Sunday, August 21, 2016

AUGUST 21, 2016
Elder and Sister Elkington
Monday, as usual, was devoted to preparing food for the Heritage Park Branch Family Home Evening.  However, Sister Elkington had a physical therapy appointment and then we received a call from Jennifer (an investigator) asking us to come and teach her a lesson – which we did.  She said she is going to try to get her work schedule changed so she can come to church meetings on Sunday.  We pray she will be able to do this. .Four children from the Shivwits Reservation came with us to FHE.
Our house has been serving as a distribution center for produce from the branch garden and for clothes which were given to us for the Native Americans.  This has been a great blessing for those we have been called to serve.  But it has created havoc in our home.  So we spent two days clearing out the excess and getting the home cleaned.
 Then on Thursday we attended a Mission Zone Conference.  These are always inspiring.  We learned some things that will help us in teaching the Gospel to others. Many things we learn are things we have already realized – but hearing them again reinforces them in our minds.  For example, we have recognized the importance of bearing our testimony as we teach a gospel principle.  Bearing testimony invites the spirit to testify of the truthfulness of what has been taught.  Just presenting principles and discussing them is a transfer of knowledge – but, it is the spirit that converts and moves people to action. This applies to active members as well as to less active and investigators.  If we cease to invite the spirit into our lives, our testimony weakens and in the extreme, disappears.
We had a stake conference in the Santa Clara Stake last Sunday and President Dan Frei related an incident that applies to all of us.  He was standing in line at the grocery store and the woman ahead of him suddenly realized her husband had taken the debit card she used to buy groceries. She found another card, but feared there was little, if any, money in that account. She was half way through the checkout process when she realized this.  She exclaimed to the checker that she did not know if she had enough money in the account.  She was very nervous and agitated.  The checker suggested they complete the checkout process and deal with the issue if the card had insufficient funds.  President Frei said he was ready to offer the woman a loan to relieve her stress.  But when she swiped the card it was accepted as payment.  The woman was so excited she danced a jig.
President Frei then related this to the spiritual account we maintain I n our lives and how we can deplete the account if we do not make regular deposits.  If the account is depleted it will not have a balance necessary to deal with the challenges we encounter in our life.  He explained that we deposit in our spiritual account when we have a sincere morning prayer and listen to inspirational music and read a few minutes in the scriptures.  If we neglect these things our account may be depleted when we need it.
Friday we taught a lesson to the children at Sis “M’s” home.  Then we took Katelyn to TJ Max and Sister Elkington bought her a dress and some shoes to wear to Church.  We have taught them to wear their best clothes to Church.  But when their best clothes are jeans, it can cause them to judge themselves as not as good as others.  She was thrilled to have a beautiful new outfit for church.
Then on Saturday we took a pie to President Saling (the branch president) and wished him a speedy recovery from carpal tunnel surgery.  We also visited with the Salings about branch members and where we can be of the most service.
We were blessed during the week with a visit from some dear friends (Carolyn, Beryl, Phyllis, Lavon and Lavon’s daughter Kendra) who had spent the week at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City.  We prepared them a lunch and then showed them the Anasazi Valley (where we hold FHE and have the garden).  We also showed them the Shivwits Reservation.  They have been regular readers of our blog and said they have a whole new understanding of what has been written in the blog.
President Saling said he killed two rattlesnakes in the garden on Saturday.  We feel very blessed that we, and others who have worked in the garden, have not been bitten during the gardening season.  One more reason we are thankful the garden season has ended. (Where were the snakes when the squirrels were eating the garden?)
We had 10 people to church today.  Taught the Gospel Principles Sunday School class and went to the hospital to give a les-active member a blessing.  She has a kidney infection and is very ill.
In sacrament meeting we heard from a high councilor and a recently returned missionary.  The missionary was Elder Dresden Empey, who was one of the missionaries injured in the bomb blast in France or Belgium at the airport.   He bore a strong testimony of the gospel.

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