Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Love of a Prophet of God!

Sometimes Missionaries are here just temporarily while they wait for the Visa’s to to to their respective Missions. Such was the case with Elder Powell who is headed for Adelaide Australia. He was a pleasure to have him for a short time. You may notice the decorations in the background. They do celebrate the Chinese New Year here since there is quite a number of Chinese immigrants.

Here is another evidence of the Chinese New Year. They were having a lantern festival in a downtown park. We didn’t have time to go but we drove through and took some pictures.

On our journey through life, sometimes we have to pause and look around us and see the wonders that our Father in Heaven works. For those of you shivering from the cold. We are on the other side of the world and flowers are still blooming.

We have had a wonderful couple of Zone Conferences and have heard the inspired words of our Mission President. Here some of the Elders do a farewell Haka for Elder Taranaki one of our Assistants who will be going home to New Zealand this next transfer. Yes he just lives a few blocks out of our Mission in Manurewa.

We also have the wonderful opportunity to have a special Missionary Conference in which Elder Clayton, Senior President of the Seventy came to speak to the Missionaries. After shaking hands with all the Missionaries he said that in the Temple, President Nelson gave them the specific assignment to tell us that he loved us. He indicated that the Covenants made to Abraham by the Lord were being fulfilled since right in our Mission many nations are represented. As it says in Mosiah 3:20 And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. There are Missionaries and people here in New Zealand from countries I can’t even point out on a map. How about Vanuatu, or New Caledonia, or Nuie, or the Cook Islands, or Kiribati. The Lord loves his people from all over the earth.

On another note we are kind of waiting for another Cyclone to hit New Zealand. They last one hit way south of us so we didn’t get much but a lot of rain. Don’t know how this one will be. We will let you know once it comes. I guess it time to say so long for now. We love you all and pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you. Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

We are over the Hill!

Yes everyone we have passed our one year mark and have only 11 month left! We celebrated our one year mark of entering the Mission Training Center in Provo on February 13. We also passed our one year mark of landing in New Zealand on March 1. It seems that time flies when you are having fun. The gospel is truly fun and exciting when you see people develop faith in their Savior and his atonement, repent, get baptised and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. That is the case with Tapu on the left who was baptised in February. She has good friends like Nadia who helped her along the way.

Sad thing is that this experience has to come to an end some day. Such is the case with Sister Tanuvasa who went home to Hawaii.

Sister Fuimaona is also left us and went home to Hawaii.

Sister Okada went home to Japan.

Elder Molimoli and Elder Teputepu went home to cyclone ravaged Tonga. They will have plenty to do to help their families and neighbors to rebuild.

Elder Poole went home to Australia.

Sister Petty in the flowered dress went home to Australia also. Pictured here with her companion Sister Tenischeva from Ukraine.

Elder Tahitua went home to Tonga.

Sister Moser who went home to Utah.

We will miss all of these Missionaries who have served so faithfully. They will be a great asset to whatever part of the world they are going.

Luckily we have a whole batch of new Missionaries who came to our Mission. We are excited to get to know them and see them grow. They are young and enthusiastic and ready to serve. We welcome them from all over the world and even some from New Zealand.

In our Otahuhu Ward it was Ward Conference and we had a huge choir what sang and Elder and Sister Bartlett were there singing with everyone else. It seemed there were more in the Choir than in the congregation. The Sisters wore a pink scarf and the Brothers work pink ties.

Sister Bartlett and Elder Bartlett in our matching tie and scarf.

On occasion we have Missionaries who serve temporarily in our Mission because they are waiting for VISAs to their Missions. This was the case with Elder Powell who left last Monday to his Mission in Australia.

Missions are so short and we are left with our heads spinning and wondering where has the time gone. We love you all and pray for you. May God bless you and keep you! Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.

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 is a hot water creek. We also had an evening at Mitai Maori Village. Here they are cooking our dinner in a Hangi, which is a hot rock oven. 

We witnessed the Maori warriors paddle down the river before they put on their show.

Then those same warriors got up on stage and performed for us.

The next part of our journey took us to the Okere Falls near Rotorua. These crazy people were rafting over the falls. Several rafts capsized but everyone was got back in and went over the next falls.

We also made a stop at Waitao Falls near Rotorua on our way to Hot Water Beach in the Coramandel. We traveled a lot and saw some beautiful sites.

We visited Moturiki Island where one couple were taking wedding photographs using a quadricopter. Several seagulls didn’t know what it was and kept diving toward it. We had to end this part of our journey for the weekend after a quick stop at Hot Water Beach. 

The following. Monday we started the northern part of our journey which had to be cut short due to our transfer meeting on Wednesday. Yes it is transfer time again and we will be loosing some of our Missionaries and getting new ones. We started this new part of our journey with a visit to Red Beach. This beach gets its name from the broken red shells that are all over the beach.

 Red Beach has some awesome shells and some great sea caves that show up when the tide is out. 

We made a stop at the Whangarei Falls where our son Nate decided to take a drink or so it seems.

We love to go to the Bay of Islands which was our next stop because we always see dolphins. They are curious and always put on a show for us.

We also visited the Hole in the Rock and were able to go through the hole in the boat. It was a little rainy that day but not to bad. We also saw many waterfalls that developed along the coast due to the heavy rainfall.

You are probably wondering why I included this picture. All of the light blue colours in this picture are actually fish. There was a large school of blue maomao around our boat and they have that beautiful blue colour.

We did get to stop at one of the larger Islands for lunch and the possibility of exploring the island. However, it was raining so we didn’t get to see much of the island.

After our Bay of Islands tour we visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. 
This was where the English and the Maori signed a treaty of peace between their people. 

They also put on a Maori cultural show for the visitors in the Marae, which is a Maori meeting house. 
We also had this great meal at this Indian restaurant. They made this cute little carrot carvings for the curry that we ate. It was a fun meal.

We had to cut short the Northern part of our journey because we had a transfer meeting in the Mission Office. I can’t believe it is transfer time again. We did have a Valentine lunch at the Fortuna buffet in the Sky Tower. We didn’t go up into the tower since it was to foggy.

To end our journey “There and Back Again!” we are including this panorama of Auckland from Mount Victoria in Devonport. It was fun having our son Nate and his wife Rebecca here in New Zealand for a visit. We miss them and all of our children and grandchildren soooooo much. We love you all and say goodbye till next time. Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.

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.