Monday, June 29, 2015

Letter from Michael 6-29-2015 – Alberton- Changes in Mission

My new area is a town called Alberton in the Bedfordview zone. As I said before I am finishing training Elder Rouse from England which is good so far. It is a biking area so I am having many flash backs of my first area, Polokwane, where I was trained. Yes, I am back to good old flat tires everyday. But we came up with a plan so that the work is not hindered by the bikes. In a week we will begin to trade off the car every week with the Germiston Elders. 
I am enjoying the people in Alberton who we have taught so far. There is a nice ward here. When I first went to church here it looked like a branch but gradually people came in later. There are many people to teach and members to visit in this big area. I will get to meet all of them hopefully when we get the car. Unfortunatly, Elder Novotny and Elder Oldroyd are no longer in my mission. Limpopo and the Pretoria zone are now in the Botswana mission. We just lost tons of missionaries and now we have a small mission. It is sad that there are so many elders that we won't be seeing anymore. 
So far this week being district leader hasn't been so bad. The district meeting went well. We discussed about setting and achieving goals. Here we do not live in a flat complex. We live at a members house which is interesting. We live in the top floor of the building. 

For exchanges I will have to be picked up by other Elders. Alberton has lots of hills. Itis a bit similar to Witbank. It is town but not a super wealthy town.  

QUOTE: "To receive a stab is to be wounded; but to forgive and forget, is the cure." - Rev. William Scott Downey 

"Work will win when wishy washy wishing won't." - Thomas S. Monson (The "W" formula)

Part of his letter to his mom:

Yeah, I will email Elder Oldroyd. I am glad it wasn't me. It would be cool to serve in Botswana but for like Elder Oldroyd  he will not serve there but he is no longer part of our mission. 
On Monday I could not say good bye to anyone else. I had to travel to Roodeport for District Leader meeting and training meeting. The Germiston, Bedfordview, and Evenville Elders are in my district. The edenville Elders are my zone leaders. Yeah, being district leader is good.
We got an email and text about it. Just two of us live there. it is many steps to get up there. We sleep in the study/living room, 1 bathroom, and a kitchen. I brought the weights here but I have been to exhausted to use them. Yes, it has been quite cold here. Tuesday was hot though.
We have our own kitchen. We live with an English family. We enter our part of the building in a way that we usually don't see them. It is an interesting design. Yeah, i saw the video. I sound funny.

Part of his letter to his dad:
Immaculate and Vusi are the investigators who came to church this Sunday. Vusi is from Mozambique and Immaculate is the wife of a recent convert named Nicki.

Letter from his mission president about the changes:

Sunday, 28 June 2015


Dear Parents and Priesthood Leaders of missionaries in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission:


I wanted you to be among the first to know about a historic milestone in the missionary work in here in Africa which was announced this morning, and will take effect this coming week.

In a recent meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, approval was given to realign the boundary between the Botswana/Namibia and South Africa Johannesburg Missions, and to transfer the Pretoria South Africa Stake and the Tzaneen South Africa District from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission to the Botswana/Namibia Mission. This change will be effective 1 July, 2015, and will affect 45 missionaries currently serving in the Pretoria, Sunnyside and Tzaneen Zones of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.

This change in mission boundaries coincides with the splitting of the Pretoria Stake and the formation of the new, Mabopane Stake. Both the new stake and the adjustments to the mission boundaries were proposed and sustained by the members and missionaries in a special stake conference held this morning in Pretoria. The net effect of this move is that it transfers a stake and district from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.  It will also immediately bolster the compliment of missionaries in the Botswana/Namibia Mission which has struggled to get missionaries into those countries due to visa issues for the past 18 months. As a geography reminder, these two countries are adjacent to South Africa, and are located on its northern border.  The affected zones from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission are the northernmost areas of our mission, and a logical addition to the Botswana/Namibia Mission.


