Sunday, July 24, 2016

We are to be challenged

Dear Family,

You might call this week a sick week for us over here in Numancia. At the Beginning of the week one of the Elders in Malay was admitted to the hospital with an Amoeba or a water bacteria thing. Anyways we spent the next couple days with him helping him understand the nurses and doctors, we also had to go get the meds at the many pharmacies in the area. 

Wednesday we had a zone training were we learned that the mission is really trying to change and get back to following the White Hand Book. It seems the last couple years things have changed and kinda went away from the things that we are supposed to do. It was good somethings are going to be hard to do but even this old dog can learn some new tricks haha. 


Friday I was able to get my hands on a huge concrete weight set one of the other elders in the zone had but was not using. It was a pain to get it to the house but the last couple days I have been hitting it pretty hard. So much for coming home looking the same. We also were able to teach Brother Sonny and his family. It looks like his baptism will be postponed because he has some things in his past that will take some serious time to clear up. But even with all that I could not be more happy with the progress he is making. 

Saturday we had a baptismal interview with Sister Zaminio and it went great she passed and will be baptized by her son on the 23rd of July. I am glad that even though this week we have had some problems with our investigators we still have some solid people that want this gospel. The rest of the night we spent at the hospital with the Malay elders. His tests will be back on Sunday and then they can head back to their area and get back to work. 

Sunday was one of the saddest days I have had this transfer. Church went alright but we had about 4 investigators not come and that made us wonder what was the matter with them. After church my comp got really sick and passed out on the couch. I went on splits with one of the young men in the ward. When we got to our appointments we saw them drunk and out dancing with all their neighbors in a nearby field. My heart felt so sick we have been trying so hard with this family and to see how powerful Satan is just made me feel sick. We spent the rest of the evening visiting less actives and teaching them about how important the Book of Mormon is. 

I love you all and cant believe that we are under 100 days now until this Elder comes home. I'm not Trunky I'm just accurate hahah. Hope everyone has a good week and can see the blessings all around them. 

Elder Swanton

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

Dear Family,

Happy 4th of July to all the people back home in the US of A. Things here are just not the same without American flags everywhere I look and people getting up to the mountains for some prime rid

ing time. I miss the valley lighting up with lights and the family getting together with so much food. But the only place I would be is right here in the Philippines. Not to much to report this week but I will do my best to make it interesting for yall. 

Wednesday was by far the most random awesome day in a long time. We woke up that morning with a call from one of the members asking us to come to a wedding later on in the afternoon. We were pumped because that means free food and we can talk to so many people so fast. About 4 hours later Elder Dapat showed up at our house saying that we would all be singing in the wedding. I could not help but laugh, looks like my wedding singing career is starting sooner than I thought. The song we chose to do was All of me by John Legend. When we got to the wedding there were so many people there. It was such a beautiful wedding on the beach and the weather was so perfect not to hot and not to cold just right. The food was just outrageous and never ending. There was even a chocolate fountain, to say we ate our weight in food is an understatement. Then the bride and groom got up to dance we were called to the front and sang. It was so cool to get out and sing again and Elder Fa'alavelave and Elder Dapat are really good so we sounded really good. I will send you some pics next week cause I need to copy them from the member and we have the wedding video from the couple they loved the song and were so nice they even gave us some cake to take home. 

Sunday we had a great turnout for church. For the 3rd week in a row we have had 5 people come to church, witch means in July we will be having some baptisms and also in August. Brother Sonny came again with his family as well as Sister Zamino and Sister Anna Vanessa. The ward has really been coming together to help us further the work here in Numancia. We love heading out to work because we know the members are going to help us when we get people to church and they will do all they can to make these new people feel welcome. Later in the evening we got to go and visit some of my favorite members and less active families. Right now we are doing a Book of Mormon challenge with most of the families in the ward. We give them a BOM and they find a family or individual that is ready for the gospel then they come with us to teach the person. As of right now the ward seems like they are ready to go out and find. 

I am loving this area and the ward. Every day we go out the Lord is guiding us and giving us opportunities to grow and become the best Missionary s we can be. If things keep going like they are I am going to request to our new Mission President Cruz that this is my last area. I feel like the longer I stay here the more the ward will trust and help us. 

