Johannesburg South Africa ~Temple~

Johannesburg South Africa ~Temple~

Friday, December 25, 2015

December 25, 2015 Merry Christmas from Joburg!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Hello everybody! Merry christmas and Happy New Year to you all!! This week has been pretty good other then the fact that every single person we are teaching was out of town! But oh well we will make it through this! Anyways talking to the Family was a great time on Friday! It was good to see some familiar faces instead of a bunch of new ones. Before Skyping we had a big gathering of all the missionaries and celebrated Christmas day together. We had a huge talent show with a partly spiritual side and a slightly larger fun part! The spiritual part was mostly people singing hymns/ spiritual songs or people playing the piano or a violin. The fun side on the other hand was super crazy!!!! We had kids go up and make some raps about mission or like my Zone sing a remix of children songs of I hope they call me on a mission. Our zone won a pizza party from Roman's which was the grand prize. One of our Zone Leaders did a voice impressions act which was just insane! The last group to go was basically 10 Polynesians, 1 Italian, 1 New Zealander, and 1 African. The New Zealander led them in the All Blacks HAKA pregame. It was pretty insane! They nearly broke the stage as they were doing it. We then went and played Rugby for 2 hours. That is really all that had happened this week! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Love, Elder Cowan
Talent Show...Remix of Children songs with I hope they call me on a mision

Christmas Morning Talent Show and Breakfast

video of Dane on Christmas Day!

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015 Week Two!

Hello Everyone,

This week has been a pretty slow week! We have only two actual investigators that we taught this week and the rest were basically less actives and recent converts. Basically our highest stat this week was how many member meals we received and which was about 8 so we were fed very well! But basically everyone has fled Jozi for the christmas break and for "holiday" which is kind of like the summer break we get before the new school year starts. So that is why we have taught so few lessons! This week is kind of back to normal though! On tuesday we have a new missionary orientation for a little over half the day then we are packed on lessons for the rest of the day. Wednesday we have quite a few lessons planned as well! For Christmas Day we have a huge gathering with the whole missions and we have a talent show! Our zone is doing a very unique twist on the song I HOPE THEY CALL ME ON A MISSION. It is pretty awesome so we will see how that goes! Basically the rest of the day we get to go around to members houses and mooch some food from them!! Until we skype and a pretty well off families house! We will also will have a great meal while we are there! I am quite excited to see the Family! The days here go by so quick i haven't felt like it has almost been a month it is crazy!! I am saddened from all the things i have heard about upcoming movies like the new Star Trek and Batman vs. Superman. But oh well they will hopefully be here when i get back! I love you all! Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Elder Cowan

members son...Elder Pienaar (red shirt) returning home from Ireland 

Christmas package from the area ward members

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015 First Week in Field. Area: Randburg

Hello Everyone,

Well this week was my first week out in the actual field. It has been very good! I actually have a Threesome for this last week and half of this week. Elder Peterson who is the extra guy for awhile is going back home! (I am a bit jealous) His brother is actually picking him up after his trip to Madagascar which is where he served. My real companion is Elder Savage who is from Sacramento, California. He is pretty great and very helpful. We are serving in a area called Randburg. It is a very big area and it covers one of the richest square miles in all of Africa. Most of the area is very normal and not to bad. There is a somewhat poor part called Windsor and Windsor West. It is just older and has cheaper housing. Its not to bad there though from what i have seen and who i have talked to who lives there. The members in the ward are just awesome. So far we have only had to cook dinner once for ourselves. We have visited some really awesome families this past week. The Dilebo's are awesome!!! They are a family of three Sis Priscilla is the mom then she has two kids named Oarabile who is 16 and really awesome and Suki who is 9. They all have been recently baptized so we are just teaching them about family history work. Oarabile was just ordained to the office of a priest so we are planning on talking about the priesthood with him next time we meet. Oh yeah he is also playing Skyrim for the first time so Elder Savage and I are just giving him a few pointers. Sis. Jackie is awesome as well she has a son name Nathan who is 13. They are very welcoming and very friendly. Then there is Sis Masters who is a old lady from the U.K. she is probably the funniest person i have met so far. She is super sweet and very loving of the Elders. Every time we are there she always has some type of food to give us. Lastly the Pienaars. They have two sons out on mission right now. One is in Scotland and coming home next week and the other is serving is the SLC West Mission!! I was super excited to hear that! Sis Pienaar was very enthusiastic about us missionaries and made me write down my Mothers email and facebook so she could keep in touch. Anyway that was it for this week. I am excited to see where this next week takes me! I love you all.

Elder Cowan

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Elder Cowan is already doing service for a member in Randburg... Sister Pienaar sent pictures!
Scrubbing Old Tires for a project for a member
Elder Petersen, Elder Cowan, Elder Savage

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 8, 2015 First Day at the Mission Home ~ letter from the Mission President

Dear Brother and Sister Cowan:

I am happy to report that your son, Elder Cowan has officially arrived in our mission!

We are so delighted to have him safely here with us in Johannesburg. He seems happy, looks great and is excited for his service as a full-time missionary. Thank you so much for your part in helping him prepare for this sacred duty. Attached please find a couple of photos from our meeting earlier today.

