October 1 – October 7
We started October watching the concluding sessions of General Conference. What a wonderful blessing comes from the technology that allows us to participate in Conference even though we are 10,000 miles away. The rest of the week was one of the quietest we have had in a long time. The Assistants and I finished transfer assignments and the Transfer Newsletter. On Thursday, we went to the temple with the Assistants.
October 8 – October 14
We attended Church in the Gold Reef Ward. The Assistants serve in this ward. On Tuesday, we held our monthly staff meeting with the wonderful couples who serve in the Mission Office. The
On Wednesday, we arose very early and traveled to the
Thursday we held our transfer meetings and then left directly for the Airport. Jane was sick and missed the meetings and the trip to the airport. One of the missionaries going home was Elder Otterstrom who wrote our mission song. As well as being a composer, he has a great voice and sang at many of our events. On our way to the airport, we stopped by the Mission Home, so Elder Otterstrom could sing one last song for Sister Bowden. There were only three missionaries going home this transfer, but two were zone leaders and one was an Assistant to the President. We will miss all three of these wonderful missionaries, especially Elder Roberts, who had served as an Assistant for six months. We get very close to the excellent missionaries who serve as Assistants. Elder Tanner Allen from
October 15 – October 21
We attended Church in the Johannesburg Ward in downtown
On Tuesday, we took Elder and Sister Farris to the airport. This couple has served in
On Wednesday, we held Zone Leaders’ Council. We also invited the fine missionaries opening Mafikeng and Bethlehem. The group discussed the condition of the mission and the things we could improve upon. We established plans and goals for the next transfer period.
On Friday, we invited all of our senior couples to the
Mission Home for dinner and socialization.
We also invited three couples from the D. R. Congo Mission. They are temporarily in
Saturday, I attended the semi-annual Coordinating Council with Elder Young and the presidents of the six stakes covered by the mission. The meeting lasted most of the day.
October 22 – October 28
Sunday, we went to church in the Sharpeville Branch. The branch meets in three rooms rented from a school in the township. The rooms are very sparse; the tile floors are dirty and stained; some windows are broken, but there was a great spirit there. The Branch President is Elder Turner, one of our senior Elders, who serves in Sharpeville with his wife. After Church, they invited us to their flat for dinner.
On Tuesday, we began a new round of zone conferences. The first was for the Johannesburg Zone. The Area Medical Advisor joined us for each of the zone conferences. He and his wife provided training on health issues. Sister Bowden spoke on “Doing Hard Things.” I spoke on “Putting off the Natural Man.” I interviewed each missionary, as I do each zone conference. I thoroughly enjoy these interviews.
Thursday, we traveled to
October 29 – October 31
Sunday, we attended the Soweto Ward. We enjoy going to this ward. It is relatively close to the Mission Home and always welcomes us warmly.
Monday morning we traveled to Gaborone, Botswana to arrive
in time for a presentation by the Church of 500 wheelchairs to Botswana. The event was very nice. The First Lady of Botswana accepted the wheelchairs
on behalf of