Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

Dear family,
We had a really good and extremely fast week. I can't believe how fast the time is going now!! Last week, I was able to download conference onto my memory card and so during the week, as I was getting ready in the morning and as I was writing in my journal at night, I was able to listen to all of conference and it was wonderful. I am excited to be able to watch it at church again to be able to focus even more and really be able to take notes. But I loved all the talks. I loved the talk by President Packer and the way he talks about his loving wife. It was a wonderful example of true and eternal love. We have been facing some new challenges that I haven't had on my mission yet, but they have all truly strengthened my testimony! One thing that happened was the following- So a few weeks ago, we taught a South African man named Reverend Louis. He was more interested in just knowing about our church. So we explained and we left him happy to know that we are Christians and he appreciated our message. Well, we ran into him again last week. But this time, he wasn't so happy to see us. He came up to us and expressed his concern for our souls because he had done some research into our church and clearly came across some unfavorable material that demeaned the prophet Joseph Smith. He went on to tell us how he has scientific proof that Joseph Smith was a false prophet and that we are on a path that won't lead to a good place. He continued on to say that he will pray that our eyes will be opened to see the truth and many other things about the Book of Mormon and what not. At the end, I simply looked at him in the eyes and said, "Reverend Louis, you are a very smart man. You know a lot of things about the Bible. But no proof, no document can ever make me lose my testimony of this truth. No scientific proof can tell me that Joseph Smith was a false prophet because no scientific proof told me that he was. I know he was a prophet of God because I prayed and I know of the truthfulness through the Holy Ghost. You can show me whatever you want, but it can't shake my testimony of what I know is true." As I said that, I felt a burning in my chest that I had never experienced before, confirming that the things I said were true. It was a true manifestation of the Spirit, helping me, a inexperienced 20 year old boy, stand up for the truth against a studied scholar in the Bible. We had many other challenges during the week also. The houses here are many times fenced in and one person owns the whole thing and then the others just rent out the houses. And we were kicked out of two of these places where we were teaching families. We were saddened by this, because we aren't entirely sure how we will continue to help these families now, but it was a testimony to me that we are doing the right thing. The truth always faces opposition. But just to kinda continue on with the theme of Joseph Smith, he has been on my mind a lot lately. And our Elders Quorum lesson was on him and I had even been reading in D&C about the letter that John Taylor wrote about his death. I was deeply touched by his testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have truly gained a testimony of him and his role that he has played in my life. While we obviously don't worship him, we can revere his name as one of the great ones that has ever walked this earth. He truly brought about a marvelous work and a wonder that has changed my life and each one of yours. Because of what happened in 1820, our family will be together forever and because of what happened in 1820, we can one day live with our loving Heavenly Father again. How grateful I am for that wonderful man, who had the courage to stand up for what he knew was true, so that we could have these wonderful blessings today. 
Unfortunately, it looks like the baptism wont happen on the 25th anymore.. Its going to be pushed back a little bit into May it appears. Umm, monkeys aren't as common over here in our new apartment. Every once and a while we see them running on the streets though. And some of the families that we teach do have kids. We are kinda in the phase of finding some new families so we don't have a lot of solid families yet though. And Easter... oh how they celebrate Easter here.
They have a lot of very African churches here... like traditional. And the people love them. LOVE them. They all dress up in crazy clothes and walk around with sticks and then they go to church on Friday and don't go home until Monday. They just sing and dance and then the King here gives some speeches at the national stadium... The people get what the people want. Its hard sometimes to see something so sacred as Easter getting treated as a chance to just kinda dance and party. But, as the world drifts farther and farther from the truth, we must stand firmer and firmer in our faith.
I don't know exactly why I was sent to Swaziland, but I can say that in these last 9 weeks, I have grown and stretched and my testimony has become even more solid than before. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes he does things to us that we can't understand until its over. I feel like I'm starting to see a little bit, of why he sent me here. I hope you all had a great Easter and that April is going well for you. Its going by quickly. My time is running out. But I still have 9 weeks to serve with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I know that the Lord has a plan for all of us, including the wonderful people of Swaziland. In his time he will bring about his great designs, and how wonderful it is that he lets us be a part of it :) I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Elder Lynn
PS we woke up early and went hiking on the mountain and made it to the top where we were able to take some really cool pictures of everything, including the valley down below where we live!

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