Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Hey mom!  This week has been crazy. I haven't really even been able to write in my journal much! Its kind of been an off week for me. But still good things happened.

To your last letter and this weeks:

So glad to hear about Zach's job and him getting started on that! My companion Elder Tewksbury worked for Best Buy for a while and really did well there and he loved it! He became a mobile specialist and was promoted a couple times, it sounds like a great place for Zach to work, if he hasn't applied there already!

Thanks for praying and fasting for my visa. I know that I will go on the Lords time and it will work out just fine!

So cool to hear about Jordan Reyes going to Riverside,CA! That is where 4 of the Elders in my MTC district got reassigned to! As far as I know they are still there waiting for their visas. All of my MTC district is still waiting.
And no to your question about the New Era we only get the Ensign.

Taylor, you are not a horrible brother! You are busy and so am I. I have the hardest time trying to write home and to everyone else that writes me! But I'm glad mom gives me an update on everyone though. Sorry to hear you have been sick though, and you too Austin! I can relate to not having time to be sick! Apparently our family is pretty close because even across the country I got sick the same time you guys are. The last 2-3 days I have had a really sore throat, cough, and mucus and snot out the wazzu!!! Luckily no fever, but just a little head ache every once and a while. Hopefully I will be over it in another day or two. Especially cause we are doing exchanges with the Zone leaders tomorrow for a day. I am going up to Lebinan Vermont to their area with Elder Tewksbury and Elder Terry will stay in our area with the other Zone leader. Anyway, I hope I will feel better for that whole ordeal.

And yeah, it is even prettier this week! I will send some pictures of it that show the colors even better!

During interviews with the president, we had a chance to talk with Sister Stoker too! She asked how our eating and exercising was doing and talked to us about how we can improve! She found out I was vegetarian and suggested I use quinoa instead of rice. Which I really think I should, and I already had bought some veggie bullion that is pretty good!  Anyway I just noticed I can do better at my eating habits too!

I will talk about conference in my letter about what has been going on down below.

 Thanks so much for the booklets! My companions and I loved having them! My companions both asked me to thank you for putting them together and sending them. Elder Tewksbury said this was the first time he ever watched all of conference and took notes for EVERY TALK through-out all of it! He was really excited about it and loved reading the facts about the prophets and apostles. i gave one to Troy and also one to Cristi Wyant. She is 19, and we know her family really well because they feed us every week! She was at the church watching it there every session so yeah. She really liked having it and thought it was super cool! Idk if I said this before but she is preparing to go on a mission, She just turned 19 a few weeks ago, but she is waiting for her older brother Cyle to come from his mission this December before she goes. Anyway The booklets were much appreciated and we loved them! haha

Thanks for your incites on the BSA broadcast this month with the church. I told Bro. Wyant about it and it seemed like they didn't know about it. So i hope I can help them know more about it and announce it in church and I love the idea of going to the other troops. i know who the scout master is in the ward so I hope to get ahold of him and get his help on inviting other troops to watch it. Is it going to be broadcasted to all the ward buildings like General Conference or what? I know you can watch it online but yeah I wasnt totally sure  on that. I can research that a little more tomorrow during our hour of time tomorrow. But yeah 2 of the 3 of us are eagle scouts and one was at least involved in scouts. Thanks for this idea for finding and reaching out to the community.

Also thanks for your thoughts on Ward Mission Plans! I have studied that more this week in PMG and I really think our ward here needs to refocus themselves to it and improve it. I have already talked to the Bishop about it, but he doesn't even really know what it all contains. As we continue to visit more member homes I want to help them create a family mission plan and personal mission plans as well! I am excited to use what I have learned in Gen. conf. to help with that! There was some great council from elder Ballard to the members and missionaries! I will comment more about his talk later in this emial!

And thanks for the pizza we went out a week ago from this past saturday at Romutoz Brick oven Pizza! It was more expensive than I thought, but it was super good and thought you of you during it! You would have loved it! It was your kind of style of pizza for sure! You going to have a brick oven outside by the time I am home along with your outdoor kitchen? haha.

