January 7, 2015

South Africa Durban Mission

Free resources about the South Africa Durban Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: South Africa LDS Missions.

Durban Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the South Africa Durban Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

South Africa Durban Mission
2 Derby Place, Suite 4
Derby Downs Office Park
Westville 3630
South Africa

Phone Number: 27-31-267-0250
Mission President: President Kip G. Thompson

South Africa Durban Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the South Africa Durban Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Durban Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

Videos with Durban RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Durban Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.
mission interview  mission interview  mission interview

Videos about South Africa

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about South Africa. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about South Africa, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

LDS Church  places  history  food  Cities  People and Culture  Storms and Natural Disasters  time lapses  nature

Durban Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Durban Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

President & Sister Thompson ldssouthafricadurban.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Justin Ostler elderjustinostler.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Landon Huff elderlandonhuff.blogspot.com 2017
Elder LaHue elderlahue.blogspot.com 2017
Elder London Weiler elderweiler.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Brett Knutsen elderknutsen.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Mikel North eldermikelnorth.blogspot.com 2017
President & Sister Zackrison facebook.com..Durban..President-Zackrison 2016
Elder Parker Eastmond elderparkereastmond.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Jonothan Smith ldssmith.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Ryan Grange elderryangrange.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Zachary Preator elderzacharypreator.blogspot.com 2016
Elder & Sister Hind hindsdowninafrica.blogspot.com 2016
Elder & Sister Nielsen noblenielsens.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Hekoti Chapman mymission.com/elderhekotichapman 2015
Elder Alex Sorenson elderalexsorenson.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Seth Payne eldersethpayne.wordpress.com 2015
Elder & Sister Cinquini cinquiniafricamission.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Clay Petrie elderclaypetrie.blogspot.com 2015
Elder & Sister Edington bloominginsouthafrica.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Brandon Summers elderbsummers.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Matthew Sakurada missionsite.net/eldermatthewsakurada 2014
Mission Alumni mission.net/south-africa/durban 2013
Elder Andrew Houghton missionsite.net/elderandrewhoughton 2013
Elder & Sister Nuzman nuzmansa.blogspot.com 2012
Elder & Sister Olson olsonsouthafricadurbanmission.blogspot.com 2012
Elder David Tueller missionsite.net/eldertueller 2011
Elder Zachary Tennant missionsite.net/zacharytennantmyldsmailnet 2011
Elder Paul Fisher thelifeofelderfisher.blogspot.com 2011
President & Sister Mann durbanmission.blogspot.com 2010
Elder & Sister Knudsen randyandbarb.blogspot.com 2010

Durban Mission Groups

Here are South Africa Durban Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Durban Mission.

  1. South Africa Durban Mission Alumni Group (555 members)
  2. South Africa Durban Mission Facebook Group (252 members)
  3. Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg Moms Group (53 members)
  4. Durban Presidents Euvrard/Stevensen Group (2 members)

Durban Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the South Africa Durban Mission!

Shirt designs include Durban Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Durban missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Durban Mission gifts

south-africa-durban-mission-shirt-1 south-africa-durban-mission-shirt-2 south-africa-durban-mission-shirt-3 south-africa-durban-mission-shirt-4 south-africa-durban-mission-shirt-5 south-africa-durban-mission-shirt-6

Durban Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Durban Mission.

  1. 2016-2019, Kip G. Thompson
  2. 2013-2016, John A. Zackrison
  3. 2010-2013, James C. Von Stetten
  4. 2007-2010, Steven Hill Mann
  5. 2004-2007, Danny Brock
  6. 2001-2004, Robert Mason Roberts
  7. 1998-2001, David A. Duke
  8. 1997-1998, R. Chris Fee
  9. 1994-1997, H. Dwayne Stevenson
  10. 1991-1994, Pierre H. Euvrard
  11. 1988-1991, Gerard Giraud-Carrier

South Africa and Swaziland LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 61,221 (South Africa), 1,768 (Swaziland)
  • Missions: 3 (South Africa)
  • Temples: 1 (South Africa)
  • Congregations: 159 (South Africa), 4 (Swaziland)
  • Family History Centers: 69 (South Africa), 2 (Swaziland)

Helpful Articles about South Africa

Coming soon..

