Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kia Ora, I am a Kiwi

Alright I have 30 minutes of free wireless internet. This is what I've done this week: Went Blackwater Tubing in Waitomo (tubing through caves), watched a gigantic rabbit get sheared, went zorbing (explained below), hiked the trails of Mordor and saw Mount Doom, went to Church in a tiny branch and had kena afterwards (sea eggs and the most disgusting thing in my life), went to the toilet instead of the bathroom, and threw my garbage away in the rubbish bin, took a ferry ride, went luging (lugeing?), saw an official Maori Haka done at the Maori welcoming ceremony by real Maori's, and learned how to play a 4 chord progession on the guitar.

A Maori Warrior on his canoe carved out of a tree. They said the uglier the better. He looks pretty ugly.
Me with my hair blowing in the wind as I ride the ferry to cross to the South Island.
This is Zorbing. Katie Jo, Marcie and I got in that giant hamster ball that they filled with water, and rolled down the hill! This picture shows Jacapo and Ramsay getting run over by the ball which we all got to do. It was A LOT of fun-worth all $44 New Zealand Dollars.
This is the LDS temple in Hamilton. I was trying to do a cool thing where the flowers are clear and the temple is blurry in the background and it worked. It was a small temple but way pretty. New Zealand is in a draught, no rain for over 30 days, so things aren't as lush and green as usual.
This is me in front of Mount Doom on the path of Mordor. Probably the hardest 12 mile hike I've ever done in my life, and the most spiritual as well.

This is the gigantic rabbit. Well it's only gigantic until they stretch it out and shear it, then it's really skinny. Did you know that rabbits cool through their ears? They get really hot with so much fur and will die if they get too hot or if their ears get covered.
This is Kena. After church the Branch President and the rest of the branch took us out to the parking lot and whipped these babies out. We all sat around and talked and ate Kena or sea eggs. It was so disgusting. The minute I put it in my mouth I wanted to throw it back up; but they love it! It was a really fun after church activity.

Elder Hanson and some branch members eating Kena.
So basically I am having a blast. I love everyone and every minute. I have never felt so close to Heaven as I do when I'm here. Heavenly Father really loves New Zealand. I have to run but I love you all!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Day 1: Airplanes and Auckland

Obviously I don't have any really cool pictures yet because we've just been on airplanes and driving from the airport in Auckland to a hotel but I've already taken a lot of pictures. The weirdest thing is people driving on the different side of the road. I got my permit to drive a 12 passenger van so I'm going to practice on some back roads. Not only is it the wrong side and a giant van, the van's are manual transmission. SWEET! I'm having fun already. I feel relaxed here. The air is great and everything is so green. It's a little cloudy but the weather feels great! My friend Maggie and I packed 24 suitcases in that tiny trailer. It was a great accomplishment. The top picture is just on the side of the road.Until next time!

I AM PECULIAR (this is a permanent post. If you have already read it, scroll down to see my latest)

Those of you who read my blog could probably make a list of all the reasons that you think I am a bit peculiar. No worries, I would be the first to shout an amen to everything you could think of. I know I’m peculiar; but let me tell you the number one thing on my list that I think makes me a peculiar person.

I know where I come from, why I am here and where I am going. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of you will know me as a “Mormon” although that is just a nickname. The word ‘Saint’ just means ‘member’ in this context. I believe in God the Eternal Father, that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me and wants me to be happy. I believe in my Savior Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life, atoned for my sins, died and was resurrected all that I might enjoy the blessing of being forgiven of my sins, and having my body and spirit reunited after death. I know that just as God called prophets in the Old and New Testament times that He has in fact called a prophet to lead and guide us today. I believe that families can live together for eternity; death does not have to be the end of our relationships with the ones we love. Some of you may wonder how on earth I can know these things. As I learn more and more from the Bible and other scriptures and actually live what I learn I see the promises the Lord has made being fulfilled in my life, and I feel the Holy Spirit bear witness that these things are true.

I know, I’m peculiar, but thankfully there are over 13 million other peculiar members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and with each year that number grows. I feel so much joy and happiness in my life because of this knowledge. If you want to know more depth about anything I have said that makes me peculiar, visit This website explains in detail much of what I have just professed to believe and more.