President and Sister Dunn

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2 special baptisms in one day!

So far this year over 500 baptisms have occurred in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. Each and every one is so special and has a story and an individual’s personal journey as part of it. We are lucky to be part of a mission that has ears receptive to the message of the restored gospel.  This was also an interesting week, as we found and read this interesting article about Mormons and the influence of the church, written by a NY Times Author for the Huffington Post. Check it out:
In the morning hours on Sunday September 28, 2014 we witnessed Dimakatso, a 17 year old young woman enter the waters of baptism.  She has been searching and wanting to get baptized for over a year. She has gone through many sets of missionaries, as she had been taught for the past two years. She had many questions and needed the timing to be right. This young girl has overcome many challenges to find and join the church.  Her testimony is strong and her commitment unwavering. It is such a joy to witness her pure joy and desire to have her sins washed away and begin on a new path.  She has many supporters in the 20 young women in this fabulous Sunnyside ward. One friend in particular has really loved and supported her for the past many years. Dimakatso could have had many people baptize her, but she chose to have Elder Delahoy form Australia take this important assignement.

We felt so lucky to be there and be part of this with our great Elders, Brackett and Delahoy.

On Sunday September 28th, there were two baptisms that seemed quite different, but had much in common.  First of all, baptisms are always on Sundays, so that many members can participate. Transportation is an issue for many of the people and by holding them right after church, most members can stay and support and participate.
 Elder Bracket, Elder Delohoy, Elder Pederson and Elder Ndikumanu were all part of this special day.  

 Here are the darling girls from the ward. They are so supportive and ready to fellowship Dimakatso into their wonderful group.
 Elder Pedersn and Elder Brackett gave great talks on Baptism and the Holy Ghost before the actual ordinace was preformed.  After, President Dunn spoke and also the Bishop of the Sunnyside ward and Dimakatso shared her testimony. It was filled with the spirit.

Dimakatso friends that live in her girl’s home to come and witness the baptism on this day. It seemed to make a strong impression on them. 

 We will be back as often as possible to participate in the Sunnyside ward and see how this beautiful girl is doing on her journey as a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints!

Later in the afternoon, Sister Jenny Cook also entered the waters of baptism. She has been searching for the gospel for the past many years. She has had quite the journey as well and we felt so fortunate for her baptism to occur once we arrived in South Africa.  We all felt it was meant to be, that we all came together.

 Pictured above: Michele Stitt, Kathleen Louis, Sam Boudin, Jenny Cooke and me, Linda Dunn.

 Sam and Kathleen both flew from Salt Lake City to participate in Jenny’s baptism. Sam and Kathleen have worked with Jenny on many church and temple design projects. Sam baptized her and Kathleen spoke on the program, about the Holy Ghost. Michele organized all the food and gave the most wonderful talk on Jenny's journey and the significance of Baptism. I could easily understand how all these amazing women were brought together in unique ways to be part of this amazing day and journey ahead.  
 It was a very loving program and baptism. Like Dimakastu, Jenny has had a journey and has overcome challenges and obstacles in her life. She took awhile to get to this decision, but once she did, her commitment and focus is unwavering.
Jenny's friend, Terry, came and supported jenny in her decision. we had a chance to meet her friend Jerry when we went to her house for a teaching lesson with the missionaries. he was there watching Rugby, but listened respectively and was fun to get to know. It was great to see him again at the baptism.
Elder Bodily and Davies were teaching Jenny when we arrived in the mission in July. Then Elder Davies and Stevens finished up with her and taught her the final discussions. How great to have them be part of her teachings and baptism.
The Stitt has re-located to South Africa for work and are originally form the Midwest, but have lived in Alpine Utah.  We are excited to continue our new friendship with them. Michele was such a wonderful part of this baptism with her planning, talks and love she showered on everyone, as well as her great family

The Allred's are our newest senior couple. We just love them and appreciate all the ways they willingly participate in everything they can.  Sister Allred made carrot cake AND baked beans to help support Jenny. Her bowls were literally licked clean.

It was fun to meet the Bonnie and Chappie Winstanley's at the baptism.  Jenny had told me what a great Sunday School teacher Brother Winstanley was, but we had heard about them from other sources. They served as Mission Presidents in the England Manchester Mission years ago and have much to share with us. We already have a dinner date at our home set up to learn from them. Bonnie and Chappie are going to be great new friends! They also love dogs and Bonnie walks her Golden Retriever's everyday by the mission office.
Michele Stitt helped organize the delicious food.  It was a group effort.  I was also able to assist and bring a lemon pound cake and lemon ice drink. Everyone helped and it was really a lovely event on every level.
Looking forward to a long enduring friendship with my dear friend, Jenny Cook!! So lucky to have her inspiration and testimony bless my life.

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