Daily Archives: August 4, 2015

04 September 2015 – Last Transfer – Departing Missionaries

22 awesome elders went home this transfer. They start the day by going across the parking lot to the MTC and bring those elders who are coming into the mission to the mission office so they can be interviewed and instructed by president and sister Dunn, the APs and the office staff of Elder and Sister Allred and the Thompsons.

Then they have time to go outside and say goodbye to the other elders as they arrive. After all the transfers have been shown the departing elders get hugged by president Dunn, pinned by sister Dunn and are given a plaque that is like the photo of their mission that is shown behind them. Finally they are given a chance to share thoughts, wisdom and testimony to the rest of the missionaries. It is a tender time for them and for the rest of us.

Then they all go to the mission home for a final lunch and some instructions and thoughts about what they should think about when they are home. There are too many returned missionaries who become inactive because they did have any plan for when they are released and are no longer serving the Lord 24/7.

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IMG_1447 IMG_1446IMG_1398 IMG_1399 IMG_1451 IMG_1448IMG_1402 IMG_1401 IMG_1453 IMG_1452 IMG_1454 After the last departing missionary speaks, all the missionaries stand and sing the mission song. I have yet to make it through the song without tearing up a little. There is just something about 150 plus dedicated missionaries singing together that with power and the spirit that reaches deep within me. This was the last time we would get to sing it with so many friends and fellow servants of the Lord.

If you like to get an idea of what it is like to hear this song go to the Dunn’s website: http://dunnsinjoburg.blogspot.com/2014/07/mission-song-new-favorite.html

Here are the Lyrics..

There’s a land we have all come to, chosen from on high to serve with our Lord’s guidance leaving all behind. Giving light to those who never knew the way. Bringing gifts restored in latter days.

We’ve been called to build the Kingdom in Johannesburg. We will serve the Lord with strength, love and faith. We shall go forth proclaiming with the Spirit of truth ’til all people learn the things we know are true.

Tumelo hunya kitebe, remember what we have. Hlanganani nonce in this land our banner stands. Giving light to those who never knew the way. Bringing gifts restored in latter days.

We’ve been called to build the Kingdom in Johannesburg. We will serve the Lord with strength, love and faith. We shall go forth proclaiming with the Spirit of truth ’til all people learn the things we know are true.

In this land of many colors with its transcendent past, uniting all God’s children with the plan of happiness. Giving light to those who never knew the way. Bringing gifts restored in latter days.

We’ve been called to build the Kingdom in Johannesburg. We will serve the Lord with strength, love and faith. We shall go forth proclaiming with the Spirit of truth ’til all people learn the things we know are true.



04 August 2015 – Last Transfer – New Missionaries

It was a special transfer meeting in a number of ways. Not only was it the largest transfer for the mission – especially when you consider that 46 missionaries were recently transferred to the Botswana/Namibia mission – but it also introduced president Dunn’s new counselors. Presidents  Klintworth and Msane have just been approved and set apart – they will be a great help to President Dunn as they can do temple interviews and callings under his direction. They will be sustained in mission dependent branches.

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After the new counselors introduced themselves and bore their testimonies sister Dunn gave some counsel and then president Dunn spoke to the elders about being reverent and respectful in the chapel. He especially stressed the need for these attributes during transfer meeting when sometimes the elders get a little noisy and physical when some of the companionships show up on the screen. This had an immediate affect on the rest of the transfer meeting. There was still some sounds from the elders but not nearly as much as before.

Next came the time for the new missionaries to introduce themselves and then they were introduced to their trainers.

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Elder West – Australia

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Elder J.J. Ahome’e – American Samoa

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Elder Mbiriwiri – Zimbabwe

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Elder Ete – Samoa

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Elder Eki – Switzerland

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Elder Malunga – Zimbabwe

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Elder Matanga – Zimbabwe

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Elder Hlophe – South Africa

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Elder Derera – Zimbabwe

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Elder Gramu – Zimbabwe

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Elder Njovane – South Africa

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Elder Zitumane – South Africa

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Elder Muweesi – Uganda

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Elder  Randrianavalona – Madagascar

IMG_1318 Elder Valikoula – Tonga – came to the mission a few weeks ago and is being trained by elder Tukia the former Vaal Zone Leader.

