President and Sister Dunn

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our Newest Elders Get Oriented!!

On Thursday August 28th, almost 6 weeks from arrival, we gathered our newest Elders and their trainers together at the mission home for an Orientation meeting and lunch.

It is a big adjustment leaving home, family and all your routine to suddenly be on the Lord's errand. We are so proud of all our newest Elders and want to spotlight each of them.
We welcomed then all to the mission home for their Orientation at 9 am.
Elder Kufoalor  his trainer Elder Cluff.
Elder Riley with his trainee, Elder McQueen

Elder McCartney and his trainer, Elder Togiatomai.

Elder Muvundia with his trainee, Elder Taylor.
Elder Olson with his trainee, Elder Smith-Holley.

Elder Smith with his trainee, Elder Clegg
Our Assistants Elder Davies and Stephens, who have helped set up the orientation presentation, are relaxing while everyone gathers.
The Assistants started the meeting by asking each companionship to introduce each other and share what they admire and what is unique about their companion.  It was a strong feeling of unity and brotherhood among these great missionaries. The Assistants then shared interesting facts about the mission, like where all the new Elders are serving on a map and then where all our missionaries in the Johannesburg Mission are from.  (over 29 countries, with half being from North America and the other half from continents all over the world.)  They also shared about the four different types of areas you can serve in, i.e. villages, townships, towns and cities.  They discussed the advantages of each. Trainees asked questions and the orientation was so helpful and positive.

Sister Dunn then gave a short presentation on how to be a consecrated missionary.  She gave each new Elder a copy of Elder Tad Callister's talk on this subject that he deliverd in 2008 at the Provo Missionary Training Center.


She shared some of the highlights from the article.  Elder Callister compares being on a mission and trying to progress can feel like ascending Mt. Everest! ....unconquerable...unapproachable...unassailable
but every step we take forward, however minute it may seem, furthers our ascent, until one day we reach the summit.

Sister Dunn shared a personal example of reaching a summit of Teewinot in the Teton Range in Wyoming a few years ago with her family. She compared climbing and Callister's talk to moving forward and giving every effort to come closer to God.  She shared some pictures to drive the point home even more and gave each new Elder the article to read on their own time.
Teewinot stands 11,376 feet off the Teton Valley floor and acan look pretty daunting as a day climb to the summit.

The views that open up along the way are stunning and not able to be seen from any other perspective. Step by step, climbers ascend through many climactic zones and some places that are easier than others to navigate. Like, a mission, it gets easier as you get closer to the summit, but each step is an effort even if you have support and guides along the way.

Yes, that is President Dunn right in front.  As we reached the summit of Teewinot that day in September 2009, we were reminded about the great metaphor of climbing mountains, changing your perspective and reaching summits in your life.  A mission is definitely a daunting mountain to climb, but the steeper the climb, the better the view and the more it stays with us the rest of our lives. Climb on!!

President Dunn ended it all with a great message about the mission maxims and how welcome missionaries our in the mission home and will forever be grafted into our family.

We ended it all with a braii..beque!! A mixture of a North American and South Africa grilled burgers. Everyone had a great time and got more bonded through this time together. This is a great group of missionaries!
Enjoying the food and a little sunshine as spring is almost officially here......On September 1st!

The new Elders enjoy some time with their MTC group.

We love this new group of Elders that are officially our first class since we arrived. It is a great group from Scotland, New Zealand, Mexico, Australia, Utah and Ghana.

Great trainers, Togiotamai and Olson enjoying a moment to visit and relax.
Good-bye...excited to see all of these Elders in just two weeks for our first zone conference!

Elder Garnica and his trainer Elder Loveless are in the Tzaneen area and unable to join us for this event, due to the distance they would have to travel. We are headed there next weekend and will be able to connect with them then.
Elder Ah Wong and trainer, Elder McClellan were also not able to be with us, because they live 4 hours away in Nelspruit. However, we were just with them last week-end and they are a great companionship and doing great work in their area.



  1. I love these reports! Please keep them coming! Thanks for taking such great care of our boys 10,000 miles away!

  2. I love seeing you two cooking in your red aprons. Great photos! It looks and sounds like you have great missionaries.