Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu
View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dunedin New Zealand Stake

April 17, 2016

     The Dunedin New Zealand Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was created on this beautiful Sunday in Dunedin. President Kevin W. Pearson, President of the Pacific Area for the Church presided at the meeting. He talked about the Dunedin District first being organized in 1892.  He encouraged members to help the Church grow so that another stake could be created here in another five to ten years. He also encouraged those in attendance to keep the Sabbath Day holy and to follow the Savior's teachings. Also attending was Pacific Area Seventy Elder David J. Thomson. He conducted the meeting and announced the new stake presidency of Stephen Smith, President (he was our Branch President). Rangi Solomon and Justin Kaufana completed the presidency.
     What a wonderful experience it was to see the stake center filled to capacity..... probably the first time many of the saints had seen this many members assembled together. With the creation of the stake, our Mission President, Roger Hudson, will no longer be the ecclesiastical leader over the saints in this area. Those keys and responsibilities now belong to the new stake presidency. During his talk, President Hudson acknowledged all the full-time missionaries in attendance and had us stand up. It was fun to look around and see the many missionaries, both young and senior couples, in attendance. Elder Edward was seated in the congregation while Sister Edward joined in the special choir on the stand that provided some of the music for the meeting. Everyone who performed gave inspired performances. 
     We are told that when construction was first started on the stake center David O. McKay was the President of the Church. The original plan was for a smaller building to be built to serve the needs. After work had begun on the footings a message was received from President McKay. They were told to stop construction and fill in the holes. They were now to build a full-sized stake center. The day would come when a stake would be created and the larger building would be needed..... a very Inspired decision. More about the creation of this stake is on Mormon Newsroom.

Jason Mather (left) became the first bishop of the newly created Dunedin 2nd Ward. Roy Jenner (right) is in the Wellington Mission Presidency.

      We thought it would be fun to post some photos of the many missionaries we have associated with during our short time in Dunedin. These dedicated servants of our Heavenly Father, and many more who came before, can take extreme pride in the creation this day of the Dunedin New Zealand Stake.

Elder Berryhill & Elder Daniel (Zone Leaders) We met them shortly after arriving in Dunedin.

Sister Shaw & Sister Phillips enjoyed a walkabout at Larnach Castle.

Elder Daniel & Elder Mortensen doing parking lot duty for the Halloween Party, greeting members on Sunday morning, and eating after a church meeting.

Sister Lotoa & Sister Gabler (upper left), Sister Tavalea & Sister Shaw (upper right), Sister Phillips & SIster Hemi (lower left), and Sister Phillips & Sister Gabler (lower right).

Elder & Sister Lynch (top left) are in charge of mission housing. They found the wonderful place we are staying in. Sister Lotoa & Sister Anderson are sad-faced with Sister Edward after finding out that Sister Lotoa was being transferred. We are always grateful for the time we can spend with these valiant young missionaries.

Elder Griffin & Elder Parry (upper left), Elder Whitelock & Elder Parry (upper right), and Elder Shaw & Elder Shaik (below).

Get-together at the Edward flat after the stake meeting. Left to right, Sister & Elder Osburn, Elder Edward, Sister Anderson, Sister Lotoa, Sister Edward, Sister & Elder Clark. The Clarks had only been on their mission a short time when they received a request to change assignments. Elder Clark is to be the new Mission President in Orlando, Florida. How wonderful for the missionaries in Florida. They will be missed in New Zealand.