Rugby and Other Not-As-Violent Diversions
We are here at a wonderfully historic time. The first week we were here we attended the creation of the second stake on the South Island of New Zealand, the Dunedin Stake. Today the Christchurch Stake was reorganized and a ward, the Parkland Ward,was added to the stake. Most of the ward boundaries were altered and as always a few tears were shed, but at the same time the growth that this indicates is amazing. But that’s not all! The Ashburton Ward met in their new building for the first time today. They have been meeting in a renovated store front that, to put it mildly, was far from adequate. The new building is beautiful and will bring a lot of growth to that area. Zion is growing in New Zealand!
This past week was delightful in so many ways. Elder Johnson went tramping to a beautiful water fall in the mountains with some of the YSAs and came home alive and whole. Then yesterday we watched one of the YSA men, Kuki David, play a rugby game. There is only one way to describe rugby–violence! After the game we met our friends the Kurenes and some other friends at the local Matariki held at the Maori Marai. Matariki is the new year celebration and it is celebrated now because June is the Maori New Year. We enjoyed the Maori singing and dancing and learned more about the interesting Maori culture. I want to learn to use the poi before I go home!
Classes are going well, and Home Evening with so many of the YSAs is always a delight. I think they teach me more than I teach them!