Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Family Home Evening

Tonight was FHE and Mikey did a great job with the lesson.  He first gave everyone 3 lollies and then they had to go around and ask questions about the other people.  If they answered with a yes, no or a nod of the head they would lose their lolly (candy).  Then he gave a lesson on how it felt when you got a lolly or lost one.  He correlated it with friendship and how it feels when you are a friend or lose a friend.  We then play a game at the end.  We put chairs around in a circle and then the person in the middle would say something they had never done but if you had done it you had to find another chair and if you didn't you were in the middle.  Don got a little carried away so I don't know if we will be invited again or not.

Kim (who goes by Cree) works for an oral surgeon.  She wasn't busy on Monday so she made some glasses out of dental material.  As you can see she wore them to FHE.

Lupe's Farewell

On Thursday, September 22 Lupe (who worked with us at the archives and lives in West Valley, Utah) left to go home.  She is going to Auckland for a few weeks to visit her sister.  She originally came from Tonga.  She is a very sweet sister and we will miss her at the archives.  Roy and Lorraine Ditchburn brought her to the bus station which is in with the train station and we went early to work to say goodbye to her.  The bus and train station at just across the street from where we work.  We only knew her for 2 weeks but she became a big part of our lives.

A Day at the Archives

 Don and I have to have badges to get anywhere in the Archives Building.  We have to have them to ride the elevator, eat lunch or even to go to the bathroom.  It is a very secure building.

 Sister Van Cleave (the sister missionary who just left decided that the room was a little drab since it use to be a shower room.  The room also can't have any windows because light will affect the cameras so she decided to paint an outdoor scene with a kiwi and also a large kiwi.  This kiwi looks after us all day.
 The documents that we are working with are from the early 1900's and so they have been tied up or put in envelopes for about 100 years.  When we take them out they are very fragile and very bent.  In order for the camera to digitize them they have to be flat so we have to prepare the documents.
 We untie them or remove them from the envelopes and lay them out on blotter paper.  They have to be in a certain order when we lay them out.  We start with the will, affidavits, motions, miscellaneous documents and end with the probate.
 This is a picture of one of the large wills.  Some are small and some are very large and very ornate.
 After they are laid out they are stacked together with a little pink slip in the corner indicating the reference number of the person and their name.  This is important when we put them back in their envelopes and refile them.
 The documents are then placed on shelves and boards are put on top of them to weigh them down.  They have to stay on the shelves for about a week or two to help flatten them out. The pink slips on the boards tell us which box they came out of and the camera operator needs this information to help them film them.
 Here is Don busy at the camera.  When he places the document where it is suppose to be he then lowers the glass and pushes a button and the picture comes up on the screen and he can then see the picture.  If it is OK he leaves it but if it is not OK he can adjust the paper and retake the picture.
 These are the boxes that are empty because all the documents are under the boards being flatten are they are being filmed.

 This is our tea room where we eat lunch every day.  It has a very nice view of the ocean and the ferry (which takes cars and people to the South Island) and we will have a very nice view of the cruise ships when they come in the summer (which is winter in the United States).

Sister and McVey and Fiona (who works for the archives) are getting boxes for us to film.  Those boxes are a very small portion on the boxes we have to film

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Day at the Archives

Ward Conference

Today was our ward conference.  The theme for the stake is "Trying to be like Jesus" and the ward goal is friendshipping everyone.  They are a very friendly ward.  The Bishop spoke and then 2 members were ask to bear their testimonies.  After that the Stake Relief Society President and the two counselors to the Stake President spoke.  The talks were outstanding.  In this ward we always stand for the rest hymns.  It is a nice idea because it wakes you up.

Also in priesthood the counselor in the Stake Presidency ask Don to bear his testimony.  The speaker was left on in the Relief Society room so all of us got to hear part of his testimony.

Whenever they have ward conference they do a munch and mingle afterwards.  They know how to throw a munch and mingle. There was so much food and it was all very delicious.

Also in Relief Society they gave us a new book put out by the church called "Daughters in My Kingdom."  It is about Relief Society and I think that every sister should get one.

This morning we got to Skype Heather and Ethan.  I think James wondered why his grandpa and grandma were on the computer.  It was fun talking to them and especially being able to see them.

Don drove to church today and he is doing an exceptional job.  I would be freaking out if I was driving.  To get to church you have to go through a long tunnel which is very narrow.  Don has to stay towards the middle so he doesn't remove a side mirror.  Elder Brazzeal said it costs about $2,000.00 to replace a mirror.

Nghi Nguyen Quang's baptism

Later we went to a baptism for Nghi Nguyen Quang.  He is from Vietnam and is in his early twenties.  He is studying accounting at the University.  They said there have been 15 baptisms in this ward this year.  This is the second baptism since we came three weeks ago.

At night we watched another rugby game.  It was between New Zealand and France.  New Zealand won.  When New Zealand plays they do this dance at the beginning.  It is like a Maori dance.  It looks like a fearsome war dance with the tongue hanging out.  It is fun to watch.  We also watched the game between USA and Australia.  USA lost 67 to 5.  It was very sad.

