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

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Member's and Missionaries 12/22/2013

Ko Famili,

Oku ou fiefia lahi aupito faingamalie ko eni ke tohi kiate kimoutolu! 

I will try to say all I can. I realized my letters have been kinda lame compared to other missionaries.. So I apologize! Kataki fakamolemole. So last week we should have baptized two kids. Ones 8 and ones 12 but the father didn't think they were ready for it that week. So we should be baptizing them this week! We have also been teaching a soldier named Sione Kiu! He is dating a member in one of our wards. He is Catholic along with his entire family! He has taken our first two lessons very well. He agrees with all of what we have shared and I think he believes this Gospel is true. We invited him to church and He said he would come and we would teach him during Sunday school, he didn't show up. I think he had work. But next time we teach him we will be committing him to baptism and I think He is ready. If not, he will be soon! He is a different type of Tongan. Most Tongans we call "Telinga Veli" Which literally means "Ear Itch" and in Tonga they take it as they know the church is true but their pride is too high so they wont do a thing about it. But Sione has a different mind set. He seems like He wants to find out as much about this as he can. He is a very nice guy and I love him! As for Maeata, She is really good. Her parents still say no so we can't do much about it. Just pray and fast that they will have a change of heart. Her Uncle says He will sign if he needs to, but that's against the mission rules. So Remember her and her family. Last week we went on a Vilo Hoa "Comp exchange" With the ward mission leader in havelu and his Son in law. I went with the Son in law and we taught two in active families. He turned the time over to me and I was kinda shocked. But I taught about the Importance of Families in this Gospel and that This Gospel blesses Families! They said they would go to church! I didn't get to go to Havelu church this week so I don't know if they went or not! The other family I taught was an in active family but they had a friend living there that wasn't a member! So I just taught the same thing because there were 2 families. The Girl who wasn't a member, her name is Mafi. She has 4 kids and they are all baptized. She has been desiring the missionaries to come and teach her. She wants to be baptized already! But she wants to wait until her kids come from Ha'apai! The Lord really does guide us in his work. The Importance of members in missionary work is beyond what I can describe. Our mission president has simply stopped us from tracting. He told us to only use the members. If they aren't helping you then we need to go and chill with them and do what they do and serve them until they help you. If the members are lazy, the missionaries are lazy. It is kinda weird.. But it has been working. We have a lot of people to teach! I want to challenge you all to help the missionaries. The Prophet said that time is now. That we need to work together. Members and Missionaries! So I challenge you all to give at least one referral in the next 2 weeks to the missionaries. Talk to your friends at school, work, just bare Testimony and invite them over for Family home evening with the missionaries! I promise that this is the way God is hastening His work! So don't sit back and watch. Get up and help! The gathering of Israel is taking place as we speak! Be a part of it! What better week to do so than this week. Serve all during this Holiday season! Tanner, Mom, Dad, Parker, Friends, Lovers ;) I invite you to share this Gospel and help spread this Word. I want to hear all about it! I love you all so much and can't wait to call you! I don't know about anything yet but when I do I'll let ya'll know!

So far I have heard nothing of a party. That would be really cool. But who knows! And Also... I have a massive boil on my right thigh.. Can hardly walk.. It KILLS!!! Boils are the worst! Elder Tauvaaka put a bunch of matches in a bottle so it would smoke then we put it on my leg to suck it all out.. It didn't do much so I ended up pushing down on the sides and the rest I wont share. It was nasty. I couldn't hardly sleep at all. And this morning it got bigger! Haha But nothing is gonna stop me from working. I love this gospel. It is true! It is true! it is True!

Ofa pe mou ma'u Kilisimasi monu'ia mo ha fakaosi ta'u fiefia!

Ofa lahi atu kiate kimoutolu!

Elder Suani

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kilisimasi Fiefia (Merry Christmas) 12/15/2013

This is my Christmas tree this year with pictures of
  favorite family ornaments


This week has kind of been the same as the past few weeks! Not a lot going on. People are very busy during Christmas it seems. But we did teach 3 new investigators and are hoping to have 2 of the kids baptized this week! We are teaching Sione tonight. He is catholic and is a soldier. He is a really nice guy and received our first lesson really well. He was really into what we had to say. So hopefully that goes well. His girlfriend is a member and was the one that gave us the referral. There are also 2 kids ones 8 and ones 12 folauhola is the boy and he is 12 and felisitasi is the girl and she is 8. They should get baptized this week! 

We ended up getting phones this week. So that has really helped us with the work. But it has also added a whole new lazy we gotta deal with. Obedience is the key. And there's not a whole lot of that here. 

I went on a vilo hoa with elder tauvaka twice this week. He's from Aussie. Also today I went out with elder Gagon for 2 hours so I had to do the talking and it was so much fun. I learned more from that than with Simone from here. I had fun with it. 

Sorry I don't have pictures. I'm on an I pod because we couldn't find a key to the church. So next week ill send lots! I haven't heard anything about calling but I'm sure I will soon. Idk if I will call on the 26th or 25th my time.. So I'll figure that out. I'm really excited for this week! I love everything I'm doing and wouldn't wanna be anywhere else. Tell Lei I say what's up! She's a sweetheart isn't she. Don't waste that kapa pulu (corned beef). That's gold here. Haha 

Gotta get going! I'm sorry!! I love you all soooo much! 

Elder swan loves you!

