Sunday, July 30, 2017

It is so sad to see them go!

It has been several weeks since we have posted on our blog. It has been a very busy couple of weeks and we are worn out. We started out with our Preparation Day and went to the MOTAT(Museum of Transportation and Technology). We saw this huge sea going plane they used before they had an airport. It was ginormous! We also saw this tiny plane which was home made and only carried one
person. They found out this was not very airworthy after many crashes.
Then there was this cute little plane. Reminded us of the planes in the cartoons.
We took a ride on this Trolly since part of the museum was in seperate areas to far to walk.   
There was even something about Accounting Technology for Elder Bartlett's sake. Yippy!  
We really liked this springless trampoline. They used fibreglass rods if we remember properly. So Much for the Museum.
On Monday we had to rent a trailer and take 7 bikes to the Mission Home which was only half of those needed for the new intake of 14 Missionaries. That night we celebrated Pioneer Day with the most of the Senior Couples. Sister Parker recounted many of the stories and pictures of early Missionaries who served in New Zealand. It was fascinating. Glad they have improved the Flats.
On Tuesday we traveled back to the Mission Home and delivered 7 more bikes for the new Missionaries. We also took  take some of the Dead (finished with Missions) Missionaries to the Airport. We just sent home 21 Missionaries and they have so much experience it is sad to see them go. We have been able to work closely with some of them. 
Some of you from the Herriman Utah Butterfield Stake may recognise this Elder. He is Elder Shannon who was a member of our Stake back home. By now he has probably settled into his home life and is recovered from jet lag.  
For their going away some of the Sisters were wearing the traditional Tongan Ta'ovala (woven skirt) that is worn for many formal occasions. 
Many Missionaries were met at the airport by members in areas where they served and were draped with flower leis and flower Sei (Samoan hair flower or crown).  Members here love the Missionaries.  
Sister Fuimaono even had her uncle and cousin come to see her off. She goes home to Independence, Missouri which was Elder Bartlett's Mission Home about 45 years ago. Her leis was a little more practical filled with candy for the trip home.      
Elder Bartlett however was met with hostility! Actually just having some fun with one of the Assistants Elder Black (my 14th cousin once removed).         
On Wednesday we again made a trip to the airport to drop off 2 Elders who didn't leave the night before. Elder Heward pictured here with his parents who flew in to spend some time in New Zealand and Elder Leung who was previously pictured. Elder Heward and Elder Bartlett are 4th Cousins twice removed through his dad's line. Their common ancestor is Isaac Turley. After we dropped them off we picked up Missionaries from the airport and from the Auckland Mission Training Centre (NZ spelling). There were 14 in all with 6 Elders and 8 Sisters. We picked up 2 Sisters at the airport and 3 more at the Auckland MTC. Sorry we didn't get many pictures of the New Missionaries since we were busy talking to them about their health and assigning bicycles. This was the largest intake of Missionaries since we have been here. The next intake will be bigger.
After the transfers and outgoing and incoming Missionaries we spent Thursday moving bikes around and visiting sick Missionaries. We have been working early morning to late night every night. On Friday night the Otahuhu Ward where we serve had a Ward Party. The band that played was all made up of the Williams family. Brother Williams on the left is a member of our Ward. The others are his children.
Several of his grandchildren also rotated in during the evening. The Parese's enjoyed the dancing. I just love this couple. They are always smiling and happy and love to dance.    
Everyone joined in the fun. The music was quite a mix of the oldies from the 60's and 70's.       
Even the little ones can shake a leg. This little one danced about every dance. Often she would just shake and clap her hands. We miss our little ones.    
Finally we were at the mall grabbing a bite to eat during our busy week and along came their monkey mascot. He saw me taking pictures and came over to us but I didn't get and good pictures of that. We really are not monkeying around. On Sunday one of the less active members we have been trying to see came to church. He also said he would be there next Sunday with his son. Sometimes it takes little miracles. We are glad that we can share some of our experiences with all of you and hope you enjoy this blog. We have some wonderful times with the Missionaries. We get to know many of them very well. It is time to say farewell from Elder and Sister Bartlett.  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

So Much to be Thankful For!

