Monday, March 17, 2014

Week Two

Last week we spoke of the young lady from "Up North" that came up to us while we were standing on campus out in front of the Institute building.  She not only signed up for institute but signed up for the Doctrine & Covenant class we are teaching.  We can care for her even more.

Later in the week Debbie said let's take a walk through the campus and get a sandwich.  We were not very far into our walk when a young lady ran up to us and stopped us.  She jumped in front of us and looked at our name badges and said, "I thought I saw your name badges are you missionaries?"  "Yes!"  "Where is the institute building?  I was looking out the window from one of my class rooms up on the 10th floor and I happened to see the Institute building but I can't find it?"  "Well come with us and we will take you to the building and introduce you to some of the students and get you signed up for some classes."  "That would be great!"  We never did get our sandwich.

The next day we were in the area office and Debbie was sharing some of our experiences and the area director for Seminaries and Institutes said we are prohibited from having our Elders and Sisters proselyting on the University Campuses but since the church owns the institute building and it is in the middle of the campus I don't know why we couldn't do something out if front of our building there on campus because we have the right to be there.

While the director was talking I was thinking to myself, missionaries cannot be on campus proselyting so then walking around campus for us is kind of like fishing in a fish hatchery.  Yeh... get after it! 

This week Debbie started teaching a cooking class at the Institute building in Auckland.  It is an informal event held in the kitchen and lounge area for anyone who is interested.  Because there is food it seems almost everyone gravitates to the event; either to learn or watch or eat.  This week the class was on the art of making "Dutch Oven Bread."  Debbie was up late the night before the event mixing the bread dough so it could rise over night and be ready for class. There is no institute credit for this class just a way to mix with the students.

On Friday we started a "Fun, Food, and Games" event that will be held every other Friday.  There are no institute classes on Friday so it is a time for those who are around to have fun and mingle.  In preparation for the event Debbie was up late Thursday night baking 6 dozen cookies, cutting up watermelon and pineapple for the event.  We played table tennis, darts, miniature golf, visited and had some food to snack on. 

This has been a busy week for Debbie, she baked five loaves of bread, made three dozen cinnamon rolls, baked six dozen cookies cut up watermelon and pineapple.  This has been in addition to all of the other activities we normally handle.  She also sat in on a couple of institute classes during the day just to interact with the students.

We have been out to institute classes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings held in the stake centers returning home about 10:15 p.m.  We are getting quite close to the students, teachers and priesthood leaders.  We were invited to be on a panel in one of the classes... It gives us a great opportunity to bear our testimony while interacting with the students.

On Sunday we attended two different wards - the 3 hour block - attending the YSA classes in each ward.  Then we attended a Regional YSA fireside where President & Sister Going - the temple president and matron - spoke.  Cid Going is probably the most famous sports star in the history of New Zealand.  The fireside was a well attended event!  After the meeting Debbie and I visited with President and Sister Going for a bit.  When I was here fifty years ago Cid Going was on a mission is Canada so I did not know him but I knew his mother and father quite well.  My interaction with the family back then was quite eventful for me.  The Going family joined the church here in New Zealand in the late 1800's. Most of the extended family lived up north in the Miramaku Valley and were active in the church.  All the people in that valley paid a full tithing.  The church - Salt Lake City - wanted to build a building up there for those faithful saints and instructed the Mission Presidency to get it built.  The members didn't want the new building, they already had a building.  Paraphrasing their sentiments, Matthew Cowley had helped them build the church which they were then attending.  It was wooden framed building that was built on property which the family had donated to the church and it was built from timber harvested from their property and which they had donated to the church.  They felt the Lord could use the money to build a building for someone else.  Simply stated that was their position.  Our position - since I was a member of the mission presidency - was quite simple, the church told us to build a new chapel for YOU faithful saints, not to just build one!  Well the faith of that family is the "faith that precedes the miracle."  What a great evening it was for me to tell President Going how much I loved and admired his parents!  They have passed on by now of course.

