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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Conference, Fireside and 3 Baptisms~ 7/20/2014



Famili! How's it going?? Your week sounded full of fun and joy but my week beats yours.. This week was one of the most fun of the mission! It was ward conference this last week and boy was it great! Monday night we started a fast and Tuesday we broke it and went to the family history center! I was able to do a little bit of family search and add somebody to make it more full! I could feel the spirit so strongly it was awesome! We are handing out these "My Family" books to help people do their family names in the temple! Wednesday was a ngaue'ofa day! Service! We went to the elementary school here and cut the lawn and did all this work! The school looked haunted before we started but afterwards... Looked brand spankin' new! Thursday was one of my favorites! We had a Fireside Hiva, or a Musical Fireside. I don't know how often those go down in Utah but here that's what President Tupou is having us do! At least once a month have a fireside hiva! Well we had one and boy was it awesome! The Ward members really got to work inviting people and we had a full house of non-members and inactive members! The songs were some of the most beautiful things I've ever heard! Two of them were all about the restoration and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon which was really cool and hit a lot of people there square between the eyes! Obviously the Spirit came through the songs, but after each song there was a Fakamo'oni or a Testimony! All the Testimonies born were converts! Each one of them brought the Spirit in such a strong wave that afterwards we got a new investigator named Selevini. I'll tell you about her in a bit! But hearing their testimonies and the faith they took to join the church and all the sacrifices they made to do so! The faith of these people amazes me each day! I was reading a book by Thomas S. Monson and it said "The Tongan mission is one of the churches greatest missions." He goes on telling why, and how great of a people the Tongans and also all Polynesians are. It is true! Anyways, back to the week! Friday we had a Zone Baptism. Our branch has been working so hard to get people to teach and baptize for this week and I am so grateful for that! It's been slow until these past 3 weeks and It's been a wonderful ride watching members join the work and receive the blessings that do come from it! We had 3 souls baptized on Friday! Sione Lopeti Ahovelu, Tolokina Sosaia Tu'ipulotu, and Selevini Vuki Guttenpeil. I bet you recognize Selevini's name! Again I'll get to her in a bit! You know about Sione and Tolokina! Sione made some HUGE changes in his life to follow Christ and accept his invitation to be baptized! Tolokina ever since he was young has snuck away from his family to go to the LDS Church. Now he is happy to call home and tell them he is a member and was baptized! Selevini or "Vini" Is a 21 year old girl whom we just met Thursday night and taught her! She had questions that the spirit was able to guide Elder Caudill and I in and she told us "I want to read the book of Mormon!" So we gave her one! Went back the next day and taught her again! We asked if she was able to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and our message, she said yes! I asked, What were the feelings you got as you read and prayed! She said "I felt peaceful and It was really comforting and after I prayed I knew immediately that it was true! " Then we asked her to be baptized, she said yes! We were holding a baptismal service that night and she wanted to be baptized that night so we called our district leader and he was a little worried about it, but he said he'd pray and see what happens in the interview! I knew it was early and going into the lesson I was gonna tell her no and hold it off for 1 week! But the spirit told us otherwise. So she was baptized and bore Testimony after and it was a beautiful testimony! Before the baptism we filled the Font and I sat and listened to the water for a good hour, it was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard! Knowing people are about to follow Christ and walk into the water and be baptized in His name, with the proper Authority! Saturday we visited a family with the Branch Pres and the Stake Pres. They came to Church and we are hoping to get teaching them! I'm super excited! Sunday was our Conference! It was amazing and seeing 3 of the people I have come to love so much receive the gift of the Holy Ghost made tears fill my eyes! After the Conference we had an amazing feast and I loved it! I thank My Father in Heaven so much each day for the progression of the work and the Miracles I'm able to see each week!

I want to leave you with a quote I really enjoyed this week

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the Slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and they then take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature...
Yes, Christ changed men and changed men can change the world."  - Ezra Taft Benson

Cleaning the Font

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