Friday, July 18, 2008

Visit to Westport

On Sunday the 13th we took the young elders with us to Wesport and visited the little branch there. They have about 14 active members and others who only come on special occasions. It was once a much larger branch as evidenced by the nice building. We had a wonderful service where Sister Hoagland and I spoke. They meet on a two hour block so Sacrament meeting is only 40 minutes long. That gave us about 10 minutes each. The members are very strong but most are our age and older. They gave and contributed to the lessons as in any large ward back home.

The drive up was absolutely spectacular. The road winds its way along the shore line and the sun was coming up over the tree and shrub covered low mountains as we proceeded. There was fog in long patches stratigically place in the lower parts of the mountains that added so much to the beauty. There were also meadows going right up to the shore with NZ palm trees scattered around with sheep and cows grazing. Unfortunately for you we could not take pictures because we had a meeting to get to. It was this little trip that convinced me that New Zealand was not just another Oregon. That after noon I went to the computer and began reading some of my grandfathers diaries. Here is a quote. "Oh beautiful New Zealand, where I first learned to love the Lord." He went on to explain that he always loved the Lord but he so much more appreciated what the Lord had done for him being alone here in this beautiful land.

We stopped on the return trip and took some pictures. The sun and clouds made the landscape less photographic but Tasman sea was ready for shooting.

The sun was not quite right for my camera to get a great shot. We will be back. We speak once a month in Westport and in August they will have an open house they want us to help with. Their building will be 10 years old then. These are called pancake rocks. When the weather is right the blow holes here are supposed to be spectacular. You can see how high the water shoots up from the change of color on the rocks.

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