Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Time to reflect

Dear Family,

This week has been one of the most physically and mentally draining
weeks in my whole mission. I don't think a play by play will be the
right thing to do this week, I think instead I will just explain what
happened and how I was able to get through it.

The last couple weeks me and my comp have really just tried to get to
work and we have seen some crazy cool things happen in our area.
People I never would have picked to progress are coming to church and
are making changes that could have eternal effects. I had been having
these dreams about our family and it almost felt like it was in
another place. We were all together and it just felt like the biggest
warm blanket surrounding me every night.

When I got the call that Grandpa Swanton had passed away, it felt like
a ton of bricks just got piled on top of my heart. I could not
understand why I had these feelings that I would be able to see him
again. I was angry, why would heavenly father do this while I was out
on my mission. Could he not wait until I got home so that I could help
with all the aftermath. But then mom and dad called, during the call I
was not very manly. I have not cried like that for a long time. But
when I got off the phone a peace and calm came over me and I knew that
grandpa was in a better place. He left his broken body and went
looking for the perfect one promised long ago.

I'm sorry its not very long this week but I know that Grandpa is in a
better place and the rest of our family on the other side is teaching
him what he did not accept here on earth. I look forward to seeing him
again but not his old frail body, his strong perfect resurrected body
and hugging him. This gospel is perfect and I know that with all the
life that I have left. I know the lord wants me to become stronger and
a better missionary because of this experience. I love all of you and
will keep praying that you can all feel the same peace that I am

Love your son,
Elder Swanton
Grandpa Swanton-Air Force

Grandpa/Grandma Swanton with Elder Swanton at farewell

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Put your shoulder to the wheel

Sorry for delayed posting....Jacob's dad

Dear Family,

Alright well this was not the email that I was expecting to get today
but I guess we will see what happens. I really tried to put it all out
on the line this week so that we could see the blessings back home.
Please keep me informed.
My week was really good. I started out by going on some splits on
Tuesday and they were super fun. I went over to Lapaz with Elder
Tuimoalalo we have had the best times in my mission. We spent our
whole day just serving all the people that we saw. From washing
clothes to washing underwear,we did it all. At the end of the day we
just sat down and were so tired from just giving it our all that it
felt so good. I love getting to be able to split with all the other
missionary's in my zone. It helps me see how we can help them become
the best zone in the mission.

Wednesday was just full of tracting and more tracting. We tried to
follow up on all the oyms and contacts that we had gotten last week. I
am sad to say that things did not work out as we wanted them to. Most
of the people did not want us to come back and the areas we are
working in have become, how should I say it, not very fruitful. But that
just means we have tons more work to do. We were however able to teach
Brother Ernisto and he is really cool, at first we did not think he
was going anywhere but by the end of the lesson he had surprised me and
knew a lot of the material. We will head back and teach him next week.

Friday I had the opportunity to go on splits with Elder Dorman the AP
and my fellow Antique Brother so that was super sick for me and him to
be able to catch up on old times. We headed out with a whole different
mindset, we wanted the members to have trust for us so that they will
all be okay for this next Phase Two thing the mission is trying to
implement. Phase Two is basically that in the past missionary work has
been backwards. In the past members worked for us and now we have
realized that not only is that wrong it is backwards. We should work
for them and their goals are our goals. We spent our whole day
visiting members and asking them how we can help them become the best
ward they can be. It went really well and we scheduled a bunch of
Service Projects for the next couple weeks.

Saturday we went out and for the first time in my mission the Elders Quorum
of our ward had a Home teaching activity. We had close to 15
Priesthood holders that went out and they were able to visit so many
less active families and also find some very long time inactive

Sunday is always the worst and best day for us missionary's, it is the
day where you see if all the work that you just did that week was worth
it. I am glad to say that we had Six Investigators come to church and
they all have the potential to be baptized within the next two months.
The Solomon family came and they went to all 3 hours and it was so
cool. After they said that it was so much fun and could not wait until
next week. I will add that the lessons with that family are so sick
and the spirit is so strong. The rest of the day we were able to
attend our wards Mission Plan Creation meeting. We will be having some
progress in the next coming months because the ward really wants to
help us and get all these goals done.

The area is progressing and we are having fun, so what else could you
ask for as the missionary.

I love you all and be safe,
Elder Swanton

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Serve the people

Dear Family,

Well this week was full of ups and downs for us here in the city of
cities, but we were able to get through it and now we are working for
the next week to be super successful. My new comp is Elder Robertson
and he is from Utah down in Bountiful. I think the more I lose my self in
the work the better it will be for us in the end.

