Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

June 24, 2009

Hey Dad!

Happy Father's Day! I actually didn't even know it was father's day on Sunday until one of our branch presidency members (who actually lives in Alpine by the way) said it was father's day. I was like holy cow!! I didn't even know! So you get the same present mom did: pictures!! Aren't you excited?! Ha ha I know I really go all out here at the MTC. The funny thing is that's really pretty much the best I can do so I hope you enjoy them.

Well ya know I want to tell you about an experience I had on Monday. It was the day after father's day obviously and our teacher asked a question that I guess I had never really thought about to the full extent before. We were talking about the message of the gospel blessing families and how we want to focus on teaching families. Preach My Gospel says that most everyone has a natural interest in their families. So he had us think about what our families had done for us. And, naturally since it was the day after father's day, I started to ponder all the things that you had done for me. I realized something. You did a lot more for me than I ever thought or thanked you for or recognized. I mean seriously. I liked to play soccer so you decided that you would be my coach for like 8 years! You started a soccer club so we could have an affordable team to play on where we could make friends, develop our skills, and just have fun. Who else's dad start's a soccer club?! I can't think of any. And then when I decided that I wasn't all that great at soccer--no problem!--you were able to get me on my feet with music. I still remember that birthday that you gave me those two monitors and a microphone. And that started it. THEN! You spent TONS of your time and money to not only buy, but DESIGN! the best PA system ever so that I could pursue my hobby! Not to mention all of the smaller things like giving me rides when I needed them, helping me with my calculus homework when I just didn't know what to do, teaching me how to fix the car, and basically just everything I would ever need! I really pondered about everything you've given me or helped me accomplish and I am in a HUGE debt to you. I know that you had a pretty rough childhood growing up, but despite that, I think you did a pretty good job of being a good father. Now look at where you are right now. You are a successful man with a good family and it's just amazing! We are all grateful for the work that you do and I'm sorry I can't be there to tell you right now. I just thought I should share that with you today. I've been thinking about it for the past couple of days and just thought you should know.

I love you dad. I hope you're doing well and enjoying the summer so far! Have a good day!


Hey mom!

So I should be getting my flight plans on Friday or Saturday which is when I'll find out where I'm going and when I'll get to call you guys and stuff like that. I'm excited but kinda freaked out at the same time. And no I don't think I need anything before I go, but I'll let you know if that changes ha ha. I think I will send you guys a box of stuff that I don't really need to take to Albania. I'll probably send you a boatload of letters. If you could just put them somewhere to save them. I'd like to have them when I get home. It will be cool to see what people said and stuff. =) The better question is do you guys want anything?! They don't have anymore copies of the Libri i Mormonit unless I want to pay 20 bucks. It's kinda lame, but oh well. I guess I could actually send you mine, but we'll see. Anyway. Yeah I think I'm pretty much set for right now. Oh wait there is one thing you could send me. You could send me more brain space so I could learn Albanian before I get there. Oh my heck there is so much to learn. Ha ha we've been listening to some Albanian stuff and it is so hard to understand right now. And they just talk so dang fast!! I don't know what I'm going to do! But I'll get it eventually ha ha.

Yeah Braden actually got out of quarantine the day after I e-mailed you last week. I gave him a hug even though that's not technically allowed ha ha. But yeah I got a picture with him up at the temple. It's not that great, but I think he got some better ones of us. He's going to be a great missionary. I'm jealous that he left already.

And yes I just got some new roommates about 2 and a half hours ago so needless to say I don't know too much about them. Their names are Elder Weaver and Elder Hayes. Elder Hayes is from Vegas and I can't remember where Elder Weaver is from. They are both serving in the Houston, Texas mission English speaking. Did Ryan go Spanish speaking or English? I can't remember, but yeah so there's some Texas pride for Ryan. They seem pretty cool and hopefully I will get to know them fairly well over the next two weeks.

Well that's pretty much it! As always I hope all is well! I miss you lots and I'm looking forward to calling you. It might be way early in the morning though ha ha.

Well, I'm going to go start packing! =)

-Elder Swenson

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The language is. . . . hard.

June 17, 2009

Hey mom!

Okay so to answer your slew of questions:

Things are going good. Except for I'm sick. =( Ugh but I am fighting through it. The only thing I've missed is a devotional last night. Mostly it's just sore throat and cough which I HATE, but it's okay. I've gone to the clinic twice, but they choose not to do anything with me so I guess I'll just suffer through it. I'm hoping it comes to an end before the end of the week though.

I will send my memory card to you next week with some more pictures. I hope these ones are slightly more entertaining. But it really is so hard to find good pictures to take at the MTC. I mean, it's a beautiful place, but it's not very big so once you've seen it, you've pretty much seen it.

