Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Zone Conference

December 22nd was our first zone conference since arriving in New Zealand.  It started in the North Palmerston Chapel which is about a 2 hour drive from Wellington.  They had the elder and sisters who are leaving bear their testimonies.  They all mentioned how fast the time had gone and how they would miss being in the mission field.  Then we all went into the cultural hall for some entertainment.  Each district had been assigned to do a skit.  They were all very well thought out and entertaining.  Below are some of our favorites.

 This skit was about being spiritual fit.  Their fitness instructor was called Mr. Wimpy and he was leading them in some exercises.  This one if on how to solve conflict between companions.  They did push up while talking out their problems.

 This exercise is call the squat and pray.  You squat down and then fall to your knees and pray.
 These missionaries are from our district and they decided to do the haka with the Old McDonald Had a Farm song.  It was very funny.
 They did a great job of doing the haka.  I think the front one has had a lot of practice.

 This skit was like A Minute to Win It Game.  President Kezarian (on the left) won and his wife and Elder Brazzeal also participated.  All Sister McVey and I could think about it how much money it cost for all of those tissue boxes.
 The missionary on the right is very musically gifted.  He sings, plays the piano and also composes his own music.
 Each missionary was asked to bring a gift under $2.00 to share.  We all picked one gift from under the Christmas tree and then stood around the walls of the cultural hall.  President Kezarian read a story and every time he would say right you had to pass the present to your right.  If he said left then the present went left.  At the end of the story you got to keep whatever present you had in your hands.  Don got a pink jump rope and I got 2 church DVDs, a water gun, miniature basket, small toy and some candy.

Christmas at the Archives

 When Christmas is in the summer then a Christmas tree should be decorated according to the season. Notice the sunglasses, water guns, sand buckets and flippers.
Mike Higgins (our family search boss) came down from Auckland to take us out to lunch.  He also took three of the main employees of the archives with us.  Hywell is our preservation expert, Fiona is the one who provides us with the constant flow of boxes and Alicia is the main boss over our project.  Don is missing because he is the camera man.  We went across the street to Cafe St. Paul.  The food is really good there and it was even better because Mike picked up the tab.

December 20, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

St. Paul's Church

While we were waiting for our friends from the cruise ship at St. Paul's we went inside and it was all decorated for Christmas.  In the states everything is decorated up for Christmas but here we very rarely see anything decorated.  Sometimes you will see a tree outside a building that it decorated but on our street we are the only ones with any Christmas lights.  It is a little different.  Maybe it is good because you can think more of Christ instead of Santa.

Christmas Tree

 Christmas trees are very expensive here and our landlord won't let us hang anything with nails or put tape on the walls.  So this is what we have resorted to.  We put up Christmas lights around the windows and then decorated our plant.  So sad.  It's the thought that counts.  At least it won't be hard to take down the Christmas tree and remove the decorations after the holidays are over.
If you look closely you can see the lights around the windows.


Missionaries versus Santas

 We went to the Ward Christmas Picnic on Saturday and this is what clean cut missionaries look like.  Well maybe they usually look a little more put together.
 Then we come home to our flat with Santas celebrating across the street from us.  They were very happy and getting happier by the minute.
Do you see a comparison?

YSA Christmas Dinner

 Family Home Evening is always on Monday night but because this is the last FHE for the year they decided to have a dinner.  It was suppose to be held on the roof of the mission offices but it was too cold so the McVey's (who also live on the top floor of the mission office) moved all of their living room furniture out so that they could put up tables for the dinner.
 This is a picture of Aloeweiss (who is planning on serving a mission soon), Elder Lott (the missionary who lives behind us) and Mario who is planning on leaving for his mission to Bisbane, Australia on December 29th.
We had ham, potatoes, corn and of course sausages.  New Zealanders love their sausages wrapped up in a piece of buttered bread with tomato sauce.
The girls from left to right are:  Jasmine, Astrid, Julia, Aloeweiss, Thompson girl and Chelsea.
 The boys are:  Cody, Alastair, Matthias and Jordyn.  They are only 18 so they don't usually attend FHE on Monday nights.  They usually have it with their families.  Three of them are in our Temple Prep Class.
 Elder Armstrong just came to Wellington from Christchurch.  His companion is Elder Lott.  Guy is at the back with Dustin.  Dustin is from Spanish Fork, Utah and he came to Wellington to play rugby.  He is going back to the states with week.

