Sunday, May 20, 2018

Did you all miss this?

Since we haven’t written in a while so many things have happened. The Elders in our Otahuhu Ward had a baptism of a lady from Fiji. She comes every Sunday and brings her grandson who is not a member. She is quite something and has had visions which has led her to the gospel.

After the baptism we had a meal with some of our favourite things. The above is kind of a banana and chia seed warm pudding. Rolls with coconut cream on the bottom. Also these round things are what they call pancakes but look more like donut holes. 

We also had our son Jarom and his girlfriend Tatelyn came to visit us for a few days. We visited some of our favourite places like Hobbiton. 

We also visited Rotorua and went this time to the Tamaki Maori village which was a slightly different experience than the last two we visited. We did have a hangi dinner and show just like the others. 

They also fed us a great Hangi (Meal cooked underground in Maori style). Great chicken, pork, kumara, potatoes, mussels, etc. For dessert they served pavlova and steamed pudding.

We also visited some of our favourite sites like Cathedral Cove.

What do you do at a beach why of course build a sand castle. What do you find there why of course a mermaid. Jarom and Tatelyn did play in the water a bit.

This is a panoramic shot from the trail to Cathedral Cove. It was so beautiful and the weather was gorgeous.

Also along the trail to Cathedral Cove we found these very unusual mushrooms. Yes this is natural not painted. We just love the vegetation an specially the flowers.

All of these flowers were around the little motel we stayed in by Cathedral Cove. 

We also saw this clever sign at one of the cafes we ate at. They do like their Lord of the Rings here.

We had a little fun with photography at Hunua falls on our way back to Auckland. We love the illusion this gives. We were a little thirsty.

Jarom and Tatelyn at Hunua Falls. 

We took the opportunity on Sunday to visit Cornwall park and One Tree Hill and took this photo from a tree branch of a tree there.

Tatelyn and Jarom at Karekare Falls on the West side of New Zealand near Auckland.

There were heaps of these little curly shells on Karekare beach and we even found this little dead crab. The birds were also very friendly and Tatelyn was able to get them to eat out of her hand.

We also visited Piha beach on the west side of New Zealand not to far from Karekare beach. This is a black sands beach similar to Karekare beach. Again there were heaps of these curly shells so Tatelyn made some shell art.

We also did some shopping at the Otahuhu shops and Tatelyn liked this headpiece which is often worn by the Polynesian Sisters here in New Zealand.

We also visited Hells Pizza. Yes they have the pizzas named after the seven deadly sins. Pretty good pizza, and yes those are pickles on that pizza. They also put mangos on a pizza. As is always the case, all good things come to an end. Jarom and Tatelyn had to leave us. We are alone once more and just in time for the next transfer.

Going home this transfer were (from top left) Elder Hou to Taiwan, Sister Tramacchi to Australia, Elder Salesa and Elder Tavina to Samoa, Sister Gorrela to India, Sister Pi to Taiwan, and Sister Graf to Germany.  We all gave Elder Hou a big group hug because we will miss him so much.

We were also able to send Sister Wilson off to her Mission to the Phillipines. She has been working in our Mission waiting for her Visa.

We had a talent show at the Ward and of Course the children and the Young Adults stole the show.

At times we have to wait for Missionaries and in some cases we catch a beautiful sunset on the ocean like this one.

We had a fun time at Family Home Evening with the Senior Missionaries. Since Elder and Sister Kopp are from Switzerland they gave us a great view of their country. We also had some traditional meats and cheeses from Switzerland. To top it off we also sampled some Swiss Chocolates and other desserts. Yumm!

