President and Sister Dunn

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Special Highlight Events

Just a few highlights: I don't always  capture all of the daily awesome events. Here are a few random ones.

Great senior couples and Elders joining together for weekly district meetings!

A special baptism of a dear mother and her children in the Bedfordview Stake. We love being part of these great events and seeing how members embrace new converts.

Seeing the missionaries (Elder Ainsle and Elder Njovane) as they get to participate in the baptism of a great family they have helped to teach.

Teaching opportunities for Elder Quigley and Manoo.

Being with a great zone of Elders who have just gone through a temple session on a Friday.

Last lunch with Bruce and Connie Barton, on this side at least, before they head home after 18 months of service as the Area medical Doctor and amazing companion. We have loved knowing them and working together. They will be missed.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Centurion Youth Convention

On Friday September 25, 2015 the Centurion Stake hosted a convention for the Young Men and Young Women. This is a repeat of an activity we did in April with them in Kempton Park. Brother Kevin is the Stake Young Men's leader and he invited President Dunn to come and give the Bear Talk as part of the youth convention. We also offered workshops for the youth ages 12-16. The older youth went out with the missionaries for 3 hours and contacted on the street. Later, everyone returned and prepared for a dance and then had a meeting where all those that went out with the missionaries shared their experiences in a powerful meeting.
Elder Watenga and Elder Eki help to decorate for the dance.
Elder Quigley shares his talent by providing the music for the meeting.
Elder Olson and Elder Masoka were on exchanges today and were able to join with us tonight. They are pictured with Elder Manoo and Elder Banda, who are brand new missionaries in the SAJM.

Wonderful Centurion missionaries that participated today.
So many youth came and participated alongside the full time missionaries. This activity was a great success. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership is

Ministering more than Administering!

~Alma 22:23-25: Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord. Now there was a multitude gathered together because of the commandment of the queen, and there began to be great murmurings among them because of Aaron and his brethren. But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And they were pacified towards Aaron and those who were with him.  

This great example in the Book of Mormon where Aaron was teaching the King of the Lamanites where the King said "I will give away all my sins to know God." After the King was converted, it says that the King "ministered" to his household and they were all "converted." Not long after a crowd gathered outside alarmed that a Nephite was speaking with their Lamanite King. The King then "administers" and only "pacifies" them.

This scripture clearly shows the difference between "ministering" and "administering." Too often it is easy to get into a rut of going to church, teaching our lesson, going to our meetings, and planning our activities and believe that we are living up to the expectations that the Lord has for us. How much "converting" are we involved in vs. how much "pacifying"? Our missionaries are good examples of working with different people one-on-one, helping them return to full activity, or to become temple worthy. Unfortunately, this can be very heart-rending work as not everyone responds to  ministering.

To minister involves visiting, blessing, and teaching.  As we focus on ministering in the church, more fully consecrating our lives to God, and loosing ourselves in the Lord's service; we will be living up the the expectations that that Lord has for us, and we will more fully experience the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The power of the Atonement of Christ, which Christ told Joseph Smith many churches deny, doesn't just Justify us from sin, but will sanctify us and purge us of any desire to do evil. Instead we will only be filled with love of God and the desire to do good continually.
(Excerpts taken from a training by Elder Robert C. Gay, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy)


On Thursday September 24th, we gathered the SAJM Leadership Team of the Mission Leadership Council. These 16 Elders comprise our Senior Leadership and make an  impact in the mission. We covered many topics today and also shared the importance of being a servant leader.....

Stepping up to the leadership challenge, Elder Masoka and Elder Olson set the agenda and led out with the meeting.

Agenda for our September 24, 2015 mee

Gathering and getting ready for our meeting in the board room of the Seminary and Institute Building.

Sister Dunn presented a brief "moment" thought on the difference between the ministering and administrating, aka SERVANT-LEADER

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.  The leader first is interested more in the accumulation of power and wielding influence over others.

The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?

A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.
Gathered after the meeting: Elders Olson, Clegg, Masoka, Henderson, Jackson, Broadhead, Todd, Holmquist, Nwokedi
Front row: LArsen, Silverster

Elder Silvester and Elder Henderson are enjoying their very last Mission Leadership Meeting because they both go home at the end of the transfer on Tuesday October 27th.
Picking up packages and letters for the zone is an important job of the Zone Leaders. Here Elder Jackson from the Roodepoort Zone and Elder Broadhead serving in the Benoni Zone are loading their supplies into their cars.