The missionaries officially reassigned to the Botswana/Namibia Mission are:


Elder Theodore Dandrick Barendse

Elder James Rex Bryner

Elder Kenneth Dylan Christie

Elder Duwayne Fernando DeSouza

Elder Peter Mpaulo Diogo

Elder Enoc Teancum Garnica

Elder Seth Alexander Going

Elder Afina Hunt

Elder Ray Hunt

Elder Teemu Samuel Kankkunen

Elder Ken Kobbina Kenyah

Elder Brian Kusi-Poku

Elder Daniel Liera

Elder Jarom Alexander Lybe

Elder Albert James May

Elder James Almon McAllister

Elder Kelly McClellan

Elder Jorden Paul McQueen

Elder Elisha Mugenyi

Elder Sicelo Falakhe Ndlovu

Elder Václav Novotný

Elder James D. McKay Oldroyd

Elder Felix Paul

Elder Aaron Leslie Reynolds

Elder Turner McKay Richards

Elder Jacob Blake Saunders

Elder Duke Malcolm Smith-Holley

Elder Joshua Alexander Stilgoe

Elder Simon Ssendege

Elder Jared Michael Cornelis Stomps

Elder Mose Johnny Togiatomai

Elder Andre Edward Daniel Thompson

Elder Teamakaia Louis Adolph Bonard Tumarae

Elder Andries Petrus Van Heerden

Elder Kayl Michael Williams

Elder Mitchell Allen Williams

Elder Gerald Woniala

Elder Max Butler

Sister Janis Cardon Butler

Elder Steven Roy Campbell

Sister Loretta Evans Campbell

Elder Larry LaVarr Hansen

Sister Melanie Hansen

Elder Bryan Mark Winward

Sister Valerie Jean Winward


While Sister Dunn and I are obviously saddened to part with these great missionaries whom we have come to know and love as sons (…along with four of the best senior couples to be found anywhere), it is inspiring—and in fact more accurately, dizzying—to see the hand of the Lord move the work forward on this African continent. In addition to strengthening the ability to handle the burgeoning work of building the kingdom in the north, this is a pioneering opportunity to stretch and grow which will bless the lives of all involved. But please know that even as your son moves on to this exciting opportunity, that he will always be a part of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.

I’m also pleased to tell you how much your son will love his new Mission President and Companion—and how much they already love your sons. We know President and Sister Wilson and they are outstanding people and seasoned servants of God. They have already served two years of their three-year call in the Botswana Gaborone Mission, and so are experienced leaders of a mission. Their home is in West Jordan, Utah and they are the parents of five children. President Wilson, who was born in Columbus, Ohio is steeped in church experience having served as a counselor in a stake presidency and is a former bishop, high councilor, elders quorum president, and Young Men president. Professionally he worked as an engineer with Ceramatec, Inc. Sister Wilson, who is from Payson, Utah, has also served in many callings including as a former ward Relief Society president, ward Primary president. Again, your sons will love serving with this terrific couple.

As your communicate with your son on his P-Day tomorrow, my prayer is that you, too, will feel the spirit of this inspired move, and share that with your missionary. While you or your son may be naturally feeling some uncertainty about this, I testify to you that God is indeed in charge. And that this is but one more evidence of the hastening of the work. As the Book of Mormon asserts, “But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men…” (1 Nephi 9:6).  Elder Neal Maxwell also reminds us that all things do work together for our good. “Trust in the Lord as He leads you along,” said Elder Maxwell. “He has things for you to do that you won't know about now but that will unfold later. If you stay close to Him, You will have some great adventures. The Lord will unfold your future bit by bit.”

One thing is for sure, it will be an adventure! And we feel so blessed to be a part of this historic and inspired move forward. If you have any questions or if I can help in anyway, please let me know. In the meantime, please know that the Dunns and the Wilson love your sons and will be doing our very best to make this adjustment successful.

Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel!


With love and blessings,



Michael A. Dunn, President

South Africa Johannesburg Mission

Old Mission on the top, new on the bottom

The area Michael was transferred from last week is now in the Botswana Mission.
You can read more about it on the mission president’s blog:

Michael’s Father’s Day video that was taped by the Area Public Affairs missionaries, Elder and Sister Berg on the subject of 
"influential father figures." has been posted on:

Direct to video:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Letter from Michael 6-22-2015 -19 Months

