Every week a family in our ward meets with their extended family for FHE. They are not all active, but still take turns preparing the lesson. They invited us to attend, and they taught a good lesson about Talents. For our part, we showed a segment of Meet The Mormons. They were all so kind and one of the boys told us to eat lots "because they fixed heaps of food” for us. This picture is of the grandchildren. We would love to go back again sometime.
We tried a new fruit this week, called Lychee. They have a pinkish, bumpy rind that when peeled reveals a sweet, white fleshy fruit inside (with a big seed). I could eat ten of these at a time. Even Craig liked them. They come from China and Alice T. shared them with us. She gave us persimmons once and we liked them too. We are so sad that she will be leaving this week for her native Tahiti, and will be gone 3 months! She's in her 80's and is going there to fish. She loves fishing!
We've turned into Kiwi fruit eaters. They are about .20 each here instead of the $1.00 each at home. I buy a bag of them every week.
Wednesday night after standing up from the dinner table, Craig could hardly walk and thought he had pulled his hip out of socket. He made it to the bed to lay down. I thought, now what do we do? We had a FHE in 20 minutes with a family we really didn't want to cancel. At that same moment, I got a text from them canceling because of a netball practice (the mom and daughters are on a team). Craig was so happy. He rested for about an hour and then was fine. We left for our next appointment, and he's been fine since.
We had the best FHE with our favorite little family. It was a great lesson given by the mom titled "I am a Child of God". At one part we all laughed and laughed at the funniest comments made by the kids about the differences between a rock and an orange! Their wit, smarts and enthusiasm make us love them and look forward to being with them every week!
Once in a while we just have to come home in the afternoon to Skype. With the 7, 6, or 5 hour time difference, and our kids' schedules, finding a good time is hard. We were happy to Skype with my Mom and have a nice visit with her. She looks great and was happy to see me too! We also Skyped Emily, Kenny and cute little Kinley. Kinley has abandoned her army crawl, and it was fun seeing her crawling on all fours. Soon she'll be walking, and we can't wait to see that! Heather happened to be at our neighbors, the Chappels, when we Skyped her, so we saw them also! We are so thankful for modern technology, that helps us stay connected to our loved ones! It makes being at the bottom of the world not so far away from home!
Craig and I had a nice, visit with a older sister who was recently widowed. Her husband died two weeks ago from complications from strokes. She told us her family was taught about the church 35 years ago. Her husband and 6 children were getting baptized, but she wasn't ready to join yet. The day of the baptism, she had an answer to her prayers and a personal revelation that she should get baptized, so she surprised the Elders when she told them she was getting baptized too. The whole family was baptized, and she and her husband were sealed in the temple later. She is a happy woman "content to endure to the end" and so pleasant to visit. Her devoted daughter takes care of just her now.
We had a little extra time, so it was Sister Nakibae's turn to see One Tree Hill. This is a favorite spot, and on a clear day, a perfect view of the whole city and the bays. The baby lambs were frolicking around and lots of sightseers were there. We'll be taking all the Sisters we work with to this place.
Friday night was a well-attended and successful Relief Society event. Another Senior couple, the Mickelson's, came to talk about the new Self Reliance program, which they are working hard to share with all the wards. It is a fabulous program from the church, designed to give people the "tools" they need so they can find themselves a job. Afterwards, we enjoyed a "4 Minute Cheesecake" for dessert made with yogurt and sweetened condensed milk, and cooked in the microwave for 4 minutes! Sister Kruger brought her camera and took some photos of the group.
I have really grown to love all of these Sisters and we have been in all of their homes!
P-day! Yeah! I went on a good walk, and did a little shopping, while Craig went to hit golf balls. Then we took a 45 min. drive with another couple to the Manukau Heads and lighthouse on the Awhitu Peninsula. Along the way we stopped at a small beach inside the bay at the Awhitu Reserve (park). As usual, we were the only people there. The deserted beach is made up of billions of broken shells.
This is the cutest little island out from Awhitu beach pictured before. We saw a few fishermen on the island but no boat anchored. Then we found out that at low tide, you can just walk out to the island.
This sign made us laugh, especially when we saw the square ice cream container nailed to the fence that says "Put money in here please".
This mamma cow and calf were being herded along the road by the farmers, probably to the milking shed. You can't tell from this photo, but she is so full of milk that as she walked, milk was squirting everywhere. I could feel her pain.
It was a cloudy day but we didn't get rained on as we drove along rolling green fields where we saw with lots of grazing cattle. For some reason, there isn't any in this picture though.
This is DH (Dear Hubby), and the lighthouse on the cliffs of the Manukau Heads. It has been rebuilt a few times because of erosion. Today, it is just historical, and not a working lighthouse, but it gives a great view of the Harbour from up top.
The Manukau Heads is the narrow entrance from the Tasman sea into the lake-like Manukau Harbour. Standing high above on an overlook gave us a beautiful view of the Harbour to the east and the rough waters of the Tasman to the west.
East, and the Manukau Harbour. Look closely at the picture and you will see the Skytower of downtown Auckland! This lookout is across the bay from where we live.
Craig found a cozy spot in the trunk of a dead Kauri tree.
It was nice to get out of the city and see some more of this beautiful country. We are just so amazed at the beautiful green grazing land everywhere, once we leave the city of Auckland.
Today, Sunday, we had a 7:00 am baptism and the chapel was packed. It was in another ward, but we wanted to support the missionaries, so we went. There were too many of us to fit inside the baptismal room, so we left for home. Brother Lawrence was out of town, so no MCM at 8, but we have Ward Council at 9, so off to our ward we went. We got there and no Ward Council. We must not be on the call list. Back home we go, and I took a 2 hour nap before church at 1:00 pm, which was wonderful!
I made a pot roast dinner with a new crockpot I finally bought, and Craig was pretty happy! Then off to our appointment to show part of the "Meet the Mormons" video with a short lesson. They want us to come next week for more of the video.
After retiring, I can be honest and say that Craig and I neglected serving others, outside of our family. Coming on a mission has made us aware of so much more we can do at home, and should've been doing. President Monson calls it "finding ourselves in the thick of thin things"! We needed to be reminded that "it's the service that counts", for a successful and joyful life!
We need to ask ourselves everyday what did we do for someone today! Each act of service fills up our vessels with oil so we will be ready when the Bridegroom comes!
Have a great week and thank you for your sweet prayers!
We love you all,
Linda and Craig