Saturday, January 28, 2012

One Hundred Thousandth Image

 On Friday, January 27, 2012 we digitized our one hundred thousandth image.  It was a copy of a probate from the 1960's.  His first and middle names were Alexander Wilson and last name withheld because of privacy laws.
Our children wonder if we are on vacation or a mission and this is proof that we are indeed working hard.

January 27, 2012


We were driving along State Highway 1 coming back from Levin and we saw this sign.  I guess if you are going to merge you better Merge Like A Zip.  They have all different kinds of sign down under.  Please indicate means to turn on your blinker, give way means to yield and the hardest thing for us to remember is that you can't turn right on a red light.

Ward Hike

 On Saturday, January 28 the ward had a hike to Makara Beach.  We met at the parking lot and then proceeded to hike around the beach and then over the mountain back to the parking lot.  We have never been on a hike before as varied as this one.  We started by hiking along the beach, then we climbed over huge boulders, then along a very rocky beach, over some fallen timbers and then over the mountain.  On the other side of the mountain the path was almost non-existent and very steep next to the cliff overlooking the ocean.  It was suppose to be a short hike but we started at 10:30 and finished at about 3:30.  It was challenging but also very pretty and from the top of the mountain we could see across to the south island.
 The elders and the ward mission leader couldn't pass up the opportunity to climb this huge boulder out in the ocean.  In fact all along the hike they managed to climb every rock and hill that they could find.
 The little boy Ben in the front got to the beach and realized that he had forgotten his shoes at home.  He was a real trooper.  He started out by hiking with his black socks on but by the time we finished he was hiking barefooted.  This was not an easy task since the shore was covered with medium sized rocks.
 Don and I found walking sticks along the way and many times we were happy that we were able to balance ourselves with them especially on the other side when it became very steep.
As you can see the wind is still blowing in New Zealand.  It is the middle of summer but we are still wearing jackets.
 This is a picture of Elder Lott and Elder Finlinson.  Elder Lott lives in the flat directly behind us.  Elder Lott is from Burley, Idaho and Elder Finlinson is from Delta, Utah.
 This is Brother Kennach and Elder Masalu resting before continuing the hike.  Brother Kennach's son Mario just left to serve a mission in Australia.  Mario served as the young adult rep for our ward so we got to know him really well at Family Home Evenings.
 Here is another rock for Elder Armstrong, Elder Lott and Elder Finlinson to climb.
 In New Zealand you can't have a hike without seeing sheep.  In fact you can't go anywhere without seeing sheep.

 We are all excited because we finally made it to the top of the mountain.  It should be downhill from here.
 The mountains in the back is actually the south island.  It is only about 30 miles from the north island to the south island.

Ben and Samantha Osler were amazing on the hike.  They were the only children that made the complete hike and of course Ben made it without shoes.  They are a fun couple and they are expecting their third child the first part of May.  They are from Utah but working in New Zealand for WETA.

Southward Car Museum

 The Southward Car Museum is the largest and most varied collection of motor vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere.  Below are some of the most interesting cars that we saw.  It dates us when we remember some of these first hand.

 This is a car that they made from some of the scrap pieces that they had laying around the museum.

 One car inventor liked to make cars that were creative and would appeal to children.  This is one of his creations.

 This is New Zealand's oldest car.  It is an 1895 Benz.

 This is the second oldest car in New Zealand.
 This car is called the copper car.  It took thousands of hours to pound dents into the car and then coat it completely with copper.
 This is a Nash Rambler.  I actually remember these cars being around when I was growing up.

 This is a picture of the first floor of cars.  There is also a basement which also houses many more cars and an upstairs which has a collection of motorcycles and bicycles.
This car has not been restored and it definitely shows its age.

Senior Couples Dinners

In January for our monthly dinner with the other senior couples we decided to go to the Southward Car Museum in Paraparaumu before going to Levin for dinner.  All of the senior couples serving on the north island except one met us there at the museum.  Pictures above are the couples from left to right.  President and Sister Kezerian (he is the mission president over all the missionaries on the south part of the north island and all of the souther island).  Elder and Sister McVey (who we work with in the archives).  Elder and Sister Patchett from Foxton (they will be leaving in March to return to Arizona), Elder and Sister Brazzeal (who work in the mission office), Elder and Sister Shepherd ( they flew into New Zealand about a month ago and serve in Masterton), and Elder and Sister Chelsey who have been here about 2 months.  They live in Upper Hutt and work mostly with the Tongan people and of course then there are Elder and Sister Overton.
 Elder and Sister Hirshi could not make it to the car museum but were able to meet with us in Levin at the restaurant.  They are from Taranaki which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive for them.  We ate at the Avenues Restaurant. It is a quaint place and the food and especially the desserts are delicious.  It is always nice to meet with the other couples and hear of their experiences.
Earlier in January we met at the Brazzeals home in Porirua for dinner to welcome the Turner's.  They flew into Wellington and stayed at the mission home for a couple of days before flying to Nelson and then driving to their new assignment in Westport.  He had a short driving lesson to experience the adventure of driving on the other side of the road and then had to drive to Westport from Nelson.  Such bravery!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

South Island Christmas Trip

Our mission is to digitize probate record for the National Archives located in Wellington, New Zealand.  Since it is a national building we can only work when the archives are open.  They closed from December 23, 2011 until January 4, 2012.  We were given permission from our mission president to see New Zealand.  We could only go within the boundary of our mission which included the southern part of the North Island and all of the South Island.  We decided to spend some time in the South Island.  Some of the highlights of our trip included the following towns:  Christchurch, Mt. Cook, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Invercargill, Land End (Bluff), Te Anau, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Puzzling World, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Franz Josef Glacier, Pancake Rocks, Arthur's Pass and back to Christchurch.  New Zealand is a beautiful country and you can see God's handiwork all around you.  Now it is back to the archives and doing family history work.

January 4, 2012


 This is the Air New Zealand jet which took us from Wellington to Christchurch.
 The hotel room at Mt. Cook overlooked the actual mountain.  Every room in this hotel is faced so that they can see Mt. Cook from their room.
 The Hermitage hotel is located at the base of Mt. Cook.

We also stayed three nights at the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside.  It was nice since it was right by the lake and it was also close to the downtown part of Queenstown.

 The boat on the right is the Milford Mariner which is the boat that took us out of Milford Sound and then we spent the night on the boat.
 This is our room inside of the boat.

 It is our table for dinner on the boat. The couples are the McVey's, Overton's and a couple from Melbourne, Australia.
 This is our room at the Westhaven Motel.  It was nice since it had a little kitchen area and a couch.

 This is the outside of the Westhaven in Fox Glacier. We actually were able to buy food at the small market and have breakfast out on the patio.
This was the Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas in Te Anau.  We stayed here the night before going to Milford Sound.

Lake Matheson

 Lake Matheson is located outside of Fox Glacier.  On a good day when the sun is just right you can see the reflection on the mountains in the lake.
 One of the mountains that you can see is the opposite side of Mt. Cook which we visited on the first day of our trip.

If you look closely you can see some of the reflection of the mountains.