Monday, July 18, 2016

What To Expect When You're Expecting

Hey folks!

We had a pretty darn good week this week. I guess I'll start by updating you on Esther. We talked to our mission president a little more about her situation and he feels like it is best if her family at least knows she is being baptized. After talking to him I agree. While they might be upset if they find out she has been meeting with us now, they would probably freak out even more if/when they eventually find out she got baptized in secret. We talked to Esther about it and she is understandably pretty apprehensive about it. Actually she doesn't like the idea at all. She is a little socially/mentally handicapped and she doesn't quite seem to grasp the idea that it will be better, or at least less bad, to tell them now. But she still wants to get baptized so that's good. She and her family will be moving in August, and it will be outside of our mission boundaries, which might make things a little more complicated, but it will be ok. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

In other news, the area here is really picking up. There's a lady named Andrea that Elder Lakko tracted into just before I got here. We haven't been able to see her since then but we have kept in contact and she is definitely interested. Well, early this week we met her husband Justin, and he is really cool and open. And then, like 2 days later, Justin's dad died unexpectedly! They are having a really hard time with it, Justin especially, and now they have all sorts of questions about where he is and things like that. They want to meet with us and we are hoping to see them this week.

We also had a good first lesson with a lady named Judy. The first time we met her (tracting) she basically described how she felt the Spirit when she visited Temple Square in SLC. And when we taught about the Book of Mormon she walked into the back room and came out with a copy that someone gave her in 1991 in Florida. She is super prepared for the gospel. Although she doesn't think she will "become a Mormon." Well, maybe not yet at least. Haha

AND we had a killer zone training meeting with President Griffin on Wednesday. Got a lot of answers for myself and for this area about what to do and what to work on.

So. As for the subject line... I am indeed expecting! In fact, I'm due Wednesday morning. It's crazy because I only found out this morning that I was even pregnant, although I've suspected for a few transfers now that it might happen. The ultrasound says it is likely to be a brand new Elder. Which means... I'm going to be training a new missionary!! Haha I'm pretty excited about it! I'll send lots of pictures. I don't know his name yet but make sure to keep him in your prayers because coming out on a mission is super sketchy and can be really hard. And keep me in your prayers too because training can also be super sketchy and really hard. But I'm pumped. And Elder Merrill, my trainer and current zone leader, is excited to have a grandson now!

This does mean that Elder Lakko will be leaving, sadly. We've become good friends in the last 6 weeks and we really have worked well together. I'm sad to see him go. But we'll probably see each other again sometime before I go home, he's only been out 7 1/2 months. He'll be going to Cleveland, TN, to be a district leader.

My message for this week is that God answers prayers. Sometimes it may not seem like it, or may not seem like much, but He does. We just have to listen and to act upon what He gives us, even if what He gives us isn't what we expected or wanted,  or is really hard, or doesn't tell us as much as we want to know, or even is just a silence that seems to say "you decide." If we will ask for guidance, then listen closely, then act upon what He gives us - or has already given us - then we will progress and grow and He will bless us with further understanding and light and knowledge. We will be led to greater light and greater happiness than we have yet known. Seek His guidance! My testimony of this has grown stronger here in the mission field and I know it works.

God loves you. I love you. Make yourselves a great week!

Elder Alex Swindler

P.S. We went hiking today in a state park called Frozen Head to the top of a fire tower and the view was amazing! I will try to send pictures next week because I am out of time.

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