News Story

Hamilton Welcomes New Mission Leaders

President Jeffrey D. and Sister Tina Erekson arrived July 1 to lead the New Zealand Hamilton Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the next three years.


When they first received the call to go to New Zealand in mid-December, President Erekson described how he felt by saying, “Oh, we were so’s breathtakingly beautiful here!”

“We were told to expect the people to be very warm, with a strong sense of faith, and it’s very, very easy to find and feel the spirit here.”

Almost as soon as they arrived, President and Sister Erekson toured the entire mission. “I wanted to shake all of the missionaries’ hands,” President Erekson said.

After meeting with all of the missionaries, President Erekson said the missionaries were “well-prepared,” “humbling to be amongst,” and had “a great sense of humility and anticipation.”

He said he was looking forward to “seeing the growth of the missionaries in line with the growth of the mission.”

“We’re hoping that we can help these missionaries see in themselves what Heavenly Father sees in them in terms of what their capacities are.”

When asked about the challenges he foresees, he said, “Long before they (the missionaries) arrived, and long before I arrived, this was the Lord’s mission and it’s still His mission.”

“Our desires are to seek His will, His vision, and what He wants to see happen in this area; and then, position ourselves to be worthy instruments in His hands. In other words, the Hamilton New Zealand missionaries will run as fast as we can while slowly increasing our speed.”

President and Sister Erekson lead missionaries in teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to interested individuals and families, and in giving regular community service in the Hamilton area.

The mission comprises around 170 missionaries who serve from Taranaki to Tauranga and South Auckland to Gisborne.

These missionaries include young men and women who range in ages 18 to 25 and also include senior-aged couples.

The Boise area in Idaho in the United States has been the life-long home for the Erekson family.

They have six daughters and ten grandchildren. Their youngest is serving a mission in Salta, Argentina for the Church.

The Erekson family loves the outdoors, including hiking and all water sports.

President Erekson was recently released as an Area Seventy in October of 2018.  

He is the successor to President Jeffrey D. Cummings, who along with his wife Evelyn, returned to their home in the Blue Mountains of Australia last month.

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