South Africa Cape Town Mission Web site click below

Saturday, November 29, 2014

South African Christmas!

Well I've been thinking about Christmas as a missionary on the other side of the world and in some ways it was different than what I was used to, and in some ways it was pretty much the same.
South Africa is in the southern hemisphere so Christmas comes during the middle of the summer, which is pretty much like Christmas in San Diego! I asked a South African friend I keep in contact with what common Christmas traditions are and what he said did't surprise me. He said that they don't have many but they always like a good "braai" (BBQ) on Christmas! So typical. A lot of what the members and people down there did was very similar to what we normally do. I remember there was a big Christmas party at the church that we as missionaries tried to invite as many investigators and recent converts and other members to. My companion and I made boring cookies (not fancy Christmas treats that my mom would always make) and we delivered them to members in the ward and us, along with other missionaries would sing Christmas carols to them! People just relax and visit family and enjoy the holiday. One of the only differences is that they don't call Santa Clause, Santa Clause, they call him "Father Christmas" which was weird to me. And most of the people we visited lived in humble circumstances so there were rarely any decorations in their homes or Christmas lights anywhere. As for food on Christmas, turkey, vegetables, mince pies, yellow rice and plum pudding for dessert would be considered a normal South African Christmas dinner. To say Merry Christmas in Afrikkans is "Gese├źnde Kersfees!" and in Xhosa its "Krisimesi emnandi!"
That's really all the things that I came up with. I hope it helps and that this activity goes well! -Dusty Haws

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Married Man

Hello world!
I thought it was about time for another update on the blog. I used to do it once a week while I was on my mission, now it seems like once a year! I am still trying to fathom the fact that I have been home for an entire 2 years now! It seems just like yesterday that I was peeking through the crowd at the airport to try and see my family. All those new missionaries that I saw when I was leaving Cape Town for the last time have now completed their faithful service and now have the distinguished title of a Returned Missionary from SACTM (South Africa Cape Town Mission).

For the last few minutes I have looked at all the pictures on the blog and I can’t help but smile. Ah I just want to go back sometimes and re-live all the fun experiences I had and see all my friends I left behind on that side of the world. Life back then was so different and I’d have to say less stressful than real life. It was a unique time in my life to just forget myself and get lost in the Lord’s work. Being able to teach and serve all day everyday was something that I greatly miss.

As for an update on my life, I AM A MARRIED MAN!!!! And I couldn’t be any happier! I guess you could see it coming from the last post on the blog. That’s the same girl! So she was dating my roommate my first semester back up at Utah State University, I took care of him, and now Holly and I are married! Holly Haws….what a cute name! We dated for about a year, then we went ring shopping and I proposed! Talk about a stressful time of life…choosing a ring and then figuring out a fun and unique way to ask her. I asked her in late April on the perfect day. We have had some police officers check in on us when we were at Hyrum Dam and up Logan canyon and I got pulled over for not using my blinker, etc. So I decided to incorporate that into how I asked her. It’s a long story, but basically I had a police officer pull Holly over and search her car for drugs and then I got out of the cop car and asked her to be my bride, and she said yes! Then most of this past summer we spent planning a wedding! I lived up in Logan and just worked for Zerorez cleaning carpets but we made 2 trips to San Diego to plan the wedding.

We were married August 9th, 2014 in the San Diego Temple! That was the happiest day of my life! Pretty much all of my family came, some even came from the east coast! And all but 2 of Holly’s 10 siblings and their families were able to make it. We were sealed for time and all eternity and the feelings of joy and love filled the whole sealing room. There was such a sweet spirit as I knelt across the alter in the holy temple and looked into the eyes of my sweetheart all dressed in white. Those special moments in the sealing room are moments I'll remember all my life. Then had a ring ceremony right before our reception which was very nice. Everything at our reception went just as planned. The food was delicious, everyone was happy, and of course there was lots of dancing! SO many people came and supported us and congratulated us. I could just feel the love that day! And dang did Holly look stunning and amazing! I am a lucky man.

