Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu
View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hooray, we finally have internet in our flat in Dunedin, NZ. So much has happened since we made our first entry into this blog. We will do a quick update.

Sunday, June 28th, We had a wonderful day. After speaking in Church, we had family and friends over to the house for food and visiting. We were so thankful for the support of those who stopped by. The food was amazing, as were the many people who chipped in to help make it happen.

This is most of the fleet.

Monday, June 29th, we started our training in SLC at the Church Office Building. We learned all about the camera setup we would be using in New Zealand to capture probate records and submit them to Family Search. We drove to SLC Monday – Thursday and then had the rest of the week to make our last minute plans and purchases.

Sister Hellings, a missionary from Australia, is on the left.  Sister Karma Tomlinson, our trainer, is next to her.

After a long, hard day of training we rested on the pier before our ship sailed for North Ogden.

The Family Search people have some pretty spectacular views out of their windows.

Sunday, July 5th, We drove to Provo and stayed overnight in a hotel….. thanks Megan!!  We needed to be at the MTC at 10:00am and didn’t want to deal with morning rush hour traffic. Son Brett came over to the hotel and had breakfast with us. We had an amazing week in the Provo MTC. We were blessed to share that week with over 2000 young men and women who were soon to spread out all over the world to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were so excited to tell us what country or state they were going to. We also got to make some special friendships with other senior missionaries who were also going all over the world….. about 140 in all.

They took five group photos of the senior missionaries to get us all included.

We had an amazing group of senior missionaries in our district. Left to right:  Elder & Sister Nyman were going to England, Elder & Sister Saxey to Boston, Elder & Sister Edward to New Zealand and Elder & Sister Allred were going to serve a mission at home in Washington County, Utah where they care for his mother.

Traditional photo in the MTC is to point out where you are going on the map.

Friday, July 10th, was our last day at the MTC. On a sad note, we all gathered in the morning to watch the funeral of Elder Boyd K. Packer. He was a wonderful Apostle, and will be missed. We finished up in the MTC about 4:00pm….. and the race was on to get home and do our final packing. We were allowed two suitcases, with a maximum weight of 50lbs each. We packed and repacked, checking the weight on two bathroom scales….. and hoped they were correct.

Saturday, July 11th, daughter Sarah and Kody picked us up in their truck with a special little passenger…..  grandson Benjamin. He was so cute with us in the back seat. 

Ben got a big laugh watching Grandpa Bart shave with his electric razor on the way to the airport.

The NZ bound missionaries with son Marc and his daughter, Aliz'e.

Left to right:  Granddaughter Aliz'e, Monica & son Marc, daughter Sarah, Sister Edward, Elder Edward, son James holding grandson Benjamin. Thanks Kody with the camera.
Daughter Sarah with dad.

When we got to the airport we were surprised by sons James & Marc, along with Monica and granddaughter Aliz’e. When we checked in our luggage, we had two 49lbs. & two 49.5 lbs. Whew!! After saying our goodbyes, we went through TSA and made it to our boarding gate. We had one more goodbye….. son Lance works at the airport. 

One last hug for mom from Lance.

He made sure we were on our way before he returned to work. We were very touched by everyone showing up to see us off.

San Francisco was so clear when we arrived. The Golden Gate was shining in the evening sun.

Our first stop was San Francisco where we had about a three hour layover. We met the nicest family in the terminal who were waiting to fly home to NZ. The dad, Rob Williams,  turned out to be our guardian angel. When we got to Auckland NZ, and finally made it through customs, we were running out of time to catch our next flight to Dunedin. We had to make our way to another terminal some distance away….. with all our luggage. Our new friend saw our dilemma and helped us load our luggage onto two push carts (trolleys). He then left his wife in charge of their family while he hurried us to the other terminal, pushing one of the carts himself. He even got us in line sooner because our plane was about to leave. When we got to our departure gate they were just starting the boarding process. There is no way we would have made it by ourselves. We were definitely watched over.

The southern alps of New Zealand. They are along the west coast of the south island.

Monday, July 13th, we arrived safely on the south island of New Zealand about 9:30AM. Dunedin has been a really fun place to get to know, with its Scottish heritage and architecture. Elder Rob and Sister Brenda Dickey are the missionaries we are replacing. Rob met us at the Dunedin airport and we got our first opportunity to ride in a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side….. don’t tell them that!! In fact, a few days later, we were driving down the streets on the “wrong side” all the time.

Rob & Brenda were really great to train us in our new responsibilities. Our transition into the archives was so much easier because of their help. Thanks, you two!! They even had us over to their flat for dinner three times. Brenda is a great cook. Plus they had stocked our flat with some basic food supplies so when we arrived there would be food. Another acquaintance, Susan Guthrie, also helped in getting us to the grocery store and getting settled-in that first day. We were very blessed.

Well there you go, you are caught up on a lot of what has happened. We have a cozy flat to live in, a nice car to drive, wonderful people to work with and opportunities to serve others..... everything we hoped for. That's all for now!!

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