By Deseret News
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
​More than 40 years ago, Church member and conservationist Roger Hamon approached a local farmer about purchasing a plot of land about a mile from the Hamilton New Zealand Temple. At the time, the area was choked with gorse — an invasive New Zealand weed — and much of the native flora was being destroyed by possums and cattle. Slowly, day by day, tree by tree, weed by weed, Hamon began cultivating the native plant life and developing paths, walkways and other areas. Over time, people started coming from great distances to see the beauty of “Roger’s Bush.”

The work of Roger Hamon and his family made it possible for the Church to develop the area into a recreational campsite in 2012. After a construction period, the camp was dedicated on Aug. 1, 2015. Today, Camp Tuhikaramea offers recreation facilities to wards, stakes and LDS families throughout New Zealand.

The story of Roger Hamon is one that Elder David Rudd and his wife, Sister Aimee Rudd, love to share with new visitors to the camp. The missionary couple serves as the directors and caretakers for the site. For them, Hamon’s story shows “the amazing impact one person can have,” Elder Rudd said.

Serving at the Church’s recreational camp in New Zealand has been a unique experience for the missionary couple from Sandy, Utah. Instead of wearing traditional missionary attire — a shirt collar and tie for Elder Rudd and a dress or skirt for Sister Rudd — most days they settle for jeans and a pair of sturdy work boots. Instead of proselyting or going to people’s homes to teach, the two spend their days cutting down trees, planting trees, mowing lawns and seeing to the maintenance of the camp’s facilities, which are extensive.

​Read the rest of the story at Deseret News

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