The City of Belfast

November 23, 2015

Hey everybody! Sorry about no letter last week! I knew I forgot something. Leaving Gala was really hard. I am going to miss everyone there so much. I am also really sad I am missing Elizabeth’s baptism. It was my first area so it will always be like home to me.

My first 2 weeks here in Cavehill have been great! My companion is Elder Smith from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He only has 3 months left on his mission! We have the nicest apartment. It was supposed to be an apartment for 4 missionaries, but it is just me and Elder Smith! We live on the top floor of the building in the middle of the City Center of Belfast. We have quite the view. Belfast is such a beautiful city. Our area is pretty massive and I am back to using buses ūüė¶ We had 2 investigators, Phillip and Cheryl. Phillip was preparing for baptism until this past Friday when he said he was going back to his own church. That was rough, but Cheryl is a new investigator and she is really nice and has a lot of potential! Elder Smith and I have talked to a lot of strange people recently. A guy invited us into his house and explained his religion to us. He is a Pastaforian and believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is a real religion. Haha I am excited to help this area grow and hasten the work here! The members are great and are feeding us tons so that is always a plus.
On Saturday the 21st, I got to go down to Dublin for an All-Ireland Zone Conference! It was really good to see my old district leader and my friends from the MTC. After the conference we got to have 2 hours with Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. We all got to shake his hand. It was an incredible experience. He is really funny! He said that we can’t get out of missionary work by dying because we will do it in the spirit world, so might as well get good at it! He told us that we have to be great. We have to be the best missionaries of all time. He said that if we want to baptize more, we have to talk to more people! It is that simple. It was an amazing spiritual experience that I will never forget.
President Donaldson challenged us to ponderize a scripture every week like what Elder Durrant said at General conference. This week I am ponderizing Alma 36:18-20. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! It think this passage of scripture is the most beautiful one in the Book of Mormon. I know that repentance is real. Christ died for us for a reason! Let us not make His suffering be in vain. Utilize the Atonement. We can all be forgiven. Do whatever you can do become clean.
Elder Swenson
P.S. Since I am in Ireland now, I have to do an Irish word of the week.
1)What’s the Craic?(pronounced crack)=What’s up? or How are you?

2)Sham=friend

¬†—

elderpaulswenson.wordpress.com

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Appt. 92 17 Queens Square
Belfast BT1 3FF
Northern Ireland
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