Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 31, 2016

Craig went to a dental hygienist on Monday and was so pleased with her work. We are blessed to be serving in a country where dental and medical care are close to what we have in the States. Also, the price was pretty reasonable. Not all dentists here have hygienists and we had to call around to find one. Most of the time the dentists do it themselves. 

The dentist/hygienist visit was 5 min. From the Takapuna beach, so that's where we had to go, if only for a 15 min. "look-see". Of course, we were the only ones there in "Sunday clothes" and we got a few stares, but no matter.

This was transfer week, and we knew one of our trio of Sisters would be leaving, and it was Sister Trull. We are sad to see her go, but it was time for her to spread her wings and move on . Three months with her flew by. We are so proud of our Sisters and how hard they work and inspired they are. 

A man in our ward has three newly adopted children (ages 10, 17, 20) straight from Samoa, that he wants the Samoan missionaries to teach. He was so frustrated because they never came. Finally, in his anger he said to forget it. I told our wonderful Sisters about him and they walked straight to his house. He was so happy to see them and said they could teach his children and he would help with the language. He told me, "I was wanting to talk to them, and they were at my door! They were inspired to visit me!"

This was what I thought after talking to this man about the Sisters coming to his home. 
On our mission I've learned to just smile and be quiet about a lot of things, but driving isn't one of those. It takes two to drive in this city; one to navigate, and the other to drive and follow directions from the navigator. I am the navigator, and my poor husband has to submit to my directions all the time. Sometimes he wants to navigate and drive, and then we get in trouble and breaks screech and horns start honking, I freak out and the Sisters in the back seat are praying!  It doesn't happen often, thank goodness! 

A ward member who was a Stake Relief Society President on one of the islands told me that most of the Senior missionaries she knew there were doctors or dentists and she told me this great story. 
She was on her way home from work and felt prompted to stop at the hospital. In the emergency room was a woman and her one year old who could not keep food down. Several doctors were checking the baby while the mother was crying. They said the baby needs a special canned food sold at only one place in the city. This RS President called her husband and told him straightway to go to that store to buy this special food, which he did. Then she told him she needed to go to the temple right then and she didn't know why, but she had to go. When she walked in the doors of the temple, she saw a man staring at her. He came up to her and asked if there was anyone who was sick, and she told him about the baby at the hospital. He left immediately for the hospital. He was a missionary doctor from the U.S. and had just left the surgery when he was also prompted to go to the temple and he didn't know why. He told the RS Pres. that when she walked into the temple, she glowed and he knew she was who he was supposed to see. At the hospital, he cared for the baby, but found that treatment had to be done in New Zealand, so he made all the arrangements for the baby, the mom, and himself to fly the next day to Auckland. Sadly, the baby died two weeks later. It is a sad ending, but many miracles occurred regardless, and good people listened to the Holy Spirit and sprang into action to try to help. 

Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife made a surprise visit to Auckland and we got to have a Mission Devotional with them and the Area President. Both the Auckland and the Hamilton missionaries attended. He was supposed to visit the members on Vanuatu, but their airport runway was so damaged that major airlines won't fly there, so plans had to be changed. Our gain and their loss. 
It was a wonderful meeting and at the end of his remarks, he was giving a heartfelt testimony of the Savior, and then stopped and said, "You will soon see me on the TV screen (meaning General Conference), but as one who is before you face to face, you see and hear me say that Jesus Christ is true. He lives. He was resurrected!" Hearing this from him "face-to-face, an apostle of the Lord, was truly powerful! 

After the Mission Devotional, we got to have lunch at our favorite restaurant in the area we serve with a few Senior couples, and President and Sister Balli joined us too. It was a perfect day to eat outside. With still more daylight ahead, Craig and Elder Bath went golfing and Sister Bath and I went to the beach. Only 30 minutes away is Waitawa Beach. With no waves because of the many islands to break them, many were swimming way out. 

Sister Bath and I looking a little sun-burned, but we really weren't. 

Beautiful views of the blue water and islands. None of the beaches have any commercial feel about them. Parking is free, nice clean bathrooms, and no traffic or noise. Very relaxing and peaceful. 

Gaelene recently taught me how to weave flax flowers, so I wove and dyed some (with the help of Gaelene and others) to use in two matching tall arrangements I had signed up to bring for the chapel today. It was fun mixing fresh flowers with the flax ones and I loved sharing in the island customs. 

Small arrangement under the microphone on the pulpit. This pulpit doesn't go up and down, so the space was a little squishy. 

The 5th Sunday is Missionary Sacrament Meeting, and it was my turn to talk and Sister Selwa's. We had two Young Men sing a prelude number, and a husband/wife sing an interlude song. The last speaker was a sweet, beautiful returned missionary who served in the Philippines. It was a great meeting, with the Spirit so strong! 

My topic was taken from President Howard W. Hunter's #19 lesson about commitment, specifically talking about being "living members" in the "true and living church". "Living members" are totally committed, press forward in faith, give heed to the Holy Spirit, put Christ first in their lives, strengthen their brothers and sisters, even their enemies, put action into their beliefs, and love one another. Becoming everyday, committed Christians one day at a time. 

Today the Sunday School President admonished the members not to attend the "Gossip Essentials" class in the foyer, and get to their classes. I thought that was really funny. 
It's hard getting older. I feel really good, but my left foot gives me pain and so does my right knee, but my spirit is still young. We walk most everyday, 3-4 miles, but I've still added some missionary pounds. That is depressing! One thing about New Zealand, it does not lack for food. Butter, cheese, cream, chocolate, and more are plentiful! People may not have a car, but they for sure have food! Our Elders and Sisters are taken care of and are only allowed to eat at members 4 nights a week. Otherwise they eat too much. One Elder we met put on 100 lbs. his first year and he lost it all his second year. Today I heard a comment that "missionaries were set apart to teach, not to eat!" Members should be dropping off names of people for them to teach, not dropping off KFC or McDonalds. 

I enjoy looking back at our week and sifting through the temporal events for reminders of the spiritual events. Monday at Family Home Evening, we were reminded that "missionary work and family history work are one great pathway to salvation."  Also, that "we left our families behind to come on a mission so that other families can learn how to be together forever!" That is a beautiful thought. 
I pray we can be even just a little part of this great work, day by day. 

I am thankful to be a member of this true and living church, and to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I'm thankful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate, but one in unity. I want to be united with them forever with my family. I want all families to be united, to enjoy all the great blessings we have been promised if we just keep the commandments! 

I am so thankful for all of you, our dear friends and family and pray for you daily!
Elder and Sister Martin

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