Monday, July 27, 2015

Chick-Fil-A! (and other tender mercies)

Hello everyone! I can't believe that its monday again!? This week flew by! Well this week honestly everything bad that could happen i think happened to me and sister Hoffman haha okay maybe not everything but i guess thats what you learn on a mission that everything you plan on happening just doesn't happen on the way you want it to turn out! on Wednesday me and sister Hoffman woke up to a text from our investigator Jeff that said he couldn't be baptized anymore... :( it was so sad! His girlfriend does not like the Mormons so it was really hard for him to have courage and be baptized! so just keep praying for him please! :)  Then we had interviews on thursday and we thought it was at a different building which was 20 minutes away and so we were 30 mins late to our interviews with the mission president haha oh man and then our car wouldn't start when we were trying to get to our meetings on sunday and almost all our investigators appointments feel through... me and sister hoffman after all of that just turned to each other and laughed about it because really every effort we were giving towards people just wasn't going our way! I love the scripture In alma 26:27-37 it really is the mission life in a nut shell hah! i love in verse 27 how it says "Now when they our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold the lord comforted us, and said: go amongst thy brethren, the laminates, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and i will give unto you success." Right when me and sister Hoffman were about to give up the lord really showed us success and lead us right to a person who needed to hear this gospel! We were out knocking and we decided to knock on this door that we both felt good about and this lady came to the door and was like sorry i don't speak english but let me go grab my son that speaks english so we were so happy and he came to the door and was like ahh yes i know who you guys are, I'm a member of your church but i haven't been active for 4 years now and we were like well would you like to come back and he was like ehh i know i will come back someday but i just don't feel ready right now. His name is Alexis but he was so happy and felt so loved that we came and knocked on his door! we are going to try and go back and start teaching him the lessons and see if he will want to come back! pray for him!! :) On Wednesday me and sister Hoffman were driving down the street and we were just really discouraged and i was just praying that I could just see or find something to help brighten my day and i looked to the right and i saw a CHICK FILA!!! seriously the lord knows me too well!! haha he knows exactly what makes me happy and that definitely made my whole day!  The one thing i have really learned on my mission so far is that the lord really does hear and answer our prayers! He is so concerned with every part of our lives and wants us to be happy! We just have to turn to him and he will bless us :)
Everyone in our area is usually so nice to us, and super respectful! So as we were knocking doors the other day we knocked on this Armenian ladies house and she was like oh my you two are angels haha and she was like come in come in tell me what you're sharing and she got us water! I love nice people!!! haha :) Me and sister Hoffman got asked if we were nuns haha people are funny.. i just wanted to say do i look like I'm a nun to you.. and give them the sass but i held back don't worry mom and dad and just smiled and said no i am not but i am a representative of Jesus Christ so thats cool :) 
oh man you will not believe how many lizards there are out here! They are the nastiest things ever!! i hate them so much and they always run around your feet while you're at the door step of peoples house! They all need to die! 
Through this week i have really realized how much my heavenly father loves me and is so aware of everything i am going through! I'm so grateful for the strength he gives me to push on through the hard times! This week we were talking with a guy and asked him if he had ever met missionaries, and he said he hadn't. It hit me right there that oh my gosh there are so many people in this world that has never even heard this message before! I have really taken this gospel for granted and from now on when i talk with someone I really try and tell them how great this message really is and how much comfort it can really bring to their lives! 
We found a new investigator and he is AWESOME!! He just moved here a month ago from North Carolina and he came to church on sunday! He has never had religion in his life! His name is Ashton! he is great and he loved church! He turned to me during church and was like wow everyone is so friendly how do you become a member? I was like well you're talking to the right person haha so then i went on to tell him the whole shabang! :) we meet with him on wednesday to teach our first lesson! I'm soo excited!!
Well i love you all so much and I'm so grateful for all your support and prayers! i really feel them strengthening me daily! i can definitely feel angels bearing up and helping me push on! Im so grateful for this gospel and for the happiness and peace it brings into my life! I'm so grateful for eternal families! that is the greatest blessing! WE GET TO LIVE WITH OUR FAMILIES FOREVER!! We can really take things for granted with the things we believe in the gospel but it helps remind me everyday when i am telling people about how great this plan is our Heavenly Father has given us! I love you all! Everything is going great and i love being a missionary! the people out here are awesome! and it is starting to get REAL hot! Have a GREAT week! :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

First Area and Trainer!

