctor said deep bruises can take a long time to heal as we get older (But who is getting older?  (President David O. McKay once said “getting older sure beats the alternative.”)  So we will not complain about getting older!
Still, we decided to cut way back this week and see if it would help the healing process – and I think it has.  Sister Elkington is feeling much better.
Monday we took three of the reservation children to the Heritage Park Branch Family Home Evening in Anasazi Valley (Others could not go because they had been “grounded”.)  The garden is producing now and the children can see the results of the planting and weeding.  However, we find they are unfamiliar with some of the vegetables – like red beets and turnips. Hopefully, they are learning skills that will help them in their life and broadening their exposure to wholesome foods.  We know they are looking forward to corn and melons!
School ended Wednesday and many of the children went to visit relatives in Cedar City and in Arizona.  Therefore, there was no scouting Wednesday evening and none of them were available for Church services today.  At least Sis “M’ called to tell us they would not be going to Church.  She said she would call tomorrow to tell us how many will be going to FHE..  It is good to see the family showing initiative in informing us about what they will be doing.  It did seem strange though, to sit in Sacrament Meeting  without a row of children by us.
We still love the Native American people and our mission.  We look forward to getting back to more visiting with better health.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Monday has ceased to be our P-day.  It is a day of service – preparing food for and helping get children to the Heritage Park Branch Family Home Evening.  We have been trying to cut back on the cooking and work done by Sister Elkington in providing service to the Native Americans.  The key word is trying!
We took Tuesday recovering from Monday and accomplishing a few things that have gone wanting.  I guess we can call it a p-day.  Wednesday we visited two families in Gunlock and then took four boys from the Reservation to BSA activities at the Branch.  There was a good Cub Scout Pack meeting for two of them and the two 11-year olds had a good troop meeting with first aid instructions.  This is what we have been wanting for these boys.  Maybe the tide has turned!
We met a woman at the grocery store who asked about our mission.  When she found we were working with Native Americans, she asked if we could use some new and nearly new clothes for them. We assured her we could use them and she had us meet her on another day when she gave us some nice clothes which we took to Sister “M’s” family.
The children from the Shivwits Reservation that we have been teaching/fellowshipping asked us to attend their end of year programs at their school (Red Mountain Elementary School).  We attended 2 different programs on Thursday that included 5 of the children.  We were very impressed with the quality and content of the programs – and they were thrilled we had come to see them.
Saturday we took “T” to lunch and expressed our disappointment that he has not been coming to Church the last few weeks.  We told him he would not be able to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood until he attended Church for a few months.  We were thrilled to see him in sacrament meeting today!
We had great Sunday School lessons last week and again today –on The Life of Jesus Christ and then The Atonement.  Class member really participated.  One class member said she keeps coming because she really feels the Spirit when she comes.
We also attended Sacrament meeting in the Gunlock Ward where Elder Elkington had served as bishop.  Today they released Bp. Joseph Smith who followed Elder Elkington as bishop.  They then sustained Lemuel Leavitt as the new bishop.  Both men had served as a counselor to Elder Elkington when he was bishop.
Last, but not least, we made two birthday cakes this week.  Sister Elkington made Victor a devils food cake (as requested by him).  Elder Elkington tried to compensate by making Ethan an angels food cake! (One on Thursday and the other on Friday)  How can Sister Elkington take it easy when they keep having birthdays?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Elder Larry and Sister Bev Elkington
This week ended with a little drama and some spiritual rewards.  Yesterday, Victor was baptized after some drama.  When he was interviewed by the zone leader he had a bottle of green tea that his aunt had just given him.  The zone leader assumed he regularly drank tea and told him he could not be baptized on Saturday.  I told him Victor did not drink coffee or tea and explained that we had taken Victor and two of his cousins to McDonalds for a treat a week previously.  They were having a special on smoothies, Choc chip frappes and shakes.  The three boys ordered the chocolate chip frappes.  When the drinks came, Victor said he thought it had coffee in it and told the other boys not to drink it.  I checked with the manager and she verified it was a coffee-base drink and allowed us to change to smoothies.  So, I knew Victor was keeping the word of wisdom.  The elders had me explain the situation to the Mission President and he approved the baptism.  But Victor was sobbing uncontrollably and they could not continue the interview.  The zone leader came back Saturday morning to complete the baptismal interview.  We bought a sheet cake from COSTCO and had them write on it, “Victor, Welcome into the Kingdom of God”.  We also bought ice cream to serve with the cake after the baptismal service.  The Heritage Park Branch president, Chuck Saling, had a long-standing commitment and could not be at the service, so he asked me to conduct the service in his absence.  I also spoke on baptism.  Victor was thrilled with the service and the refreshments.  (Sister Elkington has committed to bake him a birthday cake on Thursday).
Victor was confirmed today in Sacrament Meeting.  “All’s well that ends well”.
He exemplifies what the scriptures specify for converts.
Monday we took the reservation children to the branch garden and the branch family home evening.  We enjoyed a good meal (a large portion of which was prepared by Sis Elkington).  The children are also enjoying the produce that we are harvesting from the garden.  I think it is the first time they have tasted turnips.

