Sunday, October 9, 2016

Elder and Sister Elkington
Another week has flown by!  Monday, as usual, we prepared food for the Heritage Park Branch Family Home Evening at Anasazi Valley.  We then took children from the Shivwits Reservation to the FHE.  It is getting dark earlier and it is cooler in the evenings, so FHE will probably only continue for another few weeks.  The lessons given at FHE by Sister Tera Lyn Sanchez are brief, but they provide an opportunity for the children to participate and to learn Gospel  principles.  We will be pleased to be free of the time spent preparing food each week for FHE.  But we will miss the opportunity to take the children.
Monday we also had a follow-up appointment with the eye doctor who is treating Sister Elkington for an eye infection.  (She is making good progress, but the eye infection slowed down what we were able to do this week.)
Tuesday was spent primarily attending the funeral of Elder Elkington’s cousin, Becky Grauman, in Logandale, Nevada..  She was an outstanding person who has given much in being an elementary school teacher and in serving her neighbors and friends.  Her husband, Dave, is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he has supported Becky in her Church callings and in her quest to be closer to her mother’s (Aunt Floral Robison) Judy family. We visited with Dave and Becky just before our mission and really enjoyed our visit. Becky did a lot of baking, so she and Bev shared a lot of experiences.  Becky introduced Bev to a new flour that makes a huge difference in baking bread (Montana Wheat brand) and gave her a start of sour dough that had originated with her mother. Both of us had memories involving Becky. Dave told us of how hurt he was when some relatives who were in the area did not come to the house after Becky’s death. It reminded me of something I learned as a bishop- If you don’t know what to say to someone who has experienced a great loss, go see them anyway.  Do not stay away because you are uncomfortable – you can always say, “I love you”, or “I care”. Dave asked Elder Elkington to offer a family prayer before the family left for the funeral.
Wednesday, we took a baby gift to  a couple in the branch, Andresen’s, who just received a new baby girl they are adopting.  The love and joy in the home was palpable. This little baby girl is being blessed by being raised in a loving home where she will be taught the Gospel. We also visited members and then took three of the boys from the Reservation to Scouting and cub scouting that evening.
We visited members during the week and then took some time working on the house – refinishing the front door in preparation for winter.
Today we had nine people we have been visiting attend Church in the branch.  We took 2 vehicles to Church so Sister Elkington could deliver the children home to the Reservation after Church and Elder Elkington could attend the Santa Clara Stake Missionary Coordination meeting.
We see blessings that branch members are experiencing that originate because of the service we are giving as member and leader support missionaries.  It makes this mission very rewarding!

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