Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Bye bye June! It was just yesterday that I was being transferred to Magoanine and all of a sudden its already July! The next transfer will be on the 14th of July, cailee's birthday i believe. This week went really well... It was kinda crazy but went well. On tuesday, Elder Barroso and I spent a lot of time preparing a training and then on wednesday we did a zone training where we just get a focus for what we think will help our zone the most and then do a training for all the missionaries in our zone. Then after that, we spent time preparing for the wedding and baptism. On Saturday, the wedding and baptism went super well. There was our couple and then two other missionaries had a couple too so there were two couples that got married. Also, I found out that one of the families that I left in Inhamizua got married and baptized on Saturday so I called them and told them congrats and talked with them a little bit and I also talked with felicidade because she was part of the wedding and got all her questions answered. They said also that on the 12th of July another family that we had prepared up in Inhamizua will be married and baptized so that makes me super happy to know that more families up there are still doing well! It is only cool in the mornings and night time but not cool enough that I wear a long sleeve shirt. I would still die if I used a long sleeve shirt haha. This week we had two full families at church, but we had other families that the husband came or things like that. We also had a branch activity and President Kretly came and gave a really awesome training to our branch but we also got to take part in it! Tomorrow we will also be having zone conference so that should be pretty fun. The elders and sisters from swaziland are coming here for zone conference so we have to translate for them. I will be one of the elders that translates... Its good but it makes it hard to take notes and stuff like that haha. I will try and send pics, I made that chocolate cake to celebrate our year mark... It is pretty crazy that it is already more than a year now! I have been thinking about that a lot and how fast time is going... Because being on the mission, we know we will see our families again and so its not too hard to be away from our families, not that we don't miss you, but we know we will see you all again. But when we leave areas, or worse, when we have to leave mozambique, we don't know when we will get to see these people again, or IF we will ever see them again and see it gets a lot harder knowing that one day that day will come, and its not that far away in all reality. Elder Barroso will leave at the end of march. I think he will leave actually on March 23, so not too much more time than me. I will leave two transfers after him. There were lots of good stories for the week... hmmm... Well we hitch hike here a lot and most of the time people stop for us, and so we were in a car the other day and I was in the back seat and then all of a sudden something smoked me in the head and I was like what in the world??? and I looked around and a little bird had flown in the window and hit me in the head hahaha. First time for me! As far as tithing, they just pay in money like everyone else. I don't really know how hard it is for them because, well we can't really ask if people are paying a full tithe or not, but for the most part, everyone already knows that tithing is a commandment and that they have to do it! We got an email today from the first presidency saying that the order of the missionaries lessons has changed a little bit and that now, we have to teach the temple ordinances and all that before baptism, but something interesting is that President Kretly had already pretty much changed that here anyways... President Kretly literally is a genious haha. For example, Elder Barroso and I almost always teach in the first lesson about the temples and eternal families... It is a great message that no one has ever heard and the people love it. Often I think missionaries are apprehensive to teach about temples and all that, but we NEED to teach it before baptism. Why should we baptize people when they won't be working towards baptism so that one day they can go to the temple. If the families know from the first lesson, that they need to go to the temple, and they need to be baptized to go to the temple, the whole process becomes much much easier. They already have the end in mind, in the beginning. We also had a really good sunday school class on sunday given by the black version of van diesel, seriously he sounds and looks just like him. hahaha. It was about sacrifice and it was so awesome. Also president kretly said some things super interesting. he said, "If we as young people don't take the time to do some of the things we don't like to do now, we will end up doing them for our whole life. But if we sacrifice a little bit now, we will have more time in the future to enjoy the good things of life." He also said, that a person who says, "I don't have time," is a person who is unorganized. We should, (we speaking as not just missionaries but as people in general), we should plan every single day. If we want to be sucessful in life, we need to plan, make priorities, and then follow through on what we have promised to do. We shouldn't ever have an excuse of, "oh it didn't go well because of the time. we need to control the things we can control and our schedule is one of them." Super interesting! That would be why he is one of the most famous people in brazil! Well I love you all and hope you are all doing very well!!