My last week in Witbank is over! It is a bit sad but it is good to move on and experience something new. Witbank has been my favorite area to serve in. I love the members here! This Sunday Dudu, Sharon, and Bongiwe were all the investigators who came to church this Sunday.
On Monday last week we went to the Nish's farm. It was fun as always! We helped him burn tons of weeds and brush on his property. It was a controlled fire. Also we moved rocks and boulders away so that the horses don't injure themselves. After wards we made taco with President Nish. I have to say Mexican food is the best food on Earth... Celestial food!
On Thursday while at the Stroydom's house I got a call from President Dunn. He wants me to be the district leader in my area and finish train a new Elder who has been in the field for 6 weeks. His name is Elder Rouse, from England. Anyway, that was my week. Mom and Dad thank you very much for the package I received this week. Also many thanks to Brother and Sister Smith in Cali for the package that you sent. I loved it! Thanks to all who support me and pray for me!
- Elder Johnson
Quote: "Unless a man undertakes more than he can possibly do, he will never do all that he can." -Henry Ford

Part of his letter to his mom:
On Tuesday in South Africa it is Youth Day! We went to the chapel for a bit to celebrate with the branch. There was Pizza and we played stick hockey with rolled up card board boxes. It was a lot of fun! I also played a bit of baseball with some of the youth.

I also spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday. It was a late notice as always. I talked about our Heavenly Fathers love for us; about his plan for families that is made possible because of the atonement of Christ.

Part of his letter to his dad:

Happy Fathers Day!!!!! I hope it was good. I sent the post card way too early but at least you saw the video. It sounds like it was a great fathers day! I am glad you enjoyed it! That trailer will need a truck (bakkie) one day. Congrats on the knee healing. Keep getting better. I would love to hike to timp cave with you guys. You feeling up to it? 

Making pap- Neh


Dudu (in red) and her family


Gumede family Bongiwe is on the left.

Michelle and Isabel

Ganakgomo Family

The Venters

Edwin and Jaunri


Monday, June 15, 2015

Letter from Michael 6-15-2015  (Bears and Prayers)

On Friday night President Dunn came for family home evening and shared his "Bears and Prayers" story. It was a great turn out and many people came. He even showed an episode of a show called "Got Home Alive." It was about the bear attack he went through. It was cool to watch. Jazzman and Mercy came and Sharon, a new investigator, came. Sharon is a referral from the Dzeka family from Zimbabwe. She is Sister Dzeka's cousin. She has been to church a few times before and she has committed to baptism. The  traffic was horrendous because of all of the car accidents. We had a temple trip last week. we missed the session by 7 minutes though.
On Sunday we found two inactive members who we never knew of before. There is Godfrey from Zimbabwe. His family is in Zim but he has been here for a year for work. Thabo is the other guy. Hopefully we will be able to meet with them this week. 

JOKE: Did you know that Satan used to be a woman?.......

ANSWER: .....The Bible says that, "Satan was abroad in the land."

Part of his letter to his mom:
Tell Dave and Debora that I really appreciate all of the prayers!  (he wrote late today because: The myldsmail page was not working all day until now.)

Part of his letter to his dad:
We did not teach the man we met at the hospital. The address doesn't make sense and the number does not exist.

(Michael was interviewed by the Pablic Affairs Missionaries  in South Africa. You can read about it at the Mission President’s blog at :

You can see the video when it is posted at:

Below is a letter sent to us today by a member in South Africa: 

Hi. This is Jackie Pienaar from Johannesburg South Africa. We spent the weekend in Witbank where my parents live. On Saturday we had the 6 missionaries from the area over for lunch as it was one of their birthdays. Elder Johnson and Elder Oldroyd visit my parents every week and help them.  They rake leaves and help my dad move the things he builds. He can't do it by himself anymore. My mom loves their enthusiasm. She bakes cookies for them. They played some miniature table tennis and some ball outside. It was great for my 13 year old son to spend time with them too. We have 2 older sons serving missions so he misses them. One son is in the Scotland Ireland mission and the other in Salt Lake City West mission. 
You can be proud of your son. Here are some pictures.

Pretoria Zone at the temple June 2015

Michael and Elder Van Heerdan
Michael and his district

Michael and his district playing ping pong

Monday, June 8, 2015

Letter from Michael 6-8-2015
This week has been significantly colder. We are now using the heater and wearing layers. By the time winter is over here I will be home in Utah for REAL winter. I think I will die then. President Dunn is coming on Friday night to talk about his bear attack story. We will try to invite as many members and investigators as possible.  Speaking of we started teaching 7 new investigators. 

