News Story

Elder Neil L. Andersen Visits New Caledonia

Elder Neil L. Andersen, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife Sister Kathy Andersen, visited Noumea, New Caledonia on Tuesday 18 February 2014. 

They were accompanied by Elder O. Vincent Haleck of the Church’s Pacific Area Presidency, and his wife Sister Peggy Haleck.

Elder Andersen is visiting Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga and New Caledonia over the course of two weeks in the Pacific Area.

Elder Andersen speaks French, Spanish, and Portuguese as well as his native language, English.  He formerly served as mission president in the Church’s France Bordeaux Mission and welcomed the opportunity to speak in French at a special devotional for Latter-day Saints and their guests in Noumea on Tuesday evening this week.

During his remarks Elder Andersen expressed his love for the people of New Caledonia saying that he and Sister Andersen had visited New Caledonia seven years ago and had asked for the opportunity to come back and visit again.

“In mortal life we experience trials, unhappiness and challenges,” he said, “but faith, patience and diligence make it possible for us to work through these things and find happiness and peace.”

“Jesus taught, ‘Fear not; believe only.’ Faith in Jesus Christ will bring us the ability to endure our trials.”

Sister Andersen spoke of the importance of prayer in our lives.  She said, “When you feel alone, don’t hesitate to ask, ‘Father, are you there?”

“You may not hear His voice but you will feel comfort and know that He is near.”

Elder Haleck thanked the 300 members who travelled to the Hamilton New Zealand Temple earlier this year to do the temple work for 15,000 ancestors during the past year.  He encouraged them to “continue on with this important work.”

Elder Haleck also spoke of the missionaries from their own families who are now serving elsewhere and those who have come to serve in New Caledonia.  “No missionary goes on a mission alone.  They carry with them the faith of their parents, leaders, and ward and stake members,” Elder Haleck said.

Sister Haleck reminded those at the devotional that “we are all brothers and sisters, and children of our Heavenly Father no matter where we live, and we have a link joining us together.”

Read a short biography on Elder Neil L. Andersen.

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