Sunday, February 18, 2018

There and Back Again!

Our son Nathanael and his wife Rebecca arrived from Utah on February 7th and we didn’t let them rest a lot. 

We introduced them to Middle Earth and then we took off to Hobbiton right after they arrived.

We really love to visit Hobbiton. The movie set is beautiful and to think Hobbits once lived here or at least you can almost believe it seeing the movie set and all of the props outside. They seem so real even down to the growing gardens. Oh, wait, those are real and most of the fruits and vegetables on them are real. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone else in case you want to visit.

The question is are we big like Gandalf who can barely fit into a Hobbit Hole?

Or are we Hobbits who can easily fit into a Hobbit Hole. What are we?

I do know that these are real and beautiful.
And these!

These plants are real also.

These are definitely real.

We had a great day at the Temple in Hamilton the next day. Sad they will be closing it for some renovation in July this year.

After the Temple session we also visited som other sites. We cross this awesome bridge to see a natural bridge carved through solid rock by a river over many years.

As you can see the river has carved out a work of art. It was a beautiful site and we loved seeing this natural beauty.

We also took them to the Marokopa falls, Jacob discovered this falls for us we he visited in December and we loved it so we had to show Nate and Rebecca. Yes I am not good at selfies. I have that dumb look on my face.

We also visited Marokopa beach on the West coast near Hamilton and witnessed this stunning sunset. Here the sun is reflecting off of some cliffs and making them glow like gold. 

I had to get these two lovebirds walking hand in hand into the sunset. Actually they were walking toward me but that doesn’t sound as romantic.

The next morning we packed up and headed for Rotorua. We spent some time at Kerosene Creek which

Sunday, February 4, 2018

There Is Beauty All Around.

We have learned that when Missionaries get ahold of your phone you get some selfies. This is Sister Bartlett having a selfie with Elder Tutuila and Elder Franko. We love the Missionaries.


As we travel to see Missionaries and help them with bikes, injuries, and sickness we often come across something so beautiful we can’t help but take a picture for our enjoyment and yours. These trees were full in bloom with bright purple blossoms. Our picture doesn’t do them justice.

At one of the Missionary Flats I was fixing a bicycle and as I left I saw these beautiful flowers so I could pass up a picture.

We took some time out for our Preparation day to go see the gannet colonies again. This time we went with some other Senior Missionaries. The Woodward’s from New Mexico and the Ashby’s from Utah. We have some really great Senior Missionaries in this Mission.

We thought that most of the gannets would be gone but you can see by this picture there are hundreds still here. Most of the young birds have spotted feathers unlike the adult birds that are creamy white. The young birds are continually flapping their wings to practice flying but don’t try to take off. 

This is one of the younger ones before it gets its feathers it is just a white fluff ball. 

There is beauty in this picture also, and it isn’t Elder Bartlett. Sister Bartlett and the view make up for Elder Bartlett. As you can tell it was a windy day and we had a lot of rain. But as you know rain brings the beautiful flowers. 

There is also wild beauty in the raging ocean. It created this blow hole. 

It created this cave which flowed from one side of the cliff to the other side. What power water can possess to create such beauty.

The water can also make your pathways a little scary. These people had to wait until the waves subsided before they could cross this part of the path. We didn’t try going that way.

After we returned from the gannet colonies we had Ward choir practice. Afterward we came out of the church to see this beautiful rainbow. I hope that you enjoy the beauty that is all around you. We have been here almost a year and we are still amazed by what we see. There is truly beauty all around and we than our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ for that beauty every day. We love you all and wish for beauty for each of you. Love, Elder and Sister Bartlett.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Accidents Do Happen!

Hello again! Do you enjoy this torture? Well here is some more for you to enjoy. This is Sister Gorrela and she was transferred from our Otahuhu Ward this last transfer. She has been in our Otahuhu Ward for about 6 months and we have enjoyed getting to know her. On our facebook page we have posted her story. She was the first Missionary from India to serve in the New Zealand. Her story is also in if you don’t have facebook. It is a great story.