I love yall and will send you some more pics next week. I cant wait to get home and see all of the friends and family, but first things first I have a mission to finish. 

Love your son and wedding singer, 
Elder Jacob Swanton

Moving along

Dear Family,

Well this week was not what we thought it would be at the beginning of the week. Me and my comp had some crazy miracles happen and also some great testimony building moments. 

Monday was packing day for all the other elders in our house. Last night we got the call that our 4 man area would now become a 2 man area. My comp and I were super nervous because that would mean we would take over a huge area that has not been worked all that well in the last couple months. Never the less me and Elder Fa'a are way ready for the challenge and will work our butts off to see some success. 

Tuesday we were in a threesome waiting for the new elders in the zone. It was great to see some of my boys as they made their way up to the really far away areas. After waiting forever we finally got the elders off the bus and got them to their new areas. Me and my comp spent the rest of the day in the area books and cleaning and packing up the house. We found a sweet little apartment that we will be moving into on Saturday. The best part of today is when we went to get some dinner Elder Fa'alavelave locked us out the house so we had so do some sneaky ninja moves and get that darn door open. In the end I got a good pic and sent it to his family hahaha. 

Wednesday we headed out early to work so we could go to a baptism in New Washington later that day. We went tracting for about 4 hours and were able to meet some great people and also some not so great people. I love talking to people and learning their stories and how the gospel can help them. We taught Brother Sonny Mationg who is quickly becoming my favorite investigator. A week ago he called us over to his small fish stand and said Brother Swanton I want to change my life and you have walked by my stand for five weeks and today I feel like its time I listen to what you have to say. It was the best first lesson I have ever been apart of, the emotions were all over the place and tears were falling throughout the whole lesson. About 7 months ago he was in a bad motor accident that left him in a wheelchair and just two days before we met with him his wife left him and his two children to fend for themselves. We are helping him to see how the gospel can make his life peaceful and if he has the faith Heavenly Father can help him. I committed him to come to church and see why we are the only true church. He said we would and also bring his kids. 

Wednesday Continued... after the lesson with sonny we headed to see the baptism of The new Washington elders. It was awesome because we were able to see Brother Calaway ( He was released from his mission 4 hours earlier) and his family that came to pick him up from his mission. The ward their set up a small celebration for Elder Calaway and the two baptisms. The two mothers who got baptized were more ready than anyone I have ever met. When the service started I felt a feeling I have never felt this strong entered the room. I wish I could explain it to you but it was like a big hand on my shoulder saying this is true Jake what you do every day has an eternal purpose and this feeling can be with you all the time if you want it. Me and my comp looked at each other and knew that we need to do all we can to feel this way in our area. 

Friday we moved houses and it was so much fun. Me and my comp were woken up by some guys banging on our gate at 7 am saying time to go. We woke up real quick and started filling up this hallow block truck with all our earthly possessions. Then for the next 5 hours we unpacked and got the rooms all situated and ready to go. Then the ZL's called and said they needed out help moving some more furniture and one thing lead to another and we were sleeping at the ZL's house getting ready to go to the farthest area in our zone in the morning 5 am. 


Saturday was so crazy we rented a jeep and filled it full of furniture and then headed about 3 hours north to get some elders some furniture. They have been sleeping on the floor and have no place to put their clothes. It was great to see them and to see how crazy nice it is up in their area. 

Sunday turned out to be the best of all when we got to church I was humbled to see Brother Sonny in his wheelchair listening to the prelude music. He brought his son and daughter with him and they had a great time at church. Our ward has finally caught the fire of missionary work.We also had Sister Zamino come to church with her son so to say we are happy with the work right now is an understatement. After church me and my comp split with the ward members so we could spread out and cover more area. I taught our other progressing investigator Sister Anna Vanessa, she has already read so much of the book of Mormon. It was a great lesson about Plan of Salvation and I also helped her understand why her old baptism was not completely correct. She took it great and said she wants to know were the true church is so I committed her to pray about what we talked about. The priesthood has to be there for it to be accepted by God. 

A great week to say the least and I cant believe that as of today I only have 4 short months left in this mission. It feels like just the other day I stepped through the doors of the MTC, and here we are in the last home stretch. I love you all and hope you have a great week. 

Love your son and brother, 
Elder Swanton