Good and faithful servants

Friday July 18, 2014 Written by Piltz T Napa, District President Cook Islands Published in Church Talk
Elder Napa, who returned last night after a two-year mission in Melbourne. 14071313 Elder Napa, who returned last night after a two-year mission in Melbourne. 14071313

In the book of Matthew there is an instruction given by Jesus to his disciples to go out and teach the gospel to all the earth.

“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19)

Serving in the Cook Islands is a young man who has foregone all worldly ambitions and goals to focus on a two-year proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has committed himself to fulfil The Lord’s commission in Matthew to go out into the world, and has committed himself to teach the gospel for two years.

His name is Caleb Timu, but now known as Elder Timu. You may have seen him riding on his bicycle in a white shirt and tie with a knapsack on his back with his companion and associate Elder Bennett.

An article from the Australia Courier Mail quote: “Once hailed as the Broncos' next Gorden Tallis, league prodigy Caleb Timu, 19, has traded footballs for a bible and a push bike. Timu has quit the Broncos to embark on a two-year Mormon mission, putting a career destined for stardom on hiatus.

Losing the ultra-humble Ipswich back rower is a blow for the Broncos, as Timu was the brightest forward prospect at the club. He may be lost to the sport forever, with Timu revealing to The Courier-Mail he could switch to the 15-man game upon return.

The Broncos under-20s standout is called to serve in the Cook Islands Mission.

Timu said he had faced questioning from friends over his bold decision but it was a commitment he was always going to honour. “People have questioned it,”Timu said. “They say to me ‘what about the fame and the money’ but that is not important really. “My faith is what is important. I was always going to do a mission.

“You can always come back to rugby league. I had been thinking about it last year and then earlier this year made the decision to do it from 2014. I’m excited about it. The Broncos have been good to me about it and very supportive.” Timu is the latest in an increasing number of NRL-contracted Polynesians to abandon the code for a mission. The most high-profile player, Parramatta Eels-bound Will Hopoate, ended his mission in November 2013. Hopoate was stationed in Brisbane for his two-year journey and had regular contact with Timu. Hopoate said he simply told Timu how enjoyable his service had been. “Caleb is a very good man with strong values,” Hopoate said. “When there are church activities I see him and speak to him.

“It is something I strongly encourage but everyone is free to choose their own path.

"For me, I have found so much purpose.
Timu roared on to the national stage last year when he scored a barnstorming double to secure the Maroons’ under-18 team victory over New South Wales in a State of Origin curtain-raiser. His rampaging runs in that game earned him Tallis comparisons.

Unlike Hopoate, who inked a multi-million deal with the Eels before his mission, Timu is off contract at the end of his season.

The Marsden State High product said he was interested in playing rugby union when he returned.

“I played both codes growing up so I'm open to playing league or union when I come back,” Timu said.

“I played Australian Schoolboys for union in Year 11 and 12 so union’s a real option for me.

“I don't have a contract to come back to but I want to return to footy.”

The Broncos have a history in losing talented backr owers to Mormon missions, with Lagi Setu leaving the club in 2010 to serve his faith in England.

Setu returned to the NRL and played for the Melbourne Storm and lately the Canberra Raiders.

As for our own Cook Islands missionaries, they have accepted the Lord’s commission to teach the gospel for two years or 18 months for women. They too have similar stories of faith and sacrifices with ambitions to become better people and better followers of Christ.

There are currently 11 young men and women that are committed in serving or preparing to serve on a mission. By accepting God’s calling they will help others throughout the world come unto Christ.

Each missionary pays their own way and are supported by their families and members from the Cook Islands.

