Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week #53 - Papa Lynn

Dear Family and Friends,

It is now about 5:30 PM on Saturday and in 168 HOURS three of our boys will be getting off the plane in Johannesburg and we will be waiting for them. I don’t know if they are excited or not but I know two people that are very excited. We are hurrying and getting things done in preparation for their weeklong visit. Just so the rest of you will know we will be driving back form Johannesburg on Saturday night and need to move right out as we must cross the Botswana border before it closes at 12:00 midnight. We should be well before that but I don’t want to sleep in the car so we will leave Johannesburg as quickly as we can. We will get as much sleep as we can and go to the Young Single Adult sacrament meeting at 10:50 Sunday morning. Come home and have a bite of lunch and then drive up to Kanye (this is Mom’s and my favorite drive) and count the donkeys on the way. We have told Mariah that we will be coming that afternoon. Then drive back and visit for the evening and have an evening meal and get another good night sleep.

The next morning we will see a few sights here in Gaborone and then cross the border again to go to Madikwe which is a game reserve. We need to arrive about noon and spend until Wednesday about noon seeing what animals we see. It should be great as President and Sister Poulsen have taken some of their family there and most of the office staff in Johannesburg has been to see it as well. We are really looking forward to the game reserve as we so much enjoyed the time we were in Kruger Park with Colin and Jenny Bricknell. Then Thursday we will visit here close to home in Gaborone and see what we didn’t have time to see on Monday.

Then on Friday we head back to Johannesburg to see what we can see and maybe do a little African shopping. We will put the boys back on a plane and stay overnight in Johannesburg and head back the next day.

It seems like a short visit but we hope to visit a lot and see a game reserve and see most of Gaborone and enjoy the travel time with the boys. Mike, Roger and Bryce thank you for preparing to come and visit us. We are very EXCITED and hope you are as well.

Now I want to write about some mission type news. Yesterday we had a conference call from Julie Jensen, Sara McBride in the church travel department in Salt Lake along with Joseph who is over travel in the area office in Johannesburg along with President Poulsen and me. You can probably give even just a little thought as to what was talked about. Of course it was better ways to get our missionaries visa or we call them here in Botswana residence permits. We finally decided to have the two ladies in Salt Lake put a test run on two missionaries coming either in June or July and see if they can get the visa before the come to South Africa Johannesburg Mission so they can serve in Botswana any time President Poulsen wants them to. In the mean time we will do what we have been doing all along and see what turn the immigration department will take on our applications that we have applied for. I had a really good talk with President Poulsen and he had Sister Henrichsen who is his secretary in the Johannesburg office in on the conversation as well. It has been even more mixed up recently. When the missionaries come into Botswana some bring the medical form 5 all filled out and some don’t so we have to wait and see who does and who doesn’t so we can make appointments. Some come with birth certificates and some don’t so we have to work on that also at the last minute. We ended the conversation with us going back to the old way we did them but we will still use Stix. He is getting a little easier to work with and it is helping a lot.

We fell at the moment that taking them to Lobatse is a great help. We hope the immigration office in Lobatse will continue to help us. It is too early to see but we hope to get some residence permits approved before next transfer which is the 5th of April. These 7 are the ones that replaced the emergency transfers about two weeks ago. This transfer is coming up next Tuesday and we hope to have these emergency transfers approved before they have to leave on the 5 of April.

That is enough of the detailed information. I want you to know that Mom and I love serving here in Botswana. It is hot this time of year but our mission home/office does have air conditioning and we put it to good use. We have great missionaries even if they do only stay for two transfers. This next one will be 17 if some of the residence applications don’t come through.

I have a great love for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I am happy to do what He wants done and we are very prayerful and strive each day to be guided by the spirit to do His will. Our goal is to do what He wants done and to say what He wants said and be an instrument in His hands. We truly feel the Holy Ghost as a guide in our lives. We pray hard for knowledge to know what needs to be done then we get up off our knees and work hard to do His will. Missionary work is the greatest work in the church. We get time to study to pray and to work, it is a great life. I hope and pray for each of my children their mates and each of their families every day. May each of you have a desire to do missionary work.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week #52 - Granny

