Monday, September 13, 2010

The real highlight of my week will happen on Friday.

Hey Mom!

So here's the deal. We got back late from our district trip today and so we have like 20 minutes for e-mail! So basically I'm just putting everything in here and you can send it to Dad and Lindsey and stuff. =)

That is so cool that you basically knew Elder Foulk's sister. I've been hearing the updates on the marriage thing every week of course. That was definitely a weird coincidence. Also, you have a facebook page? Weird.

This week was pretty boring actually. The highlight in time consumption was a three day training on the Fundamentals From Preach My Gospel: Teaching More Effectively. (Ha ha hilarious name) We got to practice a ton on each of the eight principles and get some great new ideas for our investigators. It really was a pretty good experience and we definitely need all the practice we can get. Ever since the trainings have started, the mission has seen a drastic increase in baptismal dates and just good positive key indicators. It's pretty cool. The goal that I've set for myself for the rest of my mission is just to become an awesome teacher. I have a lot of work to do, but I really really like the practice we've been getting and I think it's been helping me. But what do I know?

The real highlight of my week will happen on Friday. Guess what. I am going to baptize somebody! Not somebody I taught, but somebody I found. Her name is Erodita and she came to our English course the last time we did it. I also had the opportunity to give her a blessing last week and it was a really good experience. One day a long time ago in English class, I asked for a volunteer to say the prayer and nobody was volunteering. So finally Erodita was like, "I'll say it, I guess." She said an amazing prayer and then after the prayer we had like a one minute discussion about prayer from which we drew the fact that she was awesome and ready for the gospel. We sicked the sisters on her and they have been teaching her ever since! It's really exciting that she's going to get baptized and obviously I'm pretty excited that I get to dunk her. ;) So I'll make sure to get some pictures from that.

Vasil was actually in his village this week and so we didn't meet with him, but we should be meeting with him again tomorrow and he should still be getting baptized on Sunday. We're definitely excited for that as well. We're just trying to get him to let Brother Saraçi (his friend that referred him to us) baptize him and not one of us. But either way it should be a really good baptism. He's always super happy and we think he's going to have a positive effect on 1st Branch.

We are also meeting with Azgan still. He has a lot to change, but this week we feel like we saw signs that he actually is changing. He has a huge prejudice against Albanians (yeah weird) so we had a lesson about 3 Nephi 12 when Jesus tells us to love our enemies and do good to those that despitefully use us. It was a really good lesson and so now we're helping him focus on the positive things in his life instead of the negative. It's a big change, but one that has a LOT of effects. Avash avash (slowly, slowly). He'll get there.

The rest of the time we had this week we just filled with handing out more English flyers than you can imagine. We're starting up our course on Wednesday and hoping some good, prepared people come to that. I actually really like teaching English. It's fun stuff and it kinda reminds me of teaching piano which, by the way, I will be starting again this week. =) I'm happy.

I'm really looking forward to this week. It's gonna be busy, but it should be a really uplifting week too. I hope you guys have a week equally as awesome!

I love you! I'll send you pics next week. Sorry!

-Elder Swenson

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