Saturday, May 21, 2011

Our Purpose

Welcome to the New Zealand Wellington Mission and Kezerian family Blog. This blog is set up by our family primarily for the families of our missionaries. Our Wellington New Zealand mission is under the direction of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. Many people know us as Mormons or members of the LDS Church. Sister Kezerian and I have been called by our Church leaders to serve as Mission President and Companion for the next three years. Our term of service is from June 28th, 2011 to July 1st, 2014. We are grateful and excited to serve the people of New Zealand and preside over 144 missionaries who have put careers, family, schooling and other relationships on hold for 18 to 24 months, at their own cost! You will be seeing pictures of them from time to time as we get out and work with them and serve with them. We hope you have as much fun as we will!

For those of you who do not know us, Sandy was raised in Orem, Utah and attended Orem High, Ricks College and BYU (BS Home Economics) where she excelled in dance, sports, student body government and academics. She now teaches FACS classes (Child Development, Sewing and Cooking) at Canyon View Junior High. Mike was raised in Salt Lake City, attended Granite High School, Dixie College before a two year mission to Los Angeles, BYU (Marketing) and Utah State University (MBA). He participated in High School basketball, track and football and played football for Dixie College. He has been a transportation executive for over 30 years. Together we have raised five wonderful daughters who have families of their own now. Currently we consist of Mom and Dad, five daughters, five sons in law and seven wonderful grandchildren. We will miss them dearly but they know and we know that this is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and He has need of our service.

Our mission consists of around one hundred handsome, intelligent and faithful young men who are referred to as Elders. They have all prepared faithfully to serve as representatives of the Savior Jesus Christ in New Zealand. Their calls come from the President of the Church and are for two years. We also have approximately twenty of the most wonderful, enthusiastic, loving and glowing women in the world who are our Sister Missionaries. They are the foundation of love, beauty and joy in our mission. We also have over a dozen fantastic retired senior couples that we call Brother’s and Sister’s. They have proven their worth and love for others through their life’s work, raising their families, paying bills and now saying goodbye to all that is precious to them for 18 months. They contribute much in the way of wisdom, maturity and example. And boy are they fun to be around! Together as a mission, we love our New Zealand neighbors and give our very best to them while we live and work amongst them.

We express our love and admiration for all the diverse peoples of New Zealand. Aotearoa is a beautiful country with beautiful people. There is great peace, cleanliness, pride and amazing scenery in our mission. We look forward to sharing precious time with them and using our talents and testimonies to bless lives and make a difference. It will be an honor to help those in need, offer up our encouragement, share big smiles, promote peace, teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and offer the hand of friendship all within our reach. Our mission covers all of the South Island and the lower half of the North Island. We have 7 Stakes (about 2500 people in each Stake) and two Districts of the Church (About 1000 members total in each District).

Sister Kezerian and I love the gospel, helping others, history and participating in all kinds of sports and physical activity. We may not play rugby or cricket while in Wellington but we will cheer for our new favorite team the New Zealand All Blacks. We love life, adventure and a challenge. We were raised in good homes where dignity, integrity, love of God and service were taught and lived. We have held wonderful callings in the Church that have taught us patience, faith, forgiveness, work ethic and kindness. We think we have a fun sense of humor and like to make people laugh.

We honor our missionaries, their families and loved ones. They are part of a 50,000 strong army of missionaries worldwide in over 340 missions. We hope that you, the reader will understand our devotion and dedication to this work. We invite you to follow our journey, pray for those involved and stay close to the Spirit of the Lord yourself so that you can understand what we are experiencing. We hope you understand and rejoice in some of the messages and events that you will see.

We know that our Father in Heaven lives, that His beloved Son, Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. We have testimonies of the latter-day prophets. We sustain Thomas S. Monson as our prophet, seer and revelator today. We know that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration, a kind loving young man who gave his life bringing the fullness of the gospel back to the earth along with sacred ordinances that allow families to be together for time and all eternity.

We invite all people to come unto Christ through the restored gospel and accept the His loving atonement, the ordinance of baptism, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure happily to the end of our lives. We know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is a second witness that Jesus is the Christ. This is a work of joy, fun and energy.

We express our love to all faiths and walks of life. Our desire is to share the additional truths that we have with others so they can feel and see a completeness and wholeness of life. We invite you to look to the temples on the earth today and take advantage of the blessings found therein. We are all God’s children and would do well to help and lift one another in times of need. We pray the Holy Ghost will inspire you to contribute in your own way and be a missionary where you live! Our brothers and sisters need encouragement, a kind word and sometimes a casserole! There is a fair amount of sorrow and pain in the world that we can all help mitigate.

So let the journey begin. Put on your bicycle helmet as you tract with us. Feel free to get down on your knees and pray with and for us as we teach our message of happiness. Rejoice in the goodness of life as you see New Zealand, her wonders and her wonderful people. Most of all, thank your Father in Heaven for the blessings that you have in your life and strive to improve upon your individual, community and family situations. We express our sincere love to all of you. We hope that you will be inspired to greatness along with us. May the Lord bless and keep you and may his light and influence shine down upon you. Thank you for your thoughts, well wishes and prayers. Kia Ora.


President and Sister Kezerian

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Family Support

Just this past November our daughter Courtney was married in the Draper Temple to Jake Beatty. We were excited to welcome Jake into our family. Our family is growing more each year.

Our daughter Jenny and her husband Cory Yeaman have three children (Logan, Jacob and Jocie). They live in Rexburg, Idaho. Stacey and Bryce Cranmer have two children (Aiden and Gracie). They just moved to St George, Utah last month. Brittney and Ben Guffey have one daughter, Olivia, and are expecting their second child in June. Nicki and Todd Gay where married in December of 2009 in the Salt Lake Temple and are living in Orem, Utah. They are all our pride and joy.

We have received so much support from all of our family. Even though we'll miss everyone desperately, we know the Lord will bless and watch over them. Being in the service of the Lord brings many blessings.

Making Preparations

As we started to make plans and prepare for our mission we wanted to take the opportunity to meet with some of our friends in our stake who have served as mission presidents and who will be serving at the same time as us.

We greatly love and admire each of these individuals and appreciate the selfless service they have rendered. We've been so blessed to have lived amongst some of Heavenly Fathers most valiant servants.

As each couple talked about "their" wonderful missionaries it made us anxious to meet "ours". We already know we'll love them. Just thinking about the sacrifices they're making, their willingness and desire to serve the Lord and their worthiness to serve makes us humbled to think of being in their presence.