Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Monday, December 16th

Hey there!

This week has been pretty great! But there has been a lot of wintery weather really starting to happen. I wake up mornings and it looks all warm because the sun is out and the sky is clear, but we step outside and find out its like 15 degrees outside! Its insane! Anyway, but the snow that we got earlier in the week didn't keep us off the roads, they do a good job at making them safe here in Maine, Everybody and their dog has a pickup truck and a plow on the front! Its crazy, I even just looked out the window and saw a truck pass by with plow right on front! haha 

But we went on our normal run with Brother Duffy! It went really well. We say Kathy & Chrissy, Norm, and Rob & Misty. Kathy and Chrissy are doing really great! They love us coming over and its the whole family that is over when we meet! Brother Doray (Andie's Dad and Chrissy's Husband) and Andie are always their and Kathy even talked her husband Mason to come and sit in for the lesson. We covered the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it just went super well! The spirit is just always when we teach them! So obviously, thats why it goes so well! haha Anyway, we are trying start the stop smoking program for Chrissy to help her reach her goal of being baptized on Jan. 11th. We gave them homemade calenders that we would use to help them know what we have covered, record reading assignments, and have the goal of baptism somewhere they could always see it! We made one for Norm too, and thats the one I have a picture of, but the other ones are very similar just different names and scriptures. But this idea came from Sister Kelsey Edwards. I saw her and her companion do it with some of her investigators and I am so glad we did, because they all loved them and really appreciated the thought that went into them. So shout out to Sister Edwards: THANK YOU! haha

And so Norms lesson went well also! We are working out the physical aspect of him being baptized and Bro Giusani has found out a recreational center not too far away is willing to let us reserve the pool for an hour. So that is probably what we will do, we just need President Stoker's approval. But then we will be all good to go that way! We talked about tithing with him and watched Elder Bednars Talk with him, and committed him to pay his tithing after he was baptized. He said, "well I'm not sure, I won't really be able to give much." But we related it back to the widows 2 mites and he then agreed, and got the principle of it all. Anyway, I am just so excited for him to be able to be baptized! He is just amazing! 

Rob and Misty Im not sure if I have even mentioned. They have been investigators for about a year but due to previous missionaries, I am not sure if they even know they are investigators. They will read and pray with us when we ask and listen to what we share, but get so off topic and don't keep any commitments. This was all because previous Elders just went there and talked with them occasionally bringing up the gospel and calling that a lesson. This area had multiple of those instances according to what I have seen in some of the previous investigators. But we are just trying to change that. Rob is now starting to listen to the Book of Mormon on tapes on his way to work, which is a great step. We are just trying to get them to come to church! Brother Duffy has really been good about hammering that invitation. We will see what happens this week.

On Friday we have Zone interviews! So our whole zone get at the Agusta Chapel, and we first had our zone meeting, with our zone leaders and gave us some council on Planning and also gave us a 12 days of Christmas challenge. We had to do certain things on each day leading up to Christmas. Here is a quick list of the 12 days:
Day 1: One baked good made and delivered to a member.
Day 2: Hand out 2 Bibles
Day 3: Hand out 3 DVD's 
Day 4: Teach four Luke 2 messages (Thats today)
Day 5: Contact 5 former investigators
Day 6: Deliver 6 Christmas cards to investigators or less-actives
Day 7: Invite 7 people to download free music on or send an e-card.
Day 8: Go without the car all day "Car fast"
Day 9: Seek 9 Christmasy Refferals.
Day 10: Prepare 2 Christmas Baskets for 2 members to give to a non-member friend.
Day 11:Teach 2 Christmasy FHE's
Day 12: Sing 12 Christmas carols to anyone

So yeah, thats all 12 days and it is supposed to be a challenge by district. So far our district has done each of them in each area! The winning district gets some kind of Prize. haha ITs been hard, but fun and an act of faith each day to get it done! Especially on a day like yesterday when it snows a foot and a half and you can't use the car, and church is canceled along with all of the other plans you made the night before. 

Yep Sunday we got a snow storm and it put us without a car and gave us a whole day to do stuff! The assistants called everyone and said to get out and serve if you don't have a car, that shoveling people out of their driveways will be a great use of our time. So we spent about 6 hours outside in the snow, walked a lot going door to door seeing if they needed help. We were usually rewarded with a quick chat and some hot cocoa! So we met a received a few potentials and helped out multiple people who really appreciated the help! It was cool, but when the time came to head in for the night we were both soooo pooped! haha!
Anyway, the moral of the story is no matter how bad it gets up here with the weather, we have lots of wonderful things to do to further the work of salvation! 

We also had the Christmas party on Friday, and Brother Manning saw me without a really warm coat and so he brought me one to barrow while I am here, and I am so glad I had that yesterday! It sure saved me!

Anyway, I am so excited for Christmas and hope everyone takes this opportunity to give out invitations as it is the perfect time to do it!

Love you all!
-Elder Swalberg

Here is the calendar that they created for Norm...

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