The language is. . . . hard. This week me and Motra are SYL-ing 5 out of 7 days so we are trying really hard, but it is definitely not an easy thing to do. We know we will learn it eventually. The Lord has promised us that we will if we work hard so it's just a matter of how long it's going to take. But just as either Jarom, Omni, or Mormon (from the Words of Mormon) -- I can't remember which one it was at the moment, but I read it in my personal study yesterday -- the Lord's blessings come in his time, not ours. I love the language though. I hope I'm not sending a negative vibe about it because I really do love it and it is so cool to be able to speak something totally different. I enjoy going to class and learning it, it's just difficult.

Teaching is always a challenge and something that I will always be working on, but it's coming along I guess. The hard thing is we have to try to incorporate all of the teaching skills found in Ch. 10 of PMG IN ALBANIAN. That is a little bit of a challenge. But we're practicing. We are now to the point where we solely teach in Albanian and in about 3 weeks, we'll be even more to that point because I'M LEAVING!! Ah! Scary!

Yes I get new roommates when the Hungarians leave. That will be a sad day though. I really love my district and I don't want them to leave before me, but I guess they've got a good enough excuse. =) They will be great missionaries.

The food here is really actually not that bad. I mean, I guess that's coming from me who will eat just about anything, but I really don't mind it. I think my favorite is probably this like shepherd's pie thing they do or their gyros. And the worst is probably the cod nuggets. Yeah just listening to those two words together is kinda disgusting, but there's really not a lot of horrible food. And I am definitely fat so yeah. Apparently I'm going to lose a ton of weight in Albania though. So I'm excited for that. =)

Yeah, Elder Call and Elder Mower were both in quarantine this week and I just barely saw Elder Mower, but I think Elder Call is still in there. That is too bad. But I'm praying for him and hopefully he will be out soon. He's written me a couple of letters, but I need his MTC Mailbox number so if you could like Dear Elder that to me like tomorrow or something that would be great! Then I could write him back and let him know that I haven't forgotten about him ha ha.

And yes, I will get you that stuff next week. Remind me in your next dear elder though cause I might forget.

Love you mom! Hope you're doing well!

-Elder Swenson

P.S. Oh! Thank you SO MUCH for that testimony book! It was so dang amazing! Did you do those pages?! I really really really appreciate that! My friends are so dang awesome! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Week Gone

Wed, 10 Jun 2009

Hey mom!

Yes my entire district is going to Hungary except for me and Motra. And they are leaving the 22nd so I don't know what I'm going to do for 2 weeks when they're gone. I think the kichi hungarian elders will drive me insane. But that's okay. I'll deal with it. It's only two weeks, right?

The language is H.A.R.D. I get really frustrated sometimes, but I think I am doing as good as can be expected for like 8 weeks and I really do love learning it. It is way fun to speak. I so can't wait until I can just say whatever I want to say in another language. It's going to be so cool.

Okay. Your questions in Albanian. I think that was possibly the funniest thing I've ever read in the MTC. Ha ha ha I think the translator you used was retarded. The first question was How is the foods? and the second question really just did not make sense. It said Are you all eat you? At least that's what I got from my translating skills. Hani is the 2nd person plural conjugation of the verb to eat I believe, but if it's not than that's probably why I thought it was so funny. Ha ha so yeah that translator. . . .not really workin' for ya. But nice try! =) Ha ha it's a fun language to speak. The Hungarians say it sounds like a monkey language, but I think it sounds really cool when you can speak it fast. Every week in the TRC there is a legit Albanian that we teach. I can't help but think that he thinks we're retarded, but oh well! It's good practice.

Okay so there ya go! I've got to hurry and write Lindsey and dad really quick! Sorry! I love you mom. Thanks for everything!

Me Dashuri,
-Elder Erik Swenson

Hey Dad!

Yeah I'm so excited to be outta here in less than a month! It's crazy! I really want to get over there. That's so cool that you saw an Albanian jersey. That's definitely what it sounded like. Their flag is red with a two headed eagle on it. Albanian folklore says that they are descendants of eagles. In Albanian, the word for "Albania" is Shqiperia. And the word for eagle is. . . . .crap I can't remember, but it has the same root "shqip". They have the coolest flag out of I think any country in the world. And they are big into soccer over there as well. I don't know if they're really recognized throughout the world as a good team, but they love it.

