Monday, September 30, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

Hello family!!
Well today was kinda an annoying day cause I couldn演 get on my account for forty five minutes!! So I apologize for the shortness of all the letters this week. I also apologize to all those who I haven演 answered to recently because of the internet here. Also unfortunately, my emails to dad and jamie wont send this week so sorry about that! Ugh! The problems that we can have sometimes haha. But I槌l try and pack as much into this letter as I can and I槌l send some other pictures too! The first pictures in this email are just some fun pictures I took and the one of the little black boy is from the wedding haha. The one with all the kids was at the wedding too when we waited for it to start. So lets see, transfers came and went like I said last week so this week we had some good things happen! So I槌l start out with some funny stories for the week hahaha. So holidays here are more of just a day for everyone and there cat to get drunk. So we can have problems on holidays. So we were just about to get home last week when it was a holiday and some drunk guys stopped us and started talking to us. We were advising them that drinking isn演 good and especially not when they have kids! They told us they knew but they couldn演 help it and while we were giving them some advice this little old grandma who was probably like 4 foot 6 inches tall walks up to us and just starts doing crazy hand signals haha. She was very out of it. She didn演 say words she was just going crazy with her hands waving everywhere. Then she started going off on us in dialect which isn演 unusual for the grandmas to do to us here but she was just hahaha... I can演 really explain how out of it she was. And then when we finally walked away, she proceeded to shake our hands and bow down to us and I was just laughing crazy lol. Now for some cool stories of the week! So Elias, the man who has two wives is probably one of the smartest people here I漓e met and the strongest in the gospel i漓e met. And we made a breakthrough! He said that he finally got the woman to agree to leave which means he will only have one wife!! So in lessons with him, he always tells us these scriptures he knows and he is just insanely smart! Especially cause most people here can hardly read and honestly not many understand the restoration at all. So to have someone understand things is such a blessing. But anyway we were at his house and we told him how smart he really is and he said well ya, I understand the scriptures because before I read them everyday I pray for help to understand them! We hadn演 even taught him to do that! Then he said the reason he knows so many scriptures is because he has already read the WHOLE book of mormon! We were blown away. So we got him a doctrine and covenants and pearl of great price to start reading along with the book of mormon cause he just eats it all up. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met! So then he sent us a text one night that just made our night. He said, A vossa dupla e otima. voces tem muita fe, esperan蓷 e caridade. a minha vida esta mudando bastante por cause de vossa ajuda e ensinamentos, na verdade, digo que ja encontrei a verdadeira igreja. This translated means, your couple (missionary couple) is awesome! You both have much faith, hope and charity. My life is changing so much because of your help and teachings. Actually, I say that I have found the true church. He is just one of the most amazing people I have ever met and I know he will be a leader in the church one day soon! So aside from that, the lord humbled me a bit this week. We taught a new family named matteus and Celeste. A humble little family that just like most mozambicans, wasn演 understanding the restoration or anything no matter how simple we put it. And i was just getting really frustrated. So I was at home comlaining about how I didn演 wanna go back cause he couldn演 remember how to pray and he didn演 even remember what he was supposed to pray about blah blah blah. So we get there for the second lesson to ask about his prayer and introduce the book of mormon. And goes on to pray perfectly for us and then tells us that he prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and he already knows he is and then went on to understand the Book of Mormon and now he has prayed and knows its true too. The Lord truly showed me that everyone has potential here and we aren演 the ones to judge! So that new family was such a blessing and now come to find out, they are the newphew and niece of our couple who was baptized and married last week! How crazy! haha. We also found another new family last week who is also understanding and progressing well. So this week we plan on introuducing the Law of Chastity and asking them if they will make the sacrifice to be married legaly! So then on sunday we had a district meeting and we made a cool goal. We decided we all want to make the goal to have a family ready for marriage on October 25, baptism the 26th. We are wanting to do this and invite President Kretly to oversee the marriage and then the next day, we want to have a big fireside to get new investigators and invite president to speak at it! So we are trying really hard for it! We are hoping to have three families at the marriage!! It will be a huge blessing if we can. Well That is all for this week! I榦 really sorry once again for not responding to everyone better because of the internet but I promise next week will be better! I will also send more pictures in other emails! I love you all so much!! Oh mom, if you haven演 sent the package yet, here are some things I would like. Some more ties, some socks, talks that you all like, and I would love if I had a little home made travelsize calendar! Also don演 forget to send me general conference news next week!!! I love you all!!
Elder Lynn


Our happy couple Domingos and Luiza! I漓e never ever ever seen Luiza so happy!!! It was such an amazing day. Probably one of my favorite days on the mission so far!

