President and Sister Dunn

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Transfer Days are here again!

The transfer week is the highlight of the mission schedule. Everything revolves around new Elders coming in and Elders departing for home. It is an emotional week for those intimately involved and for all of us to witness those embarking on the trail and those that have reached the summit and looking forward and back at the same time.  It is a big deal in a mission to make changes and it is the one constant. Change is one of the aspects of a mission that is so good for everyone. It keeps us adaptable and prepares us for the future.
New Meets Old!   New Elders leaving the MTC at 7 am on 10.14.2014. Their greeters and porters are the departing Elders, flying out later today after the transfer meeting! Pretty emotional times for all involved.

"New and Old" pause for an embrace before morning schedule begins

Elders are greeted by the Mission Assistants and then President and Sister Dunn.
Elder Davies, with Elder Stephens and Elder Menendez are great missionaries that really help as the Assistants to the President.  Elder Davies is also getting transfered today and heading back to the field for his last 6 weeks, as Elder Menendez is being added as a new Assistant.

Meet our 7 New Elders from 6 different countries

Elder Alvial Cabrera is from Conception, Chile and was set to come in August, but  had delays related to his visa. He will be the first Chilean missionary to be here in a long time, maybe the first ever!  Elder Alvial Cabrera speaks Portuguese, which is very exciting. There is already been a request for a Portuguese speaking Elder for one of our wards. He is an answer to prayer. He enjoys basketball and is studying mechanical engineering and uses his talents to empower others. He has studied in the United States and his stake president says he has a good disposition to serve. Welcome!
Elder Bergman comes to the South Africa Johannesburg Mission from Molndal Sweden. He can speak fluent English and Swedish.His bishop tells us he is serious, intelligent, accountable and willing.  He has planned and saved for his mission on on his own. His stake president observes that he stands on his own feet, with a testimony that is his own. He agrees that he is very intelligent and smart and likes jogging.
Elder Manuma comes to us from the Islands of Samoa. He is praised by his bishop as one that displays a high degree of integrity, responsibility and ambition.  He has set a great example for all of the youth.  His Stake President says that he is the only member of his family and has excellent leadership skills and has shown a determination to serve others.  We are so excited to get him in the SAJM.
May is the only missionary in his group of 7 that is from the United States. He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.  It is ironic with 2 Italians in his group, that he also has studied Italian in school for 2 years. He has many hobbies and interests, like film making, drama and music performance and writing. He is an avid cyclist and rock climber. His bishop says that he has a strong testimony and a good gospel knowledge. He will be a great asset to our mission. 

Elder Tekurio comes all the way from an island in Tahiti in French Polynesia called Papeari. He speaks only French and his application is only in French, so we had to try to glean as much as we could when we met him.  President Dunn used the Google Translator App to communicate in their interview. We can tell of his desire to serve and his humble heart. It will be wonderful to see him grow in the gospel and with his English language skill, as well.

Elder Santoro is the second new missionary in this group joining us from Italy. He will be learning English on his mission, and also how to leave Italian food behind, and embrace the great food of South Africa. Elder Santora’s bishop observes that he is very committed and diligent in all he does. He also says that his upbringing distinguishes him. His Stake President agrees and says that he will always do what the Lord asks of him.

Di Ruscio (not pictured with us yet) is the second missionary in this group from Italy.  He comes from the town of Pisa, where the leaning tower is!  We have heard that he speaks Italian, English and Spanish. His bishop praised him with a fine mind, fine spirit and faithful in keeping the commandments. He is serious, firm and has good leadership capability that will develop even more in the mission field. He was the President of the Institute of Religion in Pisa and has saved and planned for his mission for many, many years. He also plays the piano.
Moving into the Board Room and getting settled with Orientation Agenda and Breakfast!

After breakfast (quiche and homemade coffee cake) and first hour, the new Elders move to another room and get short workshops on topics, such as self reliance, housing and phones, medical and cleaning supplies, money and cars, etc.

"Called To Serve!" A tradition of a short volleyball game, best to 11 by 2, was played and the New Elders vs. Departing Elders battled it out. The new Elders take the crown and bragging rights for the first time since the tradition began in July 2014!
After the transfer meeting, (which is a great part of the day) Elders are gathering luggage and saying good-bye.
You will see from the parking lot, that this mission has many, many cars. In fact, it has been reported that we may have the most cars of any mission-due to the fact that Elders cannot live in areas where they usually serve, i.e. townships!

Companions and Trainers of our New Elders
This is one of the most important assignments in the mission.  Helping anew Elder get his feet on the ground and help in adjust during this critical first 12 weeks is so important.  It is not easy being a trainer, but so important to help a new Elder start off on the right foot. 
Elder Jackson (trainer) with Elder Di Ruscio
Elder Wood (trainer) with Elder Avial

Elder Manuma  with Elder Allen (trainer)

Elder May with Elder Stilgoe (trainer)

Elder Tekurio and Elder Van Heerdan(trainer) 
Go well! We are excited to hear of the progress of each of these great missionaries in their first few weeks. We will gather with them in the mission home on Thursday November 6th for an Orientation meeting, where we will go over more aspects of this great mission and help them adjust to mission life.

1 comment:

  1. Love them all! I love all the pictures and the details you added about each new missionary. Glad Dad can use Google Translate with the French missionary! :) Or you could try your great French skills out on him..."uno, dos, tres.. " :)