Monday, October 26, 2015

Hello Family,

We are truly blessed to have the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives! I cannot thank my heavenly father enough for blessing me with it! This week i learned a lot about Grace and Gods love for us! I was thinking a lot about why God lets us go through hard things, and if he is a God of love why does he make us suffer through things... As i was pondering this question i started to think about a track coach and how they make you run a lot and in the moment we are like oh my gosh why do they hate me so much and why are they making me run so many miles, why can't i just run 1 mile and call it good, that would really make me happy! but its truly because they love us so much that they make us run a lot of miles, they want us to become better, they see our potential and they see that running those miles can help us win that race! I was thinking also about teachers and the teachers i had in the past that made me study hard and gave me a lot of homework, i would get angry and be like uhh why and didn't really see the importance but now looking back i am grateful for them because i was actually able to learn something and it has come in useful, but with the teachers that let us do whatever and goof off i loved them in the moment and thought it was great but i realized that i didn't learn one thing from them... We can relate this to our heavenly father and how he makes us go through things so that we can earn experience and grow! He makes us go through hard things because he loves us! we would never be able to become like him if we weren't able to experience the blessings of the atonement and we would never turn to him if we didn't experience hard times! sorry if that doesn't make to much sense but it sounded a lot better in my head haha :)

Anyways I'm just really grateful for the challenges that i face because i know it is helping me become a better person and making me more fit to live in gods kingdom again someday :) Also as i was pondering my scripture for this week 2 nephi 31:20 about persevering and enduring to the end i came across this talk by Kevin W. Pearson, called "Stay by the tree"  it talks about how enduring to the end is essential to life! it says "Once we enter into covenants with god, there is no going back, giving in, giving up, and giving out are not options." i love that so much! We have covenanted that we would endure trials, that we would stay true to his commandments and try our best each day to give our all and do our best! And as we give our all each day we increase our faith! :) 

This week was pretty good! we found 5 new investigators! We meet a hindu family at knock out that invited us in and we were able to teach them about the restoration. they invited us to their prayer room to pray with them, which was really cool! They like veiled our faces and everything haha it was interesting but a cool experience :) 

on wednesday we had zone conference! it was 9 hours long... but it was really good! we learned a lot about increasing our faith and the importance of working with members :) I can't wait to be home so i can be a better member for the missionaries! i wish i would have been more involved in referring my non member friends and teaching them more about the gospel and inviting them to activities!

Thursday we were teaching one of our new investigators and we were trying so hard to find a member to be there at their lesson and we couldn't find one so we just showed up to this persons house to teach them and there was no girl there so we had to have it outside and while we were teaching a member just walked by and was like hey can i join you, it was so crazy! the lord is truly in the details of our lives and is so aware of our needs and will just work everything out if we do our best! :) 

on Sunday kenny was confirmed! its truly amazing seeing the light just come into their lives! :) 

well i hope you are all doing well! :) have a wonderful week! and have a Happy Halloween :)
Love you!!!!
Sister swenson!
I can't wait til Halloween is over, people get WAY into here, and it's creepy!

Our Brazilian friend, who made us Brazilian food. I think I gained 20 pounds..

Thanks for the Halloween package mom! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hello familia,

This week was soo awesome!! :) I was able to go to the temple with one of our recent converts in the ward named Zach! he is so awesome! And being in the temple was so amazing! Just sitting in the celestial room you really feel like you're truly at home! i love the peace the temple brings! :) on our way home from the temple we drove down with a member and she got pulled over because her tail light was out and so there was 6 missionaries in the car so we decided to teach the police about the restoration of the gospel and gave him a pamphlet and our number haha it was so funny! welcome to the life of a missionary, its the greatest!

