Elder Swan is serving in the Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission from July 2013 to July 2015

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Staying in Tofoa 10/27/2013

Dinner Time!!!
      Okay! So this week was kind of eventful for me in Tonga! Transfers were pushed back to last Wednesday and I stayed in Tofoa. Elder Fiefia was transferred to Kolofo'ou. My new companions name is Elder Kaumavae. He is from here and yes that means his English... What English?? Haha he knows as much English as I know Spanish! But I already love him! I try and be positive and patient with myself and at times it is hard. The language seems to have hit a HUGE wall and I can't really see any progression! But I know that through this the Lord is preparing something great. Tongans love when people try and learn their language so maybe that's why I struggle. Maybe someone will be willing to listen to a palangi speaking broken Tongan! So I know there is a reason. I had an interview with the Mission President and I asked him for a blessing. He gave me one and it comforted me so much and made me want to work twice as hard. I know that with this challenge God has given me will only help me with the language! Please maybe shoot me a prayer or something to help me out.
      So we got a new investigator named Asi. She doesn't like to listen. We teach her again tonight! After we taught Asi we went and taught Silika and committed her to be baptized on the 9th of November. That was super awesome! I also ran into a girl from Australia and she is staying here for 4 weeks. I am hoping to teach her soon. There are so many people here that are telinga veli. That means they hear what you are saying but don't really listen and do the things to know of the truth. But I love them and will NEVER give up on anyone!
I love you all!    Have a fantastic week!

'Ofa lahi atu!
Elder Swan
My new companion Elder Kaumavae

 Now... I have eaten a lot of weird things here... But nothing will beat this.. I don't think. Anyway on Friday I had the opportunity, or had to eat Kuli (dog). It was super strange but tasted very good! I don't really know how to describe it but it tasted kind of like steak! haha! Also I got to eat Puaka (pig) it was also good!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Transfer week 10/20/2013

     This week was really slow! It was the primary program in one of our wards and it was SOOO COOOOL! I loved hearing some of my favorite songs in Tongan. They also sang some in English. So spiritual! After that we taught a boy named Siale. He is 9 and his brother Kofe is preparing for a mission. Kofe got baptism a little while ago. Their mom is LDS but their dad is not. Siale wants to get baptized but we can't do anything until his dad says it's okay. So we will see. We got a few new referrals and we are going to check up on them this week. Transfers were suppose to be yesterday but aren't going to be until Thursday. So we will see what happens. I still struggle with the language and it is beating me down! Haha. I told my companion to stop speaking English so I can learn better! Hopefully that helps. I think it will, after a few silent days haha! But I love and miss you all and hopefully next week more will happen. Be safe and know that I am alright, just trying my best!!

Until next time! I love ya'll
Elder Swan

Guess who I saw this week! Elder Sheppard- We talked for a little bit, he got transferred back to this island so I should see him every now and then! He is a funny, nice kid!!!
Also my aim is getting really good! When dogs bark at you, you grab a rock and throw it at them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Baptism and Conference 10/13/2013

Natasha's Baptism
What a wonderful opportunity for me to baptize such a wonderful girl!
I love this Gospel and I love sharing it!

     Okay so this week wasn't that eventful. We didn't get to teach anyone! They were all busy and pushed it back to this week. The only two things that were BIG this week was the Baptism on Friday and Conference on Saturday and Sunday. So about the baptism! Well I was on a Vilo Hoa which is a companionship exchange. I was with the zone leader, Elder Vaea. He is a really nice guy and knows some English. We went tracting and found a few people that may be interested in us coming to teach. We will see! So Friday morning at about 7 a.m. we went to fill up the font. It takes a while to fill up. Elder Vaea said to go back with Elder Fiefia at 3, so we did. It was overflowing HaHaHa! We tried turning the drain on but the power was off. So we ran and grabbed buckets and manually drained the water. But the Baptism was AWESOME! She was so excited and kept telling me how awesome she felt afterwards. She even showed up at Conference on Sunday.
     And the other big thing was Conference! I loved it! I was REALLY LUCKY because in Havelu they do it in Tongan and English. Holy Cow was I thankful for that. It was really good and I took TONS of notes. They talked a ton about members helping missionaries! So you all better get on it and help them out. Our members here have been good! We actually got two family referrals and hopefully we begin to teach Natasha's sister and eventually families. President Monson said the work is hastening and that means each year we should have a goal of at LEAST 150 baptisms!!! Our Mission President talked to us about this on Wednesday at zone conference. So we are going to be working very hard here. No matter who you are, you can think of someone who needs the Gospel and share a small testimony.

Love you all! Church is true!
Elder Swan

Look who I got to see at ZONE CONFERENCE!
So pumped I love him so much!!!
Elder Swan, Elder Freer, Elder Grant and Elder Crosby
Missionaries from the MTC

Good Food and My House

 This week was GOOD with food!
So Tuesday our Fafanga (feed) forgot about us but remembered for dinner, so he took us into town and got us BURGERS!!!! OH MY GOSH I'M IN LOVE! Elder Fiefia said he hasn't ever seen or had one here. But we both ate two pretty big burgers. I was pumped , I miss American food. Also this morning our Fafanga brought us omelets. Holy Cow, YUMMM! They made it with tons of tomatoes... I didn't like that part. They also put fry sauce on it haha but it was good!  

