Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday, September 9th 2013

Well Thanks so much for your letters Mom and Dad and Austin. Austin I will probably send you a letter home soon in response to your letter. I printed it out so I can do that.

Mom, Im so glad you enjoyed my letters that I sent home. I really wanted to give yall as much as I could. In emails I feel so rushed to get everything in and read all the letters but with handwritten letters (when I find the time) I can fully express what I feel and what happened in the week. So I was happy I could share as much as I did in the letter home. I sent one to Zach the other day it should be coming in a few more days.

Its so good to hear about the family and how you are all doing!

Dad, I'm glad you enjoyed my letters too. Its so awesome to have you and Mom both as returned missionaries so that you know exactly what I'm going through! its awesome!

About the yeah the last 2 days have gotten pretty chilly! As I'm typing my fingers are pretty cold! haha It has been in the low 50's and probably high 40's this morning. But it warms up in the least for a few more weeks. If I'm here till November I'm told there will be plenty of snow and it doesn't go away till April. So yeah Im worried a little bit too. haha

Regarding the visa paperwork update you did for me, I hope that is good news for my visa. My companion has been here 3 months now and he said he has to turn in some police stuff too, but its different then what Mom did for me. He has to go in and get his finger prints done again or something and then send it in. So hopefully I don't have some of the same to do!

Thanks again for the letters and here is a quick update from my week:

So this last week has been pretty sweet to start out we had a baptism! Armida (the Marshallese lady) got baptized on Friday! Her husband Goliath baptized her and confirmed her yesterday in Sacrament meeting! He did so well. He was super nervous because he doesn't speak English very well, but he did it so clear and well! I was so proud of him! It was a wonderful service! The mission president was actually going to come to it (he occasionally does that) but was too far away to make it in time. But Troy had his interview just before the baptism and passed with flying colors and so his baptism is set for next Friday at 6 oclock, and the mission President said might make it to that one because he missed Armida's. So I sure hope he does, that would be so awesome!

Troy has been progressing so well! Along with stopping smoking, drinking coffee and accepting to pay his tithing, he is excited to serve in the church and give back what he received! He is going to be an awesome Home teacher! The bishopric is aware of this too and will be getting him a calling as soon as possible. He has never missed a Sunday at church and he finally is used to the meeting enough that he felt comfortable staying for the full 3 hours this time! His baptism was announced in sacrament meeting and priesthood meeting which made all of the members aware of him and SOOOO many people came to talk to him though out church. There was a lunch after church too that he stayed for and didn't even sit with us. He sat with other members and talked the whole time with them! It was the perfect hand off to the ward. He doesn't have any family in this area so he is excited to have his church family. Its amazing how faithful and strong he is and how much he understands about the gospel and the purpose of going to church.

We asked the Wyant Family, that has us over every Sunday for dinner, if they would invite Troy over as well. We had told them all about him and his progression to baptism and they loved the idea. They loved getting to know Troy and having dinner with him. After dinner we shared a message and after we shared a great message with the Wyants and Troy, Troy asked some great questions and he then expressed how much sense this gospel made to him and how so many more people need this message because they have never even heard of Joesph Smith or the Book of Mormon. He said " I lived in the town where the Joesph Smith Memorial was and I saw signs for it but I never knew what it was or who He was. And no one that I asked gave me a clear answer until I finally meet these Elders. And now I know Joesph Smith was a Prophet and that now Thomas S. Monson is our prophet. I know that now!" It not only touched us so much to hear him say that, but we could tell his testimony blew the Wyants away. When we left we hung back for a minute and they expressed how great Troy was and how strong his testimony was...they seemed so surprised! haha But they all committed to be at his baptism on Friday and they even moved some of their plans around to make it!

Troy is such a miracle. I will never forget him and the things he has taught me! He will be the perfect member to bring with us to lessons and teach with us. I know his testimony and friendship with help so many others come to the gospel. Elder Tewskbury, Elder Terry and I all can see him being a Bishop of this ward soon enough! haha We are so excited for his baptism on Friday. We will also be taking to the Joesph Smith Memorial on Thursday the day before his baptism which will be awesome. I will surely attach pictures of him next week after the baptism.

One last thing. Saturday was our transfer calls day, and we never got a call so that means we are staying here for another 6 weeks in a trio! It was quite unexpected actually, but we are happy so we can all see Troy get baptized! It would have been so sad to have left and not seen his baptism. So yeah that is the big news of this last week and what I have to look forward to this next week! We are so excited! This area is amazing! Elder Terry has been out over a year and has only been a part of 1 baptism and we are teaching over double the lessons he normally teaches in a transfer. (Plus most of our lessons are to actual investigators not mainly less actives which is what most of his lessons used to be) So yeah, like I always say the work is hastening and the members of the church are what make it happen! We have some great members here that make the work continue to progress!

Thanks for all the prayers and letters and I will hear from ya in another week!
Love you all so much!

-Elder Swalberg

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