Tuesday, July 14, 2015


June 1st (Monday).  Today is a national holiday – the Queen’s Birthday!  It is not her actual birthday but this is the designated day set aside to honour her.  Four of us senior missionary couples – Perron, Brereton, Wallace, and Fugal – took advantage of the holiday to travel north to the Puhoi Café and Cheese Factory for lunch and then to travel south to visit the Wood Carver.

PICTURE ABOVE: Elder and Sister Brereton, Elder and Sister Fugal, Elder and Sister Perron, Elder and Sister Wallace.

PICTURE ABOVE: The drive to Puhoi is beautiful and the food is good. When no one knows where to go we all settle on Puhoi.

PICTURE ABOVE: The shop in the "wood carvers" home.  Always a pleasant visit!

PICTURE ABOVE:  Sister Fugal was buying a nativity set so they had them set out changing the pieces around to decide which was most loved.

June 3rd (Wednesday).  This is the last week of Institute classes before semester break.  We therefore planned and held a special devotional – Brother Hans Sorenson was our guest speaker – following Sister Perron served freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.  We will talk about Hans Sorenson a little later.

In 1975 the church bought the institute building in Auckland and it was dedicated in 1977 by Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve.  The location of this building is a miracle in itself.  It is located a couple of blocks from the University of Auckland which was established in 1883 and now has 41,000 students.  The Technical Institute referred to below was a small building across the street from the institute building at the time.  That small Institute was founded in 1885 and in the year 2000 was granted university status and changed its name to Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and now has 27,300 students. The road that used to run in front of the institute is gone.  AUT has grown up around the institute building and beyond.  The campuses of AUT and Auckland University blend together.  The institute building is a three story building that sits in the middle of this high rise complex of universities where combined there are 68,300 students registered.  We are located in the very heart of downtown Auckland just a two blocks off Queen Street.
Following is a short summary of Elder Haight’s address and dedication of the building:

"We are glad for this building and that they found it the way they did… I know that things like this do not come about accidentally any more than any of the other miraculous things that we see taking place in the world… Talking about how they were able to find this building, I thought of an Institute I dedicated in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the only building that was near the campus that we could acquire was a fine Church building, of a Church that now has gone out of business, and also in that building was a pipe organ that cost some $100,000.  One of the finest pipe organs I’ve ever seen and it was part of the building, and we bought the ground, and the building and the pipe organ for about $75,000, because that Church had gone broke.  But when that Church was built, carved in the stone out on the corner of that building, as I went into it and looked it over, and looked and saw that stone, it had carved in stone, “FOR THE TEACHING OF THE TRUTH”.  I don’t know who thought of the words, but as I stood and looked at it and we were about to dedicate it, and it would become part of our Institute, I thought someone did not know at the time that that stone was carved, that this would be part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and would be part of the teaching.  We are grateful that we have [Institutes] at many of our great Universities all over the world and we are grateful that we have one here in Auckland now." 
"[Acquiring this building] was not accidental.  We needed to find a location near this University and near the Technical Institute.  Why?  So that our young men and women who are University students and who are out to find and to achieve higher education could come here and receive training, that I would tell them is far more important than what they would receive at the University or at the Technical Institute.  The world would not recognize it as such, but we know that it is... It is important for us to have a facility here so the students can come here and pray, and they can come here and be taught the words of God, in this facility… the young people who will be the future Bishops, and Stake Presidents, and Regional Representatives, and those who will be wives of leaders, and those who will raise their families in righteousness, will grow up receiving their secular education and at the same time furthering their education in understanding the words of God.”

Now back to Hans Sorenson our devotional speaker.  This institute building was dedicated in 1977.  Hons was a student of the Institute class of 1978 while attending the University of Auckland studying law.  Hans graduated from the University and from Institute.  He went on to become a successful lawyer owning his own firm.  He has served as a bishop, stake president and area seventy in the church.  After twenty years he retired as an attorney and now works for the church in the Pacific Area office in charge of welfare services area wide.  Brother Hans Sorenson is a fulfilment of Elder David B. Haight’s statement outlined in bold letters above.  Brother Sorenson mentioned in his presentation that while he was serving as Stake President here in Auckland that most all of the other stake presidents in Auckland at that time were also members of that 1978 institute group of students.  The students really enjoyed the devotional.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Looking out of the second floor window of the institute building at students a small mall area of the university.  In 1975 when the building was purchased that was a street with a small building on the other side of the street that housed the technical institute.  What a miracle to have this building right in the middle of the university complex.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder Hans Sorenson the guest speaker at our devotional.  Brother Sorenson was a student at this institute in 1977, went onto become a very successful attorney, bishop, stake president and area seventy.  Rose is at the keyboard and Latu is leading the congregation in the opening hymn.

Thursday (June 4th).  We are introducing a new weekly segment to the blog.  Sister Perron what is on the stove for cooking class?  “Minestrone soup and corn bread with honey butter!”

Friday (June 5th).  Today was the last day of Institute classes at the university for 6 weeks.  The next two weeks are finals at the university so there will be kids around the institute from early morning until late at night studying for their tests.  We will be in the building for these two weeks keeping the place stocked with Milo and milk.  The student council planned a mid-day mid-week break for the week of June 15th – NBA FINALS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME on the big screen TV with PIZZA.  The big day will be determined by how the finals play out but we know it will be that week.  Basketball is a big thing down here.  Following the week of June 15th the institute building will be closed for four weeks.  The stake institutes in the evening will still be running.  They are on a different schedule.
We attended a social event – party – at the new YSA 1st Ward in the evening on Wednesday

PICTURE ABOVE:  One of the first ward parties for the new YSA 1st Ward.  Elder Perron front and center talking with his hands.  Sister Perron is the blonde clear across the hall in the center of the picture serving hot chocolate - you can only see her head.

