Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Well I now have my feet planted in the cold ground of Damariscotta, Maine! 
I am getting to know the area very quickly and also the members! I love them all, and it is actually a lot easier to serve in area with a Branch at least when trying to get to know everyone in the Branch, because there aren't as many names to remember! haha But really there are some great people up here! What I love is that so many of them are converts, its more of a rarity to find someone born in the church than not! It sure helps when teaching with them! I love it! 

Going from a trio to a regular companionship is really really weird! It is so quiet now! haha Its been wired but I am getting used to it and it is working just fine. My companion Elder Dally, is from Provo, Utah, but originally from New Mexico and Alaska. He is 20 yrs old now and has been out about 7 1/2 months. This is his first time being senior companion, so it allows me to learn a lot with him. So that is good. 

With our last 3 baptisms this past weekend, we are not visiting them as much. Our Branch Mission Leader, Bro. Royer,  has stated he wants the Branch Missionaries to teach them along with other members (home teachers and visiting teachers). I think it will be good. But that also cuts down on our normal lessons. But we are still teaching a few others.

One of them that is progressing a lot is Norm Carlson! Bro. Carlson is great! He is like already a member! He is soooo nice and lives a very good life. He is 83 years old and a very large man, practically wheelchair bound, but can get up and walk with a walker as support if he needs to. But since I have been here he has stopped drinking alcohol and coffee. Coffee was the biggie for him. But he has come to church without missing for more than 2 months, and has an amazing fellow-shipper, and previously less-active member no less! His name is Brother Giusani! He is awesome! He has been active for the past 3 or 4 months now. He still shows up in his sweets to church just like Norm, but I thinks its great! haha Bro Giusani goes with Norm to help in and out of his car and wheel him into the church building and to classes through out the day. Bro Giusani is retired, probably in his mid 60's, but really him and Norm are best buds! Its the best! 

Norm also recently got a roku box and has been watching everything he can possibly watch on Mormon Channel on his TV. Last time we came over we finished watching President Monson's Biography called "To the Rescue" with him. It was great! We had Bro and Sister Duffy (Branch Missionaries) with us that time and she bore here testimony later in the lesson about her own conversion and how she got an answer, and we were able to challenge him to pray about what he has learned so far, and he accepted. He also accepted a date for Nov. 30 to be baptized if he comes to know these things are true! I can't wait for our lesson with him tomorrow to talk to him more about it! He is such a great guy! Oh and his voice is the best he has the most calming deep smooth voice you can imagine! haha I love hearing him talk and read things in the scriptures aloud! haha 

Anyway we have a few other investigators that we teach every once in a while but aren't really progressing right now. But I will tell you more about them as time goes along.

One miracle we saw this week was concerning our district goal though, it was to tract for 5 hours this week. We all (4 companionship) had not received any new investigators and not many referrals. So that was our goal. I was not a big supporter of this at first. I had not tracked one door on my mission and I thought that was how it should be now that we are working with the members so much and it worked in my last area sooo great! But this is a new area and through much study, prayer, more study and more prayer I came to a very spiritual conclusion that I needed to support this decision to tract and so I put all of my faith into finding someone through this goal. Well the next night we went out and knocked on a total of 4 doors before we were let in by the husband of a librarian that we are with every week helper her out at the library! Her name is Jen and her husbands name is Brooks. they asked us to tell them more about our church and we had the opportunity to teach them the restoration very quickly and invite them to church. They didn't come yesterday but I know we will have the opportunity to see and meet with them again! They are looking for a church right now and I know this was meant to be! The Lord really does have a plan for each of his children and inspires us to do certain things to accomplish those plans! I am grateful for the gift of the holy ghost to lead and guide me and receive answers to what the Lord wants me to do! 

 Well Thats all I have time to say this week but I am so happy to be hear and am excited to see what more this area brings to my life and mission. 

I love you all! 

-Elder Swalberg

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