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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Are you becoming like the Son? 4/26/2015

Well this week was a well needed week. We didn't have much success on the work end but the spiritual side of things were great! At the beginning of the week we started with a fast for Peni. It was us, him and his fellow shippers/friends. We did it to kind of build up his faith. He has some things that he doesn't believe in. Well, after the fast he text us and said "I believe." He has kind of been awkward about it though. So we asked him on Sunday again and he said he believes. So we set a date for next week. I pray he sincerely believes because we have worked for 3 months on this guy. Maybe I'm just doubting?? Who knows, but I believe.

This week Was AWESOME because Elder Pearson came and spoke to our mission. EVERYTHING He shared was everything this mission needed and everything I needed! So I'll share a bit from that and then we'll see where time takes us...

The very first thing that got me was this "Your mission means absolutely nothing if you don't get married in the Temple or if you aren't worthy to." Man that is straight forward. 

But the rest of his message started with the Doctrine of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ starts with Obedience. In everything we do, obedience is involved. The entire purpose of this Earth being created was to give us a place to come to and see if we would be obedient. The next is Faith. If you notice as we are obedient God pours out blessings upon us. He pours out spiritual power and faith. I've seen this time and time again as people I teach begin to live the Gospel their faith bursts into flames and you can literally see it. When our Faith is efficient enough we are given an opportunity to repent. Now I want you to think about this for a second. Why exactly do we repent?? To feel clean? To what? The entire purpose of repentance is to qualify us to become worthy enough to enter into covenants with God. Baptism and so forth. when you and I were baptized at age 8 or whatever time you were baptized along the way we gave up our agency. We have no more agency for we covenanted with God to always follow him and to take his name upon us and be His servants. We already made our choice. We chose the right. Now, if we screw up, there are HUGE consequences. That is why we MUST be obedient. And what is the purpose of Covenants? Covenants enable us to become like God. That is the only way we can become as our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. In short and Simple words, WE MUST CHANGE. Some people come on their missions and adapt for 2 years and return home as if they never left. But for me, and many others who take this work seriously and use it as a wonderful opportunity to change, True Disciples of Christ, will come, and change, and Return with Honor, and stay changed for Eternity. Not just a time. 

There are people who can do one handed push-ups and that's sweet as... But are they using all their Heart might mind and strength? No, They have two arms... Don't serve with one arm. Serve with both. Weather you are a member with a calling or not. A missionary, a football player, or just a friend. We all work better with two arms and can give a lot more effort when we use them both. 

To close it off I wanna leave you with a scripture I read this week as I was reading a talk by Elder Holland. 

Philippians 3:13-14

I ask you all to read these verses and ponder them in your hearts and let the Holy Ghost teach you what he taught me. Let him teach you exactly what you need to know. 

I love and miss you all! Sorry there are no pictures. I left my camera at home... 

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Swan

"It's not what you do or don't do, It's what you become."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kei teka pe! 4/19/2015

Family Friends and whoever reads this,

This week was awesome. It was transfer week but to me it felt like any other week. We worked and were able to get a lot of things done. We have 5 investigators who we are planning on baptizing when they are ready. Only small things are holding them back. Pala, who we have been teaching for 2 transfers now, was baptized on Saturday. He is family with Elder Felemi and we asked his parents for permission 2 times and they said no about 20...  But Pala found us and said with or without permission I want to be baptized. So we went through with it. It was very Spiritual and a great moment to see someone we have worked so hard for and love so much enter into the waters of baptism. We just pray all will be well with him at home! 

So for transfers we are staying again! I think I will finish here. I really enjoy this area and the people in it.

So there are a few investigators as I said trying to build up their faith to enter the waters. Samipeni who we have worked about a transfer and a half on is SOOO close to being ready for baptism.. But some of the things he doesn't quite believe so we are delaying the baptism and just helping him out.

Ioapa Save is a new investigator and wants to be baptized also. His only problem is smoking. So we are helping him also 

Folita Nusi just got married to a member and accepted the invitation to be baptized, all we need to do is finish the lessons!

That's about it I love all these people and love helping them and watching them find the truth!

