Turkey Trot

Lisa ran  a 5k with
two ladies from church
You know, sometimes the days go by slowly. Other times we look back and realize how 'quickly' our training has been flying by! We know that in the big scheme of things, this time of training at the MTC is such a short chapter, much like a Turkey Trot (a 5k running race). Like the race, there are minutes that are laborious, minutes that may even be painful, and minutes that - wait, where did those minutes go!? Every minute of the race counts, and no matter what happens within them, the goal remains the same: to cross the finish line!

Every day of our training counts, and no matter what happens within them, the goal remains the same: taking the Gospel to unreached ethnic/language groups (Matthew 28.18-20)! And so we seek to make the most of our time here, whether it be practical, hands-on skills like language learning tools or small engine repair; or spiritual and life principles of church planting and learning a person's culture and worldview.

And you know what is perhaps the most motivating element of a race? Your fellow runners!! This is why we need a strong support team to "run alongside" of us! You may have noticed that we are incorporating some blog entries about specific areas of support. A few days ago we posted the most recent support blog, "Prayer Support." Please take a look at it, and ask the Lord if this is an area you might get involved in.

Exciting news! We recently were offered some air miles to fly home for Christmas! We had prepared ourselves to stay here, so we spent quite a few days waffling over the decision and gathering advice (should I mention that every single person/couple we asked recommended that we go? hmm...). On Saturday we decided to accept the offer, and so we will be in Seattle for Christmas! We're going to try and keep it a surprise for Naya, purely just for fun. :) We will be in Seattle Dec. 14th - Jan. 10th.

Noe and classmates doing a
Teamwork activity!
Classes: We have taken part 1 of Ministry Partnership (instruction, advice, and encouragement on building all elements of our support team), and our Teamwork class will end next week. There are so many different elements to Teamwork, and it is exciting to anticipate what our team may look like in the not-so-distant future. It may be a team of families, or a mix of families and couples, or a family, a couple, and a single... in our Teamwork class we discussed both the practical and the emotional considerations of all of these. Finally, we're still keeping busy with Phonetics, and will end this course in a couple weeks with a research paper: we'll select a language (perhaps that of a country we are looking into) and analyze its sound system/phonetic sounds, as well as identifying elements of the language that may cause difficulty in the learning process.

In family news... Steve and Ellyn (Lisa's parents) came for a 4-day visit in mid-November! It was wonderful to see them, and the girls had SOOOO much fun with Grandma and Grandpa. :) It was meaningful for them to see the MTC firsthand, to experience a day of classes, and to interact with several of the missionary staff here.

Grandpa hugs, during their visit to MO

On Thanksgiving morning, Lisa ran the Camdenton Turkey Trot (see photo near top) with the wife of the church family who hosted us for dinner, as well as another gal from the church. We enjoyed the afternoon/evening with them, and then a quiet late evening at home. We are truly enjoying the training here, and can not possibly express our thanks to all of you who are so generously supporting us in prayer, in financial gifts, and in encouragement! We think of each of you often, and pray for you!

We hope that you are all enjoying the Lord, and may the celebration of His birth be full of joy for you and yours! :) We're happy to count you as part of "ours", and we thank Him for your partnership with us in ultimately taking the Gospel to those who never heard... especially meaningful at Christmas, yes?

~The Martinez Family

(and here is a short video of some of the kids singing an "evangelistic rendition" of "Jesus Loves Me". Enjoy!