Monthly Archives: October 2014

More of our Busy Week – Friday – Vaal Zone Meeting

Elder and Sister Dummer car-pooled with us to the Vaal Zone meeting in Vereeniging. It is great to have another couple close enough that we can do some things together, talk about what is happening in our areas, ask for suggestions on how to be more effective in our callings as missionaries and just enjoy each other’s company. It is not that we do not love the young elders and the members of the branches, but sometimes we just need to share time and experiences with other senior missionaries.

31oct14 - ZM - Sis Dummer leading 31oct14 - ZM - Mary piano

Zone training is held once each transfer. The zone leaders conduct the meeting, go through the calendar for the next few weeks, share messages from president and sister Dunn, and train the missionaries on a subject that they have been trained on by the mission president and the APs.

Mary played and sister Dummer led the opening song.

31oct14 - ZM - elders singing 31oct14 - ZM - Reese, GeorgeThe elders joined in the singing. Elder Reese and elder George as the zone leaders for this transfer. This was elder Reese’s first training meeting with the zone.

31oct14 - ZM - Perez, Liera 31oct14 - ZM - Rami, Mayende, Rami, Graham, Mukasa

I managed to get all the Ikageng district’s elders as they sat across from us. Elders Perez and Liera and elder Rami, elder Mayende, elder Graham and elder Mukasa.

31oct14 - ZM - Segil, Kalani 31oct14 - ZM - Stilgoe, MayElder Segil with elder Kalani, Elder Stilgoe who is training elder May.

31oct14 - ZM - Graham, Stilgoe, 31oct14 - ZM - Vaal ZoneElders Graham and Stilgoe share a moment before we take a zone picture! I guess Elder Perez was afraid he would not be noticed so he raised his hand!

Thursday – Self-Reliance Training

Elder and Sister Adams, the area self-reliance missionaries, came to Ikageng and presented a training session for the members of the branch who are looking for employment or who are interested in improving their employment. The Adams have been very successful in establishing contacts with many companies here in South Africa and introducing them to the high work ethics of the LDS members. Some of these companies now are willing almost any member who is qualified and applies for a job in their organizations.

IMG_6570 IMG_6571Elder and sister Adams taught the group about self-reliance, budgeting, and how to prepare a statement about themselves that they could use when asking for an appointment for a job interview and during the interview. They are called ‘Me in 30 seconds’ statements.

IMG_6575 IMG_6574The students practiced giving their statements to each other before getting on the phone and actually using them to try and get interviews. They were told to practice giving them to 20 people each day until they become natural. In checking with some students a few days later it seems they are not doing this.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – We Visit Kimberly and then to Parys


With president Dunn’s permission we traveled out of our mission to the city of Kimberly which is famous for the diamonds that were mined there.

oct14 - Kim - Flamingos 2 oct14 - Kim - Flamingo statue

As we came to the edge of Kimberly there was a lake that had hundreds of flamingos spread across the surface. One flock can be seen in the foreground and another near the upper edge of the lake. Unfortunately we could not really get close to the lake to take any good pictures. Not far from the lake is the Flamingo golf course, hotel and casino with this sculpture near the entrance.

oct14 - Kim - Info Big Hole oct14 - Kim - Big Hole

We went to see the Big Hole which Diamonds have not been mined since 1914 because of the flooding of the mine during WWI. If you read the sign it tells that about 5000 pounds of diamonds came out of the mine before it shut down.

oct14 - Kim - Mary Big Hole oct14 - Kim - Dummers Mary underground!

