Friday, April 23, 2010
On The Road Again!
During the past 2 weeks we have been on the road constantly. On Tuesday, April 13 we helped the Elders out. We travelled to Greymouth to pick up Elder Kaufusi, and Elder Tamale to go to Nelson for interviews with President Jolliffe. Neither of these elders drive. We usually don't go to interviews but we needed a Temple Recommend Interview so that when our Branch goes to the temple in September we can go with them. Because Elder Archibald is the Branch President we have been able to get special permission to go to Temple View with the District. Our recommends ran out in May. It was nice to associate with the young elders and visit with President and Sister Jolliffe. We got to view the area books and chat with Sister Jolliffe while she mended pants for the elders. I have done my share of mending for the elders down our way. Below you can see the Elders in our Zone as I had made some Puffed Wheat Squares for a little treat for them. This is the last time this group will all be together. Elder Barker returns home with honor on the 30th of April. Elder Kaufusi returns with honor on May 18. We learned at interviews that we will have 4 new elders in our Zone after transfers next week. New ones to get to know and love. You can see Elder Hudson, Elder Haynes behind and bending over, Elder Mautupo(I think of spelling), Elder Tamale, Elder Kaufusi (squattin), Elder Sacco, Elder Tuipulotu, and Elder Barker. Elder Archibald is behind the trunk. This is an awesome Zone.
When we got home to Westport with the Elders we took them out to an inactive lady's home. We were lucky and a lot of her children were there. We had a great visit and the Elders from Greymouth had a great interaction with the two teenage boys--Norton and Rory. We were excited that we got such a welcome reception and an appointment for next week.
This week was flat inspection week, just before transfers. We went to Blenheim first and it was such a beautiful day. We left Westport in clouds and threatening rain. As we got around some mountains the sun came out and it was spectacular. Last time I wrote about not seeing autumn colors but in Blenheim and Nelson it looks pretty like falls can. In Blenheim the grapes are ready for harvest and the leaves have turned. They also have trees that have turned colors. It hasn't been frosty yet so it is the days getting shorter. The above picture is taken in Nelson. We spent most of the day in Blenheim with the Elders. It was their P day and we did inspection and then took their car to the Toyota dealers to get warranty work done and a bumper fixed. During the car inspection one tire was bad so they also got a new back tire. Then we went to the grocery store and then home to the flat. The Elders had been given heaps of groceries--sausages, potatoes, pumpkins, cabbages, cauliflower. Elder Archibald showed them how to cooked fried potatoes and onions. He also did his carrots where he adds brown sugar to them as they cook. The elders have all loved his carrots. They didn't have a pancake turner so he ended up using a saucer to turn the potatoes. It was an adventure. The elders--Elder Haynes and Elder Hudson had done a great job with the flat and it was very clean. Then we were off to Nelson before dark. When we arrived at the flat in Nelson it was a disaster--they had slept in the living room where the heater was because they had been cold the night before. When they saw us they said--"You weren't coming until tomorrow." We assured them we would be back in the morning to inspect and things had better be ship shape.
We went on the computer on Tuesday morning to look for new flats for the Nelson Elders so they can keep warm in the coming winter. We couldn't get any appointments. The real estate people think that the elders are transient--which they are but there are always elders in the area. If only the people who own the flat they are in would fix the shower and install a heat pump all would be good. Anyway, when we arrived at the flat on Tuesday morning it was wonderful. The beds were made, the floor vacuumed, the fridge and freezer clean, stove and oven clean, and cupboards wiped clean and dishes put away. I could not believe it was the same place. They had all worked hard. Above you can see the Zone Leaders: Elder Tamale, and Elder Barker with Elder Archibald in the middle. Elder Archibald has trouble wearing his tie--it chokes him.
After flat and vehicle inspection in Nelson we were ready to head home. We had no new flats to look at and it was early so we stopped along the way to see some of the sights along the road. We stopped at some look outs coming over the pass. But my favorite stop was at Lake Rotoroa. It is just before Murchison and is part of the Nelson Lakes. The only drawback--SANDFLIES. At home they would be dead by now because of frosts but no frosts here. Next time we will remember the bug spray. But the lake was so beautiful. I remember Grandma McMurray talking about Lake Rotoroa. It is not that far from Blenheim. Below, you can see a black swan and 2 of her babies. She would constantly dive to bring up food for her little ones. I have it on camcorder.
We had a great drive back. Then it was back to real missionary work when we returned. We have been able to visit with lots and each Sunday we wait to see who will come back. This month we have been able to have 1 or 2 inactives return and it is quite exciting. We just need to keep nourishing them. We love our work here and really love the people. We are also thankful that our health is good. We are blessed to be able to serve in this great area.
This picture begins and ends this post. It is at the Spooners Range Lookout. It is about 45 minutes out of Nelson. We drove up the side road to see what was here. The birds were singing so musically. We really did enjoy this drive back to our home here in New Zealand.