Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday, October 6th - General Conference in the Amazon!

Hey yall! 

Im still kickin it here in Manaus! And boy did I need Conference this week! This week was really rough up till conference. I have never "killed a companion" or in other words for those dont understand this missionary term, I have never been the companion of someone for their last transfer before finishing their 2 year mission! I always thought it would be like working your heart out to the end, but I guess there are still different kinds of missionaries. He is very trunky and ready to go home, which makes him a little more laid back and not anxious to go out and work. Its hard, especially when I am trying to keep a good relationship with him because we are so different. Its been tough to know how to help him work as much as we can without frustrating him or being annoying. This week our numbers were not that great. The reality is, I easily could have gotten better numbers in my other mission in New England. And thats not exceptable. There is so much more that we could have done. He doesn't like planning and so thats what I know I need to help him change. If anyone knows me when, I love planning. I like to know what Im doing done to the minute if I can! I always perform much much better when this happens, but I need his support, it cant be carried by just one of us.

Anyway, it doesn't help that the other 2 Elders are even more lazy. Its really pittiful to be honest. Yeah, its hot, but that can't stop us from working, or we wouldn't work at all! haha Everyone's patience has been tried in our house and I am holding it together pretty well, in trying to act in love and kindness to all of the Elders, but there is some definate hostility and arguments that go down between the other 2 Americans and the brazilian. In conference we really received a talk directed to our house. It was in the Saturday Afternoon Session from Elder Scott. He talked about why is it so hard to love one another? But how we really can do so! He talked of simply having kindness and following the Saviors example will solve so many of the problems. I also received many other answers to my questions of how I can develop more christlike attributes, so be able to be more christ like with all people and especially with my companions. One thing I loved was the talks on the sacrament and how they said it needs to be more sacred and holy to us. I know this can be as I take this oppertunity each week to return and report of my week in developing these attributes, and as well repent for where I went wrong and then have the sacred chance to recommit and covenant to be better. 

I am so greatful for the talks that were given that answered so many more of my questions for myself and those I have been thinking about and praying for. I know our leaders are inspired. They are truely chosen by God. They speak his words! 

We watched Conference in our stake center. They had a room for the American missionaries to watch in English. I was so greatful for that. I would have understood a good part of what was said if I watching in Portuguese, but not near what I did in English. Especially because I still feel the spirit a lot more in English. I wish I could had my camera during conference to have taken a picture out the back door of the stake center, it was beautiful view of part of the many amazon forests. Each building here truely stands out in this rural place in the country of Brazil. 

We didnt have a baptism this week and legisticts would have been really difficult anyway with General Conference. But this week I think we will have 3. One is 8 years old but has been attending with and living with a Patriach in our Brach for like 5 months now. He is a good kid. And we will just teach him one more time this week because its a long ways from our house. We have to take a bus. (its close to the member's house that we had to take a conoe to get to) but this house is just the bus and a little walk afterwards. Its a small town called Bela Vista. I will take pictures this time I go. I sucked at pictures this week, my camera was acting funky too. 
And the other two are Fernanda and Felix. Fernanda is 12 years old and her brother is 8. We have been teaching them for like a month now. They attend church with a member who lives on their street. And we are also teaching their grandmother and she wants to be baptized too, but hasnt been able to come to church yet because  she has been tending to her daughter (mother of the kids) who has been in the hospital with cancer. But the good news is that she just arrived home this week. So hopefully we will be able to get the grandmother to church and even start teaching the mother!

So yeah, I hope everything goes to plan this week. Tomorrow we wont be able to do anything. haha We have a zone meeting/training, at 8 in the morning and then afterwards have another oppertunity to go to the temple. I know already get to go again! This will be the last time for this transfer though. But what a blessing this will be. What a spiritual blast I will be able to have with just finishing General Conference also! haha 

Well I think that's all I have for this week! Remember to go back and study those precious words we received this weekend. We get so much more out of these inspired words as we return and ponder over these words again, and again. I can truely testify of that, as I have tried to do exactly that with these last 2 General Conferences. 

I love you all, and hope yall have a great week! 

-Elder Swalberg

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