Tuesday, November 29th. Finished papering, studied and wrote up my journal. The weather is now very pleasant.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I was painting the extension of Brother Boysen's house. Thursday evening Brother Nordstrand and I went to see a Panorama at the Odd Fellows Hall. It comprised a great variety of scenes enroute to San Francisco, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. Some very fine views of Utah among which were the temple, tabernacle, etc. Some splendid views in the Yosemite.
Friday, November 24th. Spent the evening and stayed all night at Brother Mortensen's.
Saturday, 25th of November, 1876. Spent most of the morning studying and writing. There was a fine boy born here this morning, the lady who is staying with Sister Boysen, a Danish woman.
In the evening we walked to Kaiapai, 9 miles. Received a hearty welcome from Brother J. Burnett and family, and Brother Thomas Steed. Spent a very agreeable evening singing and lively conversation.
Next morning Elder Steed, James Burnett and I walked 4 miles to the Maori Pa. Attended Church at 11:00 a.m. A Maori officiated. Read over the English Church Service but didn't preach. It seemed scarcely possible to endure what they called singing. It was indescribably awful.
After meeting I was introduced to Mr. Mark Happy, a Maori. He talked excellent English. He took us over to his house. He, with quite a number of others, was astonished to hear me read fluently, and they all said very correctly. Mr. Happy said, in one month I would be able to talk the Maori language good. They tried me in many parts of the Bible, and another book, I forget the title of. We stayed and conversed with them till one o'clock. Mr. Happy promised me to teach me the language, and I was to go every day and study the language.
We then walked 6 miles to a small town called Rangiora. It was very warm walking. The meetings are held at a Mr. and Mrs. Miles. They have not yet been baptized, but expect to be. They are an aged couple, and are very kind and sociable.
The meeting was pretty well attended. Quite a number of strangers, indeed, it was quite a job to find seats enough. We had a good time. Elder Burnett spoke first, I followed. Enjoyed great freedom and occupied about one hour. Brother Steed made a few closing remarks.
After meeting was over we had quite an argument on the subject of religion, and then walked two miles to Southbrook where we met Brother John Burnett with a horse and cart for us to ride to Kaiapai.
The Preacher had been around abusing Sister Norton. He told her that she had denied her infant baptism. "Well," she replied, "It never did me any good. Can you find me a passage in the Bible about baptizing infants?"
He replied in Holy Horror, "I am 72 years old, have been in the ministry nearly all my life and do you undertake to teach me? Etc." And they had it hot and heavy until the old gentleman was glad to clear out. Held meeting in the evening.
I should have stated that Elder McLochlan and Charlie are putting up a frame house at Southbrook for Brother James Burnett, Jr. I suffered from the intense cold on our way to Kaiapai. There was such a remarkable change in the weather. It also rained a little, Monday it threatened rain. I stayed and studied and worked a while hoeing weeds in Brother James Burnett's garden.
Tuesday. Walked out to Maori Pa but Mr. Happy was nowhere to be found. Those I did see acted very shy. However, one old man asked me to his house and gave me the church service to read, Psalms, etc. I found three women with several half cast and some Maori children. I stayed about two or three hours and then returned to Kaiapai.
Thursday, November 30th. Walked 9 miles to Papanui. Got a chance to ride to Christchurch with Brother John Clark. Put an ad in the Globe as follows: "Missionary from Utah will hold meeting at Odd Fellows Hall, Montreal Str., Sunday evening, December 3. Subject, "Is it a Bible Doctrine for God to Reveal Himself to Man in the Last Days?"
Friday, December 1st. Walked out to Brother Norris's, 6 miles. Found him and his oldest little girl planting potatoes. He had just bought one ton for that purpose. The little girl looked very sick, in fact, he said they all had been sick except the little boy. Sister Norris really did look bad. I helped plant till tea and all day Saturday. Altogether had a pleasant visit.
Sunday, December 3rd. Brother Norris and I walked to Papanui. On the way I inadvertently said we had started so late I wouldn't have much time to black my boots and get clean before meeting time. He was horrified at the idea and talked a long time to me about being so wicked. I gave him to understand that we did not strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.
