Saturday, April 23, 2016

April 24, 2016

We are so blessed here to have wonderful instruction from great leaders. In my last blog post I quoted a little bit of our Area President's address to us at a FHE. What he said rings so true, and we have talked about it often with members. We also know it is important to share President Pearson's message with our friends and family at home. 

He said, "We must avoid deception and distraction!

How do you avoid deceptions?

FOCUS our lives, and center MORE on the teachings of the Savior. We must develop Christ-like attributes.

How do you avoid deception?   If you don't ook through the same lens as the Father – understanding The Plan of Salvation – you will be lost. We must teach our children how to not be deceived and how discern between truth & error. 


Understanding the true purpose of life is ESSENTIAL. We are living in troubled times.  We need to pray mightily to understand what we can do to teach our children and grandchildren, to help them find a deep, personal testimony of the Savior." 

Since we've been in New Zealand, Elder Quentin Cook and D. Todd Christofferson have visited and spoken to us. Recently, I was told by our Zone Leader that Elder Holland was coming on a certain day and we would all gather to hear him. I was so excited that I rescheduled several appointments to free up that day. A few hours later, I got another got a text message from the Zone leaders saying, "April Fools!" We were so disappointed and felt foolish we had fallen for their prank. It was such a good one though, that we passed it on to all the other Senior couples. Every one fell for it like we did and were not happy to find out it was an April Fool's joke. 

Every 6 weeks is Transfers and the possibility that we have to say goodbye to one of our Sisters. We had a feeling Sister Selwa would leave. She was transferred 4 hours up north to Kaikohe, which is out in the "bush". She was happy for the change, but not too happy when we joked that they eat a lot of fish, mussels and oysters up there. She doesn't like any if that! We will miss her sweet and gentle ways.

We welcome our new Sister, Sister Kilgrow!

We bought ice cream for the Elder's and Sister's because Elder Mahoney, our District Leader, was leaving us too. He is only transferring to the next Zone though. We enjoyed all of our meetings with him and are sad to see him go. 

The Strawberry Farm is our favorite for ice cream and veggies, and they close their doors for the winter in one month. We took Mele for her earned ice cream because she has not used any bad language. We had a FHE lesson with her family about using bad language and Elder Martin challenged the family that if they would use good language for 3 weeks, he would take them to hit golf balls! We kept extending the deadline, but Mele was always the only one able to keep the challenge, so we took her for ice cream. She is a sweetheart and we loved sharing an hour with her over ice cream! 

This is one of the beautiful Norfolk Pines common here in New Zealand. I never really noticed, but Craig's sister Connie, while visiting here, on commented how lovely the tree was, and showed us the dainty star at the top! So cute and made the tree even more special!

We had a baptism last week! The Galu family (there are 5 younger children below baptism age not pictured) has been ready for weeks to get the baptized! We love their humbleness and sweetness and the Sisters did a great job teaching them. Before their first lesson, they told the Sisters they couldn't come to church that first Sunday because they needed to go to their old church to say 
"good-bye", and they have attended our ward since, about two months! Such a dedicated family! 

Connie and Ken had a wonderful time touring the South Island and Ken said he wants to move here! All their plans worked out well and they give praises to their travel agent! They returned to Auckland Saturday and will be with us a few more days before going home! We have really enjoyed their visit and getting to know Ken better! We appreciate them wanting to come to New Zealand (Who wouldn't want to come here).

After church, dinner and short naps, we were able to take Connie and Ken downtown for a quick look before dark and our evening FHE appointment. Hundreds and hundreds of sailboats, yachts, and fishing boats are docked, which is why Auckland is called "The City of Sails". 

A usual scene is Connie taking a picture and the men solving the world's problems! 
Of course, here I am taking this picture! There is so much beauty, more than can be captured on my camera, and we ladies just can't help ourselves!

Mission Bay in the Fall! Not too many people, but the beach still seems to be a gathering place on the weekends for families and kids' fun! Out in the distance is the town of Devonport.

A face only a mother could love? Actually this is our Stake President's handsome and shy son performing with his high school.  I caught this on the Internet and he said I could share it. Don't worry, the "tattoos" are stenciled makeup!

We saw this funny message printed on a tea towel hanging up in the front window of a gift store. 
Some people might think that being with your spouse for 18 months in a tiny apartment, together 24/7, would cause one to want to grab a club, but we are very happy and feel blessed to have this unique time together. When I need a little space, I walk across the street to the mall and go shopping. 

When we left on our mission, our Stake President in Utah blessed us that our family would be blessed and protected while we were gone. President Pearson also told us our "family & our loved ones will be in God’s hands while we serve!" We have seen this to be true and know the Lord is looking out for all families of missionaries! 

The church leaders also "hope for a surge in Senior Missionaries " that will rival what (they) have seen recently in young missionaries. Get your affairs in order and get out on a mission! The best thing ever! There is no need to fear over little concerns. The Lord will help you find a way!!! 

"You have been called and prepared to carry on this work.  Once called and set apart you can do whatever is asked." This is so true. I often need this reminder. We love the work, love the people and love the young missionaries!

Blessings be to all our loved ones. A shout out to Lane and Maureen Martin, (Craig's brother) who got married almost two years ago and are leaving this week for their mission to North Carolina as MLS missionaries! Be safe and love your time serving. It goes by way too quickly!  

Love and prayers,
Elder and Sister Martin

1 comment:

  1. Love the poem on the oyster! You two have an amazing blog -we just love it ! You are so inspiring!!!

    Love You!