Sunday, 5 July 2015

On Friday, June 5, 2015 our new Auckland Young Single Adult First Ward had it's first activity night.  They held it like a family home evening.  First we had a song, then a prayer, then a thought and then they had a lesson.  After the lesson we played many different get to know you games.  It was very fun and the kids were very good sports.
This gentleman and his wife teach institute in the evenings in the stake and was asked to teach the lesson tonight.  They had different phrases, quotes, sayings and songs that each group had to try to find a phrase in their group to go with it.
This is Brother Pome'e and his son Du'i.  He is the Second Counselor in the Bishopric.
Some of the YSA listening to the lesson and getting instructions about their quotes, phrases or words from a song and what to do with them.
This is the other half of the YSA during the lesson.
This is Oscar Uta'i.  He was one of our YSA when we were serving in Samoa.  He has finished his mission, he was serving here in the Auckland Mission, returned home and now come back to New Zealand to finish pilot training.  What a great young man.

The teacher asked all the kids to put their cell phones on this table so they wouldn't use them during the lesson.  Surprisingly most of them did!
Bishop Tafiti.  They released him as a counsellor in the Stake Presidency to be the Bishop in this YSA Ward.  To his right is the first counsellor in the bishopric, Brother Tauiliili.  They are both Samoan

The picture above is the majority of the people who showed up by the end of the night.  Elder Cray and Elder Taylor are the young Elders assigned with us three senior couples to attend this ward.
They served chips with homemade chili and juice for a light supper.
It was a great evening.  We are getting to know these young people better every time we meet with them.  It is fun to watch them get to know each other.  They come from seven different stakes.  We are grateful to be part of this new Auckland Young Single Adult First Ward.!

On Saturday we usually clean house, do our shopping and try to do something fun most weeks.  Today, June 6, 2015 we decided to go walk Takapuna Beach during low tide.  About 3 p.m. we headed to the beach.  There were really quite a few people out.  The weather was pretty clear and warm.  The tide was way out there so we walked for an hour one direction and then turned around and came back.

You can see how far out the tide is.  Usually those cliffs ahead you cannot get around except at low tide.
It looks like we are all alone but there really are a lot of people out walking.
This is Rangatoto Island.  There are a few privately owned old cabins on this island  Other than that there are no homes or running water on the entire island  It is the newest island formed by volcanic eruption over 600 years ago.  To the right is the town of Devonport where we go to catch the ferry over to downtown Auckland. 
You cannot get to this cave except at low tide.  We have only been over this far one other time.  People own homes on the top of these cliffs.
Reed and Nada decided to go inside the cave this time.  Reed is against the back wall taking this picture of Nada looking out.
 Reed just loves taking pictures of different things.  This tree must have come down from the cliff during one of the storms.  The brown line is some kind of pipe.

This part of the beach was mostly slippery rocks with some sand.
Nada trying to keep her feet dry and not slip. It is amazing how slippery these rocks get.  You really have to watch your footing every step of the way.
We saw some different colored Star Fish. They were very small and hard to spot because they blend in with the wet rocks.  This one had been out of the water too long.
A lot of people paddle board in the ocean off of this beach.

The sun was starting to go down by the time we got back around the cliffs to the big, smooth beach where we usually walk.
Now you can see how many people really were out enjoying the nice day.  They allow dogs on this beach without leashes.
It was a great day.  We love listening to the waves and just walking in the sand, collecting shells and enjoying beautiful nature.
We can get to this beach by walking from our flat in fifteen minutes.  When the weather is warmer we do this a couple of times a week after work.  It is a nice way to get some exercise and just relax.

We are both well and busy.  We are grateful to be serving here in New Zealand.  We are grateful that we are able to serve with and help these YSA become strong leaders and build their testimonies.  We are grateful for all the opportunities we have to enjoy the beautiful outdoor activities New Zealand has to offer.

On our Sunday, June 7th and Utah's Saturday, June 6th our grandson Zack Reed Spencer was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Stake President gave us permission to watch it via Face Time.  Zack looked so happy and grown up and Kip did a great job.  We are so pleased that Zack chose to be baptized.  We love him and are so grateful for modern technology that allows us to still be a part of such important events.  It helps us not feel quite so homesick and alone. 

Our oldest Son, Justin, turned 40 on June 8th.  Oh my, I only feel forty, how can we possibly have a son that old?  We love him and were able to finally connect later in the evening to wish him Happy Birthday!  It is hard to believe that many years have gone by.

We hope you enjoy learning about New Zealand and seeing the beautiful sites here.  We hope you enjoy seeing what a Senior Missionaries life is like in different places.  There are so many different types of missions that senior couples are needed to serve in.  We hope that in some small way, as you read our blog and see the things we are involved in, it may encourage you to want to serve a mission.

Until next time.  Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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