Saturday, February 25, 2012

February Dinner

 Once a month the senior couples in the Wellington area get together for dinner.  This month we decided instead of going out to a restaurant we would have it at the McVey's.  They live on the top floor of the mission office building.  We also decided since they have access to the whole building that we would show the church movie called "17 Miracles" in the area on the first floor where we have Family Home Evening every Monday night.  The couples who attended were the Sheppards, Brazzeals, McVeys, Chelseys, Patchetts and Overtons.
 The Patchetts on the left are now short timers.  They will return to Arizona the middle of March.  They have been serving in Foxton for the last 18 months.  They plan on travelling to the south island for a couple of days before flying home.  The Chelseys on the right have been here for about 2 months but had to return to the states a week ago for the funeral of her father. Her father was 89 years old but it was in good health when they left so they were surprised that he passed away suddenly.   It was a quick trip and she said that she had jet lag for a couple of days after returning.

Elder Lott and Elder Armstrong

 Thursday March 1st is transfer day which is both happy and sad.  The missionaries are always glad for new experiences and new areas so they are happy but at the same time it is sad to see them leave.  Elder Armstrong is not one of the ones being transferred so as you can see he is busy at work as an office elder.  Elder Armstrong and Elder Lott also live directly behind our flat so we have gotten to become very acquainted with them.

 Elder Lott is being transferred this Thursday and as you can see he has already quit his calling.  He is being made a zone leader and he will move to another flat but he will still be in our ward.  We will miss having him for dinner every Tuesday night and will have the opportunity of meeting a new elder who will be moving into the flat behind us.
It is nice to see Elder Lott up from his nap and back to work.  Since we don't have a printer in our flat they have been a great asset to us when we need some printing done. Elder Lott is a very special elder and we are excited about his new assignment.

February 26, 2012

Mormon Helping Hands Service Project

 It was overcast on Saturday morning as we prepared to go to Newlands to do a service project for the Mormon Helping Hands group.  It started out at Papakainga (which is a historical building which will be 100 years old in June) where a group of volunteers worked on preparing this old building for a special ceremony which will be held the end of June.  It had to be sanded, patched and primed to be ready to paint.  Since New Zealand is steeped in Maori tradition the project was started with the Maori speaker (speaking in Maori) and then a special Maori song.  The opening prayer asked for good weather and just then a few drops of rain fell but the prayer was answered and by the time we arrived at our assigned projects the rain had stopped and the sun was shining.  It was indeed a beautiful day.
 Our project was at Seton Nossiter Park where we had to dig holes and then plant all different varieties of plants and scrubs.  We first dug the hole, fertilized, planted and then replace the soil around the plant.  After that we put mulch on the top and covered the area around the plants.  It was hard work but very rewarding.

 This is what it looked like at the end of the project.  Another group went to the Jay Street Reserve and they dug post holes.
 This is the view from the Papakainga building overlooking the harbor past Wellington.  It also overlooks the town of Petone.

 If you look to our right in the distance you will see Wellington.  Newlands is about a 15 minute drive north of Wellington on Motorway 1.

Brother Turner and Don are now best friends. He was born in England and then served a mission in the London Temple just about 2 years ago.  He has all of this history about England and especially about the United Brethren Church which  is special to Don because his grandfather was a minister of that church in both Illinois and in California. At church on Sunday Brother Turner brought Don brochures on the church and also some pictures of the first United Brethren Church in England.

February 25, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Cruise Ship

 There is a new cruise ship called the Queen Elizabeth II which made its maiden voyage from Auckland to Wellington on February 22.  It is one of the large new ships which are now being manufactured.  Because of the depth of the water this ship is almost too large to enter the harbor.

It was an overcast day but we decided to follow it out of the harbor when it left at 4:00 that afternoon.  We drove out to Seatoun and watched it leave the harbor and go out into the open seas.  We are now averaging about 2 to 3 cruise ships a week.  We always feel bad when they come to Wellington and it is either raining or very windy.

