Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blenheim Trip

Sister Hoagland has been very busy this week preparing children and their mothers for the primary program coming up next week. It was moved up three weeks because of our temple trip. One family is leaving a few days early and leaving 4 of their children with another family with five children. It was decided that she couldn't get 9 children dressed in time for meeting. They all dress up in Tongan dress for the primary program. Last week they had 25 children in primary. She had some big time help this time when Sione Langi, all 6'4" 350 pounds of him, helped keep the children in line. The highlight was the big smile on his face when the children sang.
Rugby youth game have come to an end and the awards have been given out. Taufa Kinikini is holding his mvp trophy for the under 9 class. He just turned 9 in July.
Maui is holding his sportsmanship trophy for his under 11 team. Maui is now 11. He just got his hair cut so he looks a little different than he did before. He looked a lot like Wayne Newton with longer hair. He was a little offended when we showed him a picture of W. Newton. He said "he is white."
Here are the boys with their little sister LouAnn. Notice the wood pile where the tomatoes were last year.
Our new primary president's family moved into a little house down the street from us a few weeks ago. They are right up against the hill and this time of year they do not get sun. We have offered our clothes line, so they come by on occasion to put up their wash. Little Corianna will be four in December. She is a delight when she comes and peeks through our window to see if we are there.
Every six weeks we drive to Blenheim to inspect the Elder's flat. This is the sunniest city in New Zealand according to the chamber of commerce. They are a few weeks ahead of us in spring
This little park is just outside the downtown center. Next time we come through these flowers should fill the bed.
Blenheim is very big wine country. These vineyards go for miles.

The vineyards have replaced these sheep paddocks, and the farther you get from town you get to see the sheep paddocks interspersed between the vineyards.
The following pictures are on the road to Nelson and Blenheim. We turn off to Blenheim about an hour from Nelson. This is the Buller River just north of Merchison. We are starting to climb in altitude here.
Before Merchison, we have to drive through the Buller Gorge which takes about half an hour. It is a very windy road with a great deal of foliage on both sides. While you are not far from the river, you do not see much of it.
It is an 8 hour round trip to Blenheim so we took these pictures on the fly. It would have been nice to stop and turn around where the lighting would be much better. Tourists don't have the option to wait for the lighting to be just right.

There are several one way bridges on the way and here we stopped for a car coming across and were able to take this picture of the Buller River.
We are so blessed to be teaching seminary and institute. Our institute class is studying the Book of Mormon and our last lesson was on Mosiah 1-3. A most beautiful scripture which teaches so much doctrine. First, that when we serve our fellow man we are serving our God. Second, With all the great work we are capable of doing and many do, we will always remain "unprofitable servants," being indebted to the Savior, for ever and ever. Third, so great will Jesus suffer for our sins, that He bled from every poor. Fourth, Christ's suffering atoned for those who died not knowing "the will of God." Five, Little children who die before they are accountable receive atonement through the blood of Christ. Sixth, "The natural man is an enemy to God," and, "those who put off the natural man becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ." These beautiful doctrines contained within these chapters, are also beautifully explained. Too much for one lesson.

1 comment:

Sally said...

We love the blog! Thank you for the little window into your wonderful mission. What a beautiful place, I wish we had found you sooner. What a surprise to see a picture of our son Elder Gibbons in your blog! We are excited that we will be able to see him in just over 3 weeks!
The Gibbons family