Elliott and I are going here on July 14:
and here... (Hobbiton)
and also here... (Queenstown)
Sadly I can't say I know all too much about New Zealand other than the fact that its seasons run opposite from here and that Elliott served his mission in the Auckland area speaking Samoan from August '04-'06 (pretty badass I know). Elliott's excitement alone-- which, for the time being, is sadly overshadowed by studying for dental boards-- is what's making me truly excited for us to take this trip. Not knowing a lot about missions in general (growing up in a family of girls with a father who was a convert) continues to make me especially curious about what Elliott's mission was like. The way he would talk about the places, people, language and experiences he enjoyed made me want to be able to go back with him as soon as possible before the memory faded. It's hard to relate to the life of a missionary until you have served a mission and even then, each one is so different from the next. I still can't say it enough at how thrilled I am to gain at least some clarification, insight and perspective into those two years of service he put in--especially since I didn't know him while he was on his mission (a shame since I would've made a fantastic pen pal).
Aside from visiting his old friends, families and companions, we're going to the All Blacks' rugby game to watch them do the Haka and win against Australia! We'll also be going through the temple in Hamilton and like the true nerd I am, Elliott agreed to take me to Hobbiton where parts of the Lord of the Rings were filmed. After spending a week in the Auckland area, we're going to fly down to the south island and spend some time in Christchurch then ski/snowboard in Queenstown for a day. Cheers mates!.... I think that's how they say it in England, not NZ, but close enough right?