Thursday, April 30, 2009

My First Email

Hey Family!
So this is my first e-mail ever in the mission! Pretty cool, huh? Things are going really well. I am having a great time so far. I've been really busy with a new language and studying the gospel and going to devotionals and large group meetings and eating MTC food and going to gym and whatever else you can imagine! It's been fun though and I have a really good group of guys for a district. Oh! And the English speakers in our district are going to the Florida Tallahassee mission so there's a small chance that Braden might be in MY district when he comes here. That would be sweet. I'm really glad I'm here. I know it's what I'm supposed to be doing and I know that it will be an amazing experience. I've already had some really good experiences and I've only been here a week!

Albanian is definitely going to be a tricky language to master, but that's why we've got the gift of tongues goin' on, ya know? I know the mission is going to fly by. I'm not very good at teaching, but I know that I will get better as I practice and as the Lord continues to help me. Just as it says in Alma 38:5 I'm going to "put my trust in God" and he will do the rest. I really want to get to Albania. I just want to be able to speak the language and go teach the people over there. I know there are people that are just dying to hear what I have to say. I want to be able to see a change in people's lives and to fall in love with them. It's funny because it's just me and Motra (Sister) Bentley out of the ENTIRE MTC (2000 missionaries) that are going to Albania. We are so lucky! I never thought of it that way until one of my teachers said that. But we really are so dang lucky to be one out of a thousand that are going to Albania.

I just want you to know that I love you and I miss you guys. But we will see each other again very soon.

-Elder Erik Swenson

Monday, April 27, 2009

My MTC Address

If anyone is interested in writting, my address is:

Elder Erik Swenson
MTC Mailbox #122
ALB-TIR 0707
2005 N 900 E
Provo UT 84604-1793

First Day at the MTC

Mom, Dad, and Lindsey,

So today was the first day at the MTC. It was definitely a lot to take in, but at the same time it was good. I’m definitely going to be busy which should help with the homesickness. Apparently Albanian is a beast of a language. Oh and check this out! Guess how many missionaries headed for Albania came in today?! Two! It’s just me and one other sister. So I am what’s called a “solo Elder”. That should really help with the loneliness issue Ha Ha. No, but I have great roommates. It was funny, I walked in the door to my building and they all like attacked me and gave me hugs and were shouting some word that means “Little One” in Hungarian. After that, one of the Elders said, “Weird, I always pictured the new little one being smaller than me.” I laughed at that. So yeah, it seems like they are all very friendly and easy to get along with.

So here’s my plan. I’m just going to dive in and try to involve myself in any way I can and hopefully my time here at the MTC will go by fast. I’m actually very excited to learn the Albanian language and I don’t know what happened, but ever since I got here, I really just want to go to Albania. I want to be able to speak the language and just teach people.

Before I finish, I will let you know that Wednesday’s are my P-days, so I will be able to write more next week. I will also have an e-mail set up by next week. You can also write me through I don’t really know how it works so just try it out.

Anyway, I know this is the true gospel. I know the Lord will ease my burdens and bless me for my service. I love you guys. I really do.

Elder Swenson

P.S. I am going to get fat.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Entering the MTC

At Home Before Entering the MTC

The sun is too bright. I can't keep my eyes open.

The Family

Me and my dog Bear.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Farewell Dinner

The Mission Call

Albania? Where's Albania?
I received my call on March 11th to the Albania Tirana Mission.