President and Sister Dunn

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.

1 comment:

  1. Cool to do final interviews on temple grounds!
    The constant goodbyes make our next hello come sooner :)

    Way to go documenting all of this so fast for everyone!