President and Sister Dunn

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Vaal is Very Last

The Vaal Zone Conference started today- the last day of January-
31 Jan 2017

Elder Shamanga and ELder Mugenyi helped organize their zone today as the zone leaders
The Vaal Zone
Front Row: Middle Row:
Back Row:

We love having senior couples serve alongside our junior missionaries. The Jensen's are serving in Potchefstroom

We rotated between classes while President Dunn interviewed each Elder.

Then we made lunch together stressing easy, nutritious and low cost meals.

Nice to end with lunch and visiting as a zone
Look what we came home to last night- A banner Christmas card from our own Neff's Canyon Ward. We love this and appreciate receiving it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Power of Women

On the last day of January
Monday January 30th
the mission home was filled with women!
There is a power in the spirit that women bring when they gather together.
Over the past 2 1/2 years we have gathered for a ladies lunch about every 6 months. We have had different areas of focus from mindfulness, to service to celebrating comings and goings.  Today was extra special for me because it is the last one I will host and I love each and every one of these women. What a special bond to make lasting friendships.

(above: Linda Dunn, Irene Tshabalala, Andronica Lebethoa, Shamiso Makasi, Sarah Wentzel)
Don't Sister Wenzile Radibe and her her mother Sister Grace Mbobo just bring a sense of love and connection?

Sister Wells and Sister Larson always come to help and also make others feel so welcome. I love these two!

Irene, Sister Wells, Sister Larson and I enjoyed serving a plated lunch to everyone. 

Wenzile was our server! How cute is she???

 With all three tables filled, we had over 25 women with us today.

Each woman brings her own story and history. We had every stake in Gauteng represented- which makes it very special to have women connecting in ways they don't always have the chance to.

Mothers and daughters joined together...with all ages welcome!

Captured Liz Vizzini, Claudia Hamilton, Tina Jackson and Jen Robison in the kitchen.

Love these ladies, Wenzile Radebe and Grace Mbobo.......
mother and daughter.

Andronica Lebethoa was a special guest of honor- she and her husband will preside over the Cape Town mission starting in July. We asked her to come and share her thoughts today as we prepare for her departure in a few short months.

Sarah Wentzel returned home just 2 weeks ago from the SLC Temple Square Mission. She also shared her thoughts with us today. She is so wonderful and we have missed her here in the mission home. Irene and I loved sharing cooking days before she left in April 2015.

We all loved hearing from Sarah. Her experiences on her mission were life changing and she shared a few sweet examples.

Andronica Lebethoa also shared her feelings about their call to preside over the Cape Town Mission. She was so complimentary to how women in the room have helped her grow in the gospel over all the years. It was very touching to hear her thoughts and humility about this call.

Sister Willis and Sister Foxx gave everyone some thoughts on how to engage deeply with scripture study in the coming year. These two sister missionaries are helping  seminary and institute teachers with training and it was so special to get their motivational thoughts today. We love these two and all they offer with their intellect, humor and insights.

The Mdletshe girls look more like sisters, than mother and daughter!

Irene and Futhi!

Sister Krauss and Amy. 

Sister Liz Vizzini and Gian Franco. Thanks to Gian Franco- we had a wonderful finale musical number everyone enjoyed.
I am in most of the pictures today- because I realize this may be my last chance to get a picture together since we leave in 8 weeks.

Claudia Hamilton and Tina Jackson came today from the Area Office. Love having them with us.

So glad that Desiree joined us today.

Sherryl Jackson from Bedfordview. I loved having her come early and helping prep for the luncheon.

Val Caldwell from Fourways. 

Tessa and Natalie Brown.

Irene with our Sister Missionaries- Willis and Foxx.

Sarah with her brothers. So glad she could come today.

Today we encouraged everyone to share their #oneword# for 2017 and a brief explanation. Here are the ones I have received so far:
One Word

Amy Krauss
My word for this year is hope. I want to have more hope so I can be filled with positive thoughts. Hope increases my desire to do good. I feel there is so much to hope for especially in looking to the second coming of our Saviour and enduring towards eternal life. There is so much I hope for whether it be for myself, my husband, children, family or friends. As I study the scriptures and the words of living prophets, I hope for the blessings to come as I live the truths I learn. As I feel more hope, I pray I can be more charitable to all.

