Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday, June 23rd

Hey everyone!

Its official, I am over the hump! I can't believe it! This week wasn't anything super special though. It was still a good week though.

Tuesday, we got to do the trail blazing service in Acton, but we are switching it to an every other week schedule. I am happy about this, because I was talking to President Hawks (counselor in the Mission Presidency) about what is the most productive service, and that is when we are in a place where we are seen and get to meet more people through it, but when you are out there in the woods of Maine, there aren't very many other people you get to meet. haha So this will open up some time every other Tuesday to help serve in the library in Springvale and also try and set up some family history workshops set up there too, because they have a great genealogy center there in that library! So I will be checking that out tomorrow morning! I am excited about that!

On Wednesday we got to finally have a real set apart lesson with Becky (the cub scout mom). We met here early before a pack meeting they had. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ, and extended a baptismal invitation to her and she wasn't ready to commit right now, but we followed it up with when she came to know it is true if she would be baptized, and to that she said yes! She then directed us to the 2nd to last paragraph of the introduction of the Book of Mormon where it says:

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts  the message it contains and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost."

And we were just like, "Uh, yeah thats exactly right!" We were about to go there and she already knows how she is supposed to find her answer! We didn't see her at church this week, but we hope she will be there next week and will see her before scouts again this Wednesday! Pray for her to receive her answer!

On Thursday it was my YEAR MARK! I made me and my companion pancakes and eggs for breakfast, (I will include a picture). And sadly I had to spend a good part of the day getting a body shop's estimate for some repairs on our car for some scratches that were on there before I got here from some previous Elders, but knew they needed to be reported. But after all the car stuff was out of the way, we were able to meet Jeff at his house and have a lesson on the Priesthood and about hometeaching. In ward council yesterday they brought up Jeff and gave the Young Men's President the responsibility to teach him how to pass the sacrament and to work him up to being able to bless the sacrament! I like that, and I just hope it all goes according to plan and also his hometeachers will be able to get started with teaching him the new member lessons too! If new converts don't have a smooth transition into the gospel, it can make it so hard on them and can easily lead them into inactivity. Sadly I have seen that with some of my own converts. So if any of you have new converts in your wards, BEFRIEND THEM! They NEED you and your solid foundation! I never knew how necessary this was until being out here, but it really is so important!
 Thursday night George and Cheryl Chamberlain (the horse farm couple we help out every week) took us out to dinner to say thanks for all the help we give them and it worked out to be on my year mark day too! haha (I will attach the picture that I took with them after dinner with them too)

On Saturday we had an interesting day. We had plans to fast again with the sisters for new investigators! I know it helped us last time, and we are both really looking for some new investigators that will really progress, and so we started that fast Saturday afternoon, into Sunday evening. We decided to go tracting in an area we aren't in very often, and it turned out to be a really boony road, and so we drove on, but after doing a few other visits that way, our GPS took us a weird way home and it was another road we thought about tracting. So we decided we needed to get out and tract it. We did, and it was kind of a richer road. Many of the houses were built right on a lake, and most of them were older people. Most of them just replied, "We're all set." but in a nice enough way, until this one house, where he started by saying "What do you want?! Are you trying to sell me something?" We just replied we were just going around offering service, and  before we could even finish he just said, very forcefully, "Just go away!" So yeah, we pretty much felt like crap, and I was thinking to myself, "No one here wants to hear from us, there is no point!" But we pushed forward and knocked another door, and what a contrast! A very nice older lady answered the door and recognized who we were as missionaries for the LDS church, and started to express how impressed she was with us being out here away from home and our families at such a young age. She proceeds to ask about our families and where we are from. She is a faithful Baptist, but has let Elders come in and talk with her before, and was just impressed with us. So she wasn't interested, but it was exactly what we both needed right then! Our Heavenly Father was watching over us and wanted us to know that this isn't a lost cause, and we are of great worth!

So that is what I will end on. This is a great work we are a part of, and I know the Lord is directing it! I am so happy to be a part of it. One of the scriptures we memorized this week in our scripture memorization program was actually a quote by President Ezra Taft Benson. And it sums it up so well:
" We are commanded by God to take this Gospel to all the World. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the Gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family."

 I hope you all have a wonderful week, and find someone to share the gospel with!

Love yall!

-Elder Swalberg

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