We met with Kenny a lot this week to teach him all the lessons he needed to have before his baptism and i have never seen anyone so ready to be baptized! He keeps every commitment we extend to him and is so willing to keep it because he truly wants to follow christ! :)

on Sunday Kenny got baptized!!! oh man the spirit was so strong there! i love baptisms so much! they make the hard work worth it for sure! Jeff ( the one that just got baptized) gave a talk at kennys baptism and it was so awesome! its so cool to see them grow in the gospel in such a short amount of time! After the baptism i was talking with president Henrie and kenny came running right in between us and was like sister swenson and just gave me this huge hug.... haha oh man it was so awkward! haha i didn't know what to do so i just embraced it haha :) My favorite thing about baptisms is their testimony they give after! Kenny gave such a wonderful testimony and just talked about how clean and pure he felt! you could truly see the light shinning from him last night as he was baptized, I'm so grateful i was able to teach him and learn from his example! :)

This week i studied a lot about our baptismal covenants! i was reading the talk by President Eyring on the comforter! "You are a covenant member of the Church of Jesus Christ. a great change began in your heart when you came into to the church. you made a covenant and you received a promise that began changing your very nature." Its so cool to look at the members of this church and really see people being true to the covenants they have made to be there for others and mourn with those and give comfort to those! "Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places." That is why we have a feeling to want to help others that are struggling and going through trials in their lives! we promised that we would help the lord make others burdens light and that we would comfort them when they are sad! we were truly given the power from god to help lighten these loads of the people around us! :)  I'm so grateful for the gift of the holy ghost and how i can truly feel the comfort it gives us! we are truly blessed to have this gospel in our lives! :) 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week of Miracles!

This week was one crazy week of up and downs and miracles and blessings! :)
I just want to let everyone know how aware our heavenly father is of our needs and how he is truly with us every step of the way! he really does love us and wants us to be happy! i am so grateful that i have this knowledge :) 
Tuesday we were able to see many miracles happen! the day started out really rough and i just wanted to give up...but right before we give up heavenly father sends us a miracle and boy did he bless me and sister hoffman! So tuesdayafternoon we were knocking on doors and we met a young man who's family is all mormons but he has never been baptized and we asked him if he would be interested in learning more and coming to church! He said he would love to come and start learning more and taking lessons! Next miracle of the day was that we were able to move in with our favorite sister missionaries Sister Morris and Sister Groberg! This transfer we got a extra set of missionaries in the YSA ward because there is so much work going on me and sister Hoffman weren't able to handle it by ourselves so we will now be working in the valenica stake which we are really excited about :) its going to be so great to just focus our attention on one side of the valley! Third miracle of the day was, we were having a lesson with our investigator Kenny we have been teaching for 2 weeks and we were teaching him about baptism, and he asked us if he could get baptized this coming saturday! It was such an amazing experience and the spirit was so strong! :) Kenny is such an incredible person! His testimony is so strong and he is so excited to follow the savior by being baptized! :) 
Wednesday we went over to the other YSA sisters to help them know which people they need to focus on and give them all the address's and stuff and as we were talking we kind of got off topic and were just talking about food and they were saying oh yeah we went to the grocery store and we totally forgot to get eggs and milk and vegetables and seriously 2 seconds later a random lady called their phone and was like hey sisters we have two huge boxes of food with like milk, eggs, and vegetables would you like it.... IT WAS SO CRAZY! hahah we were just in shock! Its seriously sooooo crazy how aware our heavenly father is of our lives! He just takes care of us! :) 
Then on thursday i lost my planner and i couldn't find it anywhere! i searched my bag like three times and it wasn't there and i was trying to look for it everywhere and me and sister hoffman need to start planning our day so i looked one more time in my bag and there it was just magically sitting on the top! I love Heavenly father so much! He truly does care about us and loves us so much! :)
Friday we had service at heart park... so we had to clean out the pigs pen which was "fun" haha not it was so gross! I was asked to distract the pig so it wouldn't bug the others as they were scooping up poop and all that fun stuff... Let me tell you pigs are not very cute... i had to sit there and pet its stomach and it had poop all over it and oh boy was it a fun experience haha all the missionaries were laughing at me...
On Saturday we were able to go to the temple visitors center with Kenny and a couple girls from the ward! it was such an amazing experience! the spirit was so strong and Kenny is so excited to go through the temple one day! :) I LOVE being a missionary so much and seeing peoples lives change! 
That night we got to set up a booth at the mall and pass out pass a long cards which was really fun :)  Then we had dinner at macaroni grill with bishop and some people from the ward! I love this ward soo much! i never want to leave this place! Everyone is so great! :) 

This week for my studies i read the ensign for this month and it was soo good! i loved the talk "My Walk With Him" she says: "We can talk of christ, but it is very different to walk with christ. we need to stay focused on Heavenly Father and the saviors love and ability to succor me. I had to believe that i do matter and that the lord can and will make up for all that i am lacking, only then could i truly turn my broken, fragile heart to him. i believe that he feels my pain and sorrow and is willing to mourn with me, to understand my deepest emotions and feeling of loss." 