Our Cook Islands Missionaries are:

Piltz Napa Jnr – Melbourne Mission

Allan Ezekeila – Brisbane Mission

Glover Numanga – Auckland Mission

Gastone Tairi – Hamilton Mission

John Lowry – Toronto Canada

Kayla Kaimarama – Independence Missouri USA

Lindsay Graham – Adelaide Mission

Terence Ngametua – Salk Lake Utah USA

Junior George – Hamilton Mission

Daniel Tangataterekia – Manchester England Mission

Marouna Mita – Baguio Mission, Philippines

Throughout the world, Church members know that by sending our youth on missions, it will enable them as missionaries to grow closer to God, and experience a life of selfless service to others. There are many struggling in the world that need the message of love and the teachings of truth, like our saviour Jesus Christ taught.

We are so proud of all missionaries who have served in the past and those planning to in the future. The Lord has made a promise to bless each of them with success. As Matthew 25:23 teaches ... “ His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

God Bless... Kia Manuia.

12 comments

  • Comment Link Lee Patten Monday, 23 February 2015 16:39 posted by Lee Patten

    Thanks for the article. It's great seeing these young men and women take time to grow in such wonderful ways. I was fortunate to serve with my parents in the Cook Islands on a building mission in 1964 and remember a beautiful island and members of great devotion. I have drawn on that association many times over the years as my testimony has grown. To the beautiful saints of the islands...thank you.

  • Comment Link Lynda Bennett Wednesday, 30 July 2014 17:43 posted by Lynda Bennett

    My husband and I have recently been called to serve as Area Family History Missionaries in the New Zealand, Aukland mission. Part of that area includes the Cook Islands. I do not know if we will spend any time in the Cook Islands. We will go to whatever communities our leadership feels inspired to direct us to. However, from everything I have read about your beautiful islands, it would be an honor to serve the good people there. We will be coming from Boise, Idaho USA.

  • Comment Link Francella Timu Sunday, 27 July 2014 14:49 posted by Francella Timu

    Grateful to see how many missionaries are serving from Rarotonga! As Elder Timu's parents we pray that he can be of help to the beautiful people of Rarotonga and we hope he can help to bring peace and love from our Saviour Jesus Christ into your lives as he does ours! Alofa Atu

  • Comment Link Laura Thursday, 24 July 2014 18:00 posted by Laura

    Thanks for such an inspiring article!

  • Comment Link Luke Fleming Thursday, 24 July 2014 11:50 posted by Luke Fleming

    Great missionaries are currently serving in Rarotonga. Good work!!!
    The Cook Islands produce some of the best Missionaries too.
    Meitaki'

  • Comment Link Lolida Yaingeluo Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:12 posted by Lolida Yaingeluo

    I'm so thankful reading these testimonies today, I have three daughters and they are all excited to serve their missions. Looking forward for when they will be call.

  • Comment Link Jenni Reeves Tuesday, 22 July 2014 22:25 posted by Jenni Reeves

    We too had two young men knock on our door over 40 years ago in Adelaide, South Australia...they changed our lives and brought us great joy by introducing us to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.

  • Comment Link Matt Williams Tuesday, 22 July 2014 16:26 posted by Matt Williams

    I served there in Raro as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I served when the list of those serving now were young children. In fact i was helpful in the baptism of a few.

    It warms my heart to see that they have their own testimony and are sharing it, just like I did all those years ago.

  • Comment Link Pat Allen Tuesday, 22 July 2014 12:51 posted by Pat Allen

    We had three sons who served a mission, one in Honduras, and two in Chile. From a different perspective, having them grow and change while on their missions was a wonderful thing to observe, as parents, when they came home. Having served the Lord, and taken news of the Gospel to others for 24 months, made them into the kindest, most thoughtful people. I know they are better husbands and Fathers today, because they served in that way. Having met some of the people they converted, I know their time was well spent. Love those missionaries, they give up a lot to serve, but they gain even more! Love all the missionaries, for what they do!

  • Comment Link Adolf  Johansson Tuesday, 22 July 2014 11:29 posted by Adolf Johansson

    Thank you for the good examples of what our young people can offer the world. Its so good to see the missionaries comming out of the Cook Islands. Thank you for your example of keeping your faith alive by being a true follower of The Lord Jesus Christ.

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