Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Good to see you

Note: We were able to Skype with Elder Swanton on December 25th. He looked great and was in excellent spirit.

Dear family,

I will try to make this short since we already had that awesome chance
to Skype. But it was so cool to see the whole family and be able to
talk to you all bout some of the crazy things that have happened to me
since I got over here.

Sunday we had some really cool things happen to us, one of the not so
good things is my comp is getting very sick and he is really starting
to hurt but he is working through it. But when we got to church we had
a surprise happen to us about 1 hour into church we had a Korean
family come to church and they only speak English. I was able to talk
to them and they seem very interested in the gospel and what it can do
for their family.

I love you all and cant wait to see you all again
Love Elder Swanton

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Back to work

My People,

My week this week was what you would call recuperation from the
craziness of last week. Right after the Christmas Conference got over
I ended up coming down with some crazy strong head cold that knocked
me out for the last couple days.  So I will go through my healing
process and all that has happened to us over here in MOLO Town.

Thursday was a bad day for me I woke up after getting no sleep that
night and to top it all off it was raining cats and dogs over here.
But for real there was a massive cat brawl on the roof that woke me up
and then the dogs started up. When we finally got out the house
Heavenly father just sent us a nice afternoon full of lessons and
miracles. When we got to our best Appointment I was for sure he would
not be there. His name is Jonathan and he not your average
investigator, he is covered in Tattoos and Piercings he is also
missing most of his right hand. Our lessons with him have been so sick
and this time he accepted a baptismal date and for us that is huge.

Friday was our ward Christmas Party and if yall have not seen the
video of me and my bros hitting the dance floor just look at my moms
face book. It was too much fun to get all the ward and the many less
actives together and have just so much fun. We also had 6
Investigators come to the Christmas Party and mingle with the ward
members and participate in the games and dances.

Saturday was just a  day for us to sleep and hydrate this
sickness right out of my body. For the most part it worked and Sunday
we were able to get out and get after it.

Sunday did not work out how we wanted it to, unfortunately we did not
have any of our investigators come to church. But I guess we just need
to think about the real conversion and not our timetables. I think
that is one thing that I have come to understand is that no matter how
great we are at teaching people have the choice to accept the message
or not and they control their own destiny's.

Today however was another story, me and the comp woke up real early to
head on another road trip with the APs. Elder Craythorne and Elder
Doorman are the sickest APs this mission has ever seen we jumped in
the car and headed up to North Zone. After some Disney movie madness
we all headed over to SM City to have some Real American Burgers at
Zarks. Now we had heard that there was a burger eating challenge
called the Jaw Breaker so you all know that I was the first to sign
up. That is the picture I will send home is the form me and Elder
Tolman had to sign, it said we could die. Unfortunately I was not able
to stuff 3 pounds of greasy burger and pipping hot Steak Fries into my
mouth but we vowed that next time I would hit it.

I am so excited to see all of you and be able to feel and see the
crazyness that is so far and yet to close to my heart every day. Christmas
is hard to be away from family and for the first time in a long time I
really wish that I could do the holidays with all of you back home. I
love you all and know this work it true. I would not be anywhere else
in the world, besides someone has to be here in MOLO talking to these
crazy people and seeing these crazy things.

Love Your Son,

Elder Swanton

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Best day as a missionary yet

Dear Family,

First off, Mom I would like to say sorry because I did not send you an
email before the Christmas Conference on Monday morning. But I hope as
I explain what happened in this email, you will not be mad with me and
will come to realize this was the funnest week of my whole mission for

Wednesday, we headed to the mission office bright and early to meet with
Elder Doorman and Elder Craythorne about the upcoming Christmas
Conference. I can say that these two Elders are the sickest APs in the
whole world. It takes a lot to be a good AP, but it takes special
people to do the things that we four were able to accomplish. In our
meeting, we finalized the games and activities that would be taking
place the following Monday and Tuesday. In short, we came up with the
crazy idea that we would make our Christmas conference a massive zone
challenge game show. I sent you the schedule so that you could all see
the things that were in the making of the madness. After our meeting,
we headed out to work to teach some of our investigators and bring
back some much needed less actives. We were able to have a great visit
with our soon-to-be-baptized investigator, Sister Catherine. She is so
pumped for her baptism this Saturday and she told me that she wants
all of her sins to be gone.

Saturday was the craziest day we have had in a while. We headed out in
the morning to teach some more lessons, as we had not the best days up
to Saturday. We were able to find a new family and they are super
sick. We taught them the first lesson and they said they will read the
Book of Mormon and pray. We then were able to visit a ton of less
actives and then it was off to the baptism of Sister Catherine. My
comp was the one to baptize her and it was so cool. She even brought
her best friend to her baptism. We will be visiting her next week to
start teaching her family. I was so happy with all the progress that
we were able to have today and with everything that was happening in
the mission.

