President and Sister Dunn

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Dozen Depart

In this month of 28 days of February, that fall perfectly into a calendar of four weeks, we are calling it a "Month of Miracles." Each of our missionaries are challenged to rise to the occasion in this shortest month of the year, to live the gospel and a missionary life with exactness.

Living the missionary life, with it's routines and rules can be challenging at best, but for a dozen of our elders, they have been striving even harder to make the most of these 28 days of February, because they only have 17 of them as missionaries in the field. On the 18th, they become officially RM's-returned missionaries.

So, on the evening of February 16th, all 12 gathered around our dining room table in the mission home and had their "last supper" together as missionaries and reflected on the past 24 months.

We honor tonight these great men and missionaries, soon to be home realizing that their mission was the start of the rest of their lives!
Tables are set and plans made early for this special night. Notice the name cards for each Elder. These are their pictures from our missionary roster board. Now, they mark their place at the table and then travel home with them as a memento.
Irene Shabalaya, our trusted friend and mission housekeeper made her famous "pap" for this final dinner. It is made with maize meal, but Irene makes it extra special with sauteed peppers, onions and mashed potatoes. It is an African staple and something many of our Elders will not have at home, so it is fun to serve on this final night. Thanks, Irene!
The dinner menu is lemon ice drink, strawberry-orange and feta green salad, pap, roasted squash, homemade rolls and rump roast skewers. Plus, we ended with decadent chocolate cake and ice cream! Every morsel was consumed.
One of the best parts of the evening for me, is having our beloved Assistants help in the kitchen. Elder Malapula is a seasoned waiter and chef, so he was quite the server.
As we gather, it is always hard for Elders to drop off their companions for a final dinner and leave without them. Here you can see Elder Allen, Elder Kufoalor and Elder Benge sad to say good-bye to Elder Reed.                                                                                                                                                                            Let the festivities begin!

After serving everyone else, I am happy to see our Assistants, Elder Malapula and Elder Menendez get to enjoy their meal!

We have a special reflection gathering after dinner. Below are pictures and summaries from our last newsletter on each of the 12 departing elders.

Daniel Jackson Johnson
“The sooner you realize that this is your life and there’s no going home, the sooner you can function properly. “ or             

Christopher Richard Reed
“We laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. Then we die.” -President Thomas S Monson
174 Umfrevilles Rd Kaoota Tasmania Australia

Tanner Michael Pedersen
“And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good”. –2 Ne 33:10
552 Croydon Dr. Spring Creek, NV 89815

Jeromy Tyrell Perez
“What we give up on is a tyrannical approach to solving a social and medical problem, and we endorse the idea of voluntarism, self responsibility, family, friends and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It is a preposterous notion, it never worked, it never will. the government can’t make you better person, it can’t make you follow good habits. Why don’t they put you on a diet, you’re a little overweight and  I think you need government help!”
1555 Santa Clara PkWY.

Tyler McKay Carpenter
“If you want something you’ve  never had, you have to do something you’ve never done .”
Serve hard and have fun:).
Elder Tyler Carpenter played musical medelies for us on the final night. His musical talent and unique innoaltive ways of doing things has left his mark on the mission.

Connor Van Dalton
“Pray about it and use your best judgment.”
835 south Redview Drive, Monroe Utah, 84754

Siphiwe Mholi Mthembu
"Born the son of humble converts, I was here to pay it forward"
Nashville Tribute Band
16 Keurboom road, Pinetown, Caversham Glen, KZN, South Africa, 3610

Ayabulela Kewuti
 “I didn’t serve well because I was experienced, I served well because I was called” Boyd K. Packer
15’S Street Tantyi Grahams 6139 South Africa

 Bernard Onyango Otieno
“No man can comprehend the knowledge of God, of Christ and of the gospel unless He himself possess the attributes of godliness, for the knowledge of spiritual things comes only by revelation and until a person gains godly attributes He cannot receive the spirit from whom revelation comes.” -Bruce R. McConkie “Brethren Be Clothed with Humility, For God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the Humble. Humble Yourselves therefore under the mighty Hands of God, that He may Exalt You in Due time.” -1 Peter 5:5-6. Lets Rock and Roll Elders. Love Ya all.

Jordan Dale Lucking
“Grey clouds up above man, metaphor to my life man. Still I feel my heart stronger than it's ever been, strong will till my journey end." -Kid Cudi
357.S.820E Heber City,UT 84032

Shane Ammon Wadsworth
"Success is never final and failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts."-Winston Churchill "Thou that has given so much to me. Give one thing more-a grateful heart." -George Herbert "The week that you don't have challenges is the week God    doesn't love you." -Elder Stapley
219 Briscoe Rd, Chubbuck Idaho, 83202. USA
(For work and school reasons, Elder Wadsworth left a few weeks early. We missed him at the final night dinner-but he had one of his own.:)

Thomas James Taylor
"If [we] succeed in [our] holy work, [our] order will vanish into welcome obscurity, for there will be no more souls to redeem." Do work my       bretheren.
1024 W 40th St Safford, AZ 85546

Jacoby Michael Stephens
“We can’t do everything for everyone everywhere, but we can do something for someone somewhere.” Richard L Evans.5216 S. 3400 W. Roy Utah USA
jacobystephens1993@gmail.comElder Connor Dalton returns home to Monroe Utah  

Each Elder is asked to leave us with a page in the mission scrapbook. This group came prepared. It was so impressive to see what they each wrote to be left as their legacy. These are such creative pages.  Just as the night was wrapping up, a huge Johannesburg storm brewed up and was so severem that we lost power. We suddenly found all the possible candles and everyone headed to bed. In the final hours of the evening, I found Elder Stephens sitting at the kitchen table, finishing his amazing drawing of the mission candlelight.  This was a good final memory of a wonderful evening.  


  1. Loved ALL of this. You make it so sweet & special each time elders leave! Loved the quote, and the dinner looks amazing as always. Ps..cute flower choice! :)

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