Elder Lynn
He finally got the cake mix and frosting wesent for
 his birthday so he used it to celebrate his year mark.
 The chapel in Maputo

First baptism in Magoanine for Justin

A look at the baptismal font

One of the families that they are teaching

Another wedding

Their zone (not sure why all the elders are in stocking feet.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

Dear family,
My week was really good! When I got here it was kinda a rough start, I wasn't ready to leave Inhamizua and I left my area where we had 7-8 families doing well and coming to church every week and then when I got here we only had 1 family. It was a little disheartening. But we had a really succesful week and we now have around 5 familes! We are little by little adding more and more investigators. And the wedding and baptism will be this saturday! We are really excited for them.

My cake and frosting was in there, I think i will use it this week to celebrate my one year mark. The packages were at the mission office. When we went there for a meeting I found it. No i haven't recieved the latest package yet because the assistants to the president are the ones that pick up the packages but they have been gone to swaziland for the past week doing some training. I have actually only seen the tidwells like once haha. THe big difference between beira and maputo is that maputo is huge!!! SO you don't see other missionaries or other people outside of the missionaries in your house very much. ANd yes, Jake emailed me last week. I was super happy to hear from him.

I will have to take a picture this week of the place we meet. We don't have a chapel here in Magoanine, we just meet in this house, but its pretty big. Which is good because we are having over 240 people every week!!! Ya, I had a lot of culture shock when I came down here! I felt like I was coming to america haha. Luckily my area isn't like super crazy different, just the city is different. My area is completely just full of sand. Its seriously like walking on the beach. My legs are getting strong though!! Its not too bad trying to balance the duties but sometimes we have to sacrifice. Like today we have to take some of our pday to plan the training we will be giving this week... But its all for the work of God so its worth it.

So funny story for the week. Felicidade, my recent convert from inhamizua, depended on me for a lot of stuff and she was super sad when I left. We were really good friends. And I had told her that I would call everyone in Inhamizua every week to call but this last week we were really busy and hadn't had much time to call. Well she called me yesterday, and the first thing she says to me, "Elder Lynn?" then me, "yes its me" silence.... "Why didn't you call!??!? I had tons of questions to ask you this week and i needed your help!!!" hahahahaha i just busted up laughing. THen i answered all her questions and then at the end of the call she was like, ok this next week you have to call me and marcelino (her husband) more because we are going to have more questions for you.

But other than that the week went super well for us. I hope all is going well for all of you at home! I Love you all lots!


Saying good bye to everyone in Inhamizua

Fernando and Gilda


Presidente Xavier and his 1st counselor, Irmao Gole

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Wow sounds like all is going well at home! I didn't even know that christy and blake would be going to stay with you guys... that is pretty awesome. I think this computer has the capability to send pictures, but its really sketchy so I don't want to take the chance of getting a virus on my camera card. The reason we are at a sketchy place is because we came to help a family open the marriage process but the workers didn't show up on time so while we are waiting we found a random place that has two computers so that we aren't wasting a ton of time on pday haha.
(The next part sounds random so I will include the questions I asked because he is answering all my questions)
1. Has anyone ever tried to rob you? (Someone asked me this question this week)
2. Are you getting to know the people in your area now?
3. Do you know what happened to the missionaries that were in Swaziland? Will they now be considered the Mozambique Maputo Mission or will they eventually filter back to the South Africa Durban mission and only those called to Mozambique will eventually be there? Just curious how that works.
4. Are there domestic cats in Mozambique?
5. Have you seen Elder Galland since your transfer?
6. If your package actually makes it to the mission home will you get it right away since you live close now?
7. Best thing that happened this week?
8. Worst thing that happened this week?
9. Do you have anyone preparing for marriage or baptism?
10. Have you been able to pick up any new people to teach?
So no, I have never been robbed or even attempted. But I do know some pretty crazy stories about other missionaries haha. I have been in Beira where its a lot more safe when it comes to that kind of thing.. We'll see if anything happens here in Maputo haha. Ya, every day I get to know the area a little better and the people a little better. The area is a lot harder to memorize compared to Inhamizua because there are so many more houses and its just a lot different but I am slowly getting used to it. I have no idea what will happen to the missionaries in Swaziland... hahahahaa. Ummm there are domestic cats and animals, but its rare to find a family who takes good care of them. People don't treat animals well here at all. So yes people have pets, but normally they don't treat them super well. Ya I saw Elder Galland last week when we had a meeting because he was also called to be a zone leader and we had a meeting with the leaders in the mission so I saw him last week. It was super nice to see him again and talk again. Also that same day is when I found tons of the old packages that hadn't been sent to me haha. So no need to send any more packages besides that one that you already sent. I got all of that stuff now including the family history stuff! Umm the best thing that happened this last week... THere are too many good things to count! But one awesome thing is that all the branches up north except for dondo and inhamizua split! So there is no longer branches of Manga 1, 2, and 3. THere are now five manga branches with new names and also instead of 2 beira branches there are now 4 or 5 beira branches! So that is super awesome! We should be splitting down here in maputo within the next couple months too. The worst thing that happened.... Well the world cup for soccer is going on now and President Kretly's secretary is a member of our branch and he showed us a picture of president, his wife and the secretary dressed up in soccer uniforms, eating a barbeque meal and watching the world cup... That was probably the worst thing knowing the president gets to do that and we don't get to watch hahahahaha. We have one family who will hopefully get baptized next saturday the 28th. And ya we have gotten a couple new families this past little whilE!
The work is going super well... Nothing to complain about. I realized I now officially have less than a year left on the mission because I will go home the 15th of June, 2015 and it is now the 16th.. So that is pretty nuts! Time is flying and in no time it will already be christmas again.. I hope all is going well at home! I love you all so much!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9,2014

