I’m a REAL Missionary

August 24, 2015

Hello from Scotland! Sorry there was no email last Wednesday, I was leaving the MTC! Last Thursday the 13th, we went to Manchester to street contact people for a couple of hours and it was a great experience. We placed 4 Book of Mormon’s and handed out a lot of pass along cards. There were quite a bit of people that were interested, and a quite a bit that weren’t. I’m really glad I got to go. My district leader in the MTC, Elder Swalberg from Texas, made a Restoration rap. It is sooooo good. I beatboxed to it in the lunch room and President Preston heard it and loved it. We recorded it later that night for him and he put it on his Facebook page! it got 74 views in less than a day! Hahaha go and find it, it is amazing. The rest of my time at the MTC was great. More teaching and study. I got so close to so many Elders.

Last Wednesday the 19th, we woke up at 4:45 to travel 5 hours to Edinburgh to meet our trainers. Before we were assigned into companionships, we went to Pratt’s Hill which overlooks Scotland. A breathtaking view. It is where Orson Pratt made a covenant with God to find 200 souls to join the church. Look up the full story, it is great. We sang High on the Mountain Top while we were up there and it was SO cool. I got to request my BRP card to be sent to Edinburgh so I am not getting deported! WHOOHOO! We went to the chapel next to the mission home to receive our companions after the hike. I remember being so nervous and praying so hard for a good trainer. My first companion is Elder Stevens! He is 22 and has been on his mission for 4 and a half months. He loves boxing and rugby. He went to BYU Idaho for 2 and a half years. I have learned so much from him in the past 5 days and I love him so much. We are in an area called Galashiels. It is by the border of Scotland and England. It is one of the largest area’s in the mission and we got the car taken away this transfer so we have to take the bus everywhere. A lot of time is travel so it can be annoying at times.There hasn’t been a baptism here in 6 years, BUT there might be one soon. On Friday we were going to have a discussion with Emma who is our golden investigator, but it fell through. We were super bummed so we decided to go see if Daniel was home. Daniel is a former investigator that is 20 and he finds it hard to keep commitments. We watched the Restoration video with him and talked about the Holy Ghost. He said he felt it and that he has felt it before when he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true. I challenged him to be baptized on September 19th and he said YES. Elder Stevens hasn’t had an investigator with a baptism date in his 4 months here in Galashiels. We are so hopeful and excited for him. He didn’t come to church on Sunday so we are going to teach him about the importance of church later today. Keep Daniel and Emma in you prayers!
The branch is really small here in Gala. Only about 12 members that came to church on Sunday and they are all over 50 years old except a couple who are in their 30’s. There is one guy who is 95! He is really energetic and doesn’t even walk with a cane! Everyone is so nice to us in the branch and the branch president, President Kelly, is a saint. We read the Book of Mormon to a lady named Sister White. She is blind and is the sweetest lady I’ve ever met. She asked me to give her a blessing! I’ve never given a blessing so I was really nervous, but it went great.
On Sunday I saw a blonde German Shepard! Really pretty. We went to go see Jose in the evening. We just got his information last week. He was baptized 18 years ago in Portugal. We were talking about resurrection and then he started going off about reincarnation, God doesn’t want to hear our prayers, God doesn’t have a body, there isn’t enough room on the Earth for everyone to be resurrected and a LOT more crazy things. I challenged him to pray about it and then we left. Hahaha it was a great experience. And then on the way home a drunk guy stopped us and hugged us and told us he felt the Spirit and a lot of other things I can’t say as a missionary. I was laughing so hard.
Russell Dixon is my cousin and he produces all the EFY songs and sings a really popular church song called “Glorious”. EVERYONE is obsessed with that song. I got to brag about it in the MTC so that was fun. We got a ride to our area from another set of missionaries and Elder Crowe was one of them. He started to play Glorious and I told him that my cousin sings it. He said “RUSS DIXON IS YOUR COUSIN!? He’s my manager!” It turns out that Elder Crowe is actually Patch Crowe, lead singer in Beyond 5. They are a SUPER popular LDS boyband that sings on EFY CD’s and a whole bunch of things. So cool.
MARK ANTHONY GOT BAPTIZED. I am so happy for him. I didn’t even know that he was taking the discussions. Congratulations! And I challenged Kenneth Buen to take a discussion when I left and he did and is committed to baptism as well! Eric got a job at the MTC! Congratulations to you too! I can’t believe all of the blessings I am receiving and my friends and family are receiving from me being on a mission.
Happy Birthday to Amanda and my mother! They are the two biggest female role models in my life. I am so grateful for their example that they have set for me. I love you both so much. I wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t for you two.
I am loving serving the wonderful people of Scotland. I can feel myself grow closer to my Father in Heaven every day. I love the work. I can’t wait to see what can happen when I allow myself to be a tool in the Lord’s hands. I was really overwhelmed my first few days, but I’m falling into the swing of things. Thank you for all the emails and letters! I will try to write you a short response if you email me, but if you write me a letter, I can have more time 🙂 I love you all!
Elder Swenson
Scottish word of the week: ken= no or know
ex. I don’t ken= I don’t know
I cannie do that= I can’t do that
Departing and arriving missionaries to the mission at Pratt’s Hill.
Pratt's Hill

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