Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27, 2015

Something we thought would never happen was meeting Sister Coe, our Relief Society President from New Zealand, in Utah! We love her and rely on her so much in our Waterlea Park Ward, and here she is on our Saratoga Springs doorstep so far from her home! She visits her daughter every year and it was a joy to be with her at our church meeting with Michelle, her daughter, who lives in Layton, UT! Sister Coe is a dynamic matriarch of her family and the ward. She has an unwavering testimony of the Church and was so valuable to Elder Martin and I with information and help, getting started in our work 6 months ago! She volunteers 3 days a week at the Auckland MTC, Tues. nights at the Family History Center, and one other day at a city office. She is the definition of "service" and has been RS Pres. for 7 years!

This was one of the best reasons for coming home for Mom's funeral - being with all our children, although minus a few in-law children and grandchildren. What a joyful reunion it was after being so far away for 6 months! Christy flew from Kansas City, Taylor from Texas, and Jenny from Arizona. Kenny and Emily drove all night from Arizona. All of them sacrificed time and great expense to be with us and honor their beloved "Granny".  It was a wonderful time together.

Also wonderful, was having a chance to be with all my siblings as we shared our love for Mother during her beautiful funeral service! Carolyn, Kerry, Corey and their families came from California. Stephen and Marty and their families drove up from Cedar City. Sherrie lives in Orem where the funeral was. She was an angel to Mom for the last 18 months, caring for her every need. 

Aunt Bernice, 98, and Aunt Pauline, 95, are Mom's lovely sisters, that I love dearly. Aunt Pauline gave a wonderful talk about their sisterly love and family devotion. Not pictured, but attended also was Uncle Chic, 93, and Uncle Karl, 85. Mom was very close to all her siblings her whole life! All 7 of them have wonderful families, devoted to the Gospel. We are so blessed to be part of this loving family with a legacy of love and dedication to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His Church!

We took time out to spend an afternoon at Sundance Resort in Provo Canyon, goofing off and enjoying the outdoors, with the fall leaves turning in the background. Butters and Dusty, are a big part of the family, and are with us, but Dusty is black and hard to see right next to Butters.

These beautiful daughters are our pride and joy. This picture taken before Heather got blasted in the face with a football thrown by Taylor! Kenny and Taylor are in the background throwing the football. You can see that Bridget loves Kinley, her little cousin!

We love New Zealand for its beautiful landscape, but Utah has so much beauty too! I love walking along the trail with Dusty, mine and now, Heather's dog, in Provo Canyon, from the lower parks to Bridal Veil Falls! So beautiful, and so close to home!

Also, one of my favorite views is from our Saratoga Springs home, with the golf course, Utah Lake, and the beautiful mountains in clear view. 

Another shot includes the fun pool at the clubhouse, golf course, lake and mountains. These are some of the wonderful reasons why we love summertime in Utah!

This is the entrance to New Zealand just off the airplane in the terminal. It was not as hard this time to leave Utah and our family because we love our mission and our dear friends in the Waterlea Park Ward, and we were ready to come back "home" to them!

We had a little jet lag, and spent a day with other Senior couples exploring the town of Thames. It is a historic town in the Bay of Firth about an hour south of Manukau. It was a beautiful, clear and sunny day, so we had a wonderful time. 

P-days exploring different beaches is always wonderful to me. I think Elder Martin enjoys it too. Just being outdoors in the sunshine makes us happy, and we always find unusual shells.

How would you like these in your front yard? Look in the background at the large guitars too! There are three of them, with one hidden behind one of these giant heads. Not sure what the meaning of them are, but they obviously mean something special to the home owners.

The Pokeno Ice Cream Shop is the place to stop on any trip home from the Hamilton temple or any time you are near Pokeno. This was our first time there, but we had heard all about it. For $3 you get a giant double scoop of ice cream and tons of flavors to choose from. There is always a crowd there, with members is suits and Sunday clothes.

In closing, I want to share a little article about Elder Holland, who recently made his first trip ever to the country of Cambodia where more than 2,000 members gathered to listen to him.

 Elder Holland spoke of four reasons why he would join the Church today if he were hearing of the gospel for the first time.  He stated, “The whole world would join if they knew what I know,” and continued to explain the four following points:

  1. “God appeared on earth, in our time. He called prophets again, like in the old times. He gives authoritative Priesthood to the Church.”
  2. “The Second reason is the Book of Mormon. I would walk, climb, swim, run, overturn any stone, move the forest if I heard of a church that had seen Jesus Christ and had a book of his teachings. The Book of Mormon has 532 pages teaching me more about Jesus Christ.”
  3. “I can have my family forever! … I do not know of any other church on earth that can tell me I can. We can live again together through blessings of the temple forever.”
  4. “This Church has the Aaronic Priesthood, and the Young Women’s program.  Also the Primary, where the children memorize the articles of Faith. Some young children know more than most of the world knows. We need all the help we can get. I want help raising my children.”

Holland closed his remarks by inviting everyone to accept God’s gift. “God is giving us a gift,” Holland said. “Please accept it. Don’t miss your chance.”

I love this and believe with my whole heart and soul that these 4 reasons are all true! We are so blessed today because our parents, grandparents, great grandparents embraced the Gospel and taught us to love the Savior. We pray that our children and grandchildren and so on with continue in this faith and be forever blessed! 

We pray that our dear friends of other faiths will be strengthened in their love of the Savior by reading the Book of Mormon! It is truly a gift for our time!

Have a great week. We pray for you as you pray for us, and all the missionaries around the world. Love, 

Elder and Sister Martin


  1. Your family looks great. So glad you could see everyone. I loved hearing about your mother and her siblings and their love for each other.

  2. Such a wonderful post! What fun it was seeing you again and so happy you are serving in that beautiful country! We love you!

    Carl and Sue