More pictures of the happy couple!! But I just found out something extremely sad! Some how my pictures of their baptism got deleted :( so next week I榦 gonna have to ask some people to send me the pictures!

I found the baptism pics!!! And a picture of me and elder galland haha. That night we were cleaning the chapel for like 4 hours so we took our ties off so they wouldn演 get filthy!

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Dear Family,
Wow another week down and I have completed my first transfer! So there was not really any big transfer news for me. There were a lot of big changes but as for me, I'm staying in the same area with the same companion. My house actually is only losing one person so luckily for me the other Elder who is like my best friend is staying too! I might go crazy in that house without him! Well just to tell a little about the week. We really ended up spending like the whole week really trying to prepare for the wedding and what not. The couple couldn't afford rings so we had them make us these things called chamoosas and we would buy them in exchange for their service. Chamoosas are pretty much potatoes fried in this little tortilla and just covered in pure grease haha. We have been on a little frying run lately in our house. We have been frying anything and everything hahaha. We fried bananas, onions, we made scones, we hard boiled eggs then breaded them and then fried them haha, we make fries and then we had chamoosas! So anyways back to the week. We had one of our investigators tell us that he has a smoking problem that he would like help with. Well the next day his wife was walking with us and she just tells us this super long story about how she has been praying for like two weeks straight that he would tell us and how she has a testimony that prayer really works and that she knows how true the church is and it was really quite the testimony! So we went back and had the most spiritual lesson I've ever had with him and I really can't explain everything that went on but it was just truly amazing! I've never felt the spirit so strong in my life! Then we had a little tender mercy with a new family. We were having FHE at a families house and this lady came who was invited and we thought she was a member but it turns out that she has been coming for a year now but isn't baptized because her husband has a drinking problem but when missionaries were transferred out the area book wasn't updated and they ended up getting dropped and he stopped getting help. So we are back at their house helping them and they are really a awesome strong family! So then the day before the wedding we were setting up and we had a lesson with Elias, the man with two wives and we met with President Bueno who is the second counselor in the mission presidency. And Elias said that the other woman has finally decided to move out and we believe the problem will be resolved in like two weeks! So right now we have about four more families on track to be married and baptized this next month in October!!! So then we had the collective marriage saturday! It was so fun! I've never seen our investigators (Domingos and Luiza) so happy! And african weddings are fun! They sing the coolest songs and its just a blast! We ended up having six couples from manga and Dondo get married. Then the next day after church was the baptism and Domingos and Luiza asked me to baptize them so I had my first baptism! It was really an amazing and cool experience for me. After I was talking with Luiza about how I might get transferred and she was like no we would miss you! So it was sweet to know that the people actually do like me here. Luckily for that reason, I am not being transferred right now! So that was the happenings of the week. I really want to send pictures of the wedding and baptism so I will try and find a computer to send them on this week. If not they will have to wait till next so I will try! Oh about letters. I have been getting the dearelders. They come about every four weeks or so. They come as soon as someone comes up north from maputo. And I got Derrick's letter super fast which was awesome and I got Darcee's. But I know there are more I didn't get. But I definitely love the hand written ones. THey are worth more than gold so keep trying! I'm trying to think if there are any funny stories from this week. I heard good eveninging this week! Haha but I'm running out of time. So one more week down! Until next week!
Love you all so so so much!!!
Elder Lynn

