Six Elders Singing
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“Six Elders Singing,” New Era, Dec. 2002, 13

Six Elders Singing

We were out of partridges and turtledoves, so we gave what we had.

It was our first Christmas away from home. Elders Heemeyer, Bright, Kehoe, Schulze, Westover, and I had gathered at one apartment to share Christmas. We had decided that spending Christmas together as a missionary district might make it easier to be away from home.

It was 5:30 on Christmas Eve, and we were all a little down. Many of our investigators wouldn’t meet with us, and finding new investigators was tough. We were running into the same response. “Visit after Christmas,” they all said.

After talking for a short time, Elder Schulze suggested we go caroling to our investigators and some less-active members. We all felt it was a great idea.We made up a quick program. Two hymns and a spiritual thought. We concluded with one last hymn and a prayer. The total program was short, perhaps 20 minutes, but we were pleased with it.

Before we left, we knelt for prayer. Then we set out into the cold night on the south side of Chicago.

Our first stop was at the home of a member whose daughter and two grandchildren were investigating the Church. They buzzed us into their building, and we began to sing. Granted, we weren’t the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but for six elders we sounded pretty good. We shared our program with the family. Before we left, they said that our “gift” was the best they had ever received.

We soon found ourselves at a different apartment presenting the same message to another family. At every stop, our enthusiasm and joy grew. We kept hearing the same response. “This is the best gift ever. You really brought the Christmas spirit.”

We learned many things that Christmas Eve. Even though our message was simple, it brought joy into the lives of those we visited, and it also lifted our spirits. That night I came to better understand the true meaning of Christmas—that sharing and serving others is what Christ’s ministry is all about.

We also realized that home isn’t so far away when you are in the service of others and of your Savior.

Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh