Sunday, November 27, 2016

Missionary Epistle for Week Ending 11/27/2016
Elder and Sister Elkington
It has been two weeks since we posted an update on our missionary labors.  We have been spending time preparing our house for sale - while still serving those we have been called to serve.  We cannot justify keeping two homes any longer – it costs too much.  We have decided to stay in the St George area following our mission.  We love the Native American people and would like to be near, so we can continue to support the children we have been teaching.  Also, this climate is easier on Sister Elkington’s arthritis and the air is better for our lungs.
We helped Sister “C” by tending her daughter while she kept an appointment at court.  She has not been able to attend church the past few weeks because she has not been able to get her car registered.  The problems faced by many of these people seem overwhelming. We admire their courage in dealing with them.
We also got a phone call from “T”, who we hadn’t heard from for several weeks.  He has moved into a house near the top of Utah Hill on highway 91 and he needed a ride to Church.  We willingly complied (we also had him to our home for dinner after Church) and we also agreed to give him a ride to work a couple of days this coming week. We want to support him in his efforts to be self-supporting.  He has been living in the homeless shelter for the past few months. Now he is renting a house and has a job. He has the potential to be a leader among the Native Americans and society in general.
We spent several days visiting a number of Native American families and inviting them to the Heritage Park Branch Thanksgiving party.  A number of them attended the party – it proved to be a great fellowshipping/friendshipping tool. We plan to devote a lot of time inviting members to the Branch Christmas party scheduled for December 17.
We were also thrilled to see our family over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. We appreciate their efforts to see us and express their love.  We have truly been blessed with a wonderful family! We regret that we were not able to attend the mission homecoming when our grandson, Liam, came home from his mission last January.  It would have meant a lot to us, and hopefully to him, for us to have heard that report.
This is the time of year when our hearts are turned towards those we love. Our family, friends and those we have been called to serve.  We love them all and give thanks to Our Father in Heaven for each of them.  We are amazed at the changes in people’s lives when they commit their life to God!
We were too exhausted a week ago and thus did not file a report.  We apologize.  Please know that we still love our mission and receive great satisfaction from our service. There is no place we would rather be than on a “Member and Leader Support” Mission!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sorry this report is a day later than normal.  Sunday evening we were so tired we just fell in bed without writing our epistle. We figured we would have more time and energy to write the report today (Monday). WRONG! 
We took a few days early in the week to get the yard and house ready for winter.  Then, Mel, a man who was baptized in September came back to St George from the reservation in Arizona. He arrived on Thursday and we have been running him to appointments and caring for him since then.  He is receiving medical treatments and the medication is making him very ill.  The Heritage Park Branch President arranged for him to stay in a motel in St George, but he has no transportation.  We have taken him to the grocery store for food and took him to a relative’s home to get belongings.  He bore his testimony in sacrament meeting and was sustained by the members to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be ordained a priest.  But then he got very ill and Elder Elkington had to leave sacrament meeting to take him back to his motel.
At the start of sacrament meeting Elder Elkington received a phone message that a lady we have been fellowshipping was stopped by the police just as she got near the Church.  She said she had an outstanding, unpaid warrant and felt she would be put in jail and her car would be impounded.  She asked if we would take her 4 children to Church and then care for them.  Sister Elkington left sacrament meeting and retrieved the children.  Sister Elkington had taken children from the Shivwits Reservation to Church with one car and Elder Elkington had brought Mel, the new convert, from his motel in St George, to Church with the truck.  We didn’t know how we were going to get everyone home from Church.  Then miracle of miracles, the woman who had left the message came into sacrament meeting – the policeman saw her children walk into Church and realized the predicament the family would face if he arrested her and impounded her car.  So he told her, “Let’s just forget this even happened – but don’t drive your car until the warrant is resolved.” So she asked if one of us could drive her and her car home after Church.  She lives in Hurricane, so it was a significant trip.  Then Mel called and asked if we could give him a ride to get some food and medicine – so we did. We didn’t get home until about 7:00 PM.
Thus the reason we felt so run down on Sunday.  Then today Mel said he needed a ride to apply for a job at Deseret Industries and a ride to a doctor’s appointment.  We also ran into a predicament in taking children to the Branch FHE at Anasazi Valley.  We had committed to take the children from the Shivwits Reservation.  Then we got a call from three children we had helped teach a year ago asking if we would take them to FHE. We had to take one group and drop them off and then go get the other group.  So here we are Monday night and we are still exhausted! 
Our mission call said our mission was to provide member and leader support – we just didn’t understand the implications of that.  It has been exhausting this week, but we are doing what is needed to support some wonderful children of God – and we love them!
Note: We have driven over 200 miles since Friday!