Monthly Archives: March 2015

Special Attention…An Ugly Suit and a Beautiful Banner

These pictures are also in the post below but I thought I would pull them out for some special attention.

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Elder Kolditz is wearing the famous ugly suit. It has been passed down from missionary to missionary who will soon go home. Elder Kolditz will pass it on before he leaves. Each missionary writes his name and dates of his mission on the lining of the jacket or vest…some write a short note. Later I took this picture of him getting ready to play the traditional game of volleyball between the arriving and departing missionaries.

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Somehow President Dunn got permission to design and have printed this beautiful banner that the missionaries will get to use in “The Week of Witnessing.” For the week of April 1-8 the missionaries have been committed to work extra hard to do finding and they can use these banners to help them. 45,000 pass along cards, 176 missionaries, 10 Banners and car magnets and 7 days of all out witnessing…

Coming Soon to this Theatre – Transfers Part I

Due to the fact that I did not charge my camera battery before going to transfers, there are a number of transfer pictures that will be missing. I am apologize to any parent who might look here to find out who their son is now serving with and in case of transfer from their area – where they will be serving for at least the next 6 weeks. Hopefully you will only need to wait until Monday and an email from your elder to be brought up to date…

While I did not take as many pictures as usual at transfers I did manage to take about 75 before the battery gave up the ghost…here is the first batch taken before the transfer meeting and the early part of the meeting when they introduce the new missionaries and their trainers…IMG_9061_2 IMG_9062_2 IMG_9063_2 IMG_9064_2

Before we went to the mission office we stopped by the distribution center on the temple grounds. I always enjoy the quiet beauty of the area next to the center and area office as the path wanders through a small tropical paradise with a lovely flowing stream. The bank of impatiens added color to the area near the area offices.

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Before the meeting the elders arrive and enjoy seeing and talking to old friends and companions. Elders Smith, Dye and Bryner were happy to pose while elder Rogers explained he got a package from home.

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Elder Kulani proved to be a pretty good pool player. Elder Dye showed up again in a picture with elders Tuare and de la Cruz.

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Elder Kolditz showed off the very special ugly suit which I talk about above. Hugs and smiles are everywhere.

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Sister Allred is the official, unofficial photographer for the mission when president and sister Dunn are busy doing other thing. Here she is talking to elder Cummings and about to take a picture of sister Dunn talking to elder Kolditz.

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Elder Leman – one of the new trainers – with elders Bryner and Smith-Holley. Elder Stilgoe struck a special UK pose – no big British flag as he is not getting transferred.

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We are always happy to see elder Harris who served in the Ikageng district with us. Elder Matos – wearing a suit coat because he will soon be departing greets elder harris. Elder Reese – who was released as one of the Vaal Zone, zone leaders – looks on with a smile.IMG_9079 IMG_9080

I have no idea how I happen to take this picture of my gold zebra tie but I left it in because two other elders also had the same tie on today. Elder T – the other Vaal zone leader who is staying – with two friends. Later we found out that his new companion is also an islander from Tonga!

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We were happy to see and give elder Graham a hug. He served with us in the Ikageng district and always is smiling. Elders Stilgoe, Packard and others clown for a picture. You find little groups like this all over the parking lot before and after the transfer meeting. IMG_9084 IMG_9085

Departing missionaries Kolditz and Stapley get serious and roll up their pant legs before the start of the traditional volleyball game between the arriving and departing missionaries.  IMG_9087 IMG_9088

One the other side of the net we have elder de Souza from Brazil and elder Mapenda from Mozambique.

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Elders Menendez and Leman chat before joining the crowd to watch the game.IMG_9093 IMG_9094

Elder Segil once again did not wear his famous tie but still looked good in his shades. Elders Makusa, Mayende and Rami all served in the Ikageng district while elder Ratsimbazafy is another of those Madagascar elders with the unpronounceable names. IMG_9095 IMG_9096

Elder Harris gets in another picture with elders Holmquist and Compton. Elder Compton was district leader when we first came to Potch and the Ikageng District. IMG_9098_2 IMG_9101

With the meeting about to start, the departing elders are on the stand. This transfer was unusual because only elder Kolditz – in the brown suit – and elder Stapley – adjusting his collar – were actually leaving today. Elders Matos, and two others will be leaving between transfers to be home in time to enroll in school. Elder Menendez conducted the meeting and after the opening song and prayer introduced the Week of Witnessing and the special banner that president Dunn got approved to use to help with finding.

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The elders are all turned in their seats because at the rear of the chapel the APs were demonstrating one of the banners and how to set it up. They then demonstrated another version and its care and feeding.

