Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Recently, our oldest son said to me, "Mom, I noticed you haven't posted anything on your blog since May."  I said, "Really? Has it been THAT long?" 

The realization that we only have 7 weeks left before returning home has hit me hard.  My heart has become half Japanese and the thought of saying goodbye to so many wonderful people will be very difficult. 
I have loved experiencing a new culture, new foods, new words, new traditions, new everything!

Every day I am trying to deposit into my memory bank as many sights, sounds, smells, and feelings that I can, so I do not forget my life in Japan.

As I think about our mission the past 16 months, these are some words that come to mind: SERVICE, ADJUSTMENT, FLEXIBLE, JOY, BLESSINGS, FAITH, WORK, CHALLENGES, FUN, BUSY, MIRACLES, COURAGE AND FATIGUE!

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission although at times it has been an adjustment and not been easy.  Because of this experience,  I have learned that 'I CAN DO HARD THINGS' with the strength of the Lord!  As I have pondered this principle I am reminded that almost every story in the scriptures is about people who do things that are difficult.  Every time the Nephites went to battle with "the strength of the Lord" they succeeded.

It takes faith and courage to try new things you have never tried before.  
It takes faith to adapt to climate changes. 
It takes faith to adapt to living out of three suitcases. 
It takes faith to leave your children and grandchildren for 18 months.  
It takes faith to try and learn and understand a new language.
It takes faith to adjust to a physically demanding schedule.
It takes faith to drive in a country with 127 million people.


We have learned that great blessings come from accepting a call to serve a mission, and have far outweighed any trial or challenge we have faced. 

Many of these promised blessings are found in the Doctrine and Covenants.  Some promises relate to the power, and strength that we will receive as we share the gospel. Other blessings the Lord has promised relate to personal purity and increased faith.  Then, there are the blessings of health, happiness and prosperity.  But perhaps the most extraordinary is this-the Savior has promised to fill us and our work with the Holy Ghost, and to make us into better men and women! (Clayton Christensen-The Power of Everyday Missionaries.

We know these promises to be true.  We have experienced many of them personally, and have felt God's loving arms around us as we have tried to serve with all of our heart, might, mind and strength.
Miracles have occurred as we have petitioned the Lord!

We know that this mission will bless us, our marriage and our family for eternity.

In the remaining time we have left we will not count the days, but will instead make every day count!

Here are some fun photos since our last blog post.


Shibuya, Tokyo
The name "Shibuya" is also used to refer to the shopping district which surrounds Shibuya Station, one of Tokyo's busiest railway stations.  This area is also known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, particularly for young people and as a major nightlife area.  Shibuya is famous for it's scramble crossing.  It is located in front of Shibuya Station Hachiko exit and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the entire intersections.  It is the busiest crosswalk in the world, with 2.4 million people passing across it each day.
The statue of Hachiko, a dog, between the station and intersection, is a common meeting place and almost always crowded. 
Hachiko is the true story of a golden brown male Akita Inu who would arrive at the train station every day to wait the return of his beloved master Professor Hidesaburo Ueno.  One day, in 1932 Professor Ueno died of a cerebral hemorrhage at work and did not return.  Hachiko continued to meet the train that should carry his master for 9 years.  The fame of Hachiko grew and his story is told to Japanese children as an example of great loyalty.

Japanese Branch Relief Society pressed flower making activity.  I am always grateful for those who share their talents with others.
Thank you for inviting me!

Yokosuka Library 
Children's Story Time
Brown, Bear, Brown Bear
What do you see?

My younger brother was in Tokyo on business.  I was so excited to visit with him, if only for a few hours.  By the way, the curry was delicious!  Love, love, love curry!

My friends took me shopping in Kappabashi (Kitchen Town) and helped me pick out two, very nice kitchen knives.  They had my name-Lin Addington carved into the handles in Kanji along with the inscription, 'Long Life'.   Every time I use my knives I will always remember the fun day I had with Nobuko, Junko, Yuko and Kazuko.