Saturday (June 6th).  Elder L. Tom Perry’s funeral was broadcast over the LDS websites.  We watched the funeral services and then went into the institute to prepare for a meeting with the new YSA 2nd Ward Bishopric tomorrow.
June 7th (Sunday).  Went to our meeting with the YSA 2nd Ward Bishopric.  We then went south to attend the YSA 1st Ward.  Elder Perron bore his testimony in sacrament meeting – this being fast Sunday.  These YSA are coming together from seven stakes for this ward so they do not really know each other that well.  In priesthood opening exercises Elder Perron sat by a young man he did not know.  In visiting with him he learned that the young man was a recent convert to the church.  His girlfriend had moved her records into the YSA ward but he was hesitant because he felt his English was not good enough but his girlfriend assured him he would do well in the ward so as he said, “I moved my records into the ward and this is my first Sunday attending the ward.”  During opening exercises Elder Perron stood up and introduced the young man and told the returned missionaries and the Elder’s Quorum presidency to introduce themselves to the young man and make sure he is friend-shipped into the ward.  Elder Perron chuckled about this on the way home.  He said, “I doubt if half the brethren in there knew each other so this young man is better off than most of the others because they all know his name and about all of them came up to greet him.”

June 8th (Monday).  There we lots of students in the institute building today but they were sequestered away studying.  FINALS seem to get their attention.  Not much interaction.

Wednesday (June 10th).  We attended the Panmure Stake Institute in the evening.  Traditionally Sister Perron and I attend different classes.  I usually go to the Mission Preparation class and she goes to the Eternal Marriage Class.  Or she goes to the Book of Mormon class and I go the Doctrine and Covenants class.  On this evening she attended the Book of Mormon class.  During the Book of Mormon class one of our great young single adults – Conway – shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it had changed his life.  Conway grew up here in New Zealand in a rural area of the country.  He said he was illiterate – could not read at the age sixteen.  Sister Perron asked him why he had not learned to read.  He said he had missed a lot of school when he was young.  Why did you miss so much school?  Lots of reasons.  If I was tired I would not go to school.  If it was cold outside I would not go to school.  If I wanted to go swimming I went swimming and missed school.  When I did go to school the teachers would tell me not to come back.  They said you are just wasting our time.  You ought to just go find a job!  My family was dysfunctional in many ways.  I pretty much did what I wanted.  Then at 16 I started talking to the missionaries.  I could not read so they would come over and read the Book of Mormon with me.  Before long I was able to read the Book of Mormon by myself.  I read it and re-read it.  After I joined the church I kept reading the Book of Mormon over and over again.  I would read all of the Ensign magazines.  I became a vociferous reader.  Then I heard Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone give a talk and he said, “Reading the Book of Mormon will arouse all your faculties.”  I could not let go of that statement.  It just kept going through my mind.  I read the Book of Mormon over and over again.  I found myself wanting to get an education.  I seriously began to apply myself getting enough education to be accepted into the University.  I went on a mission.  I obtained a University degree in Phycology.  In addition Conway is blessed with musical talents.  Conway bore testimony that indeed the Book of Mormon had aroused all of his faculties as Elder Featherstone had promised.”  In sharing this experience with Elder Perron during our drive home – Elder Perron said, “That is interesting.  Conway taught a Book of Mormon class in the Redoubt Stake institute last year and he is by far the most knowledgeable Book of Mormon teacher I have seen.  He could almost quote the Book of Mormon verbatim no matter what lesson he was teaching.  It is obvious he has read that book many, many, times.”

PICTURE ABOVE:  Conway training the trainers for the LDS Share Expo last year.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Conway posing for a great picture to post on his "social media pages."

PICTURE ABOVE:  Conway training a member of the church on how to use social media at the LDS Share Expo.

June 11th (Thursday).  Sister Perron what is on the stove for cooking class?  “Elder Perron, there are no classes this week.  I am just going to bake several dozen cookies to have around for the kids while they are studying!”  For lunch Sister Perron took Loni out to Elliott Stables, a nice, unique place to eat.  Loni has been so kind to us and keeps us laughing every day.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Rose and Loni - always up for posing for a picture, always smiling!
June 12th (Friday).  We had a Mission Zone Conference – we attended with the Tamaki and Otara Zones – meeting in the Ferguson Road building (Otara Stake Center).  President Balli presided and did most of the training.  The conference started at 9:00 AM, it was a very spiritual meeting.  After lunch we asked to be excused and drove down to Hamilton for the wedding of Manu and Hannah.  They were married in the Temple and their reception was held in the stake center in Temple View.  Manu has been the Manukau Stake YSA male representative.  He was one of our leaders in the Regional LDS Share Expo (social media event) last year.  Manu also taught the Missionary Preparation class at the Manukau Stake institute.  He was one of the first YSA we met when we first arrived in New Zealand.  Manu and Hannah met at the 2015 New Zealand National YSA Conference.  Another miracle!  Hannah is from Hamilton.  It is very special for Sister Perron and I to be invited to these weddings. 

PICTURE ABOVE:  When Elder and Sister Perron first arrived in New Zealand one of our first YSA activities was a beach party with the Manukau stake.  There is Manu front and center (yellow shirt) serving chicken patties for the sandwiches.

PICTURE ABOVE:  When we help select a committee to organize and run the LDS Share Expo's in New Zealand, Manu was one of the leaders.  This picture was taken in the area office in Takapuna.  Manu is sitting at the table on the left next to Elder and Sister Perron.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Manu and Hannah following their marriage in the Hamilton New Zealand Temple.
PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder and Sister Perron at Manu and Hannah's wedding reception.  What a blessing in our lives to be loved by this great young couple!

