As you probably know, the "young" missionaries do not count months or years on their missions, they calculate time spent by number of transfers. Transfers in the mission occur every six weeks, but not everyone is transferred each time. Usually, a missionary spends about 3-6 months in each area where he or she serves, then moves on to a new companion and new area. Well, as you can probably guess, we senior missionaries definitely do not get new companions, and in our mission, we aren't transferred either, so we'll spend our entire time in the Hawkes Bay area. We'll never even meet senior missionaries serving on the South Island and rarely see any of those on the North Island either, although we are getting a new senior couple in Hawkes Bay in July. They'll be serving in Waipukurau and Te Hauke, about an hour's drive from us, but they'll be in our same Zone, so we'll probably see them at least monthly. It'll be fun. We know their names, Elder and Sister Webb, and that they're from the USA, but that's it, so we'll have to "introduce" you to them in a later blog entry.
With all that introduction, I really just wanted to tell you another story coming out of our trip to Hamilton to the New Zealand Temple. We met a lady at the Church Museum across from the Temple, who was visiting her sister, Rangi Parker, who runs the museum. Anyway, as we were talking, the subject came up about my having been in the convent prior to my conversion, and a couple of them asked if I had written down my conversion story. I had written it (in the form of a letter to my family), and a couple of the ladies wanted a copy of it. The lady visiting there, Dawn Sayers, was from Australia and was going home that day. When she got home, she read my email conversion story and then shared it with her husband. Well, surprise of surprises, her husband and Clyde were companions in the New Zealand Auckland Mission 45 years ago! She and I have exchanged several emails now, along with pictures, and I thought you'd enjoy seeing the "before" and "after" pictures of these two young men. Elder Sayers was Clyde's only Australian companion; all the rest were from the USA or Canada. They served together in a town called Waihi.
Notice how BOTH of those young elders had lots of hair...well, you all know Elder Farnes today...here's Elder Sayers in a recent picture, must be something about where you served your mission. We're hoping they'll visit New Zealand again before we leave, so we can visit with then in person.