Sunday, April 3, 2016

April 3, 2016

Last Monday we got to Skype all our kids, which was Easter Sunday there, and catch up on all their activities. It was fun hearing about where the Easter Bunny hid the grandkid's baskets. Most all found one of theirs in the dishwasher. That must be the Easter Bunny's favorite basket-hiding spot. We are so happy our children like to get together for holidays even when Mom and Dad arent there. 

Because of Easter school break, a lot of people here were out of town Monday and Tuesday after Easter, so we had a slow start to our week. We found time to take the Sister missionaries for for their P-day shopping and ice cream cones at the Strawberry Farm. 

I will say that we left with a great feeling after every home we visited last week! The Spirit was with us in every lesson and we are always so well received. One man said he will come to General Conference with us next week. Another man has started coming with his adult daughter and this was their 3rd week. Another family has recommitted to reading and praying together!  We found a less active sister and she's been to church 3 times, has quit drinking and is trying to stop smoking! For every member who isn't willing or ready to progress, there are others who are on their way! We are just so blessed to be able to help a little bit on their journey.

We finally were able to visit a sister we've seen at church, and have tried to set up a FHE with, but it never worked out. She surprised me with a decorative, woven tote she brought from Samoa for me! The generosity of members here is so amazing to us! 

The Freeman's are a new Senior couple from Utah as of one week, and we were happy to have a nice lunch together and show them around a little bit.  They are MLS missionaries like us, so we tried to give them some good tips. This main one is our favorite, "Go do as much good as you can do!"

We took the Freeman's to One Tree Hill, and as we drove through a different entrance, saw that it is also called Cromwell Park. Notice how narrow this opening is! Thankfully, most of the cars here are narrow too. We drove through a beautiful row of trees with long branches creating a canopy over the road.

One thing we love about New Zealand is the beautiful old trees!

We celebrated Sister Placido's birthday with a lovely lunch provided by Sister Tematua with her killer, delicious chocolate cake!!  

We love our lessons and lunches with sweet Alice Tematua (left) and her niece, Moana.
She knows we don't like fish heads (ha) and always makes us very healthy food. Her desserts are something else though. This chocolate cake and her tiramisu is amazing, and our downfall!

Sister Jackson asked me, "Are we going to miss this when we go home?" Duh, of course. P-day was rainy in the morning, and because Craig requested it, we stayed close to home today.  Later, we drove to Takapuna for an early dinner by the beach, and we loved a relaxing time there.

After dinner, we went to this movie. It premiered at Sundance a month or so ago, and just opened in New Zealand. We think it was filmed on the South Island and we enjoyed it. It gives you a little idea of "out of the city" life here and what "the bush" looks like. It's a humerous story based on a fiction book, called "Wild Pork and Watercress", written by a well-known NZ author, Barry Crump. 

Tonight was this amazing full-arched rainbow across the city. I was on our balcony and sadly, couldn't get a picture of the whole rainbow. Winter here is the start of rainbow season. Last year, because of the moisture, I think I saw them everyday. 

Another cool picture of the Redwood Forest down in Rotorua we visited with Heather and Bryan a few weeks ago. We can't believe how fast their time here came and went! 

I loved the Woman's Broadcast from General Conference with the theme of service. There were so many good quotes from the talks. This poem wasn't from the conference, but I heard it at a fireside talk given by Sister Keung and think it goes well with service:

"Christ has no hands, but our hands
To do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet
To lead men in His way;
He has no tongue but our tongue
To tell men how he died;
He has no help but our help
To bring them to His side.

What if our hearts are busy
With other work than His?
What if our feet are walking
Where sin's alluremeant is?
What if our tongues are speaking
Of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him
And hasten His return?
                  (Author unknown)

Our mistake after retirement and before our mission was being too "busy" doing "other work than His"! 
We were not busy enough in well-doing, and we pray we will step up our service when we come home. Our hearts have grown with love for this work and the people here. We knew it would happen, we were told it would, and it has! 

We pray for you daily, we love you, and miss you!  We are so truly blessed to have the fullness of the  restored Gospel guiding our lives! We try not to take it for granted, especially when there are so many in the world suffering from wickedness, and lacking in Spirit. The Lords army of missionaries are working hard to change that, but everyone needs to help. Let's DOIT! 

Elder and Sister Martin

1 comment:

  1. That's great to hear. A friend of mine actually went on a mission trip to New Zealand earlier this year and loved every single minute of it. Not only is there great people there, but there's also a ton of places to see. Keep doing what you're doing and keep helping, and it'll be a nice learning experience for all of you as well!