Friday, July 23, 2010

This and That!

When we shifted here we wondered what to do with the garbage. Many people hire "Clean Green Bin". We put our garbage in the bin and when it is full we call "Clean Green Bin" and they pick up the bin and give you a new one. Merle being the bargain hunter that he is learned quickly that if he did the "Garbage Stomp" we only had to get a new bin every two months. Also, each Tuesday the town comes by and picks up recycling plastics and paper. That lessened the amount that was going in the "Green Bin". So above you can see Merle doing the "Garbage Stomp". The first time I saw this I laughed and laughed and forgot to take a picture, but I was prepared last time. It costs $13.oo to get the bin dumped and it is going up to $14.oo next month. We can get 2 months out of a bin. That is pretty economical.

We have purchased a digital projector and speakers so we can show free movies at our building. Last week was our first movie. We showed "Suits on the Loose". We made buttered popcorn and waited for guests. The Elders were up from Greymouth and did some inviting and we did also. We had 6 active branch members that didn't come. We had 4 non-members come and one inactive sister come. We also had others from the branch. In total we had 17 people at our movie night. It was a great success. There was also heaps of socializing done after the movie and we are going to continue to have these activities. Tomorrow the District Presidency is coming for a visit and they suggested an activity tonight. Since it is Pioneer Day at home we are going to show Legacy. With the projector we can make it large screen. People who have been to the theatre here say our picture and sound is better than the theatres and we have popcorn. Can you believe a theatre without popcorn? We have again invited many people and hope for a great turnout again tonight. I love Legacy.

Here you can see Trevor, our friend and investigator, holding his wife's rock. She is like Mom and loves rocks and collects them as she walks on the beach. She found this rock one day on the beach. Trevor carried it for a while then walked back for the vehicle and drove back to get the rock. It is quite heavy. I can understand Sue's fascination with rocks--there are many beautiful stones and rocks on the beach. I have even started my own collection. I am just not sure how I will get them home with weight restrictions. Maybe I'll mail them. Can you just hear Merle when I try to get some of them home?

This is Sue with her Taro. It is just massive. She does a lot of cooking with the Taro and will share with us. The elders were impressed with her stand of Taro and she gave them some starts to take to Greymouth. They are going to give it to President Kinikini as he has Taro, but the elders say it is not nearly so big. Granity has a better climate than Greymouth. Sue and Trevor say it never freezes there. Can you believe how green it is for mid winter?
We are truly blessed with our abundance of friends and family and health and the gospel.

