President and Sister Dunn

Sunday, October 5, 2014

If you build it...they will come!

Three Branches in the NorthWest Province of our Mission gathered together for the first ever Tri Branch Leadership Training Workshop. Upon arrival in July, President Dunn traveled to this mission-dependent area to meet with the three branch presidents. They indicated that the what they needed most was specific training for their members. Often branches feel isolated and lack training for newly called leaders. They felt it would be most beneficial if we would set a date and come and offer a morning training.  So we did..and boy, did they come.

But, not without a great deal of effort on the part of our Senior Couples, the Piers and the Dummers and the Branch Presidency. The Dummer's really led the way with the invitation, the food and the follow up on the details.
The missionaries serving in the Ikageng  area include Elder Mayende, (Uganda), Elder Larsen (Northern California) Elder Graham (Alpine, Utah) and Elder Oteino (Kenya) We loved having them with us for the training. It was impressive to see the Jouberton Chapel. It is far from any big city and yet has been a center of strength for the church. This is an area and branch we are trying to grow back again, to be as strong as it could be.

We left from Joburg at 6:45 am and traveled 2 hours to Jouberton. We got set up and hoped the members would come. Slowly they trickled in. We got news that one of the branches was delayed (Potchefstrom) due to their taxi driver not arriving. They would be late, but they were coming. By the time they arrived, the entire chapel was full, with over 80 people. They had taken their Saturday and made arrangements for travel, childcare and work obligation to come and partake of training. Below are the great members that traveled by taxi from the Potchefstroom branch, 1 hour away.

It was an honor to be with these wonderful members. President Dunn taught a wonderful opening session on Commitment. He showed the movie "Only A Stonecutter"  that he actually wrote the screenplay for. He had a marvelous discussion with the members about how we increase our commitment and what it really means.

We then split into two groups and each went to 2 workshops:
President Dunn-Teaching: No Greater Call
Sister Dunn-Serving with Love: We are His Hands
Lunch was served and it was a huge success. Thanks to the Dummers, Piers and Branch Presidencies for helping to make sure people came.  Boy, did they! Lunch was enjoyed by all.

 After everything was cleaned up after the lunch, we caught Elder Dummer doing one more act of service. The new plants that he helped to have planted two weeks ago, were getting a little TLC from a great caretaker.

After the conference, President Dunn and I had the honor to go out contacting with the missionaries. We took the family booklet just put out by the church and took it to the families we could find in the mall.

Here we come! Look out.
Elder Graham and Elder Larsen show off the "My Family" Booklets. We placed over 100 booklets with families that happened to be in the mall that day.  We got many contacts for these two great Elders. Also, President Dunn didn't do to bad either. We all successfully placed 10 with possible investigators.

Elder Otieno and Elder Mayende also contacted in the mall with success. They are doing a great job as the Elders in Jouberton.
This strategy has been promoted by President Dunn. The new family booklet is a nice piece to give to families and encourage them to share their families story and history with each other. if they want to know more, they get a pass along card. It is fun to see how receptive people are in general to messages about families and Jesus Christ. While I was in the mall, I stopped in a store to get one item for the mission home. I was able to give three booklets to clerks in the store as I talked to them about what we were doing!  The missionaries actually received many phone numbers from people genuinely interested in hearing more.  Very successful contacting time with our missionaries. We hope to do much more of this all over the mission with the missionaries.

That evening we were able to also do something that hasn't been done. We invited all three of the brnach presidents and their wives to stay in the area and go to dinner together. It was such a nice treat for them and so wonderful to be able to socialize together and get to know the issues and int he area. We had a nice table and everyone could converse. It was so wonderful and meaningful to get to know these great leaders and their stories.
We took the opportunity to grab some pictures before dinner. The weather was beautiful here in Klerksdorp. These great Presidents are dong so much for these area's. We are all working to get President Kwai Kwai a wife!:) He is such a great man.
President Robbins form Klerksdorp, President Mogape from Jouberton and President Kwai Kwai from Potchefstroom
We are so grateful to know and work closely with great senior couples like the DUmmers and Pier's. They bring such expertise and love to these branches. They assist the missionaries in thearea, the branch presidencies and the members, as well as investigators. They fdo so much and we are so grateful to team together.

 Extra nice dinner at the Protea Hotel. We lingered long and had wonderful conversation. Really special! It was also Elder Dummer's birthday yesterday, so this had a birthday party feel as well!!

Sunday October 5th
General Conference Sunday
Branch Conference's in Jouberton and Klerksdorp

After the conference in Klerksdorp, the members hosted a light snack for a mingle on the grass. It is always nice to get to puase and meet more people. We loved being with them after the meeting. 

The Makasi children greeted me at the end of the day, as we returned and headed into a baptism at the Roodepoort Ward.  I love these children and was honored to be in polka dots, along with the girls!! Little brother has a missionary tag on that says "future missionary."  So, I am matching something on all of them.

1 comment:

  1. Sister Dunn, Thank you so much for providing us with this blog. I am so grateful to be able to see pictures of my son, Elder Larsen, it does my heart well to see him and where he serves.
    Thanks again and take care!
    Becky Larsen