Saturday, November 11, 2017
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Hello everyone! Thought we were done sending these blogs? You are not so lucky. Sometimes we get a little crabby like this crab that crawled out of one of the shells we collected when Kathy and Josh were here. We have been a little lonely since they left.
We are so sad to see some of the Missionaries go home that we have grown to love. Like Elder Canoy died (finished) and went home to the Phillipines.
Elder Augustin who died (finished) and went home to Malaysia. He also has the distinction of riding his bicycle more than 1000 Km in two transfers. He also holds the speed record I believe at 58 Km/hr. I don't suggest that to anyone. We have heard from him since he went home and he bought bike parts and put together his own bicycle and has broken his speed record. Happy cycling Elder Augustin, I wish he could come back and help me with bicycles.
Elder Shumate who died and went home to North Carolina.
Elder Ale Tua, Elder Siuta, and Elder Whalley who died and went home to Australia. All of the Elders I have mentioned and more that I haven't are great and we have served with and are sad to see them go.
This sweet member lady makes her way to the airport to say goodby to the Elders that she loves so much. She brings leis for them to send them off properly and is often in tears when they leave. We love the members here and they love the Missionaries.
Well that is enough of the sad farewells we had 16 new Missionaries arrive the day after most of the Missionaries went home. That means Elder Bartlett had to prepare 14 new or used bicycles for them. Since we have changed the location for our incoming Missionaries we also had to transport all of the bicycles to one location for that day so Elder Bartlett put about 200 Km on the car to get them to the Church. This is him lecturing the new
Missionaries and their trainers before sending them out into the field.
It was Labour Day in New Zealand and so the Ward decided to get together for games and an Imu (Hangi only above ground which I will show later. We had some fun volleyball. Elder Bartlett only fell twice during play when he tripped over his own feet.
We also had a remote control car for the little ones. That is for the little ones to ride in. There was activity all over the cultural hall. Besides volleyball there was basketball on either end of the court. Those who didn't want volleyball or basketball were playing games in other parts of the hall.
Then the Imu arrived. Basically they have a rock lined oven where they burn the wood and they remove the coals and put in the food which is cooked by the heated rocks. In New Zealand the ovens are in the ground and they call it a Hangi. Kind of like a pit BBQ.
We were also privileged along with this group of Missionaries from our Zone to review and critique segments of the new Book of Mormon church videos. They were just small segments and we gave our opinions of them and expressed how we would use them in Missionary work. It was quite enjoyable and exciting. We do have a picture with us in it but the sun was shining through the windows and we all look like we were being translated.
We spent most of the remainder of the week in Accident and Medical waiting rooms and Hospitals. We had 5 bike crashes which resulted in three broken hands, one broken foot, and teeth that were almost knocked out. We had an eye with shingles and heaps of sick stomachs and flee bites and scabies.
Along the way Elder Bartlett also fixed some flat bike tires and other broken bikes. We were both so warn out after that week. During one of our long waits to see doctors, Elder Bartlett was approached by a man who wanted a Book of Mormon. He had just moved to the area and wanted to come back to church. Elder Bartlett sent the Missionaries to his home that day and they had a wonderful discussion.
After such a hard week we had to take some time out with Elder and Sister Stahle to play another escape room. This time we were in a forest and had to get food and water in order to find our way out. With only a few clues were made it on time.
Well this has been a long time coming because of the busy last few weeks. We love you all and miss you and we pray for you all. We hope you are praying for us also.
Love Elder and Sister Bartlett
Friday, October 20, 2017
So even though we get flowers pretty much all year long, we have some very beautiful ones coming out right now. Problem is that some of our Missionaries have hay fever and asthma. If you are allergic to something it probably grows here. It is also changing of the seasons so we have heaps of colds and other seasonal illnesses.
Another beautiful plant that came to life just recently. We find many interesting and beautiful things out here just in a normal subdivision. It is even more beautiful when you get out of town and into the country.
We had to get a shot of this pickup going down the Motorway. The back said Mission Vehicle. It is kind of hard to see but we thought it was unusual.
Kathy Shipley and her son Josh arrived on Saturday for a visit. After a 12 hour airplane ride from the United States. One of the first things that greets you at the airport is some memorabilia of the Lord of the Rings. The statue below has an inscription that reads "On Loan from Middle Earth, do not touch". So it was all true.
I believe this was supposed to be Gimley or one of his relatives.
We didn't give them much time to stop and rest so we visited one of the local open air markets, the Otara market where they saw and tasted some of the local fare. The picture is of some sea Urchens which we understand they just tear open and eat them raw. Needless to say we didn't try these. Maybe some day we will be brave enough.
We next visited One Tree Hill which is a monument to the Maori people and stands atop one of the highest extinct volcanos in the Auckland area. The one tree was chopped down many years ago. You will notice in the background on the right is a sheep just eating away and ignoring the crowd.
We all went to Red Beach next and practiced one of our favorite pastimes, shell collecting. Found some interesting shells and even one with the crab still in it. We didn't find out till later when we arrived home and the crab came out to play.
This one is kind of dark but we found a little cave at Red Beach and we took a picture of Josh in the opening of the cave with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It is a little dark due to my amateur photography. Little features like this make the experience much more fun.
We also went to Takapuna beach to collect some shells. It was a windy day and you can see the para-surfers in the background. Again more shell collecting. It is amazing that on the same ocean you find different shells on different beaches.
One of the Missionaries had a leg injury so Sister Bartlett had to amputate. Just kidding, this was a Halloween prop we found in one of the stores. We thought it would be fun.
Kathy brought gifts from Utah. Of course she had to bring U of U socks which are standing on top of my BYU shirt. It has been a rough year for BYU football and they have been beat by almost everyone this year. Katie Wilse also sent pictures of her family. They are growing so fast. A U of U scarf for Sister Bartlett, some chocolates from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and a "Good Night Utah book. I did wear the socks all day.
We also visited the Auckland Museum and saw their Maori show. These are some of the performers announcing the show. It was slightly different from the show we saw last time at the Museum.
Of course the performers are happy to get a picture with you so we took the opportunity. They are hams.
This is the inside of a Whare which was at the Museum. It is a Maori meeting house and intricately carved. They had a large one built inside the Museum so you could go inside. It was one that had been re-furnished and re-assembled inside the museum. One of the highlights of the day was Josh jumping off the Sky Tower in Downtown Auckland. He jumped from 192 meters (630 feet). It took about 4 seconds from top to bottom. They suspended him between two cables on a harness which gives you a sensation of a parachute free fall and slow you down at the end.
We took Kathy and Josh to one of our favorite falls, the Kerikeri falls. We have really only been to two and they are ones that are easy to get to from the road.
Josh and Elder Bartlett just had to hike up to a small cave on the side of the road to get a better view of the falls in the background and the beach.
The climb paid off as they got some beautiful pictures of the hills and the beach beyond. It was a beautiful day with some warm sunshine.
There were beautiful views of the Kerikeri beach. We did find some more unusual shells and had a great day. The next day Kathy and Josh flew to Christchurch for 4 days and saw some of the filming sites for Lord of the Rings and Hobbit. They even took a helicopter ride over part of the South Island. Needless to say the were pretty exhausted when they left. We have had a very busy transfer this week and have not had much chance to write until now. Sorry for the delay. Love, Elder and Sister Bartlett.