Monday, December 12, 2016

Dec. 12- Perseverar Hasta el Fin!

Dear Family,
It was a good week! I still have a few more days to give it my all in the Harvest of the Lord:) 
We had the blessing of having the Baptism of Miguel Angel Demetrio Francisco this past Friday. He is very special, he started coming to church with some family who are members and just asked us to start visiting him:) He took his first step of faith on his journey this week!

It has been a little sad to start saying goodbye to so many, but we will stil be seeing many this next week as well:) This is a really cool family who we are teaching who will be baptized in a few weeks, we are going to keep close contact with them:) Their names are Humberto, Sonia, y Paco:) 
We had our Branch's Cena Navideña on Friday as well and it was a lot of fun to see so many investigators come and see people that members invited as well!!
This is Judith and her son Carlos. They are in the Ward Puente de Ixtla and are very nice:) They are both converts but I didnt know that and when I met Carlos, who is 18 years old, I asked him when he was leaving on his mission. He looked at me and said "I dont know..." and I started joking with him and telling him that time was ticking and that he needed to get a move on because the Lord needed him:) Later the missionaries in his ward told me that he had only been baptized a few weeks before but that now he is preparing for his mission in the following year:)! 
Hermana Mari, the hermana who was baptized a few weeks ago:) She is very special to us. 
This is Familia Merino. They were  all less active when we first got to the ward but now they are coming back to church:) Karla Merino the one next to me in purple has made a complete 180 in her life and is even accompanying us in visits and give us lots of referencias, I love her a lot:) 
This is another member who was previously less active but now has started coming back to church:) Her name is Cesiah and as well is very cool!
This is Ericka, she is 11 years old and is going to be baptized next week. We are sad that we wont be able to be at her baptism, but we are grateful for the time we've had with her to help her learn:)
This is Familia Bocanegra, they are a big family in a ward that are always willing to help us with visits and support. They love us and we love them! Christian is their little son who I am always saying is my best friend:) 

Walfred is one of our investigators, the man in this foto. We just recently started teaching him but he love playing piano! Yesterday was his first sunday at church and he played all of the hymns on the piano for the congregation!:) 
I love being a missionary. My head doesn't completely wrap around the fact that I will be finishing my full-time service this Saturday.. but I will try to give the Lord everything I can these final days! I love you all so much and I am excited to see you soon. 
Love, Hermana Swallow

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dec. 5- Enduring Well! (part 1)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nov. 28- I Love where God has placed me!

We had a multi-zone conference on Wednesday and I was overjoyed to see my old companion, Hermana Muñoz:) We were only companions for one change, but I had so much fun with her. It is amazing the relationships that you grow with people here on the mission, I will remember them always. Me and Hermana Muñoz got along great, we even dressed to  match without trying for the conference;)
I am trying to eat all of the weird things I can before coming home to add to my list of "Weird mexican things I have eaten" and I knocked a few off the list this past week;) This is when I had tacos made of tripe (I think that is cow intestine? not sure) And with some other members last week me and Hermana Dent had to eat Pig kidney. It was really gross. But I am proud to say that I ate it;) 

We also had the huge blessing of seeing Hermana Maria get baptized this Friday, she is quite amazing. She actually was baptized about 50 years ago in 1958, but due to lack of technology and paper organization they lost her membership record! We were trying to help her get ready to enter the temple and thats how we found out that they didn't have her record! So even though God already knows of the covenant she made with him 50 years ago, she was re-baptized this Friday to make things all right and in order:) 

We love visiting Hermana Mary, she is a real sweetheart:) And sassy. She reminds me of my Grandma;) 

An artistic baptismal font pic;) The sign says "New Beginnings" We had to take this pic for a mission movie they are making. The little girl in the picture is Carol, she is an investigator who is getting ready to get baptized as well:) We wont be able to be at her baptism because it is planned for the end of December, but we are still excited and happy for her:) 

Then on Saturday, Hermana Oyarzabal came back!! We are happy to have her here again, and so are the investigators and recent converts:) Eduardo, one of the recent converts, was so relieved when he met her. He just said "Are you going to be the one who helps me when they leave?" It was heart-breaking that we know we have to go soon, but we will help them make the transition easily:) 

These are some cute candid pics of us with Eduardo's son Lalito:) 
I love being a missionary. I love the Lord. I love this Gospel. I love Mexico. I love my brothers and sisters here. I love opening my mouth and sharing the light God has given me. I love seeing that light transform the lives of those we teach. I love the happiness and joy I feel here. I love knowing my purpose. I love helping others find theirs. 
I love all of you as well, I hope you have a wonderful week! 
Hermana Sualita

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nov. 21- Feliz Dia de Gracias!