Hello from Magoanine! I now know the correct spelling haha. So I am in the place called magoanine but my proselyting area is actually called Malhazine (not pronounced anything with how it is spelled because it is a dialect word. ) The dialect here is called Xichangana. They use wistles and different noises in their words haha. For that reason its hard to explain how to say Malhazine. So unfortunately I can't send pics cause my card reader wont fit in the computer.. BUt i will begin to answer the questions...
I now live in a house of 8 elders. Me and my companion Elder Barroso from brazil. Then there is Elder Mason and Elder Adams (I lived with elder mason in manga also and I like him a lot). THen there is Elder Christianson and elder Badger(elder christianson came with me from the MTC) and then there is Elder Ipsen and Elder Juma(elder Juma is from manga haha so I actually knew him when I was serving there). No we dont really recieve any special training I just kinda go with the flow. I don't really still know exactly what i am doing hahaha. I just am being me! 
So now for the part of the travel story.... So my plane was supposed to leave at like 10 30 p.m. but it got delayed and we didn't leave until around a little past midnight. So we landed and I got out of the airport and like 2 a.m. THe office elders were supposed to pick me up but they weren't there yet and so I waited for like 45 minutes but eventually I just figured well, they probably got here when my flight was scheduled to land and waited and figured I already left or something. SO i found a taxi and said, Do you know any missionaries house in maputo? Cause i dont know anything about maputo and he was like ya i know one. So i get in and had to pay 1000 metacais for a taxi. He takes me and just drops me off at the CHAPEL in maputo... not even a house.... I was so mad, caus it was 3 in the morning and he charged me a ton and didn't even take me where I wanted. SO after some arguing about wether he would get money or not, the guard at the church was like i know where some missionaries live! So then of course the taxii guy demanded money so I gave him money and told him to leave caus he wasn't helping anymore haha. SO then i spent like 15 minutes knocking  doors of houses trying to figure out which house was the missionaries... After like 15 mintues, finally an elder comes out of the house completely confused and was like how did you get here??? so i slept there that night and then went to my house the next day. Hahaha what a blessing i made it to some missionaries house! The weather is much much colder here! i know at night time it got under 60 degrees... This may not sound cold to you all but when I came from beira where is was still super hot, I am freezing!! I am wearing sweatshirts and sweatpants in the house cause its so cold for me... and its probably like 75 degrees but its cold for me... I am gonna die my first winter home... Ya the area is doing well. We actually baptized a family yesterday haha. But other than that family, there isn't as much as I had in the last area. But we will work really hard to build up this area! I am getting a long really well. He is pretty funny but he is extremely spiritual. We of course only speak portugues all day long so that has been a little different but good. We are opposites in a lot of things but we get along well. I am really wierd and goofy and joke around a lot and he is very quiet and loving and spiritual... But we get a long great! We both like to work hard and that is the biggest thing. SO we have to do at least one division with all the district leaders in our zone but we can do more if we think they need help. There are 4 district leaders. We also now have sisters in our zone... well they have always been here I have just been up north but obviously we cant do divisions with them so we are giving them a training tomorrow... super weird being with sisters. I saw the sisters for the first time on my mission today... they were like uh who are you? and I was like I am Elder Lynn and they were like ooohhhhh.... you are the new zone leader... haha, no one knows who I am down here now. Ya I think the next zone conference is like July 4th or something like that. And yes I am perfectly healthy!
My week was good... It was really hard leaving Inhamizua.. When I said goodbye to Felicidade she started to cry so then I was about to tear up and had to leave haha. THen I went to Fernando and Gilda's very last. We were there for about an hour and then I said, Well, I better get going, who is gonna say the prayer and gilda said the prayer and only prayed that I would be safe and that I would get transferred back to beira soon haha. Then we got up and she said, No  I can't say goodbye cause this can't be the end and then started crying and went into her room and cried so then of course I started crying and so I just hugged Fernando for like a Minute and then said bye.... It was one of the hardest things I have done, having to say goodbye to Inhamizua... But I know I will be back one day. 
I love the mission... I cant believe how fast it is going.. I am almost at a year and I am scared.. I am scared that my time is going to end to soon and i will have to say goodbye to mozambique. I am going to use this little time that I still have to work as hard as I can and love the people as much as I can... cause i sure don't wanna leave! But thats the life of the missionary... loving and having to leave. 

