Sunday, May 28, 2017

Wonderful Week.

This week while waiting for Sister Bartlett to be done with a dentist appointment with one of the Missionaries, I came across a gentleman who said that Joseph Smith was a devil and that I worked for the devil. I know that sometimes I don't do the right things but to say I worked for the devil was kind of harsh. I just had to smile at him and tell him I loved him and to have a nice day. He followed me around for a while yelling at me. Sometimes people are not Christian like.  
W e decided to go with another Senior Couple to get some dinner and we ended up at the night market in Papatoetoe in the car park underneath Kmart. We had some Chinese food that looked better than it tasted.         
We just couldn't pass up a mango smoothie. Sister Bartlett had the banana mango smoothie.     
It is really an international country. At the night market we happened upon a Hungarian Fried Bread stand. Now my Grandmother was Hungarian and she fed us cabbage rolls and sour kraut, but I don't remember any fried bread. They also had Spanish Churros, American donuts, squid on a stick and kebabs.  We spend our Saturday Preparation day with the association of LDS doctors in New Zealand. There were also students who would soon become doctors. This was organized by the Area office and Elder Cardon, an area authority seventy spoke briefly to them. We had a good time getting to know them.       
Also on Saturday our Ward had a baptism of a young man and his cousin. The missionaries helped to teach him since his family is not active. They created this cute backdrop to take pictures. One of the Sisters is from Tahiti and the other is from India.     
Here in New Zealand every event seems to involve a dinner.   The kids favorite of course is the pizza. There were many wonderful foods and desserts which keep putting on the pounds (kilograms).     
Sister Bartlett was having fun talking to three little princesses who were enjoying sucking on lollies.     
We tried to get a picture in the backdrop that was set up and two of the little princesses decided they wanted a picture with us.     
Again to close out this blog I wanted you to see some of the beauty of New Zealand. Remember it is fall here and next month will be winter. Yet certain varieties of flowers and growing great. This flower is about six inches across and I am sure will turn out to be beautiful. We have several pictures of trees and the leaves are not falling but there are flower pedals all over the ground. It is a beautiful fall and winter coming on. Love you all Elder and Sister Bartlett                

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

We met many Mission Presidents

We have had a busy week last week so I didn't get much time to write. There was a meeting of all the Mission Presidents in our Area here in Auckland. We were assigned to pick up Mission Presidents at the Airport and deliver them to their Hotel in downtown Auckland. We picked up Mission Presidents from Tahiti and from Adelaide, Australia. Most of the Mission Presidents and Wives are just amazed at how green it is here in New Zealand.
You may be wondering why I included this picture. Probably none of you know what a Trundler is except for maybe our Son-in-law from South Africa. Yes this is in the parking lot of the grocery store. A Trundler is a shopping cart. Who would have guessed. They also have trolleys which are two wheeled carts that people take to the store to carry their groceries when they walk. We have two such trolleys in our storage closet.
We do have bugs here as I mentioned and Sister Bartlett just had to take a picture of one nasty looking one. Most of the bugs are harmless but the fleas are relentless and love the human flesh. We haven't seen a Missionary without bites. We also have some very determined black ants that we have found in the upper floor of our flat. They have kind of disappeared with the colder weather. It actually got down to 39 degrees one night.
This picture is for our Brother-in-law who is a beekeeper. We were behind this pickup and the licence plate was BUZZZZ. We could tell he was a beekeeper since he had bee boxes in the back of the pickup. I am looking forward to having some of the local honey produced here. 
To close for this week we think we are freezing because we have no central heat in our flat and all the windows and doors are not air tight and there is very little insulation in the walls. Then we come across the most beautiful flowers blooming all over. The Lord has blessed us with these beautiful things to bring hope and joy to our heart. We thank him everyday for these things and for all of you our friends and family.  Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers Day!

 
We had a wonderful time helping with the Temple Preparation class in the Ward. This is the class with Bishop Samau and the High Priest Group leader Brother Tapatuetoa, Sister Warn, Brother and Sister Faalogo and Luke Tapatuetoa. We are hoping they will soon be able to enjoy the blessings of the Temple. 
Two times a month the Senior couples in the Mission get together and have Family Home Evening with dinner and a program. This last Monday we were able to have Elder S. Gifford Nielsen and his wife come talk to us just before they leave New Zealand for a new assignment. Elder Nielsen is an Area Authority Seventy serving here in the Area
I was walking around some stores waiting for Sister Bartlett to get out of a dental appointment with one of the Elders when I came across this in a Butcher shop. Yes those are pig heads all wrapped up and ready to take home. I didn't buy one, not sure how to cook them. Presidency. In case you didn't know Elder Nielsen was an All American BYU quarterback back in the 1977.  
We had a wonderful Mother's Day dinner put on by the Melchezadek Priesthood brethren and served by the Youth in the Ward. Several Members brought their non-member mothers to enjoy the festivities.
The Youth sang to the Mothers during the program. The food was plentiful and and the Mothers enjoyed it.     
We even had a quartet of Priesthood brethren get up and sing "Families can be together forever" to their wives and Mothers.  
On Saturday we were privileged to be able to go to the Hamilton Temple with members of the Ward.  We were able to be there to go through the Temple with Sister Warn from our Temple Preparation Class. It was a wonderful day at the Temple and afterwards we finally stopped in Pokano for the famous ice cream cones. Made mine a double decker with Chocolate Mudd and Mango ripple. Yum!  
We were mighty tired after the trip and were woken early by some of out children calling to wish Sister Bartlett a happy Mothers Day. Being the dutiful husband I made here breakfast with Blueberry muffins and an omelette. After church I made her steak and shrimp with baked potato and sweet potato. We had two Sisters to dinner with us. Our mission is wonderful and we look forward to hearing from you and your lives. We need more Senior Missionaries in this mission and throughout the world. Well this is Elder and Sister Bartlett saying poroporoaki (goodbye in Maori).        

