Sunday, September 4, 2016

September 4, 2016

We are so blessed to be serving a mission in New Zealand!

Sister Killgrow and Millie had birthdays this week and it was fun celebrating with balloons, presents, brownies and ice cream! We love visiting Millie because her smile, testimony, and enthusiasm for life makes us happy! 

We got to share a goodbye meal with Bob and Audrey Keung before they left for Australia. We love them and all their great family. They are the "rocks" of Mangare! Somehow we hope to see them again! 

Unless we get to the zoo in the next two weeks to see some live kiwi, this stuffed one is the closest we've been to one. It's on my list!

We were happy to take a few days last week to go north one more time before we leave NZ.  We went with the Bath's and were able to show them places we've seen before, and even went to some new places! North of Whangarei is this gem of a beach, and worth the extra drive off the main highway! 

This boat sailed out of a cove right into our view and we thought it was pretty cool to see. 

Next stop was Paihia in the Bay of (over150) Islands, which is everyone's favorite place to go. There was a cruise ship out in the harbor, and we met lots of "cruisers" in the shops. This picture is from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where we had a wonderful tour, learning about the making of Maori and English history together. 

We experienced a Maori traditional performance in the Marae, which included the Haka.

The performers kindly posed with us. Elder and Sister Bath are much more fierce than we are! 

We love Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri!

This is hard to read, but we loved Matauri Bay with a view of the Cavalli Islands! 

Our next destination was the Karikari Peninsula, where we stayed at the Peppers Carrington golf resort. Karikari Beach is a great place to find lots of sea shells, and Sister Bath and I enjoyed a solitary morning there while our husband's golfed. It was a Father's Day treat for them! 

Matai Bay is a picturesque and protected bay on the east side of the pinensula.

It was so fun showing off this beautiful beach to the Bath's! 

Have you ever seen a pig at the beach? We watched him digging the sand with his snout and eating tiny bugs.  Not sure how he tasted them from all the sand, but he was relentless in pursuit of those bugs! Not sure who he belonged to.

Three sea gulls waiting for something to happen.

Matai Bay is so calm and clear, and a beautiful place to relax.

A trip north isn't complete without the extra drive to the very tip top of NZ! The white caps in the water are where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean currents meet. 

It's always windy here, but worth being at the top of NZ seeing beautiful views of the ocean, white sands, and rocky cliffs. 

90 Mile Beach is fun to drive on, but there's always a worry of getting stuck in the sand and no one around to get us unstuck, so we never venture too far. Didn't see any other cars on the beach that day.

Back home again, and Sunday a great Fast day. Elder Martin was able to bless Kelly's little baby, Owen. He can't take his eyes off Elder Martin and is such a cutie! We've enjoyed FHE lessons with this  family of boys for the whole 18 months of our mission! They are so smart and sweet and we pray they will continue to keep the commandments and attend church! 

Happy birthday to Sister Bath! We love our friendship with her and Elder Bath, and they are hard working missionaries! She is the kindest, most caring and thorough nurse to all of the Auckland missionaries! Elder Bath is the expert and very needed bike repairman, as well as Sister Bath's driver! They are also Addiction Recovery missionaries! 

Happy Father's Day to the men in this part of the world! This photo is from last year's Father's Day Luau and dance with Brother Jenkins, Elder Martin, and Brother Campbell. It was wonderful today hearing so many youth honor their fathers and others as they gave heartfelt testimonies! We have great youth in the Waterlea Park Ward!

Jesus Christ is also the only path to salvation! We teach faith and repentance, which is simple and essential both before baptism and through the end of our lives! Beware of pride, repent, worthily partake of the Sacrament weekly, and serve, serve, serve! This is hope and our prayer!

Have a great week, and be healthy and safe!
Elder and Sister Martin


  1. Love your blog! We have been called to the Auckland mission but do not go into the MTC until February and then on to New Zealand long after you come home. Would love to know what you wished you had brought with you after you got over there.

    1. Send me your email to
      We are making a practical list of what to bring and what not to bring. You will love it here!

  2. Wow !!! absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such useful information.