Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Grandson!! and the Past Week's Activites

Little Finley William Allred was born today, January 25, 2014 at 4:08 AM, 7 lbs 10 oz and 20" long. Such a blessing to have another grandchild. It is a bit difficult to not be near at this blessed event, but we were able to Skype and share in the joy through modern technology.

Finley joins a brother and sister, Cooper is 4 1/2 and Sawyer is almost 3, and we have three other darling grandchildren, Avia almost 9, Rylan 6 1/2, and Beckham is one.

On Monday we attended a departure dinner for the Hansens who are going North to Polokwane to finish the last year of their mission, the Heyens who served for 18 months in Seminary and Institute, the Heatons who were at the Area Office, and Elder Wadsworth, who honorably finished his 2 year mission. A lovely potluck dinner was held at the mission home. 

It was still light when we arrived, and out the kitchen door was this beautiful vine.
Out the front door of the mission home is this beautiful tree. We are really enjoying the foliage here in South Africa.

The Heyens
Elder Menendez, Sister Dunn and Elder Wadsworth

Some of the guests. Sister Taylor, Elder and Sister Cloward, and Sister Thompson

Sister Jones, Elder and Sister Taylor

Sister Hansen, Elder Jones, and Elder Hansen

Elder Allred and Elder Malapula

The yummy buffet. Fresh fruit, green salad, green beans, loaded potato casserole, shish kabobs, and cookies and ice cream. Plus Sister Dunns famous lemonade and homemade root beer from the Clowards.

After dinner, we all gathered and President Dunn showed us the original blueprints of the Johannesburg Temple. He received  them from his daughter in laws father, who helped build the temple. He is going to have them displayed in the mission office. Then testimonies were shared by those going home. 

President and Sister Dunn presented a framed document with a photo of Elder Wadsworth and his assignments during his two year mission. They also presented all departing missionaries with a South Africa Johannesburg Mission pin.

Elder Malapula is ever helpful!
How does Elder Menendez do that?!

One last photo of the original office staff, before the Hansens left. 


Saturday we moved into the Hansen's old flat. This flat is across the street from the mission office. We are able to just walk to the office each day and can even take a break and go home for lunch.
The following are a few photos of the new flat. 

Kent is standing by the entrance to the flat

The Bedroom

Lots of closet space

Our courtyard. On the right is the flat where young elders stay. On the left is one of the laundry rooms. The young elders use this and we can also use it. There is another one around the corner we can use. So we have two full size washers and dryers.

Our door is to the left of the flower pot. The brown framed window is our kitchen window.

Our front gate.

The walk to the office. On the right is our side yard. You can see the entrance to the campus where the mission office, MTC, S & I (Seminary and Institute), and meetinghouse is located.  

Looking at our flat from the guard shack at the mission office. Our flat is across the street on the left. The house has been divided into four flats. The Thompsons, the young elders, us, and an employee of  S & I and his wife and baby live in the front flat.
We had a wonderful Sunday at the Cluster. Spiritual messages were shared and we visited several less active families, shared a message with them and invited them to return and worship with us. They were very receptive and we pray they will all return. One of the families has a non-member father and we invited him to come next week and we gave him a Book of Mormon to read. All-in-all a great week!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Four and one-half Months...

We can't believe that four and a half months have gone by. The time has flown and it's been such a wonderful experience serving a mission in South Africa. We love each and every new experience and feel Heavenly Father's love as we receive inspiration and guidance in accomplishing the assignments we are given. We are learning to go full speed ahead with total trust in the Lord, and it works! It is His work and He helps us every step of the way!

Our newest missionary, Elder Hunt from Samoa. He is going to be such a great missionary!
He was very excited to get to his area and go to work.

Mission Leadership Council (MLC) happened on Thursday. All of the zone leaders gathered to be trained by the APs and President and Sister Dunn. We served lunch first to give the Dunns time to pick up their daughter Emi from the airport. She is here for a 10-day visit. How fun for her to experience MLC while she was here. The APs and other elders set up for us. The missionaries are always willing to help and they come to us and ask if we have anything for them to do. We know they received great training at home and we love their parents for that!   

We rotate the menu and this time it was homemade Sloppy Joes from Sister Dunn and myself, lovely salad from Sister Thompson, and yummy rice krispie treats from Sister Hansen.

Sister Dunn and her beautiful daughter Emi

They look like sisters!

Our awesome APs, Elder Menendez and Elder Malapula


We took a trip to Carletonville today to check on a couple of elders flats. The drive was sunny and beautiful. Everywhere we looked, gardens were growing like crazy.

What a cute lady!

Bringing home the...chicken

So many of the truck look like Tonka toy trucks. They are awesome!

Elder Kairu, Elder Kwabaisi, and Elder Mdletshe. Their flat was spotless!  
Roadside shops. Goats, sheep and chickens

Mangos, bananas, and peaches are at the roadside markets right now. 

This week beautiful yellow blooms cover the sides of the roads

Cosmos grow wild!

Laundry day

Beautiful vines grow to the tops of the evergreens