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 Kelly McClellan
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 MissionEditor's note: who remembers where Kelly originally wanted to serve? Read this post. The Lord is mindful of Elder McClellan!!!