Durban Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Durban RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2014-2016 (Mpendulo)
  • 2010-2012 (Spencer)
  • 2010-2012 (Darius)
  • 1994-1996 (Kimberly)
  • 2013 – 2015 (Dallin)
  • 2003-2004 (Stephen and Sandra)
  • 2000-2002 (Alfred)
  • 2008-2010 (Sammuel)
  • 2006-2008 (Nathan)
  • 2006-2008 (Connor)
  • 2006-2008 (Kurt)
  • 2002-2003 (Katrina)
  • 2004-2007 (Michael)
  • April 1996-April 1998 (Jean)
  • One year. (Marlene)

Which areas did you serve in?

  • Kwamashu, Claremont, Kwadabeka, Newcastle, Bloemfontein, Bloemada, Rocklands and Westvill. (Mpendulo)
  • Richard’s Bay area, Pinetown/Kwadabeka, Lesotho, Bloemfontein, and Amanzimtoti. (Darius)
  • Richards Bay. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • Bluff, New Germany/Office, Madadeni, kwaMashu, and Queensburgh. (Sammuel)
  • Durban /Cape during the time I was called there. (Marlene)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Steam bread and beans. (Mpendulo)
  • Ugeqle, potato curry, chicken and cabbage curry, fresh fruits. (Spencer)
  • I’m not fussy. Preferred not having some of the more traditional meals though like tripe or chicken feet etc. (Darius)
  • Letchis, the fabulous peanut brickle in Madagascar. (Kimberly)
  • Biryani, bunny chow, curry, rotis, pap, wors, chakalaka, braai. (Dallin)
  • KINGCLIP in Durban! (Stephen and Sandra)
  • Pizza 🍕 and sea food even the native jeqe and beans. (Alfred)
  • Jeqe, amaGwinya, All curries, Granadilla, Twist soda, Anything Pick n’ Pay Deli, Braais, Wors, Potjie, Tuck Shop food. (Sammuel)
  • amagwinya, gem squash (Nathan)
  • Bunny chow, Chakalaka, Semp and beans, Briyani, Nandos (Connor)
  • Curry & bunny chow, acquired at taste for it in Chatsworth. Steam bread. Corn Maze is not bad. (Kurt)
  • All the Indian and native African foods! A good curry is still my favorite. And eating with your fingers tastes so much better! (Yes, it actually tastes different) (Katrina)
  • Jeqe, Fanta pineapple and malva pudding (Michael)
  • I am carnivore so l like meat. (Jean)
  • Fruit. Curry. (Marlene)

What was a funny experience?

  • Getting learn the area more, like white washing. (Mpendulo)
  • Getting locked in our own boarding somehow and my companion, the only one skinny enough to squeeze through the security gate, saving the day. (Darius)
  • Africans WILL breast feed in front of you. (Dallin)
  • When we first arrived, Elder Mutinzwa had to teach us how to say “wuaataah” (water) properly. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • When my senior companion locked the keys in the car and he had to break the small window to retrieve them. (Alfred)
  • I show up with my trainer at an investigator’s house, the Vans, my first Saturday night in RSA. In hind sight the color green was the common color. But after a heated debate about whether or not Nephi was/wasn’t sinning in killing Laban, the lesson came to a close. Then from around the corner a man dressed in a woman’s skirt came and sat by me. We started discussing other things about the Book of Mormon, but I was distracted by the “cross-dresser”. At some point he leaned in to give me a kiss. That’s when the camera flashed. And everyone revealed themselves to be the ward members. The cross-dresser was the Elder’s Quorum President. They did record it, but lost the tape. (Sammuel)
  • The drunk guy in the below comment attacked a tree instead. (Katrina)
  • Nathi mthembu was a branch missionary that lived in our apartment with us for awhile and he wanted to learn how to drive the car. Someone let him drive and he crashed into a bush, when he backed out of the bush it pulled the bumper off. He also had this idea that monkeys were poisonous. Loved that kid! (Michael)
  • Ny First discussion lesson in english. No One understand me. My companion laugh at me. (Jean)
  • Being chased by dogs. (Marlene)

What was a crazy/dangerous experience?

