Friday, November 28, 2014


Update from Jacob......
Well, first off Happy Thanksgiving. This week has been a rough one to say the least. To start off on Tuesday, we had a devotional and the whole day we heard rumors that we might see a general authority. So as usual, my zone and I show up way early so we can get the back seats that have the most leg room. So right before the devotional started, a lady asked us to move down to the bottom by the stage. Just as we sit down at the bottom, the doors open and Elder Oaks came in and everyone stands up. He gave a great talk on how as missionaries we need to be the instruments in the hands of the Lord. It was the first devotional that I did not fall asleep in. So yeah that tells you just how amazing it was. Ok, now for the news, I was released from being a District Leader and this Elder in my district was called. 
So now onto Thanksgiving day, so we wake up late because we did not have any activities happening that morning. We walk over to 19m, the building where we have Devotionals and stuff.  So we are in the normal seats and then the doors open and Elder Bednar walks in and he is smiling and waving. The whole MTC was just pumped to be there. His wife gave a great talk about how we need to be diligent and be humble. So then Elder Bednar stands up and says he is going to do a question and answer session. He gets his family to hand out like three hundred cell phones and people could just text in questions. As you might expect, a lot of people asked dumb stuff but there were a few great ones that he answered like a true servant  of God would. He truly is an apostle of God. I am so privileged to have heard both of those men talk to us. 
In other news, thank you so much for all the stuff in the package they were greatly needed, I just wear my hat and sweatshirt around they make me feel right at home. All the guys say I just look like a college kid cause I wear around my Jordan backpack and my shorts and hat and my shoes. It's awesome. I miss home but this place is a pretty good place to be I guess. Me and my comp are having some crazy good success. It is so cool to see how the Holy Ghost can help us in our every day lives.  Well also I got my flight plans and I will have to tell you later about those, but it really feels like it's real now. The whole trip at the MTC is winding down and I am so excited to get out and teach my people of the Philippines. 
Elder Swanton

Thanksgiving Service Project

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Teaching the Gospel and Luchadors at the MTC?

 Update from Jacob........

Ok, here we go... this was one heck of a week, to start off we had TRC which is where we teach people from the Philippines. It was crazy hard but I loved it. I spoke more Ilonggo that I even thought I knew. Then like two nights later we all came back to the room and we start wrestling around a little bit. Then in no time we were all out in the common area, just having this massive wrestling match. I was being the host and the first match took place and then it was over. We went looking for other people to wrestle. This poly elder I know there said that he would wrestle if I would and so we both went to the center of the circle of more that 100 Elders. Right after we started I hear this guy screaming at us to stop and don't move. So we were just chilling there and he came up and he took a picture of me and the other poly. Then he said he wanted all of the District leaders and Zone leaders outside. So I was like o man I am in so much trouble. So we are all outside and then he comes out and starts to yell at us and then he is just like"well don't ever do it again!" So we barley escaped that one but that was the highlight of the week here for sure.
   I am just ready to get out of here and get over there. We just got a new district in our branch and they are all islanders and they speak little to no English. So it has been interesting. We all discovered the cafeteria down stairs at the temple and now we all wake up early to go and eat there and then get to the session. Speaking of which I have seen all of the movies and they are all pretty good. I like the newest one though it is way better and you actually want to stay awake for it.

After a session

Typical breakfast- yes, pie too!
Rockin suspenders

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First 2 weeks at the MTC

According to Jacob in his own words..... The first day you are here is just a blur. They have you running from building to building just grabbing loads of paper and books. It's crazy! When I finally get to class, the maestro does not speak any English to us at all. I met my companion. He is from Texas and he is very skinny, haha. His name is Elder Jacob Frandsen. We had branch meeting on the second night there, which is a combination of 2 districts. They stated they were going to call new district leaders and senior companions. All of a sudden, I got hot and sweaty. I was thinking, please oh please not me, I am not ready. I don't even know what the heck is going on here. The branch president comes to my companion and I. He says, "Elders let's take a walk." We went with him and he said, "I know this is a lot but Elder Swanton I want you to be the district leader and your companion the senior companion." The next morning we went to the temple, which was good!

The next week Jacob's email stated...... As a district leader, I have leadership meetings 3 times a week and they are all about how to keep the district in line and make sure people learn to take care of themselves. My P-days is Friday and they go by way too fast if you ask me. I only have 1 hour on the computers. So the food here is not as good as everyone says. Like it is just the same rotation day after day, so yeah that would be why I have already lost 15 pounds.

The latest email stated.... Five days ago, I sprained my ankle way bad, like I tore some ligaments I think. It was hurting so bad, so that night I got a blessing from one of my brothers in my district. Here I am walking around and being me again, although I have not went to play basketball again. I have been hitting the gym hard instead. I also got my first MTC haircut. I walk in there and ask for a haircut. The lady sits me down and says where are you going and when do you leave? I told her and then she just started buzzing away. I was like what the frick are you doing, but it ended up being a dang good haircut! Anyways, I love you all and kabalo ako that Jesus Christo is maluluwas and he will always buligan us!

Dropping Jake off at the MTC- Provo Ut

It was with mixed emotions that we dropped off Jacob at the Missionary Training Center. We were given only 2.5 minutes according to the "guard" at the front gate to get his luggage out, take pictures, and say goodbye. An escort missionary was by his side immediately and he was whisked away. We were so excited for his new adventure, but his mother had a hard time saying goodbye for 2 whole years.