Sunday, October 13, 2013


Can it be almost 3 months since we have posted anything on our blog? I thought when we first received our mission call that this blog thing would be a really good as the days and weeks seem to be passing by I am not so sure. However, we know it is!

As we climb into bed each night exhausted from our day's work, I am reminded of a letter our youngest daughter sent home from her mission in Uruguay. She wrote, "It is the greatest feeling to come home at 9:30 p.m. each evening and feel like you pleased the Lord and were able to touch someone's life with the gospel."

We count our blessings each and every day to be a part of this great missionary work. We have experienced the new level of energy that is taking place all over the world as the "Savior's declaration to Joseph Smith is being fulfilled: 'Behold, I hasten my work in its time." (D&C 88:73)

Time and time again the spirit has borne witness to us that this is where we are supposed to. We have grown to love our small Yokosuka Military Ward. These young families are faithful, and strong. Many of the women literally "hold down the fort" while their husbands are deployed for months at a time. On Wednesday evenings we hold an Institute Class for our YSA's at the Chapel of Hope on base. Every other week we attend a YSA FHE dinner that the bishop holds in his home. We try to spend as much time as possible with our YSA's inside and outside of church. What a joy it is to work and serve with them.
In addition to our ward family and YSA's we work closely with the Elders and Sisters in our mission. We attend all of our District and Zone Meetings and love taking the train to Hakuraku and Kamiooka. Two weeks ago our district met in our apartment where Elder Addington gave training from Preach My Gospel. He taught us how we could strengthen and support our stake and ward leaders. For lunch we walked across the street and into the Main Gate on base where we took the Elders for pizza. Last week I gave a 30 minute training to our Zone on "Unity in Companionships."

Our weekly calendar is filled with visiting families and individuals, teaching lessons to investigators, studying for Institute and Temple Preparation (a class we recently were asked to teach), temple attendance with our mission or ward/stake, ward council, district meetings, zone conferences and auxiliary training, high council meetings and high council speaking assignments.

During the month of August we volunteered for one week to be Group Leaders at Vacation Bible School on base. Over 250 young people attended. We enjoyed it immensely! It was fun to get to know so many of the military families.
We had the privilege of listening to Elder Matthew O. Richardson, Second Counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency and Elder David L. Beck, General Young Men's President at the Area Auxiliary Training and Devotional in Hakuraku and Kichijoji.

Recently, I was approached by one of the Japanese ward members if I might be willing to teach English to her and a few of her friends. I am excited for this opportunity and to have help with my Japanese. Starting next Wednesday I will meet them at the train station and they will come to my home for a couple of hours every other week. One of our other Japanese friends wanting to attend said, "How much you charge?" When I told her it was free, she asked again, "How much you charge?" I said the classes are free and I didn't want any money. With disbelief she responded, "WHY YOU BE SO NICE TO ME?" I replied, "Because you are my friend and have been so kind, that I want to do something nice for you."  I tried to explain    this is one of the reasons why I am on a mission in Japan, and we are here to serve and love others as Jesus Christ did. I know she did not fully understand, but these are the opportunities we pray for on a daily basis.

Oh how we love the sweet, kind, gentle, thoughtful, quiet, and pure people of Japan. We have learned so much from them and have grown to appreciate their culture and customs.

The Elders helped us create a Halloween Party Invitation in Japanese. On October 29th, we hope that many of our Japanese neighbors-young and old-will visit our apartment. We live in a high rise with 14 floors and have had some of the most delightful experiences trying to communicate with our neighbors as we travel up and down in the elevator. One elderly gentleman when he sees us repeats over and over, "I don't speak English." He says it in English then starts speaking to us in Japanese. I am excited to meet more of our neighbors and put my party hat on!

Last week we traveled by train to the Tokyo South Mission home in Kichijoji. Elder Addington was asked to speak to the departing missionaries. We knew all of them so it was exciting to see them off! We enjoyed having dinner with the office couple, Elder and Sister Yamashita. Starting next transfer we will see an increase from 22-25 new Elders and Sisters to 30-35. Our zone just increased from 18 to 24. We received 5 new Elders and Sisters straight from the MTC-some of them just 18. What an exciting time!

Elder Perry spoke to the Mission Presidents recently and said, "This is the most remarkable era in the history of the Church." It "ranks with the great events that have happened in past history, like the First Vision like the gift of the Book of Mormon, like the Restoration of the Gospel, like all of the things that build that foundation for us to go forward and teach in our Father in Heaven's kingdom." So we need to be engaged as never before to match the excitement of our leaders and the commitment of our full-time missionaries. President Monson said in our most recent Conference: "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord's vineyard to bring souls unto Him."

We are pleased and honored to be part of that 22,000+ missionary force that has come out in the last year! And we pray to do our small, but important, part to further this - His work!! We know "He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work!"

Love to all,
Mom and Dad
Grandma and Grandpa
Elder and Sister Addington

Next blog I will try to share photos of some of our favorite foods and what our small Japanese apartment looks like. WE LOVE OUR MISSION! WE LOVE JAPAN!