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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Families are Eternal 1/25/2015

Elder Freer, Elder Loketi and Elder Swan

I just wanna start by saying I LOVE YOU ALL!

So working in Pangai has been very hard! It has been slow and there are so many less-actives it is crazy! We find new less-actives everyday. Anyway, last Monday we started off by e-mailing you all and then yes, eating a nice delicious dog... I'm upset that it is against the law in America.. I do love dogs but they do make a good treat! Hahaha. On Tuesday we had our Zone Conference. President Tupou was supposed to come but he got sick and wasn't able to make it. So it was just our Zone and the AP's. It went from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Man I love going to those! I learn so much every time. We learned about the "Balancing Act" again and went into more detail. The entire zone was assigned to teach a principal but it ended up just being me and my companion and the Zones. A few nights before the meeting I was praying and thinking of an activity that would show teamwork and help people understand the importance of balancing everything out. I thought of the activity where everyone gets in a circle and grabs hands from people across from them and everyone is tangled up. The point is to not let go and to untangle it so you are all standing in a circle holding hands. It worked and it really helped people understand!

The next few days were weird. Elder Freer stayed with me and my companion as he waited to fly back to Tonga on Thursday. So we got to work with him for 2 days! Man I love that kid! We both learned a lot from each other. We taught an older couple, he is 78 and his wife is 53... Yep weird, but it went really well. We taught about families and how important they are. Afterwards he shared something really wonderful. He said, as tears rolled down his soft brown cheeks, we can know that God loves us because of our families and we can know that God lives because of our families. The Spirit was so strong and as I listened to him explain his love for his family I felt this fire burst through my body! The Spirit was there and testified to each of us that families are eternal and they are ordained of God. At the end of the lesson I invited them to be baptized and follow Christ's perfect example for them. They explained that they believe in everything we taught (even Joseph Smith) but they wanted to stay in their own church. They are embarrassed to leave and scared of what others may think...

We teach Kalisi tonight and are planning on setting up a baptismal date for her. I am thinking it will be next week! I am excited!

I also met a boy named Taiono if you remember him. He was baptized in Ta'anea and I did his interview. He lives in my area and has fallen away already. We have been teaching him and his friend and are trying to get them to come back to church and I'm praying it will bring his family of 11 to this Gospel and to the truth. I know God has a plan for him and I know I am here for a reason! 

I love this work and I am sad it is going by so fast! I pray time slows down for me and speeds up for you! I love you all so much!
Elder Swan

Monday, January 19, 2015

Balancing Act and Setting Goals 1/18/2015

So... I am sorry about last week! We went to the church to e-mail and it took a hour to load so we just gave up! So the e-mail for 2 weeks ago... Notta

But this week went really well. We started it off on Monday and had a Family Home Evening with Kalisi and her husband Mafi who is less active. The lesson was very spiritual and he seemed to understand it very well. We have not taught them since which scares me a bit but we are talking with the fellowshipping family and setting it up! On Tuesday after teaching the District meeting we had a vilo hoa or Comp exchange. The two Elders in Lotofoa came to Pangai and we worked here. I went with Elder Tangitau and we worked in half of the area as the other two worked in the other half. At 6:00 p.m. we had a ward mission meeting! Before hand I had asked the Bishop if I could instead of reporting do a teaching. He said Yes! So myself and Elder Tangitau took 20 min. to teach "The Balancing Act" or "Me'a fua" It is how we are going to accomplish our goals this year. Before I started I asked the Bishop if they had a ward goal for baptisms this year (last year was 20) He told me he wanted to take it down because they only got 6 last year so he told me 15.... I said that's good... The goal that we set for this ward and the goal that we want to work for is 40 baptisms in 2015. His face showed it all.. Hahaha. I then taught the balancing act which teaches us how to balance finding, teaching, baptize, retain and re-activate! By baptism we need to find and teach and retain and re-activate. By re-activating we must find, teach, baptize and retain. They all work together and we can't only be good at a few of them! We must be good at all of them and when we are good is when we reach our goal! On Wednesday we went on a vilo hoa with our Bishop and we visited a few less actives and found a new investigator. So hopefully that goes well.
Tomorrow is our Zone Conference with President! So I'm excited for that! I am excited to learn from him!
Transfers are next week but we already know them! Elder Freer and Elder Berry are leaving.  Freer is a Zone Leader.

I love you all!!
Elder Swan

My new Tupenu

Me and Elder Kaufusi 


Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year 1/4/2015

Hello my wonderful family and Happy New Year~  2015

So this week was a pretty good week! It was actually pretty normal as to any other week. I decided this year that I would be Exactly Obedient. I have been pretty good on my mission about obedience but there are some things I could change. So on New Years night I was in bed at 10:30 :) It was nice! 
On the 1st we decided and planned to visit every member in the ward and wish them a Happy New Year and see if they had any referrals to start off the new year. Well, we visited from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and guess what.... nothing.. we did eat 4 times though. I have gained some weight... but I actually look okay! Another goal I have is to lose 20 pounds or at least 15. Hahaha
The rest of the week we chased investigators and a few referrals. We got denied 3 times by one referral. Tevita the boy we were teaching moved to another area for a few weeks, another investigator got in a fight and went to jail for a few days and I haven't seen him since. So we are not having any luck and Satan is working harder than ever! On Saturday we were inviting people to church and we went to a house where the family is strong members except for the dad. We talked to him and invited him to church and then he started bad mouthing the ward and the leaders in the ward. He even said some things about his wife who was sitting right there.. I felt so bad and was getting very upset! I asked them if they wanted to be sealed in the Temple. They both said yes but he added "It's not time for me to be sealed yet." I was kind of shocked and again saw the pain on his wife's face. He said he doesn't want to stop smoking and drinking and then get sealed then start doing it again. He wants to be 100% done with it. But that's not showing any faith if you ask me. He isn't even trying to stop which is what I don't get! So I decided after getting no help from my companion to leave it at that and just let him talk and make excuses. He said some very rude things to his wife, although he did it in a joking manner. I could tell he was letting his feelings out. So now I have something to work with. We started a fast on Saturday morning and ended it Sunday afternoon. The man that was making the excuses showed up to sacrament meeting. After church a member came up and gave us a family referral! The power of fasting is real! If we all just try our best and do ALL that we can and make ALL the sacrifices we can then things will work out!

I love you all so much and appreciate all the support I get from each of you!
Elder Swan

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas In TONGA! 12/28/2014

                       On Christmas Day we got to play a little football 
                                     on this beautiful beach. 

A surprise package from my friend Abe Young
Thank you so much