  • Zip lining. (Mpendulo)
  • Armed cops pulled us over and at a rather large gun point, checked if anyone was hijacking anyone else in our group of missionaries. (Spencer)
  • Bring robbed at gun point in our own boarding. (Darius)
  • Having a knife pulled on my companion and I one evening as we got back to the car. Being accosted by the extremely drunk spouse of a woman we were teaching and knowing we’d have to leave her and the children behind when we escaped. (Kimberly)
  • Two elders that served in one of my areas got high jacked at gun point. (Dallin)
  • We were carjacked at gunpoint, but they did not take our money, only our car, which we leased from the Church. But we got it back four days later. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • Towards the end of my mission when I was a zone leader I drove two elders from Empangeni to their Stanger area in the most fierce storm ever. They had to be in their boarding after the activities we had. During the storm I was guided by the centre Road markings in the N2. Even now over 10 years after my mission one of the elders still talk about that. They thought that they were going to die. (Alfred)
  • Myself, Financial Secretary, my companion, General Secretary, and the Assistants went hiking up the Drakensberg to Nandi Falls. It’s an hour and a half hike. After enjoying the falls we ventured back to our Mercedes Vito. When we got back to our vehicle we realized something grace. We had lost the keys to the Vito somewhere along the path. Upon praying, the four of us went hiking again. We made it all the way to the falls without finding our keys. At the very last second, when we thought all hope was lost, my companion looked down. Wedged between the rocks, were our keys. Pretty crazy. (Sammuel)
  • Being at the Pavilion shopping centre assisting a newly arrived senior couple when there was a gun shoot out. (Nathan)
  • Never had one. (Connor)
  • A drunk Baba (older man) staggered up to me pulled out a paint scraper and threatened to take out my eye with it, if I didn’t give him my bike. I told him if he did that I could not give him a book about Jesus. I show him a pamphlet for lesson one. He tried to take it. I told him I would trade him for the paint scraper. He handed me the scraper, I gave him the pamphlet with my phone number and rode off. He never called. (Kurt)
  • A drunk black guy tried to attack my black companion for associating with a white person. (Katrina)
  • My comp and I were driving back to the office in the bakkie from Richard’s Bay and on the freeway a car heading towards us had a blow out and lost control. He was headed straight for us we barely missed each other but his car hit the side of the road and flipped upside down. We got out and watched as people dragged him out of the car all bloodied. We were blessed. (Michael)
  • My bike accident happened in College road. We just came home late from grange area. (Jean)
  • Chased by dogs. (Marlene)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Seeing people getting converted to the gospel. (Mpendulo)
  • I was able to sing with a Sesotho choir, visit with many prepared people and families, and volunteer in many ways. (Spencer)
  • Baptismal service of first father led family. (Darius)
  • Every time we taught a child to sing “I Am A Child of God”. (Kimberly)
  • Getting to revisit someone I had started teaching a year and a half earlier whose life was saved, literally, by the gospel. (Dallin)
  • Many, many spiritual experiences. When we were carjacked, we hired a private investigator whose wife was a member of the Church to try and help us get Steve’s Bible and Book of Mormon (triple) back. He put us in touch with a newspaper writer there in Richards Bay who wrote a great story with pictures and a reward for the scriptures. Suddenly, lots of people at the mall, neighbors, etc, knew us and asked about the car and Bible. We got some good investigators as a result. The PI and his wife visited our boarding for dinner, and he felt the Spirit so strongly he decided to stop running a “Bottle Shop” for his brother and investigate the Church. He quit his job, but they moved away before we could teach and baptize him. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • We visited a lady who for the first time when we took out the book of Mormon she told us that she saw the book in a dream and it was brown. From that 1st lesson she wanted to be baptized. We lost contact with her. Since I knew her full name I had to look for her in the phone book 📖. When I was about to give up that was when I found her. My joy was full. She was baptized in Mbabane what an experience it was for me. Her boyfriend also joined and they were married. The hubby is currently in the district Presidency. (Alfred)
  • Being able to teach and see baptised Rudolf van Rooyen. A crack cocaine user who gave up cocaine over night to be baptized. An amazing experience where he had read The Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price three times prior to his baptism, and listened to numerous internet talks by President Hinckley. An amazing experience to teach him and see it all make sense to him. Teaching by the spirit to a less active lady in Madadeni, so much so that I do not recall what I said and my companion (Elder Vilakazi) came away saying how strange it was. (Nathan)
  • Actually feeling the brotherhood. (Connor)
  • Twice we knocked on doors where, the individuals were prepared even though they had never see or heard of the church. The spirit was so strong when we entered there homes that it felt like going to the temple. Finding those people was a true testimony that the Lord will lead you to his sheep if you will knock. (Kurt)
  • I’ll never forget my friend down in Newcastle who found the Book of Mormon in his dad’s belongings and read it one night at work. He gained a testimony of the book and then showed up to church with all of us missionaries surprised and meeting him for the first time. (Michael)
  • Attending baptisms of new members. (Marlene)

