Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

Mom's note:  Justin's e-mails the last two weeks have been short and sweet.  But I will share what we have.  :-)


So yes I was able to get in contact with the Johnsons and they will be dropping off my things tomorrow!! (*Johnsons are our next door neighbors and have just returned to Dondo for another three months to serve the people of Mozambique. They are volunteers with Children's Relief International.  Part of what they do is build what they call green door houses for the people.  They also do volunteer work in the local hospital.  They are amazing people who selflessly serve their fellowman).    It was super nice when I got that call and I am glad they made it safe and sound.  Elder Galland has already hit his year mark now and I am coming up close on 8 months... pretty crazy!  This past week really went by fast. We had a super fun family night last monday. We played UNO and everyone just loved it. It was a big hit! Then on tuesday, I was on a division with Elder Galland so we were back together for a day! It was really fun. We went to Saquina's, the family we baptized together cause it was Delfina's (the daughter) birthday and so we celebrated with them. That was super fun. And it was good to be back in the area again visiting those families. But other than that, we had a really good week full of success. Sunday wasn't a super good turnout for our investigators at church but during the week we found tons of new families finally and I really think that they will progress well. They are really interested and asking a lot of questions. So this week we were very blessed! I am extremely grateful for that!
I will start looking more into how to apply to BYU and what things you will need to do to help me out. I am sure you will have to contact the high school and get them to send in my transcript and what not. But I will be in touch with you about all that. But I did know that Tchaes family is moving. Tchae emailed me and told me all about that. Hey I was wondering if you could send me a picture of the wood burning that I did. That deer one. I would like to see that. But ya, tell the family sorry, I dont have a ton of time to answer today so I will probably only answer to this email but let them know I still read and love hearing from them. Next week I will have time to answer everyone. I love you lots! I hope you have a great week and I promise next week will be better!!!! Love you soo much!!!


These are the pictures he sent this week - with no explanation.
Guess we just fill in the blanks!

I really loved the story about great grandpa that president monson gave talks about him!! That was really really cool. Ya Elder Sorenson was here in manga also for about the last two transfers so I got to know him. He was a really nice elder and was fun to be around. But no, most groups are not nearly as big as ours. I came in with tons of elders. Some elders came all by themselves but we are the biggest group by far and we will all go home together also. 

Well for the week. Power was restored to Manga! Hallelujah! Now its back to just going out every once and a while but only for like an hour at most. So we are doing good now :) We had a better week this week. We are working really hard and doing all that we can to move the work forward here. We are really making it a big point in our area to work with the members and get them going on the missionary work. We have been trying to meet with the member families and get them excited about the work. Elder Allen was sick one day last week so we didn't get all the time in the area like normal but things are still going well. The transfer will just be a 7 week transfer this time. So we have three weeks left right now. The transfers will be on the 10th of march. I cant believe next month is my birthday!

So also, although we are over here and what not, we need to kinda think about after the mission also. So I was thinking about it and I would really like to apply to BYU and see if its possible to get into BYU. I can apply from here and everything but I just wanted to tell you first and what not that I would like to apply to BYU and see if I can do that instead of going to BYUI. I know of other elders who have done it here also.

But things are going really well here. I really love Manga and consider it my home. It will be weird the day that I eventually have to leave. But I love you so so much and I wish I had pics for this week but sadly I dont. Hopefully next week!!! I love you!


Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

Wowww.... all that snow! I cant even imagine!!!

Well no worries about the energy. Honestly most places have energy except for manga. And we have been asking around and we figured out a little more about whats been going on. We get energy for a few hours every day cause zimbabway is lending us energy until they fix the problem on the 15th and so we dont have enough to sustain us all day so they give energy to one zone for a while and then switch it. But Beira pretty much always has energy. So we slept at the church a couple nights but then the generator broke so it didnt have energy so we just slept at home and I have been getting used to learing how to sleep while sweating. I have also been taking my bucket showers outside in our yard now haha. Its so much nicer cause if you take it at night when the sun is down, its dark so no one can see you and its a little bit cooler so you dont sweat while you take the shower. You guys will have to try bucket showers sometime!!! hahaha. But other than that, things are going well. Its been a tough transfer of just success. We have been struggling to find new people and talk to people but we are working really hard, it just happens sometimes. There really isnºt a ton to report on this last week. The week went by really fast! But I will send some pictures of stuff from this last week. This morning we went and chilled on the beach while some of the elders played football. The other picture is of me in front of the Manga sign. I have been wanting a picture by it for a long time since I have been here since august and I finally got one. And then the other pic is of a cool billboard. They have a lot of those billboards here. We also had a baptism of a young girl but I was late to the baptism so I didnºt get pictures haha. But it went well.  I talked to some of the members who have been to gorongoso and they loved it. They said its amazing! Well I hope you have a great week!!! I Love love love you!!!

