Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday, January 12th 2015

Hey yall!

This week sure was great! It started out with all of our zone together!
We had 10 Elders in our house together! And it just so happened that we were without water that night! I cant tell yall how many times we have gone without water in our house this transfer! We have gone more than a week in total without water. The longest stretch was for 4 days! It really makes a lot of things difficult! Like washing laundry, cleaning our dishes, keeping our bathroom clean, and most important taking a shower! But through this trail I have developed a new talent,...of taking a shower with just a bucket of water and a cup. haha after all these days without water...I think I can take a shower with just about 2 liters of water! haha No joke!

But besides that, we really did have a great training! Elder Munhoz and I were able to cover everything we wanted to, and it went a little long, but we knew this was our one chance to really resolve doubts or problems with the whole zone present. So we were able to show how the zone was really struggling...we always have new investigators and people coming to church, but not many baptismal dates and baptisms! This training really gave everyone a wake up call! A little shock to everyone! We showed them the goal of the mission after we covered everything and showed it down to how many people our zone specifically needs to baptize each week to help the mission hit its goal. It is 7 baptisms a week with 2 being men, and having 1 family baptized! Thats a lot to expect for a zone that hasnt even hit that in the last transfer and this transfer put together! BUT,...we when forget the statistics, and look at what the Lord has set for us we don't have to worry. Just as Elder Holland explained in his last talk, God is not preoccupied with percentages. Speaking of what a journalist writing about Mother Terica, said:

"Soberly, the journalist concluded that Christianity is obviously not a statistical endeavor. He reasoned that if there would be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the ninety and nine who need no repentance, then apparently God is not overly preoccupied with percentages."

In the same manner God is not worried about what has happened in the past but what we can accomplish in the future. A quote from President Castro that I like is "The future is always clean!" I know this goal is possible for our zone and for our specific area, with God's help.

I am happy to say our time was well spent the rest of the week! We worked practically every day with Lurdes (woops I had been spelling her name wrong but its said in english like Lurges) and Gabriel. They were baptized yesterday! This week we had a lot of special experiences with them! First of all we were teaching them about the comandments and then she would then explain that she is already living in harmony with those commandments, and also as we taught about each one she bore her testimony with specific blessings that happened in relation to obeying these commandments. For example the sabath day and not working on sunday. She has her own hair salon, and she used to work every day including sunday and was always super busy with her work and never really had much of a break to spead time at church or with her family during the rest of the week, and still didnt see that much money coming from it. But then felt that she should pray about what she should do in this busy situation and how she could provide better for her family and she imediately received an answer. She said "I jsut felt strongly that I should work anymore on Sunday. I had faith and I did as He told me to do and didnt work Sundays. Ever since then I have been a lot less busy and been able to relax with my family and I see the same amount of money and more. I never fall short of my family's needs! The Lord has really blessed me with that answer he gave me." WOW! Seriously all of the commandments were like that, word or wisdom, law of tithing and the best was law of chastity. We didnt know this until this last week but she is engaged to her boyfriend and have plans to be married this next month. But she knew it was not right to live together until after marriage! So they are living seperately right now and will married in Feburary! All of this was before we even showed up in their house to share these messages with them! How amazing huh! But we have met her boyfriend and started teaching him and he accepted a baptismal date for this next sunday. He is really humble and likes what he has already heard. Yesterday he went to church and saw the baptism of Lurdes and Gabriel. It was so special to see them baptized. Our district leader did the interviews obviously and Gabriel really likes him so he asked him to do the baptism, and my comp, Elder Munhoz baptized Lurdes. And during the program Brother Neno and I sang "Joesph Smith's First Prayer" together as a musical number. It was really cool!
I think everything will go right for the Josias, the boyfriend, to be baptized after church next week, but we will see. If not this week it will be the following for sure! But we will be leaving today for Cacoal for an exchange so we will loose part of our week yeah we will sure try!

But really this week was great! And we are seeing a lot of miracles happen here! Great families to be teaching!

Love yall!
-Elder Swalberg

Here a few photos from this past week.

one of the baptism

other 2 are from the training this week (our zone and with my comp!) 

And the last one is of today at the church building playing a cards with our district as we made cookies! (for some reason no one knows how to make cookies here, so everyone wants to learn how so it was fun to teach everyone and of course eat them!) 

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