Sunday, October 20, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Okay so a run down of the week:

So this week like last week hasn't been too great according to our numbers or key indicators. BUT yesterday we saw the fruits of our labor! Between our Mission Vision, Zone goal, and General Conference, we have been directed to work with the members over and over again! That is the inspired way that we will have the most success. Well this has been practically going to see Less Actives, Recent Converts, and members! We only got to see Glenn this last week. So other than him we have been working with the members solely! We probably did like 12 or 13 ours of service this last week! A lot of which for the members! It was good though! We are starting to see that trust that the members have in us by asking for our help! We get to know them better and get to serve them at the same time! They are also feeling more comfortable with the missionaries too! 

This has been great! And we also do member stop bys where we just go to members homes and try to stay for 20ish minutes and quickly get to know them and know how we can help them at all. And then share a message with them. This is truly an inspired way to work. 

We get to council with the Bishop quite often. This week we met with him for about an hour and discussed the happenings of our work and what we needed form him. During this meeting he asked us to visit a member that he noticed that hadn't been to church in 8 weeks and thinks they had been offended in some way. So we said that we would the next day we had some extra time in the evening and I felt prompted that we should go over and talk with them. So we did. We simply went to go and ask them how they were doing and if there was anything we could do to help them out. We talked for a little while on their porch and asked them about how they were doing and the Sister almost started to cry and looks to her husband and says, "Well the missionaries stopped by." And went on to explain that earlier that day they had talked about maybe coming back to church this week. And that all she was really waiting for was someone to come by or call her to show that they cared and that she was missed! 
It was such an eye opener to me! We expressed the love and concern that many of them had expressed to us about them and said we really would love to see them at church again! They agreed to come and could tell how much they appreciated our visit.

I know this is the case for so many other less active members. They were either offended, felt forgotten, or simply not loved. And all they need is a friend. Someone to reach out and care about them. Someone to express the wards love for them and that our heavenly father loves them too. And that He wants them to be at church. There were so many talks in conference about going "TO THE RESCUE" for all of these less active members! This is missionary work too! And its a great place for the ward members to start doing missionary work. These are people who have already been taught the gospel, these are people who had a testimony or still have testimony, and are the ones who are really in trouble for not going to church, because they have already made those baptismal covenants. 

Ward council yesterday was sweet! Most of the meeting was revolved around missionary work. Our ward, like many others, have close to 400 inactive members on the ward membership list in the area. I got to share briefly our miracle of visiting a less active member and the huge benefit those visits can be for those people and asked for their help to recognize those who have missed church for a while and to then give them a call or visit them. Bishop made a few comments about visiting all of these less actives also. We saw a big drive and excitement from the whole ward council to go and visit as many as possible. They were willing to do it and a finding night is in the works where all of the ward council including us will go out and visit a bunch of people we don't know and invite them back. It was a great meeting!

 After ward council, Our Ward Mission Leader bore his testimony during sacrament meeting he was like the first one up there. He said how he felt "chastised by the Holy Ghost" (in his own wards)  this morning as he didnt want to come to ward council this morning and was late. He said he has had a change of heart towards his calling and that he needs to do truly magnify his calling. He bore a beautiful testimony about prayer, reading the scriptures and then magnifying our callings! It was incredible! And he also told us after the meeting that he didn't want to wait for them to set up a date for a finding night. He asked us to find a night we can go out on splits with him and we can find some of these less active families and get them back! We were so excited to hear him say that and were totally on board! 
During Elders Quorum he came in and gave me a piece of paper with 5 names on it with addresses and phone numbers and said. "Here are 5 name of people I don't know that I found, all in Newport. (one of the towns in our area) Lets start here! Let me know when you guys can go in the next couple days and we will visit them and a few others that I have in mind!" WOW! It was awesome! I have never seen him so fired up! Such a miracle

Many other members came up to us during church asking for our help with service opportunities, help on setting up a mission prep class for the youth, meal appointments for the week, and even asked who they could go visit in their area to help us out! It was a miracle and I know it came because of our efforts to work with the members more and make them our focus! These are the fruits of our labor and although we may not see them in our numbers they were definitely evident! 

I am so grateful for the guidance we receive from our leaders! It is all so inspired! This work is hastening and is in the Lords hand and nothing will stop it form coming forth! I love this work, and I love being such a big part of it at this exciting time! Miracles are real and I see them happen everyday! And they happen according to our obedience to what our father in heaven asks of us! Keep up the member missionary work at home, and get all excited about this work! 

I love you all so much and think of you often!
Your prayers are much appreciated! I still need them! This is a fun work, but hard work!

-Elder Swalberg

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