Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday, May 19th

So hey there everyone!

This week has been crazy! I will start with the bad part of the crazy:

Last Tuesday, (I am going to be brief with the story part even though it doesn't cover everything I want it to, because of not enough time) we were helping out at the horse farm, moving hay, and shoveling Horse crap. There was another man, Ernie, there that was friends with the older couple that own the farm, and Ernie was there just to help out because they were allowing him to keep his horse there for a while. He was helping us for about and hour, but then he went into another barn to use his tractor and about 40 minutes later we were leaving and said bye to Cheryl who was the lady whose farm it was, and then as we were about to leave she runs back over to us and yells for our help. We get out of our car, and she explains that Ernie is passed out and is not moving! We ran over to the barn where he was working on his tractor while she called 911. He had passed out and clamped himself in-between the tractor and a pivetting back-how arm that was attacked to the back of the tractor. He was all purple and it didn't look good. We checked his pules and didn't feel anything. We didn't know what else to do but give him a blessing. I grabbed my oil from my belt-loop and pored oil on his head and Elder Hancock quickly anointed him, and I then sealed and blessed him. I knew he had no pules, but i also know I just saw him but 40 minutes ago working with us...I knew the priesthood could heal this man and allow him to rise up and walk. So I blessed him to do so!.....But I lifted up my hands from his head and nothing happened. The paramedics and police came, and they knew there was nothing they could do. We stayed to give our record of what happened and answered any other questions they had for us. And then we were able to leave. We were a little traumatized at what had just happened, so after talking about for a while, we called President Stoker. He gave us some advice and as well told us to read "Healing the Sick" by Elder Oaks (April 2010 Gen Conf) and to receive a blessing from someone as well. We read it, and I wont go into it other than it really helped, and you all should go and read it,...and we also got a blessing from Brother McInnis that evening. From the talk, the blessing, and words from President Stoker. I know I didn't do anything wrong. It was God's will for that man to go that day. But I still know even more strongly now that if I am prompted to use the Priesthood to raise the dead, I know it will happen. I cannot explain how much my testimony of the preisthood has grown. I know this experience was not to freak my out and to traumatize me, but to help me to always remember that I need to always be ready to act and use the priesthood I hold and always be worthy of it nd to not be hesitant to say anything I am told to say by the spirit! I am so thankful for this experience and have learned a lot from it, even as the tragedy it was.

The happier crazy part of my week was the temple! Every 6 months we get to go to the temple now, and I finally got to go this Friday! We drove down to Boston with Brother and Sister McInnis. We left at 6 am and got there at 8 am. We didn't leave until 4pm! We ended up getting to do 3 sessions! and be in the celestial room 4 different times! The Boston Temple is soooo beautiful! It was so great to be there for so long. Sister McInnis brought a great lunch for us so we could quickly go out to the car and eat and go back in! She is so awesome!
I ended up getting to see both of the new films!!! I was so happy about that! I really love Film C (the newest one)! It helped me understand so much more, it was so cool to see how the emotions and actors could change the whole thing! I was so spiritually full by the time we left! I am so thankful we have that blessing to go there once every 6 months!

One more thing! Jeffery Neumayer has been an investigator for onl like 3 weeks, but has shown sooo much commitment and has been to church ever since we invited him to be baptized! He accepted the date of June 14th!

I am so excited and am glad for all the experiences I am having here!

I love you all!

-Elder Swalberg

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday, May 5th

Well this week has been crazy! With spring now finally really showing here in Maine, we have had many opportunities to serve!

It started out with a service "referral" given to us by President Hawkes, (A counselor to President Stoker). He called us about a family that they know through a homeschooling co-op (Yeah, thats right buddy!)
that need some help with a project that they were involved with. They were clearing a hiking trial in a wooded area, and we were doing it practically all day! We got a lot done though! Larissa (the mother of this family, also helping) fed us an amazing lunch and Dinner! They are all vegetarians so that worked out well! haha
They are super nice, but I saw such a huge difference from their homeschooling and how I was homeschooled. I was taught not just secular things but things of God. What a difference it makes! Don't get me wrong, they were all very intelligent, and great company, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ enhances learning. And this particular family strayed away from the Curriculum that a lot of homeschoolers use, BECAUSE they used Christian beliefs to help teach the specific subject. I was sad when I found that out. I know that my personality and desire of knowledge is not only from what I have been taught intellectually but more importantly, spiritually! I am so grateful, Mom and Dad, for knowing that spiritual knowledge was just as important when teaching us!

Wednesday we go to teach Becky and Sue (the 2 moms from Cub Scouts. It was a little more difficult to teach that lesson. We taught them the plan of salvation, not only because it was the next lesson, but because Becky started to ask questions that apparently her sister brought up about the next life and what happens. They listened intently. We followed up on their reading and praying and Becky has only read a little, but they both recommitted to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

Thursday something really funny happened!
So last week we got a phone call from a less active man, who said he was from Sanford and wanted to see if the Ward had a softball team and if we could help him be reactivated. We were super surprised! We couldn't find out where he lived the first time we tried visiting him. And then he finally called back and we set up to see him Thursday night. We had a member with us ( Brother VanGuisen) And after calling this less active guy like 4 times and we had been driving around for an hour we couldn't understand why we could find him. His address wasn't in the atlas, GPS, and Brother VanGuisen even Googled it! Its then when we saw that there was a Sanford "Florida". We called him back and we confirmed if he was from Sanford MAINE. He was confused and then we all started laughing and found out he was from Sanford Florida! hahaha We told him we would send his info to our mission office and they would send the missionaries in his area to his home. IT was really funny and Brother VanGuisen was a great sport about it, and even took us out to ice cream afterwards. :D

We had an interesting lesson on Sunday, but it was with a man from South Carolina and is a total bible scholar, and met with us a second time. It was pretty intense and he has some interesting interpretations of the bible, but I will have to tell  more about it in a vlog home or something cause there is too much to talk about in that lesson.

We had service on Wednesday helping a member with their garden, we had service on Saturday too at the horse farm. And we had service all of this morning until 2 o'clock helping a few brothers with fixing up a cabin at a scout camp in our area. It was hard work, but fun! I love service. Working just puts a lot of cares and worries at ease, so it was nice to have that this week!

I also got to bare my testimony on Sunday. As I pondered what it was that I needed to say, I could only think of my Savior, Jesus Christ. So that's what I bore it on. I know my Savior live! I know he can, in reality, be a part of our daily lives! He is so loving, and understanding. He dispels anger, and replaces it with love and compassion. He knows us perfectly, and infinitely. I may describe most of the good things that happened in these emails. That doesn't mean I'm always happy and perfect and excited all the time. Being set apart as a missionary doesn't make you all of that! Missionaries have the choice to have all that though, as does everyone else. Its a choice to let Christ into our lives each day. To let him be our motivation. To choose to take his name upon us and live up to that covenant. When we do, we can be happy, ready, and excited every day. Jesus Christ is the foundation of my testimony of everything. He is my rock!

I love you all, and I can't wait till Mother's Day!  :)

-Elder Swalberg