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!