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…
Â 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.
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.
Elder Yates on the left will be heading for Connecticut while our good friend elder Harris will be going to beautiful Tooele, Utah.
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.Â
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.
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.
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.Â Â
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.
Â 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. Â 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.
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.Â
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. Â But I was able to get a photo of elder Clegg with his new companion and fellow zone leader elder Adjei.Â
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.
Â 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.