It seems as time goes by we are getting busier and busier and as I think "I need to do the Blog!" we need to also visit a less active or needy member and out the door we go. We love what we are able to do and we love the people here. We have had many exciting things to do this past week and a half. Over a week ago we went to Nelson for our Zone Conference. Above you can see a picture of our Nelson Zone. We are the smallest zone in numbers but the largest area. President Jolliffe has challenged us to keep our funnel full so we always have people to work with. Elder Archibald has taken this challenge to heart and we do have a full funnel right now. I will name the Elders in the above picture: Elder Kaufusi, Elder Hudson, Elder Mataupu, Elder Tuipulotu, President and Sister Jolliffe, Elder Barker, Elder Haynes, Elder Tamale, The Archibalds, and Elder Sacco. Elder Sacco is new in Greymouth and Elder Mataupu, from Samoa, is new in Nelson. We had a great Zone Conference. We played a great charade game with the scriptures from Preach My Gospel. We had to guess the concept and the scripture. It was fun to watch the acting of all the Elders.
Above you can see the Elders playing a thank you song for the lovely sisters that cooked our meal. Sister Jolliffe had had pipe chimes made. We are playing He Sent His Son. It was absolutely delightful. The first time it was played was a little rough but after the while it was beautiful. It brought goose bumps to my arms. I love music and the feelings it brings. I want to get the pattern and have Elder Archibald build me a set when we get home.
The above picture is not particularly beautiful but I want you to look at how the bush is on the right side of the picture. As we have driven this and other roads I have marveled at how the trees grow so uniformly. Then I thought that perhaps the big trucks going by had something to do with it and then one day we were driving and came up to 3 trimmers going along the road and each was trimming part of the bush: so that is how they are trimmed so evenly. And I thought it was just how they grew. Silly me.
The above picture was taken at night with the flash. One day Elder Archibald noticed a snail on about half way up on the front of our house. It stayed there all day long. That evening when we came home we could see it moving down the side of the house. During the day all you could see was the shell, but in the evening you could see its head and part of its body as it slid down the house. I found it very interesting and watched it in the dark after I took it's picture. Nature is wonderful.
A week ago it was Mormon Helping Hands in the South Pacific. In Greymouth they did service at 2 schools in the area. It was also their Branch Conference that weekend and on Saturday night they had a celebration with the guests from Nelson. Above you can see the 2 pigs which had been cooked on spits during the day. President Kinikini and his delightful wife were in charge and Elder Kaufusi and Elder Sacco had helped cook the meat. It was delicious. We ate only one pig on Saturday night. I think they used the other the next day after meetings.
Above you can see the tables laden with heaps of food. To me it was amazing. The members each brought a bowl for the tea. There was all types of food and everything I tried was delicious. I am not a very adventurous eater but Elder Archibald tried lots too, and it was all delicious. There were salads of all kinds and other meat dishes and different kinds of potato dishes. They also made a yummy drink with watermelon, pineapple, coconut. Oh my, that was a treat.
Merle has taught the many children how to play the finger game where they cross their hands and double them up. Then you point to a finger, don't touch, and have them move that finger. Because you hands are crossed it gets a bit confusing to move the right finger without practice. The children practice and when Elder Archibald appears they come running up and have their hands crossed and want to play the game. It is a universally accepted game and we have played it wherever we go. Above is Mele ready to play the game. Isn't she delightful? We truly love the people we have been able to meet here.
Probably the highlight of the evening was a display of Tongan dancing. I was busy videoing it and Merle was supposed to be taken still photos. Above is one of the pictures taken. It was such a fun evening with our Tongan friends in Greymouth.
Another thing we have been doing over the past few weeks is delivering DVDs--The Lamb of God. There are media spots on the television and a 0800 number to call. So when someone calls from our area the elders in the office call us with a referral to deliver the DVD. We have delivered about 10 and have call backs on all but one. One had requested the DVD but when we called to deliver it he said he changed his mind. Above you can see the backyard from one of our friends, who had requested a DVD. We had a wonderful visit with him. We even left him with a Book of Mormon and will be going back to teach. This gentleman's backyard goes straight up. He said he had tried to climb the hill in the back yard but only got about 2/3s of the way up. The bush is just too dense.
One of the other fun things we have done is attend Care and Craft. It is an activity for Seniors, all ladies. This past Monday they had an Easter Bonnet Parade. Here are the ladies who brought bonnets. The lady on the front row on the right in the blue dress is Jean who is 104. She has taken quite a shine to Elder Archibald. The week before this event we were the entertainers for an hour. We did a sing song--on the cd player and the keyboard. Music is one thing that is universal and even when you get old music makes you feel alive. The lady in the back row with the gray jacket even yodeled for us last week. That was so entertaining.
We are sure enjoying our adventure and seem to be getting busier and busier. Tonight we have to remember to turn our clocks back--daylight savings time is ending until the spring. This is my favorite night of the year--an extra hour of sleep.