Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ward Conference

 Today was our Ward Conference and we had a lunch afterwards in the cultural hall.  They had three large tables with food for the adults and then this little table for the children with their favorite variety of food.
We love the little boy who always wears a tuxedo to church.

July 29, 2012

Service Project

This is a service project which included planting of trees and scrubs.  It was held in Brooklyn which is just outside of Wellington.  We never thought that there would be a need in New Zealand to plant bushes but they needed to plant them here to keep a healthy balance in the streams for the eels that live there.

It was a good project for the kids.  Here they are filling buckets with mulch.

Some of the people who had gumboots worked on the other side of the stream.

July 28, 2012

German Dinner

 Elder McVey serviced his mission in Germany when he was 19 years old and has always loved their food and people.  We now have a missionary that is from Germany and so Elder McVey contacted his mother and got a recipe for German food and decided to cook it for the missionaries.
 The meat in the middle is meat which is pounded very thin and then filled with mustard, onions, bacon and pickles.  It is then cooked in a broth with carrots and celery.  It was delicious.
This is Elder McVey and Elder Windhauser from Germany.

July 22, 2012

Maori Funeral

 On July 13, 2012 Mary Ann Morrell a 87 year old Maori woman passed away in the community of Wainuiomata.  I was asked to play the piano at the funeral service.  The Maori people are steeped in tradition and are a very close knit group of people.  Once a Maori person passes away they are never allowed to be alone so there is always family or friends with them until the burial.  Usually the casket is placed in a Marae (which is this building shown above) and the family stays with the body for around three days.  They bring in mattress and eat and sleep there until the funeral. They also do a lot of singing during this period of time.
They brought the body to the church in the back of a station wagon.  During the service they sang How Great Thou Art in English and then in Maori.  The words in Maori are:
Whakaaria Mai
Whakaaria mai tou ripeka ki a au
Tiaho mai ra roto it e po
Ki kona autitiro atu ai
Ora mate hei au koe noho ai
After the funeral we traveled to the Whenua Tapu cemetery which was about a 45 minute drive.  There are three people who walk backwards and chant while the casket is brought to the burial site.  Then during the service they all throw flower petals into the ground and then a trowel full of dirt and also do a lot of singing.

Following the burial they returned to Wainuiomata and had a feast which included meat which is put in the ground and cooked all day.  Maori people are well known for the amount of food they provide for meals.  Sometimes when they feed the missionaries they are offended if you don't eat everything that is provided.  They are a very giving people.

July 18, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Missionary Farewell/ Friends at Church

Rebecca is the daughter of Alice and Jason who teach the Book  of Mormon Institute Class on Thursdays.  Don has found a new best friend.

Elder Armstrong is being transferred to Dunedin and so he wanted one last picture with the young adult group.

Crystal and Astrid

The girls in pink - Jasmin, Chelsea and Alison

Elder Windhausen (German) and Elder Finlinson (USA)
Elder Finlinson has completed his two years and is returning to the United States (Delta, Utah)  The missionaries always eat dinner with the Jacobsen's on Wednesday nights so for the farewell the McVey's and us were invited to join them.  Sister Jacobsen is the High Commissioner for the country of Niue (pronounced new way) and she lives at the Embassy which is next door to the United States Embassy.  We ate there on July 4th and it was a feast.  We had sausages, roast, chicken and fish and then numerous side dishes including potato salad and to finish it all we had three different desserts. The missionaries say that they are fed that much every Wednesday. The country of Niue is the smallest country in the world with a population of 1500.  Their embassy is unguarded but next door the  US Embassy is heavily guarded.  Sister Jacobsen is the ambassador over 25,000 people from Niue living in New Zealand.

Mikey is moving this week to Auckland to help care for his mother.  Mikey is legally blind but he beat Don at pool the other night and Don doesn't want anyone to know that he was beat by a blind man.

We fed the missionaries on Tuesday night and it was our last night with Elder Armstrong.  He will leave Thursday morning to serve in Dunedin (which is at the southern end of the south island and is very cold).

Elder Armstrong and Elder Florian

West Side Studios

West Side Studios is located in Miramar and is a prop hire studio.  They have the props from many different movies that can be rented for special event decorating.


Finding Nemo

Blues Brothers


June 30, 2012