 I love you all and hope you have a great mission!!!
P.S. crazy story, the branch mission leader served a mission in angola and he was the last companion of Elder Landon Tolman who returned last year. He is from Burlington and was my preach my gospel teacher over in the college ward... Small world when you can meet someone on the other side of the world who also knows someone from Burlington, WY! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

An e-mail from President Kretly

Dear Parents and Leaders,

 Elder Justin Bill Lynn was just called as a Zone Leader.  This position is very important and is key for our success as a mission.  He has been called because of his hard work and good example that he has given for other missionaries.  Some of his responsibilities will be: representing the Mission President on minor issues, helping the missionaries in their areas, training the missionaries, doing splits with District Leaders, and having a strong relationship with the Branch and District leadership where he is serving.  Besides that he will continue to have his own proselyting area where he will work, finding, teaching, and baptizing families.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers for Elder Lynn.  Thank you for preparing such a wonderful missionary to serve in our mission.

 With love and appreciation,

 President Paulo V. Kretly

Mozambique Maputo Mission

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014 Magoanine

Well lets just say I am in big shock! I don't have much time at all today to write because I have been transferred.... I am pretty sad.. i wanted to stay in Inhamizua for forever. It was my favorite place... I had so many friends. But tonight I am leaving to go to a place called Maguanine. I will be the zone leader over the maputo zone. I don't really know what to think. Its a big honor... but I just wanted to stay with my families here!!! But I will do what the Lord asks. Four elders who will be leaving for home in the next couple months were sent to swaziland to train the elders over there. Ummm ya I am kinda in a daze and don't know what to think. I will send pics next week of our marriages and baptisms. They went so well. Our family of Fernando and Gilda... They are like my family. They are the family that I feel like I was sent here to find. They are one of the best things that has happened to me in mozambique and I am so sad I have to leave them. I called them this morning to tell them and they are really sad also. They have been talking about how I can't leave them. But I know they will be strong. Speaking of them... we have an incredible plan. Since you and dad are coming to mozambique in June.. they will have one year in the church. They want me to be there with them when they go through the temple. It is their dream and my dream too! I want to go up and make our last stop in Inhamizua and then all of us go together from Inhamizua to south africa and go through the temple with Fernando and Gilda to see their family sealed... That is all they talk about too is going to the temple to seal their family.... It hurts having to leave people that I love so so much! But that is how the mission is.. But I know I will see them again one day. So I don't have much time. I have to go pack, and then say good bye to everyone and then I leave tonight on the plane to maputo at 10:30! I will have more pics next week and more information! Love you all!!!  (He was still on when I read his e-mail so I was able to find out that his companion is Elder Barroso from Brazil and speaks only Portuguese.)