I asked him what he would think if he was to call on Brother Brigham Jr. on Sunday Morning and directly he got to the door hear him say, "Here Bub, hang up and clean my boots, I have only got so many minutes to get to meeting."
His eyes bunged out and he replied, "I should feel very bad."
I told him if he ever went to Zion he would both hear and see a great deal worse things than that; that he must not entertain the idea for one moment to find everybody perfect for Jesus said, the wheat and tares grow together, and the best way to find Zion was to be sure and take it along.
Brother and Sister Walker and four children attended the meeting where we administered the sacrament. I should have stated that we found Brother Steed on our arrival. We had a good meeting. Elder Steed preached first, then called on me. I felt so good that I forgot myself and had to have my coat tail pulled. Most of the Brethren and Sisters bore testimony. A good Spirit prevailed.
Brother and Sister Walker want us to pay them a visit. They live 9 miles from here, and said if we would name the day she would send one of the girls with the trap to meet us.
At the evening meeting at Christchurch Elder Steed occupied most of the time. There were only about a dozen present. Brother Steed felt well and handled the subject good in a clear and lucid manner. I assisted with all the faith I could muster for him, and bore testimony to the truth.
Monday, December 4th. I accompanied Brother Steed to Kaiapai. We walked to Stipe a mile and a half, then took the cars. Brother Steed wouldn't let me pay for my ticket though I had a shilling. We saw Jane Burnett at the depot. She was delighted to see us, so, in fact, were all the family.
Although we had eaten breakfast at Papanui before starting, Sister Fannie would have us eat again. Brother Steed and I went to the field to help Brother Burnett with his hay, and we worked at it all the week till late Saturday night. I was both tired and sore.
Next Morning, Sunday, 10th of December. Brother Steed John Burnett and I again visited the Maori Pa. On the way Brother John bought some very fine cherries. The Maoris were shy.
The Maoris were shy. I believe their minister must have told them not to encourage me around. Mr. Happy struck right off and I had to follow him in a hurry, but he said he hadn't got time to talk much. I told him we were willing to pay him for what trouble he took to teach me the language. He made me a present of a pamphlet containing 52 hymns in the Maori language. I felt quite proud of it.
We had a good meeting in Rangiora, and when we got back as far as Southbrook we met Brothers Burnett and Burt with a trap, overcoats and an umbrella. Strange to say we had much the same change again in the weather with this difference, more rain. We had a good testimony meeting.
After tea I had the spirit of prophecy and told the Saints if they would go to with their might, and do as they were commanded, they could gather up much quicker than they had any idea, and if they could understand and see as I did they would strain every nerve to get out of this land. I felt to prophecy in the name of Jesus Christ, but while some understood the spirit and felt keenly at the time, yet I felt there was kind of careless indifference in others. I felt to remind them to renew their covenants by baptism.
I felt led to talk in the field to Brother James Burnett, and he said he would go that very evening and attend to it, but the time went by. Now Elder McLochlan talked about it several weeks ago and appointed Brother Steed to attend to it and I am sorry to say time flew week after week and it is neglected, and if they don't take care they will die out. Oh Lord, open thou their eyes that they may see and understand, and practice what they know. At the close of the meeting Brother James Burnett, and Brant both said that they felt like getting rebaptized at the first opportunity.
Saturday I received letters from my wife and all of the children. I thank God they are all well. Willie is busy making toys to sell at Christmas to make a raise. The letters all full of true love. Say they think I will soon be going home to Utah.
Brother C. M. Curtis wrote and sent half a souverign included in a card. He says to buy postage stamps. God bless him for his kindness. I also read a letter from Reigo Hawkins, my brother-in-law.
Monday, 11th December. Rained fearfully the whole day and had been raining all night. Tuesday it tried to clear up. I walked to Papanui, well the first few miles I did considerable wading. The Wai Makanui was flooding its banks, the water was rising rapidly and both sides of the bridge and along the road for several miles. At last, about a mile from the factory it was too deep to be safe to wade any further, however, I made out to get on the railroad tracks and by walking 1 1/2 miles I got clear and felt glad. Spent all day Monday writing home, answering all my letters.
