Sunday, December 25, 2016

Elder Larry and Sister Bev Elkington
Merry Christmas!  ‘Tis a wonderful time of the year – for missionaries and for most people!  We are blessed (?) to have 11 family members staying with us this weekend.  We are always happy to see family and friends.  Jeff and Leslie Smith and their family are here along with Greg and Stephen Smith and Greg’s daughter Shae.  Jeff’s family includes 3 year old Mila, who is the center of attention.  She is very bright and has the vocabulary of a 7 or 8 year old.  It is fun to experience Christmas through the eyes of a young child.
Missionary activity this week has been centered on helping the Heritage Park Branch President and his wife deliver Christmas gifts to the Native American children.  Kony Toys for Tots uses the Church organization to reach out to the Native Americans with young children.  The toys were of high quality and they were numerous – there were many gifts for each child!
Our goal has been to convey God’s love to those feeling lonely or downtrodden. One of the young men we have been working with, “T” called to ask if we could assist him in buying a sports bike for one of the young men on the Shivwits Reservation.  He was shopping at the Catholic Thrift store and found the sports bike in like-new condition. They were asking $20.00 for it.  He only had $10.00 and wanted us to provide the other $10.  We told him we were in a missionary teaching appointment and could not get there before the store closed.  He tried to get the store clerk to reduce the price to $15 and told her he was buying it for a young boy on the Reservation.  She said, “Why didn’t you tell me that – I’ll pay the difference.”  He then delivered the bike and a helmet to a young boy on the Shivwits Reservation.  He was so excited and felt so elated to have helped someone.  Just a week ago he had been given a car by 2 men who had heard of his plight. Now the receiver was able to experience the feeling of gratitude from one he had given to.  He could hardly wait to go tell his friends of the joy of giving!
That is the essence of the Gospel – being a grateful giver and receiver.
We are working with the young elders in teaching two people who have committed to be baptized in January.  To see people accept the Gospel is the greatest joy of all!
May each of you be blessed with peace this week and always!
Elder and Sister Elkington

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