Monday, March 23, 2015

Don't ride with stangers- a Missionary's story..

Well, the pictures from back home just made my week! Man, this will be one of those emails where I have to think back to all the times that the Lord blessed me this week and to tell the truth it has been a whole bunch of times. My companion and I have just been putting in work in our area. We have had so many people just come up to us and say hey you are Mormons right and we say yeah and then they want a book of Mormon and want us to go find and teach them. I can say that I have been to places in my area that I had no idea that they even existed and man have we found some new people to teach. The Lord works in mysterious ways sometimes and the real goal is to recognize what He is doing.
I know sometimes that it is hard, sometimes I don't know why my comp wants to talk to those people and more than one time they have turned out to be the best people that I have ever seen; full of questions and wanting to know more. We have also seen that some people are just not ready for the gospel and need more time and trials before they come to the truth. It pains my heart when people don't want the things that we have or when they tell us that we are not the true church. I just want to know what is in their heads that tells them these things. But yeah, I will share a small experience where I know that the Lord was looking over my companion and I. 
We got done Sunday night teaching a lesson at the farthest part of our area. When we got done and said our goodbyes, we started the long 3-hour walk home and to make things better the rain started to come down and I don't mean just rain, I mean really come down like flood status. I said a little prayer and then all of a sudden a man on a motorcycle pulls up next to us and he said Hey Joe where you going? I said home and he said get on. Almost immediately after getting on the bike I started to smell that this man was very drunk and he really did not have much control of the motorcycle. He then proceeded to speed up to very fast speeds. I started to talk to him to see if he would stop and then he got very angry with me and insisted that we come to his house and get drunk with all his friends. Now remember that this man is no taller than Ethan and I had a very strong grip on his shoulders and we needed to get home, so we rode on. Then as we got closer to a gas station, I got the impression that we needed to get off. I said that we were home and that was not true, we were so far from home,  but the spirit told me that we were done. So I said Ja Lang or  here only. He pulled over and got off the bike and then he told me to empty my wallet and I said no I will not and then he said okay then give me some money for the ride. I said that I would give him 20 pesos and he started to get mad and tell me that if I did not do what he wanted he was going to call his friends and they would make us pay. Lucky for that man the gas stations here have people that work there to pump the gas. The large gas attendant there told the dude to get lost and he got back on his bike and told us to watch our backs. I said thanks and the attendant said it was nothing and then we kept waking and after about an hour we got the Ceres bus to pick us up and went home. I have never prayed that hard in my life with thanks in my heart. 
Other than that, I blessed a baby while it was nursing and that was an experience, ha ha. But yeah, we worked hard all week and we had a miracle happen at church. We finally had 57 people at church and just for your info that is the most people that we have had at church for about 5 years and man it felt so good to have the chapel full. I know that the Lord was helping us this week because we found so many other people at church that we have never even seen before. It was so awesome!
As for me I am just trying to forget myself and get to work. I had another friend come home from his mission and it really brings to mind how easy it is for people to come home. A mission is not easy and to be honest sometimes it is not a very fun time. But mark my words, I will not see any of you for a long time. The Lord calls missionaries for 2 years and no less. 
Love, Elder Swanton

The pictures are of me carving a pig cage with a big old knife, also my favorite breakfast after I get done working out, also all the girls up in Tica that we teach. Finally, don't forget a muscle picture of just me hanging off the back of a Jeep.

Favorite breakfast after workouts.

Carving a "Pig Cage"

Girls that we are teaching

Chapel in Bugasong

Flexing and riding on a jeep.

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