Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vlorë is great!

October 12, 2009

Hey Mom,

Vlorë is great! It’s a lot different than Kamëz that’s for sure. We are basically right on the beach. I will take a picture from the house and send it to you next week so you can see how much of a rough life we have. ;) And my new companion’s name is Elder Garn. He is from Idaho. He’s pretty much awesome. We have had a good time so far. Right now, we’re working on cleaning the house so we just got done with some major repairs ha ha. It seems like you would learn how to keep your house clean as a missionary, but some definitely don’t. When I got here, my bathroom had an awesome layer of dust and dirt on the entire floor and sink and mirror and stuff. Mmmmm. . . .tasty. So needless to say that was the first thing I cleaned and now it is sanitary so don’t worry. =)

But the work here is a lot different too. We actually have like a legit branch down here! There are something like 80 members and an average sacrament attendance of 50 or so. That is going to be weird. Yesterday we had district conference in Tirana though so I still haven’t been to sacrament meeting in Vlore. That’s one disadvantage of being so far away from everything else. We had to wake up at 5:00 yesterday so we could be in Tirana by 10:00. . . .and we were still a half an hour late. But that’s okay. It’s great to see so many people that have the gospel in their lives. Ha ha we have an investigator right now who is a 66 year old nene. Her name is Nene Lavdia. She is so dang funny. She has the biggest crush on Elder Garn ha ha.

Not really, but she always says, “You guys are like my little grandsons!” She loves to learn though and we have invited her to baptism. She is worried about her age and what other people will say about her if she changes from Muslim to our faith. Elder Snow (the senior Elder in Vlore) posed the question, “Who’s more important? God or your friends?” And she was like “Oooooooh! That’s a hard question!” It is a hard question. Especially when you are that old and you’ve had those friends for a long time. She is very looked up to in her neighborhood and it could potentially be devastating to that. But she is giving us an answer on Tuesday. We talked to her about how the only question you have to resolve is whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. If it is, that means that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that this church is the ONLY church on the face of the earth that has the authority to perform ordinances such as baptism. She said, “If God tells me to do it, I never go against Him.” So I am really praying for her and hoping that she really asks to know if it is true. I know that if she reads and really wants to know, she will receive an answer.

Holy cow, that was my reply to your first paragraph. =) I should probably wrap up here pretty quick. Tell Cameron good luck! I wish I could be there to see him speak, but I’ll be there for sure when he gives his homecoming talk. He’s going to be an awesome missionary and I am excited for him.

Holy cow! You guys have been married for 25 years now?! That is crazy. I swear it was like last year that you had your 20th anniversary. Have fun at Strawberry! And thanks for your testimony, mom. Ha ha you say that you hardly ever bear your testimony, but it seems like in every letter you write me you tell me at least a part of it. And that works for me. You have a strong testimony and you are a great example for me and Lindsey. I never realized how much I appreciated you and Dad until I didn’t have you. I guess that’s just how I work which is really lame. But thank you for all the hard work you did and continue to do to help us have a good environment to grow up in and to know that we are loved and cared for. It really does mean a lot.

Well mom, I love you! I’ll send you some more pictures next week. I forgot to bring my camera to do e-mails today. Gabim! I’ll talk to you next week! Love you!

-Elder Swenson

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