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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Another great week 12/14/2014

Elder Nielsen, Pres. Tupou and their wives with the
missionaries of Ha'apai

Four of my best friends
 Well, another week of great work. This area has been really slow for awhile as you know. This past week though, it was beautiful! We found 2 more investigators that want to be baptized. One is 16 and the other is only 14 but we asked them to invite their families so hopefully we'll be teaching their families soon also! Pita or our backdoor neighbor already left to Tonga so I'm praying he comes back soon and we can help him out more. We have 3 solid investigators and also a few potentials! We are excited and having a really good time!

Last night we had a musical fireside... That is where it's mostly singing and then a few talks. The talks were all really good and the spirit was so strong. But the songs.... were awful!!! We missionaries started off by singing "Mou Ha'u Kainga" or "Oh come all ye Faithful." The first verse went great but one of us (and I won't say who) messed up on the first line of the second verse.. which resulted in him laughing and then all of us began to laugh. It was so embarrassing! The most embarrassed I have been on my mission for sure! Also the other songs weren't very great either.. What's worse is that we had 10 invites there and we looked so immature. But even though it was bad, I'm sure the spirit was there. Everyone was laughing and having a good time, so that was good.

My beloved companion Elder Tu'itavuki is going to Vava'u this week. So I will be getting a new Tongan companion. His name is Elder Loketi and I'm praying that he will be obedient and want to work because the work is progressing here. But from what I've heard and seen in the past I'm not quite sure.

We also got to meet with Elder Gifford Nielsen and his wife and also Pres. Tupou and his wife. Elder Nielsen is in the 70's and came and met with all 11 of us missionaries in Ha'apai. He taught us many wonderful things, but something new that I learned is one of the reasons why I am serving in Tonga. He said a big reason why we are sent to our missions is because of the mission President and his wife. It's because they will teach us something that we need to learn! So I'm here to learn from them. Also many other things! I wish I could tell you everything I learned but that would take ages!
I love you all so much!
I got my Christmas boxes! Thank you so much
I will call you guys on your Christmas day!!
I gotta go mom I love you so much and can't wait to talk to you!
Ofa atu!
Elder Swan

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Miracle.. No way... 12/07/2014

Alright... So today I am grateful.. We had 2 miracles this week! The
entire week we pretty much just walked around tracting and giving out
and teaching about the Book of Mormon. We got 6 potential
investigators and we are excited about that. But on Saturday is when
it all happened and came together. We ate a nice meal for breakfast and
then started our fast. After the fast we just started our work like
usual and just worked all day. Finally 6:00 rolled around and we
hadn't had much success. We had a meeting at the church with our Ward
mission Leader and the Bishop so we started walking to the church and
I stopped and said "We should go this way." So we turned around and
went the other way. While we were walking down the street this Tongan
lady sitting at a Restaurant called to us asking where I was from
because I'm white. We went and talked to her and sure enough she is a
member visiting from San Francisco. She was with her husband and her
friend who was white. We started talking to them and just sort of got
to know them. After awhile I went and started talking to the Palangi
and asked her if she has ever had an opportunity to talk to the
missionaries before.. There was but she denied it.. Haha it's actually
a funny story. Anyways we started talking about her beliefs and stuff
and asked if she's heard about the B.O.M. And she has but hasn't read
it.. She doesn't know a lot about the church. She didn't think we
believed in Christ and she also thought Joseph Smith was some weird
old creeper dude starting a random church to get money.... So We
taught her about the Blue Book and I had a small English one at home and
she wanted it so we went and grabbed it and brought it back to her. When
we got back they had ordered us Pizza... Well, we ate only because she
spent 58 bucks on it. We also took her to be the answer to our
fast! Anyways we sat down and ate and had a nice discussion on the
Gospel and our beliefs. She opened up to us and told us many of the
trials she is going through and asked for advice and sought for
comfort. We taught her everything she needed and we invited her to
church. She said yes!!! And guess what?? She even showed up early so
we could teach her again.!! She came with questions.. This time a lot
harder.. But as we opened our mouths they were filled. I didn't know
exactly how to answer a particular question. It was "Why aren't or why
hasn't there been female prophets??" Man we thought then I just opened
my mouth and it came... She understood and was happy with the answer.
At the end of the lesson I asked What feelings she has had since she
has been able to read the Book of Mormon and meet with us? She said
"In all Honesty, Yesterday a few hours before you guys walked by the
restaurant I went to the beach and cried to God for help and for
answers. When I saw you guys coming I wasn't sure what to think but as
we talked I knew that you guys and the things you had to share were my
answer. "Now think if we kept going the way we were heading... We
wouldn't have ran into her. This lady has been though more then anyone
can ever think about. Things that have happened to her are nightmares
to EVERYONE. But she is so strong and willing to learn and grow. She is
searching for an answer and it only took a $1500 ticket to Tonga
to find it. I think she is happy she came!! We got her information and
are sending it to the Elders in Cali. She also said she was going to
go with her friend to church. Hey friend that was LDS had many life
problems too, and we were able to comfort her also. I guess not us...
but the Gospel was.

