Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week #41 - Papa Lynn

Dear Family and Friends 28 November 2010

This is the Sabbath before transfers and I am sure after yesterdays calls from the Assistants and the President many will be baring their last testimonies in many wards and branches. We are losing both of our Botswana East zone leaders today because one is going home the 1st of December and the other one that has only been here for one transfer is becoming one of the assistants to the president. It is fun because of my position as councilor and most like because of my immigration work here in Botswana I get to find these things out early. In fact President Poulsen talked to me and asked my opinion about white washing an area because he wants Elder Rodrigues to be one of his assistants. I told him that if the Lord wants him to be an assistant then white washing an area is nothing to worry about. As we ended the phone call he didn’t say what he would do but the e-mail I got later let me know it was happening.

We lose two wonderful sister missionaries this transfer as they are heading home. We get four to replace them and President Poulsen has given me liberty of putting them in the area I feel they will be of the most service here in Botswana. We will keep 2 sets in Francistown and 2 sets here in Gaborone. The two new ones coming in are brand new and the two going to Francistown. I would send them by bus but the two going home have both been serving in Francistown and will be bringing a car down and Mom and I will need to help the two new ones make the trip to Francistown. It is a five hour trip and they will follow us in their car.

We are still having problems with immigration as we haven’t heard anything on the group we applied for on the 9th of September but hopefully Stix our immigration man will be able to take care of it for us. I am beginning to think that President Poulsen is beginning to understand the complexity of what we go through every transfer. We are still praying that with Stix helping it will go easier and hopefully get residence permits much quicker. We will see.

Yesterday was the graduation program from the institute that is run here in Botswana. Last year they had 9 that graduated and this year 112 graduated. That is a large increase. Bishop Matswagothata is really a big fan of the institute program. He would like for investigators to be signed up even before they are baptized. It was wonderful except every meeting starts late here in Botswana and it was suppose to start at 4:00 Saturday afternoon and it was after 4:30 with a handful of people that Bishop Matswagothata finally started the meeting. After 10 to 15 minutes later we had a fair size group. Less than half got their diplomas’ because most had left the University the day before to go back to their villages or countries where they were from. It only took an hour and then we headed back to our flat.

Today we visited Lobatse branch and it was the primary program. It was fun and the children did a great job. After class the branch president invited me into his office where we spent an hour helping him iron out some member problems. I could only suggest as my authority does not cover branch or ward business hat fall under the Roodepoort Stake. I can only have authority in mission branches and the missionaries. He thanked me for my suggestions and I think he will get things worked out because of his calling. After the block we stayed for the baptism of a young man that I was blessed to have a second interview with during the past week. He is ready and is now baptized. He is a great young man and could be future leadership in the branch. He needs to find a wonderful member to marry.

Today we are feeding four with three of them being transferred either home of back into South Africa. Monday evening we are feeding 4 sisters two of which are going home after fulfilling great missions.

The above was written this morning and it is now 9:30 PM here in Botswana and we have had a good day. It was great to be in Lobatse and attend church and witness the baptism. Before we left we took a turkey out of the freezer that we bought a couple months ago and got it ready and cooked it on low for the 4 hours we were in Lobatse. We had 4 elders that were excited about a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Morgan’s. We also had a couple named Zulu. He lives here in Gaborone and she came to visit him from Zimbabwe. They are married and she and the children have all joined the church (she the mother has recently joined) the father living here in Gaborone hasn’t joined yet and may not. They enjoyed the Thanksgiving Dinner as well even if they don’t understand what Thanksgiving really is.

Well I will close expressing my love for each of you. Thank you for your letters and calls. You are the greatest. Those that don’t write please do so.

Love Out Of Botswana, DAD and MOM

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week #40 - Papa Lynn

Dear Family, Sunday November 21, 2010

We know all of you have had such a big week and you have been in our thoughts and prayers all week. We’re anxious to hear all about the weddings, sealings, travel, exams, and etc. so drop us a line and tell us all about things from your prospective. Sherrie sent some pictures from Braxton and Danielle’s sealing and Roger sent us three pictures as Dax and Melissa were coming out of the temple. We got them 4 minutes after he sent them so it was ALMOST like we were there in person. We aren’t sure exactly who was able to be there for Braxton’s sealing and for Dax’s wedding, but they both look like a big group of people and we are so thankful that you support each other and enjoy these very special times together. One of Roger’s pictures was of Grandma and Grandpa Beus and we sure appreciate everyone being so good to them. They write and tell us how good you are to them and how much they love our family.