June 13th (Saturday).  Sister Perron had scheduled an Etiquette Dinner for her Eternal Marriage class.  The students were supposed to bring a date.  It is something that her class had planned and talked about during the semester.  Giving the dating culture here this was a major test of faith for the students. Saturday morning we went over to the institute building where Talita – a young single adult from Mt. Roskill Stake – met Sister Perron and helped her decorate for the dinner.  Following the decorating we went to the store and bought a large prime rib roast and other groceries and returned home to start cooking the meal.  Between cooking and trying to find dates for students who said their date had fallen through we were busy.  Sister Perron had to keep reassuring students to come because, "they would have an enjoyable evening."  Sister Perron what is on the menu for your Eternal Marriage Etiquette Dinner?  “Hot and cold hors d'oeuvre, prime rib, potatoes and gravy, steamed vegetables, rolls, chocolate cake and ice cream.”  The evening was a delight – games were played, people visited, food was good.  The dinner started at 7:00 PM and the evening ended about 10:00 PM.

PICTURE ABOVE:  The decorations are ready for the Eternal Marriage - Etiquette dinner.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Bab always the comedian had to be reminded by Sister Perron that the napkins were for the table and not for his bow tie.

PICTURE ABOVE:  A delightful evening.

PICTURE ABOVE:  As the evening comes to a close everyone needs to line up for a picture - isn't that the proper thing to do? 
June 14th (Sunday)  We had a 10:00 AM meeting with Bishopric of YSA 2nd Ward in Takapuna.  We then drove south to attend the full block of meetings with the YSA 1st Ward in Manukau.
June 15th (Monday)  When we arrived at the institute building about 10:30 AM all of the lights were out.  The place was dark.  When we went inside there were balloons all over the floor, there was some notes on a white board near the front of the room.  When we turned the lights on students jumped up from behind the furniture and started singing “Happy Birthday” to Sister Perron.  June 15th is her birthday.  These students really love Sister Perron.  That evening Sister Perron and I had dinner at Tony”s Steak House.  Tony's is a 47 year old establishment on Lorne Street three blocks from the institute.  A very upscale, small intimate establishment.  A great day!

PICTURE ABOVE:  Surprise!  Happy Birthday!
PICTURE ABOVE:  Students climbing up off the floor and from behind the furniture.  A truly surprise party!   
PICTURES ABOVE:  Close us pictures of the work of art that the "insti building kids" put together for Sister Perron's birthday.  (Elder Perron was happy - look at all that candy - perhaps Sister Perron will share.)

PICTURE ABOVE:  Emma brought Sister Perron a bouquet of flowers.  
PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder Perron - no surprise party, no flowers - tried to recover by taking Sister Perron to dinner at Tony's.  Happy Birthday you great companion you! 

June 16th (Tuesday).  Today is Sister Perron’s birthday back home so there were happy birthday wishes coming in from family and friends all day.  We had cake and ice cream around for the students who were studying.

June 17th (Wednesday).  Game on!  Today is the day!  NBA Finals and Pizza Party.  Quite a few attended saying everyone needs a break from study.  Some disagreed and kept themselves sequestered away on the third floor studying.  Everyone did take time out for a piece of Pizza however.  In the morning Newman reviewed some of the material that had been presented in the Area CES training with Sister Perron and me.

PICTURE ABOVE:  The NBA final Pizza Party.
PICTURE ABOVE:  The game is over - the real winners were those who ate the pizza.

Nothing better than serving a mission with your wife.  We are blessed in so many ways.  Our maturity and sound judgement has blessed lives this we know.  We have also been blessed by the enthusiasm and vibrant testimonies of these young single adults.  The opportunities to serve as senior missionaries are varied and vast.  We serve with many senior missionaries who have so many different callings.  We will forever count our blessings.  We appreciate our eight children and twenty-one grandchildren who love and support us with their prayers.

Aroha Nui,

Elder and Sister Perron


Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Friday (May 1st )  We left the apartment early stopping to pick up Catherine and then drove down to Hamilton to attend the temple to do baptisms.  Catherine joined the church almost a year ago and has never looked back.  She regularly attends institute, teaches in relief society, and is the YSA representative in her ward.  When told by her bosses than she needed to work on a certain Sunday she told them she would not work on any Sunday.  Explained that when she was baptized she made a covenant with the Lord to keep the Sabbath day holy and that she goes to church on Sunday.  They said we are in a very busy time of year and everyone is working a Sunday or two to catch up.  She said, “You have my answer and my reason, I will not work on Sundays”.  There were other members of her family working at the company, they went to work but Catherine went to church.  She still has her job.  She has received her patriarchal blessing and NOW the reason for our trip to the temple with her.  Family History – the spirit of Elijah – burns deep within her soul.  She has a deep and abiding love for her family.  Her parents did not approve of her getting baptized but she decided it was what she wanted so she was baptized.  Now she wants her family to have the blessings of the gospel but is very respectful of her parent’s refusal to listen to the missionaries however she has approached them about recording and collecting family history and stories.  They have responded well to her efforts.  One weekend when the family was together to celebrate her grandfather’s birthday the family ended up sitting around telling stories for most of the day.  Everyone got excited and participated.  One story led to another all the time Catherine was recording these stories..  Following this experience she received permission from her parents and grandparents to gather the necessary information and have the temple work done for her great grandparents.  We went to the temple with her where Elder Perron baptized her in proxy for some of her great grandparents.  It was a very spiritual day.
Following our time at the temple we went to a nice restaurant in a local mall for a late lunch.  It was at this mall where Sister Perron and I bought a box of donut holes about a year ago.  I remember they were so good that while I was driving Sister Perron was feeding me the donut holes and I had to finally say, “slow-down, I can’t breath!”  We had such a great laugh that day.  In celebration of that memory we bought a few donuts to eat on our drive back to Auckland with Catherine.  Catherine was so physically and spiritually exhausted she fell asleep in the back seat and Sister Perron was snoozing in the front seat.  I was driving and eating their donuts

Saturday (May 2nd ) Sister Perron and Sister Wallace (senior missionary with public affairs) went for a walk in the morning.  Elder Perron stayed home and tried to get our blog up to date.  In the evening went out to dinner with the Wallace’s and then went to their apartment and watched a movie – “Singin In The Rain” – getting ready for the Broadway play “Singin in The Rain” that we have tickets for in a couple of weeks that will be playing at the Auckland Civic Theatre in downtown Auckland.

