Thursday, February 19, 2009

South Island Zone Conference

Sunday Sister Hoagland and I spoke in sacrament meeting for the third time in the last 5 weeks. This time we didn't know the district wasn't providing a speaker so we were elected. I was asked to speak on the word of wisdom, as some of our brethren have a problem with cava. It is allowed for traditional Tongan functions but it is being abused here. My main point was that all cultures have their traditions, tea, coffee, etc., but Latter Day Saints do not follow them.

After seminary, our walk, and study time, we had the Elders for lunch and then we drove to Christchurch for our south island zone conference. All the zones joined together to be taught by our area president, Elder David S. Baxter. We came early as it was P Day so we could look around the area. We took the Elders to the stake center by 7:00 pm so their hosts could pick them up. We stayed again with the Thompson's.

Tuesday morning we got up around 7:00 and had breakfast with Helen Thompson. A beautiful morning with the sun shining. We arrived at the stake center at 9:15 thinking the meeting was at 10:00 am but it started at 8:00 am. All of our other meetings started then and we had asked many times when it started and no one could give us an answer. Our Elders didn't find out until they got to their lodging and were told by their host that he needed to get them to the church by 7:30 am. Fortunately senior couples are readily forgiven. The meeting was from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, so we were not too heart broken for missing the first hour and fifteen minutes. The benches had short backs and Sister Hoagland's sciatica was bothering her by the time we finished.

We got in for 45 minutes of President Jolliffes teaching and all of President Baxter's. President Jolliffe has a great ability to teach from the scriptures on any subject. I am always impressed. Elder Baxter was a Stake President in an adjoining stake from Pres. Jolliffe. Now we know how he was called to be president here. It was very good teaching by both men. Lunch was soup, fruit and a bread roll. On the way home after 3:00 pm we stopped and got a subway sandwich for later. It was great.

Wednesday is our busiest day. We taught seminary at 7:30 and at 10:30 we had district meeting with the Elders in our flat. Before the meeting we walked for 35 minutes, and had breakfast. Elder Hoagland fixed lunch for the Elders after the meeting, and then studied for Thursdays seminary. Sister Hoagland had two piano lessons, and one reading lesson late in the afternoon. While Sister Hoagland helped with music for the Young Woman's new beginnings program, Brother Hoagland stayed home and did some branch business for the President. I wrote a letter to all members of the branch, inviting them to branch conference and the activities leading up to it. I also wrote out a script for his second counselor to use when he conducts Sacrament meeting. He doesn't speak English very well and needs that help.

Here is what our entry looks like during seminary.
Some flowers on one of our walks.
In Christchurch we visited the botanical gardens. There wasn't much in bloom that day but it was green. The weather was cool and overcast.
This was one of the beds still in bloom, the one at the entrance was just ready to be planted with new flowers for fall.
Elder Tamale, is here looking at the classic studebaker in the garden parking lot.
In downtown Christchurch is a beautiful cathedral. Here Sister Hoagland and the Elders are enjoying the square outside the cathedral. That blue sky is a mirage, it was still cool and that was about all the blue we saw.
I only got a couple of pictures inside before my battery went dead.

We then drove over to the beach, where we walked on a wonderful fishing pier. Below us there were surfers and others enjoying the cold weather and water.
This pier was built in the late 90's after the original had been torn down in 1964.
I could not see who were in the canoe, but it could be Moari's. It was a very calm surf.
Some young fishermen had only caught a couple of baby shark. Here Elder Tamale is enjoying one. I was dressed with a white shirt and tie, so the fishermen thought I was some official so not Knowing if they should have them, they had tossed them in the "rubbish" bin.
More flowers from our walks.


Jen said...

Is the water cold like in the Oregon coast? Just wondering!

Jeff and Fawn Hoagland said...

ok, you two are in paradise!!!
I have officially begged God to send Jeff and I there someday!
we LOVE all the pictures-well, except that 2nd to last one-yuck
we miss ya!
Jeff and I had blessings from our home teacher this morning before we took the 5 kids to church-we have both been feeling sick, and since Jeff doesn't get sick very often we decided to head it off
we sure love a both!
Jeff and Fawn