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Hello family,
Well we made it through another week! The week actually went pretty fast but it was super crazy!!! So we had the baptism on saturday and it went super well but then he didn't show up to sacrament to be confirmed :( He said he got stuck in Beira with chapa problems... But he'll be confirmed next week. Then the craziness though. So we have a big collective marriage coming up this saturday right? Well one family couldn't get the money in time to open the process of marriage :( but they will still be married and baptized in a couple weeks. The other family who is ready well the wife isn't 21 so the dad has to sign for her and they are just making all sorts of hoops to jumpt through. So we tried more than once to get all the documents and they wouldn't give them to us and we got down to the last day and we couldn't open the process which was super depressing. But we just kept praying that we could have a miracle and someway be able to get this done and accomplished and everything. Well with the help of the lord we got the marriage process opened the next day when we were past the deadline and they will be married this saturday!! They are so so excited and whew! WHat a miracle. I will try and send pictures today of everything cause I have a lot to send but we're at a cafe that cant send them so we'll try and go to another one in a little to send the pics. Oh so here's a crazy experience for you all. So last tuesday our water pump stopped working so I just didn't take showers. But then by thursday I was pretty gross since I sweat and ya haha. So I took my first bucket shower! THen the pump got fixed later. Then on saturday our energy went out haha. So now we have no AC, no water, no light nothing. So its been back to more bucket showers and wrinkled clothes. Also nights are extremely hot with no AC. Well the whole day is but I notice it more when I'm trying to sleep at night haha. I'm hoping we get that fixed today! But I can testify that running water and AC is a blessing!!! Oh another thing that sounds weird but i miss alot.... carpet haha. Like I haven't seen carpet in forever now and i miss it so much! So be thankful for carpet. So this is the last week of this transfer. Which just means I could trade comps, I could go to another city, or I could stay exactly the same! No one knows haha. We still have the normal difficulties. The people don't see it as racism here to make fun of us and so I try not to take it bad, but I'll be honest, Its just hard sometimes with people constantly making fun of you for being white as if I don't already stick out enough. But with all that set aside, there are so many people here who are so glad that we are here and so happy to see us everyday and they are the people who make it so worth it! Oh ya! Last week after we emailed we went and played soccer with the africans! It was one of the coolest experiences to play soccer with them all out on a dirt field and ya... I have pictures to send as soon as I can!!! I think I had one of the coolest experiences of my mission so far last night though. We were walking with some members to a lesson and Elder Shachterle was walking with a couple and I was back walking with one and talkin with him. He got back from his mission a year and a half ago but he knew the tolmann kid from burlington! But anyways we were just walking and talking and sharing stuff about our lives and I realized, wow. I am talking with and an african in portuguese and like it was so amazing to see the hand of the lord helping me. There is no way I should be able to just walk and talk with people in this crazy foreign language but I can. All because of the Lord. But ya just a super cool experience. I wish I could describe africa with words or show it with pictures but it just doesn't get all of africa. Its this whole new experience on its own. I love you all so much and I can't wait to once again hear from you next week! I can't tell you how much I love mondays!!!

Elder Lynn

Pictures of soccer! The one of me and the other guy is Joakin. He is the branch mission leader and the gospel principles teacher. He is sending in his mission papers soon! Then the other one is of me and Elder Galland haha. We are like best friends and that night I was being super man! Can't you see the resemblance between me and clark kent? Just to tell you a little about Elder Galland. We get a long so well. I don't know what I would have done this transfer with out him. He really got me through all the hard times and he is just the funniest and happiest guy I know. We hang out when we are at the house and make food together everyday cause we both love food haha. Joakin is one of the most faithful members here. He is going to be such an amazing missionary and I can't wait to see if he gets to stay and serve here in mozambique. I hope I get to serve with him one day!

Here we have the african sunrise, a huge banana spider we had in our house and also a picture of one of my favorite families! The little girl in blue in front absolutely loves the church and loves us haha. She is so dang cute :) After church yesterday she came and held my hand and we walked together for like fifteen minutes as we went to my house and then she decided she had to go home haha so she left after. But she can't wait until she can be baptized. And every chance she gets she finds us and shakes our hands haha. The mom is the tallest one of them but she is still short haha. The dad was still in the church. And one of those girls isn't actually in the family, but they love taking pictures here so she jumped in the picture hahaha.

Here we have a picture of me and my comp with Henriquez and then a picture of everyone who was baptized that day! 21 were baptized that day! It was super super cool. The other picture is one we took this morning when we went out and took some fun pictures at fields and what not! Just for information, this week with the collective marriage there are going to be so many people getting married it will be awesome! If I am still here next transfer I am guessing we'll have about four families ready to be married as long as they can get the money.

