Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

I got to have another "missionary texting" session with Justin today - probably the last one we will have.  He got his travel itinerary and will fly out of Salt Lake on Sunday (Aug. 4th).  He leaves the MTC at 4:30 AM and flies out at 8:30 AM.  He will arrive in Johannesburg South Africa at 5:10 PM on Monday.  They are eight hours ahead of us so that would be 9:10 AM  our time on Monday.  That's 28 hours and 40 minutes from the time he leaves the MTC!!  From Johannesburg he isn't sure how they get to Maputo but he thinks it is a 12 hour bus ride.  I hope they get to spend the night in Johannesburg and get some rest first!  There will be 15 missionaries leaving the MTC and traveling to Maputo together. 

They got a chance to meet the instructor who is native to Mozambique.  His name is Imao Belchoir.  Imao means brother.  He really enjoyed getting to hear him talk!  He says that he speaks very fast and that the African accents is kind of hard to pick up because their teachers have Brazilian accents.  But he loves the African accent!  Here is what he said about Imao Belchoir:  "He said he grew up with no electricity and just completely dirt poor and had nothing like most families there. And then some missionaries came and taught him the gospel and showed him purpose in life. He said they don't know he went on to serve a mission and went on to teach at the MTC now. He said he is forever grateful to those missionaries because they changed more than just his life and they don't even know what they did. So he told us every time we see a young african boy, think of where he could end up one day and think of him when that happens because we don't know how many lives we can affect with just one young african."

Things are winding down at the MTC and he said the time will fly by.  Tomorrow he gets to host and be an escort for incoming missionaries.  There are 7 entering from Lovell so maybe he will see a familiar face or two!  Ont Thursday they have infield orientation ( I didn't think to ask him what that is and I don't know!  Maybe a former missionary can enlighten me.)  Friday they get to skype with people from Brazil and Saturday they pack.  He will be on the airplane before he has time to rest I think!

He feels like his language is improving all the time.  He has a much easier time understanding than he does speaking but he feels good about what he can do.  Justin is happy and loving his mission.  He is excited to get to Mozambique and meet the people that he loves already.  I can feel his spirit as we communicate and know that he has grown much and will continue to grow as he serves the Lord.

My whole district with our two teachers

The three of us going to mozambique with our teacher irmao chamberlain on the left and
 irmao taylor on the right. Brother chamberlain leaves for a trip this week and doesn't
get back till monday so we had to say goodbye to him yesterday :( the rest of the
 district gets to see him cause they all don't leave until wednesday

This is elder brock. He got here the week before us so we were together pretty
much the whole time and we were best friends from the start. He's going to
 BYUI too so we are gonna try and room together when we get back!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013

Today Justin didn't e-mail a letter, rather he and I e-mailed conversation back and forth.  He called it missionary texting.  :-)  I will try to put together the information I gathered. 

Justin was made district leader for the remainder of his time in the MTC.  I asked him what his responsibilities are and he said "not much honestly".  He chooses prayers, runs the district meetings every Sunday and Tuesday, helps to set goals and tries to keep people focussed during the day.  He schedules their buildings when they need computers.  He says he has a hard enough time keeping himself focussed because 10 hours of class is a lot!  But he says they get better every day.  He thinks they are teaching him a lesson making him district leader because he is one that gets them off topic telling jokes.  He says it is all good but he won't be sad to be in Mozambique and not having 10 hours of class time / study time a day.

They have  devotionals twice a week and he sings in the choir during the Tuesday devotional.  He loves singing in the choir and says the director is good and also funny.  He says it's super fun!

He feels like the language is coming along - he says he has learned more in a few weeks than he did in 4 years of Spanish. He also recognizes that his background in Spanish has helped him in learning Portuguese.  He can teach  a lesson with only his Portuguese scriptures and says it is truly amazing what he has learned. :-)  He realizes that when he gets to Mozambique it will be a whole new ball game and that he will still have much to learn. 

He continues to appreciate the letters and e-mails.   I hope he takes time to answer a few of them!

On Thursday he will learn of his definite travel plans to Mozambique. 

Justin told us of two talks we should read by Elder Bednar.  He said the first is called The Fountain of Living Waters.  I couldn't find one by that name but did find A Reservoir of Living Water, so I think that might be what he meant.  The other one is The Character of Christ.  I couldn't find that one on lds.org but did find it when I googled it.  I haven't had a chance to read them, but will as soon as I can.  He also issued a challenge to us and I will extend it to the readers of his blog: 

 And then a really awesome challenge I've started that I will give to you and all who would join is to take a cheap blue Book of Mormon and go in with a question. Mine is to do everything about the atonement. Then you read it and mark anything and everything that there is on your topic. When you're done you write a half page paper on it that a child could understand and then you start again. David Bednar said he has done it 70 times on the atonement topic alone. This will truly bring you close to the Lord so I would challenge you to do it and tell others about it cause its really helping me already!

