Sunday, 17 January 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

We attended a meeting today with President and Sister Tanne,r he is the President of  BYU Hawaii, and one of his Vice-President's Debbie and Janie from Admissions.

We were able to ask them all the questions we had and some very good discussions came out of it.  They really are trying to get more Pacific Island students attending BYUH and wanted to know how they could help them be more successful while attending school.

After lunch President and Sister Tanner wanted to tour around a bit.  Paul Reid talked to Reed (Elder Spencer) about places to see.  By the time Reed had finished telling him different places Paul said he had never been to any of them himself and would we be willing to be their tour guides?

Of course we would love to spend some time showing them this beautiful country.
 It was very nice to get to know them on a more personal level.  She was the General Young Women President from 2002 to 2007.  She talked to us about how she was called.  Very nice and personable people.

We took them to Muriwai Beach to see the Gannett Colony.  It was a little cool but not bad.

There were a lot of baby birds here and most of them are as big as their mothers.

The babies still are very fluffy and are black speckled.

Nada, Sister Tanner and President Tanner with the Tasman Sea and Gannetts in the background.

It seemed like almost every pair of birds had a baby.

We then took them to Parrys Kauri Park.  This is the McKinney Kauri and is 800 years old.  They were very awed.

This Kauri is only 600 years old and about 80 yards from the McKinney Kauri.

We had a very nice four hours with them.  We returned them shortly after six to the Spencer Hotel to have dinner with Elder and Sister Pearson and Elder and Sister Haleck.  We felt a little bad because they were supposed to meet them at 6:00 p.m. and we didn't get them back until 6:08 but we did let President Pearson know we would be a little late and things worked out fine. 

Another blessing of serving here at the Pacific area Office.  We have been able to meet and spend time with many leaders that we would not normally meet or if we did meet them it would be very briefly. 

The time of year here in New Zealand should be Summer but we have had a lot of cool, windy, rainy days.  Hopefully it will be Summer soon.  We love the days when it is sunny and in the high 70"s low 80's and not humid.  That is very nice.

On Saturday the 16th of January we took Elder and Sister Wilkins with us to Whatipu Beach.  This is in the Waitakere but further South.  It is a beautiful drive and the beach goes on forever.  The weather was fantastic, sunny, warm and a light breeze.  It was a very good Summer day!  Reed snorkelled but really didn't see much of anything.  The water to walk in was a little warmer than it has been.  We walked the beach for over an hour and never saw an end in site.  This beach goes on forever.  Beautiful sand and not too wild of waves.

When the tide is in you cannot get to this piece of land.  It becomes a little island.  There is a light house here but you cannot hike up to it.  They have it fenced off.  Nada was looking for a trail but could not find one.

A lot of people were out fishing today.  We saw one man catch a pretty good sized fish.

We had a nice picnic, visited and headed back home.  Reed and I had to attend Saturday night meeting for Stake Conference.  Our old Mission President is now an Area Seventy, Johnny Leota, and he spoke along with Elder Neilsen a member of our Area Presidency and he is a member of the First Quorum of Seventy.  They both did a great job and it was nice to visit with them for a few minutes after.

On Sunday we attended Stake Conference for our Stake, the Manukau Stake.  They are reorganizing our Stake Presidency.  The current Stake President has been called to be the Mission President for Tonga.  The new Stake President is our YSA Auckland 1st Ward Bishop so we are excited and sad at the same time.  He will be a fantastic Stake President but we will really miss working with him so closely in the YSA Ward.  Some of the YSA were in tears.

We have had a busy and good 2016 so far.  We have been working with the Area Self-Reliance Team to write a 5 year plan.  We love the Gospel and love working at the Pacific Area Office.  We are so grateful for all the missionaries we get to work with in Self-Reliance and the Education Initiative out there helping move the good work forward.

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



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