Elder Allred and all our amazing office senior couples help to make this day a success. Here Elder Allred is just finishing an ice cream sundae that all of us enjoyed at the end of the meeting

Elder Homquist (left) is a new member  to te SAJM  Zone Leader team.
 Below, Elder Graham (left) is also a new zone Leader. They are with their great companions, Elder Larsen and Elder Lea'aetoa. It is such a wonderful opportunity for missionaries ot be in any of the many leadership roles. They learn a lot as a senior companion, Trainer, District leader, zone leader ot Assistant.  But, as was highlighted in this meeting, the best way to serve as a leraer is to be focused most on how to help and serve others.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Five Elders Take Flight

Link here to see more of those departing:

Elder Deichman, Ware, Cluff, Tukia, Mayende and Wild

This group will be missed.

Saying good-bye is never easy, but we are forced to engage in farewells every 6 weeks. We just cannot believe how fast it rolls around. Starting on Monday evening, September 14, 2015, we hosted a departure dinner for five Elders leaving this week and one that is leaving before the October transfer. (Elder Wild)  We also had the pleasure of hosting a senior couple, the Winward's, who ended their 24 month mission the same day.
I am posting all the pictures tonight, but will add all the captions ASAP. However, since all these Elders are arriving home in the next few hours, we want them to have access to these case they are already looking!!:)
Wlecoming Elder Wild, Tukia and Ware with some appetizers on the front porch while we are all gathering.
Elder Mayende and Deichman reading through the scrapbook pages, of which they will soon be contributing to.
Dinner is on...we have a great guy on the grill.... and Elder Worton and Elder Winward eager to help.
A dinner party for 12! We had a delightful meal and conversation. Very enjoyable!
Followed by a nice chance to pause and reflect on their great service.
President Dunn giving some final words of wisdom.
It is a sweet night to be with the departing group in an intimate setting.
We loved having the Winwards join with us this time.

We are so fortunate to enjoy evenings like this in the mission home. It is very, very special to have these Elders who are leaving to pause and be together and reflect on their past two years of service.
After the dinner and the program, there is time for them to relax and spend time together. We do get everyone up early, to depart for the MTC at 6:30.
We had a chance to take a few pictures before picking up the new Elders.

Heading to the MTC to pick up the 11 new Elders at 7 am on September 15, 2015.

Later in the morning our transfer meeting begins. Elder Worton is conducting his last meeting as an AP today. He is heading to KaNymazane to finish training and enjoy his last 6 weeks as a missionary in the field. Part of the transfer meeting is devoted to honoring those heading home. Below are the commemorative pictures that we give each Elder as they leave, along with a mission pin.

After the transfer meeting, we headed back to mission home for a final South African Braai. Irene has been preparing the kitchen for us to return. Oh, how we love her.

It has been wonderful to have the spirit of the Winwards with us.  Elder Winward also helped today by cooking the Boerwors on the grill. This is usually a flamin' experience!" 

Lunch outside is always enjoyable.

Seconds anyone?

Loading up the MTC oversize van and heading to our last activity before the airport.

Final personal interviews on the temple grounds with President Dunn

While others gather behind the temple for some last minute reflective moments. Elder Berg from the Area office graciously has agreed to video tape each Elder and have them share their final testimonies. T
Link here to see more of those departing:

One more picture in front of the temple with Sister Lynette Cook, married to Carl B. Cook, SouthEast Area President.

Sister Lynette Cook with Elder and Sister Winward

Joined by the AP's and President and Sister Dunn

Walking in front of the temple on Jubilee Road

One final stop before heading to the airport. The church history center is a place we drop off the Elders final reflection pages that they wrote for the mission history. here the Lombardy's (a wonderful senior couple) offer some insights on South Africa church history and show a short little slideshow as they take the individual pages for the archives.
The history Center was just dedicated last September 2014. It is nice for our Elders to gather here and realize their place in the SAJM history.
Leaving the temple grounds for the final time.
Elder Tukia, Elder Mayende and new Assistant, Elder Masoka. Canyou sopt Elder Deichman in the background?

Delta Airlines-Here We Come!

It is always impressive to see families waiting to greet the beloved departing Elders. This is a sweet part and very tender and meaningful to see the love the members have for our great missionaries. Can you spot Elder McCallister in the back? We were so delighted to be reunited with him before he leaves. He was re-assigned to the Botswana Namibia Mission on July 1, 2015. He flew here form Botswana, but it was nce to have him returning home with his group.

Final Airport  good-bye
Elder Deichman

Elder Cluff
Elder Mayende

The Winwards

Elder Ware

Elder Tukia

Elder McCallister, now returning from the Botswana Mission. We feel lucky to have served with him for most of his mission.

We send these great Elders and Sisters off with our love and devotion for their efforts and commitment and plan to stay connected as they head home. We love each and everyone of them and feel fortunate to have shared such a meaningful experience serving in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.