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 8, 2013

Hey family!!
Ok so first off Iºll say that the apostrophes arenºt working right today cause I have a portuguese keyboard. But ok Iºll do a big letter of everything that happened and then run through personal letters answering questions with my time I have left. So last monday starting off after I emailed we went and got groceries and everything and then headed back to our house. Oh to answer Christy, we have oreos here but they are way more expensive for us so I buy these other cookies that only cost like 10 metacais which is like... I donºt know, cheap haha. So anyways, we went back put our groceries away and then hung out and played games and rested until 6:00 and then went out to an investigators house named Tomás and Diana. We had a little testimony meeting with them and spiritual night and it was super fun! Then we did some street contacts and headed home for the night. Then tuesday. Tuesday we walked with the branch missionary leader named Joakin Conde. He is a 19 year old who is amazing. He takes charge of everything in the branch with missionary work and he is about to send his papers in pretty soon. So we walked with him and taught some lessons to some people with him. Then he left and we taught a lesson to a guy named José who was taught before but dropped. We talked and he has a strong testimony that he knows its true but he is embarrassed because he has a drinking problem so we are going to work with him hard to help him! Then we also taught a family whose parents are named Felizardo and Dorka. This family is such a blessing! They are progressing so well and working on marriage documents right now. They have some amazing kids too. They have a little daughter who is 8 years old and every time we walk by their house she will run up and walk with us and hold our hands cause she loves the missionaries and the church! They live about 20 minutes away from the church and last sunday the parents were out of town but she still came to church on her own cause she loves church so much! She is such a sweetie haha. Then wednesday we visited Henriquez. The one I sent the picture of. He is like 19 or 20 years old. He is super super cool. So he is scheduled to be baptized this Saturday!! Our first baptism! He is really all about doing this cause Its the will of the lord and he is really dedicated to doing this and so weºre super excited! Its fun to go to his house and we teach him underneath this huge tree every time we visit haha. Its way fun. Then while we were walking through our area, we see people ride by on a bike and all we see is him and just hear him make a goat noise and we were like, what in the world... haha. Then I looked back and he had a goat tied to the back of the bike we couldnºt see who was making the noises hahaha. So we also taught Elias. Elias is the man in the black sweatshirt and probably one of the coolest guys you will ever meet. When the missionaries first met him, he had two wives living with them and he wasnºt willing to change. Then after a while he came back to the missionaries saying he was ready. So that was like two weeks before I got here so Iºve been working with him since. He has such a strong testimony and really is intelligent. One thing about the people here is that they can be smart, but once it comes to the church, its hard for them to understand and so our conversations will be so simple. And honestly not many people can read well here. He though, is such an amazing guy. We canºt believe how much he reads and understands and every time we come back he knows more and more and right now he is in the process of making an agreement with one of the wives to leave and everything and its really big sacrifices for him. But he is so committed and he will be baptized hopefully next month!! Then the next day a cool experience, we were doing contacts and we met a guy named angelo. He came up telling us that he had prayed to have a religion and as soon as he saw us his heart started beating and he knew we were the right people for him. So we are still waiting to see how everything works with him but he is super cool and so ready!!! Also, I had a little kid tell me I am beautiful haha. But then that night we went to Tomás and Dianaºs to talk about when we can open the process with them, and Tomás never showed :( so we were super sad but luckily we talked with them last night and he had problems with his motorcycle and so we plan on opening the marriage process with them on wednesday of this week! So Friday we were talking to a guy named Armando. This guy is a crack up haha. He is so superstitious about everything though and it was hilarious lol. But we asked him to bare his testimony and he proceeded to tell a 20 minute story that was all over the place haha. But that is mozambicans for you! They absolutely love to talk haha. We also had a super fun family night on saturday with some families and what not. Saturday we taught more lessons and got quite a bit done. But the highlight of the day, we walked by the padaria on the way home and they had hot bread for 2.5 met which is like 10 cents and it is sooooo good haha. Church on sunday was good. But Iºll admit, church kinda stresses me out. Be grateful for church in America!! Its just as true here but the kids are wild and its hot and I canºt understand like half of it. So be grateful haha. But after church we ate and I watched some videos until correlation meeting. Than at correlation I was asked to give the spiritual thought and I was nervous but it went super well and Iºve been told that people think Iºve been here for over a year which is encouraging even though I still have so much to learn haha. Then that night we went and met with our other couple who will be married next week which went really well. Also last night I gave my first blessing in portuguese... scary haha. But thats my week!! We have one guy being baptized this saturday and then next saturday we are having a big collective marriage where we will have two couples being married and baptized. Some of the hard things here would be the racism here. Many people donºt like us which is really hard but I have much more respect for everyone now! Oh and I want to tell two things of advice. USE THE TEMPLES!! As missionaries not being able to go is hard on us, but the people here save for years just to be able to go once. Please use the temple!! There is nothing you could have that could be more important! Also, have family home evening! I can see how much it helps here when families actually have it here. One more funny thing. The kids here always try and speak english to us here and it was hilarious. The other day, we were walking and we hear, "Good morning afternooning!" hahahaha. Gotta love it. Ok I love you all so much and canºt wait to hear from you next week!!
Elder Lynn

