Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thank you for your sacrifice!

I was reading recently in 1 Samuel 1&2 and it reminded me of all of you!

v.11 - "And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmain, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life..." (O.K. so it is for two years, not a lifetime, but sometimes it feels like that)

v. 24 - (not quoted, but likening the scriptures unto you)...And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with 3 shirts, and one suit packed in a suitcase and brought him unto the MTC: and the child was young.

v. 28 - Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; [for the space of two years] he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.

Chapter 2 :1 -2 - And Hannah (insert your name) prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

v.18 - 19 - But (Elder/Sister_____) ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and (sent it) to him from year to year, (at Christmas time).

v.26 - And the child (Elder/Sister __________) grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men.

We love our missionaries and we are grateful for your sacrifice in sharing them with the Lord as did Hannah! May the Lord bless and keep your family in their absence! Merry Christmas!

President and Sister Porter
New Zealand Auckland Mission

Christmas Zone Conference

We have just completed zone conferences with all of our missionaries. The focus of the meetings were on the Savior and His Atonement. There is no greater source of motivation or inspiration for helping missionaries to move forward in the work then to have them reflect back in their lives about how God has helped them through very difficult times, felt His divine love when they needed to really be loved or when they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that their sins had been forgiven because they felt of His peace. When time is spent in pondering these types of experiences, one feels a great sense of indebtedness to serve the Lord, to do His will until the end.
How grateful we are for wonderful missionaries who love the Lord and want to serve Him with all their heart. They are truly seeking and receiving His great blessings as they search for those whom he has prepared to receive them and their message!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Zealand Auckland Mission version of the the 12 days of Christmas - Maori version!

For a little lunch time diversion, we had the Elders and Sisters perform the New Zealand version of 12 days of Christmas! It was quite a sight to behold! They enjoyed a bit of time in the spot light. Drum roll please!!!! Enjoy!

Elder Forsyth - A Pukeko on a Pongo tree - New Zealand bird on a fern tree!

Elders Smith and Brown are Two Kumera - sweet potatoes!

Elder Franco - Three flax kits - herbs used in weaving!

Elder Cope - Four huhu grubs -largest beetle in New Zealand!

Elder Bledsoe - Five big fat pigs! (I know, it was a stretch with such a skinny pig)

Sister Louder - Pois a twirling (Maori pois balls)!

Elder Fowler - Seven eels a swimming!

Elder Hutchison - I think we skipped one so he was either nine sacks of pipis (shell fish) or eight plants of puha(soft herb leaves)!

Elder Fluckiger - Ten juicy fish heads!

Elder Avea - 11 haka lessons - Maori dance!

Sister Bush as 12 piupius swinging - dancing skirts!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our First Broken Bone!

Elder Drake - Didn't even want to go in to get it X-rayed, his companion insisted he stop walking on it! He is the faithful spirit of our missionaries! Elder Drake was baptized 2 years ago!

Temple Visitor's Center

More Temple trip and Pokeno's!

Bus, Lunch and POKENO"S!

Part of the temple experience is traveling on the bus, packing up lunches to eat around the visitors center----and stopping at POKENO'S for cheap, great ICE CREAM! It is famous in New Zealand and especially with members of the church going to and from the temple! I heard recently that New Zealand consumes more ice cream per capita than any other nation! This would be due to the fact that they make it hear and it is fabulous! They enjoyed every lick!

Bi-Annual Temple Trip

What a wonderful time to visit the temple! Most missionaries were able to participate unless they are serving far north or south of the temple and had to far to travel. It was a great time of year to go to The House of the Lord and feel the spirit and receive the much needed revelation!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Great new group of Elder's and Sister's!

On 19 November, we welcomed in a large group of missionaries from Australia, Tonga and America!

Back row from left to right: Elder's Southwick, Benard, Lance, Felton, Rea, DuMont, Grant, Sorensen, and Mahoney. Front row from left to right: Sister's Wolfgramm, Spiller, President and Sister Porter, Tafolo, Tu'inukuafe.

Elder and Sister DuVall and the Tim Tam Awards!

Elder and Sister DuVall give out Tim Tam's (yummy biscuits [cookies] here in New Zealand) for the cleanest flat (apartment) and clean cars!

Goodbye, once again!

The revolving door of a mission has a sad day---saying goodbye to wonderful missionaries who have served the Lord faithfully for 18 months and two years!

Elder's Cottman, McBroom, Hall, Steen, Betero and Sister Maake left with Elder's Atuai and Westphal leaving mid cycle, which means in 3 weeks!

