Sunday, April 27, 2014

P-Day (preparation day...a

Yesterday was Saturday, our once a week preparation day, typically a day off from normal missionary duties. We decided to post various details to give you an idea of the goings on here.

Elder Martin - Pago Bay in background
We woke up as usual, Sister Martin at about 6:00 am and Elder Martin at about 6:30 am. At 7:00 am we went for our typical walk/jog down by the ocean from the University of Guam Campus.

We walk by some beautiful newer homes down a hill until we reach the Marine Research Laboratory. Then we walk down to a look-out over the ocean and then down sort of a boat ramp to Pago Bay. We may go snorkeling there some day.

After coming back, at about 7:45, Elder Martin started working on a new pancake recipe, perhaps never before created or thought of. We both actually liked it a lot so we added it to our written recipes. It's called Grandpa Mike's Wheat/Coconut Pancakes. We poured some Chokecherry/Elderberry syrup(brought from home) on them, which tasted good, and some maple syrup as well. Wish we had our coconut/macadamia nut syrup. We saw an ABC store in town that may carry it.

At about 9:30 am we picked up Sister McClellan, the mission nurse, to enjoy a pleasant day at the annual Micronesia Island Fair.

This fair includes local arts and crafts, music, dancers and entertainment, food, various vendors, etc. It also includes some vendors and entertainers from other islands.

Sister Martin, Sister Ande, Sister Whipple & Sister Finau pointing to large screw,
and Sister Vave
Just before we arrived, a sister missionary called in distress with a flat tire, wondering why the spare wasn't as tall as the regular tire. Since we were only about 5 or so minutes away, we decided to assist them. We took the tire down the street to get it repaired. After the sisters installed the tire, we were on our way.

We arrived at the festival at about 11:30 am. Just when we arrived, Sister McClellan received a call from a sick missionary on the island of Saipan and talked to them about their situation.

At around noon Elder Martin received a call from two Elders who were locked out of their apartment. All keys to the car and the apartment were inside.
Sister McClellan

Sister Martin with a hand carved wood purse from the Philippines

Sister McClellan and Sister Martin stayed at the fair while Elder Martin drove back to the Mission office to get the spare set of apartment keys.

While at the office, the AP's called and said that the Zone Leaders in the island of Chuuk were trying to call me, Elder Martin, with a problem. I called back but no answer. After rescuing the Elders with the key, and being around 2:00 pm, with no more parking available at the festival, and a baptism at 4:00 pm, we decided to head back.

After arriving back home to our apartment, we both fell asleep. Unfortunately, we missed the baptism. We then got ready for the evening session of Stake Conference at 6:00 pm. Arriving early we greeted and talked to several people, including the young lady who had come into the mission office a couple of weeks ago wanting to be taught the gospel...see earlier blog post. She will be baptized on May 10th, while we are out visiting the other islands. We wanted to go to that one.

At about 6:45, Elder Martin had to go to the airport to drop off Elder and Sister Hurst's car, who were arriving in from the island of Kosrae. Their flight was first delayed 4 days and now 1 1/2 hours. Sister Hurst was supposed to speak in evening Stake conference but missed it.

The sisters who had the flat tire that day were also at the airport, picking up a returning sister who just finished her mission at the Laie Hawaii temple visitors center. A few minutes later, President and Sister Mecham arrived at the airport, on their way to the island of Yap for 4 days. Elder Martin greeted them and took their car back to the Stake Center, just as conference was ending at around 7:30 pm.

Sister Martin then told me, Elder Martin, about a talk in conference that I missed, about the sister of the Catholic lady that we met and talked to today at the tire repair shop. To make a long story short, it was about how the speaker hesitated in sharing the gospel many years ago to his teacher, but who later joined the church. Her twin sister is who we talked to today.

We then took the Mecham's car back to their home to park it there and after drove home. The night was dark and humid as we began to BBQ chicken after waiting an hour for the charcoal to be ready. Our neighbors, the Hurst's, (Family History missionaries) were just arriving home. We chatted while our chicken finished cooking. They live just two doors down.

At 11:00 pm we enjoyed doing a video call with the Bullens.

(Early for them - 7:00 am their time).

Fun, fun.

It was early in the morning for sleepy Laura.

But when she started telling us about how she was making money and saving for something, she perked right up.

We had fun talking to them until well after midnight, Guam time.