As for the honeymoon, we decided to take a red eye flight right after our reception to Tampa Bay Florida to go on a 7 day cruise to the western Caribbean! I’ll be honest, it was a rough flight. I couldn't really sleep, but eventually we got to Florida and had a Wendy’s hamburger at 6am (3am our time) for breakfast. We got on the boat and sailed away to paradise! Just me and my wife and not a care in the world! We stopped at were Cozumel, where we took an excursion to a private island and beach where we could relax. Then we stopped in Belize, and then the next day we sailed to Roatan, a small tropical island that was beautiful. Our last stop was the Grand Cayman islands where we took an excursion around the island and then got to go to a turtle farm and hold turtles, and then took a boat out to a natural sand bar where we got to swim with sting rays out in the open ocean! It was awesome! We had such a blast on our honeymoon!

But then it was back to reality. The next weekend we had
a reception at Holly’s house for all her family and friends that couldn’t make it down to San Diego. There were so many people and it was a wonderful evening. Then, school and work stared back up! As for where we are living, my sweet grandma has rented out her basement to couples and she said we could live there for as long as we need! It is very generous of her and we are so grateful! We just have to take out the trash and mow the lawn! It is a very spacious basement and we have turned it into our home, with the help of all the gifts people have given us! We love it.

School is going well. I’m in the Huntsman School of Business here at Utah State University and I am currently studying business and hope to get a degree In MIS (management information systems) or just business administration. We’ll see what happens. As for my job, I still clean carpets 2-3 times per week and enjoy it! Better than bagging groceries. Holly loves her job coaching gymnastics and graduates this semester with a degree in sociology and minors in criminal justice and political science. Holly and I are attending a married student ward here in Logan and just got called as the Gospel Doctrine teachers in the ward!

Well, that’s all the stuff I can think of at the moment that has happened in the past year. It’s been such a great year and we have both been blessed so much and constantly watched over! Life couldn't be better!
Dusty and Holly


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The South Africa Mission
by Andrew Jenson

From the Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 1941, Deseret News Publishing Company, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Used with permission.

SOUTH AFRICAN MISSION (The) comprises the extreme south part of the continent of Africa, or the political division of that continent known as the Union of South Africa, which is a self-governing Dominion of Great Britain, containing about 8,000,000 inhabitants.  The mission is divided into seven conferences, or districts, namely, Cape Transvaal, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, East London and Durban.  On Dec. 31, 1930, these districts had a total Church membership of 769, including 9 Elders, 30 Priests, 11 Teachers, 20 Deacons, 535 lay members, and 154 children.  Twenty Elders from Zion were laboring in the mission; also two missionary sisters.  Five of the local Elders also were devoting their entire time to missionary work.