Memories with the Marvelous Missionaries

We have learned that Monday is a fun day for all the young missionaries in our Mission. They do their studies until 10 a.m. and then they are able to do things that need to be taken care of. One of their most important things to do is email--they save their money so they can go and do emails. Internet access is free at most libraries but they have to book in a time and are limited to 1 hour. So most opt to go to an internet cafe where they have to pay for time. They also use the computer to do photos and update their ipods with good music and talks from conferences. They are very good with what they need to do. Another things that they do is play sports--favorites here in New Zealand are touch rugby and basketball. They also play soccer and grid-iron. As I have watched rugby I am impressed with the athleticism of the players. Some of the missionaries in our zone played rugby before their missions and they have massive leg muscles and are in great shape. They run each morning before they shower and eat and study. They are dedicated young men. One day they met in Westport to do exchanges and play. We have a field just down the street. After playing for a while they walked to the library. They met the gentleman in the photo below. He told them he was a "War Lord". He obliged them by standing with them in a photo taken by Elder Booth.
In the photo are Elder Mataupu, Elder McLean, Elder Berryman, "War Lord", Elder Tamale, and Elder Fullmer. This is on Palmerston Street in Westport. Elder Archibald and I have seen many men with a lot of hair on their faces. The missionaries stand out because we are clean cut and smiling. On days other than P day they have on their white shirts and ties and dress pants. So I guess we do stand out.
This photo is taken in the Nelson flat. It was on a P day. This time the Blenheim Elders were in Nelson to help out with evening appointments. The Nelson Elders had over-booked themselves because 2 were being transferred the following Thursday. In this photo you can see Elder Booth, a friend from Nelson, Elder Mataupu, Elder Hill, Elder Tamale, a friend from Blenheim, and Elder Kavaefiafi. They had just finished a day of sports and we were there to inspect vehicles and the flat. Wow, when they know we are coming they have their flat in ship shape.
In order for the flat to have hot water for the shower the hot water tank uses propane. Every time we go to Nelson we fill the 4 bottles and hope it lasts until the next time we are there. We are hoping to get a large tank put in at the back of the flat so that it is checked regularly and serviced by a professional who checks the tank and tops it up on a regular basis. In order to get to the back of flat we had to clear a pathway and so had to move the 4X4 and boat and small trailer. The elders wondered how this could be done as we had no keys for the boat and ute. Elder Archibald said, "Testosterone, boys!" They laughed but everything was moved safely. Above you can see Elder Berryman, Elder Hill, Elder Archibald (without the tie), Elder McLean, Elder Mataupu, and Elder Fullmer. Elder Archibald is not much of a rebel but has difficulty wearing the tie when it is not necessary. It chokes him. He does wear it when we are at meetings and appointments. We even have an emergency tie in the car.
Last week we were able to do flat inspections. We went back to the Nelson flat for pictures the next morning as Elder Mataupu and Elder Tamale are being transferred. Merle and Elder Mataupu have developed quite a bond and it was a sad day for all. But we are excited to see their growth. Elder Mataupu is going to Wanganui. Then Elder Archibald and Elder Booth and myself. Elder Tamale is going to the "Hutt" and will be close to his little brother--10 minutes away from each other. He hasn't seen his little brother since he came out November, 2008. Elder Tamale is going to be companions with Elder Pitcher from Cardston. Elder Tamale has been in Nelson since January, just after we got here. Elder Mataupu has been in Nelson since the end of February. They are great missionaries. In our mission we have several sets of brothers. Elder Mataupu's older brother in in Queenstown. I am getting to know the names and how to say them. There are lots of islanders and their names have many vowels. You just have to let it flow without really thinking.
We hadn't told a joke, Elder Archibald was just checking the fabric in their shirts. This is in the Blenheim flat. You can see Elder Hill, Elder Archibald, and Elder Kavaefiafi. Their flat was pretty clean except for the mold. We have to go back and help them take care of that little problem. They were hungry when we got their--had a kitchen full of fresh veggie but didn't know what to do with them so Elder Archibald taught them a little. We also went to the Bin Inn and got ingredients for them to make hot cereal and taught them how to do that. At least they can have a healthy breakfast. We had planned to do a little touring after the flat inspection but the rain clouds were moving in so we came home--I even drove most of the 3 hours home.
This photo is taken at Greymouth. What a nice setting for their chapel! On the sign you can see Elder Tamale, Elder Berryman, Elder Fullmer and Elder McLean. It had turned out to be a beautiful day. When we arrived in Greymouth in the morning it was so cold. A wind blows down the Grey River. They call it "The Barber" as its chill can cut you to the bone. But around noon the wind quit and it was a really fine day. The picture below is of Elder Tamale and Elder Berryman. Elder Tamale started his mission in Greymouth many months ago and he loved it there. He was also able to come up to Westport once a month for a week to help with the work here. He probably won't get back here before he goes home and he was loving this last time where he started his mission. I asked him if he saw more of New Zealand on his mission or when he lived at home in Auckland. He said in Auckland they never go south except to go to the temple. He was glad to be able to serve in New Zealand. His mom lives in Auckland and his father lives in Australia. Island people don't really travel much to see the sights. I think the Elders see more of New Zealand than the people who live right here. Most of them make sure they see what there is to see in each of their areas.
We are so blessed to be able to serve here in this beautiful land. We are having rich experiences.

Wonderful Winter Wonderland

We are constantly amazed by the beauty of the winter we are experiencing. The cows are able to eat green grass all through the winter. At least where we are. The last 2 days this week Westport has had the high temperature for all of New Zealand. On this "post" I am going to share some of the beauty that we are experiencing. As is usually the case it is even more beautiful in person. Many people think of New Zealand as one of the south sea islands. It is in the south seas but is not as tropical as many people think it is. Today we were 17+ Celcius. We have had a few frosts but the only snow we have seen is in the mountaintops. Further south there has been heaps of snow. We feel very blessed to be able to serve our mission here in this "Garden of Eden".

This picture was taken a few weeks ago. The pine trees at the bottom of the picture had turned yellow and the last time we were by the needles had fallen off. We'll see if the needles reappear in the spring.
This pretty little bush is almost in full bloom. It is in the bed by our chapel. I have been watching as each week more and more blooms have appeared. The pink blossoms are so delicate. Can you believe this is winter time. Where we live in Westport is as far south from the equator as Glenwood is north of the equator. Wouldn't I love to be able to grow this beautiful bush at home.

They tell me this is a Camilla Tree. They are just starting to bloom here. It is just amazing!
This stand of bamboo is being cut down so that Jim can see his back yard. We were just amazed at how thick the stand grows. We commented to others about this and apparently this is how it grows. They say it is easy to grow--just take a stem and plant it in damp soil. You have to burn the roots out or it will come back even thicker than before.

The picture above is Sue's taro. She lives in Granity and can grow anything that she grew in Samoa. She likes the climate in Granity as she can grow her plants but does not have to put up with the intense heat. Sue has amazing plants in her yard.
There are not a lot of wild, four-legged creatures here. But there are heaps of birds. As many of you know I am not a great fan of birds but there are many beautiful ones here in New Zealand. Above you can see a rare wood pigeon. It is huge and so pretty.
We have seen many beautiful sunsets and here is one we saw this past week. In the distance you can see the Tasman Sea--the shiny bit between the trees. It is so beautiful here as you can see.