Friday, March 25, 2016

Missing winter

Dear Family,

Holy cow just like that your winter is over and spring is coming in
with a hot blast. I really miss those cold winter days back home the
best thing we can do here is just put our faces in front of the air
conditioner and put it on full blast. This week was not the craziness but I
will do my best to sum it up for all of you.

Tuesday after district meeting me and Elder Crichton headed back to my
old area Molo to do some baptismal interviews. It was so fun to visit
with some the members and be able to work there again and see the
progression that can take place in just a short time. After that we
did some work with our zone T shirts. We ended up getting punted for
the rest of the day and headed home.

Wednesday we woke up early so for splits but after checking the phone
they ended up cancelling on us and it was probable for the good
because me and Elder Crichton well we got really sick for the next two
days. I don't know if it was something that we ate or something in the
water but what ever it was we really got sick and ended up just
sleeping for most of the day on Thursday.

Friday we went on splits with the aps and that was a blast. I was
finally able to go to the aps area and see how they do it over there.
It was awesome to see how as a Zone leader I need my area to be the
best that it can be for the missionaries in my zone. Elder Smith and I
were able to have some good talks about how to help the area and how
we as leaders can help our zones become the best we can be.

Sunday turned into a great day full of dinner appointments and crazy
old people. After a great session of church we headed out to work and
visited a Less Active Nanay. She is like our mom in this area and she
is so nice to us. We finally figured out how to help her with her many

That about sums it up for the week, like I said not the most exciting
week but it was full of very spiritual lessons and teaching the best
and truest doctrine on earth, the Gospel  of the Jesus Christ.

I love you all and cant wait till next week,

Love Elder Swanton

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sometimes things get spicy

My family,

Our week did not turn out to be the best for us, but we did learn a lot
about who we are and what we want out of our mission life. I hope in
this email I am able to get out all I learned and what this mission
really means to me.

Wednesday was a super fun day full of splits and crazy people. I was
able to head over to San Miguel and work with Elder Bowden. It was one
of those days that makes you remember who you are and why you do it.
The area reminded me of Bugasong so it almost felt like coming home
and being with all my family. Elder Bowden and I had some good long
talks about the mission and how we can help the zone become the best
it can be. Then we went out to teach their most progressing family and
even though it ended up falling through we still had a good talk with
the family and ate some sweet yellow watermelon and then had a fun
time talking to all their neighbors about the Gospel. I wonder how
much longer the city will need me because I was meant for the
Mountains and they are calling my name haha.

Saturday we had a fun day full of baptisms in the ward. One of our
favorite families baptized their son Winter. When we got to the church
everyone was just so happy to be there and be able to watch a father
baptized his son. It's funny because in the States we take such things
for granted but I am so thankful to be able to witness this day. Just
his little smile as he came up out of the water and then on his way
out he "slipped" and fell back in. Everyone laughed so hard and he
just popped up and hopped out of the font.

Sunday turned into a long day. After
church we had lunch with the sisters and they cooked some super spicy
hot Bicol Express. " I will cook this for all of you when I get home".
When I got done eating my stomach was about to explode due to the
crazy chilly peppers and hotness. But after a small nap we were able
to get back out to work and teach the gospel to those who needed
it.The only lesson that went through was with our investigator and it was super
sad, he has been lying to us about his smoking and he still is just
not fully committing to the change.

Today was super fun because we had a zone activity and it turned out
to be so fun. We got permission to go to a beach in Oton, and have a
zone building activities. We did some frizbe and also some rugby,
then the sisters made some fun games with hula- hoops and water. It
ended up being a total success and the whole zone had so much fun.

It sounds like y'all had such a good week
and I wish I could have been there to see the babes but someday they
will see me again. I love you all and hope you have a good week.

Love ,
Elder Swanton

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A full week

My Family,

It is good to hear that you are all busy back home. I really miss all
the hustle and bustle of little old Cache Valley. The city that I am
serving in now is nothing like back home. They never sleep and they
never stop for anyone or for anything. I am sorry that I have not been
sending pics home of the streets and stuff but I like to send home
nice pictures. Most of the places we walk all day are for our eyes
only hahah but I'll try to do better with that, so you can all see what
it is like.

Tuesday we had our Zone meeting with all the elders and sisters in our
zone. It was one of the best training we have ever given in my
mission. The spirit was super strong and all of the missionaries
understood what the message was. We trained that as members of the
church we always need to be mindful of the end game or the end
picture. For us that means establish the kingdom in all that we do
while we are here on earth. I have come to almost a new understanding
of what a missionary is and what is can do for the rest of your life.
What we do now, how we act, what we say, and what we think can mean
the difference of success or defeat in the building of our Fathers
Kingdom. That is all that goes through my mind everyday as we head
out, how can Elder Swanton make a difference today.

