The birds really like our feeders because there are lots of places to eat. It is funny to see them fight for a place – they hover and then dash in and push another bird away. We have found a replacement ice cream source for our fixes that we used to buy from the Chix restaurant that was near our flat but closed some 4 months ago. You can see they serve small portions and of course it is low calorie ice cream – RIGHT!
Due to the crashing of my MacMini because of some problem with iPhoto, I have had to revert to using my old laptop with Picasa 3 for editing and posting. For some reason it does not produce photos that work well in our blog. I never had this problem with iPhoto and as soon as I can get it back I will probably redo the messy looking posts. Until then I am sorry that you will have to scroll through lots of photos that are all over the place!
Sunday morning we got a big surprise when we received an email from President and Sister Dunn telling us that the boundaries between our mission and the Botswana-Namibia mission had been changed. Basically all of our mission from Pretoria North will be in the B-N mission starting on July 1. This includes the 45 young elders and the 4 senior couples now serving there.
This was a surprise but it makes a lot of sense since the B-N mission can not get any visas for missionaries to serve in either country. Only missionaries called within either country can serve. So while the B-N covered two countries, there were less than 30 missionaries serving and most of those were serving in the city of Mafeking which is in South Africa. So now the mission will have some 75-80 missionaries and that may grow in the future. Hopefully so day the two other countries will issue visas for missionaries and perhaps then borders will be changed again. We just have to trust the Lord and learn patience!
You can see more about this change by going to http://dunnsinjoburg.blogspot.com and reading the June 28, 2015 post!
Below are the maps showing the before and after of the two missions. The other photo – which I borrowed from the Dunn’s great blog – shows some of the elders who are now going to be in the B-N Mission. All the elders and couples got to attend a meeting where the changes were explained. From left to right are elders May, Stilgoe, Sister Dunn, Elders McCallister and Oldroyd and an elder I do not know. Elders May and Stilgoe served in the Vaal Zone and we got to know them through flat inspections, zone meetings and transfers. Elders McCallister and Oldroyd served in our district for many months. Elder Oldroyd served as district leader. We will miss seeing these fine elders at future transfer and zone conference but we know they will do an outstanding job in their new assignments.
14 missionaries were transferred home. They receive a mission pin from sister Dunn and from president Dunn a hug and a framed plaque showing what is on the screen behind them – all their areas and companions. After they receive their pins, plaques and hugs they are given an opportunity to share their testimony and last words of wisdom with the remaining missionaries…It is a moving experience and one of the blessings of being a senior missionary!
10 new elders came into the mission this transfer…9 were at the transfer meeting but elder Williams was still on the plane from the US and did not get in until later in the evening.
After the meeting the new companionships get together, car boots are emptied and refilled as the missionaries shift their earthly belongings from their old area’s vehicle to the new one. But it is also time for more getting together with friends, signing journals and finally the cars start exiting until after the last training meeting is finished and the last piece of luggage is stored the parking lot is again empty of cars, missionaries and chatter until 6 weeks from now when it will happen again…
Another great transfer meeting…14 elders finished their honorable missions and 10 new missionaries started their’s. About 90 minutes before the actual meeting cars full of missionaries start arriving and everyone moves around the lot greeting old companions and friends. There are lots of smiles, hugs, handshakes and talking going on.