A New Companion!

October 26, 2015

Hello everyone! I got a new companion this week! His name is Elder Gullion. He is from Sacramento, California. He is 19 and has been on his mission for 11 months, the whole time in Ireland! I said goodbye to Elder Stevens on Tuesday and picked up Elder Gullion at the same time. This week was kinda rough because I basically had to do everything myself because Elder Gullion isn’t familiar with the area. Planning is the most stressful thing. Oh and I’m the designated driver now so I have to drive everywhere! Driving on the left side of the road is stupid.

Elizabeth has a baptismal date! November 14th! She really wants to join the church and loves having us over. The day after we gave her a date we went to see her and she was having some doubts ūüė¶ She said she has financial problems, family responsibilities, and smoking problems so she doesn’t know if the 14th is the right date. I told her about how much baptism is going to help her in her life and Satan does not want her to get baptized. He will do everything he can to prevent it. I told her to pray for strength and if the 14th is the right date for her. Pray for her! I have so much faith in her.
The rest of the week was good! We got around to a lot of investigators to let them meet Elder Gullion! And Sunday was fun with everyone in the branch meeting him as well. They were pretty sad to see Elder Stevens go because he spent his first 7 months in Galashiels. An high councilman came to speak at sacrament meeting. He got up to the pulpit and said, “I just had a vision. The members here and the missionaries need to find a piano player. A lady who plays the piano is prepared to hear the gospel in Galashiels and you need to find her.” We play the hymns from a CD through the speaker because no one plays the piano in the branch. It was very interesting! We will start asking people that when we street contact or chap their door. “Oh and by the way, do you play the piano?” Should be good fun.
I was reading in Alma chapter 30 this week about Korihor and his teachings. Things that Korihor teaches are still in the world today. “There is no God. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Religion is a ‘foolish tradition’.” I see this every day as a missionary. Satan wants us to believe these things. I know that God exists and that He does bless our lives. Don’t listen to the Korihor’s of our day. Ask God if He really is there, if you don’t know already, and you will receive an answer. I love you all!
Elder Swenson

Scottish word of the week: stotter=a good example

elderpaulswenson.wordpress.com

26 Woodlea Wood Street
Galashiels
TD1 1QW
Scotland

Edinburgh is Awesome!

October 19, 2015

As we say in Scotland, hiya! How was everyone’s week? Mine was action packed!

On Tuesday we had Zone Interview Training where every missionary in the zone receives training from the Zone Leaders and also has an interview with the mission President! I learned so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and obedience. We truly have the best missionaries in the Scotland/Ireland mission in the Edinburgh zone.
On Thursday we knocked on this deaf lady’s door and she started yelling at us! Hahaha she said “I’m deaf so show me what you want! (shows Book of Mormon) Oh no I’m Catholic! Bye!”
Thursday was the best day of my mission so far! We “blitzed” the Edinburgh zone leaders, which basically means that instead of one of us going to Edinburgh, we both go! We finded all day, which is usually dreaded when you are a missionary. You want to teach people! We did this thing called Street Boarding. We got this big white board and wrote “What makes you HAPPY?” on it and put it up in the park and asked people to write on the board! We talked to SO many people. There were a lot of college students and a lot of Americans! It was so fun. I don’t have a picture, but I will get one of another missionary next week! We went to 5 Guys and it made me super homesick. Sharing the gospel with people makes me so happy! It is hard to describe. I have been able to have a knowledge of this gospel for 18 years and these people haven’t even heard of Mormons!
Saturday and Sunday were great as well! We started the Stop Smoking Program with Elizabeth! She is so grateful for the opportunity to stop smoking. She came to church and brought her 4 year old daughter Bethany! She loved it so much. We had a quick lesson with her at the church and she said she could really feel the Spirit there. All of the members were so good to her and she loves them! Elder Stevens and I got to take care of Bethany the whole time! She loves us and wants to come to church every week!
We got a call from President Donaldson today and Elder Stevens is going to the Lieth area in Edinburgh to be a District Leader! Tommorow! It was a big shock because we are in the middle of a transfer. I am so sad that he is leaving early. I have learned so much from him in the short 2 months we have been together. I really am going to miss him, but he is going to do great things as a district leader! And I get a new companion tomorrow! I will let you know how he is next week!
I found my new favorite scripture this week! Alma 13:27- And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance; I feel like this as a missionary towards some of my investigators. I have developed a real love for the people we are teaching and with that love comes a feeling of responsibility. I want to help them feel clean and bring to them the knowledge of the gospel! I love being a missionary. Good luck until next week!
Elder Swenson
Scottish word of the week:

galaikit=foolish

elderpaulswenson.wordpress.com

 
26 Woodlea Wood Street
Galashiels
TD1 1QW
Scotland
download

Try your best!