What are some interesting facts about the Durban Mission?

  • Consecrated missionaries, baptizing mission, humble people, beautiful teaching doctrine of Christ and Preach My Gospel mission and we speak with tongue of angels and a loving Mission President Zackrison. (Mpendulo)
  • It is an “English” speaking mission and you will try to teach as much as you can in English. But you will learn phrases in Sesotho, Xhosa, Zulu, Swahili, Afrikaans, etc.. There are 16 national languages- it just depends what area you are in. (Spencer)
  • Highest population of Indians outside of India. King Shaka of the Zulu is buried in Stanger. Get to know the Zulu culture and LEARN ZULU. (Dallin)
  • The country is very beautiful and most people were very humble and friendly. On the other hand, 4 of 10 adults were HIV positive and there were MANY deaths from AIDS. Lots of problems with alcohol among the black men, which made it hard to find leaders for the branches in the townships. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • Well I served under two mission Presidents. (Alfred)
  • Zulu culture is pretty interesting. They have witch doctors, they pray to their ancestors. Father’s of families are royalty and are treated as such. Meaning you only address him and not his family. There’s the African Handshake, hooking the thumbs on the up shake of a normal Handshake. The best food came from the sketchiest places, the sketchier the better. Cream Soda is green. Indian Food is melt-your-face-off hot but super good. (Sammuel)
  • The sister missionaries were emergency transferred out of the mission in December 2007. Swaziland became its own mission district and no longer under Hillcrest Stake. (Nathan)
  • Zulus practice Labola (cows for a wife)- this can make it very difficult to get people married. Swaziland has legal and practicing polygamy, the church does not allow it. Monkeys are thieves and they are not cool to trap in your boarding. Most people lack tact. If you’re fat they are going to tell you. For the most part everyone is trying to do good. Most people are very religious, including the Hindus, and Muslims. Get your hair cut in the township it’s a lot cheaper. (Kurt)
  • People don’t actually sleep in 100% deet under mosquito nets in tents, but you probably will be making friends with geckos on the walls. There are cities full of buildings, yes, even in Africa. And there are white people… Lots of European descendant white people. And they act like Europeans. (Know anyone who went to England on their mission and reported “planting seeds” the whole time?) But then right across the street will be a black neighborhood, or a Township, and that’s where most of the baptisms happen. (Katrina)
  • 11 different languages, amazing animal reserves and very kind people! (Michael)
  • I was born in South Africa. Served a mission there 1958. Met my husband Keith Orr there while he served as a missionary. Moved to Canada and met my husband again and we were married and then returned with him when he was called to be a Mission President in the Johannesburg Mission 1993-1996. (Marlene)

What was the weather like?