Sunday (May 3rd) A great day!  Two young single adult wards were formed in Auckland.  Both wards began functioning today.  It has been very exciting for us to watch this come together.  What a blessing for these great young single adults!!!  The young single adults can choose to stay in their traditional wards or have their records transferred to their new YSA ward.

The YSA 1st ward consists of YSA from the Manukau, Papakura, Manurewa, Redoubt, Papatoetoe, Tamaki and Otara stakes and will meet in the Robertson Road Chapel in Mangere and be a ward in the Manukau Stake.  Taulia Tafiti has was called as bishop with Edward Anapongi Tauiliili and Loiola Hausia Vea Pome’e as counsellors.
Comments made during the meeting or in visiting with those involved following the meeting:  “I love the young adults,” said Bishop Tafiti.  “I pray for love and unity in our new ward.”  The bishop’s wife, Sister Tafiti, said, “Here is a place where young adults can serve together, make new friends and help one another through life.”  James Mitchell a young single adult said, “A benefit of being a member of a young single adult ward will definitely have to be meeting new people – and there are certainly a lot of people here I would like to get to know!”  Bishop Tafiti was released as a counselor in the Manukau Stake Presidency to serve as the bishop of this ward.

The YSA 2nd Ward consists of YSA from the Harbour, Waterview, Henderson, Mt. Roskill and Panmure stakes and will meet in the Takapuna chapel and be a ward in the Harbour stake.  Skye Nicholls was called as bishop with Albert Niuelua and Stewart Burgess as counsellors.  Comments made during the meeting or in visiting with those involved following the meeting:  “I am feeling overwhelmed with my new responsibility,” said Bishop Nicholls after the meeting. “But I am excited to work together with so many amazing young people.”

“I was really excited” said Ericca Huysmans.  “As we are surrounded by other young adults we can grow and learn together.” Nicola Chadderton added, “I’ve been waiting for this to happen!  It is exciting because it gives us an opportunity to progress, take on new responsibilities and grow spiritually.”  Sister Perron and I love these young adults so much we cannot even express our feelings adequately.
Elder Paul R. Coward – our dear friends – and the Area Seventy who presides over the Auckland area said, “We love the young people of the Church.  Our aim is to help them increase their personal faith in our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ; and to build happy, successful lives.  These two new YSA wards will provide increased opportunities to do just that.”

PICTURE ABOVE:  The first Sunday School class of the YSA 1st Ward.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Bishopric of the YSA 1st Ward.  Bishop Tafiti (centre).

PICTURE ABOVE: YSA 2nd Ward.  Members in the parking lot after their block of meetings.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Bishopric of YSA 2nd Ward.  Bishop Nicholls (centre).

Monday (May 4th).  We drove up to Whangaparaoa to get Sister Perron’s hair done – about a forty-five minute drive.  Elder Perron likes this trip.  He drops Sister Perron off at the hair dresser and then goes to McDonald’s with his computer where he gets some work done.  It takes almost two hours to get her hair done so if McDonald’s gets boring he stops at the beach four blocks from the hairdresser’s home and hunts sea glass until the phone call informing him the girls have finished with all the cutting, colouring and chit chat!  Following the hair appointment we went to the institute building Tuesday

(May 5th)  We taught our usual Institute classes.  The 2015 Annual Table Tennis Tournament at the institute building kicked off in the afternoon.  Elder Perron played – and lost – the opening set of the tournament.  He lost to Marin Hakaria who Elder Perron insists will be the champion of the men’s division when everything is said and done.  It is hard to imagine anyone other than Pengbo (Bob) Ding – like in China Bob – being the champion but Elder Perron is adamant that only the very best could have taken him out so fast.  We did not go to institute in Papatoetoe in the evening.  Sister Perron was sick and getting worse by the hour.
Wednesday (May 6th).  Elder Perron went into the institute building. Sister Perron stayed home sick

Thursday (May 7th).  Elder Perron went to the institute building.  Sister Perron stayed home sick.  Cooking class was cancelled!  Elder Perron reports that Sister Perron was greatly missed!
Friday (May 8th).  Sister Perron was feeling better and we both went into the institute building.  Big night out!  The anticipation is over!  The musical “Singin in The Rain” debuts tonight.  Sister Perron and I stayed in town and walked downtown from the institute – three blocks – where we met the Area Presidency and their wives, Elder and Sister Buckner - and Elder and Sister Brereton at Elliott Stables for dinner.  Following dinner we all strolled across Queen Street and bought some cookies at the Mrs. Higgins Cookies street shop.  Since we had about 45 minutes before the show started we walked up to the institute building since two members of the area presidency and Elder Buckner – director of temporal affairs in the pacific area – had never seen the institute building.  After a tour of the building we walked back down to the Civic theatre.  We had one of the ushers take our picture in the lobby before went in for the show.  Our seats were in the third row from the stage.  We had been warned when we bought the tickets that we would be in the water zone so there was a packet containing a plastic rain parka on each seat.  To achieve the famous Singin’ In The Rain scene, the synopsis in the program indicated the producers used half a mile of flexible pipe work, a 10 tonne water tank and a water system that creates a downpour from above as well as flooding from below the stage, in total ‘raining’ (and recycling) over 3,170 gallons (US) of water per performance.  There was so much water pouring down it was impressive.  It came down so fast it was pooling up on the stage and the dancers were kicking it into the audience as they danced their routines.  The water made this production come to life!  Being in the water zone was exciting!  Got some water on us but with the parka held in front of us nothing serious.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder and Sister Nielson, Elder and Sister Haleck, Elder and Sister Buckner, Elder and Sister Brereton, Elder and Sister Perron peeking from behind the Brereton's in the lobby of the Auckland Civic Theatre.

