Day 57 (July 16th) Another Sabbath…another branch and then a beautiful lunch and lodge.

This marks one of my favorites days here in the Bay of Islands in the Northland.  Thanks to Roy, he told Bob of all the hidden treasures and places to see while we were here. Thanks to Bob, he remembered all of it.

Bob outside of church building in Mauri

This makes our third branch to attend in New Zealand.  Bob is standing in front of what we thought was the chapel.  As it turns out, this is the building for all the classrooms.  The chapel was a stand alone small building just to the left.  The bishop was so wonderful and made us feel so welcome.  It did get a little awkward at one point because Bob and I lingered in the back next to the missionaries and it formed a sort of reception line where everyone that came in shook our hands.  I think they may have thought we were from Salt Lake representing the Church!

I mentioned that the Church is the same no matter where you go…well that is true of the curtains in the Church too.  Everywhere we go the curtains are the same.  Different color but the standard pinch pleat on a rod.

True to form and much to our delight we caught another deacon playing with a spinner!  I nudged Bob to get a video of it.  We needed proof of the phenomena!

Church curtains are all the same

This nice young man and brother were kind enough to let us get a picture of them before the meeting started.  We quickly began to realize that the strength of these small branches was with the Maori families.  You can tell from their talks and testimonies that this faith goes back several generations and they are rock solid in the gospel.  Just a side note…the piano player was another missionary.

Bob with two native boys at Church

The Matauri Bay branch was my favorite branch so far to attend.  I left wishing we could go back the following week.

After church we jumped in our car and headed to the ocean.  This is considered the best beach on the north shore.  It had a great campground and the sand was perfect.

Our last adventure of the day was to have lunch a Kauri Cliffs Lodge.  The golf course is listed as 38th in the top 100 golf courses in the world.  I felt a little bad that I don’t really care about golf and how there so many people I know that would have loved to have seen it!  Roy said the view was amazing but the food was not that great.  Well…I beg to differ.  We called ahead to make reservations and when we arrived the property manager was waiting outside the lodge to greet us !  He took us to a private patio with a fireplace and table set for two.  This is my kind of place!!!!  I’m really leaning into the plantation look for our Brownstone.

The food was amazing, the views outstanding and the welcome made it a perfectly perfect day.   Edge of Ocean

The property manager gave us blankets and a golf cart and let us drive around the course and go the the cliffs edge to see views like this.  Breathtaking in every way.  I told Bob that this will be the place we come for our last evening in the Bay of Islands.  It just doesn’t get any better.

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