Thanks for the letters and emails! I got your post card also! That was a nice surprise! I also got a little package from lynette and her family also. Let them know I got it and that I will write back sometime to answer their questions in their letters! Thank them so much for that! It was awesome!

Alright here is what I wanted to share to you all for this week and I will try my best to get it all in before I run out of time. I took extra time to plan out what I wanted to share this time! haha

First the explanation about my face that Dad asked about.
So the Thursday before my birthday we taught Troy a lesson and were late to our next appointment so we were hurrying down the stairs in the apartment building and with my big thick soled shoes, that I am still not used to walking and moving around in, on I tripped about 6 stairs and fell straight into the wall below! I punched a whole in the wall trying to catch myself and then my face planted right on the corner of the wall. (that part was reinforced with metal so the wall didn't brake there...just my face! haha) But It was just bruised and sore for a couple days and made for a good converstation starter for the next week! haha. You can't tell at all anymore. So its all good. But the tripping jokes never stop from my companions.

Well here is an update on our investigators. It has been a kind of rough week with them. We only met once with one of our progressing investigators, Helen. She was asleep the other time we can by, so we just talked with Jason for a little bit. But she has smoked twice in the last 4 weeks which for her is seriously a MIRACLE! She is still on the patch but braking the habit of having a cigarette in her hand is a big accomplishment. We are going to talk to her about family history this week. Jason has been helping her find information and documents about her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other family members that have died so that Jason can do the baptisms for them. She loves the idea of family history! So I am going to bring the pedigree chart that Grandma Landon and Grandma Swally helped me with before I left and also bring the stories of William Cook Prows and Austin Hammer and read her some of those stories! It should be a great lesson and discussion.

Alan canceled on us this week because he was feeling sick. But last week he essentially said he wasn't quite ready to commit to baptism yet. He knows he can't drink coffee but he doesn't want to give that up and also is worried about going to church every Sunday. But he also said that he believes what we have been teaching him and wants us to continue to come back. This man is 74 years old and hasn't had this desire to learn from the missionaries the whole time he has been married to Sister Bullis so this is really still such a miracle that he still wants to learn from us and continue to grow in his faith.

Leonice the Brazilian has been in Brazil this last couple weeks so really this week we just want to meet with her more.

Glenn we are still trying to get to the JSM, but he just struggles to accept commitments. But we will be meeting with them this week and hopefully have a great lesson with him.

Dang it Im running out of time.

Well this week we had interviews with President Stoker! I loved it and getting to talk to him about my struggles and accomplishments was great and really comforting! It was like talking to my parents again! President Stoker and his wife are so wonderful to each of us and I love spending time with them! They have such a concern for each and everyone of us!

Conference was sooooo great! Even though I was blowing my nose the whole time because I have been sick the last couple days, I loved it! I had candy to snack on through out it just like at home! haha and had the booklet which made it seem more like home too! But I loved doing it as a missionary. New things popped out to me as being a missionary. and also the Wyants were so gracious to invite us over both days for dinner! They are an awesome family and sure take care of the missionaries even when its a sacrifice for them!

I love so many talks but especially Elder Ballard's talk! He stated so boldly that "NOW IS THE TIME for missionaries and members to work together!" I know this is the way that the Lord is hastening his work! There is no other way that the work will progress faster! I can't wait to help members work better with us!

Well I did my best to get everything in. but I have to go now. I love you all so much and hope you continue in all the great things you are doing at home! Thank you for all your prayers and support!

-Elder Swalberg

Here are a few pictures also like I promised!

The trees are beautiful! and seriously there are apple trees everywhere so you can just pick them! I never have to buy apples! Haha I love it!

And guess who is in my Zone now!!! Yep Elder Richins! We saw each other at Zone interviews with the President! We both freaked out! haha Pretty cool! Make sure Momma Sorensen sees this!

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