Mary and the big hole. Elder and Sister Dummer and Mary in an “underground” area of the tour that was really at ground level.

oct14 - Kim - Trolley Cars oct14 - Kim - Trolley Dummers oct14 - Kim - Trolley Mary oct14 - Kim - Trolley us

Some of the trolleys that were used in Kimberly at one time.

oct14 - Kim - Bar oct14 - Kim - Bed Pan collection

The bar was not open for business when I looked in. Loved the display of bedpans that were in use at the turn of the century.

oct14 - Kim - Dental office oct14 - Kim - Occidental Bar

A very modern dental office for the period – before this the barber was often also the dentist in town. We had lunch at the Occidental Bar. Mary and I split a very good BLT sandwich.

oct14 - Kim - Dessert oct14 - Kim - Mary Drapes

So I did not feel bad about having this delicious frozen peanut butter cheesecake for dessert.

oct14 - Kim - Mary hotel oct14 - Kim - Mary Resting

Some scenes along main street.

oct14 - Kim - Donkey Engine controls oct14 - Kim - Donkey Engine

There were a pair of 2 1/2 foot gauge donkey steam engines that had been preserved. When I had my N 2 1/2 model railroad, I had a model one of these. They were the work horses of mining all over the world.

oct14 - Kim - Entry Museum oct14 - Kim - Chessboard

On Tuesday we went to the McGregor museum where I managed only to take pictures of the grand staircase and the outdoor chess set. The museum had one of the best WWi displays I have every seen. They also were featuring a display about slavery, segregation, and it’s end in the US. I guess they wanted to show that other countries were not all that good about how they treated their black citizens.

oct14 - Kim - Cronin art gallery oct14 - Kim - Marimba

Our next stop was the Duggan-Cronin art museum. It featured the work Duggan-Cronin who traveled around africa taking pictures of the people and their surroundings. Also featured the recordings of native music by another explorer at about the same time. It seems that marimbas/xylophones were used through the world – this one is from Mozambique,

oct14 - Kim - Endongo lyre - Uganda oct14 - Kim - woman with baby

The lyre is from Uganda. Duggan-Cronin took about 8000 pictures of native africans and just a few are on display in the museum. I particularly liked this one of the woman and child. They still carry their young children this way but today they usually use a blanket that they wrap around themselves.

oct14 - Kim - photos native oct14 - Kim - photos infooct14 - rock art - David Morrisoct14 - rock art -  pigAfter visiting the two museums we thought it would be fun to go to the Widlebeest Kuil rock art centre where there is hundreds of images carved into rocks on the surface of the ground. While we were traveling there I felt that I should call to make sure they were open. The phone was answered by David Morris who said due to budget problems the centre was not open for tours. I mentioned we had come 400K and were now only 5 minutes away. He said that since we were so close that he would stay and let us in. He was waiting in his car when we got there and turned us over to Amos – who I missed photographing – who showed us a movie about the centre, the art and the Sans people who now live nearby. Then we got a tour of the hillside with many examples of the art that goes back between 1000 and 10,000 years. The wild pig has been split in two.

Since we will probably never get back to Kimberly, I feel that the fact that I called at just the right time and got the one person who could let us take the tour was one of those simple tender mercies that we often receive but do not recognize as we go through our days as senior missionaries.

oct14 - rock art - ealan 3oct14 - rock art - elan 2oct14 - rock art - elanoct14 - rock art - elephant

The most feature animal is the eland but there were also ones of an elephant and rhinos.

oct14 - rock art -spirit

There are also many geometric designs which some feel were made by shamans and had to do with spiritual ideas but no one is sure because of course there is no written record available.

oct14 - pink flowerjpg oct14 - Kim - White flower oct14 - Kim - Jacaranda trees 2 oct14 - Kim - Jacaranda trees

As we traveled around Kimberly we saw some beautiful flowers and lots of avenues of jacaranda trees in bloom. These are young trees but we saw some that were very large and very old.

oct14 - Kim - Mary gets wet oct14 - Kim - bathroom doors

We evening we had dinner in a small mall. When we were served water we noticed that Mary’s glass seemed to be leaking water. When she picked it up she noticed it was cracked near the bottom. While she was holding it the bottom fell out and water went all over the table and her. At one of the petrol stations we stopped at the doors to the toilets displayed these great pictures.

oct14 - Kim - Trespassers Sign oct14 - rock art - angel cloud

Some farmers really do not like people coming into their yard. Where some have dogs this one seems to have guns. As we drove home I noticed this cloud and it looked to me like a flying ghost.

