Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Real Week

July 13, 2008


C’Kemi! Mire je? Si ke qene? Me shendet? Nga shtepia? Mire. Ha ha that is a traditional Albanian greeting. It’s funny because basically all of those ask the same question, but they have to ask you five times to be considered normal. It’s good stuff. So yeah I’m here safe! And I was thankful that the mission president let me e-mail you as well. I knew you were worried. Ha ha. I do not like the picture he sent you anymore though. I was so dang tired ha ha. I’m pretty much off the jet-lag now and doing well. This is definitely not Utah anymore. It has definitely been a change for me, but I am catching on. And yeah! Motra Bentley is actually in my district still which is really cool. She’s going to be a great missionary.

So my companion is Elder Tracy. . . . .he is a great elder. He is a fantastic teacher and he is really good at the language. By the way, forward these to my MTC teachers, Brother Krumweide and Brother Tamanaha. Faliminderit shume! (Thanks a lot!)

And no Lindsey didn’t tell me that about her wisdom teeth. Ewwww, that’s gross. =)

It’s funny that you say that sun thing because I just got a nice little sunburn on my arms. Long story that I won’t go into right now, but yeah. Tell Grandpa I love him and hope he is well. That does sound pretty painful so I’ll be praying for him. Oh man, I miss those 2nd Sunday dinners. That is so great. I’m glad that Grandpa and Kris came as well. This will be a good chance for him to relax a little and do some fun things. It’s good to hear that he is doing alright. Tell him that I wish him the best!

Yeah I’ve had some Albanian food! Luckily, I’ve only had a lot of the good stuff for right now. I haven’t had pacekoke (cooked sheep’s head) or anything else like that. . . .yet. But it’s inevitable. Oh well! I’ll get used to it. Oh my heck the ice cream in Albania is THE BEST! It’s called akullore. It is way good. And I’ve also had suflaqe (soo-flaw-chey) which is basically just a gyro, but better. It’s pretty good, but I’ve had better stuff as well. My companion, Elder Tracy, likes to cook so we have good food when we get home, too.

So as far as understanding Albanians. . . .I’m pretty much kot (useless/worthless). It is so dang hard to understand them! But I’m getting better. Our first night, me and Motra went street contacting with the Assistants and after awhile they were like, “Okay you guys go try one by yourselves!” So we stopped this guy and he was looking at our pass along card and he kept asking us this question and neither one of us could understand him worth beans so eventually I was just like, “Uh. . . .po.” (Po means yes by the way.) And we gave him a card and he gave us his number! Shume Mire! (Very good) So yeah it’s going to take me a while to get to where I can actually communicate effectively in the language. But don’t worry, I’ll get it.

Oh man I’m excited for the newsletter! I love that testimony book and I love hearing from all of them. It’s way cool to see how everybody’s doing. Make sure you let me know the next time I need to write a paragraph for them. Right now I just want to tell them to BE OBEDIENT! That’s pretty much the best advice I could give as of right now, but let me know when I can write them. =)

You know, I’ve only been here for like 5 days, but I can already tell two things: 1) This is going to be freaking hard. In lots of ways. 2) This is going to be the most amazing thing ever! I can already tell that I’m going to have so much fun and have amazing experiences! We’ve taught a couple lessons already and it’s just amazing how much of a change it is from walking down the streets where horns are constantly honking and music is consistently blaring to sitting down with somebody and teaching them about the gospel. You can really feel the Spirit come in when you’re teaching. It’s such an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to feel that for the next two years as I teach the people of Albania. I’m so excited! I really didn’t think I was going to be this excited, but I just want to do everything I can while I have this time here. I want to be able to look back on my mission and not have any regrets. I want to serve the Lord. He has given us everything and now I can give him something back.

I love you guys and thank you for your constant support. You are amazing! Miss you! See you soon!
-Elder Swenson

Hey dad!

Sorry I don't have much time. I kind of write both you and mom in mom's e-mails ha ha. But I just wanted to thank you for your e-mail and for your prayers. I've been doing really well so far.

Yeah my Mission President is a really nice guy. He's going to be great to get to know while I'm here serving. He will be a great support on the mission. He has definitely been called of God to lead the missionary efforts in Albania. He's a great guy. And I will ask him in my e-mail this week about the picture thing. Speaking of pictures, I will send them next week because I don't have what I need to send them as of right now, but I will next week for sure. Sorry about that! But yeah, hopefully they will give you a little bit of a taste of what Albania is like!

Anyway, I've gotta go! I will talk to you next week! I hope you're doing well. I hope work is doing alright and you're happy. Do what
Billy says and "Keep the Faith" =)

-Elder Swenson

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