Sunday, July 24, 2016

Missionary Epistle for Week ending 7/24/2016
Elder and Sister Elkington
Monday was spent getting ready for Heritage Park Branch FHE.  We prepared pizzas because that is a favorite of the children on the Shivwits Reservation.  (We took four children from the Reservation to FHE).We also harvested some produce from the Branch Garden.  We have a very good crop of corn fed squirrels – or you could say cantaloupe and watermelon fed squirrels.  It is very discouraging to find the corn and melons eaten by the squirrels. It has caused us to harvest slightly early to try to save part of the harvest from them. We have harvested a number of melons and some corn, which we delivered to members of the branch this week. The squirrels got much more than we did though!
We  took some produce to Sister “C” and helped her get linked up with a genealogist from the St George Family History Library who specializes in Native American records.  She was so excited to find records of her ancestors – including two Navajo code talkers who served in WWll.  She is a visionary person who has had visions of ancestors who requested she get their temple work completed.  We are pleased and gratified we have been able to assist her in this important work.
Wednesday we went to the Family History Library to assist Sister “C”.  She found records and photos that really excited her. (One photo she found showed her grandfather as a crew member aboard the ship, Ticonderoga.)  We then delivered produce to several families and then in the evening we took Ethan and Shaden to McDonalds since there was no scout activity. We had a good discussion with them as we rode.  Sometimes we get more teaching done when the scouting activity falls through.
Thursday we watered the garden at President Saling’s request. He had to leave town for a week and asked that we water the Branch Garden while he was gone. We also delivered some produce and a loaf of homemade banana/coconut/zucchini bread to the Tom family.  They were very appreciative and said we can teach them when the husband/father is there. We are looking forward to teaching them..
Friday we met with Sis “M’s” family and participated in teaching them.  We extracted a promise that they would go to Church on Sunday.
Saturday we harvested some more garden produce (water melon, cantaloupe and squash) and delivered it to four families.  Then in the evening we attended a Hawaiian birthday party for a one year old member of the Heritage Park Branch.  We were invited by the parents and we didn’t know what to expect.  When we got there the father explained that it is a Hawaiian tradition to have a big party to celebrate if a child reaches its first birthday.  There was a large gathering (Tables had been set up for about 200 people). There was a lot of Hawaiian food and entertainment. All the members of the Heritage Park Branch as well as the neighbors were invited.. We certainly didn’t need the food, but we did want to show our love for the family.  The Heritage Park Branch is a unique blend of Native Americans, Polynesians, and those who have members of their family in those categories. We love them all!
Sunday we took five children from the Reservation to Church Then on the way home we talked about how our choices determine our destiny – seemingly small choices can have a big impact!  The children seemed to understand what we were saying.  Deciding to attend Church will lead us into a better life than if we decide not to go to Church or keep the commandments.  Elder Elkington ordained Sister “C’s” 13 year old a deacon.
All in all, it has been a very productive week.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


