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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Good week with some hard work!! 6/23/2014

A little USA in Tonga!
This week was really good! We did a lot of work! The baptism was a no go, she moved back to her home village! We got a new investigator I'm really excited about and hope to get him going! We went to a members house to invite them to church! It's the Relief Society Pres. and the 2nd Counselor! We went there and invited them! (They haven't been to church for 2 of our transfers here...) We went over and they made us stand out in the rain! We decided to invite them from outside and they got a little angry and the mom said some things that were really mean and really hurt our feelings! I've never felt so bad in my life! I don't think anyone has ever spoken to me like that before! It hurt deep! But I remember that Jesus' people spoke to him like that all the time! He took a lot of nasty things and eventually gave His life! So I can take it! It just isn't very fun when even our members treat us so badly! How do we expect to get into non member homes if our members don't accept us! Other than that the week was great! I'm sorry I couldn't get on yesterday! But here's just a quick update! I I don't really need anything else besides my friendship tie... I'm sad about that! It meant a lot to me!

 I got 2 of the razor things, my ties and socks were goners! I actually saw the yellow one on an Elder Today! The socks I'm upset about and Sick about the other tie! I got everything else! I got the 3 little books and my hymn book!
Love you all
Elder Swan

Abe Young with Elder Harmon and his Companion
eating a large meat lovers pizza!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Holy Packages, Fishing, Uke and a Fridge! 6/15/2014

Hey Family, What's up!!! Happy Father's Day! Give dad a huge hug for me! A big TONGAN hug! I loved your email's, you guys are awesome.
This week was really good, we had over 30 Po Malangas! Those are just random lessons taught to anyone. We do have a baptismal commitment for Saturday from Mele! It was a great week. I feel lazy today so no long letter just going to play my Ukulele.
I got my boxes and there was a surprise in the 5th box with A1 sauce a 6 lb. bag of Gummy Bears, pringles and mint candies... So was that Abe or You??? My new Ukulele is amazing and beautiful. I can almost play Somewhere over the Rainbow.. well I can I just can't sing it yet. Hahaha
I just wanna say I love you and I will email you next week. I loved the picture books and all the fun things, Thank you so much! Tanner! The truck looks unreal! Send pictures of it in the dark.
I love you all
Elder Swan
Thank you Abe Young!!!  8-)

~Holy Packages~

Thank Heavens... My first cold drink in a year!

My new Ukulele!  I am so happy :)

Sling Shot Fishing

Reel it in

BAM... That's how it's done!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Beautiful place, Beautiful people, Beautiful language ~ 6/8/2014

Malo e lelei Famili.
Fefe hake? Man this week was really good! On Tuesday we got our standard of excellence which are the numbers we need to strive for each week! Man they are really high especially for those in small ares but hey guess what!?? The Lord is with us and we will do our best to reach the goals!  They are all 15-20 per week. Except the baptisms are 2-5! They are very tough numbers but we need to remember that this is not mans work. This is the work of a Supreme being and with His guidance we will be able to Hasten the work and bring MANY souls unto Christ. So we have been struggling with these numbers... All of Vava'u has been... Last month both zones on Vava'u only had 2 baptisms each... That's 4 baptisms... That is awful... Our goals is each zone to get 40 baptisms a month. So you could say we need to step it up! And we have! Elder Caudill and I are planting seeds! It may not be useful now but We are planting and nourishing! We share 1-3 minute lessons to almost everyone we see! We also try and serve and talk to everyone we see! I can see others opening up to us as we do this! A member that hasn't been that open and friendly with us has actually just become one of our closest friends! She went and bought us eggs and cheese and onions so we can make omelets today! Off topic! Sorry! Back on! This week we did teach 2 of the 3 girls! We committed one to baptism and she said yes! She lives in Mataika which is the zones area! So I talked to them and hopefully we can get her a date to be baptized there! The other girl is also from Mataika but is already a member just inactive! So we committed her to go to church and read the Book of Mormon! They are doing well! The other girl went back to Holonga so I don't know about her... We just received 5 referrals from our branch presidents wife! So we plan on going to them Today or Tomorrow! She told us they want to be baptized but they want to wait until the grandparents pass away... Family is huge here and church can ruin families! I have seen HUGE sacrifices by young 18 year olds and have seen them kicked out! Their Faith is amazing! Anyways, as I heard this I thought of Matthew 10:37 which says that we must love our God more than our Parents and Children! If we love Him more we will follow him and be obedient to him! That's a scripture all of Tonga needs to know and understand!
The work is good and moving forward!

I am so blessed to serve in such a Beautiful place with Beautiful people and a Beautiful Language! God really does know these people! He really looks after them! Each and every one of them I believe wants to do what is right! It's just hard for them to do so with all the pressure. They are too caught up on "The Kingdom of Tonga" Rather than The Kingdom of God! Yeah on Earth you can be popular and can be high up there and have people look up at you like a star, but what about in the life to come? What about after mortal life? Will they still be popular? Will they still be looked upon as the stars of the sky? No! But those who do what is right in this life will continue on to the next life and be given Glory. We will be as God and what else can you want? You can't want anything more! There is so much more than this life!

So this week I went to the Ocean with Elder King as we were on a companionship exchange! We caught some fish and an Eel! Haha The eel bit king on the finger and he couldn't get it off! It was Hilarious! Finally he got it off and was fine! Just some blood! Haha! I'll send some pictures! And about the Omelets! We came to the church to cook them! They were amazing!!! I took a video of me speaking Tongan explaining what we did but It wont send... Sorry! Hahaha! Oh and I ate Ota Ika right outta the ocean!! (Raw Fish!)
It's gonna be a good week! I love you all so much! Keep on studying and living this gospel! It's all that really matters :) Smile!
Ofa LAHI atu!
Elder Swan
Went fishing today~ caught an EEL!
Tevita caught a black spiky sea creature
Puffer Fish
Elder King
Holding a Sea Turtle.... So Cool

I love this Ongoongolelei 6/1/2014

So this week was really good! Sad and good at the same time! So Sitivent bailed... He never showed up to the lessons and I guess it was all a joke or he just got into something with his family... We kept seeing him but he would avoid us so it was really sad! But on the bright side we were able to get 3 new investigators in Ha'akio! All girls 18, 18, and 14 and they are all really really.... Cool! They are all really shy and nervous to talk to us so we just try and make them laugh and help them trust us! The family we got them from is a good family but not good fellow shippers... Luckily there is another 18 year old girl that is LDS staying there! She is really cool and helps a lot! The investigators always ask her questions then when we come back she asks us hahaha!!!! At least they're listening! But I feel good about them I just want them to accept the gospel! It's hard watching so many deny it. I just want someone to accept it and watch the happiness grow in their lives! It truly is a blessing to bring the Ongoongolelei to all these people. Ongoongolelei (Gospel) Literal meaning (Good News)

So Saturday we had a full day of Ngaue ofa! Service! It was really fun! We built a fence! It was a good time in the pouring rain! We were all muddy from head to toes and soaking wet! But It was an awesome time getting closer with the members through hard labor and taking a shower with the mud! HA ha!

Today after netting we are going to the Tahi (Ocean) with two rascals named Tevita and Loma! I love these kids! So I'll have an adventure to tell about next week!

The work is good! I love it! I love and miss you! Keep reading the B.O.M! I just finished it again and started yesterday! So get going!

Ofa lahi atu!

Elder Swan
Elder Swan, Elder King, Elder Vaea and Elder Katoa
Our Zone Leaders

Our Branch Pres. son

Tongan Sacred grove...