This week... let's just say things from here can only go up! 5-16-2016

12:24 PM

Hola!


Well first of all thank you so much Mom for the package!! Hermana Crowther and I were freaking out when we saw we got Chick-Fil-A gift cards. We were super excited and she says thank you. Also, thank you for the dress it's super cute and comfy! The inside feels like a blanket! And thanks for all of the goodies and the picture. We have it up on our dresser, we love to look at it and to remember that Christ is walking with us every single day. So thank you. 

This week... let's just say things from here can only go up! We gained 6 new investigators and lost them all in one week. That's gotta be some kind of record or something ha! But we'll start with Monday. This will be just like one big journal entry for you all to read. Monday: We spent our Pday cleaning, grocery shopping, and then writing everyone. Then at 6 we had a dinner appointment with the Toadvines. They're the kindest people ever. We got there and they had their grandson B there, he's 5 years old and is the cutest kid. The second we walked in he turned around and said, "Alright, which one of you is the painter and golfer?" (I mentioned I like to paint and golf in my talk on Sunday). When he found out it was me we became instant best friends. He grabbed my hand and dragged me to a dresser and pulled out his art set. He flipped through his entire paint book and showed me everything he had painted and then we painted a star together. He even let me choose what colors we painted it. Then we had the most amazing meal ever. They had grilled pineapple! It was super good!! And Brother Toadvine has a super bad stomach too so we were able to tell each other all of the fun adventures we've had in our lives with our stomachs. And then after dinner B took me out to the backyard to show me his golf clubs. He had a 9 iron, wedge, and some wiffle (don't know how to spell that) balls. So we had a little competition in the back yard. It was so much fun, I can't even tell you how nice it was to hold a golf club! And just so everyone knows I got a hole in one every time. B thought I was a pro golfer haha it was so much fun. Then we went back inside and we taught them a little lesson about Christ like attributes. After we were done we went to our appointment with Heriberto and he didn't show up... oh Heriberto. We called him and there was no answer. So we decided to go look for Arturo. We drove to this neighborhood and walked to his house. We found Arturo and Andres. They were busy then but we set up an appointment with them for Sunday. So we walked around the neighborhood for the rest of the night and talked to everyone. Some people are super respectful and nice and some people just hate us and they have no problem telling us their feelings about it haha. We talked to like twenty people and then it started getting dark and we were in a sketchy area so we decided to leave. So by the time we got back to our car it was time to go home anyway. 

Tuesday: We did our studies and then we went to do our service! We do a weekly service at a little store called the Bargain Box. It's kinda like a little DI but different. It's run by like 5 older ladies who are all retired and they do it as volunteer and all of their profits go to charities. They are seriously the sweetest ladies in the whole entire world. We organized some of their clothes and swept. While we were sweeping we swept up a cockroach and I had a mini heart attack haha. I kept calm though and it was a miracle I didn't start screaming. But we had a ton of fun. Later that day we went to a trailer park to find Lupe. He wasn't home so we decided to walk around and find some other people and everyone in that neighborhood made it clear to us that they were not interested. Then Sister Elizabeth picked us up and we went to a dinner appointment in Carlisle (another city in our area, our area is huge). Sister Curran fed us. She's like a mom away from home. I love her and we seriously had a feast. We ate so much food and had way more cookies than we probably should have haha! Then we taught a little lesson to her and then left for an appointment we had in Carlisle with a lady named Sandra. We went to her house and.... she wasn't there. But it was a house with about 8 Hispanic men living there so they let us in and we taught them The Restoration. It didn't go super well. I think they were more interested in having girls in their house than hearing about the gospel haha! So... I don't think we'll be seeing them again. We drove home and it was pouring rain. I don't think I've ever seen so much rain in my whole entire life. And I guess there were a bunch of Tornado watches going on but don't worry Mom they were far away from us. Sister Elizabeth dropped us off at our house that night and we had littler 10 steps to our house and we were soaking wet when we got in haha! 

