Elder Bednar’s first visit was in Durban, South Africa, on 25 October 2013. He met with Mr. Edward Senzo Mchunu, Hon. Premier of KwaZulu Natal (KZN), and Pastor Vusumuzi Dube of the EThekwini Community Church. An interview with Africa’s largest radio station, Ukhozi FM followed. Ukhozi FM has a listenership of 7.7 million. Elder Bednar was able to explain the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Church.
Full-time missionaries in the Durban area, both young and senior, were taught and uplifted by a Zone Conference held at the Pinetown Chapel. Elder Bednar encouraged the missionaries not to take notes, but to write their feelings as he spoke. He urged all to read and study the Book of Mormon, and to pray for a testimony of its truthfulness. It was an interactive meeting with questions and answers to and from the missionaries. Elder and Sister Christensen and Elder and Sister Carl B. Cook participated with comments and answers to questions. Elder Bednar also gave great encouragement, and commended the senior missionary couples who are volunteering to serve in the Durban mission.
The following day, Elder Bednar lead a Priesthood leadership training meeting with the Brethren of the Church while Sister Bednar lead a meeting with the women’s organization (Relief Society). She spoke of “character building experiences” that build faith, saying that the Lord allows adversity and suffering to help us grow and gain strength in the Saviour’s atoning power.
Bishop and Sister Causse, along with Elder and Sister Hamilton, attended meetings with the missionaries and members in Bloemfontein.
On 31 October 2013 a Zone Conference was held in Johannesburg at the Sandton Chapel. Sister Bednar spoke to the full-time missionaries who had just recently arrived in Johannesburg Missionary Training Centre (MTC). She told them that they were sent to be missionaries at this time because they have a great capacity to be obedient. Elder Bednar taught the importance of “listening” to those they are teaching the gospel. He counselled that they cannot teach unless they teach with the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. He told the missionaries that “you can be released from your mission, but never let the mission leave you!” Again, it was an interactive meeting with the missionaries, Elder and Sister Bednar, and Elder and Sister Cook.
Bishop and Sister Causse and Elder and Sister Dale G. Renlund held an uplifting devotional with the employees of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Area Office.
After leaving South Africa, the leadership group attended conferences and devotionals in Lubumbashi, DR Congo; Kishasa, DR Congo; and Liberville, Gabon.