President and Sister Dunn

Sunday, August 17, 2014

YSA Convention 2014

On August 15-16 we were invited by President Shawn Boshoff of the Pretoria Stake to attend the Young Single Adult (YSA) Annual Convention to be held 2 hours northeast from Johannesburg at a camp/reserve that church and non-profit groups can rent called Sediba Kwele. We participated with over 335 YSA's from multiple stakes.  It was powerful to participate in an event that YSA's plan and implement.
There was a delicious dinner, speakers, movies and activities well planned on the evening we arrived. Sister Susan and Brother RJ Shupe (senior couple from California) were the evening speakers and delivered a terrific message about choosing a path that is on The Lord's side. It was very interactive and relevant for this age group. Sister Shupe is a public speaker and regular EFY and Women's Conference presenter. Brother Shupe is offering his legal expertise as a missionary assignment for the church. Great new friends that did a great job. 
We were so impressed that the YSA's stayed up late and many did not sleep, but they also wanted to "pack it in" and get everyone was awakened  at 5:20 am with by bagpipes.  At 6 am they actually got up and were ready for either an early morning hike or a game drive. We met President Boshoff at 6 am for a mountain bike ride around the reserve and out on the main dirt road. It was so fun to get to have this time with him and learn more about his great stake and also South Africa and bike riding. He loves riding his road and mountain bike!

We came around the corner and saw two adult rhinos right by the fence property of another reserve. We scared them away trying to take a photo, but we waited and one of them came out of the bushes again. The original sighting was amazing, because we were right next to them. Very fun to see our first rhinos "up close and personal"  while on our bikes!

We know this will be the first ride of many with President Boshoff. He is a serious, committed rider and was so nice to invite us on this early morning.

Below is President Boshoff a little later in the morning, standing by the township leader as he explained the service project plan that he has assisted with. The YSA's listened and then walked about a mile to where the families were waiting for the visit and the food delivery.  This was a great project that was planned and identified by the local people. 
  August 16, 2014 is a service day across the church in Africa called Mormon Helping Hands. Every branch or ward plans an activity that meets needs and then everyone wears these vests and gets out in the community.  Of al the projects happening that day, we were delighted to participate with 335 YSA's in a  township distributing food to families hit by a workers strike.

  It was humbling to arrive and see all of the people in this particular township.  It is one hit very hard by the economy and the workers strike and subsequent violence and layoffs by the mine owners.  The YSA's stood in line behind the food truck and each carried food supplies to families pre-identified to receive the food.  The food had been purcahsed below cost, with also an in-kind donation offered. While everyone was waiting together,  the township children did a "gum boot dance" for all of us. We were so happy we took advantage of this great opportunity. It was touching on many levels and fun to see firsthand one of many "Mormon Helping Hand" projects in Africa on this day. Google it for more cool examples.


1 comment:

  1. cool event! i love that there are so many different and amazing areas and things going on so you're never bored! i love the POOL sign and also the mormons helping hands...right up your alley :)