Elder Lynn


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4, 2014

So yesterday was a national holiday so that's why we didn't hear from Elder Lynn.  So much of his e-mail is in response to my e-mail to him that I thought I would post parts of mine first, and then his after.

Dear Elder Lynn,

I can hardly believe January is already gone! We just celebrated Christmas and the New Year and now it's time for valentine's day. I really don't know where the time goes. Did you get your things that we sent with the auditor? The reason we sent so many pictures of you is that you said the people like to see what you were like when you were younger. And I really thought they should see your long baseball hair!!

So President Kretly put two pictures up from zone conference. He only put up one of them in an elder's apartment and it was yours! Maybe yours was the only one they visited. Great picture!! Did you have the house all cleaned? There was also a picture of the whole zone. I only have one question. Why are you always hiding on the back row???

We had Phil and Pam Johnson over for supper last night and had the best visit. They were here for three hours and I couldn't believe when they left that it had been that long. We learned so much about Mozambique and shared your pictures with them. They freaked out when they saw the chameleon on the back of your head!!! Are you quite certain they aren't poisonous? Anyway, it looks like they are going to be able to bring your shorts, shirt and wash cloths. They don't have a space problem, but weight. So as long as they have about 14 ounces to spare they will be able to bring you those things. We gave them your phone number too and she said that it is usually on Mondays that she goes into Beira. They are going to be there for about three and a half months. She says she typically sees the missionaries in Beira alot getting groceries.
Wouldn't it be something if you got transferred to Dondo?? They were wondering if you know what cell phone carrier you use. I don't think it really matters, they were just curious. And they also wondered what the name of that hand sanitizer is that you use once a day. They work in the hospital alot helping to take care of patients with AIDS. I am shocked at the large percentage of the population there that suffer from aids. And the little children! It is such a heart breaker. After visiting with them I am so excited to know that we will be coming to pick you up. What an amazing opportunity it will be! We need to pray for good health.

So how are things going back in your old area? Have you found any new people to teach? Did Felizardo and Dorca ever get baptized? Has she taken up being your second mom again? Have you seen Tercia yet? I hope we get to meet their family when we come. And what about the man that had two wives? Did anything ever get settled with him? I didn't realize until visiting with the Johnsons that polygamy is actually fairly common there?? Between that and most people not being legally married, that's why there are so many with aids.

So Pam Johnson said that for sure we need to go to the Gorongosa National Park when we come. She says it should be calmed down enough from the elections by then to be safe to go there. It sounds like it would be pretty incredible to see. Oh, and she was saying that seeing monkeys and baboons is like just a daily thing there. Do you see at least the monkeys pretty regularly?

Well, life is good. We are so blessed. Heavenly Father loves us and hears and answers our prayers. He loves His children in Mozambique and loves that you are teaching and helping them. Our happiness and eternal life are His main design and He wants us to return to live with Him. As a parent I can totally understand that. Like you said, He is hastening His work because He wants all of His children to return home to live with Him.

I love you and hope and pray that you are well and happy. Keep the faith, build the kingdom and follow the rules.