A couple transfers back Elder Novotny and I talked to a guy on the street while he was jogging. His name is Chipiwa. He seemed like there would be potential but we had lost his contact information. Just last night we found him again at Sister Phiri's house. It turns out he is Sister Phiri's nephew. Chipiwa was very happy to see us again. He remember my name and everything. We are going to teach his family on Tuesday and we invited him to FHE. 

On Tuesday we went to teach Pat with Roulof who is a friend and a member of the church. Just as we started the lesson she told us that she had done some talking with Roulof and most of her questions have been answered. So she told us that she wanted to be baptized into the church. We were so surprised by what she said that we didn't know what to do other than give her a high five. Based on experiences she has had in other church it seemed she would be so willing to try again with another church. She said she would go to FHE and church but unfortunately she had to go to the hospital on Friday and should be leaving today. We visited her last night which she really enjoyed. She is doing much better. As we left her room some guy who works at the hospital started talking to us. We are going to start teaching him this week. His name is Arthur. We put Wandile on date for baptism.

We received a great referral from Brother Parson. It is a family of three. Jazzman, Mercy, and their little girl. Brother Parson works with Jazzman and he gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon to read. He actually read all the way up to Chapter 8 and remembered what he read. We will see them again tonight with Brother Parson. 

By the way, the water spirals clockwise down the drain.

Part of his letter to his mom:
Zone conference was on Tuesday. It was good as always. My favorite part was about integrity. ...about being a missionary with integrity. We thought Ester was in Zimbabwe but it turns out she is still here. We saw her last night with Sister Phiri and Chipiwa. Not much other news for her. Yeah, we taught the family. I was gone on exchanges that day though. 
Our fast and testimony was pretty great too. Even though there was hardly anyone there almost everyone went up and no pauses in between. Quinton came to church yesterday and surprisingly he bore his testimony too. I told him he should but he said no. the a few minutes later he did it. 

Part of his letter to his dad:
No, investigators came to church. I guess it was too cold for people. The church was very empty. We did not even have a gospel principles class. We can't get a hold of Paul anymore.

A newspaper clipping Michael sent today.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Letter from Michael 6-1-2015 – 18 Months

Ester is in Zimbabwe right now settling family issues. She will hopefully be back in a week or two. We had four investigators at church on Sunday. There was Wandile, Rene, Sharon, and Pat. Rene we have not seen in a long long time. Her  husband Roulof is a less active member. They decided to come to church this week. I had seen Roulof at church but never Rene. They introduced us to their friends down the street which is a bit of an older couple. They are very nice. The wife's name is Pat. She is a hoot holler (funny). Pat was taught by the missionaries years ago and then stopped when the Elders were transferred. She and Rene want us to start teaching them again. They fed us twice last week. They seem to like us much. Pat has been through a lot in her life. She tried explaining but couldn't finish because she cried too much. She lost her old copy of the Book of Mormon and asked her to read Alma 7:10-13.
Sharon is a new investigator from the Dzeka family. The Dzekas are from Zimbabwe and they are actually the family of Plaxedous. Sharon as I said came to church and is also from Zimbabwe. She told us she enjoyed church and wants to become a member. We will see what happens. Elder Oldroyd taught the Gospel Principles class about Talents and I spoke in sacrament meeting about missionary work. What a great topic for me! It went well. Pat and Rene said they thoroughly enjoyed it.
We found a father lead family last week. We were looking for a former investigator named Sonny Boy. He moved but his sister Veronica was there. We taught her family twice last week. She read everything we gave her and seems genuinely interested in what we teach. Next week we would like to put her on date. In fact there are a few that we need to put on date. The college class did not happen this week. The student enjoy us but the teachers say we are taking away from their study time. I have been there when we didn't teach though but it did not sound like they were studying anyway. It sounded like recess. Anyway, we will try again next week. 
- Elder Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:
Yes, fhe went well. There were some more people there. There is a less active named Prinsloo. I have never seen him at church or any of the activities since I have been here. He came though with his grandparents to fhe last week. He is 21 years old. He should serve a mission soon. 
It feels strange to have not much left. It might be a bit scary going back into the real world and schooling and everything. I want my last 6 months of mission to be the best part.
Why did the Lamanites complain about their legs hurting? ...because of all the Knee-phites.

Did you know that Joseph from the Bible was a tennis player?... Ya, it talks about how he SERVED in Pharaoh's COURT!

Did you know that Lehi had a pet? ....God said to Lehi, "Take up thine family and flea."