At about 1:00 am we went to bed. Another wonderful day of missionary work.

Today, Sunday the 27th of April, we went to Stake Conference and then came back to video call with the Sparti's.

We were all excited to see each other. Gavin and Gage had just gone to bed. Lindsay said that Gage is taking swimming lessons. He cried non-stop the first five lessons. Lindsay promised him his favorite treat if he would stop crying. He hasn't cried since. He is water safe now.

Gavin and Grace are also taking swim lessons.

Aliza, Grace and Gavin are all in Soccer.

Grace said she almost scored a goal in the rain that morning, and was enjoying Activity days.

Aliza is now in Young Women's and was excited for girl's camp coming up in the summer. She said it is more fun than Primary.

We love all of our children and grandchildren.

We know the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and we are very grateful to work and serve in this part of the Lord's vineyard. We are having fun!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Video Phone Calling with Grandchildren

This past week we had the opportunity to link up with 3 more families and happy grandchildren. We, the grandparents, were especially happy to see them.

The first one we called was Stephanie. No one else in their family could join us except for a brief hello to foster boy, Austin. We really missed seeing Dave and grandson Oliver. But we had fun catching up with what's going on in their lives.

Then we talked to Ronda and Nate who are temporarily staying in the Hossfield's basement.

A few of the Hossfields jumped into the call which was fun. Aubrey showed us a sock bunny, one of many that she recently made.

Nate told us about a new Soccer Goalie coaching school he is considering. Ronda looked excited about this idea.

We then told Ronda and Nate we were taking screen shot photos of our call and they laughed because they just woke up.

It was 11pm for us but 7am for them.

We think they look great, don't you?

The next day we actually called the Hossfields (upstairs) and we were all excited to see each other.

We had too much fun talking with their family.

They just had breakfast with Utah State Senator, Thatcher.

Shannon then mentioned that she had just been selected as a state delegate.

Heidi and Sam added some interesting photo ops.

A week ago, we invited all of the Senior missionaries over for family home evening. We popped popcorn and watched a short missionary work video. Then we watched an old movie called "Inn of the Sixth Happiness". The movie is based on a true story about a woman who wanted to be a missionary in China, but wasn't qualified according to her church. She went anyway and made a big difference for good, helping many people. In one instance, she helped save and move over 100 little children out of a war zone. We all thought that our missions were less dramatic and shorter than her life long one.

We had fun with everyone.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A "Mighty" wonderful Zone Conference and Easter week

Sister Martin and I enjoyed our first Zone Conference today. President and Sister Mecham both spoke and gave wonderful talks. President Mecham talked about the Book of Mormon story about Ammon and the four sons of King Mosiah wanting to preach the gospel to their enemy the Lamanites. Everyone laughed at them which discouraged them but they were determined to go.

The results were that thousands were converted to Christ, and they buried their swords and became a peaceful people. He talked about them being thrown into prison and being stoned. See Mosiah Chapter 28 and Alma Chapter 26:23-31. President Mecham said that a few of our missionaries, Sisters and Elders, have been stoned and even one was put in prison for a short time where he taught the gospel there.
April, May and June Happy Birthday song

He also mentioned that everyone needs to get out of their comfort zone and invite everyone to come unto Christ, and commit them to a baptism date during the first lesson on the restoration. He reminded and recommitted the missionaries of the goal they set to have a thousand people baptized in 2014. We then did some roll playing to practice some of the things we learned. It is difficult to express the wonderful spirit that was there and the great messages given.

Several of the missionaries that would be going home before the next conference. bore strong testimonies. One that especially touched both of us was Elder Billy Bunn's testimony of the Book of Mormon. He knew it was true and we both knew that he knew, as the peaceful, warm spirit touched us.

After a fun Dominos Pizza lunch, we went outside the church and took pictures of the whole group.

A week ago Sunday afternoon we went to Tagachang beach. It is a beautiful area and several families were there.

While walking along the beach we stopped and talked to a man originally from the island of Chuuk.
Tagachang Beach
We introduced ourselves as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He said he has always wondered why both of his parents had to die so young. We talked to him some about it.

We gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet in English (should have had a Chuukese one) and gave him our contact information. We should have got his but we're learning. He said he comes to this beach every Sunday afternoon so perhaps we'll see him again.

