Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30

Hey Y'ALL!

Well it was another great week here in Sanford!
Last Sunday we went to the Rochester Elder's area to go hiking for district p-day! IT was super fun! I will attach a couple photos! There was a cool little water fall there next to the trail and we got to climb up on some of the rocks and take some cool pictures. There was this one spot were the sun was just right that it looked like a "pillar of light" when we took a picture, and so I had to do the "Joesph Smith Pose". haha We had a good time!

Then on Tuesday we had a chance to get over to the library in the morning, and talked to the library director and offered our service for a couple events they had coming up that they needed volunteers for and then I talked to him about the family search workshops that I had done up in Damariscotta and he immediately said they would love to host a workshop like that! So yeah. We will be there in the next week or 2 to do the service at a book sale they have going on, and then we will probably get a workshop going! I am so excited for that. I loved doing that up in Damariscotta!

Then we also went on exchange with the Zone Leaders on Tuesday. I got to go down to Exeter, New Hampshire in their area! We had such a great time, but still worked really hard! Our area was about an hour and 1/2 away to so we didn't have as much time to work as the other Elders but it turned out that all of their plans fell through. so after we had time, we just went out street contacting, and were trying to invite as many people as we could to do something! SHOUT OUT: As Sister Edwards from the Birmingham, Alabama mission calls it, "Unplanned Invitations". We ended up inviting 28 people! We didn't have any super cool miracles, but it was just cool to talk to so many people. I have been trying this principle of unplanned invitations for the past few weeks, and it has made talking with everyone so much easier! Even though its not one of our key indicators, we set a goal for how many "Unplanned Invitations" we will work for each day in planning.

Elder Johnston and a few other missionaries who just entered our district with the mini transfer we had 3 weeks ago, had not received interviews from President yet, so President Stoker came up to Sanford on Wednesday and gave them all interviews before district meeting, and then joined us for the beginning of district meeting but had to leave about 30 minutes into it. But before he left he wanted to take a few minutes. He gave us a challenge, and a blessing attached to this challenge. He asked us to go to our Heavenly Father each night in our prayers and ask him a specific question, "What one thing would you like me to change about myself tomorrow?" Just one thing a day, he said. He instructed us to make a covenant with Heavenly Father with each thing. Then to return and report to him each night about how we did. And that if we fall short, to repent and keep working! He promised that as we do this, we will receive "Immediate Revelation" of what it is that we need to change. He promised us that if we do this that we will become the missionary that our Heavenly Father wants us to be! And even after our missions he said this will make us the person he wants us to be. That it will bless ourselves, and our future family!
Well with those kinds of promises, who wouldn't do this?!?! I have been trying it ever since Wednesday, and....WOW! What a difference it makes. When you pray about what it is that HE wants you to change, you know you HAVE to change it because he just told you to do it and you can't forget it throughout the day, so you are constantly thinking about it! Are you up for the President Stoker Challenge? Try it for one week and see the difference it makes. Write down each change you make each day as soon as you pray about it. Once you do, I would love you hear about your experience!

We had a lesson with Becky, Wednesday night about Prayer and answers through the Holy Ghost! I know she will receive her answer and she does too. She feels right about it all so far, and hopefully we can just get her to church this next week because she didn't make it again this Sunday again. And we even called her the night before, and she seemed like she was going to make it. So that was kind of disappointing. She is going to be out of town this week so we wont be able to see her until (hopefully) Sunday.

We had a couple other lessons throughout the week, but Saturday was one of the cool experiences. We had just gone through some old progress records and found a name "Ann" (no last name) and an address and it was in the same apartment complex as a less active that we see. So we decided to go and see Sister Chadborne (the less active) and caught her just as she got home so it was perfect to just talk outside, and while talked about a big event the Exeter Staker (our stake) is putting on here in Sanford, a pioneer celebration ***Facebook Event: "A Step Back In Time", and she was like "Oh cool, you should go invite the lady in that building over there on the bottom floor on the right. Her name is Ann, and she is going through some hard times with fact tell her that I sent you over there and talk with her!" So yeah that was the former investigator that we found on our old progress records just a few days ago. So yeah, we did. We probably talked with her for about 20 minutes there in the doorway, but we had to come back with a male to go inside, but she was welcome to us coming back, and we going over there tonight! So that was pretty awesome! She is about 70 years old, but is questioning her Jewish Background and Traditions. She is scared to make any changes, but is very curious and as she started to describe some of her problems in her family, I was able to testify that our message would help her find peace and strength in her trials! So I am really excited to see how it goes tonight. Brother Adams (our Elder's Quorum President) is coming with us!

We didn't have any investigators come to church this week, and it got me thinking about our investigators who are not progressing. One is a "Eternigator" and the other 2 are a old couple who really aren't keeping any commitments (Juan and Denise). So this morning Elder Johnston and I both ended up getting inspiration in our personal studies that we need to drop them. We would have debated the prospect more, but the fact that both of us received specific guidance in our studies (without knowing about each other's thoughts about this till companionship study) I know that Heavenly Father was trying to tell us this. We know that if we drop them in the right manner, we will be able to keep their friendship but receive other people..specifically teach that are ready to keep commitments and work towards baptism. And they will then be our priorities!

I am so happy to be a missionary! I love my Heavenly Father, and I try to come closer to him day by day! Thank you for all of y'all's support and love!


-Elder Swalberg

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