Every week has its challenges and surprises and this one was no different!
Thursday was Transfer Day. So we arose early and drove to Greymouth so that we could take Elder Beckwith to the airport in Hokitika. He was excited to move on to a new area in our mission. He went to Wellington. We will sure miss his enthusiasm. This is a picture of him as he is leaving for the plane. He wouldn't turn around so we could see his smile but perhaps he had tear in his eye as I did. I will miss him but all the elders get transferred from time to time, it is part of their growing. It will be exciting to hear how he is doing throughout his mission. He will be out just past us.
Elder Beckwith left at 9:00 a.m. and so we spent the day with Elder Kaufusi. We went to Lake Mahinapua. It is a large coastal lake. We drove on a one way track through jungle to get to the lake. It was an overcast day, but it was so peaceful here. There were campers and school children were on the lake learning to sail. Above you can see Elder Kaufusi and Elder Archibald trying out the new camcorder--he forgot to push the record button. We wore jackets which were just right to keep us warm.
The lake used to be a traveling place where people from the coal and gold mining met and left from. Above, you can see Elder Kaufusi waving to his mom and behind there is some old equipment that was used for mining. We were just killing time and touring around. After we saw the lake we traveled on down the road to Ross. It was a small gold-mining town. We saw trucks the day we were there coming down the mountain and unloading their material. It was a small quiet town. Further down the road are the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers--about 4 hours return or more from Hokitika. We didn't figure we had the time. Elder Beckwith said that when he transferred in the people meeting him had done that trip and he waited outside the airport for a few minutes not quite sure what to do. After our short tour we drove back to Hokitika and watched the waves for a while. That is a real novelty for us and the waves at the beach are wild. I also walked along and collected interesting little rocks and the odd shell.
You can really see the waves here. The water is getting quite chilly now. We are going into Autumn. It has rained a lot lately but we do get nice parts in almost every day.
Above you can see our new Greymouth elder, Elder Sacco, from Price, Utah arriving at the airport at 5:10. That was about 12 hours since we had gotten up. He is a nice young man. And we are working at getting him a drivers license as soon as possible. Right now the elders in Greymouth are on foot or bicycle. That is good for them.
I love butterflies and above you can see a monarch on a dahlia. 2 of my favorite things. This picture is taken in a garden of one of our less actives. We had been to visit her but her gate was locked so she must be away visiting her sons. When we got back to our flat that afternoon, we were just relaxing and planning our next moves. At about 5 p.m. we got the surprise of our lives. President Kohu of the Nelson District knocked and we invited him in. He asked Merle if he would be willing to serve as the Branch President. Humbly Merle accepted, and on Sunday in Branch Conference he was sustained. I know he will do the best job he can. He will have lots of help. He has two great counselors and I will always support him. Today we were saying goodbye to some friends who had stopped to visit when the phone rang. I came in to answer it and they wanted to know if this was where President Archibald lived. I said "Who?" and then I realized who they wanted and said yes he lived here. They wanted to know our physical address and so I gave it to them. They were from the Hamilton Distribution Centre. Just when life is getting comfortable we are thrown a new challenge. But we are up for it. We are blessed heaps.