Tagachang Beach

Last Saturday we went to Ipan beach to try a little snorkeling. It was very shallow and so it was difficult to maneuver around very easily.

Sister Martin Under Water
We had fun, saw some neat fish, got a little sunburned (areas that we missed with sunscreen) and then we walked down the rocky beach with our water shoes on to protect our feet.

Later that day we went to one of several baptisms on the island. Sister Martin was asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost at the last minute, since some people came, late waiting for a ride to the church.

The day after on Easter Sunday, Elder Martin taught the Sunday School lesson on Numbers Chapters 11-21 about Moses and the Israelites, Manna, Fiery Serpents, the 12, the 70 called to help Moses, etc. That evening we had Easter dinner at President and Sister Mecham's home (the Mission Home).

A great week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Saving Souls and Lives in the Philippines

We've been following several blogs and of course our favorite is my Sister and Brother in law's blog, We have their mission call and blog post card on our refrigerator.

As we mentioned before, we were in the MTC together and enjoyed the spirit there together.

They are currently serving the people and saving souls in the Urdaneta, Philippines Mission. This is around 1500 miles from Guam, where we are serving.

I mentioned to them a Martin Door story of how a Martin Garage Door saved a persons life in the Philippines. They asked me to try and find it and send it to them. I found the clip, so here it is.

I took this picture of David Martin, my father, and our dealer while on a business trip to the Philippines back in 2003. The story was written by business associate and friend, Antone Clark.

Elder Dennis Roberts is the owner of Robert and Sons Garage Doors in Central Utah.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Our First Online Video Call with Grandchildren

We just enjoyed our first video phone call using Google Hangout with the Wintertons. Our daughter Debbie, son-in-law Christian, Xadrian and cute little Kendrix. It worked quite well. We called on Saturday at 11am Guam time, which is 7pm Friday, Utah time.

Debbie was in Seattle Washington on a business trip in her hotel. So the three way call was good for all of us to see each other.

Xadrian went out to the garage and hurt his finger in a bicycle gear so Christian ran out to the rescue.

Then Christian put sleepy little Kendrix to bed and Xadrain took over the computer.

Then Xadrain fell asleep so it was time to say goodnight.

It was great to talk to them. We miss all of our children and grandchildren and love them all so much.

Little Mighty Miracles in the Office

Well, we don't want to dwell on the fact that we are in over our heads in the office...but we seem to manage to avoid catastrophic events, with a little (a lot?) help from above.

One example was last night. Elder Martin received a call regarding details of the arriving missionaries. Each missionary has there own credit card with a limited amount of money deposited monthly for their personal use. The call was a question with one of the access PIN's. After resolving the situation, Sister Martin remembered that two of the new missionaries did not get their FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) entry permits. These were needed to go with their passports so they could enter the other countries in the mission. Since they were leaving early the next morning, we arranged to drive back and meet them at the office. We did and all seemed to go well.

While driving back we talked about why Sister Martin suddenly remembered these important details at the last minute. We agreed that it must have been a spiritual prompting. We both received very little training before taking over at the office and are amazed we can get through each day.

A mighty miracle. A couple of days ago a young woman walked in to our office in the morning. Elder Martin asked if he could help her. She explained that last night she went on, and entered a request for the missionaries to contact her. After doing so, she decided she couldn't wait, looked up our address and came straight over in the morning. There was a wonderful warm spirit that was present and not wanting her to wait a moment longer, Elder Martin asked two missionaries, who happened to be in the other room, to come out and answer her questions and give her the greatest message in the world, including points such as: that she has a loving Heavenly Father, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth, and that true prophets were alive and on the earth now, and much more.

After the 45 min. message, Elder Ramiterre, who was leaving to go home the next day, said she accepted all that was introduced to her and the she committed to be baptized the last week of April.

Elder and Sister Martin, Elder and Sister Hurst, Elder Carter
On a lighter note, some of the senior couples got together the other night for dinner. Elder Martin made some of his Thai Ginger Coconut Chicken Curry. (picture from sister Carter who was visiting from Palau).

More fun at the office today. Enjoyed a Zone training meeting with the missionaries in our area. Other activities included: visiting the Bank of Guam to change Zone Leader signature cards, reimbursing a lot of missionaries for airport parking, airport entry and exit fees, vehicle inspections, etc. Sister Martin ordered some missionary name tags in English, Chuukese and Palauan languages.