Wednesday: The most amazing day of my whole entire life. We drove to Lexington because we had a multi zone conference with Elder Kopischke of the Seventy. We had a training with him and it was amazing. It went from 10-4:30 and that sounds like a super long time but it wasn't because it was incredible! The theme was basically that it's not our calling or responsibility to prepare people to accept the gospel but to find the people who are prepared. We need to find the elect and we need to find the people who WANT to live a life that God lives. We need to find the Kingdom Builders. The people who once they are baptized help build up the kingdom and not just go straight into inactivity. It was incredible and the spirit was so strong. Also, another thing that was brought up that really hit me. Someone said if you don't like doing God's work here (your calling, the rules, temple work, scripture study, etc.) what makes you think you're going to want to live with Him forever one day? That hit me so hard. There have been so many days before my mission and on my mission that I complained about going to church, activities, reading my scriptures and so much more. But if I want to live with God forever I better love to do His work. Anyway, after the training we went on our exchange. I went with Sister Webb to Winchester and Sister Griffiths went with Hermana Crowther to Paris. It was a total blast and Hermana Webb and I are like the same person! She golfed all 4 years in High School so we had a lot to talk about in the golf world and she has a boyfriend on a mission too right now. So we had a ton of fun talking about everything. She's seriously so cute. When we got to Winchester we had a dinner appointment. I am so grateful for all of the members who are so willing to feed us, they have no idea how much it means to us missionaries! After the dinner appointment Sister Webb and I went to a neighborhood and talked to a million people. And we were actually looking for a lady named Rita but the address in the Area book was incorrect and the house didn't exist so we were super sad. So we just walked around and we ran into this lady outside and we started talking to her. And she was like, "I want to hear about your church. How about one time I take you girls out to lunch and you can tell me about it?" Of course we accepted and then as we were leaving we asked her for her name and it was Rita!! God really wanted us to meet her. So it'll be fun to hear how everything goes with her. 

Thursday: Sister Webb and I taught a few lessons and then went to downtown Winchester and talked to everyone. You would not believe how many people have been anti-ed out here! We say the church's name and people start bashing Joseph Smith. It always makes me so mad when people start talking bad about him, he was such an incredible man. But I just take Grandpa's advice and smile and bear my testimony of the church, The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. It makes me so sad when people aren't even willing to listen or when their hearts are so hardened. I just have to keep reminding myself... "If they knew what I had to offer they would come running to me." The exchange ended at 4 and Hermana Crowther came and picked me up. I asked her how the lesson went with Gio (the one with the baptism date). Gio is a heart breaker. He didn't show up for the lesson and he wouldn't answer any of our calls or texts. But then we went and had a lesson with Carlos. He's doing great, he is a star student! After Carlos we went to see Miguel and Dionicio. Miguel made it clear he isn't interested and Dionicio wasn't home so we left him a note on a sticky note with our number. As we were walking out we saw someone moving in to a new apartment and he had a ton of things to move in and it was just him and his 13 year old brother. So we helped them move into his apartment. We had a lot of fun and it was pouring rain which made it funner. And no I'm not being sarcastic we really did have a good time!

Friday: Beverly(a member in our ward) had a family member pass away and today was the funeral and she really wanted us to be there for the meal at the church afterwards. So we got to the church and helped with what we could. Sister Denninghoff (Relief Society President) and Bishop Scalf had it all set up pretty much so Hermana Crowther and I basically greeted people. It was pretty hard watching everyone come in, funerals are not fun. We were there for a majority of the day. After everyone left Hermana Crowther and I ate dinner with the food that was left over and then we helped Bishop and Sister Denninghoff clean up and get everything put away. Then we went over to the Salas's house. They're awesome. Sister Salas is from Mexico and she served in the Kentucky Louisville Mission about 10 years ago!! This is where she met her husband so they got married after her mission and have lived there ever since. They're such a fun family. They have a 2 year old and I have never met someone who talks more in my entire life haha she is adorable! And her vocabulary is incredible! I have the cutest video of her, I'll send it home! After the Salas family we went to Hiram's for our appointment and... he wasn't home. But one of his roommates were and we tried sharing our message with him but he didn't want to hear it either. 

