Sunday, December 18, 2016

This week seemed about like when we were having family home evenings at Anasazi Valley and we had to prepare food every Monday.  We didn’t have a Branch Family Home Evening – but we did have a Heritage Park Branch Christmas dinner and party.  We spent part of the week delivering invitations to less active members and most of Saturday baking rolls for the dinner.  We also took the children from the Shivwits Reservation to practices for the Christmas program.  The program was a play written by one of the members.  Krystin and Ethan (from the Reservation) were cast as Mary and Joseph - they did a great job! On Saturday we made 3 round trips from our home to the Shivwits Reservation and the Church.
The dinner and program were a  great success. I don’t think they could have fit more people in the cultural hall.
On Wednesday we took Sister “M”s” granddaughters to the Visitor’s Center  by the St George Temple.  Two of the sister missionaries from the Utah St. George Mission (Sanchez and Avila) served as guides.  One of the girls we took was so impressed, she said, “Someday I want to serve a mission in the St George Temple Visitor’s Center”. We also took them to McDonald’s for hamburgers.  These girls have felt left out when we have taken the boys to scouting.  So we decided to give them a special evening out. It appears to have been a very successful fellowshipping activity.
This time of year seems to bring with it a lot of stress as we prepare for Christmas and try to carry Our Father in Heaven’s love to those we have been called to serve.  It seems there is more to do than we can work into our schedule.
On Friday we met with the elders and Sister “M’s” grandchildren and gave them a lesson on Christ’s gift to us – the atonement.  It caused me to think of the great gifts that were given – God gave us the gift of His Only Begotten Son, knowing he would be crucified, and Jesus gave His life to atone for our sins and enable us to return to Our Father in Heaven.  Our sacrifices and gifts pale in comparison!
One of those at the Branch Christmas Party was Kiza, a girl we had helped teach a year ago.  When we saw her at the party, Sister Elkington asked her if she didn’t want to be baptized,  She said, "Yes, but I can't remember some of the things I was taught."  So we have scheduled a meeting with Elders Perkins and Clark to review the lessons so she can be baptized.  She called this morning and asked if we could give her a ride to church.  We gladly did – she is an outstanding young girl! We look forward to her baptism.

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