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Then it was time for the new elders to introduce themselves and bear their testimonies. Elder Mapenda comes to the mission from Mozambique, and elder Souza is from Brazil.IMG_9111 IMG_9112

Elder Masiya is from Malawi and elder Reynolds joins the UK contingent. There is one other new missionary, elder Roberts, who did not arrive until 4:30 from the Provo MTC. IMG_9113 IMG_9115 IMG_9116 IMG_9119 IMG_9117

 

After the new missionaries introduced themselves they get to meet their trainers. The final assignment of trainers and areas and the new missionaries is not done until president Dunn has an interview with the incoming missionaries. The trainers know they are going to train but they do not know which missionary will be assigned to them. Elder Farnes, who will train elder Souza, is training for the fourth time – this is very unusual and means he is considered an excellent missionary and trainer.

A Great Sunday – Two Baptisms

It was a very beautiful day in Ikageng but while the rain kept people home last Sunday, the school holiday kept the numbers down today. The students all went home and other families went traveling – some for fun and some for funerals. Hopefully in a couple of weeks things will be back to normal.

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This was elder Liera last Sunday for serving in the Potch branch – he got his transfer notice of Friday evening. The rest are assorted pictures from the day – most taken between meetings and before the baptism.

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It was an exciting day for the branch as Joshua and Adrian Gerber were baptized. Adrian is a big 14 and Joshua is a joyful 12 and they will add greatly to the AP in the branch. After he was baptized Joshua wanted to know how soon he could help with the sacrament – I told him he would probably receive the PH next week. Elder Liera baptized Joshua with family – their father came to watch the baptism. Their sister spoke about baptism and their mother about the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

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Adrian was baptized by elder Alvial and then we took a group picture of all present. I am hoping for a picture from elder Alvial’s camera that will include me.

IMG_9055 IMG_9057 IMG_9059 IMG_9060Elder Alvial showed himself to be an expert on emptying the font so no one got wet. I think everyone had a wonderful and spiritual morning as we all shared the sunshine, the spirit and the fellowship that is so prevalent in the branch.

Saturday – YSA/Youth Activity…

Today was elder Liera’s mother’s birthday so I made a sign for him to hold while we took his picture and then posted it on FaceBook for his mother. We also had elder Alvial take our picture with him since he will be leaving the district on Tuesday. He served here with honor for 6 months.

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Later we went out and tried to visit members but because of the school holidays and work most of them were not home so we had little success.But we enjoyed visiting with the couple who were home. At the Mogapi’s I tried to help set up their new TV antenna but I was not much help. In fact I thought I had really messed it up but finally got it back to the way it was. I am certainly not mechanically talented.

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We then went to the chapel for a combined YSA/Youth activity that was scheduled to start after Institute. You can see how everyone reacts when I bring out my camera. Sister Ratema stepped in front of the the YW. Brother Lebona shows the victory sign, Omphile sticks out his tongue and sister Ledo looks kind of embarassed.

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President Kwaikwai used the time to clip his nails…others posed in front of the schools colorful signage.

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There was lots of good food – I ate very sparingly – and then it was time for games. After some rousing games of Book of Mormon Bingo, we said goodbye as the rest continue with UNO and Go Fish. After the fun and games everyone who was left pitched in to clean and set up the rooms for tomorrow’s meeting. We came home an collapsed!

Friday – District Meeting – Last Lunch – A Group of Pastors

Most Friday mornings means a trip to Klerksdorp for District Development Meeting and that is what we did today. It was the first one in a long time without our friends E/S Dummer being with us. But now they are in Switzerland and will soon be flying home to Utah.  IMG_8979 IMG_8980

Elder Oldroyd did his usual excellent job of being district leader. The checkerboard will later be filled in with transfer predictions. When I looked at the picture with elders Oldroyd and Liera my first that was elder Liera looks like he is being made to sit in the corner.

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Mary continued to choose songs to help the elders learn to lead…it just never really got through to elder Liera. You can see how happy he is to be asked to lead. Elder McAllister gave the spiritual thought after I gave the quote.

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Area reports are always given and I was happy to hear elder Oldroyd cut back on how many investigators and less actives they were to report on. Sometimes a pair of elders will get carried away and talk about everyone on their teaching report. I can almost hear elder Oldroyd’s brain clicking.

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Elder Todd is a solid missionary and just needs to smile a little more often. But he takes his call serious and that is good. He and elder Oldroyd make an interesting companionship

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Elders Liera and Alvial – everyone has started calling him elder Olive Oil and he thinks that is pretty cool. They were able to report two baptisms for Sunday – Adrian and Joshua Gerber.

