President and Sister Dunn

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Vaal Interviews

Elder Mpiyakhe, Elder Savage, Elder Adjei, Elder Mwale came with the Vaal Zone for interviews. We enjoyed our last day of July 2015 Interviews at the mission home. Our Etiquette book has had good use, but really it is the Missionary White Handbook that gives us the most tips and codes of conduct! 

1.    the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group.
"the rules of etiquette are changing"
protocol, polite behaviour, good manners, manners, acceptable behaviour,accepted behaviour, proper behaviour, code of behaviour, rules of conduct/behaviour, decorumformgood formMore

We enjoyed our last batch of Butternut Soup-recipe below.
Thanks to Sister Dorothy Zachrison from the Durban Mission for this great recipe. I have now made it so many times and absolutely love the texture, flavor and ease of this recipe. 

Our final group had a little more time to linger. We even got President Dunn to join with us for Etiquette tips and discussion over lunch.

Pictures: President Dunn, Elder Valikoula, Elder Masoka, Elder Tukia and Elder Di Ruscio, (Elder Mdletcshe is there, but hiding behind Elder Di Ruscio.)

These are the etiquette "sticky situations"we discussed over lunch with every group over the past month of interviews.

Etiquette Questions:

I was impressed over the past month at all the great discussion around these questions. It is clear to me that our Elders are wonderful examples of decorum and good training. However, it was valuable to discuss these situations and have them share good ideas they have about the situations they could and do find themselves in.

What if you don’t like the food you are served? How do you gracefully decline?

Is it rude to decline seconds if you are offered them? Is it always appropriate to take more food if offered?

What should you do if you burp during a meal?

How do you eat spaghetti?

How do you eat soup with proper etiquette?

What should you do if your hosts are eating with their fingers?

How can you offer help if the hostess declines for you to clear the table or do the dishes?

Should you sit together as a companionship in church? When would you not sit together?

How do you handle a situation when a female is flirtatious towards you?
What should you do if a girl wants to give you a hug or hug you as you take a picture together?

What do you do of you need to sneeze at a dinner table? What if you need to blow your nose? What about a cough?

What is appropriate rule of thumb in terms of etiquette with young women while a missionary?

How can you be kind to females, but not give them the wrong idea when you are a missionary?

How can you protect your companion against inappropriate activities?

What should be different about how you react to females as a missionary?

What should you do if there is a fly in your soup?

What does the WHB say about missionary etiquette and appropriate behavior?

What does the word “Etiquette” means?

What is the most embarrassing etiquette situation you have found your self in?

What should you do if you get something in your mouth you need to spit out? (I.e. grisly meat, something that you cannot swallow, etc.)

Should you sit down before being invited to? If so, when is it most appropriate?

Is it appropriate to ask for more food or should you wait to be invited to have more?

When you are invited into a home, should you wait to be invited to sit down?


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Miss(ionary) Manners~ July 2015 Interviews

The Soweto Zone came for interviews on Thursday July 23rd. Below, Elder Wegrowski, Elder Widdison, Elder Smalley, Elder Lyon and President Dunn. This is almost the last zone to come and we have enjoyed each and every one of them.

Elder Benge, Elder Ramiliarijaona, Elder Dzowa after our Etiquette Workshop.  Elder Manuma was getting interviewed.
New arrivals completing the survey President Dunn has prepared for them.
 Nice to see their SAJM messenger bags parked together. 
Don't they look sharp?
Belwo was our last group of the day- Elder Harris, Elder Rini, Elder Mapenda and Elder Dube
Elder Pulley and Elder Mamhere usher in the Johannesberg Zone
The interviews this July are starting with a personal survey for each missionary to complete. As President Dunn talk to them one on one, this gives him a feel for things they are doing and what they want to focus on. It is a good start to the discussion.

Below are pictures from each district as I engage them in an Etiquette discussion during the time they are waiting for their interviews. Of course, we serve a little lunch along with the discussion. How could you just talk about eating and etiquette..without a little practice?

