Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, November 17th

Hey yall!

Another week, and we have had some great things happen, but at the same time I have been made more aware of how much Satan is working, especially on our investigators.

I cant remember if I talked about one of our investigators this last week, Wendy. But she is 14 years old, and has known the church for almost 5 years, and goes to church and seminary, except when she is lazy,...but really she has been taught a bunch by missionaries. And still hasnt been baptized. We have been teaching her with her older sister Breyla (17 years) who has been a member for more than 4 years. Before I got here, my comp said they really didnt teach her, only for the lesson. But there was something that was stopping her from being baptized I wanted to know what it was. So starting last week, we started meeting with her. I really didnt know where to start and neither did my companion. So I just started asking questions of what she already understood and thought of the things she learned from missionaries, church, seminary.....and I really focused on the Book of Mormon, because we all know it is the center of all conversion in this church. We found out that she is scared of baptism and in turn we think she is scared to REALLY pray, cause she knows she will get an answer. We had such a spiritual first lesson with her, and Elder Neyra shared his conversion story with her too. It was so powerful, And so was the second lesson! She hadn't gotten an answer yet, but the second lesson, after a series of questions she answered that she believed that the BOM is true, Joesph Smith was a prophet, and that this church has the proper authority to baptize and to perform all the saving ordenances that we need here in this life. But yet she said she is more "comfortable" in her other church. Thats it! Thats all thats freaking keeping her from wanting to be baptized in the true church of Christ! Yeah, you could say the Devil is working on this poor girl. The whole branch knows her, and knows of her good heart. She is so sweet and her 2 other sisters who are members are such good examples too. But other than our Heavenly Father, Satan knows of her good better than anyone! He knows how much of a strength she will be when she is  a member of this church and he is doing everything to stop it. During our lessons my companion and I have born out our heart of how sure we are that this is the true church and that Heavenly Father with answer her prayers. I started crying like 2 times during that second lesson. The spirt was so strong. And Breyla is always such a huge help, especially getting her to commit to things. But still she hasnt been to church in 2 weeks and we went back last night to bring by some brownies that I made for them, and tried to mark another day to meet and it seemed she didnt really want to. We arent giving up on her, but we will give her a little space. But she just needs a lot of prayers!

We have another investigator we are working with Nealton. He is 17 years old, and he is a cousin of 2 young men in the branch. And he has gone to church a few times already, and he really showed a lot of interest last week as we had lunch with him at Viviana and Eliezer's house. with all the youth. He has made good friends with another young man in the branch, Emerson. We got to teach him the fist lesson at Emerson's house. It was really good. And he came to church this sunday too. After church we talked with him some more at his house, and marked a day for baptism. But the mom might be some trouble. She goes to another church. We told him, we need her authorization for him to be baptized. So we had an appointment this morning to talk with her, but she wasnt  home when he said she would be. Sadly the next time we can meet with them both is Friday, becauase we are traveling tomorrow through Thursday, for a conference. (I will explain more about this next week...all of the missionaries in Rondonia will meet in Porta Velho for the conference....24 hours of traveling by bus in total for us here in Vilhena! ;p crazy right?! Just for a meeting!) So yeah that kind of sucks, but I still think he will be baptized. We are excited for him. He is a great young man!

This week we had our district meeting. We didnt reach our goal of 30 new investigators, but it was close, so I still made a little desert that I learned how to make last week, and we ate it after district meeting. But yeah, this week we talked of the power of the message of the restoration, and how strong the spirit can be when we teach this first lesson, and the great oppeertunity that we have to mark a baptismal date in the first lesson! So this week we are working on baptismal dates. We didnt have any at the begining of the week, but now we have 2!

We also had exchanges this week. I went to the other Elders area with Elder Fericim and it was a little rough, because they really didnt have anything planned. But we did a lot of finding, and ending finding a sweet family, with 3 older teen boys. The mother, was really really sweet, and I hope that it works for them to continue teaching them. But Elder Fericim really does teach well. They just lack the investigators that can really progress. they have a lot of families , but almost all of the parents arent married. That is such a huge problem here! I dont even know why! So many, I think, are just lazy. Its not even that expensive for them. Its really just another thing that Satan uses to keep so many people from joining this church. He is consistantly degrading the image and importance of marriage. But it was still really good to get to know the other Elders area to know how I can better help them.

In our branch we had 76 people at sacrament meeting! And I think we even had more during the first hour, because sacrament meeting is last in this branch! It was really cool! Part of it was because the son of our branch president, President Rui, returned home from his mission this week! He was serving in Salvador, Brazil. He is really cool. We had lunch at their house the day after he got home, and he was talking to us about how weird it is not to have a name tag, and stuff like that! haha. Its really going to be so weird to return home. Its really only 6 months away now! But I am hoping that if he stays around here, that he will be our branch mission leader, because right now we dont have one right now.

But yeah, this week will be way good, with zone conference, with a general authority of the seventy, and a bunch of appointments already set for the days we will be getting back. It should be a really exciting week. we will be sleeping at the other Elders house tonight and then get on our bus at 7 in the morning tomorrow.

I know when I see Satan at work around me, I am doing something right. I know these people are such special souls and I am so glad to be here, so far from my home, just to help them! What a privalege it is to be the Lords servent here.

Thank you so much for all your support.

I love yall so much!

-ELder Swalberg

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