Ha ha yeah I bet Bear is lonely with nobody there. Oh my heck I can't even remember really what Bear looks like. Mom sent me the funniest pictures of him which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I really don't even like remember him. That's kinda sad. Oh well! I'm sure he'll be excited when I get back. =)

Yeah the ward sounds pretty crazy right now. I'm sure Brother Webb will do great in the bishopric. He's a great guy and he definitely taught me a lot. Tell him hi from me and that I appreciate what he has done for the young men in the ward. And hopefully the young mens program is still doing well. I would imagine it is. They've got some good leadership in there and it will be interesting to see how things go.

Learning how to teach in Albanian. . . hmmm. . . .yeah I am ha ha. But it's rough still. I need lots and lots and lots of practice, but it will come with time. And I think the fastest learning will be done in Albania so that will be helpful to get there and learn how to speak from the people. It's so frustrating not to be able to say what you want to say, but I'm trying to be patient with myself. There are so many things
that go into every sentence it's not even funny, but it's coming. My teacher said he gives me 4 months if I keep it up and I will be able to say everything I want to say. So I hope that's true!

Well I hope everything is going well! I would assume your still playing soccer every day? That would be fun! We usually play volleyball at gym and it's a blast. Keep on truckin'!

Une te dua!
-Elder Erik Swenson

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Okay so I am timed today so I've got to hurry like a monkey.

So first things first. I SAW BRADEN TODAY. Excuse me let me rephrase that. I saw ELDER CALL today. It was sweet. I think I was kind of annoying actually though cause I pretty much just like followed him around the lunch room. He looks great. Just as studly as ever ha ha. And I also saw Elder Mower. He's going to Russia along with a TON of other people. It was pretty exciting.

Okay so to answer your questions: Motra Bentley is from Sandy. Apparently her family is massive though and they're planning to take over the country as soon as they possibly can. She has 7 borthers and sisters and her extended family is like really REALLY extended ha ha. So if you know any Bentley's than it's probably her family.

My roommates. I am in a room with Morgan Elder and Bird Elder. Bird Elder is our district leader and me and Morgan Elder are the zone leaders. They are really really great. They made me feel right at home when I first came and we have been able to become pretty good friends. The rest of our district includes Mitchell, Bennion, Nauman, and Feuz (pronounced "fates") Elders. They are awesome as well. Our district is freaking awesome! Sometimes we get on each others nerves, but most of the time we're pretty cool with each other. I sent you those pictures back labeled and stuff in the mail today. Sorry I forgot about that! So you can see who all of them are. When we get back we are forming a band and doing a hardcore remake of the "Shine the Light" song from the EFY sountrack. Oh yeah. Good Stuff.

Anyway, so I hear you guys are doing pretty good. Guess what. My teacher says he is absolutely confident that I will lose a ton of weight in Albania which will be awesome. I mean I'll probably come back a little weenie, but I'll get buff again. =) Ha ha ha oh my gosh I think I'm so funny sometimes. Okay and I thought Cameron had been called to Alaska! I was so confused! But I'm way excited for him to turn in his papers and get his call. And Nate is going to the Phillipines!!!! That is so cool! (I bet you didn't guess that one, Nate.) He really is going to be a superb missionary. Holy cow we're all gonna be gone! Sweet!

Anyway, I'd better run. I still need to e-mail Lindsey and Dad. I love you mom! Keep up the good work! Thanks for everything you've sent me. I really appreciate it. Just stop sending me cookies! I'm fat enough. =)

Me Dashuri (with love),

-Elder Erik Swenson

Hey Dad!

So what's been going on! Sorry I didn't get to e-mail you last week! Was it las week? I can't even remember. Time is such a blur here. It's crazy. Before you know it I'll be in Albania. I only have 5 more weeks which is actually ridiculous. I'm excited to go to Albania though. It's going to be really hard, but really fun at the same time. So I'm definitely looking forward to it. We saw the "vision" for the Albania Tirana Mission this week and there are some really good goals that I hope I can help out with. Our mission president wants a stake by 2011 which is going to be hard, but he has planned it out and it's doable. Oh I just remembered! They just announced the Rome, Italy temple which will be great for the Albanian saints. It probably won't be even close to done and may not even be started before I get off my mission, but it's really cool to think that they will have a temple that is a ton closer than the Vienna Austria temple. Okay so random question. Have you cranked the PA since I've been gone? I kinda miss it, but at the same time I know that while I'm here it wouldn't be appropriate ha ha. Nevertheless, I love that thing. So what is going on with work right now? Who are you working for? It seems like you have about seven different random jobs for your consulting business. So yeah give me some info here. What does Glenn Beck say? How is the government/economy? I honestly have absolutely no idea since I am trapped in the MTC ha ha. Anyway, I've got to go! I'm almost out of time! Have a good day! I love hearing from you guys! Keep me posted on anything new. Love you!

-Elder Erik Swenson