News Story

Pacific Area Church Leaders Travel Across Tasmania and Victoria

Meetings held with local leaders, members and friends of the Church

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from across Tasmania and Victoria were excited to meet face-to-face with Pacific Area and visiting Church Headquarters leaders recently.

After nearly two years of COVID-19 international travel restrictions, Elder K. Brett Nattress and Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita attended an array of meetings across the two states.

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., Church Historian, accompanied by his wife, Sister Jane Curtis, also attended meetings with Australian Latter-day Saints.

On Saturday 19 March, local Church leaders throughout Tasmania gathered in Launceston to receive training from Elder K. Brett Nattress, First Counsellor in the Pacific Area Presidency.

He was accompanied by Elder Damon Page, Area Seventy, from Melbourne; and leader of the Australia Melbourne Mission, President Michael J. Houghton.

Leaders were invited to consider how they can encourage members of the Church to take advantage of the blessings of temple and sacrament worship.

Lionel Walters, president of the Devonport Australia Stake, said: “The training was focused, uplifting and left all of us feeling like there are simple things we can do to make a big difference in the lives of those we serve. The Lord lifted His saints through His servants, and I am grateful to be able to witness the miracle of His trust and care for ‘the one.’”

A Latter-day Saint from Tamar who attended the meetings, said, “I think my experience today was the Holy Ghost reminding me that I am not alone. I felt strengthened and refreshed.”

Earlier in the month, Elder Yamashita attended the semi-annual stake conference of the Melbourne Australia Craigieburn Stake over 5-6 March.

He was joined by Elder Damon Page, Area Seventy, to install a new stake leadership of the northern suburbs stake which consists of six congregations that span from Glenroy in the south to Seymour in the north.

Elder Yamashita expressed how much he appreciated the blessing of seeing everyone in person.

Kilisimasi Latu was called to replace Clayton Williams who had served in the position of stake president for the past nine years.

On Sunday, 20 March, Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita and his wife Sister Tazuko Yamashita visited congregations in Glenorchy and Hobart.

They spoke with love to the members in both sacrament meetings. Sister Yamashita told of her daughter living in New Zealand who always says to her children “come on guys, let's do scripture study,” even when it's not convenient.

Elder Yamashita told the story of Lambert the Sheepish Lion and had all the primary age children listening. He wanted them, and all present, to remember their true identity, that they are not children of a sheep but children of a Lion, even sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.

Elder and Sister Yamashita came back to the Hobart Stake Centre later on Sunday evening to address all the youth, young single adults, their parents and leaders.

The chapel was full and Elder Yamashita walked among the youth asking them one by one what their goals were. Many responded with comments like “to go to the temple,” “to read the scriptures more,” and “to serve a full-time mission.”

Sister Yamashita shared her story of joining the Church of Jesus Christ, deciding whether or not to serve a mission, and how she and Elder Yamashita got together (much to the delight of the audience). She taught that we should always follow the peaceful promptings from the Holy Ghost speedily.

One attendee, Sarah, said: "I loved their message, to seek further education, be a missionary and hold a current temple recommend. It highlighted again to me the things I want to focus on."

Thomas, 17, said: "Elder Yamashita's way of speaking was very engaging and made it easier to stay interested in what he was talking about. Something I learned from Sister Yamashita is to trust the Spirit and respond quickly and you'll be blessed."

Ethan, 14, said: "Elder Yamashita was easy to listen to. He taught us that we need to get the best education we can get."

Another young attendee, Amelia, said: “I appreciated his encouragement to seek the best education, to always seek to improve. I liked how he was inviting and he involved the audience. He is very personable.”

Other similar meetings were attended by Elder Nattress and Elder Yamashita across the two states as they taught young adults, youth and Church leaders in devotionals and training meetings.

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