Saturday (May 9th ).  Went for a walk along Mission Bay and through the boat dock, out onto the pier, we were working on our 10,000 steps for the day.  Went to lunch at restaurant in Newmarket, Sister Perron had ribs and I had sliders (beef, pork and fish) and we had chips.  Following lunch we went to the institute building and worked on some things until about 9:00 PM came home and played a board game before going to bed.

PICTURES ABOVE:  A great day at Mission Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.  Nothing better than taking a walk when the scenery is this beautiful.

Sunday (May 10th). Mother’s Day.  Had a gift for Debbie from the LUSH store,  We went to the YSA 2nd Ward in Takapuna (only one block from our apartment so we walked) for the full three hour block.  Came home and had a dinner of chicken, baked potatoes, mango-green salad, and lemonade.  Played a board a game, read scriptures and went to bed.  It was a very enjoyable day.  Seemed so very nice to just go to one block of meetings for a change.
Monday (May 11th).  We went into the Institute building.  Sister Perron played her first – and last- table tennis game in the Annual Table Tennis Tournament.  She lost to Latu but it was a close game. They each won a set before Debbie lost in a close final set. We attended FHE at the area office where the lesson was on Family History.  The lesson was presented by Elder and Sister Bennett a senior missionary couple serving a family history mission – they are from Boise, Idaho.  Sister Perron through talking and discussing family history found out that Sister Sayer – a senior missionary from Idaho – is also a descendant of Noah Rogers who is Sister Perron’s great, great grandfather.  Noah Roger’s was the first missionary in the Pacific.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Dinner at the Area Office following our Family Home Evening.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Sister Perron with Sister Sayer - both are descendants of Noah and Eda Rogers.  Noah and Eda joined the Church in Kirtland, Ohio in 1837.  Noah Rogers was called by the Prophet Joseph Smith to serve a mission to "the isles of the sea."  Noah Rogers was the first missionary - Noah Rogers, Addison Pratt, Knowlton Hanks, and Benjamin Grouard - into the Pacific.  Noah was set apart as the president of the mission.

Tuesday (May 12th).  A special day in many ways.  Went into the institute building stopping along the way at New World Market to buy milk, milo, instant noodles and bread for the students.  Sister Perron taught her music class and eternal marriage class.  I taught a mission preparation class.  Kasia came by and had a long visit with Sister Perron and I, and then she went upstairs with us so she could visit with us while we ate lunch. We love this special relationship we have with her! We then drove to a Rest Home in Mt. Albert where Elder Perron gave a blessing to Catherine and Joshua grandfather.  He is 88 and is suffering from dementia.  Catherine had asked on Sunday night if I would be willing to give him a blessing.  When we arrived at the nursing home in the room waiting for the blessing was Virginia Tamaseu Russell (Catherine’s mother) Catherine, Joshua, Lataai, and Ephraim Ngawaka – a YSA who just recently got married and a close friend whom Catherine had asked to assist in the blessing.  Catherine’s grandfather (Malle Tamaseu Mallek) was resting in bed.  He is a handsome man, Samoan, full head of long grey hair combed back.  What a special moment!  Before the blessing he was a bit agitated, not because of the blessing but everyone was trying to get him to say hello to us.  He was thirsty and had a dry mouth so they gave him some water by spoon.  He choked on it and they had to raise him up to get him to stop chocking.  Then he sneezed several times.  Following the blessing he was perfectly at rest and was even sleeping peacefully.  Virgina Tamaseu Russell who was very against her daughter joining the church, now has her son Joshua also a member of the church.  This sweet mother sent Sister Perron a Mother’s Day Facebook message that was very touching.  Now mother was there and emotionally involved in the blessing of her father.  Obviously she had agreed to let the blessing take place!  Following the blessing she was sharing some special thing about her father having seen family member who have passed on and other faith promoting family stories with Sister Perron.  She had given Catherine permission last week to have some temple work done on her side of the family, and Catherine’s father had given permission to have temple work done.  The Lord is slowly working miracles with this family.  Following the blessing Sister Perron and I went to McDonald’s to use the restroom, bought an ice cream cone for 70 cents.  Drove to the grocery store and bought groceries for Sister Perron’s cooking class tomorrow.  Came home, had a chicken salad sandwich for supper then played some games.  No institute tonight in Papatoetoe – semester break.

