As you can see we didn't think to take pictures until we were on the other side of the pass. That was ok because that was where the best pictures were anyway.
Thought you would lke to see the farming areas in the mountain valleys. New Zealand has a very successful dairy industry. It provides them with there largest export. That doesn't help for low dairy prices but it makes for very successful farmers. The milk taste different here because the the cows eat fresh grass all year long and that it pretty much all they eat.
From this picture you can see the tree farms on the far hill and some closer up. They farm pine trees very successfully as they mature within 20 years. Of coarse the tree is not native to NZ. They are bringing in many Tongans to service this industry just like those from south of the border in the US. They are beginning to feel some of the same problems we have been feeling but they are now limiting the time people can stay in country. They have also stopped recognizing babies born here as citizens.
The above pictures were taken on the return trip from the city Nelson. It is located on the north end of the south Island. We went for a special Zone Conference to meet our new mission president and his wife. We thought their name was Jolly but it is Jolliffe. They are from England and it sounds like he is a very result oriented man. He was a successful business man whom the church recruited heavily to manage their agricultural farms in England. He told them that all he new about farming was the difference between a sheep and a cow. Anyway, every year he managed them they made a profit. He was also a very successful stake president who's stake reactivated over 91 people in a very short time. They also had success with the member missionary program. Both Pres. & Sister Jolliffe teach by the spirit with the scriptures. Very impressive. There 16 year old son is with them also. They have two older children at home. One just returned from his mission and their daughter is married.
We drove up with the Elders who showed us the way. Turns out it was the long way, but we got there. We passed a gas station who's price list included for regular "Arm," and for premium "Leg." We were going to take a picture on the way back but since that was the long way, we were not able to get that shot.
We were able to meet the other missionary couple who are from New Zealand. They tell us that hearty people live on the West coast of the south Island. They said we may not see summer this year and it rains nearly 300 days a year here. Not encouraging. We also met the other Elders who are over 50% Tongan. One Tongan was born and raised in Auckland and we are told that a very large part of Auckland is Togan. Also the north east part of the South Iland has vinyards where a good number have come to work there.
We stayed in a motel but found out after we got there the members had arranged accomodations with them. That is good to know for next time as it will have cost us over $200.00 for gas and motel. Over night it snowed in the mountains, and since you can't go most places without going through mountains in the south island we were concerned about our return trip. It turns out we had reason for the concern. It had snowed about for inchs at the top so they closed our only way home until about 2:30 pm. They had to remove all the snow and then put a layer of "grit" over the entire road before they would allow anyone through. Hope you Enjoyed the pictures of our snow storm.