We have the pleasure of hosting all the zones this month in the mission home for interviews. As President Dunn meets one on one with each missionary, I have an Etiquette workshop that lasts one hour with four Elders. We are focusing on Miss(ionary) Manners. 
Elder Barton, Browning and Nwokedi below, are showing their table manners by first showing how to set a table.
*I still have to add captions to many of the pictures below! *

Elder Johnson and Elder Morrell have just arrived as the second group from the Bedfordview Zone on Tuesday July 8th. 

Elder Roush and Elder Johnson begin to set the table.
Elder Roush, Elder Downs, Elder Johnson and Elder Morrell were very creative as they used everything possible to set and decorate the table. Their mothers should be proud.
Elder Tekurio, Hughes and Dlamini also did a great job brushing up on missionary manners. It is valuable to discuss actual situations missionaries have encountered that need good common sense and appropriate behavior.

Elder Watenga, Ramiliarijoana and Elder Melese all show style and manners in all they do. 

The Benoni Zone came on Thursday July 10th. Our first group had the pleasure of having their Etiquette lunch with our area doctor and Wonderful companion, Elder and Sister Barton.

Below we started again with Elders Dean, Yates, Ware and Ndwande.

Elders Hollaway, Nonumar, Todd and Rushton hold up their Miss(ionary) Manners handout they can take home with them. It has over 31 pointers of what to do and not to do at the table.

Below is the information from one of the articles I shared with the missionaries. These are valuable table manner tips. We also discuss other "sticky situations" missionaries can find themselves in, that call for manners, politeness and etiquette.

