Sunday, June 18, 2017

Our first Visitors!

This week, we got to welcome our first visitors to our home in Whitianga, my cousin Tyler Hunt and his beautiful wife, Kim. We got to be part of their around the world tour! We took them to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.

This is just before the 1 1/2 hour hike to see the cove. On the way back, we had another first. As we were huffing and puffing up the 10 flights of steps, a family walked by us heading down. The dad and youngest child were bringing up the rear when I heard the little boy say," Hey dad those were missionaries!" That made my day. Then, when Tyler and Kim caught up with us (they had stayed by the beach a little longer) they said the family was still discussing passing some missionaries on the trail. The little boy wanted to know why those missionaries were old when he though they were always young.
The dad gave him a short lesson on "senior missionaries". We've been here nearly 5 months and that was the first time we were pointed out. So fun!
Kia Ora, Elder and Sister O'Neal

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Still gorgeous weather but cool nights

We have had a rather adventurous week. Two different couples came to us asking for help quitting smoking because they both want to eventually be worthy to go through the Temple so we've been going through all the literature in the 12-step addiction recovery program and a special program designed just to help people stop smoking. Both coupes will be starting the program this week so we are really praying for their eventual success. We know it will be the hardest thing they've ever done.
Last week, there was rain forecast for Friday so we changed our garden service to Thursday at the Collins place. On the drive over, the colors continue to amaze me:

There are signs on the road that advise travelers to be careful since its now winter driving conditions. I'm not sure what that means since there is no snow but it could have something to do with this little road problem, called a slip:

That was on the way to Hamilton about 45 minutes from us and occurred because of rain. They don't even close the road, just put up cones and hope everyone stays away from them. I'm not even sure how they'll fix this one unless they carve the road further into the hill. (And yes, we do drive on the left side of the road.)
Then on Saturday, once we got to Hamilton, we did some shopping and in the evening we attended my second rugby game. Two years ago, with Kurt and Rusti, we watched the Chiefs take on the Blues in Auckland. This time we went with a group of senior missionaries and the game was at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton. We've discovered we really like rugby. No time outs,  no body pads (ouch), lots of emotion, over in two hours flat and constant action. What's not to like? (The stands eventually got pretty full)

The Chiefs, the hometown team, beat the Aussie Waratahs. It was total fun. My kids are always laughing at the differences there are between a mission for a young missionary and us old folks. Except for a few basic guidelines, we make our own rules (since we know how to govern ourselves!). Every day is a new, wonderful experience.
Kia Ora, Elder and Sister O'Neal