This morning, after we greeted your son at the MTC, he was given an orientation that began with a panel discussion moderated by missionaries who are just completing their service here. It was a very candid, thorough and practical introduction to the realities of missionary life in South Africa. Breakfast followed and then your son was given an overview of all mission-related issues he needs to know about including instructions on flats, mission rules, hygiene, mission vehicles, allotment cards, health and safety. Because of the overwhelming amount of information, all content was then given to him as part of a Mission Policy Manual that he can refer to and review in the weeks and months ahead. I also had the wonderful opportunity to interview your son and get to know him as he begins his mission. Again, he appears ready and eager for service.

Our transfer day then concludes with a “transfer meeting” where your son, along with all the missionaries in the mission, receive news of where their assignment will be for the next six weeks, and who their companion will be. Your son also had the chance to bear his testimony in this meeting, and did a fine job.

Based on my impressions about your son he has been assigned Elder Savage to be his trainer and first companion, and his first area is Randburg. Please look for an email from your son this coming Monday which is his preparation day, where he will no doubt be sharing his impressions of what is usually always a very hectic but exhilarating week.

Again, on behalf of my wife and our entire mission we are so thrilled to have Elder Cowan in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission, and are committed to doing all we can to make his mission the incredible, life-changing experience it should be. To that end if I can ever be of assistance to you or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With love and very best regards, 

President Dunn
President Dunn and Sister Dunn
MTC- Elder Carr (far left) Dane's MTC companion

Elder Savage - Dane's first companion

December 7, 2015 Last day in the MTC

Date: December 07, 2015 
Area: MTC 
Companion: Elder Carr

Greetings from the South Africa MTC

This will be the last photo from the MTC.  Your group of Elders will be leavingtomorrow.  I can't believe it is time for them to leave.  I miss them already.  President Collins and I will meet with them tonight and give them our last teachings.  They will rise early in the morning (5:30), pack their bags, eat breakfast, and then meet together for our send off devotional.  Then we will gather at the front foyer where the Joburg Mission and the Botswana/Namibia Mission President will come for them.  This has been a delightful group.  They worked hard and have made great progress in their teaching.  I know they will do their best as full-time missionaries.  They are good boys!  I'll always love them.

With love,
Sister Collins

December 3, 2015 First Letter from Elder Cowan. P-day in the MTC

Date: December 03, 2015 
Area: MTC 
Companion: Elder Carr


Everything is going very well here in the Johannesburg MTC. We have a grand total of 22 missionaries here! Not counting the ones that came here last night. We have a few from Zimbabwe, few from Uganda, 2 from the U.K., one from the Netherlands, a lot from the U.S. and one from Botswana. My companion is from the U.K. and he is a pretty cool guy he plays rugby!! There are some great missionaries from my District that are just awesome: Elder Hall from the Netherlands, Elder Furgeson from Fremont Utah, Elder Hafen from American Fork, Elder Bagoole from Uganda, Elder Sudbury from Bountiful, Elder Shava from Zimbabwe, Elder Carr (my companion) From the U.K. and Me. We have grown super close over the past week while we have been here learning of the gospel and learning to teach. Our fake lessons that Elder Carr and I have been teaching have gone pretty good! I have already learned so much and still have 4 more days left so I can not wait! The temple here is gorgeous and it was a very nice experience to go with these good men! The only problem i had with it was that we had to wear our suits around out side while we were there and i think i almost died of heat! During sports time we either play basketball, soccer, or rugby. After about a hour or so you you are done with the heat and have to go shower. I dont think i have ever taken showers that are that cold just to cool my body down! There really isnt to much to write about today and this week. I am sure that i will have more words once i get out in the field! I love you all!

Elder Cowan

December 2, 2105 Visit to the Temple while in the MTC

Greetings from the South Africa MTC

On the first Tuesday of the 12 day-stay here at the MTC, we all go to the Temple. My favorite day! Our Elders had an early lunch then we loaded up in vans and headed to the Temple Complex which also houses the Africa Southeast Area Offices, Distribution Center, etc. We had a devotional in the Conference Room at the Area Office. We had Elder and Sister Walton speak to us. Elder Walton is the Executive Secretary to the Area Presidency. They talked on having the Spirit. It was inspiring and uplifting. We then went to the Temple. Out of our group of 22 Elders, we had 5 Elders who went through to receive their own endowments. It was such a sweet time for all of us to be together in the House of the Lord. A glorious day.

Everyone is doing very well. We feel very blessed to have such a great, obedient and focused group of Elders. We love them so much.
With love,
Sister Collins

November 27, 2015 Arriving at the MTC

Greetings from the South Africa MTC

I usually send this intake photo on our intake day which was yesterday, but we needed to wait for one Elder to arrive from England. He is here. It is so nice to have everyone with us now. I love them already. Yesterday was a busy day of filling out forms, eating, visits to the nurse, a tour of the MTC, meeting companions, getting settled in rooms, and being interviewed by President Collins. Last night we had our first meeting with the group when we taught each other the Doctrine of Christ from 2 Ne. 31. Our companionships did a wonderful job. I can tell they are going to be great missionaries. All of them. We will take good care of your Elder and will do our best to prepare them for their assigned missions.

Pday for the MTC missionaries is on Thursday. You won't hear from your Elder until then.

With love,
Sister Collins