President and Sister Dunn

Monday, November 28, 2016

Vaal District Conference

On Sunday November 27, 2016 we participated in the Vaal District Conference. This is special for us because as a district the Vaal falls under the Mission. The hope when the Vaal was created as a Stake over 15 months ago, was that it would grow to be a Stake in the near future.
The Vaal district Presidency is joined by President Dunn of the SA Johannesburg Mission and also Elder Jacques Armand Van Reenen, the Area Seventy who presided over the District Conference this weekend
Pictured above: 

Left to Right:
Elder Van Reenen, President Dunn, Brother Mxasa, 2nd Counselor, President Gwebu, Vaal District Branch President, Brother Herbert, 1st Counselor, Brother Manyokolo, District Clerk
We were greeted by our beloved missionary sons on this beautiful Sabbath morning.
President Dunn,
Elder Adams, Elder Martinho, Elder Wardle, member, Elder Chaka, Elder Dorn, Elder Katia, Sister Dunn

People gather early and linger ling after the conference. There is a such a good feeling among the members. Enjoy the pictures that follow of all the good members and investigators that gathered together.

Elder Mkwizu and Elder Katia with members

Elder Mugenyi showing his wonderful smile as he interacts with a member.

Sister Robison serves in the Sebokeng branch and here we are pictured with her primary president and long time friend.

Elder and Sister Robison make an impact whereever they are!

It is great to see this campaign being launched and advertised in the chapels.

The Mukonda family is a strength to the Vaal District. Daniel, the father, is the District Young Men's President  and he does so much for and with the missionaries. He is a role model for all the returned missionaries also.

Elder Adams with one of the small, yet powerful members of the District.

These members do "Light the World" with their love and testimonies.

As well as our beloved zone leaders, Elder Mugenyi and Elder Adams. 
Look what a darling dad I met with his beautiful two little daughters. Does it get any cuter?

A few more missionary pictures. Elder Katia, Elder Adams, Daniel, a member preparing for a mission, Elder Mugenyi and Elder Mkwizu.

Same group with President Dunn below.
We loved our week-end spent at the Vaal District Conference. It was edifying in every way. We both spoke at both meetings and loved the chance to hear other talks. I will post our talks here (in the next few days) for the annual history. 

Mission Leadership Council

Another MLC is coming around and our two Assistants, Elder Campbell and Elder Zitumane spent countless hours getting everything organized for the meeting. They prepared well and conducted and executed a very production Mission Leadership Council on Thursday November 24th, 2016- which also happened to be Thanksgiving in America.
They prepared well and conducted and executed a very production Mission Leadership Council on Thursday November 24th, 2016- which also happened to be Thanksgiving in America.
After the announcements, President Dunn gave a terrific training on the Priesthood Peloton. He trained on how leadership is meant to rotate, but the leaders in the front, like geese and a bike peloton, pull the rest of the pack along with them.

His analogies were powerful and relevant for leadership in a mission. There was great discussion and a useful and applicable training.

The Assistants work hard to present zone reports, with all the key indicators form each zone. This time they had great photos of properties or places in each zone as the background shot. They go to a lot of effort to use the stats in a useful and effective way. Then each zone leader talks about what is going on in respect to their goals. It is very effective in helping us measure the progress made each transfer. 

Bedfordview Zone with the zone leaders below, as they are discussing the progress made and areas to focus on.

The Benoni Zone is discussed. Both Elder Campbell and Elder Zitumane are good at engaging zone leaders in discussion and complementing the good things that are happening.

Next up, Johannesburg Zone
Below is the Roodepoort Zone stats.

Soweto's zone Stats. One thing so impressive today are the numbers to the far right. The Assistants decided to come up with
a reasonable number for each indicator that each zone could call the "put your shoulder to the wheel" goal to shoot for through december. It was a motivating way to encourage a strong push to the end.

The Vaal was #1 this past transfer in re-engagements. Each zone gets highlighted for the area they led out in the past transfer. It is such a great way to encourage and spotlight great performance.

This slide summarizes all of the highest achieving zones in these respective goals. It shows how much progress is happening across the mission. The Assistants do a great job compiling all of this.

The final slide shows our progress to date. All in all- the goals are just a guide and they have been useful in helping our mission focus on not only baptisms, but getting new investigators to church, getting people re-engaged if they are members, but not active. We also focus on getting people to the temple and put focus on this.  
We took a break and in honor of Thanksgiving today in America, we had turkey sandwiches on homemade bread with a festive salad and pumpkin dessert.