Oct14 - Liera, Bobbi, Perez

On Wednesday morning the elders and us drove up to Parys to visit sister Swanepoel and Louis. It was elder Liera’s first trip to Parys.

Friday – Saturday – District Meeting – Missionary Booth – Odds and Ends

oct14 - DM - Graham, Liera, Mayende, Perez oct14 - DM - Mukasa, Rami, Mayende, Graham, Liera oct14 - DM Dummers oct14 - DM Liera, Perez oct14 - DM Liera, Perez oct14 - DM Mayende, Graham, Liera oct14 - DM Message board oct14 - DM - drawing - Perez detail oct14 - booth - perez oct14 - booth, liera oct14 - B - Viona fam. liera, perez oct14 - birds, bread

Sunday – Another Great Baptism….

oct14 - lydia moroke, kk oct14 - Perez, lydia, KK Liera oct14 - Kea, Lydia, KK and friends oct14Perez, Kea, Lydia, KK, Renny, Liera Oct14 - Lydia, KK getting erady

oct14 -kea with kujane children Oct14 - Thato and baby oct14 - red bird

Sisters On Sunday and Other Things

I almost forgot to put in some pictures from Sunday the 19th. After sacrament meeting the sisters watched the Women’s Conference while the men watched the Priesthood session. It was an interesting day for me because except for sacrament meeting president Kwaikwai had to go to work and the second counselor was at school so I was kept rather busy seeing things got set up, ran somewhat smoothly and then cleaned up. It was a time when I was grateful for great missionaries, a fine branch clerk and supportive members.

oct14 - Perez setting up Oct14 - Sister Brummer cleaning

The elders and others help set up the large classroom as our chapel. Sister Brummer has been a mainstay in the branch for many years and she pitches in and helps get the Relief Society room and chapel ready.

oct14 - PH meeting Oct14 - Lovely RS LadiesThe men enjoyed watching the Priesthood session. After the meeting I wanted a picture of all the sisters. Mary than reminded me that there were three young ladies who also watched but were not included in the picture.

oct14 - Friend, Shavonne, Dolly OCt14 - Our white rose bushThe young lady on the left was with us for the first time. She was invited by the Shavonne who is herself an investigator. The sister in pink was just baptized about a month ago. So you see the branch is growing through missionary work. Since there was space for one more picture I included one of the white roses in our backyard.

Richards Bay 2009-10

Through FaceBook we keep in touch with many of the people and missionaries that we have met and served with from around the world. This morning when I accessed our iPhoto gallery, it opened to pictures from our first mission to South Africa and each one brought back great memories but also some sadness.

Aug 2009 - Mary and Pres Malinga SA 2009-10 -Children at Creche

Mary with then president Malinga. You only have to look at that smile to know what kind of man he is. We had a great relationship. As I helped him learn his calling he started calling me coach. These children are from a creche that was renovated by Hafens and Bartholomews as they served in the area as senior missionaries.

Mary in Blue - So Africa 2010 Mary with Never Smiles Nlova girl - 2010

This is one of my favorite pictures of my beautiful companion and her great smile. The skirt and blouse she is wearing were made for her in Jakarta when we served there. Neither Mary nor the young lady are smiling. Mary was teaching an English lesson to her mother and sister. Unfortunately we learned that the mother died some time after we were released.

Aug 2009 - Mokopotsa and Bike Oct 2009 - Sis Nzama and grandchild who never smilesElder Mokopotsa got a lot of practice repairing the tires on his bike. The elders would ride along the small trails that were shortcuts between areas and were often covered with broken beer bottles which of course punctured the tires. I tried to get them to walk there bikes when they got to those trails and that would probably solve their problem. I am afraid it did not take.

