Friday, March 25, 2011

Fantastic Baptisms!

Sister Martinsen, Sarah, Lahveen and Sister Perry at the mission office!
The next day here is Sister Martinsen, Katrina, Sarah, and Lahveen and Sister Perry at the baptism! A special service shared by 3 lovely ladies!
Here they are with those asked to baptize them! This day was quite a day for baptisms scheduled in New Zealand Auckland Mission--we have over 80 baptisms scheduled for this one day!
I was able to be blessed to have participated in two trade offs with the sisters which were instumental in getting missionaries in contact with Gary and Jessie! God never gives up on people and He many times creates miracles on their behalf! This is what happened with Jessie and Gary!
The Watere family have all been baptized in this very building and the same font--now their daughter-in-law adds to the tradition!

We lose another wonderful couple!! We need more couples!!

We said goodbye to another amazing couple that had a great experience here in the New Zealand Auckland Mission --The Robertson's! What a blessing they were---you better appreciate them family!
Isn't he just the cutest!
No, I take that back, she is the cutest!
Oh, how we are going to miss them!
Hey, didn't the prophet ask for more couple missionaries---ours seem to be leaving much faster than they are coming!

Zone Leader Council--Amazing Leaders!

Elder Mataele really enjoyed the buttered chicken for lunch! He even got to wear it! It was a good thing I had the stain stick because 3 other Elders needed it as well that meal! I always say--it's not a meal without a spill!
Chow time!
Elders Chandler, Cline, Wigginton, Keyes and Porter!
Don't worry, Elder Handy was just posing--he didn't really lick the spoon! Elder Aldridge was just loving it!
Elders Belnap, Cooper, Cameron, Jenkins, and Keyes!
Elders Porter, Aldridge, Greening and Magleby enjoy the deck while the weather is good!
What can I say, you have raised some "righteous dudes"---we love them all!

This week of Specialized Training!

We did some training with some zones just by themselves, like this training with Manukau Zone!
And Tamaki Zone!
And this large zone of Manurewa/Papakura!
Then we had Henderson/Harbour, Panmure/Waterview, and Mt. Roskill all together!
Hamilton was done in the visitors centre! I call it the celestial kingdom of the mission--how can you not be in this environment and not be filled with the Spirit? That's it, you can't, thats why I call it the Celestial Kingdom of the mission!
It is wonderful to have any opportunity to be with the missionaries--they are incredible young adults--and with the authority of their calling--they are powerful!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Crazy, mixed up, incoming experience!

Here they are, all 18 of the 19 that were expected this cycle of incoming missionaries--but getting them all here was a crazy series of events! On Tuesday night as the missionaries we have come to love and serve with for 18 months and 2 years were saying their goodbyes, we received a frantic phone call from Salt Lake saying that we had 8 missionaries that had missed their flight to Auckland and another Sister who had lost her passport and was on her way back to the MTC! What!!!
When we got to the airport the next morning at 6:00 a.m., four missionaries walked off the plane--the MTC in Auckland had a few mix ups, so the six missionaries we were expecting from that MTC, we ended up going and picking up ourselves. The only ones that made it to One Tree Hill were these four out of the 19 that we were counting on!
The day they arrive in New Zealand Auckland Mission we give them their first experience with PBW - Preaching By the Way--like in the Doctrine and Covenants! I couldn't resist getting this shot of Sister Frost and Sister Perry's experience--will they catch up to her?
At transfer meeting, all the new missionaries gather in the middle to introduce themselves to the other missionaries--here was a picture of this introduction!
Elder Cook will be training Elder Gubler!
Elder Hatch will be trained by Elder Saunders!
Elder Snow is training Elder Cerros!
Elder Trainor will be training Elder Killingbeck!
Elder Fiu is being trained by Elder Webb!
Elder Middleton will be trained by Elder Manning!
Elder Fafai will train Elder Tucker!
Elder Pohahau will be trained by Elder Rubalcava!
Elder Kauhenga has met his match for general size and President has a backup chiropractor--both of these Elders can pick up President by the shoulders and give him a good back adjustment! President is 6'3"--these are big Elders! Gentle giants!
Elder Johnson will be trained by Elder Jenkins!
Elder AhFua is being trained by Elder Cushing!
Elder Piukala is being trained by Elder Gonda!
Elder Walker is training Elder Martin!
Sister Tanuvasa will train Sister Frost!
Elder Whipple is being trained by Elder Everett!
Sister Perry is being trained by Sister Martinsen!
Sister Mouata will be trained by Sister Hafoka!
Elder Cline and Elder Pre are Zone leaders that are together for Elder Cline's last transfer! They look like a winning combination!
Elder Hughes will be trained by someone just a little smaller than himself, Elder Johnson!
But it's all good!
Elder Smith will be trained by Elder Kimball!
Sister Brown made it in the third day, all by herself! She is the one whose passport got misplaced---she is being trained by Sister Mahas! Welcome all--we are so happy to have you!

A difficult Goodbye!

How very difficult to say goodbye to our loved office couple Elder and Sister Walch! What an amazing example they have been to all of us! Our lives have been blessed by knowing them!
Ever the picture perfect couple who gave their all to the New Zealand Auckland Mission --We love you Walch's!
Outgoing missionaries say cheers to the New Zealand Auckland Mission! Left to right around the table: President Porter, Elders Witt, Smith, Moody, Faka'i, Allsop, Sisters Chen, Elisaia and me! Elder Manu's visa ran out before the departure date of the outgoing missionaries, so we had to say goodbye to him a few days earlier! Same thing with Sister George, from India and Sister Kapalu from Vanuatu! Visas have become a curse to missionary work! The Moody's came to pick up their son. The Mum always gets the first hug! Funny huh! Next, it is Dad's turn! Elder Moody just happens to be the baby of the family and the Moody's went on a mission to Africa while Elder Moody served here. They just returned home from their mission in December! How is that for a missionary minded family! Way to go, Moody Family! You deserve the best reunion ever! The Smith family came to pick up Elder Smith---see, Mum gets the first hug! This brother-in-law made a lot of points by getting a ticket for Elder Smith's sister at the last minute, to complete the family reunion so they could all be together once again to pick up Elder Smith from his missionary service! Elders Handy and Greening (assistants to the president) and Sister Chen (from China)! Left to right back row: Elders Allsop, Smith, Witt, Moody and Faka'i, and Sisters Chen and Elisaia in the center! You will be missed!