February 1 – February 4
On the first day of the month, we were thrilled to welcome twelve new missionaries to the South Africa Johannesburg Mission; one Sister and eleven Elders. As usual, they came from many
lands and states:
The most exciting new area is Botshabelo
(meaning “a place of refuge”). This is a
We also assigned two Elders to a deaf outreach program. Unfortunately, deafness is common in
February 5 – February 11
On Sunday, we attended the Bedfordview Stake Conference. Both Jane and I spoke. This stake covers the southeastern part of
Elder Gama, who had spent almost three weeks in the Mission Home recovering from lung surgery, was able to return to full time missionary work on Monday afternoon. Without the operation, he would have probably died a young man from complications resulting from a bout of tuberculosis he had as a child. We spent most of the rest of the week making final arrangements and plans for the upcoming Zone Conferences. Jane also spent considerable time in the office, filling in for the office couple that had gone home early. She made letter templates and did other things to make it easier for the new couple that will arrive on the 19th. She continued her efforts to clean up the baptism and confirmation records. Our mission, as do many, have problems getting confirmation records returned from the wards and branches.
On Wednesday, we met the new Johannesburg MTC president and his wife. President and Sister Hill are delightful and will do a superb job of training new missionaries. A few years ago, they presided over the Madagascar Mission. Although the MTC is in the same building as the Mission Office, we do not see the Hills often because we both have busy schedules.
On Friday, we held the Bedfordview Zone Conference. In addition to training provided by the Zone Leaders and Assistants, I spoke twice; once on improving Gospel Principles classes and once on gaining wisdom and understanding. Jane spoke on personal and apartment hygiene using a true or false format. The missionaries really enjoyed her talk. I also continued my training on the proper completion and care of baptismal and confirmation records. I also interviewed each missionary. Saturday we attended the Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast.
February 12 – February 18
Sunday was the Benoni Stake
covers the eastern part of
That evening there was a six-stake fireside where both Elder and Sister Oaks spoke. You can guess that the building was very crowded. As Sister Oaks got up to speak, she said that Elder Oaks had asked her to tell how they met. Elder Oaks’ first wife had died and he had been single for two years. Sister Oaks said she was being interviewed for a job at Deseret Book by Elder Ballard. At the end of the interview, Elder Ballard asked her if she would be willing to go on a date with Elder Oaks. Elder Ballard asked her if she could cook. She said she could cook three things. He said “That will do.” On their first date, Elder Oaks took his daughter with him. The future Sister Oaks asked him if he always took his daughter on his dates. Elder Oaks got up and embellished the story. They were both very funny. Elder Oaks also spoke about missionary work and the temple. It was an enjoyable and inspiring evening.
We left the next day for
On Wednesday the 15th, Jane and I traveled to
On Thursday we held the Soweto Zone Conference and on Friday, the Pretoria Zone Conference. On Saturday evening, we attended and spoke at the Pretoria Stake Conference.
February 19 – February 25
We arose early Sunday morning and traveled to the airport to
pick-up the Cornilles, our new office couple. They came to us from
On Monday morning, we left for
On Wednesday, we spent most of the day in the office
continuing the training of Elder and Sister Cornilles. We also traveled to Dobsonville
Thursday was the Benoni Zone Conference
and on Friday we held Zone Conference for the
February 26 – February 28
We attended Church in Krugersdorp. The ward had been recently split, but was still well attended. Sacrament Meeting was wonderful. Two recent converts were confirmed. A couple spoke about their experiences and blessings from serving a mission together. The Gospel Principles class was excellent. After the meetings, I interviewed a man for baptism. Later in the day, the Assistants and I put, what are hopefully, the final touches on the next transfers and Jane fed us a wonderful dinner.
Monday and Tuesday were spent in the office. We have tried to be fully caught up, so we can spent as much time as possible with Scott, Tiffany, Tyler and Brooke who arrive on Wednesday, March 1st.