Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 2015

Bom dia family!
So, our week was an interesting one! Things got a little changed up! So, yes the plan was that I was going to get another companion and train him right? Well then I got a text from President the day before he came and he said, wait, i've changed my mind, call the elders in Mbabane and tell them that he is going to be with them. I can tell you that I was more than a little relieved to know I wasn't going to train again. Don't get me wrong, training is fun, but can be a little stressful. So we were going to just stay the same. Then I got another text from president later that night that said, elder, i'm thinking about some changes, let me pray about them and then we'll talk more tomorrow... so we waited. then about lunch time on tuesday he called us with the news. With the way some of the companionships were in the mission, he made some changes so that no one would have to walk in a trio. Therefore, Elder Willian was transferred to Beira on wednesday, the new elder went to Mbabane, and my new companion for the last 3 weeks is Elder Macanige from Beira! I finally get to serve with a mozambican! He was also Elder Galland's last companion haha. He has been on the mission for about 6 months and has been learning english and is doing really well. He is extremely funny and its been so nice to have a piece of mozambique with me again. He has been kinda thrown around to every branch in Swaziland so far but he's really positive and has a great attitude. One thing that I love about the mozambicans is their happy attitude and humility. He is no exception. His story is one that comes from a humble and tough beginning to where he came out to make it on his own. He is 23 years old and he is truly awesome. So, our week got a little bit changed up with that. You know, our branch has been struggling a bit in quite a few areas, and so its been nice to have him here because his branch was one of the worst in the mission, and now it went from what it was, to now two wards with a sacrament meeting attendance of around 200 people in both wards (all of this happened in the time that I have been here in Mozambique.) So its been nice to have him with his ideas and testimony of the power that the members really do have in the missionary work. So one of our ideas that we've had comes from a talk by Russell M. Ballard. Its titled "Be Anxiously Engaged." We want to create a new feeling of Christlike love and service throughout the whole branch and in ourselves. So in this talk, he gives a challenge, or a simple practice that he promises can change us. He says, "That simple practice is: In your morning prayer eachnew day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognizean opportunity to serve one of His precious children.Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faithand love, looking for someone to help. Stay focused,just like the honeybees focus on the flowers from whichto gather nectar and pollen. If you do this, your spiritualsensitivities will be enlarged and you will discoveropportunities to serve that you never before realized were posible." So, we've decided to go around and visit all the members and challenge them to do this same thing as we ourselves are also doing it. Our hope and prayer, is that as we do this, we will create a habit of always doing good and the Holy Ghost will guide us to people who will in turn be open to hear the gospel. I'm excited to see what new opportunities open up to us as we do this! In the talk he also compares doing these small acts of kindness and service as the honey bees contributing their small bit of honey. How it may not seem like much but as he says, "Great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands “anxiously engaged in a good cause.” And its true. We can do great things if all of us will work together and be anxiously engaged in a good cause. Something else that I read this week that really applied was a talk by Thomas S. Monson. We've been facing a lot of struggles lately. And at times it can be very easy to focus and what we don't have. How many investigators we don't have. How many lessons we aren't teaching. How many contacts we aren't getting. And so this talk was very timely for me. He says, "In the book of Matthew in the Bible, we have anotheraccount of gratitude, this time as an expression fromthe Savior. As He traveled in the wilderness for threedays, more than 4,000 people followed and traveledwith Him. He took compassion on them, for they maynot have eaten during the entire three days. Hisdisciples, however, questioned, “Whence should wehave so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so greata multitude?” Like many of us, the disciples saw onlywhat was lacking.

“And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye?And [the disciples] said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

“And [Jesus] commanded the multitude to sit down onthe ground.

“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gavethanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, andthe disciples to the multitude.”

Notice that the Savior gave thanks for what they had—and a miracle followed: “And they did all eat, and werefilled: and they took up of the broken meat that was leftseven baskets full.”
Too often we are like the disciples who saw only what was lacking. But thankfully we have the Savior who always provides us with the perfect example showing us that when we look at what we do have and give thanks, the miracles will follow. He says also, "Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings." And so that is my new task for myself. To really look at and give thanks for what I have, not what I do not have. Maybe nothing drastic will change, but there is one thing that will change for sure, and that is that I will no longer have anything to be sad for because I will constantly recognizing everything that I have been given. We have so much to be thankful for and yet so little time to give thanks that we don't have time to complain about what we don't have. I know that as we try to become more like our Savior in at least these two simple ways, by rendering much service and giving thanks for all that we have, that our lives truly will be filled with a new light. The work of the Lord continues on... it truly does. It will never stop. I love it! Missionary work is the best kind of work. I'm going to cherish these last days that I do have, to say that I am an ordained missionary of Jesus Christ! I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Elder Lynn 

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