04 August 2015 – Last Transfer – Before and After

Another Last Time experience as we went to Transfer Meeting. It was a huge transfer with 22 missionaries completing their missions and 15 coming in. All but 8 companionships were changed with lots of new zone and district leaders. I took 218 photos and will post them over the next few days. The hardest part of any transfer meeting is singing the mission song. To feel the spirit of 150 or so missionaries as some sing the song for the first time and some for the last time is an amazing experience. Sister Dunn and I seem to always end up with tears in our eyes.

All the missionaries were asked to come to the meeting even if they were not being transferred so a mission photo could be taken. The rules were you had to be on time and wearing a suit. I think all the missionaries were there except for the Scotts and Swans.

These are pictures I took before and after the meeting…

IMG_1233 I was surprised to find that the first and last photo I took were of elder Todd! Here is signing some missionary’s journal. Years from now the missionary can read this and remember the bright South African day and elder Todd. Elder Todd has a new calling as a zone leader.

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Over an hour before the meeting starts the elders start driving in so they can stand around talking to friends and former companions, signing journals and for 22 of them enjoying their last morning in South Africa. By this time tomorrow they will probably be in a plane or airport on their way home. Elder Kaufusi will be going home to Roosevelt Utah.

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Elder Yates on the left will be heading for Connecticut while our good friend elder Harris will be going to beautiful Tooele, Utah.

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The four photos above include sister Allred who is not only the mission secretary but also the official mission photographer. If you have a missionary serving here in the Joburg mission you will want to check the Allred’s blog on a regular basis.IMG_1247 IMG_1244

Elders Dlamini , Riley and Mavundla and us with elder Mayende. IMG_1248 IMG_1249 IMG_1250 IMG_1252

The Madagascar contingent gather together on the top left and the next two are just photos of groups in the lot. The bottom right photo above includes elders Rushton, Cummings, Hughes and our own elder Wild.

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Elder Stilgoe will soon be home in the UK – he had already packed his flag so I could not include a photo with him proudly showing the colors. Elder Graham, who now a district leader serving in North Riding, is having a tough time holding elder Stilgoe.IMG_1255


A final photo with elder Barton who is heading home to Farmington, Utah and his former companion here in the Potch area elder Alvial who is a new district leader while training elder Eki from Switzerland. They must be the tallest companionship in the mission. IMG_1260 IMG_1261 IMG_1262 IMG_1263 IMG_1264 IMG_1265 IMG_1266 IMG_1268

The missionaries gather for the mission photo. It was rather like herding cats to get them where they would all fit in the photo and be seen as more than a head of hair stuck between two other missionaries. We got to sit down while all this was going on.

IMG_1269 IMG_1271 President Collins of the MTC took the photo while standing on the ladder. I did not get a shot of him on the ladder and his faithful wife holding on to his legs to make sure he did not take a tumble. Talk about standing by your man.  Elder xx, sister Collins, sister Dunn and elder Collins are in the left photo while it is sister Dunn and the two new counselors to president Dunn – Klintworth and Msane with sister Msane between them.

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One last gathering photo and one of elder Wilkerson with his parents who came to pick him up so they can see part of South Africa before heading home St. Peters Missouri. They were also kind enough to bring us a package that sister Clegg had sent to them from Amazon. Senior couples are blessed in many small but important ways. IMG_1275 IMG_1455

Count down to the start of the meeting. After the meeting I only took a few photos because we had a lunch appointment with elder Mdletshe of the 70. He wanted to thank us for our service both to the Potchefstroom branch and the seminary program.  But I was able to get a photo of elder Clegg with his new companion and fellow zone leader elder Adjei.IMG_1456 IMG_1457

Elder Mayende with his new son elder Muweesi and elder Kwabaisi. A last couple of photos with elder Alvial who served with us in Potch before moving on to be a district leader and trainer.IMG_1458 IMG_1460

Elders Perkins and Graham are together in North Riding where elder Graham is the DL. Elder Perkins was serving in our district when we arrived here and then elder Graham came in to replace him when elder Perkins was transferred. It is good to see them together.

IMG_1461 As mentioned elder Todd gets the last photo in this group as he is shown here with his new fellow zone leader elder Jackson. They will serve in the Fourways area which is one of nicer areas of the mission.