This past week we journeyed with our Greymouth Elders to Zone Conference in Nelson. It is such a pretty drive. It was very nice to go Nelson and meet with the young elders and the mission president. In the picture I will try and name the Elders. Front row: Elder Barker(Utah), Elder Tamale(Auckland but originally Tonga) Elder Beckwith (Adelaide, Australia),Elder Hudson(Scotland), Sister Jolliffe(Mission President's wife from England) Me. Back Row: Elder Kaufusi(Tonga), Elder Tuipuloto(Sydney, Australia) Elder Mactavish (Temple View, NZ), Elder Haynes(Sydney, Australia), President Jolliffe. We had a wonderful Zone Conference. Our Zone is the smallest in our New Zealand Wellington Mission. 2 sets of elders are in Nelson, one set is in Blenheim, us in Westport, and a set in Greymouth. We are quite far apart. We travel to Greymouth, an hour and half away for district meetings once a week. It is almost 3 hours to Nelson and the same to Blenheim. President Jolliffe is a great man. He presented wonderful material to keep us enthused. Our mission theme for 2010 is Mission of Miracles. We had inspirational presentations from him and his wife. The Zone Leaders Elder Barker and Elder Tamale had us role playing situations. All went well and we and the president and his wife acted as investigators as the young elders taught us.
Here is a picture of our Greymouth Elders. Elder Beckwith is full of enthusiasm and energy. He is from Australia. He has been out since end of July. Elder Kaufusi is humble and hard working. He has a strong testimony. He is quite quiet but loves the people. We have watched him with little children and he plays in the hot sun with them and little ones no matter how grubby climb on his lap and he enjoys them. He goes home in May and we will miss him when he leaves. Tonga will receive a very nice man when he goes home.
Here is a picture of the Tongan elders in our Zone. Elder Tamale, Elder Kaufusi, and Elder Tuipulotu. Only one goes home to Tonga, the other 2 to Auckland and Sydney. At conference when just the 3 were together they conversed in Tongan. It was fun to listen to them. Elder Tuipulotu is just a greenie--came out in January group.
Here we are doing what Elders do best. Having a meal. A couple of sisters from Nelson Branch prepared us a very lovely meal. We surely enjoyed it. There was roasted chicken, potatoes, salad and Maori bread. That is a great bread. For dessert there was chocolate cake, ice cream, and fruit salad. The picture below shows the elders cleaning up and serenading us with music. All are very willing to help. We found it very encouraging to meet with the young elders because they are so full of testimony and enthusiasm. They are an inspiration for us. We loved the conference.