October 12, 2015

Greetings from the Borders! Sorry about the short email this week! Quick shoutout to Marissa who is moving to California for a couple months for her job! Keep her in your prayers!¬†Having a car is soooooo nice. We were able to teach so many people this week, but I am scared I am gonna get fat. We are teaching Daniel again! He didn’t burn the Book of Mormon like his friends said. He seems a lot more motivated this time around. Elizabeth is doing great, but didn’t come to church ūüė¶ We are getting a lot of new investigators that seem really solid. I am beginning to see the difference the gospel can make in people’s lives. I know that growing up, I took the gospel for granted. I never thought about my life without it. So many people in this world are lost and don’t even know it. As missionaries, we are trying to help people recognize that. Our brothers and sisters. And it is so frustrating when they don’t! I am so happy for this gospel in my life and just want to tell everyone about it. And all of you can too! Don’t be afraid to share the gospel!

I read the First Presidency message for the October Ensign this week and loved it.¬†https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/10/finish-with-your-torch-still-lit?lang=eng I know that it can be hard to start and then finish things in life and being able to look back and say, “I did the best I could do. I didn’t waste a second.” I hope that I will be able to do that with my mission. I believe that a mission is one of the hardest things you can do in your life, but it is the best thing you can do FOR your life. I would like to challenge everyone to put your all into everything that you do. Whether that is home teaching or doing a chore or serving a mission. Try it out and you won’t be let down!

Elder Swenson

Scottish word of the week!
tea=dinner
 
Elder Swenson
26 Woodlea Wood Street
Galashiels
TD1 1QW
Scotland
Pictures
Dumfries
Elder Lampropoulos
William Wallace Statue
Scott’s View
Hawick
IMG_0047 (2) IMG_0049 (2)
IMG_0028 (2)
IMG_0020 (2) IMG_0017 (2) IMG_0006 (2)

General Conference!

October 5, 2015

Hello everyone! I had a wonderful week this week. It was filled with service and some really productive lessons. It is Elder Stevens 22nd birthdaytoday! Happy birthday to my companion! We got a car today!!!!!!! I am so happy. We have been taking the busses everywhere and they only get us to about half of our area because of how huge it is. We can get to some member referrals that we have received now!

Elizabeth came to watch the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference with us! She really enjoyed it and cried when Elder Holland gave his talk about mothers. After conference we had an amazing lesson about prayer. I have really high hopes for her.

Elder Stevens and I have only had the chance to watch a few sessions because of the time change. The morning sessions were broadcasted at 5pm and the Afternoon sessions were broadcasted at 9pm so we couldn’t watch those live. The priesthood session was at 1am. We had the chance to watch the General Priesthood, Saturday Afternoon, and Sunday morning sessions on Sunday. I thought I would just share a portion of my notes from the sessions so far (I know it is a lot).
General Priesthood Session
Neil L. Andersen Faith comes from choice not chance. Faith never demands an answer to every question.
Randall K. Bennett None of us would make it back to our Heavenly Father’s presence if we tried by ourselves. Willingness to try will lead to progress and success.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf Are we like Daniel? Are we loyal to God? Do we practice what we preach? Daniel passed his test. Ours still continues. Skepticism is easy, anyone can do it.
Henry B. Eyring If we do our small part, the Lord will do the rest.
Thomas S. Monson Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us commandments. Decisions determine destiny.
Saturday Afternoon Session
Robert D. Hales Never deliberately fly into a thunderstorm. Ask yourself “If I make this choice, what is the worst that could happen?” If you are there for the Lord, He will be there for you.
Jeffrey¬†R. Holland A mother’s love for her child is the closest thing to Christ’s love for every one of us.
Bradley D. Foster Children are the largest group of investigators in the church. There is a difference between hearing and understanding.
Hugo Montoya Our burdens are made light as we help each other.
James B. Martino Daily scripture study will open the doors of revelation. Questions lead to increased faith.
Dallin H. Oaks Our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen every man and woman as long as we ask for it.
Sunday Morning Session
Thomas S. Monson We can be an example of the believers if we live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we emulate Christ’s example, we will bless lives, including our own.
Ronald A. Rasband We cannot change Christ’s love for us or any other person.
Gary E. Stevenson The Lord will qualify those of whom He calls.
Dale G. Renlund The Lord has called me because of what He needs to do through me, not because of my ability right now. (MISSIONARIES)
Gregory A. Schwitzer When we testify, something changes within us.
Claudio M. Costa What does it mean to always remember Him?
Henry B. Eyring If we partake of the sacrament in faith, the Holy Ghost will be able to protect us and those who we love. The Spirit helps us through moments of doubt. When you demonstrate your willingness to obey, the Spirit will send you more promptings from our Heavenly Father about what He wants you to do.
The Atonement and faith seem to be the main focus of conference so far. I am so happy for the 3 new apostles and cannot wait to hear more from them. I was extremely scared that President Monson was going to pass out. Apparently he needed to say something and I am glad that he was able to speak to us. I love him, his counsellors, and the quorum of the 12. If we apply what they have said to us in our daily lives, we will be able to see the difference it makes. I am so grateful for modern day prophets and the inspiration they receive on behalf of us. I have taken them for granted when I was younger. Have a wonderful week everyone!
Elder Swenson
P.S. I forgot the Scottish word of the week. AGAIN. Here are some words specific to a town in my area called Hawick.
Sook=a flatterer
Greetin=crying

IMG_0041 (3) IMG_0045 (3)