Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday, January 26th 2015

Hey yall!

So I have an American companion again! Elder Pothier, from Mesa Arizona. This is his first transfer as Zone Leader, but just has one transfer less in the mission than me. And he actually served in Manchester New Hampshire Mission for a little bit. But he got his visa after just four weeks. But its still cool! haha He is really great! He works hard, and will be another great companion! I really think we will be friends after the mission!

We got into our area this Tuesday, and that day we started with the area book and got all of the names and addresses all organized in our planners and planned out how we would get to pass by them all this past week because they were so spread out and we have such a big area. We have split the city in half using the river. So for now we have the one side of the river without the church its a little further for a lot of things. But we still have a lot our side. We have gotten to know a lot of people this week. The sisters didnt have any dates marked for baptism yet so we tryed to go to all the people and see where they sat with every, and a lot of them just arent willing to keep commitments. So some we have already cut, but some really want to keep trying, but just arent ready to commit to baptism.

Elder Munhoz and I also had part of this area before the sisters left, so I had some of our people to teach. Lurdes and Josias and their family lives on our side. So we are still helping them too. But we also had a full day on Friday and took 3 hours just for contacting and teaching. We made a goal of trying to teach a lesson to every person we  talk to. Just to start teaching. And it worked! We taught like 15 lessons that day in total! We got a lot of return visits marked! It was cool!

I have noticed something really interesting this last week in how my mind set has really changed in finding people. Before, I would look at people and try to think of them as an investigator and always had a part of me hestitate every time I talked to someone, but now that I have the mind set of baptizing families, its so different. When I see a family walking down the street, or playing in front of thier house, I dont even have to think, I just WANT to talk to them! It has become so natural. For example this Saturday we walking in rain for a while to a far part of our area for 2 appointments that we marked early that week,  and we got there and both of them fell through, and I started to get really bummed out, and I was like "Elder, did we really just walk all the way out here in the rain for nothing?" He said something positive like "Maybe it was for us to be tested, it was for our salvation..." But I was still thinking,...there still must be some one else out here that the Lord is prepared for us" (Because we had started a fast the night before for success in our appointments and new investigators) So we were leaving that same road and I looked to my left and saw this little 3-4 year old boy on his house porch and just turned and was like, "Here!" I then asked the boy if his Dad was home, and then saw his dad was on the other side of the fence, and he envited us in quickly and we talked for a little while and found out he already knows some of the members in our branch, and worked with one of the young men from the branch that is now serving a mission. It was so cool! Then we asked if his wife was home, and she then joined us. We taught them the first lesson together, and they were very receptive and welcomed us back! We will be visiting them again on Thursday! But what a great family we found just because we saw a little boy and thought...FAMILY! haha Its a great mentality to have. A similar thing happened the day before, and we will visit them agian on Thursday too! Its so cool! This way of finding is so effective, and the way that has been prepared for us! I know that focusing on families is such a priority of the Lord in this work!

Well our week was already short with trying to plan and get to know the area, but them we also missed sunday in our own branch this week. We have MLC this week in Manaus, so we left at midnight on Saturday, and then arrived in Porto Velho at like 6:30 and then went to part of church there with President Quiroz (first counselor in the mission presidency). He was the one that picked us up and then drove us around to church and then to the airport where we met up with the other Elders and sisters that were flying out of Porto Velho to Manaus. We got in Manaus at like 2 pm and then just hung out at the mission office with a bunch of the missionaries there, and then went to the apartment there for everyone to sleep. But I wasted a lot of money on food last time I came for MLC because you have to buy all of your food for like 4-5 days, and so its like eating out every meal. So Elder Pothier and I made some food at our apt in Ji Parana to save some money. We made Banana Bread and Brownies, which have been super good to have to snack on with the other few things we have bought!

But yeah tomorrow will be the actual meeting, and then afterwards we get to go to the temple again! I am so stoked! We will get back Wednesday at like 9 at night in our own area again! haha

But the other new thing is I have decided to extend my mission. I never thought I would do this, as its been really hard for me here in Brazil. But I have prayed and studied a lot to know the Lords will and its what I need to do! So now I will get home on June 30th!

Love yall!

-Elder Swalberg

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