There were about 800 YSA attending the fireside - Debbie and I recognized about 70 % of them from being out and running so hard to get involved with the institute classes and visiting the YSA Sunday School Classes.  All their names will come to us later with the help of the Spirit and the "gift of tongues" helping us put our tongue around some of the Polynesian names.

On Sunday between the ward meetings and the YSA fireside in the evening Debbie and I went to dinner in the home of Brother and Sister Crouch.  He had served in the stake presidency of the Harbour stake for many years.  They have some YSA children - one living at home active - three others less active not living at home.  It was a great hour and a half getting insight, food and hospitality.  What great people.  She is Maori and he is Irish but was raised in New Zealand.

HOW GREAT IS THIS - In one of the wards we attended we met a member of the Stake Presidency of the Auckland New Zealand Harbour Stake who looked at our name badges, then asked, "Where are you from?"  Our reply, "Idaho."  He said, "I served with an Elder Perron from Idaho in Australia any relation?  "What part of Australia?" "Melbourne - he had red-hair!"  I said, "Yes, that is my nephew Lari Perron."  "Yes, that's him!"  The last name here is PERRETT.  His first name is President.  Back then it was Elder.  We will be in a meeting with President Perrett this Thursday night and I will find out what his first name is.  I will do all that just for you Lari!  He wanted to know where you are living, what you are doing.  I hope you can live up to all the stuff I told him because I piled it on pretty deep.  It so happens President Perrett has responsibility for the YSA in their stake so we were invited, right there on the spot - to speak at their devotional this Thursday evening.  There you go Lari, your mission is still paying dividends!

Debbie has to teach our D&C class this coming week and she has to teach a Book of Mormon class next week so she is studying right now.  The brother-in-law of our institute director was killed in an accident in Long Beach, California this past week so he and his wife - he is Samoan and she is Tongan - will be flying to the states next week; therefore Debbie and I will be running the show down here and covering for any teachers who do not show up for some reason or the other.

I gave him Greg's cell phone number there in California.  He said he might give you a call just to let you know how we are doing.  He was being kind and will probably be too involved with family to call but if he does give you a call his name is Newman Soloai - his last name is pronounced Soli - just like the Soli's who lived in the tenth ward, Deanna can help you there.  For being a Samoan his first name is unusual - Newman - his mother named him after a missionary.  He is about 57 years old and served a mission in North Dakota.  He showed up at the mission home in Salt Lake City in a "thin, white, suit" that works well in Polynesia and thought Salt Lake had to be the coldest place on earth - then they sent him to North Dakota.  He had never seen snow before!  If you look at last weeks pictures with us and all the "directors" Newman is standing on the far left in a light colored sport coat.  He is a great man, very loving and kind.

We are blessed to be able to serve a mission and love you all.  In fact we love some of you so much we turned your names into the missionary department.
Our Friday Institute group at activities day

Food, Fun, and games!  
AJ in the front in the red sleeve shirt was a companion to Elder Ryan Reay from Gooding. 
AJ has been to Gooding and rode a horse for the first time and shot a gun for the first time. 
He loved Gooding, Idaho!!!

Activity Day

Elder Perron reaping the fruit of our labors at home before going to Institute.
Debbie making chocolate chip cookies

Teaching Dutch oven bread cooking class.  It was a big hit!!!

My assistant helping me.   He loves to cook too.  He already has made bread!


1 comment:

  1. Okay. I'll admit.... I read all of your blogs tonight. I was way behind! So. .. Happy Late Birthday Bill! I love you and I hope you had a great birthday! I am tired just reading your blogs and I am so impressed at your energy level and your ability to go strong for such long days for so many hours. Even at 36 years old, I don't think I could do it! You are both amazing and such great examples of what we can do with the Lord's help! I love the story about the girl from "up North". :) So... are you still allowed to walk around campus to get sandwiches and talk to people who approach you? If so, I think I would buy a cafeteria lunch card.