Wednesday means that me and Elder Crichton are heading out on splits
with some of the missionaries in our zone. I headed to Jaro with Elder
Wright. They have been having some troubles over in their area so I
went over to do some investigation. After a good long hard day of
tracting and teaching less actives. We had a good talk about how you
can make the best of what you have and just pray that the lord with
prepare the Golden Families if you do your part. I also learned that
the Lord has really blessed my language and how I am able to learn. I
remember in the beginning how much I hated it but now it is apart of
my everyday routine and I love it so much. Every new word just adds
that much more to the understanding of a culture and of a people.

Thursday I had just walked in the door from splits and then the
Assistants to President Aquino came in the door and wanted to split
with us. It was such a fun day of work with Elder Smith. He is from
California and played football in high school, so we had a crazy day
of house to house and teaching our investigators. The lesson went
well and they are really starting to make progress and understand what
they need to do. Our only hope is that they gain the desire to change
their lives forever. Later that night me and Elder Smith had a talk
that will most likely changed the way I would have lived my life. He
helped me identify some things that I needed to change in order to go
home the person that Heavenly Father needs me to be. These next months
will be the process to become a master of my flaws and Truly be a Man
of God.

Saturday we woke up at 3:30 am so that we could say goodbye to the
Robinsons. It was like saying goodbye to grandma and grandpa all over
again. They really took care of us and made it feel like we were back
home. The only good thing about that day is that with them leaving it
meant that all of their furniture was free game. So we spent the next 6
hours deep cleaning our house and moving a couch and also a big new
fridge and also new beds. Our house is a dream apartment and we love it.

Sunday was a very relaxing day full of meetings and meetings and a few
more meetings. It was not exactly what I thought being a zone leader
is but in the end I love helping Wards and Branches reach their full
potential. That night we were able to work with some members and get
some home teaching done. Then we got a call that one of my favorite
less actives needed a blessing. When we got to his house he was
burning hot and he was so thankful we came to help out. The work here
may not be as fast paced but it is for sure more meaningful to the
members and investigators. I am loving my time here even though it is
flying by.

I love you all and hope that you have a good week back home.

Love Elder Swanton

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The advisary has real power

Dear Family,

Well this week has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and
sometimes getting your neck whipped up and down. But in the end we are
still alive and kicking and ready for this week. Its sounds like
things are starting to slow down back home and that is a good thing. I
hope that the ER is ready for ya mom, I'll try my best to stay out of
it when I get home. This is my week in a nut shell.

Tuesday was one of the worst lessons that have ever happened in my
whole mission. After District meeting we headed out to work and had a
member come to our lessons. In our mission we have really started to
follow the PMG so that the work here can progress faster. As we got to
the lesson with our investigator and our member Sister. When we got there, it
went from good to bad real quick when the investigator started to attack us with
all this Anti Mormon material she read about on YouTube. In my mission
I have seen Anti Mormon material tear people away from their families
and also from the church. Why does it have such a big affect is the
real question. Anyway the lesson just ended with me getting close to
the breaking point and them saying they only want one more visit from

Wednesday was our MLC and it was such a great experience to get all
the leaders in the mission together and talk about how we can become
the best mission in the world. After we all had dinner we headed back
to our house to get ready for the bonfire. Me and Elder Crichton made
a sweet Fire Pit out of metal. When we all got home we all sat out back
and had a fire just like back home with all my boys. It was so nice to
relax and talk about all the old times in the mission.

Friday was the most up and down day I have ever had and I mean ever.
We woke in the morning with txt from President saying that we have to
cancel our baptism later that day because there needs to be more
interviews. So of course we are devastated and just depressed, then he
txts and says that he wants to meet with Brother Soliman and see the
situation for himself. We set up the meeting place and what time they
would meet. After some miscommunication we finally got it done and
then when they got done President said it was back on. Now mind you we
have just spent all morning calling the ward saying that it was
canceled and would be next week. So we spent the next 3 hours getting
it all set back up and in the end it turned out to be one the most
spiritual experiences in my mission. After they were all baptized
there was just this special spirit that filled the font and room.

Sunday we had the chance to see the Soliman family get the holy ghost
and it just blew me away. They bore their testimonies and never before
have I been apart of a conversion so strong and pure. Teach Repentance
and Baptize Converts is the phrase that is driving the whole mission
right now. And I can say that after this baptism it is for sure the
only thing that goes through my mind as we step out the door every

Love y'all and can't wait till we get to skype and see each other again.
As for things here, we are good and just loving everyday of this two

Love Elder Swanton