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.