We still haven't had much success 11-14-2016

6:28 PM

¡Hola Familia!

Yo espero que todo tuvieran una buena semana. As I think of this past
week I try to reflect on the missionary work that took place and what
I can share that can edify anyone who reads my letters. We still
haven't had much success in most people's eyes and if you could see
our key indicators you would think we are failures. But this week was
the most valuable week of my mission and most successful in my eyes
because I became God's investigator and the true miracle was what took
place in my heart. I have felt a lot like the currant bush in Elder
Christofferson's talk "As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten".
Here's the story:

"President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a
counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He
told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went
about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant
bush that had grown over six feet high and was yielding no berries, so
he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw
a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if
the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:

'How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. …
And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down
on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener
here.'

President Brown replied, 'Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener
here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a
fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and
someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are
going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me
down.’'"

This week has been a week of correction, frustration, and lots of
cutting down. I think about Paris a lot. I thought I was a good
missionary and I thought I had things figured out, I truly thought I
was doing the best that I could do. And as I have come here to Arcadia
and as I have done the same things as I had done in Paris I have
learned that I am far from what I thought I was. I have been cut down
each day.

And this week as I have prayed I have cried, "How could you do this to
me? I was making such wonderful growth. ... And now you have cut me
down. Every missionary in the field will look down on me. How could
you do this to me?"

It has been hard for me to look at my small stumps this week and
wonder what I did to deserve it. But because I'm a daughter of God and
because He loves me I was able to hear His voice say, "Look, Hermana
Swapp, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I
didn’t intend you to be just any missionary. I want you to be a true
disciple of Jesus Christ, a missionary that makes Satan tremble, and
someday, Hermana Swapp, when you are laden with fruit, you are going
to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me
down."

As I looked at where I was this week and as I looked at where God
wanted me to be, I realized how far away I was and knew there was no
way to become who God needed me to be without my Savior. So I studied
the enabling power of the Atonement. Elder Bednar says, "I wonder if
we ever learn to acknowledge our daily dependence upon the enabling
power of the Atonement." And as a missionary I hadn't. I feel sad to
say that I haven't always been dependent on my Savior throughout my
mission. A lot of the times I have done things as a missionary because
I knew they had worked before, not because the Spirit prompted me to.
Of course I had grown so much without bearing any fruit because I
wasn't allowing my Savior to help.

Elder Bednar continues to say, "The enabling power of the Atonement of
Christ strengthens us to do things we could never do on our own." I
knew I needed this power because truly alone I am nothing. I searched
for what I needed to do on my part to access the enabling power of the
Atonement and I found three requirements: 1) Be humble, 2) Have faith
in Jesus Christ, and 3) make efforts to overcome your weakness(es). So
I've given up my orgullo (pride) and have done everything in my power
to access the enabling power of the Atonement. And I have.

Obviously as I write this I'm still not that missionary that God wants
me to become. The enabling power of the Atonement didn't fix
everything at once, it's going to take time. I'm still just Hermana
Swapp and my weaknesses are still staring at me from underneath a
magnifying glass. But even though every weakness I have is right there
for me to see I've learned that it isn't a sin to be weak, it only
means I'm human. And do you want to know the best part about that is?
The one who's going to help me overcome my weaknesses is so much more
than a human. He is perfect and His grace is sufficient.

So here I am with my little stumps and right now I'm trying to do
everything I can to allow my Savior to help me. I know it's going to
take some time for me to grow to be the person God wants me to be, but
I know it'll be worth it. And even though I still am nothing but a
little stump I have already prayed, "Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for
loving me enough to cut me down. For loving me enough to hurt me."

I am so grateful for this week as I have become God's investigator and
have learned a lesson that will forever bless my life. I hope to
forever have an attitude of humility as I continue to be cut down in
life. I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that He lives and
that His grace is truly sufficient.

I love you all so very much. I hope you can forgive me for the lack of
detail of the work going on here in Arcadia. I hope you have the best
week ever and that you're happy. Because life is too short to be
anything else.

Con amor,
Hermana Swapp

PS: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I
give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is
sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they
humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make
weak things become strong unto them." -Ether 12:27

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-01-014-the-will-of-god?lang=eng



Hermana Boyson hit her 2 month mark so of course we celebrated.
 



District meetings. 



We had some BWWs this week!!

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