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Sharing the Gospel

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From the New Zealand Auckland Mission

Joanne and I have had the privilege of know Herschel and Shirley Pedersen for many years. We love them and have learned much of value from them. The Pedersens were blessed with much success when they served in New Zealand where Herschel was mission president from 1987-90. I have never met any couple that have more genuinely warm and lovely smiles.

With a gentle boldness born of love, Herschel Pedersen has been an instrument in the hands of the Lord in helping rescue many less active members of the Church. As a young missionary, mission president, mission representative of the Twelve, and as a senior missionary with his wife, he has had similar success in sharing the gospel.  

Letter to Elder Glen Rudd - Part 3

In Tauranga Sisters Mitchell and Dolben were on trade off with President Pedersen and went to see a part-member family. Colin Francis Limer, an Englishman that had never listened to the missionaries, had two children that needed to be baptized. Whenever the missionaries came, he left until the missionaries had gone, then he would come back. Knowing that Sister Limer was away, we decided to visit the father because he couldnft leave with President Pedersen there with us. President. Pedersen made a presentation about the sealing powers and mission of Elijah. Brother Limer said he appreciated the message but would never join the church. President Pedersen asked if he could hold prayer with him and leave, he consented but refused to kneel. President Pedersen then asked God to bless the family and open their hearts. He bore his testimony in the prayer and told the Lord that they had done all they could. That the wife had been faithful and her prayers were in behalf of the welfare of the family. He then told the Lord that he was turning the task over to Him to convince the man. We left and expressed our disappointment. President Pedersen told us we should not be disappointed because the man would be baptized, and we must have a little faith. We went and visited five more families and everyone of those inactive: families became active the next day. However, the best thing that happened that night was when Sister Limer came home at 9:00 pm and Brother Limer was sitting there crying with his arms around the two children. His wife asked him what was wrong and he replied that the Mission President had been there and told him some scriptures about the dead and the sealing and the temple, and that after he prayed and left, this strange feeling came and he did not know how to handle it. She told him to pray and he refused because he had never prayed in his life. At 1:00 am he was still sitting there with his wife, crying. So she told him he better pray or no one would get any sleep. He prayed with his wife and then stood up and told his wife he wanted to get baptized right then. She made him wait until 6:00 am Sister Limer called us and we called the President and he was baptized right after Stake Conference that very day. 

Elders Porter, Harman Young and Hunter report the following from Waiterae. After a Stake missionary training session with a member of the Stake Presidency, the High Councilman in charge of missionary work, the Stake Missionaries, President Pedersen and the full-time Missionaries, trade offs were organized by the Ward Mission Leaders and all the inactive families were visited. Church attendance was 37 and the next Sunday there were 117. The addition to the Chapel has now been improved. 

In Wairoa Elders Swann and Olschewski activated 25 people and baptized 3 in the month of January using the Fathers Presentation and the Mission of Elijah and encouraging the submittal of genealogy sheets to the temple. 

In Mt. Maunganui Elders Halverson and Livitre activated 63 people in 3 months using the family-to-family and the Fathers Presentation. The Elders had reported the following experiences; A training session was held with the Ward Mission Leader and Stake Missionaries. President Pedersen, the Assistants and other missionaries participated in trade offs and afterwards a fireside and a baptism were held. Three months later the ward attendance went from 101 to 160, an inactive Seventy had been activated by President Pedersen and the ward mission leader in just one visit. He had been inactive for 23 years. Elder Jones and Elder Ellis activated a High Priest in just one visit. Elders Livitre and Halverson, with ward mission leaders, activated an Elder in one visit. An excommunicated temple patron was activated in one visit. A part member family was committed to be baptized in one visit and is now active and will be going to the temple in June. In addition the following spiritual experiences were reported during that three months: 

Brother Ianusi reported a remarkable dream which was greatly impressed upon his mind. He saw green rolling hills in an open countryside. He saw himself with several Lamanite brothers and former missionary companions that he had not seen for twenty years. They were all working along side each other. They were working on the foundation of an enormous temple. Outside of the consecrated temple area, Satan with the entire third that was cast out, were vehemently trying to stop the building of that temple. They thought it was the temple for the New Jerusalem. 

Brother Greg Bryers, a contractor had a dream that he was building on same enormous temple. He was doing the finishing work and it had the appearance of Alabaster. He saw the temple in the midst of the Holy City. Brother Ormsby also, had a dream about his working on an enormous temple. 

In Huntly, Elders Skinner and Swan, (not the same Elder Swann in Wairoa) reported the following: They were working with an inactive mother living in a defacto (not married) relationship with the babyfs father. They had one child previous that had died at fourteen months. As they were presenting the Fathers Presentation and the mission of Elijah and the importance of the temple ordinances, the mother began to cry. They continued telling the father that he had to marry the mother and get the temple and genealogy work done. Tears were more abundant, and the mother then related a very detailed story of how the dead baby had appeared as a grown adult and told them, gI need to be sealed to a family or I cannot progress; I need my dad to get baptized.h They are now married and the father baptized, and (they) will be going to the temple at the end of the year required for temple attendance for new converts. 

Elder Mahoney and Elder Halverson had this experience in Huntly: Elder Halverson went to visit a brother Paki, age 64. He has been inactive for forty years. Upon the visit it was learned that Elder Halversonfs grandfather had baptized brother Paki. Brother Paki came to church and bore his testimony and asked to be forgiven and needed help to get through the temple. Elder Halverson then stood and bore his testimony. His grandfather appeared and both Elder Halverson and brother Paki bore witness of this event. It was brought about by the means of the Fathers Presentation and the promises given to him.

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