  • Humidity and hot. (Mpendulo)
  • Light snow possible near and in Lesotho, hot dry desert in Bloemfontein, and humid heat along the coast…lots of range. But mostly hot and wet. (Spencer)
  • Mostly pleasant and sometimes hot. I had a couple of cold weeks in the inland areas but usually skipped those by being coastal. (Darius)
  • La Reunion = hot or hot with rain. Madagascar = was much cooler than I expected when ‘winter’ came. (Kimberly)
  • Lekker. San Diego weather on the coast all year. The coldest it got in the winter on the interior was around freezing. You will freeze. (Dallin)
  • The heat and humidity were very high where we served. We did get a little relief during the winter (June-August). (Stephen and Sandra)
  • The weather was humid towards the sea. Swaziland was dry. (Alfred)
  • Warm in the winter, really hot in the summer. Really humid. (Sammuel)
  • A bit of everything, sun, rain and snow depending on the area, but the lasting memory will be the beautiful blue sky all year round. (Nathan)
  • Humid, but totally livable. (Connor)
  • Mostly hot. Seems like it only rained when I was in a walking or biking area. (Kurt)
  • Humid. It’s on the coast. And there are palm trees, and huge plants. And huge banana spiders. And cockroaches. Huge ones. (Katrina)
  • Mostly hot and humid. (Michael)
  • Hot in Durban. Milder in Capetown. (Marlene)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Most loving and humble people. (Mpendulo)
  • Diversity, great service, so many types of cultures, lots of religiosity among those that aren’t British or Afrikaans. Lots to love. (Spencer)
  • They loved the missionaries, which made the work easier. (Darius)
  • The Zulu culture. The more you love the people the more success you’ll find. (Dallin)
  • Mostly good, down to earth folks. Church members were mostly very dedicated to the Gospel and willing to go the extra mile. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • The places were awesome the beach it was my first time. The people were awesome the language I liked it as we went along. They were so humble ready to receive the gospel. (Alfred)
  • The place was green and alive. The people were humble and ready for the gospel. (Sammuel)
  • The faith of the Zulu’s. The respect the Zulu’s has for us as missionaries no matter what their age was. The respect of the Zulu’s towards their parents/elder’s even if it meant they would not join the church. Frustrating but rather awesome at the same time. Seeing the gospel in the lives of the members and how it gives them so much joy and purpose that I think is lost in the ‘western’ world. (Nathan)
  • Fun, kind, loving people. (Connor)
  • For the most part people were/wanted to be good, despite hard ships and circumstances. Most places the missionaries were known and somewhat watched out for. (Kurt)
  • They’ve got soul. Wow, can they sing! (Katrina)
  • They were so genuinely loving. They really grew attached to their missionaries. (Michael)
  • Being a South African, I loved the people and the places I served in. (Marlene)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Don’t bring sweaters or jazy. (Mpendulo)
  • If you are used to having snowy winters, the possibility of a light melting snow will probably be a relief. You probably will never wear those sweaters they tell you to bring, and the one time you wear it will be way too warm to work in. (Spencer)
  • The recommended list is probably too much. (Darius)
  • An umbrella for sure. Sharpie markers. A supply of Ziploc-type bags. There were only roll-on deodorants available when I was there, so if you want a solid, bring your own supply. (Kimberly)
  • Pack light. Clothes are cheap in ZA. Chinos at Mr. Price are like ten bucks and I still wear them to church. (Dallin)
  • Bring a good laptop with you so you can email and type things from your boarding. (only senior couple missionaries) (Stephen and Sandra)
  • That’s simple start of with 7 pairs of garments if possible. Don’t take with you expensive stuff. Buy what you can use on mission and then give away at the end of your mission. (Alfred)
  • Short-sleeved white shirts. Only one suit. I preferred Cotton-Poly garments. 4 things of luggage. A big suit case, a medium suit case, a carry on, and your back pack. At least that’s what I was allowed. (Sammuel)
  • None. You can get everything you need in South Africa. In fact, my advice is to take more things than you need and give to the members of the church in the townships. Shoes, shirts, etc. they will treasure whatever you give you. I remember a youth activity we did in Madadeni with Elder and Sister Baum and a gift was given to all attendees and one young woman was so excited to get soap as she did not have any of her own at home. (Nathan)
  • Pack light. (Connor)
  • Short sleeves, comfortable slacks. You can get everything you need when you get there. Except Reese’s peanut butter cups. You’ll be there for two years so get comfortable. Buy a good pillow when you get there, and a good frying pan. (Kurt)
  • It may be tropical on that east coast, but it still gets chilly. Don’t trade in all your long sleeves for short sleeves. (Katrina)
  • Short shirts, just get used to the idea that you’ll be wet from sweat or rain. (Michael)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • Able to stand and deal with situations and being more reliable and able to serve others. (Mpendulo)
  • I learned what the gospel really is and what it does for people. (Darius)
