Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mission Tour With Elder Kevin W. Pearson

"Faith is a spiritual gift from God that comes through the Holy Ghost. It requires a correct understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ, His divine attributes and perfect character, His teachings, Atonement, Resurrection and priesthood power. Obedience to these principles develops complete trust in Him and His ordained servants and assurance of  His promised blessings."
-Elder Kevin W. Pearson-
Elder and Sister Pearson, accompanied by their daughter, taught and counselled each of our Zones ending in the Dunedin area. Elder Barnes and Elder Dalit are the Zone Leaders in the Southland Zone.
Elder Pearson quoted from Bruce R. McConkie, "Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God's laws, the greater will be the endowment of faith." 
This is Baldwin Street. It's hard to tell but this is the steepest street in the world.
On the steepest part the road is actually made of concrete to help with traction. It has a 35 degree grade. So, for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the elevation changes by 1 metre. I think every missionary serving in Dunedin has tracked on this street.
Our newest intake! Elder Vagaia(American Samoa), Elder Terry (UK), Elder Cunningham (New Zealand), Elder Heinricks and Elder Hemi(Assistants), President and Sister Kezerian, Sister Glenn, Sister Matwaychuk, Elder Rigby (These 3 from US), Elder Crawford (New Zealand), Elder Greer (New Assistant), Elder Sovala (Australia). Welcome!!
 Auckland MTC missionaries always arrive a day before the Provo MTC missionaries. It's great to have a little more time to have interviews and get acquainted.
 As Elder Heinricks says, "You have to earn your apron." 
Actually the missionaries are a great help in the kitchen. I don't know if their mom's know what great cooks they are.

 Enjoy the beauty of New Zealand!
Hard to tell but there are sheep and ducks in this scene.

 We're always amazed at the great views the sheep have here.

Maori's settled here in the 1300's. This is also the sight of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

We hope you can tell that these birds aren't just seagulls. They are Albatross!

Here at Taiaroa Head on the tip of the Otago Peninsula is the only mainland place in the world to view Royal Albarosse in their natural habitat.
Hard to see but there is a lighthouse on the edge of the cliff. There were fortifications here in the late 1800's and it was used as a defence base during World War I and II.
 We just think some of the trees are so unique and beautiful

Parting words from Elder Pearson. 
"Distraction leads to a lack of diligence, a reduced commitment to remain true and faithful and to carry on through despite hardship and disappointment. Disappointment is a inevitable part of life, but it need not lead to doubt, discouragement, distraction, or lack of diligence. 
If not reversed, this path ultimately leads to disobedience, which undermines the very basis of faith. So often the result is disbelief, the conscious or unconscious refusal to believe.
The scriptures describe disbelief as the state of having chosen to harden one's heart. It is to be past feelings.
These Six Destructive D's - doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief - all erode and destroy our faith. We can choose to avoid and overcome them. 
Challenging times require greater spiritual power. Consider carefully the Savior's promise "If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." (Moroni 7:33)
I humbly declare that God, our Heavenly Father, lives and loves each of us, His children. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. he lives and personally leads his Church through President Monson. His
anointed prophet. Because He lives, there is always hope smiling brightly before us. In a household of faith, there is no need to fear or doubt. Choose to live by faith and not fear."

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