Sunday, we headed to church and the blessings did not stop there.A
bunch of the people we talked to last week actually came to church for
all three hours! After church I got a call from Elder Doorman saying
that at 6pm we needed to be at the mission home to help set up for the
next day. I guess being an MC comes with a ton of work. Elder Larson
was called too, so we decide to go to the Christmas Devotional and then head
over to help the office staff. When we got there, we started to set up
the chairs and get all the decorations ready for the next day. Me and
Larson started to get the game show ready and all the little games
that went with it. After a free dinner from President Aquino, we headed
home late to get some much needed practice with our performance. Elder
Larson decided to sing 3 songs. The first is a remix of "I hope They
Call Me on a Mission" and Antique Living. The second was a song I
free-styled called The Problem Song. We had my brother, Elder Marikura,
help us with that one and it was so good. The third song I free-styled
on the spot to and it was called Bugasong Boys. I have never had so
much fun then when me and Larson get a good jam session on the guitar.
We also sang a song called "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flats.

Monday morning, the day is finally here that our whole mission will be
meeting in one small room for the most fun any of us have ever had. Me
and Elder Larson got there early to start with the set up of the many
games the mission would be playing. I will tell you that at some point
I will be able to get a video of the whole thing and then I will try
to send it home, but for now I will be sending some pics of me and
Larson singing and being the MCs  of the whole Christmas
Inter-conference. The level of energy was so high and we had the whole
mission off their feet for most of the next 8 hours. When the whole
thing was over me and Larson just looked at each other and started
laughing. We had just taken over the mission for the last day and did
some crazy dance battles, had some crazy eating challenges, and had
some amazing jam sessions. I have made up my mind that when I get home
Elder Larson and I will be wedding singers. After the show we had so
many missionaries come up to us and say you can sing at my wedding for
sure. I don't have the words to describe what really happened and I was
not able to take pics because I was the MC but don't worry when I get
home there will be some amazing videos and pics that I will be able to
share with all of you.

Tuesday, we had a presentation of The Forgotten Carols and then we had
some spiritual devotionals on how we can keep this mission on FIRE.  We
were also able to take pictures with everyone because the whole
mission was there, so it was super fun and we had the best time ever.
The last few days are the kind that when I look back on them I just
start to smile and think of all that happened and all the smiles and
cheers that I was able to see and be a part of.

I am so thankful for this opportunity given to me and Elder Larson by
the APs, Elder Craythorne and Elder Doorman. They really worked with us
to make the best Christmas this mission has ever seen. I really saw
the leadership they both have in all they do, It takes a great
leader to be able to take advice and then give it to everyone around
them. I am also thankful for my mission president, President Aquino, and all he
did for us this holiday season. Without him being so chill, we would
not have been able to have as much fun as we did. These last few days
have been a fulfillment of mine and Elder Larson's dreams since we
came into this mission. Our First and Last Mission Christmas Party was
a success because of the talents of so many.

I love you all back home and I am sorry again for being late, but just
know I am great and loving my time here in the mission. These really
are the best two years that anyone could ever have. Let us always
remember who this season is all about.

Love, Elder Swanton

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fasting is way cool

Updates from Jacob...

Dear family,

  I can say one of the saddest things ever is that fact that I have
not seen of felt the snow in so long now. For anyone who has been out
of the country to a tropical place you know that the year is so hard
to understand because the seasons never change. Over here it's just hot
and then it's hot and raining. I miss the seasons so much and I am super
pumped to get to see some fall this next year. This was a good week
for me and my comp we have finally started to see some results after
all the hard work we have been putting in. We had two big things
happen this week so I will cover those and some other little things.

Wednesday was by far the coolest thing that I have ever been able to
be apart of. So as most of you know Elder Larson and I have been in
the same zone for our whole mission and that means we are basically
family. The APs called us and asked us if for the Mission Christmas
Conference we wanted to Be the MCs. We said yes and came in and had a
meeting with the office staff and APs. Me and Larson came up with the
sickest plan, you could say that me and elder Larson are in charge of
the Christmas Conference so we are going to make it something that the
mission can never forget. We have also been given the Opportunity to
be able to sing at the conference. Also as most of you know I have a
secret love for music and this will be so fun for me and Larson to
write and then sing some original songs. We have the whole mission so
pumped for it and we also have some super sick outfits picked out so
be ready for the best pics ever next week.

Saturday we went out and taught some new people and we had some really
good success for the first time in a while. I just can't help but smile
when I think back on all the fun and crazy things that happen to me
and my comp. We are two of the most opposite people ever and yet we
have the most fun. He is super quiet and does not say much and well
you all know me' I just can't stop talking and ever since I hit the
mission field I feel no fear' so we get into some crazy situations. He
always just smiles and watches me try to talk my way out of
conversations with old crazy Ladies, very gay cross dressers, and the
drunk of drunks. I think that is why I have so much fun  because we
both just go for it and that means the possibility are endless.

Sunday was full of some Miracles for the ward of Molo. We had started
out fast the day before so that we could have some of our
investigators come to church and progress and when we got to sacrament
there was none there. Me and my comp just started to pray that
someone would come. Half way through our Investigator that will be
baptized next week walked through the door and right behind her was a
super less active sister we have been visiting. I just looked up and
said thank you. My comp just smiled and said in broken English "Fasting
is way cool."

I am loving my time here and man it is starting to fly by and that is
super cool and super scary. Love the emails and keep them coming and
keep being very intricate with the information.

Love your Son,
Elder Swanton