Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from New Zealand

It's New Year's Day in New Zealand. Our family and friends at home are still awaiting the new year to arrive. We celebrated the new year at Elder and Sister Burton's flat in Devenport. Elder Burton is the Area Doctor and as the custom goes, he and Sister Burton get the flat which is on the 10th floor of the only high rise building in Devenport. It's the best place to be on New Year's Eve to be able to see the Fireworks over Auckland harbor. We joined the other Senior Missionary couples for this great event.
Rain and I can't believe that another year has gone by. It seems like we just got here and now we only have two months left of our mission.

This is a picture at dusk of Auckland Harbor. The tall building is the Sky Tower

Elder Rowe and Sister Nance
A game where we had to find someone that met the requirments on a sheet that was provided. You had to interview people to see if they met certain requirments like; Someone that speaks three languages, someone who has served three or more missions. three broken bones, played high school sports etc. It was a great way to find out more about the other couples who serve here.

Another game we played was where you had to find someone with a card that had the name of an animal on it that was the same animal that was on your card. You couldn't talk, you had to act out the animal. Some of them were pretty funny!

Rain and Judy Shepherd (a great Kiwi Missionary and friend)

The Shepherd's. They've been married 16 years and have served 4 missions together.

The Sister's preparing the banana splits.

Elder Strieff and Mangrum (Dennis)

Elder and Sister Streiff

Elder and Sister Starley and Sister Ronnencamp. They're all set for the clock to strike twelve!

The fireworks over Auckland Harbor. They were incredible!!

We made t, we were able to stay up till midnight. I guess we're in better shape than we thought. We wish you all a Happy New Year filled with Love and Peace in your lives.
Rick and Rain

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

It's Christmas Day here in New Zealand. Yesterday Rain and I drove down to Hamilton to take the Missionaries Chrismas packages to them so they will have a Merry Christmas. We dropped off the mail and packages at the Visitor Center and had a very nice visit with the Sisters who work there. This is a picture of Rain with Sister's Hafoka and Tanuvasa.

This is Sister Lauritzen preparing to take a tour group through the Visitor's Center.
Sister Hafoka

After we dropped of the packages and mail we drove about an hour SE of Hamilton to Hobbiton where "The Lord of the Rings" was filmed. They're re-doing the set in preparation of a new film next year. These pictures are where the Hobbits live and some of the beautiful countryside of New Zealand

Teressa our tour guide with her Chrismas ear rings
The 140 year old "Party Tree"

Sheep Shearing after the tour

Rain trying to stop the lambs from eating her umbrella

The Lord said "feed my sheep"

We traveled back to the Temple to listen to this beautiful choir and await the lighting of the lights.

These Kiwi's have incredible voices. It really put us in the Christmas Spirit!

The Christmas lights were beautiful

Before driving hom on Christmas day we drove West about an hour to see the sights there. They have a huge windmill farm that we stopped to see.

We then drove to Bridal Vail Falls. No, it's not the same falls in Provo canyon. It was a nice 10-15 minute hike to the falls.

The falls are a 50 meter drop. That's about 160 feet!

This tree is from one root. The foliage here is amazing.

To all our friends and family, we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We Love each and everyone of you.
Elder & Sister Robertson (Rick and Rain)