We dropped Connie and Ken off at Hobbiton, where Peter Jackson built the Hobbit hole village. This is a popular tourist stop and is busy all year round.
We had already seen Hobbiton, but not Waiwere Waterfall, which was nearby, so that was our destination. We were surprised we could see it from the road as we drove to the parking lot. Little did we know what a tough 50 min. hike it was to the falls, but we made it, did it once, and will not do it again. We will be satisfied with this view from the road.
After picking up Connie and Ken fron their Hobbiton tour, we drove over to Tauranga and Mount Manganui. This is a cruise ship stop and a beautiful beach city. I can imagine this beach full of people in the summertime. I've been wanting to see it so I'm glad we got to go, even for just a short walk on the beach. Connie couldn't get over all the sea shells washed up on the sand; too many for the picking.
While we were able to show Connie and Ken, some of the beautiful places around Auckland, we did also expose them to a few of our missionary activities. We were able to take them to our mission "Come and See" fireside for investigators and new members, and they came to one of our member Family Home Evenings. By attending church two weekends in a row, they were considered "regulars" and were asked to transfer their records (just kidding). Craig tried to get them to go tracking with us, except we never go tracking, so that didn't happen!
I talk a lot about our lovely Sister missionaries, but we love our Elders too! Elder Bass and Seelos are our Zone Leaders (middle and right) with Elder Dalton.
contrasted on the green grass! Along with the view of the bridge, the city behind, and the Rangitoto Island peak beyond! We are so impressed with the dedication and love the Elders have.
Sister Selwa was transferred way north and we miss her, but are happy Sister Kilgrow, from California, is with us now. She and Sister Placido have been companions before, so they make a good team.
BYU' Living Lengends dance group is touring the Pacific and we got to see them Friday night! What a treat to enjoy these talented men and women as they shared their culture in song and dance. The costumes were incredible, and this group is worth seeing wherever they perform! It was a sold out night!
Our youth in the ward are in full fundraising mode with brownie sales, donut sales and a car wash on Saturday. Craig took our car, which was pretty dirty after all the driving. We had to avoid the brownies and donuts!
"Life's truest happiness is found in friendships we make along the way,"
We miss our kids very much!
Our lesson in Relief Society today was from President Monson's short talk that Sunday morning session, and wasn't that a powerhouse talk? Here are a few amazing quotes:
"The choices we make determine our destiny."
"The path we follow in this life leads to our destination in the next life!"
"May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong."
"If we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice."
We love President Monson! We love the Apostles and leaders of this wonderful church! What a great blessing it is to serve. I can hardly keep my tears from flowing when I think of the love they have for us as they serve! I am overwhelmed when I think of the love our Saviour has for us!
We send our love and prayers for you!
Elder and Sister Martin