News Release

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen Visits Cook Islands

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the Cook Islands last weekend (3-4 September).

While in the Pacific island country, Elder Nielsen met with Latter-day Saint leaders, members and missionaries. He also met with several tribal and governmental leaders including the mayor of Aitutaki, Mr Tekura Poo Bishop.

Elder Nielsen’s wife, Sister Wendy Nielsen, accompanied him on the trip.

Frederick Balli Jr., president of the New Zealand Auckland Mission of the Church, and his wife, Robyn Balli; and Sidney and Colleen Going, president and matron of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple, travelled with the Nielsens.

“We were delighted to meet so many of the wonderful Cook Islands Latter-day Saints,” Elder Nielsen said. “We thanked them for their faith and trust in our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ and His Atonement—and encouraged them to keep moving forward with love and hope.”

"The people on the Cook Islands really enjoyed meeting and listening to Sid Going with his background of being one of the greatest members of the 'All Blacks' rugby team," Elder Nielsen said.

"In fact, local leaders in Aitutaki showed great respect for his current ecclesiastical position by inviting him to begin their day by having him say the island's opening prayer on the radio." 

Elder Nielsen also spoke with Latter-day Saints and guests of the Church about honouring the Sabbath Day, increasing spiritual and self-reliance, hastening the work of salvation, and seeking the blessings of the temple.

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