Wednesday, July 31, 2013


"Dear Brothers and Sisters, I add my voice to that of President Thomas S. Monson and others in praising those who have responded to a prophet's call for more worthy missionaries. Now an unprecedented wave of enthusiasm for missionary work is sweeping the entire earth.  Since President Monson's historic announcement last October, thousands of elders, sisters, and couples have been called, and many more are preparing...
More of you young men and women will catch this wave as you strive to be worthy of mission calls.  You see your opportunity to be on the crest of that wave...You parents, teachers, and others, catch the wave as you prepare our rising generation to be worthy of missionary service...You adults catch the wave with help for the spiritual, physical and financial preparation of future missionaries...You senior couples, you plan for the day when you can go on your mission...This wave of truth and righteousness is wondrous!  It is not manmade!  It comes from the Lord, who said, "I will hasten my work in its time."

We are excited to be part of the "wave" in the "hastening of the work" in these latter days.  There is no spare minute.  The pace is intense.  Great moments and memories wash over us every day as we press forward with our mission.  Our past military experience helps us to engage with military families, young single adults in military service and our neighbors and daily acquaintances.  It is rich and meaningful to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and the Restoration.  Our mission is to"invite" and to help them "come unto Christ."

Some of our highlights the past two months:

*June 2nd-Today in church our current bishopric was released and a new one sustained.  Many families have completed their military assignments here in Japan and are returning home to the states.  Several of our YSA's will soon be deployed as well as others.  Until new families arrive and ships return to port, we have been asked to sub in Primary during the summer.  Elder Addington was set apart today as a High Council Member by President Frost of the Japan  Tokyo South Stake Presidency.

*June 5th-Japan Tokyo Mission Tour-3 Zone Conference (Fujisawa, Machida, Yokohama) Presided by Elder Michael Ringwood, Area President-Asia North Area (Conference Theme-Moroni 7)
Wonderful conference!  

*June 8th-9th Japan Tokyo South Stake Conference-Presiding Elder Koichi Aoyagi (Second Quorum of the Seventy)
Speaker-Elder Duck Soo Bae (Area Seventy from Korea)

*June 18th-It was our privilege to be the witness couple in the last temple session before the mission is to split July 1st.  

*June 21st-District Meeting in Yokosuka.  For lunch, we provided Taco Bell, Subway, chips, cookies, soda, etc.  It is so fun to watch the elders eat as they enjoy some "American" food.  We didn't realize how much they miss Taco Bell or Subway.  We just miss '5 Guys' and 'In n' Out.' 

*June 24th-28th-(AOB-ICR)  Area Orientation Briefing/InterCultural Relations
Attended one week training on base.  Mandatory for all new, incoming military personnel. Helped us acclimate back to military life and to Japan.  A very long week, but well worth it!

*June 30th-Worldwide Missionary Broadcast-(one week delayed for us)
What an exciting time to be involved in the Lord's work!  
"When we are on the Lord's errand-we are entitled to the Lord's help.  Remember that the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it."  President Thomas S. Monson

*July 1st-We are officially placed in new Tokyo South Mission

*July 2nd-Traveled by train to Hakuraku for a 'Meet and Greet Conference' with our new Mission President and his wife-President and Sister Wada.  A great couple!

*July 8th-Traveled to Tokyo to meet with our Stake President, John Madsen and our Mission President, Takashi Wada for lunch. Two other senior missionary couples were there.  Discussed at length, stake goals and directions and how we can assist and strengthen the wards in our stake. 

*July 12th-District Meeting in Kamiooka  John 4:  Woman at the Well

*July 16th-Started a partial move into our new apartment-Elders from mission home came to help.

*July 20th-21st-Traveled to Camp Zama and Atsugi NAS where Elder Addington was asked to speak.

*July 23rd-Yokohama Zone Meeting Hakuraku-5 Elements of Conversion

*July 27th-Ward Pioneer Day Celebration-Throughout the afternoon we had well over 150 in attendance.  Students from Eikawa, members from the Japanese Ward, non-members and new families just arriving in Japan all came.  It was a lot of fun.

*July 29th-Sister Addington attended a 4 hour class called 'Your Japanese Home'
She loved it!  

The above is a sampling of our busy schedule but doesn't include all of the personal, and meaningful experiences we have on on a daily basis with ward members and our Japanese neighbors and friends.

For instance, down the alley is a small restaurant. (300 square feet) 
Almost daily we wave to the owner when we pass by.   Recently he stopped us and showed us how he had been working on a translated menu for us to read. We were so appreciative of his kindness and went back the next evening for some delicious yakisoba noodles.  We plan to return tomorrow evening for dinner with the elders and to give him a Book of Mormon.

We have been busy visiting the "sea widows" whose husbands are deployed and  sending care packages to our Young Single Adults who are also deployed.  Currently we are fellowshipping a family on base who is interested in the church.

In two weeks we will be assisting with VBS (Vacation Bible School) on base for one week.  We have volunteered to be group leaders and look forward to working with those of all faiths.

There is so much work to be done that at times it seems overwhelming. We love it here so much and are so grateful for the Lord's hand each and every day in assisting us in this great work.

Thank you for your love, support and prayers.  We appreciate your emails, cards, letters and packages.  We miss you and pray daily for our family and friends back home.

May we all catch "the wave" and fulfill the Lord's command to take the gospel "to every nation, kindred, and tongue, and people.

Sending lots of love and hugs all the way from Japan,

Mom and Dad

Elder and Sister Addington

Forest and Linda

July 2013

 District Meeting in Yokosuka. We love the Elders!

The owner of this restaurant created an English menu just for us. Our old apartment can be seen to the left of this photo. Our brown colored balcony is on the bottom.

Our Japanese washer/dryer. I have post-it notes to help me understand how to use it!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More June 2013

Our neighbor, a sweet elderly woman, clipped these flowers from her bush and handed them to me. Kindness abounds everywhere in Japan.

Our visit to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

 Tokyo Temple

Elder Lee could hardly contain his excitement when he saw Subway and Taco Bell for lunch!

We were so thrilled to find a Costco in Japan near us!

June 30

Elder Addington is loved by the Primary children!

June 21

Feeding the elders at district meetings makes us happy!

June 15

This picture is of a mother tenderly assisting her newly married daughter.  I watched as she made sure her dress, hair, jewelry, etc were in place before the beautiful bride stepped inside the vehicle, and again when she sat down.  It was a very touching scene.

June 14

One of the things we enjoy immensely is watching  children walk to school each day.  Depending on the school, each child is dressed in a different uniform, hat and backpack.  Children as young as 4-5 can be seen walking to school by themselves or even traveling by train.

June 7

Tokyo Mission before the split!