Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday July 21, 2014

Well hello there! Sorry I wasn't able to get a real email out last week! it was kind of crazy to say the least! But this week has been really good.

To start off something I didn't get a chance to mention in my last email was last week our mission president put out a mission wide challenge. Of what district could get the most contacts. He challenged us to do at least 10 a day, and this challenge would go till the end of August. A contact was defined as talking to someone you didn't know before, and inviting them to learn. So it is a challenging task, but it has been really good! I would like to share one of my experiences while trying to achieve this goal of 10 contacts a day!

We had just finished up with a member meal, but we only had 30 minutes free until we had to go in for language study. And one thing I have noticed out here in New England is people really don't like you on their door yeah, my whole mission so far, not one person I have tracted into has led to more than 1 follow up lesson. Street contacting on the other side, has seemed to be much more profitable! It is so great, because they are already outside, and it is so much easier to start up a conversation with someone like that. This step back in time even has been wonderful for that as well. So with this 30 minutes we had we decided to go to downtown Springvale (right next to Sanford) and walk down the street and invite people to this event, and try and talk more about the church. Well there was only one man we ended up talking to, and he is about 24 or 25 years old, and is named Colby. Our invitation worked, and were able to talk a little more about him and his family and our church when he explained that his father just passed away a few months ago. We had just taught the plan of Salvation to the member family we were just at, and I explained that same thing to him, and said I felt he needed to know this same message as well. I briefly explained the beautiful promises contained in the plan of Salvation, and he wanted to know more, but because of the lateness of the hour, he asked if we could talk more after our church service on Sunday. We readily agreed and gave him our number too. It was so inspired that we were where we were at for Colby at that time. I know the Lord placed him in our path. Sadly he did not make it to church, but I have full confidence that if he is still ready, the Lord will place him in our path again, or vise versa! As we plan for when and where we will be each day and ask the Lord to place someone in our path, I know he will follow through,...IF we are willing to speak up and talk with everyone. It would have been really easy to walk right passed Colby, but because we stopped him and opened our mouth, the Lord's will was able to come to pass.

We had a wonderful lesson with Ann this Saturday. She was gone all week, but saw here as soon as she came back, and she was able to come to church yesterday too! I was so happy to have her there finally! She loved it and she was greeted by a lot of members! We have brought like 6 men to her home to teach with us, and all of them went up to her and expressed how great it was to see her and how glad she was there! It was so wonderful! She is such a neat lady! Before church started, I got to talk with her about her jewish background a lot, and I know I have a lot more that I can still learn from her! She also speaks French fluently, because she grew up in Paris. She is awesome! I hope it works out that I will be able to see her baptized! I am so excited for her.

One last miracle that I will share regarding Ann. She has been friends with a less active family the Chadbournes for like 7 years! And as she has been taking the lessons and then committed to baptism, the Chadbournes have been so excited, and are starting to talk with the Bishop about a few things so they can get back into the right spiritual stance to come back to church and one of the members in the family, Chris, wants to get ready so that he can fulfill the request of Ann to have him baptize her! How awesome is that!?!?! It can't be said any better than Brother Bently who was teaching Ann and Sister Chadbourne on Saturday night, "That's the Gospel in action right there!" That's sure right! The gospel sure is in action, and its a beautiful thing to see!

I am so lucky to be here in the area at this time! I know my service in this mission was meant to be! I am pretty nervous about Brazil! There is a member, Brother Jones, who served in Sao Paulo 6 years ago, and we  were at his house last night for dinner, and he had me say the prayer over the food in Portuguese, and give the lesson in Portuguese! He said I did pretty good, but he helped me in the lesson multiple times. It will be hard, and he said the first few days will suck, but to just keep going! And until then, I am going to give this mission all I've got!

I sure love you all!

-Elder Swalberg

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