It is good to be back to missionary work after the funeral of a week ago.  There is much to do!  Monday was a busy day as usual,  preparing food for the Heritage Branch FHE.  We also harvested produce from the branch garden which we delivered to Sister “M’s” family.  We gave them instructions on how to use the produce.  They have not used Armenian cucumbers or spaghetti squash before and had no idea about how to use them.  The Native Americans may not know what to do with the garden produce – but the squirrels do!  We planted four rows of corn about seventy five feet long.  We have been planning on using it for FHE and to take it to members – But the squirrels got it first.  They have stripped and eaten almost every ear!
Tuesday morning at 7:00AM we received a phone call from “T” asking for a ride to the Purgatory Correctional Facility.  This was unexpected, but we have told him in the past to call anytime he needs a ride for something important.  This was a meeting with his parole officer.  After that we took him to Denny’s for breakfast.  We talked with him about the rampant tendency of Native Americans to live together without getting married.  We talked about the sacred nature of marriage and how it carries with it a commitment that conveys a sense of security and an expression of love.  We asked if this trend is traditional within the Native American culture.  His response was that it is part of the general American culture.  He said that marriage has been demeaned by the legalization of same gender marriages and that young people no longer regard marriage as important - In his words, “It’s just a piece of paper.”  If he is right, we fear for the lack of stability this has for families and for our country – not to mention what it does for people’s relationship with their Father in Heaven!
We had volunteered to provide a breakfast for a district meeting – that took place on Wednesday.  It was a blessing to have in our home the missionaries from our district.  They bring such a spirit of happiness and they radiate the Spirit of the Lord.  It is obvious they are in tune with His Spirit.  As much as we enjoyed having them in our home, it took a lot of time preparing for them – we wanted it to be extra special for them!  We took the leftover breakfast egg soufflĂ© to Sister “M’s” family.
Thursday we had 3 children from the Shivwits Reservation to our home for cooking lessons.  We (Sister Elkington) taught them how to make zucchini/banana bread and how to cook spaghetti squash.  We then provided their lunch and showed them a video on the Restoration. As we took them home, we received a commitment they would be to Church on Sunday. (They were.)
Friday we joined the elders in teaching a lesson to Sister “M’s” grandchildren.  We are helping Krystin get ready to be baptized in August.  She will be eight years old on August 1st.
Sunday we had 10 people we have been fellowshipping come to Church.. We have many we need to call on – We need to carry the message of God’s love to others of His children.  We hope we will find more of them at home!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This has been a hectic week.  On Monday we prepared food for the Heritage Park Branch Family Home Evening (FHE).  We then went to the FHE.  We delivered the extra food from the FHE to Sister “M”.  When we gave the last lesson to Sister “M’s” grandchildren, she thanked us for coming on a regular basis.  She said the children behave so much better when we come.
Tuesday we received a call from Jennifer S, asking us to come and see her.  We taught her several months ago and then dropped her because. she did not keep her appointments. She asked for and received a blessing.  We told her baptism is not to be taken lightly.  We talked about the importance of her and her children being baptized.  She  told us she wants to be baptized and wants us to teach her again when she gets back from seeing her husband who is working in Wyoming.
We went to a funeral in Santequin the latter part of the week for a granddaughter, Amberlee Barnes.   We had several discussions with non-members who were at the funeral. I believe this death has opened the hearts of several in her family, especially her husband and his sister, After the funeral they came up to us  and asked some specific questions about life after death.
We were glad to get back home today – we look forward to getting back to missionary work in our area.

Monday, July 4, 2016

From Elder and Sister Elkington
Monday we picked apricots from the Santa Clara Church Orchard.  We then delivered them to a Native American who is incapacitated.  She was very appreciative. This is the second time we have taken her apricots in the past month – she has been attending Church since the first time.  We spent the rest of Monday preparing food for Heritage Park Branch FHE (Family Home Evening).  We took five of the children from the Shivwits Reservation to FHE and had to make two trips because one of them had to get back early for boxing.  (We were just grateful he cared enough to come to FHE).
We met our new Mission President, Zachary Smith, on Tuesday.  He and his wife have a great spirit about them.  We are looking forward to serving under their leadership!
We also spent some time making apricot jam – which we plan on taking to Native American branch members.  We met with Sister “T” on the reservation and gave her a lesson on The Plan of Salvation and testified her family could be sealed in the temple so their two deceased children could be sealed to them.  She was quite emotional as we discussed this.  She said she tried to read Elder Nelson's talk from April Conference to her husband and had to stop reading because she was so emotional.  We feel this family is ready to implement the Gospel in their lives.
We met with Sister “M’s” family and taught them a lesson on Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Afterwards Sis “M” thanked us for teaching her grandchildren.  She said their behavior is much better when we are there.
We picked produce from the Heritage Park Branch garden and delivered it to six families this week.   This provides needed temporal food – but the visit associated with the delivery provides spiritual nourishment and love from their Father in Heaven.  We feel blessed to be His messengers.
We received a phone call Saturday morning notifying us of the death of a granddaughter, Amberley.  Amberley played a significant part in bringing us together.    About 2 ½ years ago Sister Elkington(Then Beverly Smith) asked Elder Elkington if he would go to University Hospital in SLC and give her granddaughter, Amberley, a blessing.  Amberley has struggled with a faulty heart most of her life and was in the hospital because of it.  Since then, Elder and Sister Elkington have married and now Amberley has died from heart failure.  While we knew this could happen, the timing caught us by surprise.  She was only  25 years old.
We are grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our understanding of the Plan of Salvation.  We are grateful Amberley had the privilege of coming to earth and gaining experience for 25 year – but we still miss hers.  We are assured she is happier now than she has been for some time.  We commend her to her loving Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ.
We have been blessed to have Mark and Lorie Wallentine and Ryan, Chloe and Natalie with us the last couple of days.  They insisted on getting up this morning and stripping their beds, laundering the bedding and remaking the beds. This certainly lightened our load!  It was great to have family stay with us!