Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Thursday May 19, 2016

We took the day off from the office to meet with Elder and Sister Johnson who have finished their mission in Brisbane, Australia and are headed home to Utah.  They are taking a 38 day cruise throughout the Pacific, the Hawaii Islands and then to Los Angeles.  One of their ports was Auckland so they asked if we could meet them and show them around.

We met up at the dock in downtown Auckland at 9:00 a.m.  We were able to pull right up to where the cruise ship was docked.  They had never seen the temple so we headed to Hamilton.  It takes an hour and forty-five minutes to get there.  It was a cool but mostly sunny day so we were able to see a lot of beautiful country.

Mary and Auston Johnson.  We became good friends with them while serving our missions.  They took such good care of us the two times we went to Brisbane for training.

Reed loves these Blue Gum trees on the Temple grounds. 

The flowers were colorful and all in bloom.  The New Zealand Temple grounds are beautiful.

Looking from the temple to the visitors center.  This is a very nice visitors center and they have a distribution center in the basement.  We spent some time talking to the missionaries serving there.  That were loving their mission.

We walked all the way around the New Zealand Temple and just let them soak it in.  It was a very beautiful day.  We spoke to a couple members as they came out.  They heard our American accents when we were talking to each other so they stopped to ask us questions.

Sister Johnson, Nada and Elder Johnson headed back to the car.  We enjoyed visiting and catching up on the past couple of months.  They really loved their mission and enjoyed working with their Self-Reliance Manager, Carl Maurer, so much.  He treated them like family.  We will really miss them.
On the way back to the cruise ship we stopped at the Greenstone Museum so they could buy some souvenirs and then stopped in Pokeno for ice cream.  That is a Mormon tradition, if you go to the temple you stop in Pokeno, a small town, on the way home for ice cream.  It is very good ice cream, Tip Top, and it is only $3.00 for two scoops.  You can buy flavors you cannot buy in the store, Yum!

We took them back to the cruise ship at 3:30 p.m. so they could spend a couple of hours walking up and down Queen Street to buy souvenirs.  We hated to say good-bye.  It was a great day.

We feel so blessed to be able to meet so  many wonderful couples who leave their families, homes and countries to serve the Lord.  We really become life-long friends with many of them.  Life is good.  Serving a mission is a blessing in so many ways. 

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


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