At a conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 28, 1852, Elders Jesse Haven, Leonard I. Smith and William H. Walker were called to open up a mission in South Africa.  Traveling via Liverpool and London, England, they arrived at Cape Town April 19, 1853.  Bro. Haven presided over the mission.  Immediately upon their arrival they made application for the use of the town hall, which was granted upon condition that they pay for the lighting.  They made arrangements to hold meetings in the hall for six consecutive nights and commenced to advertise these meetings.  On the first evening, April 25, 1853, the hall was nearly filled, but when testimony was borne to the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith the audience became so excited that it was impossible to continue the meeting on account of the confusion.  The following evening the brethren found the hall closed against them.  They, however, obtained the use of other halls, but mobbers caused so much confusion that it was impossible to speak.  Some converts, however, were made, but they were afraid to take a decided stand on account of persecution.  Finally, a Mr. Nicholas Paul of Mowbray (a suburb of Cape Town), a man of influence, permitted the Elders to hold meetings in his home, informing the audience at the commencement of the meeting that if they did not wish to listen they could leave, but the first man who offered an insult on his premises would be in danger of "having more holes made through him than a skimmer," and as long as the Elders remained in the vicinity Mr. Panl was their friend, and soon afterwards he and members of his family were baptized.  On June 15, 1853, Elder Leonard I. Smith baptized Henry Stringer at Mowbray, as the first fruit of the labors of the Elders in South Africa.  Soon afterwards a number of other converts were baptized and on Aug. 16, 1853, the first branch of the Church in South Africa was organized at Mowbray, four miles from Cape Town, and on Sept. 7, 1853, another branch was organized at Newlands, six miles from Cape Town.  Up to that time about fifty persons had been added to the Church by baptism.  A third branch of the Church was organized Feb. 23, 1854, at Beaufort, Cape Colony.  These branches were later organized as the Cape Conference.  The Elders also sent to England for copies of the Church works and a number of tracts for distribution.  At a conference held at Port Elizabeth Aug. 13, 1855, the "Church in the Cape of Good Hope" (South African Mission) was reported to consist of three conferences, six branches and a total membership of 126.  On Nov. 27, 1855, Elders Wm. H. Walker and Leonard I. Smith sailed from Port Elizabeth on the ship "Unity," accompanied by 15 emigrating saints en route for Utah.  This ship had been purchased by two members of the Church, namely, Charles Roper and John Stock, for the benefit of the saints, on account of the difficulty in securing passage by steerage for the company.  The ship was chartered to London, England, with a cargo.  On Dec. 15, 1855, Pres. Jesse Haven left Cape Town en route for America.  Up to that time 176 persons had been baptized in the whole mission.  Some had emigrated and some had been excommunicated, leaving in all 121 saints in the colony after Elder Haven left.  Elder Edward Slaughter (a local Elder) was left in charge of the saints in the Port Elizabeth Conference, and Richard Provia (another local Elder) in charge of the Cape Colony Conference.

In 1857 Elder Ebenezer C. Richardson was sent from the British Mission to preside over the Cape of Good Hope Mission.  He was accompanied by Elder James Brooks.  When these Elders left for America in the spring of 1858, the Church in South Africa had a membership of 243.

On March 9, 1859, about 30 Latter-day Saints, emigrating to Zion from the South African Mission, sailed from Port Elizabeth on the barque "Alacrity," in charge of Elder Joseph R. Humphreys, a local Elder.

In December, 1861, Elders Wm. Fotheringham, Henry A. Dixon and John Talbot arrived in Cape Town as missionaries, and on March 14, 1863, a company of 15 emigrating saints left Port Elizabeth, bound for Zion, in charge of Robert Grant and John Stock, local Elders.

Elders Fotheringham, Dixon and Talbot remained in the mission until 1864 and Elder Miner G. Atwood succeeded Elder Fotheringham in the presidency of the mission.  On April 12, 1865, a company of saints sailed from Port Elizabeth per ship "Mexicano," bound for Utah, in charge of Elder Miner G. Atwood, who left the mission in charge of local Elders.

Forty years elapsed before the South African Mission was reopened. In 1903 Elders Warren H. Lyon, Wm. R. Smith, Thomas L. Griffiths and George A, Simpkins were called to reopen the mission.  In spite of the long lapse of years, they found, on their arrival, a few scattered members of the Church, showing that the seed sown by the former missionaries still bore fruit, and that at no time since the mission was opened in 1853 had the Cape of Good Hope and the surrounding districts been without at least a few members of the Church. Since 1903 work has progressed in the mission which, at the close of 1930, had a membership of nearly 800.

A monthly periodical of 12 pages mimeographed, and entitled "Cumorah Monthly Bulletin," was commenced at the mission headquarters at Mowbray in 1927.  It was continued in this form until 1929, when the name of the periodical was changed to "Cumorah Southern Cross" and printed as a small quarto-sized magazine as the official organ of the South African Mission.

Following is a list of the Elders who have presided over the South African Mission since its reorganization: Warren H. Lyon, 1903–1906; Ralph A. Badger, 1906–1908; Henry S. Steed, 1908–1909; Brigham A. Hendricks, 1909–1912; Frank J. Hewlett, 1912–1914; Nicholas G. Smith, 1914–1921; J. Wylie Sessions, 1921–1926; Samuel Martin, 1926–1929, and Don Mack Dalton, 1929–1930.