the south africa johannesburg mission!
the obvious highlight of our time in south africa was spending time
getting to see the entire reason they are here: the mission!
since we had more time, we got to be involved in so many
mission events, get to know all of the missionaries, and get a
true sense of the most inspiring work they are doing here.
i’ve always thought my parents are the greatest, but seeing them in
action as mission presidents takes it to a whole new level. it is so fun
to see the energy and effort they put into the mission. i loved seeing
their relationships and love for each missionary. this mission is
so lucky to have them, and they are lucky to be doing it!here’s their transfer wall at the office with each
elder, companionship, leaders, & the areas they are in. ^^
one of the best events to witness was the major transfer day
in december. there were 13 missionaries going home at the
end of their mission, and 13 new missionaries arriving to
begin their two years in south africa. it was a long day that
started with all of the new elders coming over from the MTC
(training center) and meeting my parents! it was so sweet to watch.
they also just changed the way transfers are done, so we were lucky to
see all of the effort they put into the amazing program and day of this one.
i LOVED seeing my dad interact with the missionaries every time
we arrived somewhere with them. they would light up and be so
happy to see each other. everything in a mission is just pure goodness
and i love the missionaries so much. they are such amazing people!
the picture of my dad and his missionary elder asay is my favorite ^^
it’s from a day we went “zoning in” and taught a lesson with them!
^^ one of the coolest lessons on a college campus under the trees.
more tracting and visiting with the elders! ^^
another photo i LOVE ^^
one of my favorite things is the mission orientation.
the new elders come to the mission home with their companions,
and my parents + the AP’s give presentations introducing the mission,
themselves, areas, history of SA, goals, etc. it’s fun to sit there among all
of the newly-arrived elders and hear how they are introduced to the mission.
my mom gave a great little thought tying a mission experience to climbing a
mountain. she shows the amazing peaks they have summited together and has
the best analogy to the climb, summit, and descent of a mission experience.
i’m glad that while we were there, they hit the halfway point of their three
year mission and now they are “on the descent” down the mountain :)
my dad did the best job. i love that he showed his old missionary
photo and one of my parent’s wedding day. classics!
after orientation (and basically every event), my mom pulls off the
best meals for those hungry missionaries. she is so involved in all
parts of the mission, but still able to be such a good hostess and cook.
the best part is how she has completely learned south african recipes
and embraced those, so the missionaries get a true local taste.
happy, hungry elders enjoying the braai ^^
my dad has mastered the braai (grill) and all of the south african
meats and sauces/chutneys. boerewors is our very favorite!
i was SO happy to be in SA for the mission summit my mom
dreamed up and my parents pulled off. they brought the entire
mission together for the greatest day of talks, activities, and a
special guest speaker who is the first south african born woman
to have summited mount everest. lee den hond is incredible and
it was so interesting to hear her experience climbing everest. she
tied it into achieving goals and being inspired so well, and it related
so well to missionary work. she isn’t a member of our church, but she
was so impressed with all of the impressive young men giving two years
to come share a message important to them. it all tied in so well. she
began a non-profit and dedicated her climb to children in south africa
in a certain township which she’s been involved in. so amazing!here’s my mom introducing lee ^^
we bagged up yummy lunches for 200 elders so they could eat right
after the speech, and before an afternoon of activities and hiking!
of course my mom planned a hike for all of the elders on this summit day ;)
if you know her, you know she LOVES a good hike and taking others on them.
^^ the missionaries were such good sports hiking in 100 degree african heat.
group hike photo! ^^
we got to attend lots of good speeches in SA … including my dad’s
amazing bear talk fireside! people love it here in south africa,
probably because they’ve never seen a bear in this country!
church in africa is definitely my favorite. the members are
incredible and there is such a wide range of wards to attend.
we went to everything from afrikaner wards, to expat wards,
to tiny branches in townships in the middle of nowhere we
got to attend all different churches and love how the spirit
was the same in every single one. love how they also usually
make my parents speak in every single meeting they go to ;)
church in a trailer one day after an hour drive
ended up being one of our favorite days of church!
i love this picture of chase and my mama ^^
seriously, i am missing church in SA. the members here
are so amazing & powerful, especially the kids! chase and i
loved going to primary because they are so darling and reverent.
we always noticed how the kids here are so well-behaved and never
playing on ipads/ with games/ having snacks in church. just listening!
that is unheard of in wards in the U.S…we can learn from them.
one of the highlights for chase was definitely being involved
in a mission again. he loved his so much and he’s so passionate
about missions. he was AP for something crazy like 18 months
on his, so he is well-experienced and jumped right in ( i think he
was trying to be my dad’s 3rd AP ;) my dad asked him to present
at a mission leadership council and he did the best job! i had never
heard so many of the stories and things he taught, so it was amazing.
here is his preach my gospel mission book with all of his notes! ^^
i wish i had seen him in action on his mission – but this was a close second.
after he presented, an elder raised his hand and said “after that presentation,
all i can say is…what have i been doing my entire mission?” haha, so cute!
one thing about a mission is how big a part FOOD plays!
missionaries are always hungry, and there is always food everywhere.
we got to enjoy so many meals here and loved the food
and company of every single one. delicious!
chase learning how to braai with elder olson ^^
we had lots of favorite meals with my parents at their house.
home-cooked food couldn’t have tasted better! my dad’s plank
salmon was a constant during our visit – and i made these cookies lots.
here is chase with irene, the darling lady who has
worked at the mission home for years helping out with
the cooking/dishes/many guests. she is the best!!! ^^
i have extra love for this temple. not only did my sister-in-law’s
grandpa help design and build it, but now it is so special to me
after getting to visit multiple times with my parents and the elders.
each friday my parents attend a session here with different districts
of their missionaries. it was so sweet to be in there with all of them and
watch mom & dad greet them all. we even got to sit in on a sealing for
one of their african elders who had lost both of his parents and had
my parents help him complete the sealing to them. talk about incredible!
happiest thing on earth ^^
i love this quote so much:
“it feels like God visits everywhere else but lives in Africa”
what a special memory to forever have of these two and the
south africa johannesburg mission. everyone loves president
and sister dunn so much and they LOVE the mission so much.
they have brought endless energy, creativity, and love to it.
i am so proud of them and get teary thinking about it! i used
to think it was such a sacrifice for our family to be apart for so
long (and i still miss them daily…) but after being there, i know
there is nothing better they could possibly be doing. love them so much!
all of our time in south africa can be seen here…and video here!