Arrival in Auckland

So we made it to Auckland!

We’ve been settling in quite nicely so far. This is a really fantastic city- can’t believe I get to live here for the next several months.

The flight from L.A. to Auckland was… grueling. I had a weird reaction to a sleeping pill that made me NOT sleep. But the personal TV and movies helped bide the time.

Once we got to Auckland at 5:30am, Skylar Ely picked us up from the airport. Skylar is one of the team members that we’ll be working with. He and his wife Morgan are super great people who’ve been so hospitable. On the way to their house (while driving on the opposite side of the road mind you) we saw the most gorgeous sunrise. Perfect Welcome-to-Auckland from God J We moved into Skylar’s basement- they have a little room with a big comfy bed, and though it is small, we've made it our own. The houses in NZ don't have central heating because the weather is so mild, and this wouldn’t be a problem…except it is super cold right now compared to Oklahoma 105* summers. It’s NZ winter the moment. It'll get in the 50's in the bathroom when you're trying to take a shower that barely produces any hot water.

That first night (Friday) we went to the PNO (Parent's Night Out), this event they’ve created for the locals to bring in their kids for a few hours while the team provides activities and snacks. We got to meet heaps (a words they use all the time) of kids. And I can’t get enough of their accents.

The next morning we went to a wonderful farmer's market, a place set right next to a vineyard that had little booths set up where different people sold fresh vegetables, fruits, sausage, salmon, hand-made chocolates, fudge, peanut butter, eggs, olive oil and many other things. It was picturesque! And the people were so kind and welcoming, what a great first interaction with the natives!

That night, I fell asleep around 7:45 and slept for another almost 13 hours… jet lag will take you out! And lucky Logan- he's having a better time with it while I’m always feeling so disoriented!

Sunday, we had our first church experience. It was pretty basic: a few songs and then a lesson of sorts. Elijah Peters spoke about how though we fail in life, God redeems us from all of our messes. Got to meet some really sweet Kiwis. Only a few Kiwis have started coming, and Logan and I are finding out just how difficult of a culture this has been to reach for Christ. After talking to the team, they have found that though they’ve tried almost everything when it comes to mission tactics, building relationships is the only way to make a lasting impression for Christ in this culture.

Monday, we went to the city centre. Oh my, it is fabulous. I have always wanted to live in a big city. Now the decision is, do we live in Massey, the suburb where the team lives, or smack dab in the middle of the city? We shall see what God thinks!


layover L.A. style.

I can't even explain how wonderful this day was. But I will try to in 6 sections.

1) After a tearful goodbye with all of our sweet family, we hopped on a plane and headed to Los Angeles. Because we have a 10 HOUR LAYOVER before our flight to NZ, we decided to take full advantage of the day. My cousin Jill lives here, so she picked us up and took us to lunch at this extraordinary little burger place called The Counter, one of those restaurants where you build and create your own burger til its a mile high.. oh yes.

2) Once lunch was over, we went to Best Buy where we bought an amazing Nikon camera.

3) Jill had to leave, so she dropped us off at Manhattan Beach. We spent hours on the beach and pier, soaking in the Cali sun, watching the the most interesting people as they enjoyed just another day where they live. I am so jealous of these people ("What do you want to do today?" "Oh, I don't know, maybe go to the beach and spend all day on the pier and love our amazing lives or something..."). The weather was perfect. warm with a cool breeze. We sat and enjoyed root beer on the pier. And I don't know if you ever feel this way... but i felt like i was more for a little while. Like i was happy in a way that only happens to a person something like 2 times a year or so. I was so perfectly peaceful and content, with nothing but my Logan and God and the ocean to enjoy.

4) Around 5:30pm, it was time to have some dinner. And since we were only here for a day, we wanted to go to a restaurant native to only L.A. We went to "Rock n' Fish", a fancy little fresh seafood place right up the street from the pier, where we split a huge helping of King Crab legs. We couldn't help ourselves!! Maybe it was the blissful experience of the day nudging my taste buds, but I have NEVER had crab legs that delicious.

5) We then took a cab back to the airport... L.A. traffic is one thing that will make you not want to live here.

6) Now we're back at the airport and I've had time to kill. We will be boarding pretty soon- I am excited! I think my Europe travel experience made me enjoy long flights- so I'm not annoyed that we will be on this plane for 12 hours at all. I feel like thats when you get to really think.

7) One thing I learned today: God is seriously everywhere if you open your eyes to Him. We talked to lots of people today and noticed how kind people can be, even in a big, busy, noisy city or airport.

That's all for now, off to Auckland!


Here we go.

SO... here we go. Logan and I leave for New Zealand in the morning. We leave at 10:30am on the 18th of August... but due to some serious time travel (cool name for time zone changes), we won't get into Auckland until 5:30am August 20th even though we are only traveling for a day and a night. August 19th won't even EXIST!

Okay, am I ready to go and really do this move, to move to this completely unfamiliar place and live a life totally based on faith? Absolutely. SO READY.

Nobody has probably started reading this blog yet, but if you do- please pray that we have safe travels and that God would move through us for His kingdom in extraordinary ways.