Saturday, May 2, 2015

New Zealand - MTC and Training

From Tuesday to Friday, we received ICS training from the Area ICS Department personnel and learned our duties.  We come to this assignment with ideas, but as Elder Holland so pleasantly put it, at a video in the MTC - ..." it's not about you, get over it."  We really do want to serve the people and leave them with the skills they need.

On Tuesday in New Zealand, we had the opportunity to visit the New Zealand MTC.  There were about 50 elders and sisters being trained and at the meeting we attended, Elder Haleck and his wife spoke.  What a wonderful experience to have a general authority speak to them and then greet each one after.  These are missionaries called from the Pacific Area islands and countries who will be serving in the Pacific Areas.

As we greeted the missionaries each wanted to shake our hands and one elder stood out to me.  One was from Vanuatu (they just had the destructive cyclone there) and he was wearing a suit that was two sizes too big one that I knew had been donated to the MTC for such missionaries.  I asked how his family was and he said they were safe.  Now, before someone goes out and buys suits for these missionaries, remember, they only wear these in the MTC and to and from their missions.  They probably have never worn a suit in their life and feel as uncomfortable in it as they look.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from our apartment.
I then reflect on the sons of Helaman.  There mothers taught them and then sent them on their way to fight.  They probably didn't have all the right equipment -- swords, shields, etc.  Moroni had to outfit this group and probably there were many who did look a little "rag tag".  They main message is that they were going to serve with all their hearts, might, minds and strength not with their looks, suits, ties and shoes.  I admire this elder's commitment to the gospel and to the Lord.

The rest of the week was spent in getting to know Paul Benallack and his team.  What great men they are and what a commitment to watch over the Church's equipment and resources. Paul is the person on the right on the back row.

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