Saturday, December 24, 2011

Annual Christmas Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends,

We can’t believe December is here and another year is ending. A lot has happened during 2011. Sadly, we said goodbye to our beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, grandmother-in-law and great grandmother Genevieve, Holyoak Johnson. She passed away November 2, 2011 in Moab, Utah. It was a wonderful reunion in Moab where we gathered to celebrate her life.

Adam has finished his first semester at BYU Idaho. He has received a call to serve as a full time missionary in the Brazil, Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission. He leaves for the MTC in Brazil on February 22, 2012. The highlight for Adam this past year was the Dallas Mavericks championship win.

Christopher returned from serving as a missionary in the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Oeste (West) Mission on January 19, 2011. He has resumed his studies at BYU in Provo, Utah. We plan to travel with him this summer to the DR to tour his mission. He is excited to see the friends he made while serving there.

Justin and Kara finished up their bachelor’s degrees at Brigham Young University. They are living in our home in Plano, taking care of it for us. Their big news is that they became parents on December 13, 2011 when they welcomed Trace Justin Martin! He weighed in at 6 lbs. 7 oz. and was 18” long. Justin has two jobs and is interviewing with medical schools, hoping to get into one this fall.

Jerry (Jr.) and Sara were married in the Los Angeles temple on July 28, 2011. We are so happy to welcome Sara (Davis) to our family. Sara is working as a nurse in Dallas. Jerry is employed by Deloitte Touche working in their audit department. They recently moved from Plano down to Dallas to be near their jobs. They are a cute couple.

Jenae, Brett, Ashlin, Rachel and Lillian Boren. The Borens are living in Lehi, Utah. Brett is still enjoying his job with Private Capital Group (PCG). He still loves playing sports and is still up-to-date on the latest technology. Jenae loves being home with her daughters. She is still running. Ashlin (6) is enjoying First Grade. She loves to sing, dance, and do art projects. Rachel (4) also loves to dance. Lillian, joined the family on December 30, 2010. She is nearly a year and is adorable. She recently began walking.

Kindra, Neil, Brooklin, Bailey, Luke and Logan Roné
r. The Ronérs live in Sharpsburg, Georgia where Neil is still employed by Novelis. In his spare time he loves golfing and playing basketball. Kindra is kept very busy with four children but still loves photography and sewing. Brooklyn (7) is in 2nd grade. She still does soccor team and is also swimming. Bailey (6) is in first grade and loves to keep up with the latest fashions. Luke (4) is still a very independent little man. He loves to be outdoors is quite the artist. Logan (20 mos.) is a very busy toddler. He keeps the family on their toes.

Alyssa, Ryan, Katelyn, and Marin Christensen. The Christensens live in Lehi, Utah. Alyssa is in Pharmacy School in Sandy. She is kept very busy between her schooling and her children. Ryan turned eight and was baptized in June. He is in third grade. He loves spiders. Katelyn (6) is in first grade. She loves to draw and color. Marin (almost 5) enjoys swinging and swimming.

Camie, Spencer, Benjamin, Joshua, and Dallin Carroll. The Carrolls live in Orange, California where Spencer is an administrator for a skilled healthcare facility. Camie enjoys life as a stay-at-home mom. Three boys keep her very busy. Benjamin (5) is a prolific artist. Joshua, who will be three in March, loves to ride his bike. Dallin, (1) is a busy toddler who is into everything and keeps everyone on their toes.

Jerry and Gemie (a.k.a. President & Sister Martin) are spending our third (and last) Christmas in the mission field. We cannot believe that the time is going by so swiftly. We will miss the missionaries when we leave. We hope to stay in touch with them throughout the remainder of our lives. It is rewarding to see them complete their missions, move on to schooling, work, and starting families of their own.

We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tribute to Genevieve Holyoak Johnson-July 12, 1926-November 2, 2011

Mama had a very vague, but pleasant memory of her earthly father who passed away of a heart attack when she was but three years old. She remembered looking out into the night sky with him, observing the stars. She could remember feeling loved and secure with him as they gazed together out at the heavens. It used to bother her that her memory of him was so scarce. She would watch as our father, her husband, would play with us and think, “Surely they couldn’t forget him.” She felt a bit guilty that she had forgotten her own father.

On Wednesday November 2, 2011 she passed on to the other side of the veil. On Saturday November 6, 2011 we will gather at 11 a.m. at the Stake Center in Moab, Utah to celebrate the life that Genevieve Holyoak Johnson lived here in mortality. Though assured that this is a temporary parting, we grieve because for the first time since we have known her, we have no access to her. She was the heart of our home.

My husband Jerry frequently shares a memory of his first visit to my family in Moab, Utah. Many relatives and friends had come to meet the man I was to marry. He remembers the living room filled to overflowing with people. One of my younger sisters came home from school, surveyed the crowd and asked, “Where is everybody?” Jerry was puzzled that she would ask such a question with the room so obviously packed with people. But one very important person was missing, our mother. She was “everybody” to that young child and all her siblings and I’m sure to our father too. On that day, as Mama so frequently did, she had gone to help a person in need.

Recently, I was talking to my Dad. He was calculating how many years he had been married to her. “In all that time I was only aware of one fault she had, he said. “She put everyone before herself.”

So Genevieve, our sweet Genevieve, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, and friend, you have finished this earthly part of your existence. You have surely passed this all important test here in mortality. If anyone was ready to meet her maker, it was you. You have gone home to that God who gave you life. You are truly one to whom our Savior can say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” You have no doubt also been welcomed or will be by your earthly father, mother and your so recently deceased younger brother, Dan along with many other loved ones who have been waiting for you on the other side of the veil. And if they have not been restored to you already, your memories of your earthly father, and all other pleasant memories, temporarily dulled, will be bright and shiny.

I know as does Genevieve Holyoak Johnson, that by following our Savior as she did, we will have Eternal life in the realms of glory worlds without end. It is my prayer that her life will inspire us as we go forward, to perfect ourselves and become better disciples of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Elder Adam Joseph Martin Receives His Call!

Adam's mission call packet arrived yesterday just as we were finishing our monthly mission staff meeting. "Get out the steamer!" exclaimed Elder Johnson who gets the mail for us. (He knew Adam had instructed us to overnight it to him unopened to Rexburg, ID where he is attending school). It was a large envelope addressed to "Elder Adam Joseph Martin" so we were pretty sure of what it was. Even though we were late heading up to Bishop, California (about four hours away) for our next meeting, Jerry (a.k.a. President Martin) and I headed over to the UPS store where we promptly sent it on its way so that Adam's eyes could be the first to gaze upon it. (Shame on all of you who believed I could not do this without peeking at it first-you know who you are). Today surrounded by several friends with some family members on the phone, Adam opened it. He is called to the Brazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission. He leaves on February 22, 2012 to report to the MTC in Brazil where he will begin learning Portuguese (and how to teach the gospel in that language). We are so excited for him! He will really be paying attention in the Missionary Prep and Book of Mormon classes he is taking at BYU-I. Adam's brother-in-law Brett Boren and his cousin Jason Haslam both served as missionaries in Brazil as well.