July 9, 2009
From Elder Swenson’s Mission President:
Dear Brother and Sister Swenson,
We have had the wonderful opportunity of spending more time with your son and getting to know him a little better. Your son is still functioning in another time zone, but jet lag will pass quickly for him. Elder Swenson is doing well with the language and is talking to people in the street already. This morning, we took our two new missionaries to the Mother Albania Statue and Park, a memorial to the heroes of Albania during the second world war, overlooking the city of Tirana. This is where Albania was dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel in April of 1993 by Elder Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve. The attached photo shows Elder Swenson and Sister Bentley from the MTC up at the park, overlooking the city of Tirana.
We had a short service there where we read together the dedicatory prayer, which is beautiful and becoming fulfilled in amazing ways. After prayer and thoughtful consideration, we have assigned him to work with Elder Tracy, in the city of Kamez. Kamez is right next to Tirana, and was only opened in the last two years. Your son’s companion is a great missionary who has earned the opportunity to be a trainer by his dedicated service here in Albania. I am sure that your son will be able to learn much from him. He will also learn to rely on the Spirit to guide him daily. He will grow in ways that you can’t imagine.
There is no mail delivery in Albania other than post office boxes, so our Office Secretary goes to the post office twice a week to pick up the mail and packages. DHL or FedEx delivers the Church pouch to us once a week. We have found that US express mail is the least expensive and fairly rapid option and the packages are actually delivered to our doorstep. So, for everything else, use this address:
PO BOX 2984
Rr Qemal Stafa Vila 1
Përballë Postës 22
You can also write to him via the pouch at church headquarters if you write on one sheet of paper and fold it and seal it without an envelope. Address your letters to your missionary in care of:
Albania Tirana Mission Pouch
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0150
Again, thank you for raising such a fine son. Sister Neil and I love the Lord, we love His church, and we love His missionaries, and will do everything we can to support and sustain your son so that he can accomplish what he came here to do. We know he will have a wonderful mission, and will accomplish much good in this developing land of generous and kind people.
President John M. Neil
Sister Elizabeth Neil