Wednesday (May 13th).  Point of interest.  Every set of missionaries have a mission issued cell phone.  The cell phone stays in the area so the members and leaders can contact the missionaries and the phone number virtually never changes.  When there is a transfer an Elder leaves his phone and number behind and has another cell phone and number waiting in the new area.  I suggested to Sister Perron that she ought to call Elder Tyler Perron and see if they were being fed by the members and see if he and his companion needed to be taken to dinner.  Tyler (our nephew’s son) lives in an apartment with three other missionaries meaning there are two sets of Elders in the flat (apartment).  Sister Perron calls, no answer, but she leaves a message.  Pretty soon there is a message back.  “Elder Perron is not here but we would love to go to dinner.”  Later in the afternoon there is another message on our phone.  “Is this Elder and Sister Perron?”  Sister Perron called this last number back and it was Elder Jorgenson, zone leader who lived in the flat with Elder Perron.  Elder Jorgenson said Elder Perron had been transferred and the new missionaries had no idea who had called and offered to take Elder Perron and his companion to dinner.  Those Elders did not recognize the phone number but told Elder Jorgenson they had called and said they were willing to go to dinner.  Elder Jorgenson, the zone leader, knows us and had guessed we might be the ones who had called.  He said those Elders did not need to go to dinner, the members are taking great care of them and their dinner calendar is full.  We offered to take Elder Jorgenson and his companion Elder Anderson out to dinner.  They accepted!  We have an appointment to take Elder Jorgenson and Elder Anderson to lunch this coming Saturday.

LET ME SHARE A SPECIAL EXPERIENCE:  A couple of blogs back we shared some of the miracles that happened when we were billeting young single adults for the 2015 New Zealand YSA National Conference.  In an even earlier blog we spoke about a very faithful YSA who was called to be an “Assistant Ward Clerk–Young Single Adult” a new calling.
Michael who was called to be an assistant ward clerk-young single adult in the Papatoetoe 1st ward is one of the most faithful and obedient members I have ever met.  He is Tongan and served a mission in the United States.  He explained that when he was growing up he drove a car without a driver’s license just because that is the way it was done.  No one in his family asked any questions.  Everyone did it.  When he got on his mission he realized the importance of exact obedience to all laws and commandments.  While in the United States he obtained a driver’s license for mission purposes.  When he came to New Zealand he bought a car and went into to get his driver’s license converted from a United States license to a New Zealand license.  It would not automatically convert over because he had not had it long enough so he had to take all the test and go through the process of obtaining a New Zealand license which took quite some time; he failed his first test and then had a waiting time before he could take it again.  Even though he had a car he did not drive it.  He bought a bicycle and would ride it to work, ride it to church, ride it to institute, ride it home teaching and to fulfil his church callings.  Exact obedience in all things. 

When we visited with the bishop about the type of individual who should be called to this new position he said Michael is the one.  He released Michael from his other callings.. When Michael received his new calling – assistant ward clerk-young single adult – he was so diligent he started working miracles.  Michael through his energy and faithfulness re-energized the Elder’s quorum presidency and the Relief Society Presidency.  The bishop said this young man had reenergized priesthood leaders because of his faithfulness, his diligence, his just do it attitude.  There came a point when Michael was going to have to move because the place where he was living was not conducive to what Michael stood for.  He informed the Bishop that he was probably going to have to move out of the ward.  Selfishly perhaps, the bishop did not want to lose Michael from the ward.  The bishop talked to his wife and they decided they had enough room for Michael to move into their home.  Besides he would be a good influence on their son.  So Michael being humble and forever grateful moved into the bishop’s home.

In visiting with Michael through working with him in his YSA calling, visiting with him at institute it became obvious that Michael knew he needed to get married.  Michael is one who faithfully attends the temple every week.  Michael has a great desire to get married.  His mission president had told him to get married.  He knows the Lord expects him to get married.  One problem… Michael is so shy that Sister Perron and I wondered  if he will ever get married anytime soon.

Just before the 2015 New Zealand National YSA Conference I was visiting with Michael.  I pointed out that Elder Pearson, the Area President, wanted this conference to be a life changing experience for the Young Single Adults.  So I asked Michael what would be a life changing event for a young single adult.  He said, mission, education and marriage.  I said what would be a life changing event for you?  He said, “marriage.”  I then said if you want this conference to be a life changing event then you need to start preparing yourself NOW.  Start fasting and praying.  Prepare yourself to get out of your comfort zone.  You have to talk to girls above and beyond your church calling to find someone who is a potential wife.  Now go and prepare yourself so this conference can be a life changing event for you!  Sister Perron and I pray for these faithful young adults.

Now let me share some of the conversation with Kasia – a young single from the United States who is in New Zealand working on her doctorate degree at the University of Auckland; who attends institute, teaches institute, and is also an ordinance worker in the Hamilton Temple – shared with us when she stopped by the institute to visit with us.  (Her visit is referenced under the date of May 12th of this blog).  Kasia lives in Auckland so does not know a lot of YSA in Hamilton but spends some time in Hamilton when she works her shift in the temple.  Kasia told us about Bessie, a young single adult who lives in Hamilton.  Bessie is a returned missionary and works in the church distribution centre/book store located in basement of the visitors centre at the Hamilton Temple.  When Kasia was in Hamilton, she was visiting with Bessie one day.  Bessie invited Kasia to attend a YSA event  in Hamilton and  offered to give her a ride to the event.  Kasia and Bessie have become good friends.  Bessie told her that one day this young man comes into the distribution centre and Bessie thought to herself,  “That is the man I am going to marry.”  Kasia asked, “who is he?”  “I don’t know that was the first time I have ever seen him.”  “Where does he live?”  “I have no idea.”  Kasia and Bessie sort of laugh and they both hope the young man comes back to the distribution centre one day.  Kasia starts  to tell us the rest of the story but just then someone comes into where we are eating lunch so we sort of stop talking about other people momentarily.

Let me go back to the billeting arrangements Sister Perron and I were making for the 2015 New Zealand National YSA Conference.  We were scurrying to find places for these young single adults from outside of Auckland to stay.  We had a home where we had billeted 5 girls from Hamilton.  At the last moment that home said they were sorry but something had come up and they could not take the five girls.  Within thirty minutes another family offered to take five girls if we still needed a home.  We simply moved the five from the home that had cancelled to the home that had opened up.  A miracle when you are down to the last hours before the Young Single Adults start showing up in Auckland.