We’ve had a busy week as it was our Stake Conference (actually it was our Broadcast from Salt Lake) so I guess it’s called Regional Conference. On Saturday we had the Leadership training meeting on the new Church Handbook of Instructions and Dad gave out his plaques he’s been working on for so long and he is really relieved to have that project done. He’s been limited for equipment to work with and without knowing where to get helping for lettering he needed and such, it’s been a bit of a nightmare and he finished 30 minutes before the meeting, but they are done and given out so he is breathing a bit easier today. We did receive the Leadership Training meeting as it was on a Disk, but when it came time for the Adult Session that was a Broadcast from our Stake Center in JoBurg, we couldn’t get it at all so the High Councilman in charge as Dad and I if we would be the speakers. I almost had a heart attack because I’m not really an impromptu speaker, but I did take about 10 minutes and dad spoke a lot about the goals of each of the Branches (6) and Wards (3) to become a stake. He did an excellent job of covering how everyone is working hard to win against all the struggles we feel from Satan and how if we all pull together it is possible for each group to meet their needed goals and reach our goal by June 26th, 2011. When we finished, they called on 2 of the Bishops to bear their testimonies and we all went home.

This morning they scheduled a New Member meeting for 8:30 and again it was coming from the Stake in JoBurg and it didn’t happen either so they called on several of the new members to introduce themselves and bear their testimonies. It was a good meeting but everyone was so disappointed as they wanted the new members to see the church in action and see the Stake President and his counselors. When it was time for the 10:00 meeting, we missed the first half hour as it was suppose to come from our Stake again and have all the sustaining and etc. but we did receive the last 90 minutes with Elder Oaks, President Packer, Sister Dibb and Elder Golden from the 70’s who is a native South African. It was a great meeting and President Packer closed the meeting with some blessings for Africa and the African people that made us all know that Heavenly Father knows all about the people of Africa and is aware of their needs and worries and that it is African’s Time and all will be well.

Tonight we had another Young Single Adult “Evening with the Morgan’s” and I think they really had a good time. We brought lots of board games and we set up 4 tables outside in our little front yard and they all gathered round and had a great time. They didn’t know how to play the games and you all know me, I’m no game player, so we had the Sister Missionaries come for an hour and help them all get started. It was a smashing success and they stayed until it was dark and they had to rush to catch their Kombi’s (public transport) and head for home. We served Root Beer Floats (without Root Beer) as they don’t have such a thing, but we served Fanta Grape, Orange, Raspberry and then the closest thing they have to Root Beer is Iron Brew and most of them went for that. We had about 40 Young Ladies and Gentlemen here and it was really lots of fun. Dad took pictures, I’ll have him attach a couple so you can see the fun!!

We are taking individual pictures of each of them and having them sign their names so we can to actually know them by name! It’s hard though as I tell the Sisters, I just get to know them and they completely cut off all their hair, or have it all braided instead of Frizzed, or wear a wig and then I can’t tell who they are again. Seriously, one week they have braids all over their heads and down their backs, and the next week they are shaved and wearing darling dangly earrings and they don’t even look like the same person. I’m working really hard to get to know their faces, but it is really difficult for me. I must be getting old, actually there’s no doubt, I am!

Also, we never did send you a picture of when we went to Kanye, our Branch that moved into their rented building just before President and Sister Bricknell were there. We took everyone outside on the steps and got a picture of the whole group. This is actually an office complex and we just rent an area in the back corner of the building, but it should be nice someday. Right now their toilets still don’t work so they have to lock them up, they have no ceiling so the noise level is extremely difficult for everyone but they are thrilled for the space as they were only meeting in the Missionaries living room before and it was WAY overcrowded as you can imagine.

Last but not least, we keep baptizing and are working hard to reach our Mission Goal “Bringing The Gospel to 2010 Souls During 2010.” Our Branch in Francistown had 13 baptisms yesterday, they are our heaviest baptizing area, but everyone is working hard to bring the gospel to our Heavenly Fathers choice people in Botswana!

I’ll close for now. We are working hard, loving our mission and getting way attached to these beautiful people. We got lots of hugs and handshakes from people from all of our branches today as they gathered for our Stake Conference. We love them all! Dad & Mom!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spiritual Thought for TODAY!!!

Family Spiritual Thought for Today!

From Helaman 3:30

The Phrase “to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob” means that the faithful will merit the association of these three great patriarchs and the reception of celestial-like rewards. According to D & C 132:37, “Abraham Isaac and Jacob have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorun of the Twilve Apostels explained that Church members may become heirs to the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:

The covenant that the Lord first made with Abraham and reaffirmed with Isaac and Jacob is of transcendent significance… We are also children of the covenant. We have received, as did they of old, the holy priesthood and the everlasting gospel. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our ancestors. We are of Israel. We have the right to receive the gospel, blessings of the priesthood, and eternal life. Nations of the earth will be blessed by our efforts and by the labors of our posterity. The literal seed of Abraham and those who are gathered into his family by adoption receive these promised blessings—predicated upon acceptance of the Lord and obedience to his commandments.”


