PHOTO ABOVE: We met Emily on the steps of the New Zealand Hamilton Temple as she was coming out and we were going in. An unplanned surprise meeting. We took Emily back in and got her into a baptismal session so she did not have to wait for hours. Her first visit to the temple. She is a very spiritual, self motivated, young lady.
PHOTO ABOVE: Elder Perron on the New Zealand Hamilton Temple grounds
PHOTO ABOVE: Jeff and Kendra holding two baby lambs. Nothing more New Zealand than sheep! We had gone to the home of an elderly couple commonly referred to as the carvers. They are a Christian couple that moved from Bethlehem, Israel twenty-seven years ago because of the turmoil in the area. In Bethlehem he was a wood carver who carved Christian items for sale. He does the same thing here but out of his home. He has some sheep as pets. These were newly born lambs about two weeks old.
PHOTO ABOVE: Jeff, Kendra, Elder & Sister Perron getting ready to board a sailboat in the Bay of Islands in the Northland - Pahia, New Zealand.
PHOTO ABOVE: If you are a fan of LORD OF THE RINGS or HOBBITON then you must know they were filmed in New Zealand. We stopped by the movie set in Matamata, New Zealand.
PHOTO ABOVE: Hobbit Holes - where the Hobbit's live!
PHOTO ABOVE: During our travels we left the beaten track and stopped in Puhoi, New Zealand to eat lunch at the Puhoi Cheese Factory Café.
PHOTO ABOVE: Sister Perron and Kendra walking on the beach at Kawakawa Bay southeast of Auckland.
PHOTO ABOVE: Devenport, New Zealand - Devenport is a small beach community full of specialty shops so we are obviously shopping for items Jeff and Kendra can take back home to their boys. Kendra found a Kiwi bird and had to stop and pet it; I don't think the artist will mind?
PHOTO ABOVE: Lovey Taimani was a beautiful, positive, happy out going young single adult. Everyone was her friend and she was a friend to everyone. This picture on the front page of the paper was a tough way to learn about her death. What a shock!
PHOTO ABOVE: The Young Single Adults formed a choir to sing at her funeral. At the funeral her friends from Otaga University were asked to come join in. They were generally standing in front and singing LDS hymns that they had not heard before but family made this a missionary tool. Elder and Sister Perron are on the right side of the picture second row. Sister Perron is clearly in view, Elder Perron's grey hair is in view.
Joshua and Lataai are doing great. We attended church with Joshua and Catherine at Joshua’s ward and he was interviewed by the bishop to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Following the meeting we went to Joshua house where Lataai joined us – she had to teach a primary lesson in her ward so couldn’t attend Joshua ward. We had a post baptism missionary discussion with Lataai, Joshua and Catherine. Joshua and Catherine’s mother is a great lady and is warming up to the church. As she says, “It is making my children happy.” We had the lesson in the back yard under a gazebo. Joshua’s mother kept bring us out food… sliced pineapple, strawberries, grapes, Pork rolls, passion fruit cheese cake.
PHOTO ABOVE: Richie Sikuea and Stevie Davis and their wedding party outside the Hamilton New Zealand Temple following their wedding ceremony.
PHOTO ABOVE: A baked goods sale, sausage sizzle, and RMs auction off for a date at the Tamaki Stake Young Single Adult fundraiser. It lasted most all day. We bought some homemade Maori bread, cookies, cupcakes and a sausage sizzle (roasted hotdog.)
PHOTO ABOVE: Dunedin, New Zealand a Pacific Ocean port near the bottom of the south island.
PHOTO ABOVE: Larnach Castle, New Zealands only castle, located on the Otaga Peninsula near Dunedin.
PHOTO ABOVE: Private boathouse located on Portobello, New Zealand on the Otaga Peninsula.
PHOTO ABOVE: 1843 saw turmoil in the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. The Disruption as it was known, effectively split the church in half. The Free Church of Scotland was formed and withdrew from the Established Kirk of Scotland. Both the Rev. Thomas Burns and William Cargil joined the Free Church of Scotland and in association with Edward Wakefield and his New Zealand Company, started the daunting task of settling Dunedin, New Zealand. PICTURE ABOVE: A statue of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns is prominently sited in the Octagon, the City's center.
PHOTO ABOVE: The railway station in Dunedin with Sister Perron standing out front with her yellow umbrella.
PHOTO ABOVE: Sister Perron standing on the mountain top viewing platform in Queenstown, New Zealand overlooking Lake Wakatipu. This lake is so large you cannot capture it all in several photos.
ABOVE PHOTO: Our touring bus that took us from Queenstown to Milford Sound which is located in the Fiordland National Park on the south west coast of the south island.
ABOVE PHOTO: Before we arrived at Milford Sound the view from the windows on top of the bus were more revealing that the windows on the side. Majestic mountains!
PHOTO ABOVE: Our cruise ship for our Milford Sound trip.
PHOTO ABOVE: Debbie with a partial view of Milford Sound behind her.
PHOTO ABOVE: A water fall cascading down the mountain into Milford Sound.
PHOTO ABOVE: Milford Sound.
PHOTO ABOVE: Picture taken from the Bus window on our ride into Milford Sound traveling through the Fiordland National Park.
PHOTO ABOVE: Picture taken from the Bus window on our ride into Milford Sound.
PHOTO ABOVE: Driving north from Queenstown along Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy, New Zealand. This area provided many of the stunning locations used in the filming of the LORD OF THE RINGS and HOBBITON trilogies.
PHOTO ABOVE: Debbie standing in Lothlorien Forest - arrows were flying through the air in some of the movies in this exact location.
PHOTO ABOVE: This little town is Franz Joseph, located in the southern alps. We stayed here overnight after leaving Queenstown. Visited the Franz Joseph Glacier.
PHOTO ABOVE: A beautiful view of the southern alps - reflecting off the glass smooth waters of McKenzie Lake.
PHOTO ABOVE: Just like back home.... cars backed up on the highway while a rancher moves his cattle from one pasture to another.
PHOTO ABOVE: Driving the scenic road through the southern alps we stopped and hiked into the BLUE POOLS of HAAST PASS. Sister Perron standing on a suspension bridge. Notice the beautiful blue water of the river running from the high peaks. Haast Pass is one of three passes crossing over the southern alps.
PHOTO ABOVE: Sister Perron sitting on a bench during our hike into the BLUE POOLS.
PHOTO ABOVE: Sister Perron boarding the train in Greymouth, New Zealand to travel the trans-alpine route to Christchurch, New Zealand.
PHOTO ABOVE: Sister Perron on the train - eating lunch in the café rail car.
PHOTO ABOVE: Flight from Christchurch back to Auckland. Sun setting on a great trip with the moon making an appearance in the sky!
What a beautiful country - it's people and places.
Aro ha Nui