Saturday, November 21, 2015

November 22,1015

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Our week started with a Zone Devotional early Monday morning. Each companionship told something they loved about their companion. It is really touching to see these young men and women express heartfelt brotherly (and sisterly) love for each other, after only being companions a short time. We loved hearing their testimonies too. They are making lifelong friendships and this short devotional really strengthened a bond in our Penrose Zone. 

We had some wonderful FHE's last week talking about Jesus' parables. How many can you recite? 
I didn't realize there were so many, and can't say I have a favorite, because they all have important meanings for us to better understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ! You might consider focusing your scripture study just on the Parables for a while, and enjoy them! 

We are thankful for a good car to drive while we are here. We are renting a Nisson from the church and they give us a good deal on it. The Auckland mission has about 75 cars for missionary use. That is a lot to keep track and take care of. They just installed a tracking system on the young missionary's cars to record their car speed and location at all times. This keeps them in check and prevents accidents. They don't have to worry about us Seniors, though, because we don't speed and are not reckless, except when we occasionally drive on the wrong side of the rode. We have been very surprised about how unhurried and slow NZ drivers are. They do like to toot their horns if we don't use our turn signals properly, or are slow when turning at a light. They do love their horns. 

When we first got our car, an angry pedestrian kicked it and put a dent in it.  We were shocked to see the dent when got home. We saw him walking with a young child who started to cross the street in front of us while we were coming to the corner. He grabbed the boy to prevent him from crossing and getting hit by us. We stopped the car, and seeing the boy safe on the sidewalk, proceeded to on our way. That's when the man ran towards the car and kicked it! Crazy! 

We like to be helpful with our car by taking the Sisters to the store or doctor appointments, because they walk or their ride bikes. We also give members rides to church, the doctor, or wherever they need to go. We are not a taxi service, but we do what we can. 

We pay for gas (petrol) for our car and are responsible for it's maintenance; washing, vacuuming, and oil change. This week it was time for an oil change, and what we thought would take an hour, turned into 5 hours because they had a list of other things they were required to check. We appreciate the church picking up this tab. We are also very thankful for our very secure underground parking garage. 

We got to do some service again this week by putting a second coat of stain on a member's deck. It's fun to put grubbies on and get a little dirty at the end of the day. She is so pleased with her deck and it looks really great! We have a tiny balcony at our flat where we get a wonderful morning sun. Last week I had to buy a recliner to enjoy that sun and relax a little in the fresh air. When we leave our mission, I know just the deck that will need my recliner! 

For one of our weekly Family Home evenings, it was time to do something different. It was time to have some golfing fun!  Off to the driving range we went and everyone had a "ball"!!!  After some helpful instruction from Elder Martin, they had a little competition for longest ball. Then out on the putting green, another completion for the first in the hole. I would say, we have a family now hooked on golfing!

With nicer weather coming, Elder Martin may also renew his passion for golf, since he has found a few ward members to play with. The weather was rainy, but he got to play a round in the morning last Thursday. He was so pleased with his score, especially after not playing for so long. I've always told him that the less you play, the better your score will be. I don't think he believes that though. 

This is our colorful, newly decorated missionary board at church. Last week we were given the task of redoing it.  Our ward currently has 1 Sister and 2 Elders serving, so we will put new pictures of them on it. We will also include these two awesome Sisters, and Elder Martin and I with our contact numbers. 

This picture is not decorations for a wedding, but for the Stake Ball (adult dance) on Friday night. It was supposed to start at 6:30pm and when we came an hour late, only a few people were there. We had to leave, but found out that most people came about 9:30 and it lasted til midnight. They call that "Island Time".   There was tons of sandwiches and cakes for refreshments, supplied by a hardworking small group of women from our ward. There was a also DJ and good music. 

A very popular place to shop on Saturdays is the Otara Market, only 15 min. away. Since the weather was drizzly, a few of us lady Seniors went to shop there. We found fresh produce at great prices, along with beautiful cut flowers, jewelry, clothing, household items, and also fresh seafood. These are sea urchins you can buy to crack open and eat the jelly-like stuff inside. They call it Kina, and it is a delicacy. Not sure I'm willing to try it though. 

This guy is opening millions of mussels and scooping out the inside to sell in the little tubs. Mussels are a favorite and are served at family gatherings or ward dinners. You can also buy them in the grocery stores. Not sure about eating them either. 

We saw Santa is at the mall, with a long line of children waiting to talk to him. I noticed that none of the kids sat on his lap. I wonder if that is a no-no now and if so, how sad is that! Lovely Christmas decorations were up the first day of November at the mall, but I haven't seen them anywhere else yet. Waiting to see if city streets are decorated or lights are on the homes. 

We had enjoyable Stake Conference meetings Saturday night and Sunday morning. The emphasis was on education, and parents teaching the gospel in their homes. 

I really liked the words to the song, "Go My Son" that were given in a talk. I had never heard this.

"Go, my son, go and climb the ladder.
Go, my son, go and earn your feather.
Go, my son, make your people proud of you.
Work, my son, get an education.
Work, my son, learn a good vocation and
Climb, my son. Go and take a lofty view.
From on the ladder of an education,
You can see to help your Indian Nation,
And reach, my son. Lift your people up with you."

This is the emphasis of the leaders here for the youth. Not to waste their 13 years in school, and to continue on after high school. We must be self-reliant, and are to gain all the knowledge we can in this life to take with us in the next. 

One of the speakers was President Sid Goeng, President of the Hamilton Temple. He is a revered, famous rugby All-Blacks player. He talked about working as a team to fight opposition and how our opposition isn't one, but a third of the hosts of heaven! Also, how his wife likes to say "Kick him (Satan) into the touch!" "We have the organization in the church where we can kick the opposition." 
"We go to the temple to make covenants, and we leave the temple to live those covenants." 
I wrote so many great quotes from this conference I will share later. 
I love this quote I saw on Facebook. We miss our children and will even moreso over Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have pride and joy knowing they are genuinely good people and our grandchildren are too. Im not bragging, I'm just greatful!! I know you all are the same about your families. 

The Gospel is so true and so essential to our peace of mind and well-being. It is essential to peace in our homes and peace on this earth. Don't be afraid to share the Gospel with others by inviting them to add to what they already have. "We succeed when we invite, no matter the outcome," said President Uchtdorf. Your children will know you value the Savior and more when they see your example of inviting others to learn about the Gospel and being willing to share. 

We love you all and thank you for your prayers and support! 
Elder and Sister Martin

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful work you are doing. You have learned so much about New Zealand---food, flowers, beaches, etc. we love your blog. Glad Elder Martin is able to put his golf skills to use during FHE.