First of all we want to say we are thankful for President and Sister Balli. We have had a wonderful experience getting to know them. So much so that we were locked in a 14 by 14 foot room for 90 minutes with no way to escape except for us to solve a whole bunch of puzzles and find a key that would let us out. We chose the DeVinci Code room which was heaps of fun. We were a little slow but still managed to escape. Elder and Sister Stahle who take care of Finance, Cars, and Organization, arranged this little fun team building activity. Everyone loved it. We will miss President and Sister Balli and their wonderful leadership of the New Zealand Auckland Mission.   
We had a nice dinner that President and Sister Balli put on for some of the Senior Missionaries who serve in New Zealand Auckland Mission. Part of the occasion was Sister Clarke's birthday.  Brother and Sister Clarke live in New Zealand and have been called to serve here and help with the Flats and Baptismal records. 
We are thankful for all the Senior Missionaries and their dedication. These Sisters do a lot for the Mission. From left Sisters' Balli, Graham, Seamons, Stahli, Bartlett and Clarke.
Some of these Missionaries serve in the Area office to serve with many Missions and their spouses serve in the Mission Office.   
Some serve as Mission Leadership Support (MLS) Missionaries and serve in an assigned Ward and Stake like Elder and Sister Freeman.  
Brother and Sister Briggs (Center) serve at the Mission Training Center. We really don't have enough Senior Couples in the Mission so you Seniors get going and get out here.  
Sister Clarke also made this Polinesian dress and matching tie for President and Sister Balli. Maybe they will wear them for their homecoming.   
We are also thankful for President and Sister Walker who arrived just last week as President and Sister Balli were leaving. We are excited to get to know them and serve with them. They are wonderful people and and will bring great blessings to this mission.   
The same day that they arrived we had our July 4th celebration with the Senior Couples. It was great fun and food. We are thankful for our Country, the land of the free and home of the brave. God bless America. We are also thankful for New Zealand and it's wonderful people that we love.
Part of the food included Sister Clarke's homemade donuts. She makes the best pastries and was in the spirit of the 4th even though she is Samoan from New Zealand. She also makes a mean Red Velvet cake.  
As you can see the general theme is Red, White, and Blue. There were no fireworks but we have heard them here before for Anzac Day and for Matariki. The food was a good old fashion BBQ with burgers, hotdogs, potatoe salad, and of course apple and peach cobbler and ice cream.
We had a nice program where the Gettysburg Address was read. Then one Senior Missionary changed the words and compared it to Moroni's Title of Liberty from the Book of Mormon. It was terrific.     
We are thankful for these Young Missionaries. Sister Graffe serves with us in the Otahuhu Ward and turned 21 this last week. She is from Tahiti and in the Polinesian culture that is very important, so she dressed in the traditional special woven skirt and received a carved key with 21 carved on it. It represents that they now have the key to being an adult. The Felila family made her feel at home.  
We are thankful for the Temple and for having the Priesthood so that families can be together forever. This is John Dalosa and his family. He went to the Temple for the first time this last Saturday. They will be sealed as a family once his wife's sister returns from her Mission. We look forward to that day.  
We were greatly blessed to have Sister Faalogo also go to the Temple for the first time on Saturday. We were blessed to be involved in both of these individuals Temple classes.   
We are also thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and the Redeemer of the World. Through Him all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Shortly after John received his Temple Endowments, he was privileged to Baptized his sister Pam Dalose. She has a wonderful testimony and her life has been changed forever. 
We are thankful that through the Savior we can become pure and clean through Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is Pam with her Mother and several Aunties. She is such a great example of Faith and Hope.
We are thankful for Friendships. This is Pam's Institute class and teacher who came to be there for her at her baptism. Her Institute teacher spoke at her Baptism.  We also were there for Pam's Confirmation on Sunday. We are so thankful to be serving the Lord here in the New Zealand Auckland Mission with a companion we love. We are thankful for you our friends. We love you all and hope you are as thankful for the blessings in your life. Love, Elder and Sister Bartlett