Because it is considered spring here we set our clocks forward (spring forward) for daylight savings time.  Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow.

Don drove around today and did a great job.  We got lost a couple of times but the important thing is we made it back home.

September 24, 2011

Driving Lesson

Today we went out to Porirua to Elder and Sister Brazzeals to pick up our car.  It is a silver Toyota which is smaller than a Toyota in the states.  They sent us a car a week ago but it was larger and the streets in Wellington are so narrow and crowded that they exchanged it for a smaller one.

Elder McVey and Elder Brazzeal took Don driving and then we had lunch there.  The round abouts and driving on the other side were a little tricky for Don.  The car was a mess because of the young elders but Elder Brazzeal cleaned and waxed it before we got there.

September 24, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More pictures of our flat

We are including some more pictures of our flat.  The kitchen is small so Don and I have to sidestep each other when we move.  Also the shower is very small and bathroom is small.  It is fun to watch us trying to get ready for work at the same time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The young adults here are fanastic.  It is fun having Family Home Evening with them each week.  There are about 13 who attend each week plus the McVey's and the Osler's who are the YSA advisors.  David Osler works in animation for the film company who did Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Thor and Iron Man.  He and his wife Catherine are from Utah.

Tonight the McVey's had the lesson so because General Conference is coming they made sheets of paper with information about each General Authority and we had to guess which one it was.  Don had Uchtdorf which was easy because of the Germany and the aviation.  I had Boyd K. Packer.  Then we had to put the General Authorities in order.  Our team won.  Mondays are a lot of fun.


The young adults here are fanastic.  It is fun having Family Home Evening with them each week.  There are about 13 who attend each week plus the McVey's and the Osler's who are the YSA advisors.  David Osler works in animation for the film company who did Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Thor and Iron Man.

Tonight the McVey's had the lesson so because General Conference is coming they made sheets of paper with information about each General Authority and we had to guess which one it was.  Don had Uchtdorf which was easy because of the Germany and the aviation.  I had Boyd K.Packer.  Then we had to put the General Authorities in order.  Our team won.  Mondays are a lot of fun.

September 19, 2011

USA - New Zealand

Difference between USA and New Zealand
1.  Drive on other side of road.
2.  Walk on other side of sidewalk.
3.  Light switches are opposite.
4.  All outlets have a on/off switch.
5.  Hot and cold faucets are opposite.
6.  Toilet flushers are on the top with one button for number 1 and the other button for number 2.
7.  Light bulbs don't screw in.  They have two prongs that you line up and then twist.
8.  Steering wheel is on opposite side of car.
9.  Sun appears to come up in the west because the ocean is on the east and the ocean is suppose to be on the west.  Our directions are totally off.
10. No heater or air conditioner.  We have a heat pump which is rare.  Most people just have stand alone heaters.
11.  Numbers on phone are opposite.  We start with 1 and they start with 9.

We have a light in our bedroom that is very high and it has a round dome covering.  Don turned on the light the other night and it exploded and went through the top of the light fixture and landed on the floor.  There is now a hole in the top of the light.  The manager said that since we have moved in all these strange things are happening.  We hope it doesn't continue.

Cuba Street

There is a street not far from us that is closed off to traffic and it has shops and restaurants all along it.  In the middle is a little water fountain with buckets and a little playground.  When we see it it reminds us of our grandchildren.

Mt. Victoria

From Mt. Victoria you can see all of Wellington.  We went up there and it was a foggy day.  We need to go up again on a sunny day.

House for Sale

There is a house located between apartment just a few houses up from us.  It is probably about 900 square feet and it is going for $750,000.  We took a picture of it to show all those of you in the USA.

Walking Wellington

Don and I still don't have a car so we walked a lot yesterday.  We went to the Vodafone store because our internet still isn't working.  I think we have the problem solved so hopefully this week it will be hooked up.

Since Wellington is built on a hill there is a lot of climbing.  By our flat there are stairs going from the Terrace down to Willis Street which is part of downtown.  Yesterday I counted the steps and there are 143 steps.  So you can see Don and I get a good work out every day.

We also went to the Rugby Stadium and then went to Te Papa Museum where we got to see the Rugby Players.  We don't understand the game but it is a big sport in New Zealand.

Te Papa Museum is very big and free.  It has something for everyone including a special section for children which is very hands on.  We will have to go back and spend a whole day.

I also wanted to find a cable car located near us.  We finally found it and it goes from the top of the hill near the University down to Lambton Quay located at the lower end of town.

Later we met the Ditchburn's, Lupe and the McVey's.  We had dinner and then went to see the movie Jane Eyre.  The theater was very nice.  I have never read the book but after seeing the movie I need to read it.

September 18, 2011


Today was Roy and Lorraine Ditchburn and Lupe's last day at the lab.  They were released as missionaries last night.  It has been fun having them there and we will miss their homemade treats every day at tea time.

