We had a bit of a crazy P day yesterday and in the midst of it all I didn't send y'all an email. But I got permission to send this a day late, so here we go.
We had a pretty good week this week! It was kind of crazy though. For one thing, I found out that I will be transferred this Wednesday to Asheville, North Carolina. I've actually wanted to go to Asheville for awhile. I've heard that it's a good area, and also that it's really pretty, so I'm excited to go. But I'm going to miss Lebanon a lot. There are a lot of people here that I have grown to really love. And it's hard to leave a place after putting a lot of hard work and love into it.
One super awesome thing that happened this week was that the Nagy family (part member family we have been working with) came to church, for the first time since I've been here in Lebanon!! It was awesome! We weren't expecting them to come at all, it was just out of the blue. We were actually waiting at the door expecting another person to come, a less active boy named Donny, and while we were waiting for him, up walked the Nagy's! We were so excited. And Donny did end up coming as well, which was awesome.
Another big thing this week is that we seem to finally be gaining the ward's trust. We were able to sit down and talk with the Bishop after church last week, and we had a good meeting. He even wants to come out with us tomorrow night to see Ronnie so that will be good. The Elders Quorum President also seems to be beginning to trust us a lot more too.
Ronnie is actually doing really well. We brought a member named Brother Reeves with us when we saw him his week and they seemed to click pretty well. And the lesson went great. We invited him to baptism, and he has concerns about it (mostly it's that he has already been baptized), but he also told us that he has prayed about meeting with us and about the Book of Mormon, and that the answer he has gotten is to continue to meet with us. He says he knows the Lord wants him to be studying with us. He agreed to pray about baptism and seek the Lord's direction.
I have been saying a lot of goodbyes the past couple of days. We said goodbye to the Hokanson family, the family that is related to me. It was bittersweet. They have really helped this ward to feel more like home. They fed us so much food that night that we thought we were going to die haha. We also said goodbye to the Nagy family on Sunday night. I love them a lot too. And then last night we said goodbyes to the Ward Mission Leader and his wife. I'll miss them a lot. I'll be back to visit them for sure. They are awesome. I'm sad to be leaving this district - I love these missionaries here a lot. And I'll be really sad to leave Elder Urry. He has been such a good companion and friend to me. But I know he'll do great things here in Lebanon, I know things will continue to move forward here, and I'm excited for what the future holds. This is the Lord's vineyard, after all. It is His work and He is in charge of it, and it will move forward under His direction.
Well, I better go. I trust that the Lord is leading me where he needs me to be. I know that as we move forward with faith in Jesus Christ, He truly does lead us and strengthen us to become all He knows we can become. I urge you to seek, listen to and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. There was a scripture Elder Urry shared this week, and I'll share it with you:
"Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea." (Jacob 4:6)
As we search the words of the prophets, both ancient and modern, and as we listen to and follow the revelations given us by the Holy Spirit, we obtain hope, and we begin to develop unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ, which faith we will need to move forward where He asks us to go, do what He asks us to do, and be who He asks us to be. He will help us strengthen our faith if we let Him, and love Him, and put forth the effort.
I love you all!
Elder Alex Swindler
11320 Station West Dr. Ste. 101
Farragut, TN 37934
1-2) We cleaned out our fridge this week and found this. Yum.
3) Goodbye to the Nagy's
4) Goodbye to the Hokanson's
5) The Westbrooks (ward mission leader) made us cake :)
Video 1: Waiting for an oil change on exchanges with Elder Vellinga. Mission life can be so hard sometimes.
Video 2: Some fun on the guitar with Elder Urry.