Monday, January 26, 2015

48th Week in Japan, 56 Weeks

7 week transfer!

This week is the last full week of this 7 week transfer. It is really cool to see how fast time flies when your doing the Lord`s work! Yesterday I was just picking up Elder Israelsen from Honbu and getting ready to train. Now 3 months later, my training days are probably coming to an end. It is really a hard to describe the feelings of serving in a place that you love and the people you now call family. Kushiro is the first place where I have really come closer to the members and gotten to know a lot about Japanese culture and people in general. I have learned how important Jesus Christ is and His love for everyone, including me. I feel like sometimes I was lost in the world of missionary work and lost sight of my God. The numbers, the meetings, the doors slammed, all of those things were bringing my thoughts away from Him. This email probably sounds really cheezy and it is only a few sentences in, but I am learning to love God and everything that he gives me. It is a lifelong pursuit to be thankful for everything that you receive, but it is slowly coming and I am seeing it now. 

This week the cool things have been:
1. Got back to back meals from members within 20 min. of eachother. Almost died.
2. Snowed a whole lot and covered the ice with shoe grip-able snow.
3. Eikaiwa was a blast and lots of people came and had a great time.
4. Did splits and learned how to really teach a good lesson.
5. Gave a 15 min. talk in sacrament about the Savior and the Atonement.
6. Learned that we were guided through the Spirit to find a family to teach the lessons to. 

With bullet number 6 their is a story. We got a referral a week and a half ago from a member for someone to have the Free Family English Program. (30min. English 30min. Gospel). So this last Wednesday we went to go and visit this person. When we went I had the pamphlet for the program in my hand with Elder Israelsen`s and my name on it. When she answered her call box she said that she was busy with work and couldn`t talk to us then. So I had that pamphlet in my hand that I couldn`t give to her, so I just kept it in my hand and started housing (the number one used finding method so far in my mission). I wanted to give that Pamphlet to someone because I already had it out and I really want a family to teach the gospel to. The first house that looked like a young family lived inside I tried to get them to come to the door to talk to us. The mom said that she was busy, so I made a really weak appointment for the next week and told her to read the pamphlet that I was carrying. She said ok and I put it in her mailbox. Then yesterday at church one of the members came up to us and asked if we were working in a certain area on wednesday. When we said yes she explained that her friend had gotten a pamphlet with Elder Israelsen`s name on it. The same friend was invited and came to the Branch Christmas party 2 years ago and enjoyed singing with the missionaries. She was then asked by the member if she wanted to listen to our lessons and the friend replied with "we have been Christian for a long time and haven`t been able to go to church. I think that we would love to go back to church and listen to your missionaries." I haven`t been so excited in my life since...well I don`t remember exactly but I was pumped! So I do know that God is preparing families and individuals to hear the Gospel! 

Love you guys and work hard!

Elder Swenson

New haricuts and 

Cranes that only can be seen in Kushiro!