 After dinner we did a white elephant exchange.  This was the first time that people in New Zealand had played it.  The children loved it so you can see.

Elder Armstrong was so happy with his pink pillow.  At the end it was taken away from him and he ended up with pick up stick.  However, missionaries can't have games so it gave them away.  Elder Armstrong also lives behind us and he is always singing and often we hear him through the walls.

Ward Christmas Party

 Today was a really nice day.  It felt like summer had finally arrived.  Our ward had its Christmas party at a park near Te Papa Museum.  Everyone brought their lunch and then something to share.
 The man in the blue stripped shirt and hat is our bishop.  His name is Bishop Howard.  He is an outstanding bishop.
A lot of young missionaries were there and they were playing rugby in the grassy area next to the picnic area.  You can tell that Elder Lott doesn't get out in the sun much.  Look at those white legs.
The Bishopric cooked sausages and then there was chips, fruit and juice.  It was a fun day but the sun was so hot the even with sunblock I got burnt.  Don as usual got a nice tan.  They say that down here we are closer to the sun so we have to be very careful when the sun is shining (which isn't very often)

December 10, 2011

Monthly Dinner for December

The senior couples and President and Sister Kerzarian met at the Siam Reap Restaurant in Wellington for dinner tonight.  It was a Cambodian Restaurant located just down the hill from us.  They all met at the mission office and walked down but it was easier for us to just walk down the stairs at the end of our street and meet them at the restaurant.

Afterwards we went back to the mission office and President Kezarian gave us a new temple recommend.  Ours expires in January 2012.  It was interesting that when you are on a mission the mission president interviews you and signs both as the bishop and the stake president.  It was nice to know that we have a temple recommend even though we can't go very often.  Hopefully, we will be able to go after our temple prep class is over.  We have a young couple with a small baby that plans on being sealed in January.  The Hamilton Temple is out of our mission but the mission president said he would get permission from the area president to be able to go see the sealing.  We are excited about going.

December 9, 2011

Cruise Ships

It is now summer in New Zealand so the cruise ships come in about 3 times a week.  We can see them from the tea room at the archives.  Today a very special ship came in.  It had Mary and Harry Aldrich from St. George on it.  They took a tour around Wellington and one of their stops was at the St. Paul's Church which is located right next to the archives.  So they called us from the government buildings (which are also very close to us) and said their next stop was the church.  We were excited to be able to see them  and visit with them for a few minutes.  It was nice to have a little bit of St. George here in New Zealand.

December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New picture from the Tongan visit to the archives

This was a picture taken of the Tongan visit to the digi lab.  It is now posted in the tea room.  It was taken by an employee of the archives.

Family Home Evening

 For Family Home Evening we made goody packages for the missionaries serving from our ward.  I think the adults outnumbered the young adults because it is summer and so a lot of the young adults are gone.  The people on the back row starting from the left is:  David Osler, Elder Overton, Mikey, Sister Overton, Chelsea, Katherine Osler, Sam (Samantha), Kree, Nic.  Front row: Mario, Ben, Sister McVey.  The Osler's are the family that invited us for Thanksgiving Dinner.
November 28, 2011

Rugby Stadium

While we were at the Home and Garden Show, Don asked a security person if we could see the rugby field.  They let us in and this is what the inside looks like.

Home and Garden Show

 We decided to go to the Home and Garden Show held at the Westpac Stadium (which is where rugby is played).
 This is a baby sheep.  They were selling insulation made from sheep wool.
 These are watering cans that are made in the shape of different animals.
 This patio table holds a lot of people and has a lazy susan in the middle for serving.  You would need a pretty big patio for this table.
This is an enclosed trampoline.  Just what everyone needs for their backyard.