January 1 – January 6
Tuesday, January 2nd, we held a Leadership Conference with 52 District Leaders, Zone Leaders and Presiding Elders (those leading one of the mission “twigs”). It
started at noon and lasted until 7 pm. Ten of the leaders from distant cities spent the
night at the mission home. We got up the next morning at 5:45 am and drove to
the airport to pick up four missionaries coming from the Provo MTC. We brought them to the mission home to shower
and change, then took them to the office and met up with the nine missionaries who
attended the Johannesburg MTC. One of the Elders was from
The rest of the week was spent trying to get our internet fixed by Telkom, getting the mission kombi (van) fixed and finishing plans for our mission tour with Elder and Sister Sitati.
January 7 – January 13
After attending church in the Protea Glen Ward and having lunch, the Assistants and I put together a schedule to travel to interview missionaries throughout the mission following our mission tour.
On Monday morning we picked up Elder and Sister Sitati from the airport. Elder Sitati is an Area
Seventy and lives in
Friday we traveled to
We held our
January 14 – January 20
Sunday, we attended church in the Broadhurst Ward. We traveled home by way of Lobatse so we could stop and see the building the Church is looking to acquire for the Lobatse Branch. We crossed the border without incident.
On Monday, we held the last conference of the mission tour
in the Sandton building. It was also our largest, with four zones (we had to take two pictures):
Over the next two days we held a staff meeting, went to the dentist and tried to catch up from being gone on mission tour. Then we headed out again for a round of interviews. I normally interview missionaries in conjunction with Zone Conferences, but because of our Christmas parties and mission tour, I felt I needed to make special trips to conduct interviews.
On Thursday, I interviewed the missionaries in the Soweto
Zone. On Friday, I interviewed the missionaries in the Roodepoort Zone. On Saturday, we traveled three hours to Welkom and interviewed the two missionaries in that very isolated
city. Then we traveled to
January 21 – January 27
Sunday morning we arose early and traveled to Botshabelo in time to attend church in the “twig” located there. Church services in Botshabelo started only a few months ago. This day there were more than 30 in attendance at the meeting – only about half who were members. I spoke on the importance of baptism. During Sunday School Jane took the Primary-aged children outside for an informal Primary class. Only then did she realize that none of the young children could speak English. They don’t learn English until they go to school. Since music is an international language, she taught them a few Primary songs. The children tried to teach her to count in Sotho. She had a bit of difficulty, much to their delight. After the meetings we took a photograph of the group.
From Botshabelo we traveled to
Thaba Nchu arriving in time for Priesthood and Relief Society. After the meetings, I interviewed the two missionaries located there. We then
Monday we met the missionaries for some preparation day
activities. We drove to the foot of
Thaba Bosui (mountain of the night) and hiked to the top with a guide. The top of this plateau is
where Moshoeshoe consolidated the Sotho tribes and
fought off the Boers to found the
On Wednesday I interviewed the missionaries in the
Johannesburg Zone. On Thursday, I
interviewed the missionaries in the Pretoria Zone and then traveled to Mokopane
to interview the two missionaries located there. We then drove to Polokwane
where we enjoyed dinner with Elder and Sister Christoffersen. The following morning I interviewed the
Elders located in Polokwane, Tzaneen and Lenyenye. This was
the last day for Christoffersens in Polokwane as they would leave on Monday to return to
January 28 – January 31
Sunday we attended church in the Krugersdorp 2nd Ward. Following lunch, the Assistants and I began to work on transfers. Monday, I took the Christoffersens to the airport while Jane had to remain home while Telkom worked on our internet. The Christoffersens have done so much good and served so faithfully. What a difference these wonderful couples make.
On the 30th, I interviewed the missionaries from the Bedfordview Zone.