  • All of them. (Dallin)
  • We felt we were right where the Lord needed us the most, and were able to help and strengthen many people. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • Blessed with good health. I was always a sick person before the Mission. I used to have asthma attacks regularly. Even my mom wanted to stop me from serving. But I did, and during my two year period I didn’t get even a single attack. Blessed with a good job wife and kids. Alfred (Jr) Ashley and Alma the younger. (Alfred)
  • Everything! My attitude to life has changed since serving in South Africa/Swaziland and it has greatly influenced my life physically, mentally and spiritually. (Nathan)
  • Every great thing since has been from serving. (Connor)
  • Seriously to many to count. (Kurt)
  • All the gospel principles came together like puzzle pieces creating a masterpiece of God’s plan. I understood the gospel so much more clearly. (Katrina)
  • The solidification of my own testimony, increased ability to work with people, I had this ability to see people for what they could be instead of who they were or had been. (Michael)
  • Built my testimony and love for my Savior. (Marlene)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Studying effectively, listening, cooking. (Mpendulo)
  • I gained faith in my own abilities allowing me to be confident in speech, teaching, handiwork, cooking, etc. I learned many skills. On my mission cut down trees, prepared land for gardening using a pickaxe most of the time (often still in shirt and tie), laid concrete, lead meetings, planned public events, etc. After my mission I felt prepared for anything. (Spencer)
  • Better teaching, how to live “alone” etc. (Darius)
  • How to scrub my clothes in a basin. How to build a lantern from a 2-liter plastic bottle and a candle. How to handle the giant lizards down by the rice paddies. (Kimberly)
  • Talking to people. Listening to people. Following/recognizing the spirit. (Dallin)
  • More patience and empathy, Much more aware of the many blessings we enjoy here in the Church and in the USA. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • Teaching, loving strangers caring for everyone. (Alfred)
  • Public speaking. Studying. Scheduling and prioritizing. Confidence. (Sammuel)
  • Confidence in teaching the gospel. (Nathan)
  • Listening to and accepting everyone. (Connor)
  • Studying, speaking: one on one and in public. Confidence in my self and my fellow man. Love for others. How to relax, sounds strange but I had a short fuse and was pretty high strung going in. Cool as a cucumber ever since. (Kurt)
  • Perseverance. (Katrina)
  • Learned how to work with people, keep schedule, pay bills, and manage my finances. (Michael)
  • To love my fellowman. (Marlene)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • That it was not all about me. (Mpendulo)
  • Make it fun. Be bold, especially when teaching other missionaries. Always follow ALL the rules. Teach from the heart. (Spencer)
  • I wish I knew how I would end so that I could make sure to end even better. (Darius)
  • I would have recorded more in my journal, especially the names/addresses of people and companions. Some people are only in your life for such a short time that you don’t think about that, but they make such a difference that you always want to keep in contact with them. I also wish someone would have told me that the Missionary Training Center and the trainer only give you a fraction of the skills you need. The majority of skills are on-the-job-training and you just have to go by the Spirit and roll with it. (Kimberly)
  • Started learning Zulu. Realize that no matter how many times leaders may tell you it’s a numbers game, it’s not. Don’t play it like it is. (Dallin)
  • Sandra wishes she had known that some very precious investigators would not be able to repent of problems like the Word of Wisdom, etc. It was very hard on her when this happened, but Steve had served a mission as a young man so he was better prepared for this. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • All the answers to the questions that I was asked. (Alfred)
  • “Never give up, never surrender!” -Galaxy Quest, listen to everything anyone says with great intent and love, and perform service every chance. (Sammuel)
  • I wish I was stronger in my greenie area to push my trainer to work more. (Nathan)
  • Just enjoy every minute to its fullest. (Connor)
  • I wish I would have spent more time with the missionaries prior to mission. When you pray for patience, God will make you earn it 🙂 (Kurt)
  • Tell them the things you learned in seminary that made a difference for your testimony. I remember one of the more spiritual lessons I taught was in response to a father’s skeptical, but honest questioning about how long will this church be around. I told them what Joseph Smith had said about this church one day being taken to all the nations of the Earth, etc. It wasn’t in the missionary manual, but it had an impact. (Katrina)
  • I wish I knew better how to explain the gospel in simple terms- at the end of my mission I had it figured out but by then you are on your way home. I also wish I had sought out families more than single individuals, and taught with members and getting their involvement more. They are key in creating a support system. (Michael)
  • Would like to have had seminary while growing up. (Marlene)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Durban?

