One of the nicest rewards of a mission is the wonderful new friends you make...here are just a few:
This is Mary Reid, an 83 yr old widow we met the first Sunday we went to the Korongata Ward in Bridge Pa. Her home is >100 yrs old and is on the site of the Maori Agricultural College (MAC) the Church ran until the college was mostly destroyed by the 1932 earthquakes here in New Zealand. Matthew Cowley often visited this home, and we are honored to spend time in it now. Sister Reid loves the missionaries and spoils us whenever she can.
Our landlords, Rose and George Edwards, two of the most incredible saints here in Hastings. He was in the stake presidency and then released when it was reorganized in November. Now he serves as a high councilman and head of the Young Single Adults for two stakes. Sister Edwards is the stake RS president and also heads the YSA with her husband. They are such fun people we hope will come visit us in American Fork some day.
Cutest 93-yr old lady, also in Bridge Pa, whom everyone calls "Mother". Her real name is Wairukuruku Maere (she was born by a river, and first name means "rippling waters"). It's a lot easier to call her Mother! She's been to more places in the United States than Elder Farnes and I and loves to talk about her adventures.
Just recently I was "enlisted" to sing with the Bridge Pa Relief Society choir for Stake Conference (Saturday evening session), where we sang "I Have A Testimony". And now they want me to sing with them at Easter, too!
Every Thursday we volunteer for 3 hours down at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, which has been a great experience for us. This is a picture of Elder Farnes with Judith (our boss) and Robert (a co-worker), but I also need to get a picture of a few other friends we work with there. They keep us busy dusting, washing dishes (donations), sorting clothes, whatever is needed. They seem to really like us, and we really like them, too. We went to an open house for one of the homes they built, and they were so shocked to find out we were LDS missionaries. It's cute because, while we're volunteering, they're comfortable calling us Clyde and Kathy, but when we pop in for a visit or to find an item we need, they get all flustered like they're supposed to act differently. We laugh a lot together, and we are finding out that at least two of them are very, very interested in genealogy work and want Clyde to help them. Great missionary experiences everywhere!