Thursday, June 21, 2018

Look Who Came To New Zealand!

We welcomed our Colleen, Jared, Ben, Lydia, and Felicity to New Zealand. Colleen is our daughter and they came to visit for 8 days from Taylorsville, Utah. We were so happy to finally have some of our grandchildren come to see us.

They didn’t have much time with us so we decided to not let them rest much. Here we are at the Cornwall park near One Tree Hill and Felicity trying on one of our flower leis we have at our flat.

This is also at Cornwall park where sheep roam freely amongst the visitors.

We took off the next day to visit the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Of course we could not take pictures inside the caves as that disturbed the glow worms and then they don’t glow for awhile. Felicity was afraid of the glow worms. Seems someone told here their fishing lines were poisonous. 

After the glow worm caves the grandchildren wanted to see the famed Kiwi bird of New Zealand. Well they are a nocturnal bird so we had to go to the Otorohanga Kiwi House where they have a simulated night time house where the Kiwi come out in an enclosed area but they have special lighting so you can still see them. We were lucky enough to get there when they were feeding the Kiwis so it was great. We also saw many other birds that are native to New Zealand. It was fantastic.

The next stop on our adventure was the Marokopa Falls and the Mangpohue Natural Bridge. They are some of the most beautiful places we have been in New Zealand. It is like stepping into another world.

We stayed the night in Hamilton at the Temple apartments and took the opportunity to go to the Temple. Our grandson Ben was able to do Baptisms in the Temple and so I was able to perform the Baptisms. Luckily there were some young ladies from Las Vegas Nevada in New Zealand for their Senior Trip so we just joined them. He was able to be baptised for 23 people.

Sister Bartlett was able to spend the morning with Lydia and Felicity while Jared and Colleen went through a session. What a wonderful experience.

This is one of the few buildings still standing from the original Church College in New Zealand. We are pretty sure that Sister Bartlett’s father visited here many times while he worked for the Church Education System.

We had lunch at the Temple View Dairy and takeaway. We just couldn’t resist these cool ice cream bars for the grandchildren.

Next stop was Rotorua and here we are enjoying a walk around a steaming hot lake fed by hot springs. We also enjoyed going to the Tamaki Maori Village for a Cultural Experience.

On the bus ride out to the village they ask for volunteers to be the chief of our bus tribe so we shouted out Jared’s name to be our chief. He reluctantly played his part well. He had to accept the piece offering from the welcoming tribe and give the traditional greeting which was the touching of noses. At right the men of our tribe were given the opportunity to perform the Haka. Ben, Jared and Elder Bartlett are no exception.

Of course after the Maori performances we were treated to a traditional Maori Hangi. They had vegetables, chicken, lamb, kumara (sweet potato) and wonderful sauces. The Hangi is cooked in underground ovens lined with hot rocks to cook the food. It was delicious. Even the grandchildren found something they liked.

The next morning we decided to visit Lake Rotorua and there found some beautiful black swans which were very friendly. Probably because people feed them which it says not to. They have pretty red beaks and red eyes. 

Ben is at Hobbiton and getting ready to go on an adventure.

These cute little hobbits I found in Hobbiton.

I am not sure whether these are Hobbits, Elves, Dwarfs, or maybe a fellowship of the ring.

I believe this little Hobbit is having second breakfast.

After we were done at Hobbiton, we made our way to Coramandel. This is us on a hike to the Cathedral Cove. Cathedral Cove is a very unusual place. 

We did have a beautiful day at the Cathedral Cove.

We were all in awe of the natural beauty.

We even found this cute little waterfall.

We also found this cute little swing by the Hahei beach near our hotel. 

A few kilometres from Cathedral Cove is Hot Water Beach. At low tide you can dig pits in the sand and they fill with hot water. Some of it so hot you can not stand in it. We had fun but it is lots of work.

Such beautiful scenery but it was time to go back to Auckland where Missionaries need us for bikes and illnesses.

We found this cute little waterfall right in Auckland.

We also had this great photo moment on a dormant volcano named Mt. Eden.

We also fed the goats, sheep, and pigs at Embury Park.

We took a quick trip to the West side of New Zealand to the Waitakere Range to see the Karekare falls and Piha beach.

The last stop on their incredible journey was at Red Beach where we found these great caves and lots of shells. 
We had a wonderful time with Colleen, Jared, Ben, Lydia, and Felicity.  We did have to finally say goodby and cried as the went through security at the airport and now we have homesickness once again. We didn’t have much time to be homesick before Mission life once again set in. We have been going to doctors appointments constantly they left. When we are not at doctors appointments we have to go fix bikes.

We have also had heaps of rain since they have been gone. Every once in a while when the sun breaks through we get these vivid rainbows. Sorry we had to get this shot while driving. Funny thing is where the rainbow ends is at Rainbows End, a local amuse
ment park.
We loved having visitors and even though we will miss them all dearly we know that this separation is only temporary and the time is flying by. We love you all very dearly and are enjoying our service for the Lord.
Love Elder and Sister Bartlett

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Blessed are thy Creations dear Lord

We do have a very diverse neighbourhood here in Papatoetoe where we live. This we found one day while traveling around the neighbourhood. It is a Hindu Temple. Very beautiful and interesting. Many of the people here in Papatoetoe are Indians from Fiji.

This week we had our first Zone Conference in Whangarei. Since it was on Friday and Saturday was our preparation day, some of the Senior Missionary couples decided to see some fun things in the Northland of New Zealand. This is us at the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves. Elder and Sister Ashby, Elder and Sister Woodard and us.

We have just enjoyed the beautiful glow worms. The actually glow a greenish blue. Glow worms are actually fly larvae. They live as a worm for about a year. The glow worms are very interesting. They are about the size of a match stick and one end glows. They adhere themselves to the top of the dark caves and produce what is like a fishing line hanging down as much as about half a meter. They attract flying insects by their light and the insects get caught up in their lines and are instantly paralized by the chemical makeup of the line. This line is also very poisonous to humans and if swallowed it would cause instant death. So we were sure to keep our mouths. Shut while we went through the caves. We were not able to get any pictures inside the cave since it is very dark and flash photography will cause the glow worms not to glow. Once the larvae goes through his whole cycle it become a fly that only lives for 3 days.

This is our glow worm cave guide and his wife. We found out he was a Maori and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We had a very informative time with him and we feel blessed to have met him.

We spent the night in Paihia and when we went to breakfast the next morning we were blessed to see this beautiful sunrise over the Bay of Islands. 

Of course we had to get in the picture.

The highlight is always the Hole in the Rock. We didn’t go through it at this time since the ocean was a little rough.

We had a good time together and met some wonderful people from India who had been vacationing in New Zealand for 25 days. The father was a software engineer and his wife a doctor. They had two lovely teenage children, a boy and girl who were very friendly.

Bartletts and Ashby’s with our tour boat in the background getting off at Russell to spend a little time in this quaint little whaling town.

Of course we couldn’t do our blog without putting in one of the beautiful flowers that blooms in the winter.

All good things must come to an end and this is no exception. We had a wonderful time with these other Senior Missionaries and enjoying the beautiful earth that Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ created for us. Please take the time to thank Him for our earth and all he has put here for us. Also share with others what you have and the joy that you feel. We love you all and will say goodby until next time.
Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.