Sunday, 5 July 2015

On Thursday, June 11, 2015 we drove out to our Stake Center on Robertson Road for a Zone Conference.  We had to go during rush hour traffic so it took us over an hour to get there.  We really like going to these and being with the young Elders and Sisters.  President and Sister Balli, our Mission President and his wife, are great people.  They really love the missionaries and are so good with them.  They really include us Senior Missionaries which we really like.  It was interesting, they did about a half hour on working with members and getting new converts into the temple and doing family history.

Then they spent about half an hour on driving safety and taking care of cars.  Next, Sister Balli spent time talking about keeping their flats clean and their clothes in good repair. 

Then they had Sister Beckstead talk about health issues and they played a matching game about cleaning their flats and health issues.  It was interesting to watch the young missionaries trying to figure out what cleaning supplies you should use for certain types of cleaning.  Then disgusting things like fleas, maggots, cockroaches and such came up.

The AP's were very sharp and led a discussion on spiritual power.  Then the stake fed us lunch and Reed and I needed to get back to the office for meetings.  Another great day to be on a mission.

On Saturday, June 13, 2015 after we got the flat all cleaned we decided to head to Wenderholm Regional Park.  It is a place we have not explored before.  We read that on this beach you are supposed to be able to find Sand Dollars but we never saw any.  It was actually quite cool and windy but we enjoyed the beach any way.  We were pretty much the only ones there.

This is our lemon tree on our balcony.  The lemons are finally turning yellow.  We hope to harvest them in the next couple of weeks.  Yay!
This is the beach at Wenderholm Regional Park.

The tide was not low and maybe that is why we could not find any Sand Dollars.  There were no broken pieces of them anywhere so we are wondering if they are only there at certain times of the year.
Reed went out into the water up to his knees but still did not see anything.  Looks like a tree was washed up during the latest storms.
 This is a Variable Oystercatcher
You can see all the sea shells on the beach.  Some beaches have very few and others are just covered with little shells.
Nada enjoying the beach.  Another couple showed up when we were getting ready to leave.
Reed getting the sand off his feet and getting his shoes back on.  His pants were a little wet but luckily they dry fast because it was getting cooler.

Isn't this a cute little bird?  It is a Native Fantail.  He just kept flying all around us and wouldn't leave us alone.  He followed us all the way to the car.
There are just some very interesting trees here.  This is the Potuhukawa tree.  It is the one that has beautiful red blossoms during November and December and then looks like this the rest of the year. 
This is the Couldrey Home.  It was built in the late 1800's and was moved from down by the beach to this spot.  It is now a museum.  Beautiful location. 
 This is a Pukeko Bird
We decided to take the Maungatauhoro Te Hikoi Trail up behind the Couldrey home to see the view.  The hike was much easier to do than trying to pronounce the name of this trail. 

                              They take such good care of their trails.  There is so much green.

When we got to the top and walked around there was this big field at the top of the mountain all planted and mowed.  Looking over the Puhoi and Waiwera Rivers.  On the upside of the trail was the Hauraki Gult and then you keep walking around and on this side is the Orewa Peninsula and the two big rivers.

These are Manuka trees.  In New Zealand they make Manuka honey that is supposed to be full of health benefits. 

Looking down on the Couldrey Home.  You can see it is a fabulous location.
Heading back down the trail to where our car is parked.  It was a great hike.  A little cool but when you are hiking it is better to have cool weather than hot.
This Tiki was on the driveway entrance to the Couldrey Home.  We have not learned all the meanings and traditions of these carvings.

We had another great adventure.  This park is only about 40 minutes from our flat.  We just keep exploring and learning all we can about the different places there are to see and visit.

We stay very busy during the week and sometimes on weekends we have to do missionary things as well.  Most of the time we get Saturdays off and we use that time to see all we can see.  We feel blessed to be able to do so.

We love you all and hope life is treating you well.

Until next time, love Elder and Sister Spencer


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