President and Sister Dunn

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Missionary Christmas with love

Christmas preparation came early this year.  Due to the postal strike and the generous offer from members, we started gathering, shopping, wrapping and hiding all the presents early in December.  It was a great project on every level.

A generous member, Michele Shaw,  (pictured above)  initiated a great idea (listed below) to the on-going postal strike in all of South Africa.  In October I was planning a luncheon for local women I had met and thought it would be a great way to help Michele launch the idea and have a focus group to give her feedback.  She brought this idea forward to the group and we discussed it after lunch. Everyone gave suggestions and offered to help in a variety of ways. This was the beginning.

This message was then sent out:
A message that went out from a  member, Michele Shaw to ward and stake leaders
in October!

Our family has 3 boys on mission who this Christmas cannot receive a package from home due to the current postal strike.  Our thoughts are turned to the missionaries in our mission area who will also not receive a package.
We read in Moroni 7 about Charity being the pure love of Christ.  With the festive season approaching, we would like to initiate, in the spirit of Christmas, a special drive for our missionaries away from home and affected by the strike.

There are 200 missionaries in our Johannesburg Mission. Our idea is to give each missionary a small gift this Christmas season. So we would like to invite all those who can and would like to contribute towards our drive to do so. 
Our idea is to collect items, donations, etc. and then fill a shoebox with goodies for each missionary, to let them know that they are loved and needed and remembered. Please do not seal the box as we will be adding a CD and then wrapping each one.
Some ideas for the Christmas Box fillers:
Pens / Pencils / Highlighters / Notepad / A6 Hardcover Book for a gratitude journal / Writing Pad & Envelopes
Homemade Cookies (please put in a sealed zip lock bag to maintain freshness) / Sweets  
Instant Soup / Ready mixed Tuna Sachets / 2 min Noodles / canned food / puddings /
Tissues / Lip Ice / Wet Wipes / Hand sanitizer / Deodorant / Shoe Polish / soap / sponges
Thank you note (to the missionary) / Note of Encouragement (to the missionary) /
Uplifting Talks / Inspirational Poems /
Pillowcase / Socks / Tie /
Or whatever you’d like to donate.

Lots of love
Michele and Rachel Shaw

Many hands were involved behind the scenes. Above, Tyler van der Hover made a special visit to drop off the boxes their family put together, so she could wrap it and be part of the service project.

Christmas Day: The boxes were loaded into a trailer and arrived in a Santa sleigh with 2 elves! It was a fun way to deliver and surprise our Elders!

Elder Widdison and Elder Larsen are representatives of all the missionaries that really appreciated the gifts and thoughtfulness of everyone involved.


 Santa and his elves below!


  1. Words cannot express the gratitude I have to all those involved in providing Christmas for all our boys. I was wondering how I was going to get my son a gift for Christmas and when I heard of this project I started to cry. One of the beautiful things about membership in this church is that no matter where we go throughout the world we will find brothers and sisters who love and care about us. We all are instruments in God's hands. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Tracy Riley missionary mom to Elder Jace Riley from Farmington, Utah, USA

  2. LOVE this! you guys made the biggest difference in their christmas!
    i laughed so hard that chapstick is called "lip ice!"

  3. What joy this project gave us. When in our country they are my boys too. Rachel and I had such fun. We love each missionary.