Did you know that this month has 5 Sunday's, 5 Saturday's, 5 Monday's and 5 Friday's? This happens in August every 823 years and we're alive to live it!
I'm disappointed I didn't take more photos this week, but we mostly did a lot of ordinary things so I didn't think of it. We visit an 80+ year old lady once a month who never comes to church and has no intention of ever coming to church. Last month we mentioned something about church and she got quite testy, so we decided we would just visit and leave her with a spiritual message. Last week she opened the door and seemed quite happy to see us. We showed her a video about Jesus healing the blind man and she told us how she was having a bad day and really needed our visit. That makes us happy to come!
Another woman stood us up for an appointment a few weeks ago. We went to visit again and saw her outside her home. She was so animated and pleasant to us and apologized for not being there before, and would we come back? So we set up another date. Sure enough, she wasn't there, again. We're not giving up and will try again soon.
We do about 3 Family Home evenings a week and the children are just awesome, even the teenagers. They are smart and attentive and so happy to have us come. We always have a fun time, especially with the Kata family. I'm not sure our own children enjoyed FHE as much. Maybe way back if a fun couple from New Zealand had come to our home to do FHE with us, our children would've been more excited?
The photo above is us with Elder Taylor, who is going home tomorrow, because his two year mission is over. He and Elder Rogers are our Zone Leaders and we are sad to see him leave. He is a cute Provo boy, so we may cross paths again. A PR Senior couple left last week and they said the saddest thing about leaving their mission was saying goodbye to the other Senior couples. BUT they took solace in knowing that we would ALL, at some time, be leaving the mission as well!
Sadly, an older man in the ward died last week. We were happy we had visited the home the day before to give support to his wife. She told us she was at peace, because her husband had told her he loved her before he lost consciousness and they were sealed in the temple and would be together forever. She is a happy, sweet woman and has her children for support. The funeral was on Friday and they had a family service and dinner the night before. There seems to be very limited involvement from funeral homes here, compared to the U.S. The dead are watched over in the home until burial and the family and friends take care of food, flowers and funeral arrangements, with some help from the church.
We volunteered to help clean the chapel to get ready for the funeral. Craig manned the "backpack vacuum" and I picked up trash and cleaned windows. The Sisters helped with more vacuuming and cleaned the bathrooms. It was a nice funeral service the next day, and well-attended. Unfortunately, we couldn't understand most of it because those who spoke used Nueyan instead of English. Also, there were no musical numbers, which was surprising.
We got a CARE package this week from Emily and Kenny. A few new ties for Craig, packets of Crystal Lite (non-existent here), great photos of family activities we had missed, cute notes from the grandkids, and a few of my favorite stockings! Thank you, thank you! Christy also sent us one a few weeks ago with notes in it from her children, along with other goodies, and we really appreciated that.
There was a service project Saturday to plant new plants all around the church, so Craig participated in that while I went with a member to cut flax so we could do more weaving. I'm getting a little hooked on this and hope to teach some of the other Senior ladies how to weave as well. I took home a pile of flax to strip and scrape to get ready for dying. Once home, Craig and I found that the elevators didn't work. There is a big disadvantage to living on the 11th floor when the elevators are out of commission! Thankfully, we had to walk up 11 flights only one time. This is a blurry picture of Craig, but I had to capture the moment.
Senior missionaries are allowed to go to the movies, so we went with another couple to see the new Mission Impossible! Yes, we loved it! Probably won't go again until the next Hunger Games comes out, because we really do have better things to do. It's just fun to go once in a while.
I'm enjoying reading the August Ensign, which has some powerful articles in it. The one called "We Believe in Being Humble" spoke to me because I need help in that area. "Pride hinders our progress, hurts our relationships, and limits the service we give." President Benson taught that "humility responds to God’s will--to the fear of His judgments and to the needs of those around us. … Let us choose to be humble.”
I cannot be prideful and be a missionary. It doesn't work. I have to be submissive, teachable and prayerful, everyday, all day! My husband can tell you, I fall short everyday, but I try again the next day. I remind myself always that "a righteous person is someone who is repenting".
We hope you have a great week. School has started or will be starting soon. You're all wondering how summer ended so quickly. I'm happy for this NZ winter to be over; so much rain. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We feel your support as we try to do as much good as we can.
Elder and Sister Martin