I know our Heavenly Father and our Savior are there for us! they are there 24/7! we just need to turn to them so we can receive comfort and help! they are just waiting for us to ask! We can truly overcome anything with their help and strength that they lend! I love this gospel so much and i know with all my heart that this is Christ's church that he set up here on the earth when he was here, and that he restored it through the Prophet Joseph smith! :) we are soo blessed to be living in the last dispensation and to have the gospel be apart of our lives!

love you all so much!
Us with some sisters from the YSA ward and Kenny at the Visitor's Center.

The LA Temple!

Sorry mom and dad, the SASS is still within me... haha.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wasn't Conference AMAZING??? oh man i left so uplifted and wanting to become the person my Heavenly Father created me to be! :) I have a lot to work on thats for sure! I seriously loved every single talk! Elder Oaks, Lawerence, Nelson, and Durrant were probably my favorite! I can't wait to read them again, and really start to ponder and apply the things they said into my daily life! :) 
I hope you all enjoyed conference as well! The scripture i am going to ponder this week is Matthew 21:22 so stay tune for next week to see what i learn ;) 

Well this week was pretty good! The weather is starting to cool down thank the heavens! it got down into the 60's this weekend and rained :) it started to actually feel like fall! 
On Tuesday we had a huge mission service project which was so much fun! We went and put together 2000 care packages for the military :) on Wednesday we got to go back and teach the Chinese family we found last week! it was so cool, we had another missionary in the mission who speaks chinese translate for us and it was such a cool experience to be a part of! They seem pretty interested and we should be going back this week, to teach them more :) On wednesday during knock out, we met a basher who just wanted to tell us everything we were saying was a lie and that we don't believe in jesus and our jesus is fake... but i actually have really come to like meeting bashers because i get the chance to truly testify of what i know to be true and get to just kill them with kindness :) Then on Friday we had another lesson with Kenny! We taught him the plan of salvation! He is definitely progressing and its so awesome to see him grow in the gospel and learn these truths for himself! :) He was able to come to conference and he loved it and told us that he received a lot of answers! Saturday we got our transfer calls and i am staying in YSA with Sister Hoffman!!!!! I AM THE HAPPIEST PERSON EVER!!! hahah i love her so much!! we have become the best of friends!!! and our district pretty much all stayed the same too! we have become a family out here, i love them all so much!! :) this transfer is going to be awesome! I'm really excited for the experiences we will have! The other day at knock out there was this salesman just coming out of a house and we were talking to him and he was like wow you two are just so happy people should really listen to you! :) i love the little tender mercies our heavenly father gives us to help us keep pushing on! 
Well this week i was reading a talk called "Wilt thou be made whole? by elder timothy j. Dyches. I loved in his talk how he talks about "As we repent and become converted to the lord, we become whole, and our guilt is swept away. how is it done? because of thy faith in christ." he goes on to say "Be assured the savior still seeks to mend our souls and heal our hearts. he waits at the door and knocks!" His Grace is truly sufficient and you will not walk alone if you have the Savior Jesus Christ in your life!  
We are truly so blessed to have this gospel in our lives, everyday i become more and more grateful for it! i am so happy that i don't have to feel lost in this crazy world we live in, but that i can know where i am going, why i am on this earth and where i will go after! I am grateful that i know that death really isn't the end, but its just the beginning of a life of everlasting happiness ahead! I am so grateful for trials and how they can mend us and shape us into the people our heavenly father wants us to be! :)
Have a great week! I love you all so much! :)
Sister Swenson

Best of friends.

We like to put doggie poop bags on our heads!

Mother and Daughter are staying together! 

Squirrels are weird here... They do this all the time! haha. Cracks me up!