Monday, 7 December 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015.  Today I felt that I needed to call my Sister DeLeuw.  Luckily Gaylyn had Face Time on her phone and I was able to see DeLeuw.  She looked so much different than 10 days ago when I saw her.  She never opened her eyes but she talked to me for about 45 minutes.  We laughed, we cried and shared some wonderful memories.  She is not going to last much  longer and she is ready to return home to our Father-In-Heaven.  I will miss her so much.  It is so hard to be so far away at a time like this.  However, I am so grateful for our family and that we love each other and have always enjoyed being together.  We are not just siblings but friends.  This would be the last time I spoke with her.  She passed away peacefully on our Friday, October 23, 2015 in Utah it was Thursday, October 22, 2015.  It is very interesting to keep dates and days clear when we live on the other side of the world.

On Thursday, October 22nd Reed and I along with all the Area Self-Reliance team had our monthly meeting with Elder Pearson.  We also had Elder Ringwood, from church headquarters, join us via polycom.  The meeting went well other than Elder Pearson is always wanting DATA!

Reed and I left the office at 1:00 p.m. and headed to New Plymouth.  We went with Elder and Sister Wilkins for a long weekend.  It is a holiday on Monday, Labor Day, and we asked for permission to take a break.  We have been working a lot of weekends with all these new couples coming through.

It was a 5 hour drive and we just took our time and enjoyed the scenery and seeing some sites we have not seen before.

We rented a Bach (house on the beach they call them a Bach).  We could hear the waves crashing all night.  It was a big, nice house and a fabulous location.  Very relaxing.
This was the living room of the Bach.  you can see the ocean through the windows.

Below is the outside of the house.  Each bedroom had a deck and large windows looking out to the ocean.  It was very nice.

Friday morning Reed and I went for a walk on the path along the ocean.  So peaceful and beautiful.   We would love to have this kind of a walk every morning.

The Bach did not have WiFi so Reed and I tried to find a place so I could call and check on DeLeuw.  Finally in the mall we were able to hook into a stores WiFi.  That is how I found out DeLeuw has passed.
It was very hard to mourn standing in the middle of a mall with tears running down my face.  Finally I was able to instant message with Sally to get details.  DeLeuw had just passed away an hour before I finally found out.  She passed peacefully and that is a blessing.  I will miss her a lot and am so grateful she is my Sister!

We got into the car and went to Paritutu Rock and hiked.
The first part of the rock had stairs and then it was pure rock and steep.  You had to hold onto the chain to climb.  It helped me to clear my head and think of good things.
What a beautiful view from the top of the rock.  It was a little cloudy but the view was still great.
Reed on the top of Paritutu Rock.

Nada headed back down.  You can see how steep it was.  We are so glad we are in good enough health to still be able to enjoy nature this way.

We went to the Cape Lighthouse.  There is a museum inside but it was closed today.

Cape Egmont Lighthouse is still a functioning lighthouse.  It used to be in Wellington then was dismantled and brought here.

 A wild turkey.

It started getting cooler and more cloudy.  There were a lot of windsurfers out on the water here.

We headed back to the Bach and fixed a great dinner.  It rained very hard and the wind blew hard all night.  It was quite a storm.  Listening to the wind and the waves was great.

Saturday October 24, 2015 Mount Taranaki.  Yesterday we could never see it because of clouds.

We visited the Rangimaie Maori Centre.  They are Maori meeting places, for funerals, weddings, meetings, family gatherings, etc.

These men are creating rock sculptures.  They were on the same grounds as the Marae.
 Some of the different sculptures.
We went to Tupare Taranaki Gardens.  It is owned by a family.  What a fabulous garden.  We walked around for more than an hour and enjoyed every minute.
There were some very interesting, different flowers here.  There were also a lot of hostas which Reed loved.
The purple flowers here are gorgeous.
 Trellis' with vines and flowers.
There were some very large, different trees.  The grounds were very well taken care of.
Reed and Nada taking a break next to a beautiful pond with fabulous foliage all around us.
We decided to go see the White Cliffs.  Nada is standing in front of a cave.  It went pretty far back.
The weather was a little cool.  The ocean was beautiful and the tide was coming in.  Reed walked through the water for a ways to get closer to the White Cliffs.  The rest of us did not want to get wet.

You can see that the water was coming in right to the cliffs.  They are very light with the black sand beach next to them.
 The waves were pretty rough here.
There were all these little dimples (hills) all over in this Tarnaki area.  Much different than any other place we have visited. 
Mount Taranaki!

We had a great day.  Went back to the Bach and fixed tacos and salad for dinner. 

On Sunday morning the 25th, Reed and I had to head back to Takapuna.  We had to drive home, get cleaned up and do a fireside for the Panmure Stake at 6:00 p.m.  Dean Westerlund, our Area Education Manager, is the Stake President here.  It was very foggy in places as we drove along the ocean and headed home.  It was quite picturesque.  It was a very nice get away and we enjoyed every minute.  The fireside was well attended and Reed did a great job.  I usually introduce us and tell the people a little about us and share my testimony.  Reed does the rest.  We are so grateful that the leaders are starting to listen and understand what we are trying to help them with.  To get the members to help each other study, learn and be successful in school.  To help them become more like Our Father-In-Heaven.  To get some kind of training, skills or education to help them gain better employment.  To become more Self-Reliant.  We love our family, and miss them especially during times of sadness.  We are grateful for the comfort of the Holy Ghost and feel of our families love and prayers.  May The Lord watch over all of you and us.  We love you, Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)