Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 31, 2016


Craig and I celebrated our 41st anniversary last week! What a great blessing to celebrate 40 and 41 years together while serving a wonderful mission in beautiful New Zealand! We are with each other 24/7 and still smiling! That is a testimony to the joy and blessings of the Gospel and missionary work!

Can you find us! We are on the left and I'm wearing a red sweater. The middle two couples are Sister and President Balli (mission president) and President and Sister Haleck (new Area President). President Haleck held these conferences to meet the missionaries in Auckland. I think this is about 1/4th of our missionaries. President and Sister Balli are wonderful leaders. I don't know how he sleeps at night from taking care of all these young missionaries!

There is a popular store here called Martha's Backyard and they sell American food products. There are cake mixes, candy, pop, cereal, seasonings and tons more.  The longer we are away from home, the more willing we are to pay more than double what they are in the States. We come here mainly to get our fix of salsa and dill pickles. This is the last jar of pickles we have to buy for $17.50 before we go home and buy it for $5.  It's worth it though, to have real dill pickles! I can't fit this huge jar in our fridge, so I have to slice up all the pickles and store them in a Tupperware.

Heather was so happy that her water broke and she started labor after only a few days past her due date. It was hard being so far away and waiting for word of her progress. 

Finally, at 2:30 am our time, we got the text that this darling bundle was been born 45 min. earlier at 7:46 am on Thursday the 29th. We are so happy to welcome grandchild #13 into our family! He was 8lbs. 1 oz. and 20.5 inches, and his name is T.J. (Thomas James) and he is perfect in every way!

You can see how obsessed Bryan is with his beautiful son already! We are so blessed to have a new baby in the family! We love you Heather and Bryan and little TJ!  Now we look forward to grandchild #14 coming to Emily and Kenny in October. Can hardly wait for another little boy!

Piroa Falls! We've been here before, but came again with several other Senior couples. When we find an awesome site, we have to bring others to see it. We love this area, called Waipu. If we lived in New Zealand, we would retire here. It is a quaint town out of the city, has beautiful beaches, a gorgeous golf course, and is less money than other areas. We can't get enough of it!

Wouldn't you like a huge driftwood shark hanging in your house. It is very clever and hangs in a delicious Waipu cafe. The artist is a local from Waipu!

Since we are not available, (and truthfully, I've shed some tears about that) our dear friend and neighbor in Saratoga Springs, Sue Chappell, offered to take my place as grandmother to our new baby! She is loving him up! Thank you Sue! 

We have the best the youth in our ward and loved their performance of a Hawaiian dance for youth conference over last weekend! There was so much enthusiasm and commitment to get it right! 

They all did so well after so many practices. Many great women sewed the dresses and pulled together their accessories! We will truly miss seeing events like this, but hope to access them on FB! 

Just a funny joke I found. Bryan Wright made a joke tonight about Craig and I being born in the 1800's, and he thought it was so funny! Just wait 30 years when little TJ is thinking his dad is pretty ancient! Haha! 

We had a wonderful week not only with family events, but also with missionary events. We were able to take a Samoan missionary to get her visa interview at the American Consulate, read the Book of Mormon with an investigator, help a dear family work through a major problem, teach a few lessons, and keep the Sister missionaries from getting soaked on our many rainy days by giving them rides when we could! Every day is a new adventure serving others and keeping warm and dry! 

A great talk was given by our ward mission leader today and he said, "Find where you teach, and teach where you find." Think about that! Wherever you are there are people waiting to be "found" and waiting to be taught the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to find these people, and teach them in our homes. We should always "invite" because we never know when they will be ready to say yes. One sister's brother invited her for 6 years before she said yes to hearing the missionary lessons. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an amazing church and I invite anyone reading this to find out why I say this. Seek out the wonderful young missionaries you see walking and riding bikes and let them teach you.  You can know for yourself if what they say is true, and it will add more truth to what you already know!

Have a great week and keep praying!
Love,
Elder and Sister Martin

3 comments:

  1. Sounded like a wonderful week and home and there. we miss you and pray for you.

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