Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our Wonderful Senior Couples

 We met in Levin for dinner. We love all of our hard working, awesome Senior Couples. They truly do support, love and inspire the other missionaries, fellowship and support members and serve where ever and whenever they are needed.
 We visited the Southland Car Museum. It's the most comprehensive privately owned collection of veteran and vintage cars in the southern hemisphere. They have Singer Cars and Singer Sewing Machines so there was something for everyone.
We are so excited to welcome Elder and Sister Turner to the mission. They are now serving in Westport (South Island). The Turner's were living in Colorado but have also lived in North Carolina, (Thus Sister Turner's southern accent)  Pennsylvania and New York. They will make great contributions to the work of the Lord.
We're also grateful to have Elder and Sister Shepherd serving in Featherston, Greytown and Masterton. This is an appropriate picture because Elder Shepherd owned and managed auto repair businesses before his current life as a missionary. He baptised his sweet wife as a young woman. They are from South Jordan, Utah. They have prepared their whole lives to serve faithfully.
 World class fishing for the missionaries who come back to visit after their missions.
 In almost every city in New Zealand, you will find a clock tower. This one is in Gore.
 This guy was just sitting and watching us. Anyone with a firearms licence and a permit can hunt deer on most public land at any time of the year.
 Our wonderful Elders in the Southlalnd Zone are so quick to clean up after lunch. I think this is why Elder and Sister Risenmay love to cook for them.
 Elder and Sister Burton, who are in charge of the medical care for all of the missionaries in the Pacific Region, were here visiting with some of our missionaries.
 It was hard to decide which was the better picture of everyone.
 This small sign marks the lane to the chapel in Queenstown. We visited this Branch with Elder and Sister Burton. All year long they get visitors from all around the world. On the day we were there members from Ireland, Oregon and Montana were visiting.

Elder Van Beek, Elder Ames and the Burton's with the Remarkables in the background.

For all of our missionaries:

Charity is especially important in missionary work.  It's influence, radiated by the missionary, helps to create within the investigator a desire to learn and softens his heart to the truth.  Charity can fill the missionary with an unquenchable desire to serve his fellowmen. Without it, as difficulties arise and proselyting seems unfruitful, he may lose interest and slacken his pace. But with Christlike love, the missionary will persevere through adversity because he becomes a caring and dutiful messenger of Christ. A Christlike love for others can purify a missionary's motives and consecrate his labor and true desire to share the gospel.

David B. Haight

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Returning Home

 Elder Lekias, Elder Tuipulotu, Elder Lemalu and Elder Finlinson. Our two assistants aren't going home yet thank goodness they are just helping out.
 Elder Tuipulotu, Elder Kavaefiafi, Elder MacTavish and Elder Palsky.
 Elder Poll, Elder Levin, and Elder Lemalu.
Back: Elder Poll, Elder Lekias, Elder Tuipulotu, Elder Palsky, Elder Haynes, and Elder Flakemore. Front: Elder Purcell, Elder Kavaefiafi, Elder Levin and Elder Mac Tavish. All of these fine Elders have served so faithfully. We're so grateful for our association with them. We know they will all continue to give service and be great leaders in the church. Once a missionary, always a missionary. What a great group! Sister Taabua also left with this group. Her flight to Kiribati was a day earlier than everyone else. She will be missed. We love them all.

With these missionaries departing we now have 88 Elders(5 more should be here soon, they are delayed with Visa issues), 17 Sisters (1 more coming in two weeks after she finishes her English Language Classes), 26 Senior Missionaries (18 member support, office and proselyting missionaries, 6 family history missionaries and 2 CES). So currently we have 131 missionaries. We will be welcoming more senior couples soon!

Comings and Goings

 We only received a few of our missionaries on their scheduled flight. We thought they deserved extra praise. I think all of our Sisters arrived because the Elders always take care of the Sisters and allow them to go first. We were grateful for the service of Elder and Sister McVey and the Assistants in transporting all of our new missionaries. It's quite amazing that everyone gets where they need to be on transfer week.
 Wellington Airport parking garage. Everyone is always amazed that the trolleys to transport the luggage are free here.

 Unloading at the Mission Home.
 Dinner is served. Unfortunately the word hasn't gotten out that we feed the missionaries when they arrive. Many of our Elders had already eaten. Thus the small serving sizes.
It's always an exciting week when the missionaries arrive. We love hearing their testimonies and feeling of their excitement as they start their missionary service.
 Meet our new missionaries! Back Row:
 Standing: Elder Hingano, Elder Paea, Elder Hobby, Elder Aumua, Elder Windhausen. Kneeling: Elder Siale, Elder Wehipeihana.
President Kezerian with Elder Van Beek and Elder Norford.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Visiting the Christchurch Zone

 After the last earthquake in Christchurch, we were visiting Elder Robins and Elder Fifita and they showed us the fence in front of their flat that had fallen down. They even have a video of when the earthquake occurred.  We feel very blessed that no Elders or Sisters had any harm come to them.
 This beautiful Presbyterian Church in Ashburton is another example of the wonderful cathedrals we see frequently.
 This picture of the Canterbury District was taken in front of the Neiders home in Ashburton. This cute boy and his mother (who is the Relief Society President) came by just as we arrived. He was selling Oreo Cookies and I think we bought him out.
 There was damage from the earthquake to this home. It's hard to see but it actually sank and we could see cracks in the walls.
 This is a pile of liquefaction. This mushy mess comes up into the houses and yards and people have to shovel it out in the street and the council has it picked up and taken away. If you don't get it out it solidifies and becomes kind of like cement.
You can see the tire tracks. Some cars were stuck in this.