Tonight, after finishing up at the office we picked up the repaired Corolla from the auto body shop. After about 45 minutes in Guam's rush our traffic, we enjoyed the Banana Festival in Talofofo at Ipan beach.

Edler Martin - Talofofo Banana Festival
We enjoyed a chocolate banana shake, and a little green banana that didn't taste was actually rather sweet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baptism in the Ocean - On the Air force Base

Elder and Sister MacCabe
Since Guam has an Air force Base and a Navy Base, our mission has Elder MacCabe (retired military) and his wife, Sister MacCabe. They are both in their 80's and are exciting to be around.

To keep themselves active they train for and run 5k's from time to time. They have only just been married a couple of years. Elder MacCabe has been on about 10 missions including areas of the middle east like Jordan (he speaks Arabic like my cousin Keith Martin).

Anyway, they offered to take us to a baptism for two in the ocean last Saturday, and we said sure. The service began in an open/covered pavilion. A person gave a short talk on baptism which was great.

The ocean was a little loud so it was hard to hear her and the opening prayer which was very soft spoken. There was quite a large attendance of mostly Air Force military and their families.
The surf was definitely bigger today but that didn't seemed to deter them from going into the water. It was not a typical swimming type of beach, and they had it reserved,
so no one else was around.

It all went great and we left with a wonderfully uplifted spirit. Opportunities for spiritual highs are very plentiful on our mission.

After the baptismal service was over, the MacCabes drove us to nice beach, where we walked around for a few minutes.
We would have gone swimming but it was a little rough so we decided to come back another day. They then drove us around the base where we saw various fighters and bombers, a golf course, homes for the Air Force families, commanders, officers, stores, etc. No garages or garage doors like the Navy base has, where we did some Martin Garage Doors a couple of years ago. A very nice place indeed.

On our next blog we will talk about a lady who walked in the mission office, seeking the truth and finding it.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Eagerly Engaged in Office Essentials

In the morning we try to take walks as often as possible.

Here are some pictures of our last walk near the motel we were staying at. 

Our daily schedule for the office is Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm. But sometimes we stay until almost 7pm or possibly leave early at about 4:30pm. Sometimes we may go in the office on Saturdays or Sundays as well. It all just depends on the work load or what is happening.

This week has whizzed by. We have been very busy at the office. Sister Martin has been working on letters, recording baptisms, coordinating various things with the mission president, booking flights for Missionary Leadership Conference here in Guam where all of the Zone leaders come in for training. All of the inter-island flights for transfers and the letters for Entry Permits to the FSM were also done by Sister Martin.
Sister Prince and Sister Martin in the office

Elder Martin worked on petty cash reconciliation, a car crash report, Visa and Master card charges, refunding Zone check books after checking receipts off, two check runs paying all of the weekly bills, purchasing a microwave and other supplies for apartments, buying water filters, buying Japanese and Tagalog (Filipino) Books of Mormon (we stock over 10 languages), sourcing auto parts and tires, got a car repair estimate, picked up a check from the insurance adjusters, and putting together a PowerPoint presentation for the Zone Leaders on vehicle safety training.

Both of us take the incoming phone calls from vendors, missionaries, concerned parents, auditors, and many others. We also go and shop for supplies following the apartment inspections. This week we will do vehicle registrations and whatever else comes our way. It’s like running a small business.

Taking a break for lunch outside the office
After long days in the office, we come home make dinner and clean up dishes. We do some laundry and other cleaning. Monday nights we have Family Home Evening with the other seniors. This week it was at Sister McClellen’s. She had a birthday party for Elder Martin. She made a strawberry shortcake birthday cake and we played a drawing game. Sister Martin hung up birthday signs and made a wonderful German chocolate cake  and took it to the office to share with whoever came by.

Last Sunday morning Elder Martin accompanied a younger missionary to Tokyo. Sister Martin stayed in Guam and enjoyed church, and later spent some time with Sister McClellan, the mission nurse, who is single. Since the AP’s (assistants to the President) were on the island of Kosrae, over a thousand miles away, they asked us to help at the office on Sunday night at 9:30pm, as the Zone leaders call in all of their teaching and baptism stats.  Sister Martin did that until around 11:00pm and then waited until Elder Martin arrived at the airport later. The flight from Tokyo arrived at about 1:00am Monday morning.