Wednesday. Walked to Christchurch and bought the press for Charlie. Sketched for my folks, mailed them with our letters.
I should have said that Brother Burnett gave me a one pound note for helping him hay. I bought a pair of shoes, had iron heels put on them for 10s 6 pence, also bought a Maori Bible for Brother Steed. Took Tea at Brother Mortensen's, also put an Ad in the paper, subject, "March of Mormonism."
Thursday, December 14th, 1876. Commenced to paint Brother Boysen's House but about 10:00 a.m. it commenced to rain and kept on all day. I wrote to Mother and Mrs. Wiley. Posted up my journal, etc. One year ago yesterday we arrived in Auckland and one year ago today we landed, and I well remember what a lonesome crowd we all were, Strangers in a strange land, and I can plainly see that the hand of the Lord has been over and around us for good for which I feel humble and praise His Holy Name with all my soul in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Friday, December 15, 1876. I walked 6 miles out to Brother Norris's, found them well and glad to see me. I helped him hoe quite a patch of potatoes in the evening and all day Saturday.
Sunday, Sister Norris and Emilie accompanied me to Papanui and held meeting. There were no strangers. In the evening went as usual to Christchurch. Very few attended. Charlie occupied most of the time. We concluded to quit hiring the hall for the present.
On our way home we were astonished at being overtaken by two ladies from Lyttleton. They had been hunting all over town for the meeting, being anxious to see Elder McLochlan who was acquainted with a sister of one of them over in Utah. After a little chat about the Gospel we left them but not before promising that some of the Brethren would visit them at the first opportunity.
Saturday, December 23, 1876. I have been here painting, weeding and studying all week. Thursday afternoon Charlie and I went to Christchurch with Elder McLochlan. I bought a new hat, 6/11, also some more photos of Maoris. I offered to pay Brother Nordstrand 3 shillings that I had previously borrowed of him to pay for an Ad of our meeting, but he told me to keep it. The Lord bless him.
It doesn't appear much like Christmas to me. Everything is so vastly different to our Mountain Home in Utah. We are all invited to spend Christmas at Kaiapai at Brother James Burnett's.
Yesterday Elder McLochlan and Charley visited the ladies before mentioned in Lyttleton. They left some of our works there.
Sister Boysen gave me 2/6 for a Christmas present. About 3:00 p.m. I started to walk to Kaiapai. When nearly half way a gentleman stranger asked me to ride with him in his trap. I did so and we had quite a pleasant chat.
On my arrival I received a hearty welcome from all of Brother Burnett's family. They were all busy making preparations for Christmas.
I forgot to state that when Brother McLochlan came down from Kaiapai last Thursday he brought me a letter from my sister Salina. She expressed great anxiety to see us.
Sunday soon after 9:00 a.m. Brother Steed and I walked out to pay the Maoris a visit. They are extremely shy, but we tried our best to get them interested in the principles of the Gospel, but their minister had told them that we were false prophets, deceivers, etc. We stayed with them until nearly four in the afternoon and then returned to Kaiapai. The prospects don't appear to be very bright at present in that direction, but I feel like doing all in my power to carry out the counsel given us, and wilt Thou, oh Lord, soften their hearts that they may receive the truth, and bless us thy servants in getting a knowledge of their language that we may be able, through Thy power, to deliver the glorious news of salvation to that dark and benighted people.
We had a good testimony meeting in the evening. A good Spirit prevailed.
Christmas morning I went up to the station and met Elder McLochlan and Charlie. They had come by train from Papanui. Sister Fannie had been up since 4:00 boiling the plum pudding, and also Sister Brant. After a cheerful breakfast we accompanied Brother Burnett to his paddock.
When we returned I went with the children to purchase some flowers. At their request I put up a swing in the stable and the children had a good time.
For dinner there was roast lamb, roast beef, plum pudding, green peas, new potatoes, cherry pie, currants, rhubarb, and gooseberry pie. Everything in rich abundance and proved that both Sister Burnett and Sister Brant are excellent cooks.