My Bed


Thursday, October 17, 2013

President Tupou and Elder Swan

Elder Swan and Pres. and Sister Tupou

     This week Phil and I received this letter in the mail sent by Tyler's mission President. It was so good to hear from him and get the cute picture of Tyler's first day in Tonga.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mission Trails 10/6/2013

Elder Fiefia and I after teaching Natasha

     Okay well sorry it so late! We got to the church and nobody was here to open it for us. But this week wasn't very eventful. Kinda sucked actually! I've been praying for trials and guess what? I got
them haha!! We tried to meet with ALL of our investigators and only Natasha was able to. Stan totally blew us off... His wife told him we were there to meet with him and he totally just left out the back door and went to his buddies house. Man did that hurt! I love him but it sucks when he doesn't want to talk with us. So that was a trial. It's really tough to find times to meet with people! So, Natasha took her nose ring out, and the next day it was back in. I guess it is a tradition for her grandma.. Her parents were really upset when she took it out. Another trial.. But we called the zone leaders and they said just have her take it out when she is baptized then it's her choice to put it back in or not.
     I have been doing a lot to find new investigators. I asked Vika if she could help and she is working on getting us a family to teach and also Natasha's sister!! That would be so cool if we could teach them. It's hard expressing yourself in a different language. But I have noticed that it isn't me they are listening to... It's totally the spirit because I am sure I don't make much sense. I can understand a lot better though.. Which is super cool! This week was fast Sunday! I loved it. The people here are so faithful it's un-real! Kids younger than 8 bare their testimonies in English!! Better than I can in Tongan. The kids preparing for missions are so strong! They all bore testimonies and cried and you could see the love they have for our Savior! Also Natasha got up and bore hers. It's so cool to see the progression of your investigators! I love it!! She's so excited to be baptized on Friday! I can't wait!

     Oh also.. I got up this morning to go to the bathroom and walked back in the bedroom and there was a baby lizard climbing on Elder Fiefias head!! It was so funny! I swiped it off. He was still sleeping. I was trying not to laugh! And then later we found a big SPIDER in our room. It was the size of my big toe! But in Tonga that's small! Oh gosh haha---

A little boy took this picture of me :)
These are some cute kids from Tonga
Elder Harmon-- Elder Freer-- Elder Swan
Long layover in Fiji airport 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


     Well, this week was crazy... Sorta.  We had a lot of things happen but I'll only share the ones I feel like you would want to hear.  Well, we were talking to Stan and he always commits to doing something and never does it.  So I shared a scripture with him and the spirit really hit him and he said "I'll read as much as I can and you guys come back Sunday and we can talk about what I read." I was shocked, so we went back yesterday and he wasn't there.  I was crushed, I had waited all week for that.  Oh well.. Also we got a referral her mane is Seni (Jane).  She is LDS and is 18 years old.  She just got married a few weeks ago.  Her new family and even a lot of her family don't believe in our church and always razz her and put the church down.  She speaks English by the way :)  But we showed up and her mother-in-law left so we talked to her.  She said the night before she prayed so hard and asked for answers and someone to help her, and what do you know... The missionaries show up haha.  She was sick and really having a hard time, so I gave her a blessing.  We told her we were going to come back and teach her family and she said "well you better study a lot because they have a ton of questions.  So we went home and prepared for war! We went back when we had planned and they all got in the car and left.  I was bummed, kinda glad because I don't know Tongan haha.  But it was a blessing because we went to her neighbors house and there was a man named Maea.  We asked if we could visit and we shared the first lesson with him and he seemed interested and invited us back.  I was so stoked!  Oh and we also taught a girl named Silika.  We taught her the first lesson and asked her to be baptized and she agreed and really wants to.  It took all I had to hold in my excitement! Oh and one more really cool thing.  We were teaching Natasha and the Sisters came up and asked me to baptize one of their investigators.  So on Saturday... I baptized a boy named Sione Muti who is 14 years old and I did in the Tongan language. So cool!!!

     Natasha still wants to be baptized on the 11th and I can't wait. It's coming up!  Also we should be getting some more investigators and baptisms soon.  I love this work and I am right where I need to be!  I hope all is well back home!  I miss you and love you all!

'Ofa lahi atu!  Until next time, Melino! (Peace)

Looking Good  (First haircut in Tonga)

I got the box you sent and LOVED IT!!! I read all the letters at once...ooops!  I took pictures of me in the hat Pardoe sent me.

Our house is the size of my room at home, a little bigger actually. There is no kitchen, members feed us breakfast and dinner, no lunch.  Our bathroom.. we have a weird looking toilet and a shower with no shower head and it is freezing!!!
Dinner Time!!!