I was laughing so hard! 5-23-2016

11:29 AM

Buenas Tardes!!

Hola familia como estan?? Estoy muy feliz! Por que? Porque tenemos dos personas con fechas bautismales!! Okay English! One word. FIDENCIO!!!  Fidencio is incredible. Seriously so amazing. So he's the one who said he never got baptized because he didn't want to give up coffee. But anyway he's the nicest person I know and has the kindest heart. And he helps me so much with my Spanish! He makes me feel so much better about my Spanish and he has taught me a ton! He told me he thinks I'll have it down in just one more month... I'm not sure about that, but that would be perfectly fine with me! And he has the most amazing spirit about him! He told us this week about these amazing dreams he has! He said he's had a few dreams where the Savior has come to him and tells him to follow him. Seriously, Fidencio is incredible.

So Hermana Crowther and I have been really thinking what we could do to help him understand why he needs to give up coffee. It's that quote... "True doctrine understood changes behavior." We prayed so hard to figure out what the doctrine was that he didn't understand and so we decided on one thing and started planning his lesson. Well we had a lesson with him planned for Thursday night and when we woke up Thursday morning to finish his lesson I got the biggest prompting that the whole lesson was wrong. So I looked at Hermana Crowther and told her, "You're going to kill me, but I think he needs to understand the plan of salvation." So we scratched everything we had been working on and made a new lesson plan! So we went over to his house Thursday night and taught him the Plan of Salvation in a different way and the spirit was incredible!! It was so powerful. And Fidencio... well he's just incredible and you could tell he was feeling the spirit. So at the end we asked him what he needed to do and he said give up coffee! YES! So we asked him if he would and he said he needed to pray about it first and see if it is really a commandment from God. So I pulled out John 7:17 "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." And I told him that he wasn't going to know if it was from God unless he lived it first. So I said, "Fidencio just give me one week. Live the Word of Wisdom for one week and pray to God during the week asking him if this commandment is from him and I promise he will answer you." And Fidencio is just incredible and he was so humble and said he was willing to live it to know if it was true!! Well we went back on Sunday for another lesson and we planned a lesson on baptism and planned on extending the baptismal invitation. We got there and asked him if he's been living the word of wisdom and he said YES! And so we had our lesson on Baptism and again the spirit was so powerful and at the end of the lesson we asked him if he would get baptized on June 18. And he said he knows he will eventually get baptized and that it's what he needs to do so he might as well just do it now! So he has a baptismal date of June 18 and I'm so so excited for him! 

Next person... Beverly! She's the member in the ward. She is so amazing, she has been through so much but still puts Christ first. She's so strong, and I look up to her so much! I just love her. Well Hermana Crowther is amazing and totally felt that we needed to teach her the importance of planning, so we had a super good lesson with her about planning and asked her if we could make a plan with her to help her stop smoking so she could go to the temple and she was so receptive and so willing. So she's been praying all week asking God for a date she should work towards! So we'll be going back tonight to help her put a plan together! Also, she's painting her house, so we got to do some service!! We had so much fun. We went over Saturday night and painted some of her kitchen with her, she already had most of it done so we just painted for like an hour. But it was a blast, she and her family are amazing so it was good company and we just had fun painting with them. We're helping her paint her living room tonight so that'll be a party and the best part is we get to wear pants!!

Heriberto... oh Heriberto! What a good man! He's the less active member who just stopped going to church and he's been ignoring the missionaries, well he took us out to eat! Seriously the Hispanic people are so nice, they are willing to give us everything they have, it's incredible. They always put others first and I admire them and Heriberto so much for that. Well we had a lesson with him, and we're not sure if there's something wrong with his memory but it doesn't seem like he can remember a lot about his experience with the missionaries who baptized him or anything about the church. So we're trying to figure out what we can do for him. But we were just happy we got to teach him a lesson, he hasn't talked to missionaries in a long time, so we felt lucky that he would talk to us! 

Next, I wrote about Cesar a couple weeks back. He's the one that we ran into at Wal Mart and the last time the missionaries taught his family his sons were about to be baptized but then last second he said no and the missionaries weren't allowed back. Well we went to their house on Wednesday and they let us in for a lesson! They have the cutest family. There's Cesar and Juana and then they have three little kids, Elias (10), Luis (8), and Michelle (3). We first started talking to them and again I didn't understand what they said so Hermana Crowther had to help me and Elias yells, "WHAT?! You're not Mexican?? But you look Mexican! And you even sound like a Mexican!!" haha it cracked me up, I swear I hear that like 3 times a day! It's the biggest compliment to me, I love it! And I might not know a lot of Spanish but I guess I've got a killer accent haha! But they're such an amazing family, and I guess last time Cesar wouldn't come to any of the lessons and if he did he would just try to prove the missionaries wrong. But he sat at this lesson and his heart has been softened. The spirit was so strong and I know he felt it. He even accepted a Book of Mormon and said the closing prayer. We had another lesson with them later in the week with them. And the parents didn't want one, so we just taught Luis and Elias outside on their porch. We read the Book of Mormon with them and out of no where Luis says, "Hey, Jesus isn't a stranger." It sounds dumb over writing, but it was so powerful. These little kids know their Savior so well and they love Him and they are such an example to me! Also, Friday night we watched Meet the Mormons at the church and their family came!! So that made us super happy! 