When these five girls from Hamilton  show up at their new home, they are greeted by a bishop and his wife who are there hosts.  Making the girls feel welcome and encouraging them they tell the girls, “You have to meet the young man that we have boarding here, he is a handsome and faithful young man!”  When the young man comes home from work, it is Michael.  One of the five young women in the group from Hamilton is Bessie.  The young man that Bessie saw walk into the distribution centre and who she said she is going to marry  is – you guessed it – Michael.  She is excited and a bit giddy!  She knows who he is and where he lives.

Over the course of the conference Michael and Bessie became friends.  Following the conference Michael – who is driving by now - makes several trips to Hamilton for follow-up dates.  Now Michael is excited and giddy.  Michael does not know that Bessie had picked him out when he visited her work place.  Michael keeps Sister Perron up to date about him and Bessie.  One evening he tells Sister Perron that he has had a very strong impression that he should ask Bessie to marry him.  Sister Perron says if you have had that impression then you need to follow-up on it.  Michael said he already had.  He had called Bessie on the phone and tells her he has had this impression.  She said, “Is this how you are going to ask me, over the phone?”  Then she says, “Yes I will marry you.”  Her dream comes true!  Michael’s prayers are answered.  They are engaged.

Now you know the rest of Kasia’s story.  Sister Perron and I obviously knew Michael and Bessie were engaged but we did not know of this billeting miracle until Kasia shared the rest of the story with us.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Michael and Elder Perron - picture taken several months ago during one of the training sessions where Elder Perron was training Michael for his calling as Assistant Ward Clerk - Young Single Adults.

Saturday (May 16th).  We met Elder Jorgenson and Anderson at India Gate Café in Epsom for lunch.  It was a very pleasant lunch.  Elder Jorgenson was assigned in central Auckland and taught many missionary lessons there in the institute building.  He was also Elder Tyler Perron’s first zone leader and Elder Anderson was Elder Perron’s first companion.  These are good missionaries.  Elder Jorgenson will go home at the same time as Elder Tibbitts – end of June – so this is probably our last time to visit with him.  His zone is doing great.  We also found out that Elder Tyler Perron was transferred to Papatoetoe.  We will now follow-up to see if her needs to be taken to dinner.  Dinner every few months is a good way to check up on him – not that he needs to be checked on, he is a good missionary.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Inside the India Gate Café waiting for the Elders to arrive for lunch.

Sunday (May 17th). Another historic day for Elder and Sister Perron.  Approximately 1,000 members and guests of the Church attended a special conference where the Auckland New Zealand Penrose Stake was created. This makes the 13th stake in Auckland.  There was a new Tongan and a new Samoan ward created and the other four wards were moved into the new stake from surrounding stakes.  The church is growing and progressing. Elder O. Vincent Haleck of the Pacific Area Presidency presided at the conference, he was accompanied by Elder Paul R. Coward, Area Seventy.
Elder Haleck counselled those at the conference to increase their faith in Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. “Put your trust in God and Christ.”  He said, “If you will centre your lives on Heavenly Father and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and keep the commandments, you will prosper in this land.” Elder Haleck reminded the many who were there from the Pacific Islands to reflect on why they moved to this country.  “You moved to provide a better future for families,” he said. “To build a better future for your families, you must make getting an education for your children a priority to ensure a bright future for them and the future generations of your families.” He also encouraged members of the Penrose stake to support their new leaders. “They have been called of God,” he said.

Elder Coward invited those attending the conference to “look forward with faith, unity and service.”

PICTURE ABOVE: Area Seventy, Paul Coward (left) and Elder O. Vincent Haleck (second from left) of the Pacific Area Presidency of the Church pictured with members of the new Penrose stake presidency. Stake president, Faaleaga Young Yen (center) with David A. Lawrence, 1st counsellor and Etimoni Uele, 2nd counsellor. ­­­­­­­

 Tuesday (May 19th).  Tuesday night is our night to visit the institute in Papatoetoe and Sister Perron had finally made contact with Elder Tyler Perron and his companion; she had arranged to take them to dinner before we had to be at institute since we were already going to be in Papatoetoe.  We took them to KFC since some areas – missionary assigned areas – have better access to places to eat than others.  It was a great visit.  Elder Roger’s had just been informed that on Thursday – transfer day – that he was being made zone leader of the new Penrose Stake zone.  Found out that Elder Perron was also going to be transferred because zone leaders have zone leader companions.  We had a delightful visit with these Elders.  Sister Perron also found out that Elder Rogers is also a descendant of Noah Rogers her great, great, grandfather.  What a great Legacy of faith Noah and Eda Rogers left for their posterity.  There are three members of their family serving a mission in New Zealand right now.  Their descendants who have served missions must number into the hundreds.  Elder Tyler Perron loves it – he has been calling Elder Tibbetts his "cuzz", now he is calling his current companion Elder Rogers his "cuzz".  He has an Aunt and Uncle and two cousins serving in New Zealand with him.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder Tyler Perron watching me (Elder Perron) take a picture of Sister Perron and Elder Rogers.  Elder Perron and Elder Rogers are companions.  Elder Rogers we found out is a descendant of Noah Rogers.  Even better Sister Perron and Elder Rogers are both descendants of Russell Rogers one of Noah and Eda Rogers' sons.  Elder Rogers is a descendant of Russell with his first wife.  Sister Perron is a descendant of Russell from his second wife. (Picture is taken inside KFC near the Papatoetoe Stake Center.)
Friday (May 22nd).  We had the championship games of the institute 2015 Annual Table Tennis Tournament.  A lot of hype and build up!  Marin won the men’s division and Loni won the women’s division. Following the tournament we had a pizza party.  Lots of fun!