The last picture is of the wonderful sister Nzama and her granddaughter who I never could get to smile. I must have a couple of dozen pictures with her in them and only one has even a hint of a smile. But sister Nzama’s smile made up for it. We were very sad when just days before we were to head home sister Nzama passed. We were able to offer condolences to the family but we were home before the funeral.

So those are the memories I relived this morning…a picture is worth a 1000 words.


Transfers Part 4 – All the Other Great Missionaries…

Here are all the other new companionships for this transfer. There may be some duplication but hopefully I did not leave anyone out.

Oct 14 - Trans - Stephens, Menendez IMG_6307Our former Vaal Zone, ZL became the new AP when elder Davies – look at the smile on his face – became a senior companion to elder Garnica up in Tzaneen where he will finish his mission.

IMG_6306 IMG_6304 IMG_6303 IMG_6302 IMG_6301 IMG_6300 IMG_6299 IMG_6298 IMG_6315 IMG_6314 IMG_6313 IMG_6312 IMG_6309 IMG_6308 IMG_6307 IMG_6322 IMG_6321_2 IMG_6320_2 IMG_6319 IMG_6318 IMG_6317 IMG_6316 Oct 14 - Trans - Stephens, Menendez Oct 14 - Trans - Davies, Garnica

Transfers Part 3 – The District, The Zone, Old Friends

Oct 14 - Trans - Perez, Liera - fuzzy Oct 14 - Trans - Mayende, Ramillarijaona

Oct 14 - Trans - Mukasa, Graham

Wouldn’t you know that the only fuzzy picture of the transfer slides would be our own elder Perez and his new companion elder Liera. Elder Perez is also our new district leader. I am not ever going to even make an attempt at pronouncing elder Mayende’s new companion. I was very happy to know that he is use to being called elder Rami! We have a number of missionaries from Madagascar serving here in South Africa and all of their names seem to be 10 letters or more. Elder Mukasa joins elder Graham in the Klerksdorp area.

Oct 14 - Trans - George, Reese Oct 14 - Trans - Kankunen, Hentunen Oct 14 - Trans - Whitesides, Rogers Oct 14 - Trans - May StilgoeElder Reese joins elder George as the new Vaal zone leaders. Two Finns are now serving together in Sebokeng 2 – they were very excited when this was announced. The big surprise was elder Rogers was moved back into the Vaal Zone and will serve with elder Whitesides. Earlier I posted the picture of elder Stilgoe who will train elder May in Ennerdale.

Oct 14 - Trans - Koyle, Otieno Oct 14 - Trans - Larsen, Saunders

We were sorry to see elder Otieno leave but our loss is Springs gain where he will serve as a zone leader with elder Koyle. Ever smiling elder Larsen is now the district leader in the Diepkloof area. I talked to him about training his district in Prime Time, Walk-about, and of course street displays. All of these he knows works well as he tried them in Klerksdorp. Here is a transfer day picture of him and his new companion.


So ends another transfer!

Transfers Part 2 – The New Missionaries and Their Trainers

As I mentioned in my other post about transfers I do not post transfer information until the missionaries have a chance to write home and tell their parents about who they have as a new companion, where they will serve, and any new calling they might have.

IMG_6281 IMG_6283 IMG_6284 IMG_6285 IMG_6286 IMG_6287 IMG_6288 IMG_6289


Above are the seven new elders with their trainers and where they will serve. Unfortunately none are coming our way. New missionaries tend to be assigned somewhat close to the mission home until they are trained and acclimatized.


Oct 14 - Trans - Asay, Bergman - Tsakane 1 Oct 14 - Trans - Manuma, Allen - GermistonOct 14 - Trans - Dunns, Manuma, Allen - GermistonOct 14 - Trans - May StilgoeOct 14 - Trans - Nicotra, Santoro - Roodepoort


Unfortunately I only got pictures of four of the new missionaries and their companions. But I am sure that President and Sister Dunn will soon have all seven of them on their blog.