Wednesday we took three of the boys to scouting.  We had been told there would be a dinner and games.  It turned out to be a program honoring seniors who are graduating and there were no games.  Scouting is turning out to be less than desired – many times it doesn’t happen.  We want to make sure the boys have a good experience.  So, if scouting falls thru, we take them out for treats.  This week they wanted to go to Artic Circle for French fries – so that is what we did.  I’m not sure how long we can continue to afford this type of missionary activity!
Bev is recovering –but, slowly.  She is able to do some things, but if she overdoes it, she pays for it the next day.  She wants the fractured ribs to heal now!
When we work in the branch garden, she gets an uncontrollable urge to pull weeds.  I have a hard time getting her to just watch.
District Meeting and Santa Clara Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting rounded out the week. 
We are blessed with the opportunity to serve in the best mission in the Church – under great leaders, and with great missionaries.  We love it!

Monday, May 9, 2016

WEEK ENDING 5/8/2016
This report is a day late due to a power failure at our home that occurred last night from about 8:00PM until after midnight.  So the report is being typed tonight –Monday.
No matter how we try, it seems Monday, our supposed P-day, turns out to be one of our busiest missionary days.  We received a phone call from “T” Monday at 7:00 AM asking if we could take him to meet with his parole officer at Purgatory by 8:00 AM.  We immediately jumped into our missionary attire and took him to his meeting.  Afterwards we took him to breakfast and had a good discussion.  We talked about the commitment he would have to make to living the Gospel in order to be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood..
The rest of Monday was spent preparing food for the Heritage Park Branch potluck Family Home Evening..  We took 5 children from the Reservation to FHE.
Tuesday we took 4 children who had met their Church attendance commitment to eat at McDonalds.  Then we worked for a while in the Branch garden.
Wednesday we traveled to Enterprise to a Live at Home Missionary Zone Conference.  We questioned whether to attend because Sister Elkington has been struggling with the effects of the fall she had a few weeks ago.  But, the conference was very uplifting and we were fed spiritually.  Sister Elkington’s pain level got to where we had to leave the conference a little early – but it was well worth the effort on our part to have been there. The Enterprise Stake Patriarch, Neldon Jones, gave a talk in which he quoted a talk given by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in October 1975 Conference.  It was an outstanding talk!  One of the quotes was:
        “Faith is the Power,
         Obedience is the price,
         Love is the motive,
         Spirit is the key,
         Christ is the reason”
This quote seems to sum up the Gospel and missionary work.  It struck a very responsive note in our hearts!
We tried to take it a little easy this week to give Sister Elkington a chance to heal and gain strength.  We were partially successful.  But we did take 3 of the boys from the Reservation to the Jacob Hamblin Home on Thursday. As we were preparing to leave, a Native American man named Lakota John came up to talk to the boys.  He is a very polished man who dresses in Native American attire and is very articulate.  Lakota used to be in the Branch Presidency.  He has been living in Australia and New Zealand for the last couple of years.  He performs on the drum and sings (chants) native music. He is looked up to by all the members.  He talked to the boys about being involved in scouting.  His visit was the height of the week for these boys!
 Then we took 3 of the girls to the Visitors Center by the St George Temple.  Both of these events provided spiritually uplifting experiences for those involved.
Friday we met with all the children with the elders and participated in teaching a lesson.  Victor is planning to be baptized on May 14th and we promised him we would provide cake and ice cream for a reception after the baptismal service.
We took “T” a birthday cake on Thursday.  With us trying to take some pressure off from Sister Elkington, COSTCO’s bakery is becoming our best friend.
Sister Elkington is gaining in strength and healing more each day.  We feel she is making progress and we still love serving the Lord and the Native American people.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

1 May 2016
Elder Larry and Sister Bev Elkington
I spoke too soon when I said we were so blessed that Sister Elkington did not have any broken bones from her fall.  On Monday the pain was increasing so we took her to the doctor for X-rays.  They informed her she has 3 fractured ribs.   Then on Tuesday the pain was more severe in her lower back so she was X-rayed again.  She has bruises and an inflammation in her sacroiliac. Whatever, that is – it hurts a lot!
We have greatly reduced our work load to give Sister Elkington a chance to recover.  However, we are still able to do some things,  We just need to be aware of the pain level so we do not overdue things and give Sister Elkington a chance to heal. The doctors say there is nothing they can do for the ribs except prescribe pain pills.  Sister Elkington took one of the pain pills, which made her ill for over two days.  She says she is not taking any more pain pills!
We took 3 of the boys to Church for scouting activities on Wednesday evening.  No scout leaders showed up, so we took them to MacDonalds for cheese burgers and fries. These trips to MacDonalds have turned out to be some of our most productive time.  The boys open up to us about their concerns and their plans for the future.  Eleven year old Shaden asked, “Elder and Sister Elkington, how long is your mission?”  We told him we have almost a year left.  He then asked ‘Who will take us to Church when you are gone?”  We assured him that they were like family to us and we would still be available to help them.  We also talked about the advantages of higher education.  They knew nothing about college or trade schools.
On Friday Elder Elkington accompanied three of the boys from the Reservation and their grandfather, to the Heritage Park Branch father and sons camp over.  It rained and everyone got wet, but I think it was a very positive experience.
We are looking forward to Victor’s baptism on May 14.  We told him we would provide a sheet cake from Costco for refreshments after the baptism.  Elder Elkington asked what he wanted written on the top of the cake.  He said he wanted it to say, “Hope Sister Elkington recovers quickly”. The love these children reflect back to us is gratifying.  We love these people and feel their love for us.