Wednesday, 3 February 2016

On Saturday, January 30, 2016 we drove to Hamilton to go to the Temple with some of our YSA who are going to the temple for their first time.  These kids were all in our temple preparation class.  Tagiilima Mulu and Florence Iuvale are engaged and they both went through for the first time.  Tagiilima asked Reed to be his escort so he felt honoured.  He is the only member in his family.  Florence's parents and brother were there so that was nice to meet them.  Also Siutaka Soakai went to the 8:30 a.m. session and we went to the 11:00 a.m. session.  We did see him and it was great to be in the temple with all three of these great young people.

Florence took this picture and then Sunday at church she and Tagiilima gave it to us framed.  We thought that was so thoughtful.

Monday, February 1, 2016, was a holiday celebrating Auckland Days.  It is to celebrate when William Hobson arrived in the Bay of Islands in 1940 and he was the first Governor of New Zealand.  We took the ferry from Devonport to downtown Auckland to watch the different boat races from the wharf.

The first races began at 9:00 a.m.  They were called the Dragon Boat races.  There were four teams that raced against each other at a time.  There were all female teams a team that were all senior citizens and some co-ed teams.  There were 10 rowers, a person steering and a drummer on every team.
All of these boats had a dragon head and a big drum.  They used the same four boats and the teams switched out.  The next set of teams waited on the platform so there were only a few minutes between races. We watched four sets before we went to another place on the wharf to watch the tug boat race.
This tug boat was all decked out with different flags.
They all lined up right in front of us then went down to Mission Bay came back and went under the Harbour Bridge then finished in front of us.
This boat kept going pass blowing their horn and waving at everyone..
This is an old coal powered boat.  He was producing lots of black smoke.
This is the Auckland Ferry Terminal.

Nada and the Wilkins watching the boat races.
After the tug boats the sailboats came out.  There were some very old ones, newer ones, all different sizes.
This is one of the older sailboats from the Maritime Museum.  Reed would love to be out there.  The wind was blowing quite hard and you can see how far this boat is leaning over from the wind.
There were some boats with very tall sails.
Elder and Sister Wilkins went last year and said there were so many more boats and races than this year.  It was nice but we left around 12:30.

Over by the ferry terminal they had some Maori Culture crafts, music and games going on.

We rode the ferry back to Devonport then went up onto Mount Victoria which is a volcanic cone right out of downtown Devonport.

From the top of Mount Victoria it was a great view of the Harbour and downtown Auckland. The wind was a little calmer and the boats were still sailing.
View of the Harbour Bridge and the apartment building the Mission Doctor and his wife live in.  The town of Devonport.
Reed and Nada with Devonport, the harbour and downtown Auckland in the back ground.

Rangitoto Island, the newest island only 600 years old, across the bay.
Looking down on the Devonport Ferry Terminal.
The tallest building is the Sentinal and the roundish building is the Spencer Hotel in Takapuna and right by the Area Office where we work.  The main road you can see is the main road from Takapuna to Devonport.

Reed swimming in the pool in our apartment complex to cool off after we got home from our Auckland Day adventure!.  We had a nice day off and enjoyed the sunshine and boats.

We hope you enjoyed learning a little about some New Zealand history and seeing some of the beautiful boats and scenery.
We try to use our days off seeing as much of the country and as many new things as we can.  We love New Zealand and enjoy serving our Mission here.  We feel very blessed.
Until next time, Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)



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