Holy Cow does the lord know exactly what i need! He is so aware of our struggles and challenges and just wants to make us happy and boy has he blessed me! :) I received the BEST trainer EVER!!! Her name is Sister Hoffman and she is from Pennsylvania! she is so cute and we get a long so well! Oh man i hope we never have to be transferred!!! Anyways she has only been out six weeks and she is already training so that just tells you how awesome she is! we are just relying on the lord more than ever thats for sure!  She is seriously the greatest! Well this week seems like it went on for a whole year and a half haha :) But it was pretty good! so the first day i got here last monday we got here and we went straight to work! Sister Brown the sister training leader took me out knocking doors in down town north hollywood! holy crap it was so scary! the first door we knocked on the man just opened up his window and growled at us hahah i was trying so hard not to laugh! Then the next 10 house we knocked on the people just got mad and told us not to ever come back! people are so angry! so after that i was pretty discouraged and i just prayed that i could see a miracle! right after that i turned the corner and there was a man standing in his yard so we went up and talked to him, and told him about the restoration and i gave away my first Book of Mormon to him! it was so cool to really testify of how much the book of mormon has blessed my life and how it could bless his! :) Then on Tuesday i Met my wonderful Companion and we are assigned to serve in the santa clarita valley in the YSA wards!!! ITS AWESOME!! After we went straight to our apartment and un packed and then went to work! The president received revelation to do this thing called knock out from 4-6 everyday where we knock on peopled doors and oh man i am trying to love it but it is so hard for me! its scares me so bad! some people are soo scary and rude! But i can definitely feel the lord strengthening me every door i knock on! That night we went to a girl named Valaries house for dinner! she is a convert to the church and she is awesome! :) After dinner we went and taught a guy name Omar! He never really believed there was a god and now he does and he is progressing so much and is keeping his commitments! :) The other day we were teaching him and he was like when i read the book of mormon and pray it just feels those empty holes and gives me so much peace! i almost started crying because really that is what this gospel does, it feels those holes in our soul that nothing else can fill up! He is the most loving person ever and the only thing holding him back from Baptism is his god mother and he doesn't want to loose his relationship with her! so keep him in your prayers! :) Then we have another investigator name Jeff! Jeff is so awesome! He wants to be baptized so bad but his girlfriend won't let him because she has grew up catholic but we've just been paying really hard that her heart will soften and she will support him during this time in his life! So the other morning me and sister Hoffman were doing companionship study and we were deciding what we wanted to teach him and we were trying to think and i just had this thought to look at this new era i brought with my so i opened it up and there was a talk called which way do you face. It seriously fit perfectly to his needs! So we met with him later that day and shared with him this talk and it was just silent for a a minute and we just thought that he was going to say that he just think it isn't going to work out for him, but he was like yeah i need to be baptized and follow Jesus Christ! It was the coolest thing ever! i wanted to just scream in happiness but don't worry i kept my cool! So He is getting BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! WHOOT WHOOT My first baptism on my first week in the mission! keep him in your prayers though he could use it! :) I'm so flipping excited!!!! it will be great! 
so the other day when we were out knocking we met these two older people on the street and oh man were they some crazies! hahah so we were teaching them about the restoration and this lady is just crunched over in her walker and her mouth is just opened wide the whole time and while we were teaching her about how joseph smith saw god she was like OH WOWWWW OH WOOWWW NOOO WAY hahah i was dying! and then her boy friend is just standing there and he has this huge pot belly and is caring this blanket and flowers in his hand and he was like oh man oh man do you guys know about the prophecy and thats all he kept saying! some people are pretty funny! :) 
Oh man it has been raining soo much down here! its crazy!!! the streets have been flooding over! its awesome! and its been nice and cool so I'm loving it!! :) 
on saturday we were knocking doors and we went to this house and the guy who answered the door was catholic and we just started talking about Jesus and how everyone needs him in their lives and then his wife came up and was like what do you guys believe in the godhead? and so we told her how we believe that they are all three separate beings with the same person and boy she did not like that haha she was like no you guys are so wrong it says in the bible that they are one and we were like yeah one in purpose hah but she just wouldnt have it. it makes me sad because there are so many scriptures in the bible that show they are three separate beings! it just make so much sense! 
So on Friday me and Sister Hoffman went out to visit some people sister hoffman and her former companion have been trying to contact and they have tried for a couple of weeks but they have both just never been home. And on friday they were both home! it was such a miracle!! they both want to start having lessons with us so we have a lesson with them on Wednesday! I'm so excited to see how it goes! Well i love you all so much! I miss you guys and hope you're all doing well! Missionary work is the best! and you should all try to do reach out to one person this week :) 

                                                        Sister Brown with Sister Swenson

                                                       Sister Swenson and her trainer Sister Hoffman!

Sophie enjoying the RAINY weather!

Sister Talley with Sister Swenson

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Finally in Cali!

"Dear Sister and Brother Swenson,

I am writing to let you know that Sister Swenson arrived yesterday morning in the Great California San Fernando Mission.

She is very excited to be here and we are excited to have her!  She will be a great missionary.  We look forward serving with her.

We would like to invite you and others who love Sister Swenson to follow our Facebook page, The Great California San Fernando Mission 2015-2018.  Frequently I will post pictures there and you will have opportunities to see Sister Swenson at mission events.

Thank you for sharing your daughter with our mission.  I know her service will bring her and your family many sweet, eternal blessings."

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 2 of the MTC!

