Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Work Goes On

At the MTC February 15-20, 2016

We enjoyed our time in the MTC. You could feel the power of so many missionaries in one place. In our group there were 90 couples. (Average is 80 per week). There was such a diversity of assignments all over the world. There were couples called as MLS (Member/Leader Support - that's us), Church Education, Young Single Adult, Military Relations, Office, etc.  This doesn't count the couples called to Temple missions - they don't come to the MTC.
We expected that most would be called states-side, but there were many more called to foreign countries. We were the only couple going to Africa from our group. In our district at the MTC were the Ricks, going to Marshall Islands, the Griffins going to Paris and the Hansen going to Spokane Washington. 
Elder Ronald Rasband of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles spoke at our devotional. He talked about the process of calling missionaries and assured us that our calls come by revelation to the Lord. Not so much what he said, but the spirit being so strong in that meeting, words cannot adequately describe!
It was great to be led by our good friends Mike and Lynna Taylor, who made sure we were VIPs!
We saw a video of a talk Elder Bednar gave at the MTC a few years ago called "The Character of Christ."
Christ always turned outward (toward others) in every situation, even in His own adversities, whereas the natural man always turns inward in a selfish way. 

Arriving in Africa February 23

The flight from Salt Lake City to Atlanta was about 4 hours. The non-stop flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa, was 14 hours.  It was a rugged flight but not as bad as we had anticipated.

After spending a couple days with our Mission President and his wife (Pres. and Sister Wilson) in Pretoria, we drove about 5 hours to our home for the next 18 months in Tzaneen, South Africa. The “T” is silent: “Zaneen".

Our flat isn't quite grass hut with thatched roof we originally expected!
There are four branches of the church in the greater Tzaneen area: Tzneen, Lenyenye, Matupo, and Modjadgi.


We are assigned to split time between the Lynyenye branch and the Motupa group.  The Lynyenye chapel is very nice and large enough to accommodate this branch that was one of the first in the Limpopo district.

 Sister Hall with Branch President Kakoni

Converts Baptized: Our first Sunday in Lenyenye

Chris Masetle Makgoba and Khuma Melva Lebatlang

The work goes on... stay tuned.


  1. this is so great! Love the pictures - keep them coming!! Good job on the blog, Grandpa!

  2. We are in Priesthood meeting right now learning about your blog. We miss you already. Mike Dean and all the other High Priests of the CR4th.

  3. Super happy for you both. Beautiful pictures.

  4. It is so fun to read your blog and what you are doing! It looks wonderful. You both are already making a difference.
    Steve and Joan Shelton

  5. John and Marcia- Bill and I love reading your blog! Please keep updating it. We love all of the pictures and details. You are doing a great work and making a huge difference. Love, Bill and Susan