President and Sister Dunn

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Holiday Season is Upon Us!

We were invited to a lovely Thanksgiving Feast at a members home, the Klintworths. It was a wonderful evening filled with 34 wonderful people we got acquainted with.  Our two zone leaders, Elder Cazier and Elder Leman were with us, which was wonderful.
The next evening, Friday November 29th, we hosted a fun gathering with 12 senior couples in honor of our American holiday.  I really enjoyed being able to host this evening for many reasons, but one was that my cute mom was still in town and I wanted her to meet our wonderful senior couples and some of the great area office people we get to interact with. 

Great food was brought by everyone! It truly was a feast.We filled up both tables and challenged everyone to sit by someone they didn't know.

Between dinner and dessert we had everyone change seats and get acquainted with someone else.  It really made it fun and more interactive for everyone.

It was so fun to still have my mom here visiting. She talked to everyone at the party.

Our AP's enjoyed the night and really helped with all the dishes, as did President Dunn and Doctor Barton!
No one wanted to leave and we didn't want it to end either. Sign of a good party!

The Jacksons and the Shupes are new fun friends from the area office. They are both working and serving in the Office of General Counsel, solving all the legal issues. 

President Dunn in his apron is letting people out of the gate and saying good-bye! He was a great co-host!  He even showed guests the "Cumorah Crest" emblem that is a cornerstone of the mission home, built into the brick.
Our dear friends, the Bartons! So glad they could come.
Our amazing office couples, Thompsons, Hansens and Allreds! We love them and planned the party together.
Our AP's Menendez and Stephens joined with us and made the evening so much more fun for everyone. They also talked to many people about our missionary efforts and focus. It is always helpful to have them around.

Our FIRST Mission President Seminar

Our first Mission President’s Seminar was the week of November 17-21, 2014.  We loved meeting the other 13 Mission Presidents from all over South East Africa. They all traveled by air to Johannesburg on November 16th and we got in the car and drove only 12 Kilometers to the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank, a nice suburb near downtown Johannesburg.

The mission presidents came from 14 countries:

Angola-President and Sister Merrill
Botswana-President and Sister Wilson
Democratic Rep. of the Congo-Kinshasa: Pres. and Sister Cook
Democratic Rep. of the Congo-Lumbasji: Pres. and Sister Thomas
Kenya Nairobi-President and Sister Hicken
Madagascar-President and Sister Adams
Mozambique-President and Sister Kretly
South Africa Cape Town-President and Sister Merrill
South Africa Durban-President and Sister Zackirson
South Africa Johannesburg-President and Sister Dunn (that's us!!)
South Africa- MTC-President and Sister Collins
Uganda-President and Sister Chatfield
Zambia-President and Sister Erickson
Zimbabwe-President and Sister Cook       
This was easy and fun for us, since this is the hotel we were brought to straight from the airport last June when we first arrived.
We also loved that my mom was still visiting with us and so we brought her along. She relaxed in the room, shopped in the mall and participated in everything she could with us. She met all of the other couples and they loved meeting her.
  We loved the 3 days of meetings and the socializing with other couples. There are 3 other couples like us that are in the first year - Merrill’s, Thomas’ and Monga’s. Others are in their 2nd and 3rd year.
We enjoyed dinners out each night. We had an opportunity to get better acquainted with many new friends. We loved getting to know the Zackrison’s who preside in Durban, South Africa.
 We also loved re-connecting with Leif and Linda Erickson, who are presiding in Zambia. The Adams’ in Madagascar were really fun to meet. We actually loved each and every couple and look forward to getting to know them all better.  It is quite an honor to be among this group and to be taught and instructed by the area presidency.

On the last day we all went to the Lion-Rhino Park and had a wonderful afternoon enjoying the animals and some time outside together. We are lucky to have amenities like this so close to where we live and preside.


The lions were the highlight of this visit. They were active and out in the open. We parked and watched then interact and lounge in the sun on their backs for a long time.  It was really amazing to see them this close and relaxed.

We are looking forward to the next Mission President's Meeting in May 2015 in Cape Town.

A snapshot of 30 days of Gram in South Africa!

After an amazing month spent together, my mother finally had to head home. We felt like the month went fast on one hand, but then we did so much during the month, that it felt like we had so much quality time.
Below are a few of the highlights. I had a fun time creating a book that captures the memories we made. I have included a snapshot of the pages of this book.

She was our first official visitor and having her in the home was such a blessing to us. Her memory lingers in the mission home, particularly when I go into her room. I loved having her make food with me, set the table and be at the table meeting and loving people. I loved having her meet the missionaries and get connected heart to heart so easily.

 On the last full day Gram was with me, we started in on a holiday project initiated by members.
Gram helped me set up the mission home for the holidays. We loved setting up the tree and the tables. She made it feel like home.

Saying good-bye is never easy, but one month was such a perfect amount of time to be together. I loved every minute and look forward to having her really understand what we are doing and really know what we are up to.  It was so great to have her with us. We loved having her with us so much.