Love you tons!
So yes the package arrived in Maputo with the auditor but unfortunately the Assistants forgot it when they came up so hopefully they will be sending it up here before too long! Haha he went to the zone leaders houses. So he went to the one in Beira and then our house and luckily our house was pretty clean. Unfortunately, we didnºt have any water to clean dishes and so the kitchen was dirty but they understood. And I always just end up in the back haha but I dont mind... its just a picture haha.
Haha you can tell them that the natives have no idea what they are talking about. Chameleons are literally the most harmless animal. The natives are scared of them because of old stories that were told from a long time ago about them having venom. When they bite, its just feels like velcro. We have been bit before and nothing even happens haha. Whenever we find them we love just having them chill on our hand while we walk with them. Nice! We all go grocery shopping every monday so I am sure she does see lots of missionaries. we should have no problem meeting up there. Our cell phone carrier is Vodacom. And we use Biosense for our hand sanitizer. It truly is sad how common aids is here. Its super sad. Whenever I have an investigator sick, I always worry that they have AIDS. I dont see monkeys super often but they are definitely there. I would love to go to Gorongoso!!! We always hear so much about it but we never can go obviously so I would love that. Thats where like all the animals are at. And ya, hopefully by then things have calmed down in the districts out there so we can go out there.
So things are going super well in our area. We have ran into a little stumbling block of finding new families but we just gotta keep working hard and the Lord will help us. Unfortunately Felizardo and Dorca have not. Dorca is still very strong but Felizardo has kinda lost force and also hasnt been home for a couple months so we are waiting for him to get back home. The man with two wives is really close right now to getting married and baptized. We are really pushing for March 1st or March 8th, it will just depend on documents. I have seen tercia but not a ton lately cause we have been working some other areas lately. Ya polygamy is fairly common. And not being married is the norm. I have actually never taught a family where they were legally married before we taught them. I actually have only met about one family outside of the church who was legally married. If they are, they are normally a part of the catholic church.
So this last week. If I could sum up this past week and give it a title, I would title it, HUMBLE PIE. What is humble pie? Humble pie is when little things you take for granted, are taken away from you and you realize how much you need the Lord. So last monday when Elder Hamilton came we didnºt have any water, which happens every once and a while, not a big deal. Then tuesday we still didnºt have water. Then tuesday night, we woke up in the middle of the night and the energy had gone out. When it goes out we normally just expect it will be back on in a few hours. But now we are a whole week from last week and we still dont have energy in Manga! Beira luckily has energy so we can still email but we havent had water or energy for a week at our house. So wednesday of last week, Elder Ensaldo and I, (he is my zone leader) we went to the church that had water and we filled up big tanks of water to take home so we could take bucket showers and stuff. And on the way to the church we found a chameleon which is why we have another picture with him haha. But anyways we filled up big things of water to take to our house and then we went and bought tons of drinking water. Meanwhile all our food went bad cause it was in the fridge that didnºt have power, so we ate lots of bread and I ate dried ramen and noodles haha. Unfortunately also, its blasting hot here right now, so our house is like an oven. One night an elder who had a thermometer measured and our house was 96 degrees at night time. So no one has been sleeping cause we are all pouring sweat. So we tried some interesting things. One night we tried sleeping outside with our mosquito nets hung over us but it was still pretty warm and the misquitos still attacked us. One night I poured water all over myself and then hopped into bed hahah. And now, we cant get ahold of our investigators cause no one can charge their phones. So we have been doing our best to just visit who we can during the day. But anyways, none of us were sleeping much so we finally got it approved by president and now every night we go to the chapel in Beira and there are 8 of us from manga who sleep in the relief society room haha where there is good AC. hahaha its like a sleep over every night. We arent sure how long the power outage will last but we have heard possibly untill the 15th of this month. So we are learning to adjust! So through all this we really learned how the people here live. They dont have AC, or running water or any of that. And yet they still just go on. Its a tough life. And it has really humbled me. When the simple things like running water and electricity are taken away, you really get dependent on heavenly father again. I am liking bucket showers now though because its so hot I want to take a cold shower haha. Oh and then yesterday we were on our way to manga again and it started raining on us when we didnºt have boots or our umbrellas so we got soaked and then I ended up having to take off my shoes and socks to get through the flooded streets haha. So humble pie, that is what I have been eating lately. We also emailed today because yesterday was a holiday and nothing was open so pday got moved to today this week.
Well I love you so so much! I put some pics on of our sleep over haha... I love you!


Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Unfortunately there is no e-mail to share this week.  I knew that there was always a chance that there would be no power on his day to e-mail and that day has finally come.  I do want to share a couple of pictures from Elder and Sister Snelson who are living in Beira and taking good care of our missionaries.  Four of them were sent to us but this first one and the text before it I have taken from their blog.  Hope they don't mind!
Today, the missionaries found a chameleon.
   (Elders Lynn, Ensaldo & Bender) 
Interestingly, for whatever reason the older Mozambiquens are
completely afraid of these chameleons. They will run away if they see
 one and if they see someone touching one they go crazy,
because they think that chameleons are deadly.


Enjoying Elder Galland's late Christmas packaage.
I think they love packages!
Showing us his latest treasure from the local woodcarver.
 (He also showed us pics of what he's done- he's talented!)
(From Sister Snelson)