President and Sister Dunn

Sunday, June 29, 2014

First Sunday in Joburg

On this first Sunday in Joburg, we are experiencing our last day with the other mission president couples we have been spending so much time with during our training. We spent 5 days at the MTC, and here in Africa for the past three days.  This all ends tomorrow as we all head to our respective missions and homes.  The Thomas' will be heading to the Democratic Republic of the Congo-Lubumbashi, we are already at home in our mission in Johannesburg, but will travel to the mission home tomorrow. The Monga's are heading to their home country, but a new side of it in the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville. The Merrill's are heading to Cape Town, South Africa.  This is our last day together for awhile. We will gather with all the Africa SE area twice a year for training. So, we will see our new friends again soon. (LPD)

Brent and Carolyn Thomas, Michael and Linda Dunn, Elie and Vianney Monga, Steve and Brenda Merrill

This is the view from the temple grounds.  It is winter time in Johannesburg and there is smoke in the air, due to controlled fires burning in the area. Usually it is very clear, we are told. The temple sits in a beautiful spot in the city on a hill.
We loved getting to be on the Johannesburg temple grounds today was a special treat. We have seen it many times in pictures, but it is much better in person. Oh, and the weather is lovely!
 The Johannesburg Temple is very special to us because our daughter in law, Mindy Wagstaff Dunn connects us with this temple due to the fact her grandfather Stan Smith built it in the early 80's. He and his lovely wife Leola lived in Johannesburg for three years during the construction.  It is extra tender due to the fact that Stan and his dear wife,  passed away a month apart about a year ago. We feel their spirit with us.  I am sure they are looking down  and remembering this great time of their lives. Their testimonies and life journeys connect us to them in a meaningful way.

Driving to church today, we entered the province of Gauteng. This area was once affluent, but after Apartheid, the area became impoverished and filled with many immigrants.  As you can see from this tenement, people are living in sub-standard conditions. The neighborhood is blighted and feels dangerous and dirty.  In contrast, the church  is a beautiful historic building and filled with humble, clean, happy people from the neighborhood.

We found ourselves in the Johannesburg 2nd ward sacrament meeting today. It was one of the most spiritual and moving meetings I have ever attended. The two speakers gave such deep, meaningful talks on the family, marriage and our body as a temple. We have much to learn from these amazing saints.  We also got introduced and had a chance to bear a brief testimony. What a pleasure to look into the eyes of the people and bear witness of Christ in our lives.  This is helping me know why we have been called to this special place on earth. "I was not born in Africa...but Africa is getting born in me."After the meeting we mingled with many ward members. It was a young, energetic congregation with many families and young single adults.  After church, a young man greeted us by sharing his love of the gospel and music.  Pretty powerful!


  1. Wonderful updates President Dunn!

  2. Stan and Leola love that special land. I'm so glad you are thinking of them because I know they are watching over you. I love you! Great updates!