Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Small and mighty miracles

Dear Family,

The sum of the week is really starting to get to a point were I am having a hard time explaining all that happens to us in a single week. I will try my best to help all of you get a good idea of just the craziness we experience every week. 

Tuesday, Wednesday we have been house hunting because our current house is in the same area as the mission home and it takes us almost 45 minutes everyday with traffic to get to our area and get to work. Let me just testify on how hard it is to find decent housing in the middle of the biggest city on the island. We at last maybe found a good studio type apartment in the middle of the area. The only problem is the owner is taking their sweet time getting back to us on what they want to do contract wise.  The cool thing was this week we were able to meet and talk to so many awesome people because we just walked around for about 3 days looking at every house that was livable in the city. 


Thursday Elder Billings and I were able to get back to the work grind and we taught our Deaf and mute investigators. I can say this has been my favorite time in my whole mission. Every time we teach I am able to see the Lord working small and mighty miracle in the hearts and minds of people who need this gospel desperately. Two of our investigators brought new people to listen in on the Restoration Lesson this week. I love the work me and Elder Billings are doing right now. Its also way sick that we are the best companionship in the mission. I swear if I was crazy I would extend my mission just to keep working this hard with Elder Billings. 


Saturday we headed out to work early to help the youth of the Ward learn how to Hawaiian Dance. I can't say I am the best at dancing, but me and Billings did our best to help them embrace the culture of the Hawaiian islands. We then taught Sister Maydalne who has a baptismal date for the 3rd of September. She is progressing so well and has a great understanding of the gospel and how is can help her become closer to the spirit. I love our lessons because by the end she is teaching us what she has learned and she has also has invited her little brother to come and start taking the lessons as well. 

Sunday is what you call a crazy day we woke up early and barley made it to church with the crazy tragic that was all over the city and right as we got to the church they started. We had a great service and had a good turnout of investigators and less actives come to church. Right after church we had to rush to Molo Ward because I was able to baptize one of the kids who was my little man when I was in Molo. When I was there all that time ago I made him a promise that I would come back and baptize him and almost a year later the Lord put me in a position to fulfill my promise. It also happens to be his birthday so we had the best time ever. I will never forget the smile as I walked into the chapel and saw him in white running at me haha. Its just one of those things that does not go away. I was also able to see all of my old members and catch up on how they are doing and get some great food. 

Then of course today was just a great day. We woke up early and help the City Sisters move into their new apartment and they were so happy to finally get moved into their area. They thought it would be funny to ambush me with water balloons and eggs for my birthday but I was fast and dogged almost all of them hahah I'm just kidding I got soaked with water and they have some strong arms for sure. Then we all headed to SM Mall for some food. It was sweet to Celebrate Elder Tracys, Elder Frandsens and my birthdays all in the same day. I miss and love you all, I almost don't believe that in just 10 short weeks I am done with crazy experience and the best two years of my life. 

Elder Swanton

Monday, August 1, 2016

Returning to Iloilo City

Dear Family,

This has been a crazy week to say the least. Right now I am at the office emailing because I was just transferred back down to Iloilo City. To say I am super excited is an understatement my new comp is Elder Billings and he is from Syracuse Utah. We may be the best companionship in the mission and our area is City Ward. We have only been together for about 3 hours and we are loving every minute of it. 


I don't really have enough time for a play by play of the week but we had a great week visiting all the people in the ward and we were able to visit some less actives and some inactives. Some sweet news is that Brother Sonny came back to church with his whole family. He said he is sad I was leaving but he will take is slow and will keep coming to church and learning about the Church. 


I am so grateful for my time in Numancia and all the people I was able to meet and all the eternal friends I have made while serving these people. The next 3 months will be the best of my mission and I am going to leave it all out on the field. I hope the pictures explain how much fun this last week was. 

Love your son, 
Elder Swanton


Maybe a final transfer?

Dear Family,

 Yeah you could say this week was alot better for us over here in Numancia. I can tell that things are starting to slow down this last month before school starts up again. Mom tell the ward that I said hi and hope they are all doing well. 

Wednesday we had a surprise conference from President Cruz and Sister Cruz. They came and gave a powerful spiritual training about cleaning the inner vessel. I love the story he told about how when a lumber jack was young he left a Splitting wedge in a small Oak tree but as the years went by the tree grew into a  beautiful tree. But then on winter a large snow storm came and the weight was just to much so the tree split in half because the man forgot about it all those years ago. The point is we all need to stay as worthy as we can because we don't know when the next big storm is coming in all of our lives. Be ready and make sure your faith will be ready for any trials or hard times you will experience. 

Saturday we had a very busy schedule. We woke up early and headed over to the church to help set up for the funeral of a elderly women in the ward. Sister Bonifacio has been a rock in Numancia for almost 50 years but one day her sickness was just to much and she went up to help with all the work in heaven. We were lucky enough to be able to sing at here Funeral Service. It was so cool to feel that spirit of peace enter into all of the family members. It was also sad to see how death affects those that don't have the knowledge we as Members have. For them Death is the end to a very long and hard road but for us we know that death is the next step in receiving a whole and perfect body. Later that night at 6 pm we had a baptism that almost the whole ward came out to see. One of the Single adults mothers was going to be baptized. I have loved teaching Sister Zaminio these past few weeks and she has made such big steps in gaining that personal testimony that the church is true. When her son baptized her the spirit was so strong almost everyone there was crying their eyes out. I am so blessed to have been apart of this special conversion. Their family is now complete and that just brings a kind of joy that cant be described with words. 

I am loving my mission right now and with whispers of transfers starting I know the lord will send me to were he needs me to be. I love you all and hope you have a great week. 

From your Son and brother, 
Elder Swanton