In the afternoon we had a great many games, jumping, pulling sticks, racing in sacks, playing stretch peg, hand springs, etc., skipping with long ropes, double and treble.
After tea Mrs. Burnett's mother and father came. Agnes, Fannie's sister spent most of the day with us. She is about 15 or 16 years of age and good lively company. We cleaned out the front room and played blindman's buff, teezy and other games until after 11:00 p.m. The day altogether passed off very agreeably. We certainly had a good enjoyable time of it.
Next morning, according to previous arrangement Brother and Sister Boysen, Brother and Sister Nordstrand, came up from Papanui, Brother James Burnett and wife from Southbrook. We all went to the sea beach. Brother James Burnett, all the ladies and children, and provisions in his cart. We walked, the distance is three miles from Kaiapai. The road within about 1 1/2 miles from shore is very sandy and tiresome to walk on. We started on ahead. The day, as was yesterday, was beautiful.
As soon as we arrived on the beach we, that is most of us, stripped off and enjoyed a good bath. At times the waves rolled in fearfully grand. The force of them as they rolled in would knock us over and as they retreated the suction at times would take our feet entirely from under us. Then there would be such a host of laughter as we would get half choked and strangled in the salt water. For my part I had quite a number of doses. This is a beautiful sandy beach and in that respect can't be beat for bathing.
We ran foot races, played leap frog, jump the rope and skipped and had a fine time. After dinner I made a large circle in the sand and we played blindman's buff and other games until after 3:00 p.m., then returned to Kaiapai as the brothers and sisters from Papanui had to return by the 6:00 p.m. train, and Brother James and wife by the 5:00 p.m.
We all had tea at Brother George Brant's place after which we had quite a variety of games such as drop the handkerchief, etc. Adjourned to Brother Brunt's where we had songs, etc. I must say I never had a better time away from home. I felt humble and truly thankful, and thought, "What a contrast from my last Christmas." Oh Lord, wilt Thou bless the brethren and Sisters who have been to so much trouble to make us, thy servants, comfortable and happy and may we live worthy of all the blessings we enjoy. Brother James Burnett made me a Christmas present of a piece of green stone.
Wednesday, December 27th. We are all so sore and tired it was really painful to move about. We were all about alike in that respect.
Thursday, December 28. Brother Steed and McLochlan started off to Rangiora, and Charles and I took train for Papanui. The folks were out and the house locked up but they left the key so I could find it. I painted the front sash frames and front and back doors.
We brought an invitation to all the Saints in this region to go up to Kaiapai next Sunday to meeting. Most of the folks here appear to be willing to go. Charlie has now started to invite Brother Norris and Brother Walker and family.
Sunday, December 31st, 1876. A beautiful morning. The Brethren hired a light spring wagon and Brother and Sister Boysen, Brother and Sister Nordstrand, Charlie and I rode to Kaiapai. We started at 8:00 a.m. and arrived at 9:15 a.m. Soon after, brother and Sister Stephen and Sister Norfolk and two children arrived from Rangiora. We also met Brother James Burnett, Jr., from Southbrook and Elder William McLochlan and Elder Steed. We had a joyful meeting.
Brother James Burnett, Sr., and two sons James and John and Brother Brant were rebaptized before breakfast.
We met in conference capacity about 10:30 a.m. and after the meeting was opened the Brethren that had been baptized were all confirmed. Elder McLochlan occupied some time on the order of the Priesthood, stating for the satisfaction of all present, although he had no papers from Brother Groo, the President of the Mission, yet he was appointed to take charge of the New Zealand Conference, and Charles and I were witnesses. Charlie spoke next on the same subject. I was then called upon and spoke freely on the privileges we enjoy, and was followed by Brother Steed. We had a good spirited meeting. Adjourned till half past 2 o'clock then nearly all present bore testimony to the truth of this work. We had a delightful time.
After Tea we were all very loathe to separate. Charlie and I returned to Papanui with the Brethren and Sisters where we arrived about dark. This has been the happiest day I have spent in New Zealand.