Monday, August 25, 2014

26th Week in Japan, 34 Weeks

 Hello Everyone!

So we had transfers last week and I am now in Takikawa 滝川! I am with Elder Hirata who is Japanese! He does not know any English whatsoever! Plus we are in a two man apartment in the middle of nowhere! So planning is a lot of fun:p Last transfer we did a lot of finding and not a whole lot of teaching. Takikawa is the exact opposite. We have 6 strong investigators and 40 other investigators! Yahoo! And the cool part is a lot of them already believe in Jesus Christ which is very rare in Japan. I have a great opportunity while I am here to master all of the vocabulary for teaching. The Branch that I am serving in has about 20 members that come regularly so these investigators could really be the beginning of the Takikawa ward!

When I got here the first night, I called the Branch president to let him know that I had transferred in and he was like oh cool by the way your gonna give a talk tomorrow about missionary work and a self intro. Good luck. Yeah I prepped for that talk for about three hours!

This transfer we set goals for being on time with morning schedule and obeying the rules so we could receive the blessings we need. In James 2:10 it says that if we disobey one of God`s commandments, we disobey them all. I had heard that before but I couldnt really believe it. Then during personal study this morning I was reading Jesus the Christ and on pg. 565 2nd paragraph it says that [ None of them had realized the great principle, that because the object of the entire law is the spirit of obedience.] Through disobedience we show God through our actions that His laws are not important and we are not willing to keep them, therefore we break them all. If we don`t have the spirit of obedience we cannot enter into the kingdom of god. Obedience is the key to growing and learning. And right now I need to learn and grow because that is what this life is for. If I dont do it here, I wont get another chance. Let`s do it now!

Mom Dad: I havent got the package yet. They will probably give it to me at Zone conference on friday. Dad please read pg. 564-565 in Jesus the Christ. I think you will find it interesting. Katie Kara, don`t die at school. If you get overloaded with work, remember your doing it so you can have fun Senior year!

Becca: Whoops! Sorry! I thought you were in my forward list!

Erica: I got the pics! Thank you!

Everyone go out and do good!

And this is Sone san. He is the coolest guy ever! He is gonna get baptized this transfer!

Here is a good face for Weekly Planning Sessions with your comp!

Monday, August 18, 2014

25th Week in Japan, 33 Weeks

Sorry about last week....(:

Ethan - Mission
Hey everyone!
So yeah last week we had a zone activity and really didnt have too much time and we scheduled it a little poorly, so gomenasai! The last week was too much fun! The zone activity was a blast! We did a bunch of fun team games, relays and arm wrestling! I obviously won that last event...... Elder Yoshikawa and I got shirts from Don Kihotesu (Quijotes) and dominated the companion outfits! Tuesday I got a flat and that ruined the rest of dendo time, but Eikaiwa was a blast! We played Jeapordy! Wednesday was splits and because of the Obon holiday dendo kinda stunk. Friday we were able to play at the park for 2 hours and that helped to spark my dendo fire! Saturday we hungout with the YSA and learn about relationships, which actually helps with missionary companionship's as well. Sunday we had tacos with the Domon Family! They are the best! With that dinner we all shared our testimonies on why we came on our missions. When I related my story to everyone else the spirit bore witness to me that I made the right decision to come out here. This week ends my 4th transfer and starts my 5th. I have a 85% chance of transferring so I will let you all now next week what happens!
Spiritual stuff:
I was reading a talk by Elder Cook from this last conference that was about family history. I now everyone usually has a drag about that topic but I really learned how important it is. If we dont do family history, temple work cannot be done. Temple work is the most important work in the Latter Days besides missionary work. But if we do not do our family history, missionaries can't baptize either. The leaders in our stake took some surveys and learned that only 3 wards/branches do family history. Those 3 wards are the only ones who see baptisms on a regular basis. Everywhere else it is a rare occasion. Our ancestors salvation is just as important as ours. We need their help to find others to bring them to Christ just as much as they need us to do their ordinance work.
Faith is probably the biggest thing missionaries study. How to gain more faith, how can I have more faith, faith faith faith! While I was reading "Jesus the Christ" I read the story about how the Pharisees could not understand the Mustard Seed parable, and how if they faith the size of a mustard seed, they could move mountains. When people see faith, they see it like a loading bar on a computer. 50%, 40% or less is where we think we are. But faith is not about the quantity, it is about the quality. That load bar is not 50 seeds or 40 seeds of faith, it is the quality. Everyone has faith in Chirst, for the most part. But what is the quality? This really impacted me. I always asked for more faith in my prayers. But I realized I have it. I have a mustard seed, it is planted, and growing. But what kind of ground is it in? Is it quality soil? So from now on I am going to improve the quality of my soil.
I love all you peoples! Oh and if you were wondering, we didnt meet with anyone this week:(
Elder Swenson

 So we have nagashisoumen which is a noodle slide!

 Our Shirts!

 Friday we were able to play at the park for 2 hours and that helped to spark my dendo fire!

Monday, August 11, 2014

24th Week in Japan, 32 Weeks

From the Mission Home

I am sorry to be emailing you so late.
Today, your son Elder Swenson, had lots of different activities and due to slightly unfortunate circumstances , he was not able to email. He called and asked us to send you an email telling you he is ok and he is sorry for the mistake.
He also asked us to tell you that he sent a few letters a little while ago and they should be arriving in a few days.  

Thank you for sending such a wonderful missionary to this mission and for all of your love and support.

Japan Sapporo Mission Home Staff

Monday, August 4, 2014

23rd Week in Japan, 31 Weeks

Hey everybody!

 How is it going? Yay more finding and dropping this week..... I dont like to drop people but I am realizing that Heavenly Father has prepared people to hear the gospel and we need to find them. So if our investigators want their salvation, they need to act and they have our phone number. It sounds harsh but I am realizing my time is short here on the mission. I am starting my 8th month as a missionary. That is scary. I want to baptize and bring people unto Christ!

  This week was flippin nasty! I was so sticky and sweaty this week, when I showered I felt a little bit of heaven:p  We really tried to find young people and teach them. We made a lot of appointments but no one has followed through with their promises yet.  But I have hope:) 

  So today we went to the zoo for our district activity! I saw some crazy monkeys! And this giant cow size thing.  And this crazy orange eyed owl!

Hey everyone, if you are not on a mission and have time, please send me pictures of us when we hung out! Thanks!

 giant cow size thing

crazy orange eyed owl