Love Ya ALL


Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Spiritual Thought for TODAY!!

Family Spiritual Thought for Today:

Pres. Ezra Taft Benson taught that certain blessings come only through diligent scripture study: “Success in righteousness, the power to avoid deception and resist temptation, guidance in our daily lives, healing of the soul—these are but a few of the promises the Lord has given to those who will come to His word. Does the Lord promise and not fulfill? Surely if He tells us that these things will come to us if we lay hold upon His word, then the blessings can be ours. And if we do not, then the blessings may be lost. However diligent we may be in other areas, certain blessings are to be found only in the scriptures, only in coming to the word of the Lord and holding fast to it as we make our way through the mists of darkness to the tree of life.”
Love Ya, Mean It

Week #39 - Papa Lynn

Week 39

Dear Family and Friends, 15 Nov 2010

I don’t know where to start. I guess last week was another great week with President Poulsen coming to Botswana for Zone Leaders Conference with District Leaders and Trainers joining after two hours for the next two hours. This all happened on Thursday from 2:00 until after 6:00 and then President and Sister Poulsen took Mom and I to dinner. We ate at Rodizio Restaurant which was very good. I had fish, Mom had a chicken salad which was chucked full of chicken. Sister Poulsen had fish and President Poulsen had a lovely looking steak. May next time I’ll have the stake myself.

The next day everyone in the three zones come in for Zone Conference. Everyone except for Elder and Sister Cardiff, they don’t like the driving from Francistown to here very well. I don’t mind it that much in fact we are planning a trip to Francistown on the 26th which is Friday and then return after meetings on Sunday. Back to the Zone Conference, it was great and we learn a lot and learn to love President Poulsen even more. He is a great man and has the love of each of his missionaries. He treats me kindly and tells the missionaries that President Morgan knows Botswana better than I do so let him help you in decisions. He has given me the final say as to where we will have the second set of sister when they come the 1st of December which is the next transfer. The problem is that we have a nice expensive apartment in G-West area that has in the past housed two sets of sisters back when we had 3 sets here in Gaborone. But with 2 sets going up to Francistown everything has changed. But the 1st of December two sisters finish their missions and we get 4 to replace them so Francistown will keep 2 sets and we will then have 2 sets here in Gaborone again instead of just 1 set. The interesting part is that all four that are going to be here will all be trainers for the four new ones that are coming.

At Zone Conference or the night before Zone Conference, President Poulsen and I decided to ask the Botswana missionaries to fast Sunday for better results with the immigration department. I don’t know if I explained that Joseph Mokoena from the Area Office wants someone else to make the actual presentations for the applications for residence permits. I totally agree and we are in the process of getting this done. Today Monday Joseph came up from Johannesburg and he meet with a lawyer and also a man that we hope is an expert in immigration department work. We will see. He came to our home today and took some receipts of residence permits that should be completed but we haven’t heard anything so he will try and get some results.

I have complained enough about the immigration department so I’ll drop that subject. I am still working on the barometer plaques but I’m hoping to have them finished and past out this week end. If we didn’t have to keep up with everything else I could do it easily. Tomorrow morning I am putting a shower head holder in Broadhurst 2 elders apartment then going to Mochudi and putting a shower rod and curtain and shower holder in two bathrooms as we have 2 sets of elders in the same apartment. Then back to pick up some items for the barometer plaques and then to our zone leaders and putting in two more shower rods and curtains with shower heads for them as they two have 2 sets of elders in one apartment. We never have a dull moment here in Botswana.

Just today when I was expecting to pick up the lettering for the barometer plaques they said it would be Wednesday before the lettering will be ready. I can’t count on anyone here doing what they say they will do. We have two cars in the shop and they should have been done last Friday so they could have been picked up after zone conference but that didn’t work. In fact one of the cars will maybe done tomorrow which is Tuesday and the other one said most likely Friday a week after it should have been done. Here I go again complaining about things but it isn’t America and we have to remember TIA meaning This Is Africa. We have to say This Is Africa almost every day. We love the mission and doing the work of the Lord and we know He helps us every day. We feel of His love and could not do this work without Him. A week from today the journey is half over. Then we start the downhill part of the mission. It will go too fast but we are loving it.

Love Out Of Botswana, DAD and MOM

FAMILY Spiritual Thought for Today!

