Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 11, 2011 Letter

Hola Mis Benditos Padres!!!                 11 Apr 2011
        I am glad to be here with the news from another week here in St. George. It is always nice to be filled with the news from family, friends, and home. I am glad for everyone and all the support that I get via letters and emails. It is nice to know that there are people out there who are wondering about me and sending me emails and letters.
This week was good, but of course it had its typical ups and downs. I think we have finally hit the spot where we are on the upward climb once again. I think lately the big thing that was keeping me down was that I had set my expectations too high. After all 42 lessons a week is a ridiculous number no matter where you are serving. So I think that just keep my self esteem down when I would look at the old numbers compared to the new ones, but its not all about numbers, it's about the people! Well another reason that it has been up and down is because of the companion. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love Elder Bravo as a companion, it is just extremely tough because he is going home soon. I know he is a good missionary and he showed that the first two weeks we were together. Then he just started to slide downhill, so that has effected are work a little bit with all his emotions of going home. It is definitely the toughest thing to have a companion that is going home, not just for them and the work but for myself as well. Sometimes he just gets in these moods where he is talking about or thinking about home and it just puts those thoughts in my head, and they are super hard to get out and refocus. But enough being said about that.
This week we had our ZONE CONFERENCE. It was pretty amazing and I had the opportunity to learn a lot and understand some new concepts that I didn’t totally have mastered yet. While there, we had the opportunity to hear a talk from this girl that had only been a member for seven weeks and she gave a talk about her conversion story, and all the hardships that she had to go through to become a member, and how blessed she really is now that she is a member. We were all just shocked at how spiritual and how well she presented the information for only being a member for seven weeks. I guess when someone is ready for the Gospel, nothing stands in their way. Another crazy thing that I learned this week, is that I met an Elder that is probably the missionary here that lives the closet to home. He is from Basin City, so I was like that is extremely weird that I never knew there was a missionary from the same stake I am from in the same mission as me. It's even weird that I didn't know this before I left on the mission. He is also is related to a bunch of people out there, so it was good to be able to talk about home and the people that we knew and all that jazz.
I had a real big changing moment that night after Zone Conference. While Elder Bravo was conducting a baptismal interview, I was looking at all these picture that go through Christ's life in the Visitor Center. There I was just overcome with the Spirit and could really feel the love of the Savior there. There was also a picture of Christ waiting for Peter and the other Apostles in to come in from fishing after the Savior's resurrection. It made me feel and wonder how much time have I spent here "fishing" instead of out in the pasture "feeding His sheep". (John 21) It really opened my eyes and made me think about what I should be doing with my time here and how I can truly dedicate myself to the missionary service. That night also with my new refocused mind, I helped Elder Bravo refocus and we both decided that it is better to end a mission strong then to just be an "average" missionary. So from that day, we have really been striving to do all we can to do what is right. I learned the true power that the mind has. When we really focus on one thing and strive to accomplish it and have a positive attitude about things, that is really how things work out.
Well I got pulled over on my mission. I never thought that would happen on my mission, especially in this area since we walk everywhere, but it did indeed happen. I guess I didn’t personally get pulled over, but our fellowshipper did. So since we all spoke Spanish, we thought maybe he was racially profiling us. But needless to say our fellowshipper wasn’t too happy about it. (I don’t think he will becoming out with us for awhile.)
I did a few things this week that I have never done before on my mission. One I bore my testimony in the Branch here from the pulpit. If you think it is nervewracking to do it in English, try doing it in another language. TOUGH! Second is we taught a Priest's quorum on how to prepare for a mission. It was a pretty cool experience to go there and to be able to help others and help them see the importance and blessings that come from serving a mission. On Sunday we had a third companion for a while. We were getting ready to leave church and there was this RM that asked us where we were going, and we said to an appointment, so he just invited himself along, which we didn’t mind. So he stayed with us from 1 in the afternoon until 5 at night. But a little more background on this guy, he had just gotten home from his mission the night before and was released at about 9 the previous night, so his mind was still working in missionary mode, and was lost without a companion. So we took him along with us.
Well now to follow in the path of my forefathers (aka Grandpa Swoboda) the weather here this week was crazy! It wasn’t hot or anything like that, but we had a 50 degree drop. It went from 88 without a cloud in the sky to being 36 with wind and rain. Then it stayed in the 40s or 50s with wind and rainy almost the whole week. So everything here has been back and forth, I guess I just learn to adjust everyday.
Answers and comments on news from home: I was glad to hear the Burbank baseball team is going good. Nice to hear that Kev (Kevin Ireland) has a few offers here and there. And the feeder game is always and interesting thing, I remember that was the most tiring week of my life before my mission. I think a mission week and graduation week rank about the same. 
To answer the question about becoming a Senior Companion after my companion goes home in a few weeks, I don’t really know. I guess we will wait another two weeks and then we will really find out. Well I am glad to hear that everything went well for Hayley's wedding. (Chad's cousin)  It is also strange to hear that she wants to have kids right away, but I guess when people make up their mind, everything else just falls into place as well. I wish her the best with her husband and their future! My time is almost up here, I just want to say thanks again for everything! I love you a ton and don’t know what I would do without you in my life!!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!!!    Te amo de tu hijo en la vina del Senor!


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