It's not only Christmas vacation, but it's summer vacation too! Relatives are visiting, family stuff is going on, and people are at the beach, so missionary work is slow.
Since they had never been, we thought this was a good time to take the Sisters out on their P-day to lunch and a drive to One Tree Hill. It was a glorious day and they loved the park. Everyone loves this park and it is a "must see" when you visit Auckland.
Monday evening for FHE we met with just the few Senior couples from the Manukau area and were treated to a wonderful video of a talk Elder Bednar gave at the MTC here in Hamilton a few years ago. In it he quoted Elder Neal Maxwell who said, "Without Jesus' sublime character, there would have been no sublime atonement!" He talks about the character of Christ, links the word "character" with "charity" and teaches that our natural tendency is to reach inward when we should reach outward. The Saviour always reached outward! There is a similar talk you can read online that Elder Bednar gave Jan. 25, 2003 at a BYU-I Symposium, entitled, "The Character of Christ". I would recommend looking this up and reading it. We were all stunned and enlightened by Elder Bednar's message and insights!
This year, since we meet for church at 9 am Sundays, our ward is in charge of providing fresh flowers weekly for the chapel. I signed up to bring some flower arrangements on Jan. 30 because I wanted to participate. Now I am worried my contribution will be slim, unless I either spend a lot of money or scope out some yards with flowers like these and ask if they will donate some beautiful pickings for a good cause. Usually, there are 3-5 different arrangements donated made from flowers from member's gardens!
We ended up on a gravel road most of the way and had to ford a small stream running across the road, but found our way and it was a beautiful spot. On a sunny day, the water would've been turquoise. I doubt we will ever make it back there, but it was a fun adventure.
We hope to get back up to The Bay of Islands again for a sunny day of sailing around the islands. It was a fun time, and we had to remind ourselves that we are missionaries and not tourists! Sister Bath is the mission nurse and was always reminded of her duties, because she had lots of phone calls from missionaries needing help with everything from chicken pox to back pains, to flea bites!
It says, "The Sisters love ya'll! We hope you have an excellent day, full of happiness and sunshine, love Sister Trull and Selwa". We are so blessed to work with these sweet Sisters!
Happy New Year everyone! Thinking about goals for self-improvement this new year, I found this on FB about 16 possible New Years Resolutions from the prophets for 2016. Here is the list compiled by Utah Valley360, issue 12/29/2015, and taken from Oct. 2015 General Conference talks:
1. Stop worrying.
2. Keep the sabbath day holy.
3. Avoid or get out of debt.
4. Invite the Spirit into your life.
5. Be temple worthy.
6. See the best in others.
8. Come unto Christ.
9. Show greater love for others.
10. Read the Book of Mormon
12. Exercise self-control
13. Be an example.
14. Be a Leader.
15. Humbly accept correction
16. Study latter-day revelation.
Hopefully there are one or more items above that will make our "to do" list for 2016!
I know with the time we have left here in NZ, we are digging in to do as much service as we can, with maybe a few more trips here and there. We love our mission and we love the NZ people!
Our prayers are for you, as yours are for us! Thank you!
Elder and Sister Martin