I would extend this challenge to all and anyone who does not have a Book of Mormon to do this with just let me know and I will be happy to provide one! 

Justin is happy and positive.  He loves what he is doing, loves learning and being a missionary and is excited to get to Mozambique and meet the people.  He says they just hired a native of Mozambique to work at the MTC and he is in hopes of meeting him and speaking with him before he leaves.  He loves his family and friends and misses us all but is happy to be where his is. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 16, 2013

Justin sent a short e-mail but Jamie was on at the same time he was and they e-mailed back and forth.  Basically he says he is happy and doing great.  He misses all the nieces and nephews and other kids that he loves being around.  He can't wait to get to Mozambique and be around little children again. 

He loves Tuesdays when they can do laundry, relax, write letters, e-mail and generally take a breather.  They still study some and on Tuesday evenings they have a devotional.  He was going to be singing in the choir and was hoping it would be broadcast on BYU TV but I couldn't find it.  :-(

The Provo temple is closed the whole time he is in the MTC so he isn't getting to attend the temple. 

He loves all the letters, e-mails and packages he gets so keep them coming!!!!

His very SHORT e-mail and then below there are new pictures with the things he wrote with them:

Well let's see, last week we started teaching a guy named nata who didn't like the church and what not and we've had bad lessons and good ones but our last one with him was freaking awesome!! He felt the spirit so strong and we conveyed so much more through our portuguese than we ever had. We lost a lot of awesome missionaries this week to the field which is sad. They made my MTC stay so much better but I'll send some pictures of me with them later. Umm I'm learning that some sisters just feel the need to be a mom here so they think elders who just got out would be a great target. Sometimes I wanna just yank my hair out with them. But they are teaching me patience :) The weeks go by insanely fast!!! Like really really fast. But I just can't wait to get to Mozambique!! Its like ahhh i can't wait!  I think i'm doing a pretty good job of not gaining any weight. I work out as much as I can and play ball every day so the food isn't getting to me hopefully. There are so many spiritual stories that I just can't convey through emails but I'll chat later!

Love, Elder Lynn
 This is a picture of me with our zone leaders who just left yesterday.
They were so awesome! Elder Cranor is the bigger one and
Elder Michaelsen is the smaller one
 This is a picture of Elder Jones. He was a third companion to the zone leaders cause
 his comp went home. He might be the funniest person I've ever met. He always builds
 people up and brings new games he is just awesome. And he was raised in
chiuawawa mexico so he has a hilarious accent since he is white haha
 This is Elder Shultze. The very first night we were here he came in and gave us a run
down of everything and has just been a great friend to me since. He is a super awesome
 ball player and we played together a lot. Last night before he left I thanked him for
making my MTC stay and he said that he had elders who made his first few weeks
awesome and so he kept the trend going and he asked that I do the same because he knows
 I can help others. So thats my goal now! He really made my stay so much more enjoyable.
This is Elder Lierly. He left yesterday too and we weren't great friends but we talked
quite often and when he found out I was from Wyoming he was excited because his
grandpa is Chief Washakie!! Hahah so I figured you would think that is really
cool so I thought I would let you know!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

 Justin and his companion and roommates. 
 (I think - he didn't label his pictures!)
 Their room
 Playing with the camera
 Elders in his district (I think)
 Taking a walk around the temple grounds
 Proof that he is studying.  :-)
Justin's companion - Elder  Hillman