We will finish this post with the service project that the Otahuhu Ward participated in on Saturday. We worked in downtown Otahuhu on the Otahuhu Beautification along with other volunteers from the city. Elder Walters and Elder Imms our Missionaries had a great time planting new plants and many Ward members participated. We love our service even though Elder Bartlett has changed about 20 tires during the last transfer and fixed about that many other bikes. Sister Bartlett continues to help Missionaries mend bodies. At least we have had no injuries from bike crashes during this last transfer. We continue to pray for our missionaries. We love you all and miss you dearly. Love Elder and Sister Bartlett. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

It Has Been a Long Time

Yes we know it has been a long time for this version of our blog. It seems like we miss one week and a month passes by.

We had a transfer since we wrote and Missionaries pictured went home. From left Sister Tuilili went home to Samoa, Elder Kaese to Australia, Elder Terekia to Hamilton, New Zealand. Of Course President Walker is staying. Sister Ballena and Sister Perocho went home to the Phillipines, Sister Tahau, Sister Hicks and Sister Pauli went home to Australia. We will miss these great Missionaries.

We were privileged to help celebrate the 80th birthdays of Brother and Sister Parese in our Ward. They are wonderful people and have a wonderful family. Their daughter and son-in-law were very involved in our Ward and have now bought a home out of our Ward so they will be missed. At least we still have the Parese’s to be there every Sunday.

We have our Family Home Evening with the Senior Couples once a month as we have mentioned before. This month was a Western theme. We are showing off our matching bandannas. This is the whole group picture and you can just imagine all of us saying Yehaaaa!
They even taught us some line dances. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

These are the cute centrepieces for our table.


We began Zone Conferences a week after our transfer and tried to schedule flu shots during the Zone Conferences. That worked great for our first Conference in South Auckland but not for our other Zones. We are glad that is done but we will leave clear instructions for the future Nurses so they don’t go through the hassles we did. We are sad to have to say goodbye soon to Elder and Sister Thatcher. They have been wonderful Missionaries serving in the Mission Training Center here in Auckland.

We will never learn that when you hand Missionaries your phone for a picture you will get a selfie along with the picture. Here Elder Taeleo, Sister Faiga, Sister Uesele, and Elder Tutu’ila. We did finally get the picture we wanted with Elder Tavina, Sister Faiga, and Sister Uesele after Zone Conference.

We do have Missionaries who go home between transfers. This is Elder Talaipa who went home to Samoa as you can tell from the flag.

Amidst all of our turmoil we see beauty all around that reminds us of our Creator and our Redeemer and Savior.

We happened to be in Takapuna during the Flu shots and were getting something to eat and we heard some bagpipes. We we went outside we saw a parade with bagpipes followed by University graduates. I guess graduation is quite important here.

We found this sign interesting. Littering is a problem here and they seem to have some clever signs to handle things like this.

After our Zone Conference in Kaikohe 4 of the Senior Couples decided to take a trip to the very Northern tip of New Zealand called Cape Reinga. We stayed in Kaitaia at a Bed and Breakfast called The Waters Edge. This is us having breakfast with Elder and Sister Woodard. Also Elder and Sister Ashby having breakfast with Elder and Sister Stosich. We were all actually having breakfast together only the tables were to small to get all of us around the same table. 

We were complimenting the couple running the bed and breakfast on the furnishings and they said it was South African furniture. They were from South Africa and brought it to New Zealand.

This was a good photo on our way to Cape Reinga. The dunes in the distance are part of 90 mile beach which is actually only about 50 miles long. 

These are some panorama shots of Cape Reinga including the Lighthouse in the bottom picture. Where you see the whitecaps is where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea. There were many small whirlpools which were forming below us as we looked over the cliffs at the ocean below.
Maori legend is that the spirits of the dead leave the island from the tree that you can see between the two peaks in this picture. We don’t know know the whole legend but there were signs that explained much of it.

I guess this sign tells the spirits which way they should go from the island. The Sisters just had to get a picture in front of the sign and lighthouse.

On our way back to Auckland we stopped at these large sand dunes which were along 90 mile beach. They actually slide down the sand dunes on boogy boards that you can rent from someone at the dunes.

We hope you have enjoyed this version of our blog. We hope we can be more prompt with sending these out. Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.