PICTURE ABOVE:  Part of the HYPE the students put on Facebook about the finals of the Annual Table Tennis Tournament.

PICTURE ABOVE:  The ultimate champions with their medals.  Loni is the women's champion and Marin is the Men's champion. 

PICTURE ABOVE:  Pizza party following the championship games!

Saturday (May 23rd).  Elder and Sister Gillette who are going to Samoa on a mission arrived in New Zealand today.  They will be spending a few days in the Area Office before going out to Samoa.  The Gillette’s are from Gooding, Idaho and good friends of the family.  They came by our apartment in the afternoon for a visit.  That evening Sister Perron and I went to a ward party held at the Harbour Stake Center building by the new YSA 2nd Ward.

PICTURES ABOVE:  First ward party for the new YSA 2nd Ward.  These two new YSA wards are going to be a great blessing to the Young Single Adults in Auckland.  

Sunday (May 24th).  Following church we had Elder and Sister Gillette  over to our apartment for dinner.  We had an enjoyable visit!
Monday (May 25th).  Following our day at the institute we went to FHE at the area office.  Elder and Sister Gillette were there following their day of orientation in the area office.  They will be going to Hamilton to the temple tomorrow and will fly to Samoa Wednesday.

PICTURE ABOVE: Elder and Sister Gillette with Sister and Elder Perron at FHE in the area office.

Wednesday (May 27th).  Wednesday night is our night to visit the Henderson Stake institute.  Elder Tyler Perron was transferred to the Henderson Stake.  In turns out that he and his companion are in the same flat with Elder Tibbitts and his companion.  Sister Perron and I have been trying to find time to take Elder Tibbitts out to dinner for quite some time but honestly he was so busy when he was an assistant to the president.  While we live all lived in Takapuna – mission office in Takapuna and our apartment is in Takapuna – Sister Perron and I are very seldom in Takapuna.  We leave for the institute every morning and 12 of the 13 stakes in Auckland are on the south side of the bridge and Takapuna is on the north side of the bridge so we seldom get back to our apartment before 9:30 PM.  Therefore we suggested we take all four Elders to dinner prior to our having to be at institute in Henderson.  They all liked the idea.  It was great to visit with Elder Tibbitts.  Elder Tyler Perron likes the new arrangement.  He is rooming with another cuzz.  We ate at a small Kabob shop in a small strip mall not far from their flat.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder Perron, Elder Perron (the younger), Elder Tibbitts and their companions at the Kabob shop (Henderson, NZ) getting a fizzy! 

PICTURE ABOVE: Elder Perron (the younger) and his companion have learned a lot from the Polynesians.  They are showing us how you pose for a picture or how they think you are supposed to pose for a picture.  

Saturday (May 30th).  Another great blessing!  Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with over 400 missionaries from the New Zealand Auckland and the New Zealand Hamilton missions.  We met in the Redoubt Stake Center.  Accompanying Elder and Sister Cook on Saturday were Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Church's Pacific Area Presidency, and Sister Wendy Nielsen. Also attending the meeting were Elder Paul R. Coward, Sister Julie Coward, Elder David J. Thomson, and Sister Susan Thomson.  Elder Coward and Elder Thompson are the area seventies over the Auckland and Hamilton areas.
Speaking to the missionaries, Elder Cook said, "You are faith builders.  You are not selling, you are building. You are the Lord's helping hands. You are the message!"  He taught there are four "loves" that would help them to be the message. "The first one is you need to love your companion to accomplish all that you need to accomplish. You need to appreciate and understand differences and learn from each other.  Secondly, you need to love the people you teach. If you are going to be emissaries for the Lord you need to love them; see them as the children of God that they are.  Third, love your mission president.  Fourth, and most important, is to love the Lord. It is the most essential one if you are to be in His service.

Elder Cook left an Apostolic Blessing on all of us missionaries attending:  “Know how significant your service is… understand that this is the most important things that you could be doing right now… everyone that is close and dear to you will be blessed… they will sooner or later receive and recognize that blessing… bless you with good health that through good health care practices, professionals and the Lord you will receive a blessing of health allowing you to serve the Lord.”  Sister Perron and I cannot even begin to express the feeling of gratitude to have received this blessing.  When you have children and grandchildren, great grandchild on the way, siblings, nieces and nephews, a father and extended family – all close and dear to us in various need of blessings It was a very emotional moment.  We have seen many blessings come to our family while we have been here!

Our missionary meeting with Elder Cook was held at the Redoubt Stake Center at 2:00 PM.  Later that evening – 7:00 PM – Sister Perron and I attended a special devotional meeting held in the Harbour Stake Center – on Auckland's North Shore – where Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles addressed approximately 1,000 members of the church.  The meeting was also broadcast live to Latter-day Saint buildings across New Zealand.  What a day of great blessings!

PICTURE ABOVE: Elder Cook and Elder Nielson personally shook hands with every missionary prior to the start of the meeting.  Elder Perron is shaking hands with Elder Cook and Elder Nielson is shaking hands with Sister Perron. 

PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder Tyler Perron on the far left front row.  Elder Tibbitts on the far right second row.  Picture taken prior to the start of the meeting with Elder Cook.

PICTURE ABOVE:  Elder Cook speaking to the missionaries at the Redoubt Stake Centre.


PICTURE ABOVE:  Missionaries spilling into the parking lot following the meeting with Elder Cook.

What an inspiring and delightful experience it is serving a mission.  In addition to our testimony of our experience we offer further evidence for your consideration; most of the senior missionaries we serve with are on their second and a few are on their third mission as a couple.  Do not let the opportunity pass you by saying someday I will try.   Do it! 

Aroha Nui,

Elder & Sister Perron