Below is listed the itinerary that we started with.  We added more to it as time went on, but it is a reminder for us all that we set out to do...and did!!

South Africa Itinerary
Gram’s trip
November 5-December 3, 2014
Week 1: Welcome and Get Settled J
Wed Nov 5           Arrive on Delta flight  from Amsterdam, Holland                                 10 pm
Thu Nov 6            Mission Orientation with 7 new Elders and 7 trainers                     9 am-12 pm
                                    Mission Office/Neighborhood Walk/ Casual dinner at home
Fri Nov 7               Temple Session, 9 am, Cradle Outing to Caves and Lion/Rhino Park
                                    Doppio Zero Dinner/ Warhorse Theatre tickets, 8 pm Monte Casino play
Sat Nov 8               Gautrain from Sandton to Park Station/Bromfontein for lunch
                                    Family History Library Ribbon Cutting/Temple Grounds/Mike’s Kitchen
Sun Nov 9             Church Block in the Johannesburg 1st Ward
                                    3:30 pm ~Sunday dinner with Der Van Hover family (Lynn, Theo, Tyler, Granny)

Week 2: Tzaneen Road Trip with Entebeni and Kruger Safari’s
Mon Sun 10         Monday Office Morning /Botanical gardens afternoon/Mdeltsche FHE dinner ?
Tue Nov 11          Participate in a staff meeting with office couples, 9 am
                                    Tea with Lynn and her mother (office projects: bulletin board-books)
Wed Nov 12        Leave for Entebeni Safari by 10 am, Overnight stay                             safari
Thu Nov 13         Sefapane Lodge and Safari’s         
Fri Nov 14            Drive to Tzaneen after day in Kruger National Park                            sightseeing
Sat Nov 15            Tzaneen Mission Interviews and Adult Meetings, overnight
Sun Nov 16          Tzaneen Mission Interviews and Adult Meetings, home

Week 3: Mission President Seminar/Hyatt regency/ Rosebank
Mon Sun 17         Re-pack from weekend-head to Rosebank Hyatt Regency
Mission Presidents Seminar
Daily Schedule of Events
Tuesday, November 18,  2014

                                                      Breakfast on own

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.     Tuesday Morning Training Session –      Room Ilanga 1
12:15 p.m.                                                Lunch 
1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.       Tuesday Afternoon Training Session -   Room Ilanga 1
6:00 p.m.                                                   Dinner
                                                             Wombles Steakhouse
                                                17 3rd Ave, Parktown North, 
                                                Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
                                                Phone: +27 11 880 2470

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.     Wednesday Morning Training Session -                  Room Ilanga      
12:00 p.m.                                                Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.                         Wednesday Afternoon Sessions (Bro and Sisters)
 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.      Temple Excursion
7:30 p.m.                                                   Dinner  on own                                                                       

Thursday, November 20, 2014   
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.     Thursday Morning Session -                         Room- Ballroom
12:00 p.m.                                                Lunch at Hyatt
13.00 p.m.                                                 Leave for Cultural Activity          
                                                                        Rhino and Lion Park       (Remain in conf clothes, remove ties)
6:00 p.m.                                                   Dinner on own
Friday November 21, 2014
Temple Sessions: 
Open Day-Lunch at Charnell deKock’s home (STD)
Sat Nov 22            Van Der Hover Brunch- Olive & Plates/ Wits Universtiy/ Pretoria Bike race
                                    2 pm Stake Conference Women’s Session 4-6 pm Adult Session
                                    Evening Stake Conference-Roodeport Stake/ Pres. Hall (Mike leaves for Tzaneen)                              Signature Dinner w/Pierre 7:30 pm/reservation
Sun Nov 23          Visiting ward/branch (open)

Week 4: Transfer Week/Thanksgiving/Parties
Mon Sun 24         Departing Elders dinner for 20                                                        6 pm
Tue Nov 25          Transfer Day-MTC and Mission Office                                                          7 am
Wed Nov 26        Airport Runs/ Final Departures/Pick-Ups
Thu Nov 27         Hike in morning, Thanksgiving at the Klintworths, 5:30 pm
Fri Nov 28            Senior Couples Holiday Gathering at mission home
Sat Nov 29            Dinner at the Rumseig Ward-hosting senior gathering
Sun Nov 30          Church Block in am, Braai with Van Breda’s at 1 pm/WinStanley 5 pm

Week 5: Good-bye Week L
Mon Dec 1            Free Day-P                            
Tue Dec 2              Lynne- Christmas Craft Mart                                                            Final evening
Wed Dec 3            Missionary Interviews 9-1                                                                Airport                  6 pm

Waterfall hike
Chameleon Village
China Mall
Elephant Sanctuary
Heia Safari Ranch
Hoodespruit Dam
Sandton Mall/Nelson Mandela Square
Broomfontein/neighborhood Market/Gautrain