Some thoughts I had as I studied Alma Chapter 53-59

Alma 53:9 What caused the Nephites to be placed in dangerous circumstances? Iniquity amongst themselves.

“So it was a blessing to the Nephites after all to have the Lamanites on their doorstep to stir them up to remembrance. No matter how wicked and ferocious the Lamanites might be, no matter by how much they outnumbered the Nephites, no matter how insidiously they spied and infiltrated and breathed their bloody threats, they were not the Nephite problem. They were merely kept there to remind the Nephites of their real problem, which was to walk uprightly before the Lord.”

Alma 53: 10-18

Elder Ballard: Sometimes we are tempted to let our lives be governed more by convenience than by covenant. It is not always convenient to live gospel standards and stand up for truth and testify of the Restoration. But there is no spiritual power in living by convenience. The power comes as we keep our covenants.

Pres. Packer: Keep your covenants and you will be safe. Break them and you will not. We are not free to break our covenants and escape the consequences.”

Alma 56: 45-48

Elder Maxwell: Parents can only give what they themselves already have: “When a parent’s teaching and helping job is done well and when they are receptive children to receive the message, then we encounter those marvelous situations such as the one involving young men in the Book of Mormon who had been taught so well by their mothers. “The reliance, of course, by these young men on their mothers is touching and profound, but the mothers first had to know “it” in such a way that the young men, observing them closely and hearing them did ‘not doubt’ that their mothers knew that “it” was true.”

Sister Beck: The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know…When mothers know who they are & who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.” (I’m grateful ALL of my grandchildren have great Moms)

Alma 57

President Hinckley told the youth that they are out there as the Sons of Helaman in a world that is full of destructive influences. But if you put your trust in the Almighty and follow the teachings of this Church and cling to it notwithstanding your wounds, you will be preserved and blessed and magnified and made happy. You’re in the midst of Babylon. The adversary comes with great destruction. Stand above it, you of the noble birthright. Stand above it!

Summary: The Lord has repeatedly taught that while we may face difficulties and serious problems, if we are righteous and rely on Him, we can ALWAYS have confidence that He will be with us and His work will ultimately prevail.
Love Ya, Mean It!
Granny & PaPa Lynn

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An African Evening!

Dear Family & Friends,
Tonight we are having a real African Evening. We think that someone in the neighborhood has died and we are in the middle of a HUGE African funeral. There are cars up and down our whole street and they have been coming and going this afternoon, but tonight they are all here and I wish I knew them well enough to go over, but we don't know them at all. Everyone here has fences; I'm not sure who ever thought of putting up fences anyway; I really don't like them at all and I'm certainly glad we don't have one at home. All it does is keep you locked inside and your neighbors outside and no one knows each other at all.
Anyway, they have been singing and preaching and praying (loud), complete with the drums and shaking beads and I'm loving it! I told Dad that I feel like I'm in the middle of an African War Dance around the campfire and the entire village is participating. The rest of the neighborhood is unordinarily quiet; I'm sure they all know what is going are and are paying their respects; but I'd like to go over and take some funeral potatoes and green jello! I actually thought about walking down there to pay our respects, but maybe that wouldn't be respectful in their culture. Isn't it amazing how far apart we get in our different lands and cultures and our religions. I wish we could pull ourselves all together and be one! I love these people here in Botswana; they are friendly and kind and almost without fail when I smile and say "Dumela Ma or Dumella Ra" they smile back at me and say Dumella Ma only it sounds so much neater coming out of their mouth than it does mine. They roll their tongue and I can't understand many of the things they say, but I do have that one down! Cindy, you can tell Bryan how good we are doing because we've only been here 8 Months and we've already got the greeting down in Tswana.
I thought I'd share my thoughts with you this evening as we've been working outside on a plaque building project for the Stake President and feeling very far from home. I'm not sure if this is going to go on all night, but I'll try to remember to let you know. I'm actually loving it and really wish I could be a part of the whole thing just to see how they pay respect to their loved ones when they pass on. It's kind of like knowing the Dance Festival is going on next door and I couldn't get a ticket to go inside. Don't mean to be disrespectful, just being truthful.
Have a great day. It's about time for us to go to bed! Good Night!
Love to all, I really do miss all of you so very much!
Mom, Granny, Lorraine

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Prayers for Botswana!

