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Senior Missionaries

David and Joy Aschmann Pinckney

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David and Joy have been serving as temple missionaries since February of this year. They have learned how to do their work in Japanese though neither had lived in Japan before.

I am assigned as their home teacher. We honor them and respect them. Their faithful service is an inspiration to and and we hope it will be to you.

David was born 19 Dec 1931 and Joy on 8 February 1936. Here is their story told to us when they visited our home..

Dave – How we came to be in Japan

My first exposure to Japan was by my 2nd grade teacher.  In those days, all elementary school teachers were female, and by contract, were not allowed to get married.  These teachers would travel together during summer vacation.  That year that (f38 or f39) they went to Japan. She brought home many dolls in native costume on a stand-up glass case.  Five, six, seven dolls dressed in kimonos.  She would tell us stories about them.  

The teacher had little hollow glass balls (buoy).  The teacher said she picked up in California, and that it came all the way from Japan.  We just listened to her stories, and we loved them.  They were very captivating.  My first exposure.  

During the war some Japanese told us about being shipped to Idaho and Utah to be interred during the duration of the war.  They lost their homes and businesses.  When they came back to Alameda, California, it was time for high school, and there I met some of them again.  That was my early experiences with the Japanese culture.   

One of the Japanese kids who had returned from the internment camps became the manager of our HS football team.  I was on the team.

I went into the Marine Corps at 17.  I graduated early from high school.  Was shipped out to Korea at the start of the Korean War.  We spent one week in Japan getting ready to go, and noticed how the country was being built-up after the devastation of the war.

Korea seemed like Mexico and Japan seemed more like the US, so I could relate to Japan.  Korea was so backward.  Ox carts, thatched roofs.  Japan had the semblance of the city and advanced culture.  

Then when I was coaching football in CA, one of our star running backs was a young man by the name of David Fujigami.  He was fast and a good running back.  Some day I am going to preach the gospel to David.  

I was just really drawn to the Japanese culture.  It just seemed like a great country.  All the Japanese people I knew, were great people.  

In 1992 we were fortunate to be able to travel to Japan (my wife and I).  Our son worked for United Airlines.  When we travel, my wife always that we were going to go to the temple before we do anything else.  We went to the Tokyo Temple and were impressed with the kindness and make-up of the people we met there.  I decided I would go through the session in their language, so I did not use a headset.  We saw Kyoto, Nara.  When we returned to Springville, I decided I wanted to learn some Japanese.  I took Japanese 101 and 102 at BYU.  Studied, turned off TV and studied the language as much as I could for several years.  Without conversation, it was very difficult.   

He would put in a full day at work, come home and be at BYU for a 4:00 class.  When my mother-in-law passed away (we were the primary caregivers for her for 6 years), we came to the conclusion that we had never gone on a mission.  All of a sudden, after being in denial for a long time, never wanting to go on a mission, I decided to go on a mission and said to Joy, we need to go on a mission.  When we got the call to Japan, we sat there and cried.  They gave us a choice, and we put down Japan, and thatfs where we were called.  The spirit was working on me to prepare to go to Japan again.   

We have been in Japan for 9 months now, and we are anticipating another good 9 months before we return to Springville.  My impressions now have only gotten stronger about the culture, the industry of the people, and the spirituality of the saints we meet in the temple. 

gThe closer we live to the temple, the harder it is to get there.h  It is too handy.  The Japanese have to go a long ways to the temple, and they have sacrificed so much.

Moving up from California in 1996, they settled in Springville where Brother Pinckney taught school for a few more years. He had been a head football coach was an assistant at Springville High School.

Sister Pinckney is a good friend to my Sister Marcia F. Beach. Marcia asked us to look them up when we arrived. We didnft, they found us first. Shortly thereafter we were assigned as their home and visiting teachers.

The Pinckneys are parents of two girls and four boys. They will soon have their 16th grandchild.

Unable to serve as a young man, David and Joy wanted to serve a full-time mission together, but when they began taking care of Joyfs mother, it took seven more years before they felt able to go. Then they prepared themselves physically and finally made it. .