Monday, December 26, 2011

ARRIVAL in New Zealand - 24 Nov 2011

The big day finally came, and we arrived in New Zealand on Thanksgiving Day (at least by USA reckoning). We were met at the airport by the Assistants to the President, Elders Lekias and Lemalu. Elder Lekias' is from Australia, and his parents are currently serving as the Mission President and wife in the New Zealand Auckland Mission. President & Sister Kezerian were at a zone conference but would arrive home later that evening. We went first to the mission office and met Elder & Sister Brazzeal (St. George), the office couple, along with the office elders (Lott and Bonifay-Jenkins). We were then taken to the mission home, where we would spend the next two nights in the General Authorities suite! It was raining in Auckland when we landed there, but after our one-hour flight to Wellington, the skies were blue, and we enjoyed beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery our few days there. On Saturday we had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with most of the senior couples at the mission home before we were bid "goodbye" and sent on our 5-hr drive to our assigned flat in Hastings, NZ. Elder Farnes had had one driving lesson in our 2010 Toyota Yaris, and we were both scared to death to head out on our own on the other side of the road...but it turned out to be a good experience. We built up some confidence and saw some beautiful countryside on our trip. We arrived in Hastings about 9:00 pm and were met by our sweet landlord, Sister Rose Edwards, who is also the stake Relief Society President, mother-in-law of our bishop, and wife to the 2nd counselor in the Stake Presidency. She had really gone more than the extra mile to make our flat comfortable, attractive, and stocked with many of the things we would need.

Elders Lekias & Lemalu
Assistants to the President with "newbies" Elder & Sister Farnes
Mission Home in Wellington with "our" Toyota parked out front.
Back of mission home shows it's a lot bigger than it looks from the front. The upstairs has a dormitory that can hold about 12-14 incoming elders, a room for 2-4 sisters, the Kezerians quarters, and offices for both of them. Downstairs had "our" suite, large living room, large dining rooms (2), large kitchen, and large family room, plus a big garage. They host a lot of incoming missionaries there, as well as visiting authorities.

President & Sister Kezerian with the"newbies" in their gorgeous backyard.
One of the breathtaking views of the coast in Wellington. Wellington is quite hilly, and it is also a very windy city. We loved the tours both Pres. Kezerian and Elder Brazzeal gave us, but we were happy that we didn't have to drive there (except for Elder Farnes driving lesson).

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