Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Whom the Lord Calls, the Lord Qualifies"

Kia ora! “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”  I am definitely feeling that right now.  Who would have ever thought that my specialty here would be teaching a cooking class and teaching a music class!  I guess I probably wouldn’t really say they are my areas of expertise but I am thoroughly enjoying them.  I really wish now that I would have gone to ALL the cooking classes and luncheons my ward (Hickories) in Boise held.  I wish I knew how to make sushi because the students love sushi and have requested a class on preparing sushi!   BUT I think one of the students – as my guest chef – is going to teach sushi one of these weeks.  I don’t know if it will compare to the Phillips and Beaufort’s (Hickories Ward) sushi.  Mostly my cooking classes are just for fun, teaching the students easy meals to prepare and of course it is absolutely necessary we cook enough food to feed a lot of institute students!   I find it very interesting the things they want to try.  This week they wanted to try Peach cobbler.  So I made peach cobbler and we served it with vanilla ice cream.  Yummmm… it was perfect!  Cooking class is on Thursdays.   

Then I made my famous chocolate chip cookies on Friday just for fun.  I made 7 dozen.  They didn’t even have a chance to cool down before they disappeared!   It’s all worth it when I get comments like this, “Sister Perron….I want to marry a girl just like you!”   Or - I’m talking to one student and another student comes in and kisses me on the cheek.  Or one girl tells us, “I wouldn’t have served on this committee if it had been anyone else but Sister Perron that asked me.  I would have told anyone else, no I’m too busy!” (And yes she is busy!!!)   Yes….my heart just melts.   I love the Young Single Adults here so much!    We are hitting our 6 month mark in five days and I told Elder Perron the other day…this is going by really fast!

Here is to catching up on our fun filled, busy weeks.  On Monday the 28th we had FHE with Auckland 1st Ward YSA.  These are students living on campus and not at home.  They have been having FHE at the Institute building for a few weeks now.  I decided to join them and it is a very good group of young adults.  We talked about recognizing answers to our prayers and shared experiences.  The young missionaries assigned to this ward led the lesson.  There were 3 investigators and 2 or 3 new converts attending.  There is a new investigator in this group that is going to be baptized this Saturday.  Good job Elders!  

Thursday was my cooking class where I cooked Beef Stroganoff out of Tami’s cookbook.  It was very good!   They enjoyed it.  One girl, Lin, came to me with a picture on her I-Phone showing me where she had made it for her family over the weekend.  They loved it.  She also made Peach Cobbler for them the next weekend.  She is so cute!  She is probably only about 4 feet tall.  We love little Lin.  She makes up for being small by being a “fireball”! 

Saturday Elder Perron and I went to the Otara Day Outdoor Market - Otara is a town.   The market was a lot of fun!  They have a lot of different booths besides fresh fruit and vegetables; a lot of food booths and merchandise.  It was too busy and too much to look at in a short period of time!  We tried a new Kiwi food.  (Kiwi is what they call a person from New Zealand).  It was a steak and egg sandwich, kind of like a gyro sandwich.  The meat was teriyaki beef (lots of it) with a fried egg on a large hot dog bun.  Uuhhh.. yah!   Elder Perron ate it, my old standby in case I didn’t like it - French fries! 
Then that afternoon we went with about 9 other senior missionary couples to a little, old theatre in Takapuna, called the Pump House.  The play was, “Appointment with Death” by Agatha Christie.  It was a delightful play! We loved it!  They have an old outdoor theatre in the same place where they have Shakespeare plays in the summer time.