How to be gracious, not disgraceful.
There are times in everyone’s life when it is important to know proper etiquette. A mission is one of them. On a mission you will be judged by your manners. You will want to make a good impression.
After you return home, manners will still be important. Maybe you’ll meet a wonderful boy or girl and want to get married. You’ll want to make a good impression on his or her parents.
Maybe you’ll be interviewed for a great job that you really want, and the boss will invite you out to lunch. There will be times when you’ll desperately want to have good manners.
Wherever you go you leave an impression of the kind of person you are and the kind of people you represent. Elder Marion D. Hanks said, “Manners are a manifestation of good sense and good breeding and consideration for others. … They are outward expressions of what we believe to be important, of our values. They reflect our attitude towards others; they show how we really feel” (“Era of Youth,” [p. 5], inImprovement Era, May 1962).
There is never a situation where good manners are optional. Before his mission, my son would say to me, “It’s okay. I don’t have to have good manners here when I’m just with my friends.” Or my daughter would say, “We don’t have to have good manners here because it’s just us at home. When I go out I’ll do okay.” Then the whole family would be out to dinner and they both would be eating like slobs. I’d say, “I thought you two said that when we go out to dinner you’d have good table manners.” All they could say was “Oops!” They got caught by their bad habits. Good manners need to be practiced.
Manners are really very logical. If you know a few basics, you can make it through some sticky situations by using one tried and true rule: If you are faced with a food you don’t know how to eat, or are in a situation where you don’t know what to do next, watch what the host or hostess does and do the same.
Much of good manners is not making a fuss about things. And good manners can make all the difference in the impression you make. Here are some dos and don’ts to remember. Many of them you already know, but they are good reminders.
  1. 1. 
    When you are invited into someone’s home, don’t sit down until invited to do so.
  2. 2. 
    Stand up when the host or hostess enters the room.
  3. 3. 
    Don’t pick up, touch, or fiddle with anything on tables or bookcases.
  4. 4. 
    If you are seated at a long banquet table, yourwater glass is the one you would pick up with your right hand at the upper right edge of your plate.
  5. 5. 
    When you are invited to be seated at the table, don’t rush in and sit down. If you are a young man, help the lady of the house with her chair.
  6. 6. 
    Unfold your napkin and place it on your lap.
  7. 7. 
    Sit up straight. Do not rock on the back two legs of your chair.
  8. 8. 
    When a meal is served family style, take only one small serving until everyone has been served.
  9. 9. 
    Wait until everyone is served before “digging in.” Wait until every dish has been passed around the whole table.
  10. 10. 
    No matter how hungry you are, do not wolf down your food. Eat medium-sized bites and carry on nice dinner conversation.
  11. 11. 
    Don’t play with anything on the table.
  12. 12. 
    Ask people to pass things. Don’t reach.
  13. 13. 
    Don’t cut all your meat up at once. Cut one bite at a time. You can cut your salad, but only one bite at a time.
  14. 14. 
    Don’t make concoctions by mashing or stirring foods together.
  15. 15. 
    Don’t put your elbows on the table or circle your arm around your plate.
  16. 16. 
    Don’t butter the entire slice of bread or roll at once. Break off a small piece, butter it, and eat it.
  17. 17. 
    Don’t use the serving piece to put butter or relishes on your food. Put the butter or relish on the edge of your plate, then use your own silverware to put it on the food.
  18. 18. 
    Don’t use your finger as a pusher.
  19. 19. 
    Eat around food that you don’t like. Never make any kind of comment like, “Yuck, I can’t stand this.” If you get something on your plate that you don’t like, cut a couple of pieces off and push it around so it looks like you’ve eaten some. Make only positive comments about the food.
  20. 20. 
    Don’t slurp your soup or drink from the bowl. It is correct to eat soup with your spoon sliding from the middle of the soup bowl to the back.
  21. 21. 
    Say “Excuse me, please,” if you must leave the table during a meal. Put your napkin on your chair seat if you are coming back.
  22. 22. 
    If you have to sneeze, turn away from the table and cover your mouth with your napkin.
  23. 23. 
    If you have a coughing fit, turn away from the table or leave the table until your coughing is under control.
  24. 24. 
    Leave the napkin to the left of your plate when you are finished. Don’t wad up the napkin or throw it on the table. Don’t refold it. Just lay it to the left of your plate.
  25. 25. 
    Don’t comb your hair at the table.
  26. 26. 
    Don’t chew your ice cubes.
  27. 27. 
    Don’t lick your knife.
  28. 28. 
    Don’t eat food with your fingers. There is an exception to this rule. If everyone in the family is eating their chicken with their fingers, go ahead and join them.
  29. 29. 
    When you are invited to a family’s home, always offer to help. If the hostess hesitates even the slightest bit before turning down your offer, jump up and get in there and help her.
  30. 30. 
    Thank the hostess for the invitation to dinner and say something nice about the food. Make the family that invited you to dinner feel you are totally grateful that they invited you.
  31. 31. 
    Take your cues from the family you are with. Don’t use overly formal manners as a put down. If they are relaxed and casual, then adjust accordingly.

Our first missionary surgery!

ON Thursday July 23, 2015, Elder Ratsimbazafy from Madagascar underwent a minor surgery. he had a hernia that needed repairing. We waited for a transfer until he was closer to the hospital and got it scheduled. He spend a night in the Flora Clinic following his surgery by Dr. Andre Baars. He had plenty of visitors after the surgery. The Assistants, his companions and also the senior couples all came bearing goodies and well wishes. He is on the way to a speedy recovery, I predict. He is one happy missionary and a delight to be with.

Welcome to 2 New Elders!

On a rare occasion, we get new missionaries off the traditional transfer cycle. So, on Tuesday July 21st, we met and welcomed two great Elders to the SAJM. Elder Randtianavalona and Elder Valikoula.  Our Assistants, Elder Worton and Elder Olson met them and walked them over to the SAJM.

Meet Elder Randtianavalona from Madagascar and Elder Valikoula
From Tonga.

Elder Randtianavalona

Elder Valikoula

Elder Valikoula
Elder Randtianavalona
Getting their bedding packet ready for them. Each missionary purchases a bedding kit and in includes sheets, pillow, comforter and they use it their entire mission, moving it with them. When they go home, they donate these items to someone in their branch or ward or give it to us and we offer it to those in need. 

Elder Quigley is helping here to day with his new companion and helping out with the Orientation.