Tuesday I was able to work with the new missionary that I worked with
back in Molo and it was super fun and he has come a step or two since
I worked with him. We however did not get very much work done because
we are three tall white big men so to say that people were very scared
of us is an understatement. But in the end it was a great learning
experience for me and my comp. Its all up to the spirit to tell us who
and were to go.

Wednesday was the best day I have had in a while. We had what we call
a Zone Council and it was so much fun for me to be able to train about
all the crazy things in my mission that have made me who I am. It was
hard for me to train on the things I did because they have never been
my strong suits. I chose to talk about how Obedience brings blessings.
I really put it all out on the table, my whole past as a missionary
and all the struggles and trials that I have went through and came out
of. I said I know that I am new at this whole follow the rules thing
but I have a testimony that it will bring us closer to God and will
help us feel the spirit and see the blessing that come from it. It
went so well and I hope it helped all the missionary's that were
there. If I can do it then anyone can right hahah.

Sunday really helped me get through this week, for the first time in
my whole mission  a whole family of investigators came to church. It
feels so good to see the ward fellowship them and then there is just a
different feeling in the room. I feel at this point in my mission I am
really achieving my purpose and it feels good. I am able to go home
every night and say to my self good job, you did your very best to
bring people to the truth. I might add this is the best sleep I have
ever had either while I have been here.

My mission now is fulfilling and I hope and pray that if we keep it up
that I will be able to get on that plane with no regrets. I know that
it seems weird that all of a sudden I want to change and do the right
thing but I think that I got a second chance. I don't have to keep
going on with the motions now I can make something of the time I was
given over here.It is amazing to wake up every morning with a purpose
and a want to get out and help and serve the people around you. You
won't ever hear the words that Elder Swanton did not give his all in
the long run of his mission. I pray that things back home are going to
stay alright and that my family can stay healthy. I am thankful for
this opportunity to be a Missionary.

Love your son,
Elder Swanton

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

So fast, another transfer day!

My Family,

Well this week was what you would call a hum-dinger. I have never been
so busy in my whole life, but you will all understand why in the next
few paragraphs of this email.

Tuesday I got a call and so did Elder Larson that we would both be
transferring and becoming Zone Leaders in different zones so we should
start our packing and saying goodbye to members. When I was talking to
the APs I remember asking if it was a joke because I just got to Molo
and really did not want to transfer. Things had really started to pick
up and we were having big success in my area. He told me it was not a
joke and I needed to pack up and report to the mission office on

Wednesday was the busiest day I have had in a while, in the morning we
met with our new investigator Jiiwoo. I was able to teach her in
English and it was the best experience, she is so ready for the gospel
and by the end of the lesson she asked us about baptism. Right after
the lesson I headed back to the house and started packing up all my
stuff from the house that I just moved into.The APs called and asked
if me and my comp could head over to the office and work with the new
missionary's that came in and it was so fun to help out this big new
white kid.  We then headed out so that I could say goodbye to all of
my families that I have become really close to here in Molo. This
place has grown on me and I don't want to leave it. Will all the bad
came a lot of good as well.

Thursday Morning was super early, I got to the mission office so that
I could talk with all the elders and sisters that were transferring.
So when the transfer meeting came the tensionwas super high in the room. Then it happened Elder Larson was called
as the North Zone Leader and I was called as the Central Zone Leader
so we are super close to each other. The fun never ends when it comes
to the Bugasong Boys. Also my comp is Elder Robertson he has been here
for a while and he will be teaching me the ropes of the area and how
Zone Leader works.

Saturday we had what is called Mission Leader Council, all the zone
leaders on the island get together and talk about what has happened
the last month and also how we can fix the mission. It was one of the
best things I have been apart of in my whole mission experience. We
have a great plan for how the mission can become the best in the whole
world. It will take a long time and will require a lot of hard work
but all the Zone leaders are up to the task and want to succeed.

Sunday was my First Sunday here in Manduriao and they have the biggest
ward in the whole island. In laymens terms it is super sick cause its
like working with a ward back home and we can get so much work done
here if they want it. Then it was off to meetings with the Stake High
Councilor so we can get the work moving in this stake.

I am so humbled by this calling and it has really helped me see the
missionary that I need to be. I know when I Skyped for Christmas y'all
might have gotten the wrong impression about the work that I have done
over here. In my mission the thing that has driven me is Work hard and
Play hard. I intend to do my best to change the way people think about
my zone and about me as well. The past is gone and tomorrow is always
in front of you.

I love you all and hope that this next week is full of blessing and fun times.

Love your son,
Elder Swanton