Sunday, once again “whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies” teaching moment for us.  Bill has been working really hard developing a program to help rescue and activate the many young single adults we have here.  We are running a pilot program in the Papatoetoe 1st ward.  Michael Vae, has been called to be the Ward YSA Assistant Ward Clerk.  We (meaning me accompanying Elder Perron) began training him Sunday morning before church.  We are excited to see this program start and hopeful for what it may be able to accomplish.  The call is about ¼ clerk, ½ missionary, ¼ YSA…  Michael is excited about his calling and has been inspired with ideas, and Elder Perron is excited that Michael , a GREAT YSA, is the one leading out in this calling and endeavor.  Elder Perron has been inspired and Michael is being inspired, so “whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”
Following our meeting and training with Michael we went across town to the Panmure 1st Ward.  When we entered the chapel about 20 minutes before the sacrament meeting (Fast and Testimony) we were warmly greeted by the bishop.  He invited us to come speak in his ward anytime, just call him and he would schedule us as the speakers.  He was so kind!   At the ward we saw several of our Institute students.  It was fun being there and hearing them bear their testimonies.  At the close of sacrament meeting the Bishop got up and bore his testimony.  He was spiritual, to the point, humorous, an impressive man, and he had a very energetic manner about him.  Afterwards, Elder Perron and I shook his hand and told him how we loved him and the young single adults in his ward.  On the way home we kind of chuckled about his energetic, fist thumping on the podium style of speaking!  We enjoyed him and his testimony.   Wednesday – mid-day – we got word (at institute) that he had passed at home.  They found him at their kitchen table slumped over as though he had fallen asleep.  We are thankful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and know that he must have had a mighty calling on the other side to attend to.  His daughter had just gone into the MTC the week before.  We were going to go to his funeral to pay respect, but there was a young single adult training meeting we needed to be at at the same time.  The funeral was on Saturday at the Panmure Stake Center and it was packed to the stage and into the foyers and hallways.  He was in our thoughts several times that week reminding us of how fragile life can be.  Sunday when we went to church, I said to Bill that this will be that ward’s first time without their Bishop Paongo.  We only met him once yet it was a sad time even for us.
This Sunday evening we attended our first LDS Share Expo at the Takapuna Ward.  We have been working with Elder and Sister Brereton, missionaries running this, and the Area Publishing Services Department that is overseeing this program.  We have been helping get the young single adults needed as trainers for this.  It has been a huge undertaking and a short time to get it accomplished.  It is a program to teach members how to use social media to share the gospel.  You know, hastening the work in all ways, at all times, and in all places!   J  Once again we see that “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”

Oh by the way, I have to throw in here congratulations to our little grand daughter, Emma, that got baptized over this past weekend.  We are so proud of her!   So we have had two grandchildren get baptized while we have been gone.  Tyvan, Jade and Brandon’s son, got baptized in May.

Monday we had FHE with the Senior Missionaries.  I always enjoy these because I need that adult relationship from time to time.  The couple that is over family history doing record preservation in the New Zealand archives spoke to us.  It was so interesting!  They brought little samples from the Archives.  They showed us how some of the older records were actually sewn together.  They told us of blessings that they have seen from working there.  I loved it!

Friday evening we had invited the Massey Ward (Henderson Stake) young single adults to hold an activity at the Institute Building and told them we would fix them supper.  The Chinese branch YSA usually does something on Friday evenings  in the institute building so we invited them to join us also.  It was so fun!  Pictures are included of this event.  We ate sloppy joes, chips, carrots, and had soda.  We then played games.  They divided into teams by drawing names.  Poor Bob, as in China Bob, got all girls on his team.  Leroy, a big Samoan, got all big guys on his team!  Yes, Leroy won!  It was so fun though. We played a relay game.  Then they played Pictionary.  We laughed until we almost cried.  Then we played this relay kind of dart game that somehow everyone just quit following the rules and were tossing darts like wild and crazy!  It’s a wonder no one got hit by a dart!   Then we played “around the world” ping pong.  Then we had Milo (a type of hot chocolate) and biscuits (cookies).    At 9:30 pm we had a devotional.  Elder Perron led the discussion.  The kids did not want to go home.  They just wanted to keep asking questions and going and going.  At about 11:45 pm we called it a night and everyone left.  It was a great memorable night! 

