Monday, 6 July 2015

Saturday June 20, 2015

It rained off and on most of the day.  We were able to Skype with Eli (our grandson) and watch him open his birthday presents.  He is four and such a fun loving little boy.  It was fun to be part of his birthday and see all the family.

You can see Eli on our iPad busy opening his presents.  Lana was taking a picture of us through their iPad while we were taking a picture of them.  Modern technology is wonderful!

Saturday evening we went with Elder and Sister Perron to Wesley College to be part of a YSA regional activity.  They used their big gym for this production.  It was called "Hark All Ye Nations."  They had each Stake YSA perform dances from different countries.  You could tell which groups really put effort into it and practiced hard.  They all did a great job and it was a very entertaining evening but some were more prepared than others.

The hosting three stakes began and ended the evening.  They provided the MC's and kept it flowing.  Most of these kids attend our new Auckland YSA First Ward.

Sister Perron and Nada sitting on the front row waiting for the event to start.  They began at 6:30 p.m. about a half hour late due to audio difficulties and people being late!

These two were the talk show hosts.  Jessica is a school teacher and Pasi is a newly returned missionary and they both attend our YSA ward.  One of his great grandfathers was one of the first Maoris to predict the coming of Mormon Missionaries.  The first part of the evening talked about this and they wrote and performed a Haka about it.
This group was the first to perform and introduced the story through song.  A lot of these are kids in our YSA ward.
John, the one leading the Haka also wrote it.  He is our Sunday School President in our YSA Ward.
This group is representing the Auckland YSA 1st Ward in the Manukau Stake.  They had our kids do their own performance from Mexico and then some of them participated in the stakes where they reside.

This group performed dances for Argentina, this one being the Argentine Tango.  They did a great job.

These were also doing a dance from Argentina and they had three young men, again from our YSA ward, singing and they were fabulous!  A couple of these girls are sisters.  We are just learning names.
This group was very fun to watch.  They were very prepared and told a great story along with their dancing.  We think they were representing Egypt but not sure.

This group is from our old stake, Panmure, and they performed the Waltz and another dance.  They were really good.
This young man choreographed all the Panmure Stake dances and sang.  He is very talented.  The two of them were Beauty and the Beast.

This stake did dances from India.  They were very prepared and did a great job.  It felt like we were watching those Indian movies Trevor brought home from his mission.

This was kind of like Bollywood!  These two were the couple and the dances and story revolved around them.  It was well done.
This group began with the missionaries going to South Africa to preach the gospel and told a story.
These are the dancers representing South Africa. 
Next stop, China.  This dragon was pretty impressive.
The kids played some pretty good music on these water containers.
This group did some great Chinese dancing.
Next stop Ireland.  They did a fair Celtic Dance.

Then back to New Zealand where the evening began.  The Maori's paint their faces when they do traditional Maori dances.  We are glad they don't do permanent tattoos on their faces like they used to.
Below they did another Haka to end the evening.  They did a great job!  It is very interesting to hear the stories behind the different Haka's and to watch these kids perform.  They really get into it with the expressions and breathing.  Fun to be part of.
We hope you enjoyed with us this evening of being with the YSA.  They have strong testimonies and love to perform.  They practiced like three nights a week for a month or longer for this activity.

On Sunday morning the 21st of June we were able to Skype with most of the kids while Reed opened his Father's Day gifts from them.  That was so nice.  The kids are so thoughtful to remember us.  It was actually not Father's Day here in New Zealand.  They don't celebrate that until October so Reed will get two this year!

Later that evening (Sunday) they had a special devotional with the Area Seventy, Elder Paul Coward, presiding and speaking.  It was a great Regional YSA weekend.  We feel very blessed to be involved with these young people and hope we can help guide them on their education, marriage, career paths.

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


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