Thanks to Heavenly Father for another great week. We love the Lord and love the people we are serving. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and we are blessed to be part of it.

Our next blog will show pictures of the baptism in the ocean.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Exploring the Talofofo Caves

Hike to the Caves
Saturday morning, March 22nd at about 9am we met two other senior missionary couples, the Prince’s, the Hursts, and also Bishop Bill Davis, his son, and daughter Marthalina (14yr.) at the church. Our destination was the Talofofo caves. We drove to the trailhead with the Princes, about a half hour from their (now our) apartment. When we arrived, we equipped ourselves with sunglasses, water, bug spray, our missionary badges, and gloves, due to the sharp rocks. The moderate hike to the caves was only about 15 minutes. 

The Caves
We have never climbed in lava caves like this before.
It was a little scary but we didn't go in any long tunnels.

Bishop Davis mentioned that last time he came, one of the nearly vertical tunnels had a rope. But the rope was gone so we didn't attempt the descent in that area. One person threw a rock down but never heard it hit the bottom.

There were lots of cool spiders, lizards, butterflies, a toad and cock roaches. Marthalina skipped over the rocks and climbed up higher and squeezed through the tunnels with ease. 

We were a little slower. Some of the tunnels were a tight squeeze to fit through.

Kissing Window - Arch

 We saw an arched rock formation called “Kissing Window” which over looked the ocean.

One tunnel we practically had to lay flat and slide through. A few of our group stayed behind and didn't want to crawl through the smaller tunnels. Elder Hurst said he was claustrophobic. 

The air was actually warmer inside the caves than outside. That was very strange. 

Sister Hurst, Brother Davis, Marthalina, Bishop Davis, Sister Martin, Sister Prince

At the end of one of the tunnels was another beautiful overlook of the ocean. 
View From the Talofofo Caves - The tall white building in the distance is close to our apartment
We may want to come back and do this hike again someday.

Saturday (P-Day) Continued…
After leaving the caves, we stopped to see the missionaries in that area. They live in a little house. Then we drove back to the church, which was quite scenic.

Later that day there was a baptismal service for two people (one was Chuukese). The Priesthood bearer who baptized one new convert  had only been a member a few months. Elder Johnson baptized the other Chuukese convert. It’s amazing to watch these Elders speak in other languages. Elder Hadder, one of the AP’s speaks, Pohnpeian, Chuukese and is working on another. It is a blessing to see the spirit of the Lord work in these young men.

The Stake Relief Society had a special night for the sisters to celebrate the RS birthday. The stake Relief Society president; I think is Sister Miller. She did everything. She had lights strung around the edge of the ceiling and sconce lights on the wall; every table was decorated with fancy hair or hats, gloves, jewelry, fancy shoes, and purses.

The men served the women a multiple course dinner, constantly refilling the crystal glasses with water.
Elder Prince Serving Sister Prince
We had appetizers like shrimp, spinach dip with baguette bread, grapes, cheese, olives and carrots. We had rolls with butter shaped like purses, fans, and shoes. They also served a green salad, garlic mashed potatoes, tender beef brisket and cheese broccoli.

Sister Ta'ehia and Sister Alaalatoa with an investigator
The program began with a Relief Society video and then Sister Miller told a personal story about her conversion to the gospel despite the resistance from her father, who was a minister. Her uncles and her grandfather had also been ministers. She went on an LDS mission to Bulgaria and shared a story about a sister missionary in the mission that was weird and annoyed her. Later they became companions. Her companion was always making them late for everything, turning into a real trial. One time this sister shared her patriarchal blessing that said she was “a most beloved daughter of Heavenly Father”. She came to look at the positive character of this sister and shared how we need to be less critical and look for the good in other sisters. 

First she showed a video about Susan Boyle, the English lady who looked funny but Wow’d the judges on the television show, “Britain’s Got Talent”. The audience laughed at her and despised her until she opened her mouth to sing. She said Susan didn't change, but the audience did, as they applauded and gave her a standing ovation. Likewise we need to change our attitude about others. Mike stayed and helped with the dishes.

Then we went to Kmart after 11pm to pick up a few food items. We both had colds. Perhaps it’s from jet lag, lack of sleep, being really busy or a combination of things. We were late for church the next morning, and we both woke up with eye infections. But even with all of that, it was another great Sunday.

Ah Oh, another call and another crunch.  

Never a dull moment in the work of the Lord.