24 Dec 2017: Martin Mission to Japan
The Birth and Atonement of Jesus Christ give us the Grace to overcome our yesterdays, Strength for today, and Hope for our tomorrows.
There is nothing better than being a missionary in the Christmas season.
The Spirit of the Season is everywhere!
Bittersweet that it is our first and probably last Christmas in Japan- but such is the reality of a one-year mission couple.
This was perhaps our busiest week yet!
Departing missionaries reported on Monday and flew out on Tuesday.
New missionaries arrived on Tuesday, ate Sister Martin’s Turkey Noodle Soup over White Rice...
...and ate Sister Nagano’s French toast for breakfast and trained on Wednesday.
Transfers were on Wednesday afternoon as the new missionaries were paired up with their trainers.
Sister Martin got to assist Sister Nagano with a lot of food service.
Elder Martin had a special clean-up assignment.
Thursday was mission leader training meeting.
Friday (12/22) was our Mission Christmas Conference.
It was great to see ALL the missionaries together at once! Elder and Sister Gay spoke - as well as President and Sister Nagano.
Elder Martin put the video together to play on the screen for our 30-minute Christmas program.
We participated in a skit ("Honbu Alone") with the young missionaries - very fun.
The missionaries were happy to pick-up their packages from home! They were piling up!
We had help (a "bucket brigade") moving the boxes over to the church. (Sister Martin's idea).
We were happy to be able to walk around the office once more!
On Saturday morning, Elder Martin caroled at the Meijiro Train Station with the young missionaries, and on the way helped a grandma find the station. (This basically consisted of his riding his bike slowly so she could follow on her bike slowly – but she thanked him as if he performed some amazing heroic feat).
Saturday we were invited by our friends the Nohagi’s to an event with Sister Kawamitzu’s family.
Sister Kawamitsu served as a full-time missionary in the Okayama Japan Mission at the same time Elder Martin did – many years ago. It was their first reunion - after many years! He shared some old photos with her and talked about our mutual friend Sister Fujimura.
We felt very BLESSED to be able to attend the event - thanks again to the Nohagi's for making it possible.
We ate YAKINIKU before we met the Nohagi's for the event – and cooked it ourselves on a small tabletop charcoal grill.
Sunday was a special Christmas Sacrament meeting.
Afterwards we knocked on some neighbors doors with ward members and gave small gifts. This was Sis. Martin's first door-to-door event in Japan.
Before dinner, Elder Martin went caroling door-to-door with the young missionaries.
We watched the Piano Guys “Light the World” Christmas concert for Christmas Eve.
Thinking about you from Tokyo!
Love, Elder and Sister Martin
PS -Saw Fuji on a clear orange evening- very faint on the horizon. Left of center.
Love that mountain!