Saturday we went to a training event where we helped train the trainers for the upcoming “BIG” night of the LDS Share Expo.  The big night for all of 12 stakes in Auckland is September 20th.  We have another practice this Sunday night in the Harbour Stake where a mini LDS Share Expo is put on for the stake members and these trained trainers will run the Expo… a chance for them to work out any quirks.  Following the training on Saturday we had pizza with the YSA who were at the training.   Afterwards Elder Perron and I drove to yet another beach we had not yet visited.  It was the Beach-lands-of-Maraetai-Wharf and walkway.  Yet another beautiful place of New Zealand!!  We spent all afternoon enjoying this area and having our favorite ice cream cone… “Passion Fruit!”  Elder Perron’s favorite corporation in New Zealand is Tip-Top - the premier manufacturer of ice cream!  

Sunday we went and trained Michael Vae again in the morning.  Then we went to two different wards and YSA Sunday school classes.  That evening we went to a planning meeting for the upcoming New Zealand National YSA Conference.  So right now along with our teaching and attending all the Institutes, we are involved in the National YSA Conference Committee (I think we are just honorary members…we aren’t having to do much of the planning…..we will be helping a lot when the event is underway though.)  That will be in February 2015;  we are working on the development and subsequent training for YSA rescue program, and we are assisting with the LDS Share Expo project.   It’s all great work and we are busy and enjoying it!   “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”   That is our prayer anyway.

Elder Perron and I are attempting to play match maker.  We are having fun, but I don’t know how effective we are… a lot of YSA so a lot of opportunities.  Not many takers for our services but we know a lot of YSA that could benefit from our “know” and “know how!”

Love and hugs to all of you.  We think of you often and you are in our prayers.

 Aroha nui!

Elder and Sister Perron


P.S.  Sister Perron left the nice stuff for me to report on.  We have been working on some ideas – that came after a lot of study, prayer, fasting, and pondering – directed towards the activation and rescue of the YSA in our 12 stake area.  These proposed initiatives are sustainable, meaning they can be carried on long past the time we leave.   We initially presented the idea in rough form to a member of the area presidency, he encouraged us, we fleshed the ideas out in great detail, presented them to our Area Seventy.  He recommended several changes so we made some modifications – which in reality made the ideas even broader in scope.  We sent him the final draft last week.  Monday I received the following email: “Having reviewed again the materials, they are excellent… please come to our Coordinating Council prepared to touch on all these initiatives… Sept.14th Area Office.  Garrick will confirm later.  Thanks.”   We are now scheduled to present the initiatives to the Stake Presidents at the next Auckland Coordinating Council in September for implementation - the end of a long revelatory process BUT the beginning of the WORK.

I will encourage Sister Perron to bake a couple dozen of her favorite chocolate chip cookies to take to the coordinating council.  
E/S Murdock, E/S Brereton, E/S Perron going to the theatre at the old Pump House

Walking to the theatre. It's winter time here.  This is a nice day, no rain.
Green grass in winter.....pretty nice!!  No snow! 

FHE at the Institute with the Elders
Elder Perron shopping at the Otara out door market

Yah....this is the steak egg sandwich. 

Elder Perron with the newest YSA Assistant ward clerk.  Rescue is on it's way!

LDS Share Expo

We love you!

FHE with Massey Ward YSA.  Relay teams competing

Relay teams trying to get Oreo cookie from their fore head into their mouth.

Dart contest. Look!  Someone is getting their dart out of the wall!  Hahaha!

 Ping pong "around the world".  So much fun!

And yet another day of training.

Saturday afternoon at the beach!

Beautiful!  A beach, a wharf, green lush grass, and blue skies. Makes me happy!

And that wonderful guy standing on the beach makes me happy too!!!

Our beautiful city of Auckland at night.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are doing a lot of work on the mission. It sounds like you are enjoying the Young Single Adults a lot too. It has been rainy here so I would like to be where there is green grass and sun not a lot of rain. I know we need the water here though to help our farmers and reservoirs out here. I have to agree with you both on whom the lord calls the lord qualifies because if that were not the case you guys and my parents would not be serving missions right now. I love hearing about all of your adventures so please keep me posted. I love you both very much!