That just goes to show that God listens and answers our prayers
through other people. Also it shows the power of fasting. Along with
this next Miracle.

We were sitting at home Sunday night and we heard a bang on the side of
the house. We go check it out and our back door neighbor was outside
and he asked if we could come over and teach him. What??? We've been
searching for people to teach but this guy comes to us?? SWEET!!!!! We
went over and taught him! He wants to be baptized, his entire family
are members of the Church except him and he wants to be with them. I
kind of felt that he was just doing it because of his family.. So I
told him that he must do it for him and have a true desire. He must
Repent and understand the covenant that he will make. That no unclean
thing can enter that waters of baptism. And he said he wanted to
continue with the lessons and be baptized! We are so excited! I have
been humbled this week. I am so grateful for the people who have
taught me how to be strong and keep pressing forward. I'm grateful!

I hope you had an amazing week as I did!
I love you all!
The Girl we taught e mailed me and I told her to remember that the
book will change her life and she said it already has. Also her
daughter has been really drawn to the Mormons lately so I think her
and her daughter are gonna find their way!  I told her if she wants
she can give her daughter my e mail because she has had a rough tme
too! but I gotta go mom! I love you so much!!! Tell the family I say hi
I love you!

Elder Swan

Monday, December 1, 2014

Working hard & trying our best... 11/30/2014

So I was just informed that one of my buddies from Houma is going to be serving in SLC! I am so happy for him! I can't wait!  Saane wasn't able to have FHE because she was sick... and not progressing. I got Abe's package! Didn't last long but was delicious! Tell him thanks a ton! Just getting over a boil on my leg but other than that I'm healthy! And I did meet with pres!

So this week in Tonga wasn't that great. I feel bad to inform you guys that while in Ha'apai I don't think I will have much success. We work hard and try our best but there just aren't a lot of people here that want to listen! Even the members kind of just tell us they don't want to work! All I can really say is that I'm trying. It literally tears my heart in two seeing and hearing members talk the way they do about non-members and just seeing the work so slow. It breaks my heart. It's really been a struggle for me. As long as I invite and do my duty I guess.. It's just hard being denied all the time..

On Wednesday we went to the wharf and we picked up our packages! Me and Harmon got packages! Yes it was from you!  Thank you so much! The football came in handy on Thursday!!! Harmon drives over in the mornings and we go for a run and do pull-ups and push-ups. We're just trying to get in shape haha! I love it! On Thursday we got all the Elders that are on the main Island and played a Turkey bowl! It was well needed! We played so hard. We just had a good time and afterwards we were pretty beat up and the next few days we were really sore... But it was worth it!

Yesterday we set up a musical fireside and are planning to have it on the 14th. I'm excited and hope that it goes well! Hopefully we get some fruits out of it!

So we keep hearing that a big storms gonna hit this place again! I think it might be because of  how none of  them care haha! But we'll see!
 Sorry the net shut down earlier!!

 I love you all tons!!