Saturday, March 12, 2016

March 13, 2016

Our normal week consists of weekly lessons to different members in their homes, drop-in visits to less active members, service projects, helping the full-time Sister missionaries with whatever they need, various meetings (District, Zone, and Ward), and sometimes just sharing a meal with members we've become close to.  

Last week hummed along and we did most of what I mentioned above. We went to lunch with a couple that has fed us many times, and we wanted to reciprocate and take them out. They took us to a yummy Chinese place and it was great sharing stories of our families and realizing that we have so much in common as life-long members of the church. 

Wednesday night was our Rescue Night, but sadly, only the Ward Mission Leader, the Sisters and us showed up. No matter, we split up, men together and women together and separated. We each had fantastic visits with some "forgotten" members. I had a taste of what it is like to be a missionary without a car, walking the streets with the Sisters and talking with everyone.  It was fun, but tiring! 

We met a group of four "flat mates", all are members, one woman and 3 men. They live in the same house, and work for the same company, and none are not related. We are having a FHE with them Monday night and we will get to know them better. We know that one man has a family in Wellington, 8 hours away that he sees every other weekend, and the woman is divorced and has 7 children, but they live nearby with her ex-husband. Sharing homes is very common here where the rent prices are so high. 

All the photos below are from our Saturday activity at Pasifika. Pasifika is a yearly festival in Auckland for all the different island countries nearby. People travel from all over New Zealand and the islands to perform and sell crafts and food. Pasifika is located at a huge park with a lake in the middle. The different countries are all around the lake, each area with a stage for performing and booths. 

These are the couples we met at Pasifika, the Bath's, the Jackson's and the Byrne's. We arrived at 8am, two hours early to get parking, because we had heard the parking lots filled up quickly. It was still a little chilly, but soon the sun warmed us up and the festivities were underway. 

This Samoan man caught our attention first and was happy to pose with Sister Bath and Jackson. 

Elder Bath was brave enough to jump in this picture with some Cook Island ladies waiting to perform.

This man is part of a Samoan group performing a lively number. Not sure what the female mannequin behind him is for, except maybe promoting island wear. We all wished we had worn island clothes or accessories to blend in better, and not look so much like tourists. We were welcomed by many people seeing our badges and happy to volunteer that they were members. 

In the New Zealand area, we loved these young boys performing the Haka . 

These young Maori girls performed a traditional dance. Their costumes were great and their makeup resembled tattoo markings on their chins, so common once among Maori women. 

A Tongan band is behind these woman who are playing their horns. The band was so lively, and had such a familiar sound I thought i was in Provo at a park on the 4th of July. 

We watched this Tongan lady weaving a mat. She was sitting on the part she had woven, and I'm sure she was there at her task all day. Such a meticulous and intricate art. No wonder the mats are so expensive and valuable to families. Behind her, hanging up, is a painted Tapas cloth made from tree bark. It is also very prized among family possessions. 

This is a Hawaiian group. I was surprised that Hawaii was represented here because it is so far away, but it is part of the pan pacific. 

The costumes from Tuvalu were the most colorful. There was also a lot of participation in this group by men and women. 

The women performed and then the men stepped in front to perform. Sitting on the stage behind was a large group singing and playing music for the dancers. 

Signs like this were all over helping us know where to go. As we walked around we watched whatever was being performed at the country we were at. We missed a lot of performances at countries we had left and ones we hadn't come to yet. It was impossible to see everything.

This is a Cook Island group of men. We came at the tale end of their numbers and there was a huge crowd watching. By 2:00 the number of people at the park was so great, and we had walked almost 5 miles, so we were happy to leave, 

This woman in a "peacock" costume was from an Indonesian group and everyone wanted a photo with her. 

It is hard to see this woman's face under her headdress. 

This is the back of her costume. Such a beautiful work of art, but I can't imagine wearing it without tipping over! 

We had a fun time seeing what each country had to share. We bought something from almost each country, and that was fun - baskets, a lei, carved necklaces, earrings, shells, and food. I had heard about Pasifika when we first arrived in NZ and had been anticipating attending. So glad we did. 
I love this quote from Elder Holland. God can't help us if we don't pray. When we pray, He often uses us, His servants, His deciples, to help answer those prayers. We need to ask always for blessings, and also be ready and worthy to be of service helping God to answer the prayers of others! We need to look for ways to be angels on an errand for God, through home teaching, visiting teaching, or any time. 
That is our desire after we return home from our mission and get back into civilian life.

We hope you will be strengthened in your prayers and seek ways to serve others. We love and appreciate your prayers for us. We are so blessed because you pray for us! We pray for you daily! 

Elder and Sister Martin

1 comment:

  1. The costumes from the different countries were fabulous! Each was so different. What a great festival. I want to print the quote from Elder Holland in that format. Where did you get it?