President and Sister Dunn

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Departure Dinner for Elders whose time has come to cross the finish line of their mission!

On Monday October 13th, 2014 we prepared dinner for 4 departing elders. It is a new tradition we have started to have them arrive at 6 pm the night before they leave and spend the night in the mission home. We host a dinner and then have a testimony meeting.

This time, I got the idea to have a South African dinner instead of making a menu that I am more used to.  It is much more meaningful to have a special dinner that will remind the Elders of the time they served here.

So, I enlisted the help of Irene Shabalala, our wonderful mission housekeeper. She had invited me to her house on September 30th for a delicious dinner when her son came home from his mission. It was then that I tasted Irene's famous Pap. * South Africa's staple food made with corn maize or mele, as they call it.
We cooked this afternoon and prepped for this special dinner.
Irene has a special recipe and it was so fun and informative to learn from her.

She also made a side dish that goes with the pap, called chakalocka. We made it with vegetables sauteed together with beans.

Around 5:30 pm, Elders started arriving.  Elder Bird and Elder Luthy arriving with their companions Elder Dalton and Elder Lucking. This is the last time they will move these suitcases from place to place.
We spent time as everyone was gathering, having each Elder make a final page for the mission scrapbook.  
With the Braai fired up, we put the Steaks, Kabobs and Wors on the grill, while hot rolls came out of the oven.
 These are the best nights in the mission home. Doesn't get better than this.
Elder Davies conducts the testimony meeting, also expressing his appreciation and feelings as he is being transferred from his current assignment as Assistant to a Senior Companion in the North East to serve out his final 6 weeks with Elder Garnica.

Elder Lohmann from Germany, Elder Luthy and Elder Bird from Idaho and Elder Louw from Cape Town! This is a wonderful group of Elders. We loved hearing from each of them as they reflected on their two years in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. (SAJM!)
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be in the midst of these great young men as they pause and reflect on the past two years. This is a very important ritual in the life of a missionary and we find it so wonderful to be able to witness their growth and be with them as they cross the finish line.  President Dunn also conducts interviews with each of them and we prep for transfer day and the flight information is reviewed! Lots of important things happen on this special night.

Our new AP-Elder Menendez from Lehi, Utah joining with Elder Stephens from Roy, Utah.  We are so happy to have such great Elders as the AP's. They make such a difference for us, as they do so much to help the mission move forward. On this special night with departing elders, they become waiters and servers. They really help this night to come off special.  I appreciate their great "assistance" and leadership.



  2. What a neat tradition for those missionaries leaving. I can't wait for you to bring home these South Africa recipes like pap. And I loved seeing Irene helping. Reminded me of Maria helping with the enchiladas.