Esmerelda... Hermana Crowther taught Esmerelda when she was here a year ago so we decided to go visit her. She is so sweet and had all of this food ready for us! So we visited with her and then had a lesson with her. We just read about some of the miracles Christ performed when he was on the earth, then read about the atonement, and then watched the Because of Him video. It was a really good lesson and Esmerelda is super amazing! She never got baptized because her husband didn't want to and she didn't want to get baptized without her husband. So we need to have a lesson with both her and her husband! Because she's so amazing and I know she knows she needs to get baptized. We just need to help them understand the true doctrine!! 

Lastly, Kristina. We found a woman named Carmela outside her house one day and she was busy then but asked us to come back. So we went back a couple days later and Carmela wasn't home, but Kristina was. Kristina was interested but was busy too so we set up an appointment with her. We went back for her appointment and it was incredible. I know I said it about the last ten people but Kristina is amazing! Seriously all of these people are incredible! We taught her the restoration and we know she didn't understand all of it, but we knew she could feel the spirit. Her and her husband just moved into the house 3 weeks ago and were looking for a church. She was catholic but she just felt like something was missing and so she's been trying out other churches but she feels like all of them are missing something. And so she really loved our message and asked for  a Book of Mormon and told us she would be at church on Sunday. We then asked her if she would get baptized on June 25 and it kinda freaked her out. But she said, "I will have June 25 as my goal and I will work towards finding out if your church is true. And if I find out that it is then I will be baptized on June 25." She's incredible. She was so humble and so receptive and you could tell how badly she wanted to know the truth. She's going to be amazing to work with! 

This week has been a lot of fun. There's been so much rain, and I mean rain. I've never seen so much rain in my whole entire life. It just pours all the time. We reached so many of our goals this week and it's incredible to watch Heavenly Father bless us. We also got to watch Meet the Mormons on Friday with some of our investigators and that was a lot of fun too. The spirit still comes even when the movie is in Spanish. I got to see Allie and Spence Tueller speak in Spanish. I had no idea they were so good (; So we had stake conference this week and we had Elder Parker from the Seventy come! It was amazing, I feel so lucky that I've been able to see so many general authorities! Read the Book of Mormon and go to the temple everyone! That's what it was all about! Also, our weed smoking neighbors got evicted so that rocked. We don't smell like weed smoking missionaries anymore. 

Way funny story... (you probably had to be there for this one too). But our neighbors were moving out on Friday and we thought they were all gone but we could still hear them (and smell them) down stairs so we went to our back porch to see if they were still moving or just taking a break. And nobody was out there so they were taking a break. And I was just dancing in the rain on the porch and I went to walk inside and had a heart attack. There was a dead bird right by the step and I have no idea how I missed it walking out. But it scared me to death haha! So Hermana Crowther gets a shoe and smacks the bird off our porch and it landed perfectly in the doorway of our weed smoking neighbors and we couldn't stop laughing. It seriously landed in the most perfect spot. I bet we could try hitting the bird off the porch 1,000 more times and couldn't have done it again. I don't think we could've even placed it more perfectly. So we ran inside the house and pretended like it wasn't us. And just laughed hysterically. We then heard them go outside and we froze and after they drove away we went back outside and the bird was gone. It was pretty good and I have a picture, I'll send it to you all. But yeah you probably had to be there for it to be funny. I tried telling the story at coordination on Saturday and I couldn't tell it because I was laughing so hard. But once I finally told it I was still the only one laughing, it was great. 

But this week has been good and it's been hard. I have had the worst anxiety being here and it's been scary. But I'm doing okay. Johny sent me an email telling me God didn't send me here to fail and Dad sends me emails all the time helping me with my thoughts and anxiety. Also, the church has some amazing resources. There's a book they give to every missionary and they give us coping mechanisms and just advice for every little thing a missionary might be going through. That book is inspired and it's helped me a ton. But I also know that everyone who has been praying for me has helped me a ton, so thank you. I really appreciate it. And I tell this to all of you not to worry or to think I'm not doing okay, but I just don't want to sugar coat everything and I want you to know how I'm really doing. The mission is amazing and the best decision I have ever made, but it's already the hardest thing I have ever done as well. But really thank you for all of the prayers, letters, love, and support.

I got Hunter's picture of him in the newspaper! How cool, I've been showing everyone. And I've loved getting all the other pictures from everyone too! Thanks mom for feeding the missionaries this week, I can tell you they love you for it and really appreciate it. I loved getting updates about all the boy's games and what's been going on at home! It's so fun to hear, and I promise it doesn't make me homesick! Also, I bought Hunter's birthday present today, so be looking for that this week (He can't open it until June 2 though). I love you all so so much. I know I say it every week, but I really do have the best family in the whole entire world! I think about you all and pray for you all every day! 

Don't ever forget how important you are. Don't ever forget that God loves you so much more than you could ever imagine. And don't ever forget that you are worth it. You were worth it to the Savior. 

Les amo mucho!!!! 
Hermana Swapp 

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