Gae's first photo, from hotel

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gae making friends at Takapuna Beach
It seems like all of our blogs start with something about how busy we are. It is true this time, too. Gae is becoming more and more skilled at doing things on the computer. She reworked email address lists for all of the Directors of Public Affairs in the Pacific Area, amounting to about 140 names. She entered most of these from several different sources. These are all nicely sorted so that we can email to different areas as we need to. She also sorted through hundreds of photos of the MTC open house.

We spent two evenings and two Saturdays at the MTC open house in Manukau. It was fun, but by the end we were very tired. The results were very good. We had about 1800 young members aged 14 and up and the youth advisors attend. We also had about 400 members attend in addition to the youth groups. During the tours, members were invited to fill out referral cards for friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. Over 1,000 referral cards were received. We met a lot of very nice people, especially young missionaries who were conducting the tours. We were able to visit with Sister Mahas, the missionary who was on the same flight with us as we came to New Zealand. She is a remarkable young lady and is tacking her mission with power and enthusiasm.

Rainbow from our balcony 
Sister Mahas’ companion is Sister Chen, who has a remarkable history. She was originally from mainland China, where her parents still live. She went to Australia and graduated from university. She joined the Church 3 years ago and is now serving her mission here in Australia. She has shared her testimony with us and it is powerful and so sweet. She and Sister Mahas were presenters in the MTC open house.

Gae with Sisters Nance, Porter, Callister, and Steiff (R-L) at MTC
Terry wrote an article on educating and inspiring our youth at the MTC open house and it is on the New Zealand Church website.  He also had an article published in the Manukau Courier, here.  Terry also wrote an article for the main Church’s Newsroom Blog and it was published. The article is credited to Richard Hunter, our boss, due to Church policy because missionaries are kind of ephemeral. The link is here.

We went to Zone Conference (missionary meetings) in Hamilton. While there we also attended the temple. With the 2.5 hour travel time, it was a full day. We enjoyed the trip very much. While we have little to do with normal Church missionary proselyting, we are very proud of our mission for baptizing 175 wonderful new members this month. This is a new mission record.

Lake Tawarewa
We haven’t been able to recreate much because of the MTC open house, but yesterday Gae spent much of the day with Pat Streiff shopping and talking and talking and talking. Terry went fishing with Paul Streiff. Winter is apparently a very hard time to catch fish in New Zealand. Paul caught one and Terry caught none so that Paul would feel better about his one fish. Oh well, we’ll probably keep at it.