We also went around the table and shared thoughts of gratitude. It was a nice lunch break on a special day for the Americans. Only 5 of 16 Elders in our Leadership Team are from America- but the others enjoyed trying turkey, some for the first time!
Here are our newest zone leaders, attending their first meeting today.
Elder Hlophe, Elder Mazinyane, Elder Benson and Elder Lambert.

We love having missionaries add to this group and increase the effectiveness of the council.

Today was the last meeting for Elder Nelson, who goes home on Tuesday December 13th to Australia, just in time for Christmas. He will be missed and he has left a great legacy of leadership.

There is a lot of unity in zone leaders, but we loved that Elder Wikaria and Elder Reynolds honored their zone unity by wearing the same tie today. Don't they look sharp? They are having such great success leading the good missionaries in the Centurion Zone!

Centurion worships at the temple

We love Fridays at the temple! Each week a new zone gets the privilege and opportunity to attend a temple session together and then hold their district meetings over lunch in the cafeteria or canteen, as they call it.

Today we spent our time with the Centurion Zone.
Back row: Elder Morrill, Elder Nielsen, Elder Marsden
Elder Treasure, Edler Wikaira, Elder Adamson
Elder Sorge, Elder Nelsen, Elder Warnock
Elder Bakes, Elder Musiiwa, Elder reynolds, Elder Phiri
Elder Stevenson, Elder Kuyangepi,
President Dunn, Elder Kokotiko, Sister Dunn

The district meeting combined for the lesson and Elder Sorge shared thoughts on the district topic of how to use the "Light the World" campaign that is kicking off today around the world. Elder Morrill also shared some idea's, as well as Elder Musiiwa. 
Elder Reynolds, the zone leader was the concluding speaker today and all in all this great zone is making a difference in Centurion. Their effectiveness is evident and they have turned around some areas and really brought a fire to the work. It was a pleasure to be with them today at the temple.

One last picture of great Elders.
Elder Sorge, Elder Nelsen, Elder Warnock, Elder Adamson, Elder Bakes

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A new senior couple and other visitors

On Tuesday November 22, 2016,  Elder and Sister Jensen arrived. We celebrate this new senior couple and are so excited to get them here.

We happily  hosted them for dinner at the mission home and served them some South African fare of bobotie and malva pudding. After an attempt to sleep a little, we took them to the mission office where we had an orientation and breakfast together.
They met the Larson's and the Wells and were hooked up with phones, cars and many other details.
 ,We then drove them to the area where they are serving, which is in Potchefstroom with Elder Greener and Elder Galbraith. 
We were able to meet up with them before we dropped the Jensen's at their new home for the next 2 years. 

We got all their luggage moved in and they seemed ready to get settled.  we are so excited to have them here and look forward to seeing them next week for the mission tour.
Earlier in the day, another group landed in Joburg and we had time to show them around during the day. First stop- temple and area office where they could connect with Elder and Sister Walton that are from their home ward. The Walton's are leaving on Friday Dec. 2nd for home, but it was highlight for this group to see each other and even meet Elder Hamilton at the area office.

Couples: Stephanie and John Bjorn (her parents are presiding over the Provo Utah Mission and his mom is form South Africa and his dad served his mission here.  Their friends, Sarah and Sean taylor came along on this fun trip. They are headed to Durban, to Cape Town and on a safari, before heading home. they each have one little baby boy at home. Cute couples!

Today was the kick off for the #share the light campaign.

Due to the campaign kick-off, our area president, Elder Hamilton was available and able to visit with this fun group. It made it extra special for all of us.

This was also special for me to have one more time with the Walton's. They are such dear friends and we have loved serving alongside them for the last 18 months. They do so much for the area president.

I stopped into the Church History Center and love seeing this new history timeling mounted on the wall. Brother Holmes oversees this department and has been so fortunate to have Taunia and Dennis Lombardi as a missionary couple. Transitions are happening here also as they head home this week.

The Bjorn's and the Taylor's enjoyed a few of the Joburg sights. It was fun to take them around to a few places that are meaningful, like Constitution Hill, Hillbrow and the first Chapel in South Africa, Ellis Stadium and Soweto. We also toured the MTC and Mission Office complex.

We also stopped and had some African cuisine at Moyo. 

They brought President Dunn a gift from some special friends in common (Brent and Kathryn Knudsen) and of course it was a new green tie to add to his collection!

AS the final event of the day, we were able to ahve the Bjorn's and the Taylor's meet the Jensen's, as a new senior couple. We had a great day being with all these wonderful people and welcoming them to South Africa..some for 10 days, others for 2 years!!!!