Sumo Wrestling
Sumo, a traditional form of wrestling, is the national sport of Japan.  The only professional Sumo organization in the country, the Nippon Sumo Kyokai, has about 500 members.  Each member in turn belongs to a sumo house, often called a "stable".  Professional wrestlers are called RISKISHI.  At each tournament (BASHO), the wrestlers are divided into two teams.  East (HIGASHI) and West (NISHI) and are ranked by grades.  Senio (MAKUNO-ICHI) and Junior (MAKUSHITA).  The highest position in the senior division is Grand Champion (YOKOZUNA) followed by Ozeki Sekiiwake, Komusubi, and Maegashira. 
We had an enjoyable day with other Senior Missionary Couples visiting the Edo-Tokyo Museum and watching Sumo Wrestling.

Make Friends Day
Tomodachi ni narimashou
Thank you Nobuko for inviting Elder Addington and myself to such a fun event. We thoroughly enjoyed 'making new friends' in the Yokosuka community!

Sister Missionaries
It is so fun to have sister missionaries here in Yokosuka.  We spent part of our 'Preparation Day' visiting an investigator at work.  We enjoyed sampling several beauty products which she assisted us with.

Sister's Workshop at the Honbu (Mission home) Kichijoji

Yokosuka Military Ward
We have such devoted and dedicated brothers and sisters bearing one another's burdens.  Our hearts are full of gratitude for the love and support shown to us.  It was fun to attend the graduation of two seniors from our ward.

Eikaiwa-English Class
I started an Eikaiwa class in my home over a year ago.  It has been one of the highlights of my mission.  My heart is eternally grateful for these sweet women who have touched my life in a way I never dreamed possible.  I will never forget them!
Our last class was held at the church because our tiny, Japanese apartment is just too small to host large groups.
I was able to give everyone a copy of the Book of Mormon and share my testimony and love for the Book of Mormon. They also received a small tile on an easel that said, 'Friends are the Sunshine of Life.' 
It was a very tearful goodbye for me, but I know our friendship is eternal.
(Thank you Susie Bowen for mailing me the vinyl lettering.)

"Move among the peoples...learn their languages, become acquainted with their customs and cultures.  Be anxiously and constructively concerned about the physical, mental, moral and spiritual well-being; the peace, health, and happiness of all people."
(Richard L. Evans, Conference Report, October 1968, p. 41-45)

Yokohama Bay Stars VS Hiroshima Carps
Baseball Game

Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd
Just buy me some peanuts and 'fried pasta'...

 Recently, we were able to book two activities (baseball game and Mt. Fuji)  through ITT at the Yokosuka Navy Base and experience some of the Japanese culture and beautiful sites before leaving Japan.  
We have experienced some amazing missionary opportunities while on these activities.  Each day before leaving our apartment, we pray that we will be able to share the gospel with someone, and often our prayers are answered,

Mt. Fuji 
Japanese Proverb

"One who has never climbed Mt. Fuji is a fool!  But, the person who climbs it more than once is a BIGGER fool."

Many individuals dream of climbing Mt. Fuji the 12, 388 foot high symbol of Japan.  Mt. Fuji, an active volcano is the tallest, most celebrated mountain in Japan.  People have making pilgrimages to the top for at least 1,000 years.  

The climbing season runs from July 1st through the end of August. During the 2 months, about 300,000 people step on the summit of the mountain.  The trail is divided from the starting point to the summit into 10 different stations.  Almost all stations on the way to the summit have stone huts, which dispense refreshments, allow you to rest, and provide overnight accommodations for overnight lodging.  All guests share one large room with the other hikers.  It costs Y200 to use bathroom toilets.

A Mt. Fuji walking stick (kongo-zue) is very helpful and a favorite souvenir.  Insignias branded into the stick mark the meters hiked at each station.

It is the ambition of most Japanese people and foreign visitors to climb Mt. Fuji at least once in their lifetime, and to watch the sunrise on the world.  

Our mission has been similar to climbing Mt. Fuji.  At times the climb has been hard, and the trail has been challenging and difficult, but when you reach the top-the view is amazing and the reward is eternal!