Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Zealand Language

The Elders and I were invited by Sister Royal to bless a friend's house who thought it had an evil spirit. It turns out Sister Royal had also invited a Maori to come and do their traditional ceremony. It was kind of interesting to see what he did. First he went around the yard sprinkling water from a plastic container, repeating something in Maori. Then he came in the house going to every room with the same procedure. I offered a simple dedicatory prayer for the home and occupants. He repeated several times to the women who lives there that she must now have a positive attitude while living there. That is the same as our asking her to have faith, which is surely more powerful.

This is evidence of what happens to some Maori's who join the church. If they are true Latter Day Saints they replace inappropriate traditions with LDS traditions. Those who are less active usually will not give up their old Maori traditions, but just add the LDS traditions to their lives. It is not long before they rely more on their old familiar traditions and forget the LDS. We felt good about the experience as the woman who's house we blessed has invited the Elders to return. They have also offered to help put in the lady's garden.

I havn't said anything about the way the New Zealand people speak. On our way to Greymouth, we took the ferry from Wellington to the south Island and then the train here. While on the ferry we bought lunch and I bought a little packet of catsup. Not being familiar with this type packet, in trying to open it I was sprayed with catsup all over my tie and suit coat. the tie being made for missionaries had no problem but my suit coat needed to be cleaned. We had no knowledge of where to take the Coat for cleaning so we went to a commercial laundry for help. She said to me, (I will try this phonetically) take it to Alexander's meens weeaah stoah. I had no idea what she said as she did it so fast. She gave directions so we found Alexander's men's wear store. All E's are pronounced long with no short E's. get is geet, weather is weether, weddings are weedings, twenty is tweenty, etc. Try it and you will have some good fun.

There are some other words that they pronounce differently too. In the word frustrating they emphasize the middle syllable (frusTRAting). Same with the Subaru car (SuBAru). We heard a public service announcement for cervical cancer where they used the long I (CervIcal). They also have a hard time with French words like fillet (fill-it) and debut (dayboo). KFC had a special shortly after we arrived for a fish fillet box. We went to the drive up microphone and ordered one and the girl had no idea what we wanted. Finally she said, oh, you want a fill-it box. We have Filipino's, Tongans, and English in the branch who do not speak that way. There are only two sisters who speak with the local "acceent". As a result we are not as used to NZ "acceent" as we could be and still find it fun to listen to.

Speaking of frusTRAting, at this point in time we do not have a functioning Elder's Quorum or mission leader, while there are brethren called to those positions. We also have a counselor in the presidency who is not functioning. I finally went to the branch president with the suggestion that he shake things up. Here are those suggestions following the guidelines outlined by our mission president. Release the second counselor, make the first counselor branch clerk as well, since he is doing most of that work. Make the branch clerk asst. clerk and SS president. We have two wonderful young men (George & Tau) who are hoping to be, but not yet, here on a permanent work visa. I suggested we use them as the new Elder's president and mission leader. Initially I did not put names with the new callings, but as the president filled them in, we seemed to have the same inspiration. I also suggested that George teach the institute class as two of the three students don't speak very much English.
Most of our walks have been around our immediate neighborhood. It is getting a little old so we drove to the church about five minutes drive and parked the car and walked down to the beach from there. We had never been to this part of the beach and were happy to see there was some sand too. While you can see blue sky, it was short lived. We have had overcast sky's all week. Most of the country is suffering from heat.
We saw more of the mountains during the winter than we do now. As you can see, the island takes a turn west from here.
Right next to the beach is this wonderful park and behind us is another Rugby field.
Below is Shakespeare St. We walk along it quite often. It parallels the main road into town so it is not as busy. You will notice the cloud over the hill. Often in the morning heavier clouds wrap around the top making a very interesting look.

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