February 22, 2012

Masterton Records

The archives lost the listing for 10,000 probates for Napier so we have finished Napier for now until the listings can be redone.  This is Fiona, Ann and myself opening the first box for the Masterton Court.  It is a small court so it will take us about 5 weeks to complete this.  It is like going back in time.  In Napier we were up to the 1970's and now we are starting again in the late 1800's and the early 1900's.  The documents are all brown from age and more fragile to work with.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Temple Flat (Apartments)

 Behind the temple is flats which you can rent if you are attending the temple.  It was nice because they were only $50.00 a day as compared to $150.00 a night in town.  They had a small kitchen which was nice because we could cook some of our meals instead of eating out which was much less expensive.
 We felt like we were in Salt Lake with the South Temple, North Temple and East Temple.  The only thing missing was the West Temple.

Hamilton Temple Pictures

 This the Tom and Ann McVey and Don and I.  The McVey's work in the archives with us each day and we all traveled from Wellington to Hamilton.
 Tom McVey has a really nice camera and he took this picture of the temple at night.  At 9:00 p.m. they light up the temple and it stays lit throughout the night.
 This picture was taken at dusk.  Notice the beautiful clouds and the reflection of the sun on them.
 It rained Thursday night so when we awoke there was fog around the temple.  
There is property all around the temple and we wondered why they had never built around it.  Then when we were driving around we saw that the property is owned by the church and it is called Templeview Farms.  There is also a church college (high school) just north of the temple and it was in operation for 50 years but it is closed now because of the high cost of maintenance.

Hamilton Temple Trip

 The Hamilton Temple is located about a 15 minute drive outside of the main part of town.  It is located out in the country and is surrounded by green fields.  The temple grounds are beautiful with the many flowers.  This picture was taken just outside of the visitors center.  We had the opportunity of going there for the sealing of Anthony and LaToya from our ward in Wellington.  We arrived there on Thursday night and left on Saturday.
 This is the visitors center located directly across from the temple.
The temple is located up on a hill and there are many steps from the parking lot up to the entrance of the temple.  It is beautiful inside and it was exciting to be there for the sealing of Anthony, LaToya and their 5 month old baby Giovanni.

Lake Taupo and Huka Falls

 On Thursday February 9th we traveled from Wellington to Hamilton, New Zealand to the Hamilton Temple. We traveled up Highway 1 which goes from the south tip of the north island clear up to the north tip of the island.  It is the main highway but is still only a two lane road with intermittent passing lanes.  It took us about 8 hours to get there with a stop at Lake Taupo and a short side trip to see the Huka Falls.  The lake is a large lake and the water is crystal clear.

 We stopped and took a picture of this black swan (we think).  
 This was a picture of people enjoying the lake on a sailboat.  With all the lakes in New Zealand we are surprised that we don't see more water activities.
 This is a brave person who decided it was a good day for para sailing. 
 This is Huka Falls which is just outside of Lake Taupo.  These falls were created by the water from Lake Taupo flowing into the Waikato River.  This is the only outlet and when the canyon walls narrow the water flows rapidly through the narrow canyon thus creating the falls.

At the end of the falls it goes back into calmer water.

Sevens World Series

Wellington is never boring and the sights change from day to day.  On February 3rd and 4th Wellington hosted the Sevens World Series.  This is a rugby game which is played with 7 players instead of 13 players.  The time is shorter than a regular rugby game.  The regular game is 40 minute halves with a short half time.  The 40 minute halves are continuous running time without breaks.  However, in the sevens game it is 7 minute halves with a 2 minute half time.  Teams come from all over the world, even the United States.  They play at least 3 games each day and then it is eliminated down to two teams.  The last two teams were Fiji and New Zealand.  Of course New Zealand won 24-0.

 You might wonder what these pictures have to do with the rugby game.  Well only in Wellington did they decide to have a tradition of dressing up to go to the game and since the stadium is across the street from the archives we had a little surprise when we left work on Friday and were greeted by all of these people dressed up.  We thought that we had missed Halloween.  They go all out because there is a cash prize for the best costume.

All weekend everywhere that we would go we were greeted by more and more people dressed in different outfits.  Some of them were very creative. The two pictures above have made a flip flop that they carry on their backs.

February 3 and 4, 2012