President and Sister Dunn

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Welcoming 2 British Boys!

Welcomer Elder Blow from Cornwall, England
He and Elder Davey came in the middle of our regular transfer due to visa issues.

Welcome to Elder Davey, from Orpington, England

Elder Thompson is Elder Blow's trainer- he is going to serving in the Soweto Zone.

Elder Dorn is Elder Davey's  new trainer and they will be serving in the Vaal.

Surprising the President

It is not easy to surprise President Dunn! So, after careful planning, we were able to pull off a good one on him this past week.  He was in the mission office on Monday November 28th, thinking it was a regular Monday. The Assistants came in and asked him if they could meet with them for a minute. As they came in they closed the door behind them and proceeded to try to discuss an important matter. While they were talking to him a knock came to the door and in walked our daughter Emi and her 4 month old daughter Reagan. President Dunn had never met Reagan and all of this was a complete surprise.

Emi traveled 30+ hours solo to bring this little precious bundle to us and is staying here for 2 weeks. She has already been able to participate in many special missionary moments. She helped welcome 2 new Elders, Elder Davey and Blow and also came to the Benoni Christmas Fireside where all our Benoni Elders were attending. This coming week she will be part of the Mission Tour and also will help us bid farewell to 4 outstanding missionaries next week before she leaves.
It is such a pleasure to have them both with us. What an early Christmas gift!
Below are a few other pictures from the first day with Emi and Reagan.

Out surprise team. Elder Zitumane and Elder Campbell fooled President Dunn and Sister Willis and Sister Foxx were in on it and came and took pictures and added to the fun of the surprise.

Reagan got to go to the mission home next and meet Sister Irene. They immediately connected.

Reagan got comfortable quick and enjoyed her elephant quilt (that I made for her before she was born)

President Dunn, aka "Papa Bear" is in heaven having Reagan be with us in the mission home.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Vaal District Conference

On Sunday November 27, 2016 we participated in the Vaal District Conference. This is special for us because as a district the Vaal falls under the Mission. The hope when the Vaal was created as a Stake over 15 months ago, was that it would grow to be a Stake in the near future.
The Vaal district Presidency is joined by President Dunn of the SA Johannesburg Mission and also Elder Jacques Armand Van Reenen, the Area Seventy who presided over the District Conference this weekend
Pictured above: 

Left to Right:
Elder Van Reenen, President Dunn, Brother Mxasa, 2nd Counselor, President Gwebu, Vaal District Branch President, Brother Herbert, 1st Counselor, Brother Manyokolo, District Clerk
We were greeted by our beloved missionary sons on this beautiful Sabbath morning.
President Dunn,
Elder Adams, Elder Martinho, Elder Wardle, member, Elder Chaka, Elder Dorn, Elder Katia, Sister Dunn

People gather early and linger ling after the conference. There is a such a good feeling among the members. Enjoy the pictures that follow of all the good members and investigators that gathered together.

Elder Mkwizu and Elder Katia with members

Elder Mugenyi showing his wonderful smile as he interacts with a member.

Sister Robison serves in the Sebokeng branch and here we are pictured with her primary president and long time friend.

Elder and Sister Robison make an impact whereever they are!

It is great to see this campaign being launched and advertised in the chapels.

The Mukonda family is a strength to the Vaal District. Daniel, the father, is the District Young Men's President  and he does so much for and with the missionaries. He is a role model for all the returned missionaries also.

Elder Adams with one of the small, yet powerful members of the District.

These members do "Light the World" with their love and testimonies.

As well as our beloved zone leaders, Elder Mugenyi and Elder Adams. 
Look what a darling dad I met with his beautiful two little daughters. Does it get any cuter?

A few more missionary pictures. Elder Katia, Elder Adams, Daniel, a member preparing for a mission, Elder Mugenyi and Elder Mkwizu.

Same group with President Dunn below.
We loved our week-end spent at the Vaal District Conference. It was edifying in every way. We both spoke at both meetings and loved the chance to hear other talks. I will post our talks here (in the next few days) for the annual history. 

Mission Leadership Council

Another MLC is coming around and our two Assistants, Elder Campbell and Elder Zitumane spent countless hours getting everything organized for the meeting. They prepared well and conducted and executed a very production Mission Leadership Council on Thursday November 24th, 2016- which also happened to be Thanksgiving in America.
They prepared well and conducted and executed a very production Mission Leadership Council on Thursday November 24th, 2016- which also happened to be Thanksgiving in America.
After the announcements, President Dunn gave a terrific training on the Priesthood Peloton. He trained on how leadership is meant to rotate, but the leaders in the front, like geese and a bike peloton, pull the rest of the pack along with them.

His analogies were powerful and relevant for leadership in a mission. There was great discussion and a useful and applicable training.

The Assistants work hard to present zone reports, with all the key indicators form each zone. This time they had great photos of properties or places in each zone as the background shot. They go to a lot of effort to use the stats in a useful and effective way. Then each zone leader talks about what is going on in respect to their goals. It is very effective in helping us measure the progress made each transfer. 

Bedfordview Zone with the zone leaders below, as they are discussing the progress made and areas to focus on.

The Benoni Zone is discussed. Both Elder Campbell and Elder Zitumane are good at engaging zone leaders in discussion and complementing the good things that are happening.

Next up, Johannesburg Zone
Below is the Roodepoort Zone stats.

Soweto's zone Stats. One thing so impressive today are the numbers to the far right. The Assistants decided to come up with
a reasonable number for each indicator that each zone could call the "put your shoulder to the wheel" goal to shoot for through december. It was a motivating way to encourage a strong push to the end.

The Vaal was #1 this past transfer in re-engagements. Each zone gets highlighted for the area they led out in the past transfer. It is such a great way to encourage and spotlight great performance.

This slide summarizes all of the highest achieving zones in these respective goals. It shows how much progress is happening across the mission. The Assistants do a great job compiling all of this.

The final slide shows our progress to date. All in all- the goals are just a guide and they have been useful in helping our mission focus on not only baptisms, but getting new investigators to church, getting people re-engaged if they are members, but not active. We also focus on getting people to the temple and put focus on this.  
We took a break and in honor of Thanksgiving today in America, we had turkey sandwiches on homemade bread with a festive salad and pumpkin dessert.

We also went around the table and shared thoughts of gratitude. It was a nice lunch break on a special day for the Americans. Only 5 of 16 Elders in our Leadership Team are from America- but the others enjoyed trying turkey, some for the first time!
Here are our newest zone leaders, attending their first meeting today.
Elder Hlophe, Elder Mazinyane, Elder Benson and Elder Lambert.

We love having missionaries add to this group and increase the effectiveness of the council.

Today was the last meeting for Elder Nelson, who goes home on Tuesday December 13th to Australia, just in time for Christmas. He will be missed and he has left a great legacy of leadership.

There is a lot of unity in zone leaders, but we loved that Elder Wikaria and Elder Reynolds honored their zone unity by wearing the same tie today. Don't they look sharp? They are having such great success leading the good missionaries in the Centurion Zone!