Senior Couples - Elder and Sister DuVall and Elder and Sister Duckworth will also be leaving us soon! Senior couples are such wonderful additions to our mission - how we love them!

Zone Leader Council Training

Here are a few of our Zone Leader's engaged in a little training meeting!

Elder's (left to right) Dinsdale, Hayden-Smith, Ziesel, Zylstra, Bledsoe, Vimahi, Brady.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our wonderful office staff!

Picture #1 - Sister Mackay - Assistant to the President!

Picture #2 - Elder Mackay - Mission Accountant!

Picture #3 - Sister Langford - Service Missionary!

Picture #5- Elder DuVall - Fleet Manager!

Picture #5 - Sister DuVall - Baptismal Records and Mail!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hamilton Zone Conference Lunch

We have a marvelous sister in Hamilton named Sue Thomson who provides the most incredible meals and treats for our missionaries---all the missionaries love to serve in Hamilton if only for the Zone Conference luncheons! Thank you Sister Thomson and crew!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Leadership of Niue!

From left to right: Albert and Ida Hekesi (1st Counselor in Alofi Branch), President and Sister Hekau (President of Alofi Branch), President and Sister Porter (NZAM President), President and Sister Hekau (senior-2nd Counselor Alofi Branch), Elder Hogle (missionary), President and Sister Togiamana (President of Lakepa-Toi Branch), Elder Kakau (missionary).

The wonderful Saints in Niue!

We were privileged to visit with the 2 branches on the island of Niue! What a choice group of people that we now consider our friends!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is what it is all about---Bringing souls unto Christ!

The Faatanuga Family and Tom Tuilata Baptism -25 Oct. 2008
Elder Steen baptizes, Elder Ziesel is witness.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

You have got to love missionaries!!!!!

Elder Drake and Elder Cline ready to hit the road!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A closer look at our newest NZAM missionaries!

Their mothers knew it!

An incoming missionary who was asked "what are some of your hopes for your mission," replied, "I would like to be the kind of missionary that my Mom think I am!" I had to smile and thought of Alma 56:47-48 where the stripling warriors "had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, said: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." Those amazing mothers are still here among us! Thank you for what you have done to prepare these Latter-day warriors to serve the Lord with all their heart, mind and strength---you are the true heros!

Eleven new ready missionaries joined us Oct. 8th!

We welcomed in 11 more ready missionaries the next day! First stop is to "One Tree Hill" - overlooking Auckland, and it was a nice clear day---just a bit windy! Elder Adams is first on the far left, then Elders Hayes, Christensen, President Porter, Me, Sister Taumani, Elders Tulia, Tau, and Stevenson-Haimono! They are a humble group and we are thrilled to have them!

Farewell to some great missionaries!

We said, goodbye to some wonderful missionaries on the 6th of October. From left to right, rear: Elders Farmer, Wood, Fisher, Lefler, and Alberts. Sister Paletua is sitting on the coach with President and me. Leaving a mission knowing you have done your very best is such a gift!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Elder Polo lives!

Sister Polo----

Elder Polo was hesitant to send any pictures because he felt like he had gained weight. His smile makes up for any apprehension---I felt like you would agree!

Three of our Four Zone Conferences

Yes, we do live! This is how missionary work goes. Sometimes you have a few minutes to update the blog and then you won't get another minute for 3 weeks---sorry, for those who would love to see more on a daily basis.

We have been having Zone Conferences and Interview weeks. Since you probably don't even know which Zone your son or daughter serves in I won't bore you with the details. I only got three of our four zones. We were in a hurry at one zone and just opted for the mass group shot. The second one we got a nice formal shot and the last we only could get one as they were eating lunch. We had to eat in the breezeway because the gymnasium was full of balloons for a dance that evening. I didn't think balloons and 50 missionaries would mix very well, so we took the next best option. I have learned that a mission is all about being flexible!
Your missionaries have been doing very well striving to understand faith as a principle of power.
Last month they saw many miracles happen in their work and the baptisms doubled from the month previous.
An exciting thing happened to one of our new missionaries. Last year Elder Ballard promised the missionaries that if they would contact 70 people per week their baptisms would double. One new missionary was struggling with contacting all together, they contacted 38 for an entire week; he went on a trade off with one of the assistants and they exercised faith as a principle of power, and he was able to understand and see what it was all about. I saw him on Friday and he was smiling from ear to ear---his companionship has contacted 120+ in one week and when I spoke to him on Friday, they were already at 74 for that week. He is on fire!