President and Sister Balli are done with their Mission on July 1 so we as a Mission Staff decided to get them a going away present. It is a Maori Putatara conch horn. It was used by the Maori to signal certain things. We put a plaque that reads, "The Voice of Warning NZAM 2014 to 2017". They have served here for 3 years and have spread the Gospel to the people of New Zealand. NZAM stands for the
New Zealand Auckland Mission. We had a bit of fun with it as President and Sister Balli tried to play it. If you want to see how it sounds go to YouTube and they have demonstrations there. None of us could bet much sound out of it.
We will sure miss President and Sister Balli and all they have done for the NZAM. The Missionaries they have served will certainly miss them. They now have about 600 sons and daughters who have served with them. They will be missed. I know they will leave a little piece of their hearts here in New Zealand.
We took a few minutes while we were waiting for Family Home Evening to start to drive to the end of a peninsula to a town called Devonport across the bay from Auckland. This is a picture of Auckland from that location.
This week was also transfers. We had a bunch of Missionaries coming and a bunch going home. It is always sad to see them die (that is what the call it when they go home). This young man is Elder Katoa from Tonga who we took to the airport. We were privileged to know him for a few months.
By the way I decided to make my pictures a little bigger for you to see. This is a leis that was given to one of the Senior Missionaries but she wasn't able to take it home so Sister Bartlett took it. Of course we ate the candy bars. The leis is hanging on our wall. We were also able to see our first Rugby match on TV at the Self Reliance building not far from us. We didn't know what all was going on but we are learning.
As we mentioned we did transfers this week and with transfers comes the moving of bikes all over. We spent most of Thursday, Friday, and some of Saturday picking up and dropping off bicycles. We put on about 200 km in one day in about 12 hours. While at one flat we happened upon a map that hung in the flat. Elder and Sister who served in that area signed the map. If you will
notice E. Western signed it. That is our nephew who served in this Mission several years ago.
We visited the Otara market on our Preparation day and saw this dance group doing a modern interpretation of some Maori traditional dances. It was very entertaining and free. We also did some of our grocery shopping since they always have heaps of people selling fruits and vegetables. We ended up carrying them because we forgot our trolley.
We were able to make a wonderful colourful fruit salad with fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit, and persimmons. It was wonderful.
We are loving the service. At times it is frustrating and yet at the same time it is a Sweet Mercy from the Lord. We miss you all and send our love.
Elder and Sister Bartlett