Thanks for the Dear Elders with all of my friends mission updates! Its so awesome to hear how they are all doing! Especially cause there is not much time to write so many people!
And thanks for you dear elder you wrote too!
Its sad to hear about the Honda! Dad wrote me too and told me the story too. What a miracle though! But what is the verdict? You said it "gave up the ghost" and Dad wrote that you will probably get it fixed. I will miss that car, squeaks and all if it really dies by the time I get back. hahaha
And that is too bad Moroni had to come home for that! Is he doing alright? And does he get to go back out into the field once he heals up? Tell him Hi back for me and that I miss him tons! I can't wait to see him again!
That great to hear Taylor is going to Navarro, that will be so much easier! Thats like an hour and a half of his day saved right there just with driving! Give Taylor lots of love during the semester though, that sounds like a stressful schedule he has on his plate. I know he can do it though. He is one smart cookie! ;D Is he wanting to do anymore spanish?
What a great weekend it sounds like you had with the Scott and Brenda! I have a feeling that in a few more years, (all of us out of the house), you will be doing a lot more trips with them like that! haha I sure hope you guys get to, because you so deserve it! One thing I have noticed here is how glad I am that you and dad raised me the way you did! Just the simple things like cleaning up after myself, knowing how to iron my clothes, shine my shoes, sow on a button, ect. There are plenty of elders who didn't do many of these until now. And I am proud of what you taught me! You guys are amazing!
I am so happy to hear about the wonderful things that are happening at home with missionary work. What a great goal to make to have a missionary experience! I know that they will come and you will be blessed by it! And also so cool about the challenge to bring non members to the P. L. activity! Keep up the great work! There is much work to be done in the Lords kingdom!
Also I am glad that Megan sent that home! I can't get any pictures to send. The computers here are so restricted that it makes it hard to do much on them. But like I said I will send my SD card home!
(Here is the photo:)
I sure miss Burke and Gavin and the rest of my Sorensen Family! Tell them all hi for me and I will try to write them soon! Just let them know how busy I am! Its sucks I cant write everyone I want to. But it keeps me focused! And its weird cause I see James Warner ALL THE TIME. He just a few rooms down in our Residence Hall, and he goes to meals and Gym time at the same time as our district too! So yeah I think the sorensens a lot haha.
Okay so your questions! Dad had some of the same ones so I wont repeat them:
Q1. You'd mentioned you were going to be released as district leader. What were some of your responsibilities while serving as a district leader?
1. Yeah I was released Sunday, and Elder Sanders was called to be our new district leader. He is doing a great job, a little more bold and stern than I am but thats what our district needs quite often! haha As district leader I always picked up mail after Lunch and Dinner, I had to interview one person from each companionship each week, to see how my district was doing as a whole and then report to the Zone leaders, I went to branch council every Sunday to talk about our concerns in our districts. We now have a pretty large branch, 96 members! Its kind of cool. But I also lead any district meetings we had such as on tuesday after devotional we would discuss what we learned and I would lead and facilitate the discussion. And lead our district prayer every night and assigned out a quick devotional that have at night. And the unfortunate job of telling the Elders when they needed to be a little more mature or stop doing something, but I was able to do it with out being a dictator.
Q2. Have you had to go to the MTC barber yet? Are you needing any more hair gel?
2. Yeah it was last week that I got my hair cut. It was the shortest I have had it in a while! lol But I think thats why you thought I looked under weight because my hair was so short on the sides, Austin is right though, I have donuts and choco milk every morning and a bagel! haha I am eating well. I actually checked my weight today with a couple of Elders today and I am maybe a pound or 2 less than what I was when I left, so I am still good! haha
But on the hair gel, I have one more thing of gel left. I am glad I brought that extra gel. It might be nice to have one more before I leave here, and I could also use some more white athletic socks. They actually dont have any in the bookstore. The ones that I have at home would be fine. It just might be nice to have 2 more pair.
Q3. How many teachers do you have each? Do you always meet in the same room?
3. I have 2 teachers Irmão James and Irmã Danderfeild. They are both super great! Some days we have 2 sessions of class with each one of them (3 hours long) and sometimes just one of them. They are also our fake investigators but they are great actors and hold their character very well! And yeah we meet in the same room all the time. We keep all of our language books and what not in there and do our individual study (personal BOM reading, language study, ect.) It is like our second home with our Residence Hall.
Q4. How are your "investigators" doing? I like that aspect of having investigators to teach in the MTC. We did not have that when I was in the MTC.
4. My investigators are doing great! One is named Hino and he is a 45 year old man that is pretty sick and lives alone, but has been really accepting of the message. So much so that after inviting him to come to church he learned everything we hadn't taught him yet all on his own. And had no problems with anything. He knows everything is true and wants to be baptised sooooo bad! He told us in his last lesson that he wanted to be baptised tomorrow but had to explain that our District leader would need to interview him and then we would help him be baptised as soon as possible. We were so suprised but happy too! haha
Our other investigator is named Ana. She has committed to a date to be baptised and came to church last week. She is catholic but loves her new family (she is 25) and want to know the truth.
But yeah it is really cool to have these investigators here because it makes it seem so real and lets us make mistakes and it not be a big deal. Then we learn from our mistakes and do better the next time. And you can still feel the spirit when we teach and testify. It is so great!
Q5. When do you find out your reassignment, if your visa does not come through? I wonder if you will be able to call from the airport.
5. Well here is what I have heard. Nothing is set in stone or official but from what I have learned form other Elders that were going to Brazil too. So not very many people are getting their visas, but there are those few that do. Last Monday a district left and all of them received reassignments except for one who got his visa. Another district that just got here had 3 elders that got theirs and will be leaving in a couple days to go to the Brazil MTC. But anyway with that said we should get our reassignments by next Friday! We could still get our visas too, but I am almost certain I will be receiving a reassignment. But I am so excited for that. I know that if I go somewhere else first then that is where I need to teach someone. And from what I hear I will probably be able to call home once when I transfer or go striaght to Brazil! I am hoping for it! :)
Q6. If you are reassigned - are their areas in the US with a high concentration of Portuguese speaking people?
6. And it wont be a portugese speaking area. We will just teach in English but will just be studying Portugese as much as we can on our own while we are there. Everyone says that you arent there longer than about 1 transfer before you get your visa. So only 6 weeks.
Q7. Is your transfer date July 29 or July 30?
7. Well it says July 30, BUT it really depends one what is says on my reassignment travel plans or brazil travel plans. Because I really could leave the 29 (Monday) or the 30 (Tuesday). Missionaries that are leaving usually leave on Monday but quite often a few others from the disctrict leave on Mondays too. So yeah!
Sorry that took so long, Dad hopefully that answers everything you wanted to know too because I am running really low on time. I will send home a little package with my SD card an a letter that will describe my week a little better.
- Elder Swalberg