  • To be more humble and learn from their companions and love the people they teach. And to be exactly obedient. (Mpendulo)
  • Worry less, work more. Smile and serve the people. Make sure people are truly converted to the Gospel and not just to your testimony. If you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day, if you teach him how to fish, you’ll feed him for a lifetime. Same with the Gospel. If you share your testimony, they can be converted for the day, maybe even month, but if you teach them how to learn and gain a testimony for themselves, then they will be converted for eternity. (Spencer)
  • Do it – now. Forget yourself and God to work. I think both those come from modern prophets… (Darius)
  • You’re going to the best mission in the world. The more you put into it the more you’ll get out of it. Eat, drink, and breathe missionary work. Be humble, teachable, and realize that everyone — your companions, your mission president, members, investigators, crappy missionaries, bogus people you meet on the street, EVERYONE — has something they can teach you. (Dallin)
  • Keep the mission rules, right down to the exact letter. You need the Lord’s protection, as promised in the temple. But this protection is only provided to those who are faithful in living the Gospel and keeping the rules. Just a few young Elders got in serious trouble in our mission, and it was because they broke the rules. (Stephen and Sandra)
  • Study study study the book of Mormon there is no substitute. Attend Seminary and institute, even more important, the Mission prep class. (Alfred)
  • Have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something incorrect. “Adam feel that men might be, and men are that they might have JOY”. (Sammuel)
  • My advice to all the YM I have had under my care is that mission is the only time that you will ever have the spirit so strongly, so make yourself worthy enough to have it at all times. Work hard and be your best self. If you need to change, change. Today is the day that you can be better than you were yesterday and as you work hard you will have blessings from heaven poured out upon you. (Nathan)
  • Love the Lord, listen and act quickly. (Connor)
  • Have a true testimony of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, and the Restoration. You will need it when doubt or hard times creep in. And it will. Do not wing it. If you are faithful your testimony will grow. If you don’t have a true testimony it will be a hard two years. (Kurt)
  • Don’t beat around the bush. You don’t have time for that. (Katrina)
  • Love the people, work hard, serve everyone you find and pray with specifics. (Michael)
  • Gain a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. (Marlene)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • In the beginning, I always was saying that “le foi” of Joseph Smith was great, instead of “la foi” (a great liver in stead of great faith…). Took a while to get the hang of it. (Kimberly)
  • Learn to say “ngicela umqombothi.” Always a great ice breaker for building relationships of trust. (Dallin)
  • In my first area on the first Sunday I showed up with a small flag of Canada pinned just on top of my jacket tag and when the Bishop announced a new elder he said I was from Canada. (Alfred)
  • Americans say wa”D”er South Africans say Wa”T”er. When I was assigned to train, I took my brand new companion to KFC it took him 20 minutes to place his order. It’s the little things. (Kurt)
  • Don’t laugh, or look stunned, when you hear their names… Gugu? Dudu? Serious names that side. Or when you hear them chew the chicken bones at dinner. Ya, don’t look shocked then, either. (Katrina)
  • Someone told me to that a certain word meant to stay well when it really meant fart well. (Michael)