Sorry it was short... But Oh so sweet!
Elder Swan

Tyler, Bishop and Pala 

Elder Felemi shredding coconuts

Monday, April 13, 2015

We all need to re-invent ourselves... 4/12/2015

This week has been pretty good! Obviously Conference tops it off! We had a companionship exchange with the Zone Leaders and I had a good time with Elder Tangi meeting a lot of new less-active members! We didn't teach as much as we did last week but we had a few teachings and are planning for 2 to 3 baptisms this week! The work is going good but I would like to focus more on conference and the things I learned this week. 

As I sat through conference I had 10-15 questions I need answers to written down on a paper. I've been praying for answers for weeks and In the first session on Saturday morning they were all almost answered. So I thought "oh man, I need more questions, God is giving out free answers today!!" so I prayed and thought of more questions. I had all my questions answered except for 1... The one that is bugging me most haha. I guess God's letting me think this one out.. But I realized how much we all need to change. As the world gets worse and worse everyday we must get better and better everyday. I really enjoyed President Eyrings talk when he talked about "Distractions and Deceptions". Satan uses almost everything we have as a distraction to get us to fall. Cell phones, video games, movies, friends, drugs, books, electronics, and anything you can think of. As we take our minds off the prize and take a look in Babylon then we lose the spirit and lose what we could have learned that day. 
I also learned that after we have done all we can do to help loved ones who have strayed is that we must watch, and wait, and love. It may take 16 years. But God will work his miracles if we just give him room to do it!

I learned a lot of priceless things this week in which I'll carry with me to eternity.
I love you all so much.
Elder Swan

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Gospel is True~ 4/5/2015

Good golly miss molly this week was great!!

We got to teach 2 more new investigators and were able to set dates for them too!! How great is that!! The work truly is just flying! God is amazing and blesses us according to our faith to share the Gospel! There are so many people that are willing to listen they just don't know how to go about it. So that's why we need members to invite. Members are full-time finders! If they don't invite it makes the missionaries go knock doors which is very very ta'eaonga (Not useful). So we had a few members leave their comfort zone and invite some people to be taught!! Really taking a leap of faith!! Well both those investigators have baptism dates now. Now we just need to teach and watch the Holy Ghost testify of the truth and change them! Right now we have 7 investigators and 5 of them have dates and 3 of them are for sure. If you remember Pala whom we taught he wanted to get baptized but his parents wouldn't let him. So he turned 18 but in Tonga it is SUPER disrespectful to go behind the parents back and do it without them knowing. So we went and asked permission to baptize him. His grandpa is the head of the house so we asked him. He said No.. We began to bare testimony and try to explain why he wants to be baptized. He just began to say how "You have NO authority to do this work!!" "You guys are wrong!!" And mocking us. We went back again and that time he had a very big boil on his arm. He again started making fun of us by saying "If you have the authority you can take this off of my arm! Tell it to go away!!" So I told him that it requires faith on his part and that he had none in us. So I told him I would smack it instead and I walked up and acted like I was gonna hit it and he jumped back and we all just cracked up! If we don't talk about the Gospel with this man, he is very nice! But, we have to share the word of life!! Anyway, Pala came and told us "With or without permission I want to be baptized" So we thought about what may happen to him and prayed and thought about what to do. We thought that yes, maybe he'll lose his house on this earth, but God is preparing a mansion for him in heaven. The blessings of the Gospel are worth so much more than anything else. He see's that and will do what he can to get it! What kind of Faith is that??? If only we all had that faith to give all we have, our family, our house, everything, just to follow Christ. He is truly an example to me. 

So Due to conference next week, we plan to baptize them on the 18th! 

It was also Uike Fakaafe (Invite week) So all the members invited less-actives and non members to come to church!! It was PACKED!!!! It was so cool and really spiritual as we learned about the Atonement of Christ and all he did for us! 

That is about all I have to share with you! I know that Christ lives and loves us. I know that he has again restored his Gospel upon the earth and given us the proper authority to do his work. The priesthood authority can bring forth many mighty miracles if we but use it correctly and are worthy to use it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Gods Kingdom on the earth.

I love you all and wish you a Happy Easter. About 2 years ago I opened my mission call in Draper Utah, 670 days later I have become a man. I have learned through many hard and tough trials and experiences that this Gospel is true. I have developed a sure Testimony of these things I teach everyday. I have become a Disciple of Christ. The gospel will always be the center of my life and I will always go where it takes me!

I love you all so much! God bless each and every one of you.

Elder Swan
I chopped the 2 chickens heads off...
They are sitting on the stump!!