Tuesday, June 27, 2017

One Year

One year ago today we left our home and family to serve as Mission President and wife to Durban South Africa. We are blessed beyond measure for this extraordinary experience. The more I study, learn, and serve, the more my testimony is strengthened. I have come to love the wonderful people of South Africa, and of course, our wonderful missionaries! I feel that they are teaching me more than I could ever hope to teach them.

Here are a few highlights from the year (not in any order of relevance!):

Zone Conferences, once every 12 weeks, are now every six weeks, along with missionary interviews

A forty-day fast brought many miracles

In March we had the highest amount of baptisms in the history of the mission

About 68 people just showed up to church without invitations over a six week period

A meeting with Prince Buthelezi and his political leaders - presented him with a Book of Mormon

A new temple under construction

Missionaries working harder than ever - we have the best!

People seeking missionaries

A visit from Elder Rasband

A mission tour with Elder and Sister Palmer 

Our daughter, Nicole, had the privilege of coming with us for a few months before going to BYU

Friday, June 16, 2017

Elders Leaving June 2017

Transfer week is a series of lots of meals for
large groups. Generally, our missionaries help
make the breakfasts!

We will miss all of our missionaries going home,
but wish them the best and hope they keep
in contact with us!

 Elder Thorkelsen

 Elder Bennison

 Elder Adams leaving with his family!

 Departing Elders breakfast!

 Our Elders helping make breakfast!

 Time to pack up!

 Final goodbye from the bunkhouse!

 Arriving at the airport.

 Elder Bennison, Elder Doney, Elder Thorkelsen, Elder North

 Such a great smile!

 Elders Doney, Jones, Thorkelsen, Weiler, Bennison, North, Harper

 Elders Doney, North, Bennison, Weiler, Jones, Thorkelsen

 Elder Thorkelsens father meets up with him to take him home! Elder Doney & North

 Elder Thorkelsen

 Elder Doney

 Elder North

 Elder Doney leaving the bunkhouse

 Elder North leaving the bunkhouse

 Elder North and Doney at the airport

 Elder North and Doney
Elder Doney and North saying goodbye!
We will miss you!

Departing Elders June 2017

Elder Adam's parents came to pick him up from Germany!
It's always fun to meet our missionaries family.

 Elder Adams and his parents

 Elder Thorkelsens father and grandfather came to pick him up.
They are from the U.S.

 Elder Adams and Elder Doney

 Elder Adams, Doney, Thorkelsen, & father Thorkelsen
After our departing dinner, we start our testimony meeting
with a hymn. 

 Elder North is first to express his testimony.

 Elder Thorkelsen expressed a powerful testimony.

 Elder Adams testimony is strong

 Elder Doney is a star! He brought the small Leribe branch
from sacrament attendance of about sixteen, to about 70 people in about 
three months! When he left was teaching a village of 42 people! Wow!

 Elder Bennison is dynamic!

 A closing hymn

 Grandma Thorkelsen, and Bro. and Sister Adams

 Our star missionaries!


 Elder North models typical Zulu clothes

 Elder Bennison is power!


We had transfers on Wednesday morning. We had three rounds, where
missionaries started driving at 5:30 AM with Elder and Sister Wood.
We sent breakfast tacos with them. The second round at the mission
home started at 9:00 AM, and the final round at 4:00 PM.
Planning logistics is time consuming for our Assistants - but
they do a great job with the help of Elder Wood.

 Elder Bennison is one of our faithful missionaries leaving!
He gets to say goodbyes during transfers!

 Elder North will also be leaving us!

 Elder Lowe will be a new zone leader!

 Elder Diehl, Elder Bennison, and Elder Takau

 Elder Jantjies (pronounced yankees), Elder Lowe, & Elder Jones

 Elder Liechty

 Elder Schraedel

 Elder Beck

 Elder Bringgold

I try to get a straight picture, but
Elder Rasmussn loves pulling faces!

Bye Elder Baumgartner

Elder Baumgartner goes home.
He broke his jaw in a bike accident and had to have his mouth
wired closed! Ouch!

 Saying goodbye!