Mandy Holmes
When you asked us to choose a word, I did what was suggested and wrote down a few to think about. I couldn’t decide on one, but the next morning I read my “daly thought” that is emailed to me every day.
This is the thought and the inspiration for the word I have chosen:
Elder M Russell Ballard:
“It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbours through acts of kindness and service – the way that the Saviour would love and serve all of us if He were among us today. When this pure love of Christ – or charity – envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel and act.”
And there my word was, it popped off the page…………………………… CHARITY……………………

Tessa Brown
My word for this year is DISCIPLINE. I have so much I need to work on in my life and instead of making a list of all these things I will strive to practice discipline in every aspect of my life. A few things I would like to work on is my faith and for that I need to have discipline in reading my scriptures and gospel material diligently. I need discipline to work on assignments timeosly if I want to be better at my calling as Primary president. I need discipline if I want to better my education and potential work opportunies....

Wenzile Radibe
My word for the year is influence.

Sister Lucia Foxx
Yes, my word for this year is ‘ASK’.  As I have searched the scriptures a bit deeper and studied the church doctrines with greater purpose, I have found that there are so many different ways we ASK for the Lord’s help.  I have been ASKING myself, “Am I seeking answers with a sincere heart, real intent and faith in Christ”. (Moroni 10:4-5)  I looked up the word ‘ASK’ in my scripture index – WOW – these references will keep me busy for a while.  Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge or ASK.  The Lord will answer IF we use these 3 letters.   

Sister Linda Wilis
My word is “discern”.  The part of it that I want to focus on in 2017 is to discern the good in others and the good and weakness in myself.

Shelly Berger
My word for 2017 is “FIRST”  I took it from a scripture in Matthew 6:33 (seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you)

I chose this word because life is so very busy for everyone and I often find myself and my family so busy with the good things (like cleaning home, and doing homework or studies etc.) that we put off doing the important things (like FHE, personal / family scripture study, preparing for Sunday lessons etc.)

So for 2017 I decided to realign my priorities so that we seek FIRST the kingdom of God and place a greater emphasis on nourishing our eternal spirits.

Linda Dunn

My 2017 word is: HOME! This is because I have come to feel so at home in South Africa. In the year that I am scheduled to go home, I have come to realize even more than ever, that home is where your heart is. I love the notion of turning a house into a home, of feeling your home is a refuge from the world. I also feel like our purpose on earth is to return home to our Heavenly Father. This word gives my life purpose on some many levels.

Sealing Saturday

On Saturday January 28, 2017 we were able to participate in an amazing sealing session at the Johannesburg temple.

The beautiful Tibane family, Simon and Lindiwe with their three children, traveled down from Mpumalanga (leaving at 3 am) to be sealed together. This was so meaningful to participate in. The sweetness of these beautiful children being sealed to their parents was s sight to behold.

The Blacks and Elder Siguake have been such a support to the Tibane family. It was extra special to have others travel down with them from the Nelpsruit branch to be here for support.

Next, Louise and Franz Kruger were sealed today. It was like a second wedding day for this couple who has been married for over 25 years. Franz was baptized in November 2015 and today was such a special day to witness their sealing together. 

Elder Siguake was also a great support during their process, baptism and now the sealing.

We felt so lucky to be able to join them on this special occasion.

After 25 years of marriage it is so exciting to have another wedding day! But this one is even better they say.

We also had the chance to celebrate with the Krugers after the temple sealing.  We were honored to join with Richard and Kathy Black for this memorable occasion.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bedfordview Stake Conference

Pulled up today at the Bedfordview Stake Center for Stake Conference
Sunday January 29, 2017
Always nice to see missionaries ( and a few member missionaries) greeting members as they arrive.

So fun to meet the members. Beautiful families.

Elder Magesi with more great members.

Elder Kilgore and his companion Elder Brumpton look like twin brothers, especially with their exact same glasses!

Here are a few of the missionaries from the Bedfordview Zone gathered in front after the conference.
President Dunn, Elder reynolds, Elder Lambert, Elder Brumpton, Elder Ngilazi, Elder Kealor, Elder Malunga, Elder Kilgore, Elder Weidmann, Sister Dunn

Elder Sibanda and Elder Cowan liked the conference too!:)

Such a treat to see this great couple again today. Their entire family ( with 6 children) was baptized just a few months ago.

We feel blessed to rub shoulders with such amazing members. A Stake Conference always gives you more chance to see so many people all in one place. The church is strong in Bedfordview, as it is in all the Gauteng Stakes. President Msizu and his counselors do a wonderful job leading the Stake.