Monday, 6 July 2015

Wednesday June 24, 2015

This week we have been mostly doing our second mission as ITEP Coordinators.  As the coordinators we are responsible to get our incoming and outgoing missionaries to and from the airport, make the hotel reservations, feed and entertain them. Elder and Sister Hammond finished their mission in Apia Samoa and are headed back to Idaho.  We picked them up at the airport on Tuesday and waited forever for them to get through customs.  They hassled them about a Kava bowl they were carrying.

Judy, our new Administrative Assistant, and I went to the Shoalhaven Apartments where Reed and I live and where the flat that we have been using these last couple of months A213 is to make beds, clean and have it ready for Michael and Matt to stay in.  We figure if we are paying rent on it until the new couple come in August we might as well save the $249 a night per room at the Spencer Hotel when they are staying more than two days.  They both stayed for a week so we saved the Church a lot of money.

We have also been attending the strategic planning meetings for 2016.  We have Michael Carthew here.  He is going to be Bruce Yerman's replacement beginning the end of July which is the Director of Church Schools. It was good to have him be here and have a lot of input with all the changes happening.  There was also a man from Salt Lake by the name of Matt Pope who works with the Church Schools and S&I but lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.  We were able to accomplish a lot during the two days of planning with the whole team here.

On Wednesday we left the meetings at noon and took Elder and Sister Hammond to explore a little of the Auckland area. That is another benefit about being the coordinators.  It is our job to entertain the couples while they are here for those couple of days to report if they are leaving or do their training if they are just coming into the mission field.

We decided to head to the Waitakere and do a little hiking and beach walking.  It was probably the coldest day we have had since we arrived in New Zealand.  But whenever the sun came out it was bearable.  The high today was 11 Celsius which is 51.8 Fahrenheit.  Not real cold but with the wind blowing off the water is feels colder.

Beautiful cabbage tree with an interesting house above it.  We took them to Karekare Falls for the first stop.
This is a New Zealand Black Bird.  A little different from the ones in Utah.

Karekare Falls is very beautiful.  The way the water spreads out over the rocks is so interesting.  Elder and Sister Hammond and Nada.  We really enjoyed being with them.  They were our replacements in Samoa so it was fun to talk about places and people we knew.  It has been great to see the teachers we worked hard with finish up their Teaching Certificates with the Hammonds.
After the waterfall we hiked down to Karekare Beach.  That was interesting.  We started on the road we took a couple of weeks ago and it got muddier and wetter as we went.  Reed said lets walk on the grassy part and it was like a bog.  After we got our feet wet to our ankles we all turned back to find a different, dryer path.  It was much nicer.
On the beach the wind was blowing pretty hard.  You can see the wind blowing the mist from the ocean across the beach.
Beautiful water, waves and rock formations.

Above Nada and Sister Hammond walking Karekare Beach!

To the left we had to cross a little river to get back to the car.  Reed gave Nada and Sister Hammond a piggyback.  He told Elder Hammond he was on his own.  This was a duck just sitting in the shallow water.  He was a little different colored.  The bird is a Paradise Duck.  We had not seen one with a total white head before.
We then drove a little farther to Piha Beach.  The waves were really crashing and the wind really picked up.
Lions Rock.  One of these times we are going to hike to the top but today it was too cold and windy.
Reed went up the trail on Lions Rock just a little bit.  We did not want to get our feet wet crossing this little river so Elder and Sister Hammond and Nada just watched him.
There were a couple of people out trying to surf with wet suits on.  They didn't last too long.  We returned the Hammonds to their hotel around 3:30 and we went home changed and headed to do an education devotional for the Waterview Stake.  It was on the way back from where we had been all day.

On Thursday we did the exit interview with the Hammonds and then we took them to the airport.  We got them all checked n and left them only to find out the next day their flight got cancelled right at the time of departure and then they had one crazy experience after another until they arrived in Idaho.

We just wanted to share with you some of the things we do as ITEP Coordinators here in New Zealand.  It is great fun to experience different things.  It keeps things exciting.  Between being the Education Specialist Coordinators and the ITEP Coordinators these last 5 and 1/2 months we have been able to keep very busy and have many different kinds of experiences.

Until next time.  Love Elder and Sister Spencer


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home