Family Christmas Stockings

Elder Swan and Elder Kaumavae's missionary stockings

Visit from Lei
Lei brought us letters and
 corned beef from Tonga~
Can't wait to try it!  :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Staying In Tofoa again~ No transfer 12/8/2013

Merry Christmas from Tonga!
     Well sorry ALL of your questions are not going to be answered about my transfer because it didn't happen. The Zone leaders lied, I am staying in Tofoa with Elder Kaumavae. But I did have a cool experience that I will tell you about later. So we got new Elders from the MTC last week. There is a palangi in our district named Elder Gagon from Sandy Utah. Haha Small world! He is a good guy, we talk a lot. He is in a three sum companionship with an Elder from Aussie and one from here in Tonga that just entered also. So we have a lot of people in our district now! It will be fun! We also got two new Zone leaders, one is from California and he is a stud. He played football so we talk about football a lot. He is really cool. The other one is from here and pretty funny, really high pitched voice. Again I have ties, candy and food missing!!! Kinda pathetic but what can you do. Fakatomala! So now I'll share about my week!
     Monday through Wednesday were a waste because we were waiting to be transferred. So nothing happened on those days just visiting with members! And as you can see I didn't get transferred. Thursday my Companion was sick so again nothing. I have been on my knees a lot this week praying that the Lord will lead me and my companion to new investigators. By Monday we had 6 new investigators and 3 in which want to be baptized before Christmas! How cool is that. Jessica Stagg said in a letter. "In a way you are Santa this year, you get to give people the Gospel" So how about that- Thanks Jess! But how cool would that be and what better gift to those people and to us and to Heavenly Father than a baptism!

God listens, He answers, Helps, and will NEVER leave you in any afflictions!
I love you all! From Tonga!
Happy Holidays
Elder Swan  

This church signs says-
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
We're Happily waiting for you
Killed this big Molokau last night. I saw it crawl under
Mavaes bed and we freaked out! We got bug spray,
whipped up a batch and killed the sucker. Man those things
 are FREAKY! Spiders are nothing now!  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

First Transfer ~ Vaini 12/01/2013

Tili and Tyler
     Things were Ok this week! We have kinda been slacking on the work. I try but you can only do so much. So it's been very slow! First things first! I just got transferred to Vaini! I will be with Elder Diehl's old companion. Elder Diehl is now a trainer. He is such a stud! He works so hard! But I leave to Vaini tomorrow or Wednesday, which is sad because I won't hear about Silika or Maiata. But hey I think things will go well! I pray and fast all the time. I got to go to a Bonfire for the Bishops son Tili. He leaves Wednesday to Papua New Guinea! English! He is a stud. He has been one of my best buds. He always helps me and talks to me and has been a real good guy to me. I got to share my testimony and some advice with him! It was really cool! But other than that we haven't done much. I made a deal with Heavenly Father when I got here that if I read the Book of Mormon in Tongan everyday that He would help me progress in the language! Today was the first day in awhile I've seen progression! I hope it justs gets better. I still suck, but I'm trying!
People asked me if I have a fan club because of the packages and letters. I love it!

Letter to Dad,
Things are good and thanks for the updates. I want pictures of the new Thomas! Keep working Tanner hard! Get him in shape so he can come serve a mission in Tonga! Thank you for your testimony! Mine has grown so much, and will continue. I'm trying to be more positive with the language but it's still hard on me. A song comes to mind that says when you least expect the blessings from God and in the most trying times, is when they come! So I will keep trying! I'm going to Vaini with a new comp! It's on the main island but I am excited to get a new start! I'm gonna try my best to speak only Tongan, but it's hard cuz so many people know English or at least a little because in all the schools they only teach English! Crazy Huh? I love and miss you dad!
Oh and mom just so you know I may not always get a chance to e-mail. But know that i'm okay! I am in the Lord's hands! Just wanted to tell you that just in case! I love you and miss you all!
Elder Swan    

Molokau.. or Centipede- Its longer than my foot and about as
thick as a nickle.. So Scary~ And they bite and I guess it
hurts more than a bee sting. One crawled over my foot and
I kicked it off. I was terrified!

Another beautiful Tongan Sunset

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Swan Perfume WHAT? 11/24/2013

     Sorry it's late and I'm almost out of time. I had to ask a member so I am on a member's computer. (Only like 4 people have computers here...) But I am grateful. This week was good! We worked a little harder and got along. Everything is going good! Anyway we got two new missionaries in our district they came over and slept at our MQ while we went out and worked. After that we went back and checked on them around 6 and they were just leaving. Both had on one of my ties. So I said hey those are my nice ties and one of them was a gift from someone so he gave it back. Next time when something is taken I will read the ten commandments and tell them to fakatomala (repent). Haha... But we did get a few lessons in this week. We ran into Maiata this morning and without bringing it up she said "I want to get baptized!" I was like WHAT?? But her parents won't let her so we are just praying and fasting. She is a really cool girl. Hey I met someone from Utah and I am giving her some letters and corned beef. If you don't get the corned beef go buy some. Haha!! Anyway they run a little store and they named a perfume after me~ Swan~ and one after my companion Kaumavae. Mavae translates to Divorce so they named it Divorce hahahah! But the family is amazing. They are the ones that got us to teach Maiata.

     On Friday it was pouring rain and they told us to stay home and study when it rains. I found a May 2012 Liahona Conference edition and read a few talks. One that really hit me was called "Mountains to Climb" after I read that talk I read my Patriarchal Blessing and I just feel like I'm here for a special reason. Not here in Tonga.. But here in Life.. I don't know why or for what, but I am gonna find out. I love you MOM! DAD! TAN! PARKER!

My dream and goal in life is to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. That's what I'll be doing for these next 2 years and my life.
Until next week, I love you all
'Ofa lahi atu Kiate kimoutolu!
Elder Swan