July 9, 2013  #2

Ok I have thirty more minutes so I thought I would write some more. I forgot to tell you there is a kid in my zone who is Preator's cousin. He said he kinda knows the family but they are second cousins so not super close but cool none the less. I think he is from texas or something but his name is Elder Preator so i thought you could tell Preator. Umm well since I'm bored maybe I'll a type some stuff in my new language for you. Eu sei que o Livro de Mormon es verdadeiro. Atraves de o Espirito Santo eu sei que nos podemos saber verdade de todos coisas. Eu amo este evangelho e eu amo este opportunidade estar aqui a CTM. Eu sei que nosso Redentor e Salvador es Jesus Cristo e atraves de a Expia├žao nos podemos voltar com nosso Pai Celstial. The keyboard wont let me do all the letters how they should exactly be which is annoying. But thats ok. That is my simple testimony in Portugese. I could write more but it takes a little time for me to think of what to say. Ummm hmmmm... What else to say in this next little time.. Well I could tell you what a normal day looks like! We wake up at 6:00 a.m. say prayers, shower, get dressed and go to breakfast by 6:30. Then at 7:00-10:00 we'll either have class or teach a lesson and study during that time. Then from 10-11 we have personal study time where we read the B.O.M. or Preach my gospel or something like that and build our gospel knowledge while always preparing for our investigators. Then we eat lunch at 11 and then at 11:45 we'll a lot of times have TALL which is technology assisted language learning or we'll have more study time and what not. And then somwhere between then and 4 we usually just do more studying and sometimes get off task and mess around. Then dinner is at 4. We have gym sometime throughout the day for 50 minutes a day. Our schedule changes when things are each day but not what we do really. Then after dinner its more studying and then from 6-9 we have class/teach investigators again. Then from 9-9:30 we plan for the next day and then at 9:30 we had back to the residence hall and have an hour to hang out, write letters, write in our journals, and get ready for bed and then lights out at 10:30. Its A LOT of class time but its still good! I love learning but sometimes we just need a little brain break haha. Our new investigator i was telling you about is our teacher but he plays people that he taught on his mission and he progresses as the spirit says and as they did for him kinda and he is good at acting. We take it as seriously as if we were teaching a real person and we pray and worry about him all the time. He doesn't like his family who is all members and is kinda an angry guy but by the end we really had him thinking and he took the book of mormon and said he would read and pray so we really hope he will!! Its really such a good exerience and i'm getting anxious to get to the field even though there is still so much i don't know. Like i don't know a lot but it will come. Well thats all for now! Cant wait to hear from you all! Love you!!!
Elder Lynn
July 9, 2013

Well another week has flown by once again. I'm not gonna lie, sometimes there are tough days here when you just wanna give up, but if you keep going the next day is always better! Yes I got the card and packages and I love it all and so does my district and zone haha. Anyways, I'm trying to think of some cool stories... Well I bore my testimony in portugese and public for the first time on sunday which was exciting and I also blessed the bread in portugese. Umm.. Basketball pretty much makes my day. There are some pretty good ballers here but I fair pretty well and I always get to play in the good games. Unfortunately a lot of them are leaving within the next couple weeks. I've made a lot of friends outside of my district which is awesome but I'm going to miss them! I took another nap today and the laundry is in the process of being done haha. Well we finished teaching our first "investigator" who was really easy and is now one of our teachers. We started with our second one yesterday and he is a whole new story. Its so hard but we are learning its not our words that change their heart, its the spirit. We hardly said anything right yesterday but the spirit was there and he had quite a change by the end of our visit. We will continue with him tomorrow and the rest of the week. Oh every tuesday and sunday there are night time devotionals, I don't know if they broadcast them on BYU tv but if they do and you happen to watch, look for me in the choir! . Umm, the time is honestly flying by... Oh our district started a new trend here yesterday that was a HUGE hit. It's called man challenge monday. We think of a challenge and anyone who wants in has to put a tie in and the person who wins gets to choose the tie they want. We did who could hold a wall sit the longest yesterday and we got like 5 minutes in and we were all yelling and screaming haha. It was crazy... I took fourth but my tie wasn't chosen!! Woohoo! Umm ya I did see Cody savage and tchae a lot before he left and also chelsea. We got to watch fireworks and stay up way late on fourth of july but the next day we were really dragging. Umm... I love hearing from everyone through dearelder! How are things going at home? I'm glad to see Derrick had no problem taking over my room, I knew he wouldn't. Hopefully he isn't causing too much trouble with no one there to straighten him out. The language is still coming. Often I feel as though I've hit a wall but then I see how much I really can say and that is encouraging. The days can just be so long sometimes that you get tired and frustrated easily. But what is really weird is that in a couple weeks we'll be the oldest ones here! I'm attempting to attach photos but I can't figure it out this second so it might come in a little bit later tonight. Ummm what else is new here... Hmm not much! If you have more questions just send them through dearelder! I'll be on a little later to attach pictures.
Love you all!
Elder Lynn