Yes, when you give your phone to a Missionary to take a picture you get more that you think. We had Zone Conferences this last week and here Elder Hopgood(England) and Sister Tenischeva (Ukrane) pose for a selfie. They love to take their pictures for us.

Here Sister Tenischeva(Ukrane) poses with her companion Sister Petty(Australia). Sister Petty’s ninety year old grandmother is waiting for her return home so they can take a track(hike) on the South Island which takes several days and you have to carry everything with you and the only way out in an emergency is by helicopter. You go grandma!

These cute Sisters had matching dresses made for them and wore them to Zone Conference. Sister Moser(Harriman, Utah) and Sister Vehekite(Australia) are companions. You have to love them.

While at Zone Conference our District decided to pose for a District Photo. Back row l-r Elder Latu , Elder Fakahua, Sister and Elder Bartlett. Front row Sister Brown, Sister Ete, Sister Tapu and Sister Frost. We decided on a District slogan this week which is “We can do it!”

Just the Sisters from the District.

We always pose for a Zone Photo (actually 3 zones in this photo). Quite a good looking group. I am talking about the Senior Couples on the front row also!

These are two more Zones at their Zone Conference. Yes, Elder Bartlett is not in there since he is taking the picture. Probably looks better without him. We don’t have a picture of the third Zone Conference from Whangarei yet since it happens this week. We will not be able to attend since we are caring for the accident victim this week.

I did say that accidents do happen. This Elder crashed on his bicycle a few days before Zone Conference. The only one so far this transfer. He broke a bone in his hand and badly sprained his ankle. We are giving safety on bicycles some time in Zone Conference.

His response was “it’s all good”

These Missionaries are tough and don’t let anything get them down. They consider these Mission scars and just want to keep going. We love them and pray for them every day. We also pray for each of you and hope your life is full of happiness as our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ wants you to be. We love you!
Elder and Sister Bartlett

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Miracles Happen!

We have run the gammit of emotions during these last couple of weeks. We started off by having two Sisters bikes stolen from their shed behind their flat. It seems that thieves are watching our Missionaries and know right where they can obtain their bicycles. So far we haven’t seen the bicycles nor heard from that police any news concerning the bicycles. We have been blessed so far that more bicycles have not been stolen. We have quite a few bicycles out there and from what we have witnessed the Missionaries are not to careful about locking them up. Enough said about that because there are so many things to be thankful for.

We are thankful for butterflies that God has given us. With all their beauty they help the plants and food to grow. They fly around and catch our eye because they are so ornately adorned. That is not by chance. That is a Miracle.

 We are thankful for all of the variety of plant life we find here in New Zealand. That didn’t just appear in a Big Bang. That is a miracle from God!
These beautiful flowers and the elegant pine tree. They are miracles!

Who can look upon this scene and say that there is no God or that he doesn’t care about us. It is a marvellous Miracle that he has given us. We must acknowledge his hand in our lives because like our earthly fathers He loves us and wants us to have joy and happiness. 

God gives us so much variety like the Hunua Falls pictured here. These things are all amazing and miraculous. They give us joy and happiness. Even with all this beauty there is even more miracles.

He gave us minds and talents to be creative ourselves so that we could create beauty of our own like these items that take wood and shells and imagination and create something beautiful. 

Or we can create something fanciful and interesting like this little bike puzzle that draws interest. We liked it because we take care of the bikes for the mission. 

It is a miracle that so many of these Elders, without the instructions were able to put up and take down this canopy. Whoever created such a thing must have been a mechanical genius.

It is a miracle that we get to work with such wonderful people like Elder and Sister Clarke who quietly serve the Lord wherever they are called. They are from South Auckland by way of Samoa and were called to serve close to home. They finish their Mission this month so they will be leaving us. We found out the Sister Clarke has some Scottish ancestry and that both of us are distant cousins to her. We will miss them dearly.

