Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015

America, don't be frustrated with your cable company, because at least it isn't Vodophone, which is what we have here. We might get our faster, unlimited wifi back on in 3 weeks, and hope they will credit us, but in the meantime, we have to buy limited wifi again from the office downstairs. We shouldn't complain about their price, that we get kicked off all the time, or that it's slow as tar. We should be happy we have SOMETHING, which I am. 

We start out each day with a fast 3-4 miles around the nearby park. It makes us happy to get a good walk and we're thankful we have this park so close and not have to traverse the city streets. I started noticing all the different kinds of mushrooms around the trees and have found about 10 different kinds. This one is my favorite. 

This is the baby version of the one below. Isn't it the cutest little mushroom ever?

I'm amazed how it grows out large and flat and turns orange. 

We brought a few games with us and are slowly teaching them to a few members. They are Wizard, Rook, 5 Crowns, and Hand and Foot. Craig has also made quite a hit with his card tricks. Games are a great way to get to know people and have some fun. We play short games like Spoons and Party Pictionary when we do Family Home Evenings, and the kids love it! 

The people here love to feed the missionaries! We have eaten at a few homes and all have been good meals. We've had burgers, drumsticks, good vegetables, pork, leg of lamb and fish heads. The fish heads are a delicacy with some islanders. We don't want to gross you out, but know that the texture and technique of eating fish heads was not appealing. Our hostess didn't seem to mind because that was more for her, because she LOVED THEM! She fixed us other food that we did like!

People are so welcoming and they really do want to listen to our message and they have lots of questions. It's amazing to me that we can visit with them with all their chaos and have good visits. Some homes we drive up to I think, ok, this is scarey, but when we are talking to the people, they are so nice and I forget what I thought. Some are never going to be different, but we are doing what we can. 

Last Saturday, from downtown Auckland,  we took the ferry for a 40 min. ride to Maiheke Island with another Senior couple and had a wonderful time. The weather was sunny and perfect! We rented a car and drove around the island stopping at some vistas and some beaches. We had really good fish and chips for lunch. Below are some pictures.

 is the Maiheke Harbor. There are a few giant homes on the hillsides. The drive around the island is about 90 minutes.

There's a few vineyards on the island. It Is winter, so the vines aren't producing now.

People keep their boats out in the bay. We saw a sea plane fly and land, then dock on the beach. After a little while it flew off. We found some nice shells on this beach. I'm hoping my souvenirs will be a cool variety of shells.

A view of downtown Auckland from the ferry as we entered the harbor after a fun day. I would like to go back when it's summer! Now I need to find a great place we can go next week. I'm wearing Craig out! 

Here is the beginning of a missionary pledge. I will add another part each week:
" I AM PART OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still." 

We will get better in our missionary efforts each week as we meet more people and gain their trust. As we bring the Holy Ghost into their homes and their lives. As we testify of Jesus Christ and His love for them. Many people's circumstances seem impossible to change, but we won't give up on them. Our job is not to give up on them!

We love you!
Elder and Sister Martin

PS - These are some fun pictures of a party of about 20 on the ferry heading to the island for the weekend, all dressed in 60's costumes. They were celebrating the woman's 50th birthday! They were a fun group and what a great theme for their celebration!

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