Saturday: We had coordination this morning and it was super fun. When it was over Brother Harney asked us what we had next and both us and the Elders just had our lunch hour so Brother Harney ordered a pizza for us. It was sooo funny. So the pizza guy gets here and Me and Brother Harney's son S go answer the door. S pays for the pizza and of course I do the missionary work. I ask the guy, "Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?" And he says, "No I'm Muslim." And so I say, "Well, do you want to be a follower of Jesus Christ?" And he looked at me like I was the biggest idiot. It was so funny and we all laughed about it while we ate our pizza. You probably had to be there for it to be funny, but it was super good. We had 4 appointments for this day and all four of them fell through. No. One. Is. Interested. So we just started visiting a bunch of less active members. Then we went to Susie's house. She's a member in the ward. We had a lot of fun visiting with her and getting to know her better. Then we went in for the night and made a bunch of phone calls and tried to figure out what in the world we were going to do to find the kingdom builders. 

Sunday: We had ward council in the morning and then church. After church we drove to Lexington to attend the Spanish branch. I thought my head was going to explode, I've never heard so much Spanish in my entire life and they talk so fast, I had no idea what was going on. And the best was in Sunday school the teacher kept asking me to read but I had no idea what he was saying so it took like 5 minutes every time just for me to read a small paragraph haha I felt bad! But it was so much fun, some people I can understand super well and some people it's almost impossible for me to understand what in the world they are saying. But it was awesome because in the third hour the entire branch went into the primary room for a fiesta! One of the people in the branch had a birthday so they had a big cake and chocolate milk so we all had a mini party. It was so much fun and it was nice to be around so much Spanish. That's the only way I'm going to learn. After church we had 4 appointments and every single one fell through again. We didn't have on lesson. So Hermana Crowther called Fidencio. He was an investigator here when she was here last year and he said we could come over. So we got there and visited them and then Hermana Crowther asked him why he never got baptized and he said because he didn't want to give up coffee. So I told Fidencio in the best Spanish I possibly could, "Fidencio what's more important to you the blessings that come from being a member of the church or coffee?" I told him all of the amazing blessings he would receive if he became a member and told him that coffee isn't worth it. He said he would pray about it and he wants us to keep teaching him. So hopefully he has a change of heart. Also, we looked for Gio every single day this week... nada. 

So not much has happened here in Paris when it comes to missionary work, but Hermana Crowther and I are working as hard as we can. We know there's kingdom builders here and we know there are people here who are waiting for the gospel! Kentucky is fun, it's super cold right now I feel like I should've brought my Winter gear, but we're having a lot of fun and Hermana Crowther and I are getting along great! Thank you for being the most amazing and the most supportive family in the whole entire world I love you!

Also, just a little spiritual thought for you (I'm already becoming that person Hunter thought I would become haha!) So many people here ask why do bad things happen to good people? Or why would God make me go through this? And so many other things but during my studies this morning I really feel like God gave me an answer to those questions. Here you go Hunter, here's your scripture 2 Nephi 2:11. As I read that scripture I realized how good the bad things are because without them we wouldn't know what happiness is. And to me that would be the saddest thing of all - being happy but never knowing it. God really knows best and he knows that we need the bad things and the bad times to appreciate the good. So just a little spiritual thought for you all.     

Sorry for the novel. But I love you all and I'm grateful for you all. I hope you have the most amazing week and thank you for all the emails. It was so fun to go home and read them every night. Good luck at state this week Hunter (at least I think it's this week?) and good luck Payts with all of your games, you're gonna kill it. I love you!

Hermana Swapp 

Oh and PS we called the landlord about the weed smoker and he kicked him out!! I celebrated by running around the house spraying febreze! I was so Excited!



(Hermana Spencer and me at the training (Sarah and Rachel Nance's Cousin)


Some of us who were in the MTC Together


Sister Webb, she's amazing.


Sister Griffiths, Hermana Crowther, Sister Webb, and me!


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