Maputo - Mozambique's capital
Their bedroom
Their pet spider Teancum.  He ran away but
I think they hope he will be back.
The apartment where he and five other elders are living.
The back yard that they are currently sharing
with 4 black mambas.
More of their back yard.

Manga, where Elder Lynn is serving
Bananas from their back yard that he
and another elder are attempting to eat
This is Elias - one of their investigators
This is Enriquez - another investigator

Monday, September 2, 2013

August 8, 2013

This will be out of order but I didn't realize I hadn't posted it on Justin's blog.  I received a sweet letter from sister missionaries in Justin's district in the MTC and would like to share a part of it.

Dear MaMa Lynn, (my favorite part!)

We just wanted to let you know what an amazing missionary you have raised! We have been so blessed to have him in our ditrict, and also as our district leader.......We always went to Elder Lynn for help in Portuguese, but also for help on our lessons.

Elder Lynn is going to be an amazing missionary in Mozambique......His actions show his testimony and devotion he has to be a missionary. His testimony and conversion to the Lord is truly inspiring to each of us. Elder Lynn always talks about the pioneers and how they had faith in every footstep. He has followed their example, and is a modern day pioneer in Mozambique. He will touch so many lives and bring forth miracles.

When we were in class all day we could always count on Elder Lynn to make it fun, but productive. (I think he learned this from Mr. Preator!) He is a great leader and example, he was the best district leader! He was always willing to serve our district and others...........

We are so grateful for the six weeks we had to learn from your son. His testimony and strength has helped us as a district, but also individually........

The Portugal Sisters

September 2, 2013

Got this e-mail from Elder Lynn today.  He is beginning to adjust and I can hear the Justin we all know and love beginning to come through once again.  He has been VERY homesick but says it is getting a little better each day.  I know in time he will be completely immersed in his mission and it will feel like home to him. 

I want to first say I am so sorry for these first few weeks and lack of communication. Due to energy being down and what not its been tough. But I'll try and write as much as I can here. So weather.. Well the weather is insanely hot and I pour sweat all day every day. I can't wait for rainy season haha. We definitely have one of the nicest missionary houses in the mission though so that is a super awesome blessing. We have banana trees, lemon trees, pineapple plants, and coconut trees all in our back yard. So we started making lemon tea at night together with the other missionaries and it is so good!!! We have such an awesome house. But one down side, we found four black mambas living in our back yard haha. So i avoid out there until someone comes to take care of them. We have a little spider friend that lives outside our house. His name is Tiancum. Umm we also so a MASSIVE baboon running down the street the other day... Kinda scary actually haha. But now to try and get to my investigators a little bit. So all my investigators live in the little jungle of manga. My area being forty five minutes away is very hard but getting better. We only take public transportation when we go to Beira. Let me tell you, this makes public transportation look nice in the U.S. so be thankful!! But we are planning a collective marriage and baptism on the 21 of september. Me and my comp will have two families who will be ready to be baptized then!!! But we also have about 3 others who will be closely following in the coming weeks in October if I am still here. Transfers are every 6 weeks here but its not certain you will move or anything. As for the language, its coming slowly but good. I honestly can testify of the gift of tongues. When I am engaged in the lesson and feel the spirit and want to be there, I can really talk and hear. When I want to be poopy and not try and just have a bad attitude, I don't have the gift of tongues! It is real! But I have conversations here with the natives on my own and its truly a miracle! Gosh dang, I should have wrote this first thing cause I'm already running out of time. But I will write a long one next week first thing I promise! I want you to know that I love you all and I appreciate and can feel all the prayers from you all. They really lift me up and help me! I will send pics next week when I get the chance. It will be so much fun to hear from you all again next week. Iºm sorry if I didnºt respond to you this week. The two hours for email goes by too quickly! I love you all!!

Elder Lynn

*If you are like me and didn't already know, a black mamba is a highly venomous snake.