Wow the MTC is so awesome but such a roller coaster of emotions! seriously one moment youre on cloud 9 and the next moment you just wanna give up! its draining haha! well this week we started teaching real people! and holy cow does the spirit just take over! the most random things just pop into your head from years ago and you know you need to say it because its the spirit telling you to do so. :) we are teaching someone named nicole,barbra and chad! they are awesome and i love them all sooooo much! they have come such a long way just in the last week we've been teaching them! they all committed to go to church this week so hopefully they do! :) It was really cool,one day i was about to leave my room to go to class and i just had a feeling that i needed to take my tithing and fast offerings pamphlet and i was like thats weird why would i need that!? but i took it anyways and during one of the lessons i taught thats exactly what the investigator needed to hear so i was able to tell them about it :) Listen to the spirit everyone,even if it seems weird! 

so my favorite part of the MTC has to be just watching and listening to all the elders be so concerned about their investigators! its seriously so cool to see them change into these amazing boys that just love these random people! when 2 weeks ago they would have just been talking about girls and video games hahah 

this week i was able to see Jake Mckee!!! it was seriously the best thing ever and i really needed it at that exact moment! Heavenly Father is soo aware of our needs its so crazy! 

This week was really hard for me not gonna lie! Ive never felt sicker in my life but i was able to receive a blessing from my district leader and it was probably one of the best blessings i have ever received! And ever since i received that blessing i have felt pretty good and i havent felt homesick at all! The lord truly answers our prayers and it makes me soo happy! I love my Heavenly Father sooo much!!!  Thanks for all your prayers i can feel them helping me soooo much and i am so grateful for them:) 

I wish everyone could have the opportunity to serve a mission! I have never grown so much in my life! And i cant wait to share the gospel with the people in California here in a day and a half! The devotionals here are way cool! i learn so much from them! the other night we had one all about the first vision and how we need to always tell it like its someones first time hearing it because it usually is! but the thing that stuck out to me the most was when he said if youre having troubles knowing if joseph smith saw god just ask god he was there! and that just hit me so hard! what better person to ask than god that was there and he will let you know :)

Im so excited to leave for California! the MTC reminds me kind of like a spiritual prison and sometimes i forget that im really living on the earth because we are trapped in a class all day and never get to go outside!

well i love you all so much! cant wait to talk to you mom on monday! make sure youre awake early because ill probably be calling around 5 or 6! :) Love you and thanks for all your packages and emails everyone!!!!


Sister Swenson!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!

Well i just have to start out by telling you all that Disneyland is not the happiest place on earth, the MTC is! After you guys dropped me off and i put my name tag on i have never felt so much happiness in my life! everyone is so happy here and always says hi to you! I love it here so much but yet i cant wait to leave for California next week! 

It still hasnt really hit me that im a missionary! haha sometimes i just feel like im at EFY wearing a legit name tag! haha but Im starting to realize that i really am a missionary so thats good! we started teaching the second day and it was awesome! Im soo excited to be doing this for the next year and a half! 

Its crazy how much the lord really does bless his missionaries! sometimes i get really sad and start to miss home but then i just say a prayer and he blesses me with peace and comfort! Its so awesome!! :) Also i can tell he is blessing me because i actually have no problem at all to get up in the morning which is a miracle in-itself haha! I cant believe how much i have learned already! we are in class almost all day just learning and it is awesome! I love it!! well i have an amazing district! My companion is great! she has been struggling the last couple days because she is homesick so its been kind of hard on me because it makes me think of home, but I'm trying to stay strong and help her know that she can do hard things! I love the other two sisters in my district they are awesome!! there names are sister keck which is from gilbert arizona and knows the wallentines :) and then the other is sister traux! shes from salem actually but i have never met her before! but we all are getting along which is such a blessing! The Elders are so much fun as well they always have me laughing! there is Elder Orton who is from idaho, Elder Hales is from idaho as well and then there is Elder De Mile - utah, Elder Thomas - Ohio, Elder pierce - idaho, and Elder Boyle from California.

Thank you all so much for all your prayers i can definitely feel them helping me at each moment! :) 

on Thursday i saw Alyssa and we just hugged and hugged and cried and cried haha it was so awesome! Its so much fun seeing her around, it just makes me feel right at home :) ive also seen Kylee Davis and a couple other girls that i went to high school with so thats been fun as well :)

so my teachers are awesome! They have taught me sooo much! one is name Brother Gleason! and the other is sister Bishop! Sister Bishop actually served in San Fernando California so its been so fun to get to know a little more about the mission :)

Well i am so excited for tonight! we get to watch the fire works so that will be awesome! also sad news is that the provo temple will be closed for cleaning the whole time i am here so thats a bummer :( 

well i am loving every minute of being on a mission! i got the flight information yesterday and we are leaving monday morning at 3:45am kill me.... and our flight doesnt leave tell like 8:45 or something so that will be fun... 

well i love you all sooooo much! thanks again for all the emails and letters and packages! you guys are all awesome and i am so blessed to have all the friends and family i do! Talk to you soon!

Sister Swenson xoxox