Dear Family,
We’ve been on the road a lot lately and tonight we are home for about 36 hours and then we will be traveling to Johannesburg for 2 days. We’ve been to Francistown again this weekend, the second time in 10 days. The Cardiff’s go home in a couple of weeks and President asked us to learn the ropes up there and so we’ve been doing our best. We were lucky enough to be in attendance at their “record breaking” baptism on Saturday afternoon of 21 people going into the waters of Baptism and today receiving The Gift of the Holy Ghost. What a weekend! They had 155 people in attendance at the baptism and I have to say there was actually a “crowd control” situation and they ran out of a food a couple of times, but kept going out for more. I think
most of the people got something to eat, but we Missionaries all opted to wait and go home and have spaghetti at the Cardiff’s. It was outside on the grounds of their chapel (a home actually) but they do have the swimming pool to baptize in and it really works well for so many at one time. The children got a little restless and we couldn’t always hear the baptismal prayer, but it was absolutely amazing anyway. They have another baptism scheduled in two weeks and they
have 17 people “On-Date” for that day also. Today at church all of them were confirmed and it actually took more than the allotted time so we just had to run over about 15 minutes to get it all done. Dad also did some re-organizing in the Branch today and sustained some new leaders and gave 3 Brethren the Melchizedek Priesthood. It was a really full day and he also had to go over to the other Branch after church and do some Priesthood ordinances there. I went home with Sister Cardiff, prepared us a lunch for the trip home and we were off as soon as Dad got there. It
is almost a 5 hour drive so we were anxious to get home again. We will be super busy for Monday, trying to get caught up from being gone for 3 days and then we are going to go to the Temple with our wonderful YSA couple, Kgosi and Maipelo Matheo. We are leaving about 6
AM so we can get there as the temple opens for their Session. Our temple is only open Tuesday thru Thursday from 3:30 til 6:30 so the live session on Tuesday is at 3:30. We are taking them to the Distribution Center first to get their garments and their temple clothes as their wedding present from us. They were going to drive on their own but after the wedding (the Lobola and all the Festivities they had to pay for) they have no money so they are going to ride with us and then stay two days at the Temple Housing (free for them) and do more temple work and return on a bus. It will probably be years before they can return to the temple, so they wanted to go through more than once while they are down there. Our temple is actually open on Friday and Saturday all day, but they have to go through on Tuesday, the first day it is open after their cleaning break. They were married by the Bishop 2 weeks ago and they are suppose to go to
the temple within in a week or wait for a year; but since our temple was actually closed the Temple President made an exception and let them wait 2 weeks if they would be at the temple when it opens on Tuesday. We are excited to take them through and we will be the only people going through with them. They have no family that belongs to the church and no YSA friends that could make the trip to go through with them. President Poulsen has decided to end the Immigration “wow’s” for now and just do what we have to do to get through without making any
waves. The Legal Department of the Church is working very hard trying to change a few things, so President plans to just transfer the Missionaries in and out of Botswana every 90 days and not try to do anything else until we get work from Church Head Quarters. So next week we will have to transfer 10 Missionaries out along with any that are going Home and Heaven forbid there should be any “Inspiration” involved that might make it so President wants to transfer anyone else. We’ll just wait for the list and go to work as soon as we know what is happening. Dad has tons of work once we get the names of our new Missionaries, so President is trying to give us their names earlier than he used to so everyone is trying their very best to make the work load up here do-able. All of our missionaries are working very hard to help Botswana become a Stake. Our goal is still the 26th of June and our Stake President, President Hall from Roodepoort, South Africa is busy e-mailing all of our leaders periodically and checking up on their Goals and making sure they are getting more tithe papers and more worthy members of the church. The Missionaries have some new Ward Mission Plans that are receiving a lot of praise and support and the Members are really getting “on board” with the Missionary Programs. We are getting over 200 baptisms per month most of the time and everyone is working hard to bring many more souls into The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it seems that we don’t actually get to do very much Missionary Work, but we dear get to bare our testimony very often, sometimes several times a day on Sundays and at baptisms on Saturdays. We use to get to go out teaching once in a while, but since Dad has been a Counselor to President Poulsen, there are extra meetings, extra interviews, and now with our extra trips to Francistown; we are as busy as we can be without the actual teaching opportunities. We get lots of opportunities to talk to our new members “one-on-one” though and we do that every chance we get. They are beautiful people and we love them all.
Well, it’s late and I can’t even remember what else we did this week. I think I”ll just go to bed and tomorrow I’ll remember all the things that I should have told you. We can’t wait for Mike and Roger and Bryce to come and see us. We don’t have too much planned except our trip to Madikwe (the game reserve) but there isn’t actually too much to see in Botswana so we hope they aren’t too disappointed. Perhaps we’ve just become accustomed to how things look and don’t remember what is actually very different than home. It will be fun to see their reactions to Africa and hopefully all three of you will have a great time and be really glad that you came. All we know is that we can’t wait for you to get here and we are working “double hard” to have everything done so we can have a little free time with you. We are preparing our 3 sets of
Zone Leaders to cover for us for the days you are here, especially our trips to South Africa to pick you up and our trip back to South Africa to take you back to the airport. Our life is anything but boring and we’ll just take you to see all of our Villages, our chapels and some shops and there are some special people we want you to meet. Be Warned... It HOT & Humid here right now!!!

Mom and Dad, Granny & PaPa Lynn, Lynn and Lorraine

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week #51 - Papa Lynn

Dear Family and Friends,
Right now I really feel good about what happened at the
immigration office today because we went to Lobatse and had 7 new
missionaries apply for residence permits at their office. Things went
really well and I have been told by one of the immigration personal
that they usually take about 6 weeks. I will be praying every morning
and night hoping that will really happen. Cecilia who works for Stix
was there and did a great job of helping. She actually had paperwork
that made it easier to explain that we don’t need to apply for work
permits. Wow what a change. Perhaps we have started a breakthrough.
Now on the other hand we got a letter in the mail from the
Universal immigration office this afternoon that says they need a copy
of our churches constitution which we went through this with the last
group that was refused. I may start pulling my hair out. We had a
great morning and then we got this letter this afternoon. I will take
a copy of the churches constitution in to them in the morning.
Hopefully it will get there before we get another rejection letter.
Life is a little different around here right now as about a week
ago President Poulsen ask mom and I to be in Francistown for two day
each week between when Elder and Sister Cardiff go home and about a
month later when the new couple arrives and then train them in
Francistown. We hope we can do that in one three day visit. I think
we will have them come in from Johannesburg on a bus and then take
them to Francistown a day or two later and them on the way and spend
time with them for a couple more days. It is another opportunity to
serve President Poulsen and we will do our best. It is about the same
time three of our sons will be visiting, as Cardiff’s leave on the 1st
day of March and the boys go back home on the 4th of March. We can do
it all if the calendar doesn’t slide around on the wall to fast. We
will keep everyone posted and hope you keep us in your prayers. It is
a great roller coaster ride here in the mission field but we love
keeping busy and it helps keep our minds off thinking too much about
Well I will close for now as I haven’t read my scripture yet
today because of the early morning going to Lobatse and taking a car
in to the fender bender shop first. LOVE OUT OF BOTSWANA, DAD AND MOM