We attended LDS church the first thing Sunday morning. There is only one branch in Queenstown, but it was only about 10 minutes away and was held at a remodeled house.
We love that no matter where we are in the world, there is always an LDS church to attend. And the lessons and schedule is the same. The branch was super tiny (a few visitors, missionaries, and a few families), but everyone was nice and welcoming. Blake and Evelyn did so great in Primary. Through all of our traveling, I have been amazed at their ability to make friends and be okay to go to Primary with new teachers. Oliver attended nursery, so Brandon and I got to enjoy Sunday School together!
Edith Cavell Bridge
After cooking a simple meal in our kitchen and taking naps, we went on a drive and ended up at Edith Cavell Bridge. New Zealand is home to tons of one-lane bridges, but this was our favorite! Can you tell why? We were all amazed at the beautiful river as well. We skipped rocks for a little while.
We finished up our time at the river and were driving back to the hotel, when Brandon suggested we keep driving. Queenstown was so lovely and none of us opposed the idea. In fact, I had heard about the beautiful place outside of Queenstown where they did a lot of filming for the Lord of the Rings movies. After about 45 minutes. we reached Glenorchy.
Glenorchy was pretty, but Paradise was our final stop. Once again, these photos don’t represent the true majesty of the scenery.
Life Lesson Learned:
We thought we were never going to reach Paradise. The map said it was only 7 km, but it was the looooongest 7 km ever. The roads were very windy and bumpy. There were beautiful spots along the way, but we were excited to reach out.
So as I thought about this, I realized that our drive to Paradise represents life. We know we want to reach Paradise (the Celestial Kingdom with our family after this life), but sometimes life is bumpy and we just want to get there. But life is about enduring, and if we just keep going on, we will eventually reach it. And it will be well worth it! There were many times we wanted to turn around since we had already seen beautiful vistas, but we are so glad we kept going to reach such a spectacular place.
And as if our spontaneous Sunday drive couldn’t get any better, we saw this beautiful sunset on the drive back! And then we got into a family discussion about the gospel and making good choices and the Plan of Happiness. We felt the Spirit so strong on that drive back and I felt so much love for my Savior, my family, and this beautiful world God has created for us.