Dear Family,
It's mid-week but we are asking for your prayers and for you to fast for us on Fast Sunday. We actually have had a really good day yesterday and go to take some much needed furniture (stove, fridge, desk, podium) to Kayne (1 1/2 hours away) yesterday and spend the day doing physical work with the Elders there trying to get their new building in better shape. The landlord there still hasn't put any ceiling in the building so it echo's terrible and all the noises from the cute little Primary children singing, the YW repeating their YW theme and the nursey crying comes right up and into the adult Sunday School class and they can't hear the teaching at all. They also still have leaking toilets so they aren't able to use them, they have to turn off the water or it runs down the hall and into the chapel. Anyway, things are a little better for them today, but dad couldn't fix the leaky toilet situation' we only delivered and cleaned and hung up some white boards and bullitin boards and put in a new shelf so they have a place for cleaning supplies and their baptismal clothes and do a few minor repairs as well. We also got to go to the home of our little Maria that is 18 years old, pregnant (she was raped) and had a really good interview with her and give her all of her options, including placing the baby with Social Services. She had to go to the hospital to be tested for Aids and HIV, but everything is fine there and her baby should be able to born healthy. While she was at the hospital they tried to convince her to have an abortion but she called the Branch President (an Elder) there and he was able to convince her to wait until we could come to visit with her. I gave her several talks and some other literature from the church about adoption and she has decided that is what she will do.
But the rest of the week has been tough with Immigration again as Monday we had to send out our 4 Missionaries that had their residency permits declined' they were only able to stay in Botswana for the initial 90 days and they got a 10 day extention to get out of the country once the final decision was made. President sent us 4 new missionaries to take their place but Immigration wouldn't accept their paperwork to even apply for Residency Permits. We were told they had to apply before they ever come into the country from now on; which means President would have to know 4-6 months ahead of time who he wanted to serve in Botswana. We also have 4 new Sisters coming the 1st of December and they can only serve in Botswana as South Africa is too dangerous for the Sisters to live in so they all come here for their entire 18 months. Our Area Office contacted the Botswana Embassy in South Africa about applying and they said we could not apply for Residency in Botswana until the Missionaries are actually in the country. so.............................
Dad was able to obtain an appointment with the Director of Home Affairs for 11 O'clock tomorrow and the church is flying in some help for us to go to the meeting with us. They are also trying to find a lawyer here in Botswana to go with us to the meeting tomorrow. We feel that if things don't change, the situation will be too difficult for President to even keep missionaries in Botswana. Satan knows we are all working very hard to find His elect so we can become a Stake by June 26th, 2011. He also knows what a blessing that would be for the people of Botswana, so he is doing all that he can to keep us focused on Immigration problems and not to be able to get the Spiritual work done. We are determined to win and become a Stake in spite of all that is going on so we are trying to encourage our missionaire and not let them know how serious it is with Immigration. Dad could use some extra prayers in his behalf and he is the Main Man when it comes to Immigration and he has to meet it "face on" at every crossroads. He is struggling, but will be fine when it's all over and decided for sure what they want us to do. We'll jump through the loops, we just need to know "how high" and "in which direction" to jump.
We love our mission here; the people are wonderful and It Is Africa's Time and we need your faith and prayers to help us make that happen.
We love you and we love your letters. It's the main thing that keeps us going right now; knowing that we have your faith and your support is the best thing we can possibly ask for.
Cindy, your last letter was wonderful and thanks for the update on your kids. I'm sorry I don't have time to write individually right now, was wonderful hearing about Bryan's mission and his blessing of "tongues" and also Kylea's good news about getting into the program she wanted.
Sherrie I just found your e-mail this morning and started reading it but we have to be down town for some other appointments in 7:30 AM and it's now 6 AM and I'v not collected all the stuff I need for the appointment. I did see the news (in red) that Braxton and Danielle and Kinli are going to the temple and We are so happy for them. Right now I'm not really sure why we are missing such great things with our family as I'm not sure how much good we are doing here, but.........................We will stay and keep trying harder.
Kricket, thanks for all the help with our blog and thanks for sending such cute pictures of your kids. Also, it was fun to visit with you the other night on the phone. It was like we were home again and I could just visit and visit with you.
Shaundalee, thanks for sending us pictures now and again from your cell phone, it's fun to see your kids growing up and Madi's halloween costume was so fun! She is growing up also.
Melissa, thanks for your weekly letters, we look forward to them every week and get so excited when they are posted! The pictures are always fun! and your new house in beautiful and we are so happy for you.
Sue, thanks for the fun Halloween pictures, you always do a great job with the costumes and it's fun to see the background of your pictures as it reminds us what our house looks like.
Thanks to all the rest of you for keeping us posting with your family. Those are just the recent ones we've heard from and I hadn't gotten time to thank them for the letters. We love you all and thank you in advance for your prayers in our behalf; we feel your love and support and we are trying our BEST!
Mom and Dad