President and Sister Dunn

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 2016 Mission Leadership Council

Another Leadership Meeting rolls around! We started off with a South African lunch of Bobotie, grapes and Malva Pudding. It is nice to start off the meeting with a nice lunch together.
We have a lot of new Zone Leaders. A few are re-engaged zone leaders that have been with us before and are back!
Meet our new ones- Elder Tekurion, Elder Wegrowski, Elder Todd, Elder Downs, Elder Ratsimbazafy, Elder Broadhead, Elder Mapenda. Welcome to everyone new and old!

Elder Todd, Elder Dean and Elder Mapenda!
Elder Hentunen, Elder Downs and Elder Ndwandwe
Elder Di Ruscio, Elder Dube, Elder Pickup and Elder Clegg

Elder Tekurio
Elder Broadhead and Elder Ratsimbazafy
Elder and Sister Larsen
Elder Dube and Elder Di Ruscio
Elder Mapenda
Meeting about to begin!
Elder Ndwandwe introducing Elder Tekurio. 
Elder Hentunen introducing Elder Downs
Our wonderful Assistants, Elder Pickup and Elder Clegg planned a great agenda. Very impressive leadership.
President Dunn gave a wonderful training on the "Why?" of missionary work.

Another great meeting that helps move the mission forward. This is a great group of Elders as our senior leadership team.. We are so blessed to work with them and they are making great strides with the missionaries in their zones.

Next meeting: Thursday May 26, 2016

Teaching workshops added to interviews-Benoni #1

On Tuesday April 26, 2016 we hosted the first round of interviews at the mission home with the Benoni Zone. It was a beautiful day and everyone arrived on time.
We started our day of training with a demonstration by the Assistants on bike maintenance and repair.

Many Elders can use the practice of repairing a flat tire. It is good to do it together and demonstrate and practice.
Elder Pickup took another group and talked about lubing the chain, adjusting brakes and general bike care.

This demonstration was also about general good teaching practices. Today we are focusing on a half day of "improving teaching techniques." With many young and new missionaries, this is an important topic.

So, after the bike demo- we moved upstairs and began some small group discussions and teaching.

They role played and shared great ideas with each other on how to ask inspired questions....

how to listen attentively...and how to use the scriptures in teaching.

The zone leaders offered a great training on characteristics of effective teachers and then provided a fun activity on "listening to the spirit", which after all is the best teacher.

We gathered today for a lunch on the lawn...and al the zone was able to be there for lunch.

Meanwhile, each and every missionary was interviewed by President Dunn. This is the reason they come today and it is meaningful to be able to be part of the workshops and have a one on one interview.

More time to be together over lunch. are on camera!

A table in the shade....

Sister irene helped set out the food.

The missionaries love her and she makes everyone feel welcome.

The afternoon group got the same training as the morning and likes it as much!

The voices are whispering and confusing Elder Eki.

All the missionaries did a wonderful job teaching each other. I learned so much form them and about them as I was able to facilitate and observe. I am excited about  the next 6 days when the other zones attend. 

Elder Bergman and Elder Mapenda are our Benoni zone leaders. I was so appreciative to them for doing such a wonderful job leading and teaching today. Interviews are such a valuable time to bring missionaries together and offer additional training. This is a particularly fun and meaningful topic.

At the very end of the day, after we were through with the training, we had time for a round of Kubes. This is a game that originated in Sweden (where Elder Bergman is from) and he taught the missionaries how to play. *we were given this great missionary game by Elder Lomabardie for us to use and keep for missionaries. WE love it and they had fun with it today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

So far "Sousa" good!

Today a new Elder arrived from this last transfer......just a week later. Elder Sousa from Brazil has spent the past three weeks training at the Brazil MTC and we are so excited to receive him today.

He is joining up with Elder Bonifaz from Spain and will be serving in Potchefstroom. A cool connection was discovered today and it continues to amaze us at the power of inspiration of who will serve with who.
 A journal entry from Sister Charchenko after helping Elder Bonifaz to pick up Elder Sousa:
 Amazing. We just picked up Elder Bonifaz's new companion Elder Sousa. Elder Sousa is from Brazil and Elder Bonifaz is from Spain BUT Elder Sousa knows Elder Bonifaz's brother really well. He met him in Belgium when he went there to visit his mother. So the family in Belgium are really good friends with Elder Bonifaz's family and Elder Sousa also knows them really well. Elder Sousa spent a lot of time at their house when Elder Bonifaz's brother was there and they became really good friends. So needless to say The two Elders are already friends. 

We knew Elder Sousa speaks Portuguese but we wondered if he would speak English. Well he not only speaks English and Portuguese, he speaks Spanish and French. Pretty awesome.

We are so excited to get this wonderful new Elder in our mission. We can tell he will be a great asset.
Bless the Charchenko's for helping transport these two great companions back to their new area in Potchefstroom!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Birch Acre Baptism

On Sunday April 24, 2016 we had the privilege of participating in one of many baptisms that happen across our mission each Sunday.  Members are baptized on Sundays due to the issue with transportation, so everyone stays after the 3 hour meeting block and participated then.
This is a special one for us because many weeks ago we were able to meet Veronica Hwinoingwi with Elder Irakiza and Elder Kei when they invited us to a teaching appointment as part of the Centurion Zoning In event. 

We were so impressed with Veronica's readiness to be baptized and we also met her son Anthony at the time of our visit in her home. She invited us to her baptism and we accepted. It was a lovely event and Veronica really brought an extra special spirit with her.
Elder Irakiza gave a talk on baptism and President Dunn on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Veronica shared her testimony after the baptism and Bishop Mabasa welcomed her into the congregation.
Elder Irakiza baptized Veronica
Elder Kei was busy getting the contact details of a lovely new investigator who showed up for her first Sunday.
The baptismal font is a portable one put up behind the church meeting place. It works!

Lots of support today by the members that came to be part of this special occasion.

The ward meets in a strip mall building that is rented. I am amazed by how many people are active members of this ward.

After this special morning we were invited to the home of Amber and Zach Louw as they emigrate this week for New Zealand.. Their family hosted a lovely lunch!

It is an honor to be part of our missionaries lives during and after their missions. We have loved having Amber and Zach living so close to us and have gathered together on many occasions since their wedding over a year ago. We wish them the best in New Zealand where they will be working in an Italian restaurant. Zach is a chef and Amber will be working alongside him in the restaurant. A bold and exciting adventure awaits them.