Monday, February 28, 2011

I did get a new companion this week

Hey Mom!

Funny that you ask about the weather. Apparently it’s been my worst enemy this week. The weather has been really crazy. One day it will be really nice and sunny and warm and then the next day it will be really cold and rainy. Well, that really threw my body for a loop. On Monday I felt a sore throat coming on and woke up Tuesday morning with a burning throat and really not feeling up to anything. Good thing I didn’t have to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and ride in a furgon for four hours to get to Tirana for transfers. Just kidding, I did. And I feel really bad for my new comp Elder Holmes cause his first week here he was basically inside all the time. I really don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been that sick. It was a pretty miserable week. We also had to go to Zone Conference on Friday and if you look at our picture you can definitely tell I was a little bit out of it ha ha. At least I had a sweet tie, eh?

As I said before, I did get a new companion this week and I’m really excited to be finishing out my mission with Elder Holmes. He is a great kid and is ready to work hard. He’s from Bear Lake, Utah so I think I’m gonna have to take a road trip up there and say hi to his family. Hopefully he doesn’t want to murder me too badly because of our first week together. But we’re ready to get out there and hit the pavement this week.

One of the coolest things about this week was that we met Kujtim outside of English Course. He’s a really nice middle aged man that works as some sort of sailor or navy person or something of the sort. We’ve been really excited about him because he falls right into the category of people we’re looking for right now. We got to talk to him about families and how God has shown us how we can be together forever. We took it back to the five basic steps: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. He accepted to be baptized on the 27th of March. We’re hoping to meet his family this week. I’ll let you know how it goes!

This other little stud from our English course is called Xhiovani. He is stoked on the Church for lack of a better way to say it. Last week he came to the church for the first time and was really excited to go to the temple! He kept asking us what he needs to do to go there and we said, “Well, we’ve got to teach you a few things and you’ve got to get baptized first.” After that he said, “So how do I do that?” We told him, “You go ask your parents if we can come over after English class and talk to your family about it and then we’ll show you.” This Sunday he came and apparently his family had invited us over whenever we’d like! We’re planning on going tomorrow if they are still up for it. Xhiovani really is awesome. He’s started to read the Book of Mormon and has really enjoyed it. He even gives answers and stuff in young men’s and all that good stuff. We’re really looking forward to working with his family.

At Zone Conference, we learned a lot about working with the members; something that I have struggled with my whole mission. So for this last little while that I have, I’m going to focus on getting them involved with missionary work as much as I can. Coming to lessons, inviting their friends, going on splits, training them, just everything we can do to get the Vlorë branch involved in it’s own growth. We’ve already started going around to different families inviting them to “set a date” for when they will have somebody prepared to hear the gospel. It’s definitely not going to be in my time here that there will be a huge improvement, but I’m hoping to really get a good headstart for them in that aspect. Because it’s so true, that the members are everything in missionary work. When they have ties with the members it becomes incredibly easier to help them progress and stay in the church after we’re gone.

Well I’m outta here! I love you! See you soon!

-Elder Swenson

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