July 8, 2009
From Elder Swenson’s Mission President:
Dear Brother and Sister Swenson,
As you can see from the attached photograph, Elder Swenson arrived safely here in Tirana. He's here with Sister Neil and me in our conference room in the Mission Office in Tirana. He is a bit tired, wrinkled and overwhelmed by the cultural shock of landing here. He's also missing one piece of luggage, which is not uncommon, but we've always been able to track it down. But other than that he is excited to get to work and to be assigned to his new companion. He has already been out to do his first street contacting (with great success!). We will assign him tomorrow afternoon to his trainer, a special dedicated missionary called to that important position. But rather than wait until then to let you know he arrived safely, we thought you might be anxious to know that he didn’t get lost in transit and that he did arrive and that all is well. Earlier today, I had a wonderful interview with him, we got him registered with the American Embassy and tomorrow, we’ll go register with the Albanian police. We just had dinner, and he and his companions are off to get some rest. We will send you another short note tomorrow with all of his addresses, the name of his companion and any other information that will hopefully make you comfortable about his status.
Please also know that we already love your son and are concerned for his well being. We will do all in our power to make sure that he is safe and that he has a wonderful experience serving as a missionary. We can say without question that he has come to one of the finest missions in the world. The people are kind, the members are so loving of the missionaries, and the other missionaries are the finest young men and women in the church.
Thank you for sharing your son with the people of this country. We know that your family will be blessed as you share in his experiences.
President and Sister J. Martin Neil
Albania Tirana Mission