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2, 2013

Hello Family!
Well lets see i'll try and pack everything in that I can in the time I have. First of all I hope my spelling is alright because it is already going down the drain due to my portugese haha. Well my comp Elder Hillman is from Orem, Utah. He is a really good guy and I'm enjoying being with him.  Elder Gunther (district leader) is from utah too and he along with the other five elders are going to Cape Verde. Elder Roberts is from arizona and going to Mozambique with us. There are four sisters all going to portugal. We all get along so well which is nice but sometimes especially if the sisters are gone we tend to get off task. We pretty much study and eat all day. Haha but I love studying because it is so fun to learn the language. Don't get me wrong, I can get very frustrated but its still going! Umm on friday we taught our first lesson in Portugese and saturday our second and so on. We teach a lesson everyday except sunday and p day. The first lesson was hard but still good. They get better as we go! I can almost teach a whole lesson without my notes which is a huge blessing from the Lord. I can pray, bare a simple testimony, and have a good conversation in portugese. Spanish definitely helped in the sense that i know how to conjugate really well so tell senhor preator thanks haha. Sometimes i get a little mixed up between spanish and portugese words but thats getting better as I go. I've seen tchae a bunch now and he's doing really well and chelsea says to tell darcee hi! I see her all the time haha. I can't believe how the time goes here. Its weird and the only way to describe it is that the hours pass like days and the days pass like hours. We are pretty much going all day long and then by 9:30 when we get back to our rooms we read letters and all that and we're exhausted and ready for bed! But i really do love it here. My teachers name is irmao chamberlain. Irmaou means brother. But he is really cool. He comes and teaches three hours a day and the rest of the day we study on our own or with our comps and other members of the distrito. Umm sundays are really awesome with the temple walk and all that and devotionals. The only thing i don't like is we're the only continental speaking district in the zone so when we go to sacrament meeting we have to put up with their weird pronunciations, but i guess i can live with them ;) Our zone leaders are seriously so cool. They love helping us and they come check on us and they are just awesome. Gym time is way fun. We really look forward to it everyday. I have a elder in the district who reminds me a lot of Marshall haha. Oh i did get your huge package of letters and loved them all! Oh tell Jamie she can send as many letters as she wants. How are all the girlies doing? I miss everyone! But I know i'm being truly uplifted because I am always ready to learn and when i think i have no energy i find some more. The spirit is so important. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that but dang, i'm telling ya he's great! I am always striving to learn more of the language but not because I need it, its for the lords investigators. The most frustrating feeling is when you go to teach and you don't know how to say something. But we also have learned people aren't converted because of us, they are converted because of the spirit so that makes up for our language barier. I dont think that is spelled right. I'm already starting to dream portugese words haha. And my goal is to read the book of mormon in portugese by the time I leave the MTC. So in portugese the letter "s" is pronounced "sh" if its before a consanant or at the end of the sentence and so i find myself pronouncing all s's with the sh even in english haha. Dang i'm pounding out a letter right now! Haha anyways, i'm glad to hear sophie is doing better! Poor thing but i'm glad she's feeling better. Everyone gets along really well here which is nice. Oh i didn't have to speak on sunday which is so nice and next week is fast and testimony meeting but the week after we all have to be prepared with a five minute talk in portugese cause you never know who is going to get picked. Oh my gosh, P-days are so awesome. First of all you can take a nap which was the best feeling ever and we got our laundry done. When it was done I felt like a kid on christmas morning! haha. Umm I'm not homesick really which is nice because i can really focus on the work. I mean i miss you guys but at the same time the letters are enough for me. I'm going to make it to say the least ;) There are really cool elders in our zone who help us out when we need it. Next week i promise i'll send pictures i just don't wanna do it today. Gym time is so much fun! I look forward to it everyday. I go and play basketball and its super nice to be able to have a break in the middle of the day. Except monday, we have it in the morning then and that kinda stinks haha. Well what else to say... Tell everyone thanks so much for all the letters and everything! Tell darc thanks for all that stuff she sent! Umm also, pdays and after 9 30 is awesome because we can change into normal clothes haha. Oh our zone is so luck we get to wake up every morning at 6 instead of 6 30!! haha. Tomorrow i'm gonna be brave and try and go the whole lesson without notes... we'll see how it goes. There is a really cool elder named elder brock who i talk to quite a bit and he inspired me to try and do that haha. Lets see, tonight I get to go chill until 4 which is when dinner is and then we have a devotional at 7. P days are really chill. Umm maybe I'll teach you some portugese. To say hi or hello you can so ola or oi! Tudo bem? means hows it going and you can answer with the same thing. Umm oh ya if "e" is at the end of the word you dont really pronounce it. Tarde sounds more like tard. That kinda thing. I have a lot to learn but I have more to be thankful for for all that I have learned. The food is pretty good here! And its extremely hot but luckily we only have to wear suit coats at meetings and sunday. The buildings are kinda air conditioned haha. Wow I sure wrote a lot. Tell the whole fam I love them and cant wait to hear how things are going! I love getting letters so don't be afraid to send em. I can write any day I have time but don't expect an answer right away. I will have plenty of time every tuesday to email though. Everyone gets jealous when you get a package or a letter so i've been like racking em up like crazy. Everyone loves getting mail though haha. Time is flying by though! I'll be in mozambique in no time. Oh by the way derrick, thanks for the short letter. I'm glad to see you are already taking care of business now that i'm gone. Don't get too crazy while I'm gone. I'll be waiting to hear about all your girlfriends ;) hahahahaha. I miss you bud! anways i better get an email sent out to the big group so until next tuesday or if you write me a letter i'll answer before then! Boa sorte! (Good luck). I love you all so so much!!
Elder Lynn