New Zealand people are very giving.  The Ditchburn's knew we didn't have a TV set so yesterday they brought us one to use.  It only picks up about 3 or 4 channels but it is nice to hear the news or watch a show or two.

We had the missionaries for dinner tonight and boy can they eat.  They finished everything I cooked.  It still need to figure out the oven.  It cooked for 35 minutes and still wasn't very hot.

September 16, 2011

Different Words

Today we went out to a restaurant to eat lunch.  Some of the people in our groups ordered mince pies.  Don looked at that but didn't think mince pie sounded too good.  But he soon found out that mincemeat is actually hamburger.  Some of the other things that are different are:  checkmark = tic mark  clapping=speeding  give way=yield   please indicate=turn on blinker   lift=elevator  flat=apartment   brilliant=great    bacon=ham

Today at work we saw a fire in the direction of our flat.  Then when we came home the road was closed by fire trucks and the fire was only about 2 blocks from us.  The firemen had a hard time getting to the fire because it was in the rear of the house with houses below it on a steep hill.

I tried baking brownies tonight but the oven is gas which has to be lit every time it is used and there isn't any degrees only numbers 1 through 9.  Someone said to use 5 because it is in the middle.  However, the brownies looked done on the outside but they were raw on the inside.

Friday we feed the missionaries so I hope my casserole will cook.

For the brownies I used my measuring cups from the USA and the missionaries said a cup here is not the same because they use an Imperial cup which is less so I added too much liquid to the brownies.  The missionaries ate them anyway.  In fact the missionaries will eat everything put before them.

September 14, 2011

Roy's birthday

Wellington can have four seasons in one day.  It was raining this morning, sunny at lunch and a hailstorm right after lunch.  You never know what to expect.

Today was Roy's 73rd birthday so Danny Chan (from Hong Kong) took us out to a nice restaurant for lunch.    We went for lunch to a restaurant called Fisherman's Table.  It is located on the beach and has a beautiful view.  The food was so good.  Almost everyone had the salmon. With the mean came an all you can eat salad bar. Roy and his wife are very down to earth people.  He had to leave work early today to go home and check on his baby chicks.

Our flat is having some plumbing problems.  We don't notice it but it will cost the owner $10,000 to have it fixed.

We like it in New Zealand when people always say "no worries".  That's how we should all be is with "no worries."

September 13, 2011

Mike and Danny's visit

Mike and Danny spent the day with us.  Since the lab is really small it was a little crowded today.  Mike took us out for lunch at a really nice restaurant across the street from the archives.

After work we went to the McVey's to Skype Kristina and Mark about their cruise.  It sounds like they had a great time.

Tonight we are going to the Mission Offices for Family Home Evening with the Young Adults.  We were invited last week but we were too tired after flying all night.

It is fun getting to know the young missionaries.  Two of them live in the apartment right behind us.  All of the ones we have met are really neat.

Family Home Evening was a lot of fun. First to get to know everyone we had to tell two truths and one lie and everyone had to guess the lie.  Then the Elders gave a lesson on the Articles of Faith.  The meeting was then closed and we played the chocolate game (with Cadbury Chocolate).  You rolled a die and if you got a six you had to put on a hat and scarf and cut the chocolate with a knife and fork and then eat until someone else got a six.  However, you couldn't eat the chocolate with your hands.  Someone always rolled a six right after me so I only got two small pieces of candy (lolly).

September 12, 2011

First Sunday

Don and I decided since church doesn't start until 1:00 p.m. that we would see how long it took us to walk to the archives.  It took us about 40 minutes.

We still don't have a car so the McVey's take us everywhere - shopping, work and church.

We went to church today and the people are very friendly but their accents are hard to understand so we have to listen very carefully.

Afterwards there was a baptism for a young girl named Chelsea Bolton.  She was very excited about being baptized.  President Kerzarian and his wife were there.  I talked to his wife and she does indeed know Dixie Bedingfield.  When I mentioned Dixie's name she immediately said, "Yes, I know her.  She use to babysit me."

Later we went to Roy and Lorraine Ditchburns for dinner.  They also had Mike Higgins and his wife from Auckland and Danny Chen from Hong Kong and the McVeys for dinner also. The Ditchburns had so much food it was immediately worth 2 pounds.  Mike and Danny are here to evaluate us for the week.  They just finished setting up a Digilab in Christchurch and wanted to see our system.

September 11, 2011

Driving Lesson

This morning we went to an outdoor market to buy fruits and vegetables.  They had many vendors selling food and the price was cheaper than the grocery store.

Then the McVey's took us outside of Wellington to Lower Hutt Valley so Don could practice driving on the other side.  He did very well on rural streets.  The only problem in town is that there are a lot of cars and the roads are narrow with a lot of one way streets.

We are about a mile away from the center of town so we went and walked around.  We are slowly learning where things are.

September 10, 2011