The past week and a half has been quite busy. We’ve made friends, changed homes, been to parties, applied for lots of jobs, went tramping, and more!

For the first two weeks, we stayed with an amazing family. Rob and Bev were our hosts, and they took great care of us. They have 5 children, but only one of them still lives at home. One of the weeks, however, their daughter and her fiance came and stayed with the family so they could do wedding planning.

Sue and Marty!

Sue (the daughter) and Marty (the fiance) were great friends for us. Sue is actually a primary school teacher and gave Morgan a lot of great advice. We had a great time getting to know them and even spent a day at Hanmer Springs with them and some other cool Kiwis our age.

While on our way to Hanmer Springs, the boys were supposed to go skiing, but unfortunately the ski slopes at Hanmer were closed because of wind. Instead, we hiked up a mountain and saw a sweet waterfall. After hiking, the girls came up to the hot springs and met us for some swimming.

Evan, Toby, Sam, and the Waterfall

Hanmer Springs is a pretty cool place. The water is naturally heated by volcanic activity deep below the surface. It feels great, but smells like sulphur. But when it is 40 degrees outside, you’ll jump into 98 degree water, regardless of the smell. Hanmer Springs has many different pools around the complex, even a lazy river! The pools are of varying temperature and size, but are all surrounded by rocks and trees. It’s quite a lovely get-a-way!

The Whole Team at Hanmer

The view at Hanmer (note the Snowy mountains...it was cold!)

Sue and Marty had an engagement party, so we met even more people! The annoying thing, however, is that many of our great new friends live in Wellington (which is a plane flight away). Fortunately, in-country flights are pretty cheap here, so we plan on visiting them soon.

Since they left, we have been in full job hunting mode. Morgan went to 11 different schools and met with 8 different principles in the hopes of getting relief work (like substitute teaching) or a full-time job. Tomorrow morning she is actually meeting with a school who is interested in hiring her for some upcoming work!

Evan had applied for several different jobs as well. He had a phone interview with one company that went really well and will be having an in-person interview on Wednesday. Both of us would appreciate your prayers as we move forward in this search. It is an exciting time!

We also moved in with another family: Peter and Adrienne. Peter is actually Rob’s brother, and they also have 5 children. Their kids are out of the home, however, so the 4 of us are living here. They have a great place with the Southern Alps in view (we went for a jog yesterday. For your reference, jogging on flat ground with mountains in view is the nicest way to do it).

We’ve been repeatedly humbled by the hospitality ¬†we’ve been shown here. The church has been a true example of brotherly love for us and we will always remember the kindness they have shown us. The people here are teaching us so much, and we’re very thankful for all they’ve done!