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Elder Oldroyd taught a lesson from PMG – he is always well prepared and gets or at least tries to get a lot of participation from the elders. This weeks lesson was on making PMG more meaningful the second time you read it…or perhaps the third or forth time.

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The final activity of the meeting – other than closing song and prayer – was the prediction board. We will not know who made the best predictions until after transfer meeting and if elder McAllister ends up as DL or not. Then it was time for our traditional Last Lunch at McDonalds.

IMG_8995 IMG_8996Elders McAllister and DiRuscio got their food quickly and ate inside because elder McAllister has been getting too much sun. But elders Todd, Alvial and Liera had to wait forever – over 20 minutes – for their food.

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Elder Oldroyd was somewhere in between and joined us outside. When the missing three finally got their food they joined the party.

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Elders McAllister and DiRuscio finally joined us and by then elder McAllister had to sit in the sun.  While we were waiting for our food, we met some pastors from a group of churches who were gathered to plan a conference up in Mafikeng some time soon. I spent some time talking to the Korean pastor – he is in the blue check shirt – and found that he and his family left Korea over 20 years ago because he felt he was called to preach the gospel in the Philippines and then Africa. It turns out he and his family lives here in Potch so I got his name and phone number and will call him sometime in the future and see if we can get together to talk about our experiences.

Wednesday Evening – Seminary and Institute Training

Our evening called for us picking up brothers Omphile and Tinashe and traveling to Klerksdorp chapel for the Seminary and Institute training by elder Mdletshe who is an area 70 and also director of the Seminary and Institutes. Between his calling and his job, he keeps very, very busy. After dropping the two brethren off we wearily travelled home.

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Elders McAllister and Di Ruscio were not at the branch for training but did help a couple of young boys with their puzzle!

Wednesday – Visit to Parys, Sister Bobbi and Louis

Tuesday I took no pictures but we were very busy. We had breakfast at the mission home with the Dummers and gave them a last hug and wished them a safe flight. They had a busy day ahead before getting on a flight to Switzerland after 8 p.m. that night.

In spite of the construction on the N-12, we drove home in almost record time. Then I had a meeting at the branch office to take care of some mission and branch business with President Dunn and president Kwaikwai. President Dunn was also going to be kept busy as he still had to go to the Jouberton and Klerksdorp branches.

Later in the day we went back to the branch office where Mary gave a piano lesson and then helped a member prepare 10 of his family names for baptism at the temple on Saturday. I wish I had taken a picture of the smile on his face as he held those precious pieces of paper that will allow those waiting to accept baptism into the kingdom. While she was busy helping I pretty much spent my time reading and talking to Omphile Mokate who was came to the office to study as it is quiet and peaceful.

On Wednesday we picked up elders Liera and Alvial for the drive up over to Parys where we met with sister Bobbi Swanepoel and Louis – Louis has no idea he is a dog. The elders love Louis – they also love sisterSwanepoel but she does not like to be petted or have her stomach rubbed.

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Elder Liera really would love to take Louis with him. He teases Louis and gets Louis to fight with him. We all decided that elder Liera and Louis are really twins. Mary found a comfortable chair and was excited to get a big stack of paperback books. Sister Swanepoel and her have about the same tastes in reading.

One of the reasons we visit sister Swanepoel is to give her the sacrament. She really appreciates being able to partake of this ordinance the once a month we visit. She was excited because this weekend a family is going to come to Parys and pick her up so she can go to the temple and sacrament meeting in Joburg.

Before and After the Party…

Monday we drove over to Joburg so we could attend E/S Dummer’s farewell social. Before we drove  to the mission home, we stopped at the mission office to take care of some business and pick up supplies from the physical facilities folks. When we got there we found a number of the Vaal Zone elders having a good time playing on the field. So I got a picture of elders T and Stomp in their p-day clothes and also of them with sister Dunn who was on her way home to get ready for tonights festivities. Mary said hello to elder Stomps companion elder Andritiana.

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We drove from the office to the mall so I could make a couple of purchases before we went to the mission home where President and Sister Dunn was kind enough to offer us a room for the night so we did not have to drive back to Potch late at night or get a B&B room. I thought this long feathery plant was very interesting and also loved the African decor on the beds.

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After everyone went home, we and the Dunns had a last game of 5 Crowns which was won by sister Dummer who came from behind to win.

luggage good-byeThese pictures were taken the Dunns at the airport as they wished a last goodbye to these two wonderful missionaries. We will miss them greatly as will the two branches they so faithfully served for most of their mission.