It is a miracle that this awful boil on this Young Missionary has healed up so quickly after a Priesthood Blessing. That is a Miracle. 
We want to tell you of some other miracles we have witnessed. We had just give a Young Missionary a bike who had been in the Mission field for 4 days. As we were leaving we were stopped at an intersection and saw he and his companion in their suits riding to an appointment. His companion was in front of him by about 10 metres. As we watched a car pulled from behind a building right in front of him. There was no time for him to brake so he swerved around the front of the car and into the street and promptly crashed in the street. We were awestruck and quickly drove over to see if he were ok. By that time he was up and walking his bicycle along the sidewalk. We put his bike on the car and him in the car and began to examine him for injuries. Not a scratch was on his hands or anywhere on his body. His suit was not torn. He did have a little soreness but everything was ok. This came to our mind Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” That day the angels did bear him up for that was a miracle!
One more story to end this blog. There is a Missionary from Fiji who waiting for his Visa to go to his Mission field in Papua New Guinea. Before he left Fiji he got a nasty cut on his foot which subsequently healed up. On short notice he was told to pack his bags and report to the Mission Training Center in Auckland, New Zealand. He quickly packed and took a bus to the airport many miles from his home. When he arrived in at the Mission Training Center in Auckland he started to feel sick and finally asked to be taken to the Hospital. They found that he had infection through his blood stream and they started him on an antibiotic intervenious drip. Had he stayed in Fiji for a few more days without the proper care he needed he would have died. The Lord knew where he needed to be to get the care he needed. That was a Miracle! He will be going to New Guinea soon and is all healed up and bears a strong Testimony about his miracle.
The greates miracle we have is that of our family and friends. Our ten wonderful children and their spouses. Our 29 beautiful grandchildren and all that the Lord still has in store for us. We love you all and pray for Miracles in you lives. Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

6 Weeks is so short!

We seem to just get settled after the last transfer six weeks ago and a new one is upon us. In the mean time we still have our weekly District Meeting and the Senior Missionaries usually bring some fruit to our District Meeting so the Missionaries can have something healthy to eat. Here Sister Correla and Elder Jheng are have a Chubby Bunny contest. You stuff grapes in your mouth one at a time and say “Chubby Bunny” after each grape. Whoever gets the most grapes in their mouth and can still say “Chubby Bunny” wins.

We did have to say goodby to some of the Missionaries. This is Elder Pradana in the photo on the right who was going home to Malaysia this transfer. 
This is Elders Lam from Australia and Elder Ae’Sua from Samoa leaving this transfer. 

Sister Gorrela and Sister Palu are not going home they just saw us taking photos and decided they wanted a selfie with Elder Bartlett at District Meeting.

Elders Terekia, Stringer, Hopgood and Fakahua (l-r) couldn’t be outdone. They all love pictures with other Missionaries. All but one of them are gone from our Zone after transfers.
I always seem to get a selfie when I have a Missionary take a picture. This was no different with Elder Sully and Elder Hopgood in this photo.

We will miss Sister Graffe and Sister Huata both going home to Tahiti. Sister Graffe served in the Otahuhu Ward with us for several transfers.

Sister Tuihani also from Tahiti is going home this transfer. We will miss her also.
Some Missionaries came in from the Mission Training Center both in New Zealand and Provo. We are glad to see new Missionaries so full of excitement and wonder. They help to renew us when we have to say goodbye to the ones leaving. We will certainly get to know them because of our calling. I want you to know that these Missionaries are changing our life and we consider them part of our family. They are from countries all over the world and yet they come here and become lifelong friends. 

To finish up this blog I am including this picture of Elder Terekia from New Zealand who is sporting an Oakland Raiders shirt and hat. The Missionaries here along with others are interested in US Sports teams as well as rugby and soccer. We often have to go see Missionaries after 9:30 at night when they are getting ready for bed. I include this picture because  one of our sons is an Oakland Raiders fan. 
We are so happy to be here serving the Missionaries and The Lord. We know that this will be a blessing to our family and so we want to make this sacrifice for them and for us. We pray for all of you and hope that the Lord will bless you also. Until next blog. Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.