visiting the SAJM mission

visiting the SAJM mission
of all the once in a lifetime sights i’ve seen on this trip,
by far my favorite part has been seeing the amazing
mission that my parents are over. it was the sole purpose 
of coming, and it has been unlike any other trip because
of the people and purpose i witnessed here. the bonus
is that they are doing this work in such an incredible
place to visit! aside from the magical safaris, scenic
drives, culture, animals, and tourist attractions,
i’ve never loved an experience more than just
stepping into my parents new life, seeing their home,
meeting their friends, seeing them watch over 180
missionaries,  eating the food they love, catching up
with them, and feeling the spirit of what they’re doing.
the mission office with this cute mission president
who only wears green ties every day! :) ^^
i’d say this is a pretty darling mission mom.
her famous homemade sweet rolls are now
beloved by all of the missionaries, and this was
my favorite taste of home when i arrived. ^^
i sat in on an orientation for new missionaries who had
just arrived, and i got to see the cute presentation my
parents do along with the AP’s. it was fun to see them
introduce themselves and show our family from home! ^^
(proof they haven’t forgotten all about us :)
^^ also fun to see them share more about themselves
with their new missionaries. on the left you can see my
dad’s missionary photo from when he left after just
joining the church a year before. it’s crazy to think that
now it has come full circle and he’s a mission pres! on
the right my mom is showing the cutest picture of 
their wedding day before the orientation begins.
^^ i love their cute AP’s who do so much!
^^ and of COURSE my mom has a metaphor as 
part of her presentation to new elders– “a mission is 
like climbing a mountain” …this is the greatest presentation,
complete with her favorite mountain range in the world
shown on the first slide. i love how much she adds to 
everything in the mission with her zest for life & the gospel.
i love that they have a gorgeous temple right in johannesburg.
it is always one of the best sights to see when visiting a city!
my sister-in-law mindy’s grandpa worked on this temple,
so it’s extra special to our family now! it was so pretty.
^^ johannesburg temple grounds = beyond beautiful

i’m jealous of the office at the mission home where they live.
i think that view is pretty amazing for a home office! ^^

so fun to see all of their elders organized on the wall
and of course my dad picked the photo background to
be green, his favorite! i can see how they’ve started to
love and know each missionary like a son. it’s crazy
that there are no girls serving in this mission due to
security in some areas, but they have great elders. ^^

i got to attend a mission leadership council right when
i arrived. all of the zone leaders from each area came
to meet together, and i was lucky to be there to see it
and hear all of the topics of discussion! on the right
you can see my dad made me introduce myself and
bear my testimony, haha i was so jet lagged i can
barely remember what i even said! it was really 
powerful to be in a room where the spirit was
so strong, and i could feel the love for the work. 

the mission home where i’ve been staying and where
my parents live is so nice and my mom has already
made it feel like home with pictures everywhere,
books, and her amazing food cooking in the kitchen!
they host so many things here between missionaries
coming and going, senior couples, events, braai bbq’s,
dinner parties, people staying over, etc. i love it here! ^^
^^ here’s president dunn cooking one of those 
south african braais that i mentioned :)
the elders are fed well at the mission home!
^^ cute hosts at the mission home

and here is my dad’s desk at the mission offices ^^
it’s so fun seeing these two pour their heart and 
soul into this mission and clearly love it so much!

one of the sundays we drove way up into a little village
called kanyamazane to attend church at the sweetest
branch. it was my favorite day of church ever to meet
these sweet members who have some of the strongest
faith i have ever seen. these two missionaries above
are the elders serving in the area, they are a huge part!

i love these little ones!

^^ has to be the cutest primary class in the world

the mission office was taking a picture and they made me
be in one! i look so dumb front and center haha, but 
love these amazing people who do so much for the mission!

the beautiful “white house” of 
the area office on temple grounds ^^

^^ mission president teaching how to cut a mango :)

 ^^ pinning an elder with the south african flag on 
his last night before heading home after his 2 years!

i loved seeing an airport drop off. it’s so powerful to
watch these missionaries heading home after 2 years 
well spent in such an amazing place doing the best thing 
possible! it was cute to see my parents say bittersweet
goodbyes, they love each elder like their own! luckily they
get a fresh batch of new elders each time others leave.

 my mom has a ping pong table right outside
the back door of course..just like home! 
i love these two more than words can say.
this mission is SO lucky to have them, and
THEY are so lucky to be called to be over this
mission. and i am lucky to be able to visit!!
more to come, but these memories from this
post are the ones i’ll cherish most! we’ll be back!