Sunday, May 7, 2017

TRANSFERS ARE OVER AGAIN

Sometimes it doesn't pay to talk and lock the door at the same time. Sister Bartlett shut her skirt in the door. She wasn't to happy when I had to stop and take a picture of her in this dilemma. We had a good laugh and she is still smiling.
The reason we were in a hurry is that we had to be to the office for a meeting about transfers. Every six weeks new Missionaries come in and Missionaries leave and Missionaries are transferred around the Mission. This means we have to train the new ones, transfer new bicycles around, and assign new bicycles to new Missionaries. We have to be at the office rather early so we eat breakfast across the street at a little bakery. This is how you get a drink of water.  
This was our breakfast. It was like an egg McMuffin but so much better since the egg was freshly cooked and the yoke was still a little runny which is how we like it. Yum!  
Since we had 3 new Elders come into the Mission and 1 new Sister I donned my apron and assigned bicycles. We have a problem with bicycles getting stolen here in Auckland. Last week the Police showed a video on the tv of thieves stealing bicycles. Someone said a man stopped and got off his bike to take a drink of water and a person jumped on his bike and rode away while he was standing next to it. Anyone have a good solution to prevent bikes from being stolen? This is Elder Bartlett doing his bike thing.  
We were able to do more exploring of the Island on our Preparation day. At the Arataki Visitors Center they had a large frame that you could stand behind and take a picture. We requested a passer by to take a picture of us with the Manakau Harbor in the background. The Manakau Harbor is on the West side of the North Island off the Tasman Sea.  
We were enthralled by these unusual trees with branches that hung low over the track (trail). We just love the variety of Vegitation. Going into Winter and still the colour is mostly green. You may notice that the spelling of certain things like colour is different. Welcome to proper English.  
This beautiful falls is called the Karekare Falls which can be seen from the road at Karekare beach. We took the 5 minute walk to the falls and it was worth it.   
Karekare beach was also very beautiful. There were volcanic cliffs all around the beach and the small island in the background was also volcanic. I believe the guy is also volcanic? The sound of the waves here on the West side of New Zealand were like a jet plane taking off. There was just a constant roar which echoed off the volcanic cliffs. They waves seem to be more powerful on the Tasman Sea side of New Zealand. This is about an hour from our flat (apartment)    
You probably can't tell from this but the sand on Karekare beach is black. The shells show up very white compared to the sand. Sister Bartlett was intrigued by the patterns the waves make in the sand.  
We have been amused by the signs they what things are named. Can you guess what Carpark means. Of course parking lot.     
This is Piha beach also on the West side of New Zealand. This beach is on the Tasman Sea and produces some large waves. They have surfing competitions on this beach. It is very popular and often gets crowded. Not to bad on this day.    
This was taken at the North End of Piha beach looking back at the rocks in the previous photo. The sun is very bright in New Zealand. Piha beach also has black sand. We assume it is from the volcanic rock that has been eroded over thousands of years. Who knows. A day at the beach would not be complete without a proper sunset. So until you hear from us again, may all your sunsets be beautiful on this earth Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ created for us. Love Elder and Sister Bartlett.
   

Monday, May 1, 2017

We are in the Zone

We were in the Zone this week. And I do mean every Zone. Or maybe we are just Zoned out. Tuesday through Friday we were going to Zone Conferences all over Auckland. Sister Bartlett gave a lesson to the Missionaries about what to do when you are sick. I gave them a lesson on how to change and fix a flat tire on their bicycles.
We also tried to teach them to be a little more Self Sufficient. We showed them where they could go for help first before they call us for everything. Needless to say by Friday we needed some time to relax. During Zone conferences Sister Balli had every Missionary sign the Iron Rod signifying they would hold fast to the Word of God as talked about in the Book of Mormon. These Elders are holding the Iron Rod.  
Of Course no Zone Conference is complete without the Island food. In this case we had the exotic Subway sandwich. I don't think I need another Subway the rest of my Mission. The Elders and Sisters loved them and there were usually none left. The same goes for the chips, fruit and of course Tim Tams.
We had to stop at McDonalds one morning for breakfast because we had to leave the Flat early in order to make it to the Zone Conference through all the traffic. For the breakfast combo meal they serve hot chocolate but if you want coffee it is extra. They have a gourmet coffee bar in every McDonalds. It has been a busy week and we are helping to teach the Temple Preparation class for 4 people preparing to go to the Temple. We will go with the Ward to Hamilton for the Ward Temple day on 13th of May. We are having to have several lessons a week in order to finish in time for them to go for Ward Temple day.  In addition to that the Bishop asked Elder Bartlett to put together a slide show about the Ward Zone program. The Stake President asked all Bishops to institute this plan in their Wards to assist in the Missionary work. So the Ward is divided into six geographical areas so that each zone can work together to help the less active members and part member families to become active and to invite non-members to Come unto Christ. We think that this will get all the Ward members get involved in Missionary work. We love our Ward and are finding ways to serve others here. The members have a good heart and are very friendly.They are very diverse in cultures and nationalities, but they are all Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Well until next week. We wish you all a fond farewell. Brother and Sister Bartlett