Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Years!

Hey Y’all!

First of all, Happy New Years! I think that was probably the fastest year of my life. I can’t believe I’m going to be 21 soon. That’s really weird. It sounds like you guys had a blast for New Year’s ha ha. We stayed up later than you and we’re missionaries! We were actually at President and Sister Neil’s until the fireworks at midnight and then after that we went back home. It was fun stuff. The fireworks were considerably less impressive this year. Last year they were still going strong at around 12:30 whereas this year they were pretty much over by 12:10. But it was good while it lasted. I got a couple of good pictures. I’m sure President got way better pictures though.

So I did say that this week had hopes of being a more normal missionary work week. Well. . . .that definitely didn’t happen. We did do some tracting towards the beginning of the week, but it was not super effective since everybody was preoccupied with New Year’s preparations and such, but it felt so dang good to get out there and tract.

And actually I should be able to start doing a lot more of that since I am headed back to Vlorë! I’ll be going tomorrow and Elder Knowles from Draper will be my companion. I’m not gonna lie it really really stinks to leave 1st Branch, but I’m sure I’ll be able to have a good time in Vlorë for my last three months. I’m a little hesitant because the Vlorë branch is made up of TONS of youth and it gets pretty crazy sometimes. It’s just known for being pretty irreverent and if you’re not careful, you’ll have the whole branch against you in no time. But I’ve been praying for help and obviously the Lord is not sending me there to fail so I’m counting on His direction. So next week should be the really exciting e-mail! =)

This week most of the visits we did were kind of goodbye visits. Last night we went to see the Deda’s with President and it was an awesome time. The Deda’s also had some cousins over and we were able to talk with them a little bit and make some new friends. They are an awesome family. I love teaching them. And I’ve been able to teach Ajvi (their 10 year old son) piano which has been way fun. He is really REALLY good. I’m really sad to leave because I don’t know if anybody in the new 1st Branch district is going to be able to play or teach him, but we’ll figure something out. We also visited Vasil for the last time which was kinda sad. Oh man he’s funny. He’s just got so many random stories about everything. The branch is really entertained by him. He’s a little slow to grasp things sometimes, but with time and repetition it will get there. =) It’s funny. He calls me Mono because Swenson is almost impossible for the majority of Albanians to say so he figures that Simon is close enough to Swenson and therefore uses the Albanian shortened version of Simon and so now I’m Mono. =) Good times.

It really is sad to leave. I’ve had a lot of good times here and learned a TON about the gospel and just about missionary work in general. It’s been really good. I can’t believe it’s almost over.

Well I hope you all have an awesome week! I’ll hopefully have some interesting stuff to write next week. And I’ll send you pictures next week cause I wont be at the mission home anymore for e-mail so I can just send pictures from wherever I’m at. Have fun at lunch with Motra! Tell her I said hi and also tell her to u martofsh sa më shpejt! She’ll understand.

Love you!

-Elder Swenson

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