Dear Family,
Well, 3 became 2 again. Quite fast, actually. We were so happy to have Hermana Oyarzabal, we were saying she was our daughter and we reorganized and decorated the whole house to welcome her! But then Tuesday morning she received a call for special changes. I do not understand the will of the Father, but I know He loveth His children. Me and Hermana Dent will just prepare our area to be received by two new sisters now :) 

We went on some fun divisiones with the Hermana Gonzalez and Hermana Robles:) It was a lot of fun with them, especially because the last divisions I did with Hermana Rolles was the first day I was sister trainer leader! She said that I have got a lot more calm with mas confianza now, haha:) 

We are having so much fun watching our recent converts just flourish and make friends and grow so much in the gospel:) This is Ricardo riding on the back of President Solis's motorbike:) He really has progressed so much. Ricardo has friends, he teaches the autosuficiencia class, he is the young mens second counselor, and he is a ward missionary:) AND he passes the sacrament every week. I have never been so happy than watching him and our other recent converts progress and grow so much! 

We had some fun divisions with Hermana Gomez and Hermana Silva this week, too. It is always fun to see how companions work together and the work that we can only get done TOGETHER:) That is definitely something the mission has taught me. The importance of having the spirit and working as a team with our companions:) 
I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving! They dont really celebrate that day down here in Mexico, but we are eating that day with a member family who lived in the US for years, so hopefully they remember and feed us something good;) 
I am grateful for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and the light that Christ brings to my life. I am grateful for the perfect plan our Father in Heaven has for His children and for His guiding hand. I love Him and I love this work! Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Swallow

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Nov. 14- When 2 becomes 3 (part 1)

Dear Family,
It was another amazing week! We are having a lot of fun here in Alpuyeca and everything is just always running and the time flies! 
We said goodbye to a few of the missionaries in our zone that left this week. It is tradition in the mission the cut a tie of the missionaries who are leaving so we did it this week after the zone capacitation:) This is Elder Price, hes been our district leader this WHOLE TIME in Alpuyeca, actually, when I left this zone when I got out of my training he was my district leader. I came back a year later and he was STILL the district leader, haha.
This is Hermana Vidal:) She was a sister training leader and is from Peru:) 
​I dont really know Elder Tuz, but I cut his tie all the same. 
We did divisiones with some of the cutest sisters ever this week:) Hermana Villalobos and Hermana Aguilar:) They are both pretty young in the mission but they are together now and learning juntas!
Did you know indian corn is still a thing?:) But really though, this corn makes really delicious blue-looking tortillas. 
We have been having some health problems lately and it was partly due to the fact that we hadnt eaten many vegetables (we eat whatever the members give us). So, we tried to talk to the relief society about giving us more vegetables to eat and they thought we said that we ONLY wanted to eat vegetables so for 2 days I suffered through that but finally we were overjoyed when Ana knew we didnt want JUST vegetables and fed us delicious enchiladas:) 
Side Note: Enchiladas and Cesina is like my favorite combination ever. 
I took an artistic picture of a butterfly while Hermana Dent was talking on the phone to someone for a while, haha:) 

When 2 becomes 3 (part 2)

One of our very special investigators, Miguel, was baptized this week:) He is one of the most humble persons I have ever met. He sells nopales (cactus) for a living (they eat that here:) and he just has a sincere desire to follow God. 
What made the baptism even MORE special is that our recent convert, Ricardo, was the priesthood holder who baptized Miguel! It was all very awesome.
Miguel was a reference from a recent convert family, Familia Castañeda, it is so easy to just open your mouth and share your testimony:) They bought cactus from him one day and invited him to church. Boom.
So, today starts the new transfer! Neither I or Hermana Dent are leaving our are but we are going to be in a trio now with Hermana Oyarzabal:) She is going to be called as the next sister training leader in a few weeks:) She also happens to be my 'nieta' (granddaughter) because She is the trainee of my trainee. This is a pic of the 4 of us in our family tree:) Me, my trainee Hermana Rodriguez, her trainee Hermana Oyarzabal, and her trainee Hermana Granados. It is very fun:) 
We are excited to be here together and teach Hermana Oyarzabal all about the area and being a STL :)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nov. 7- Keeping it Real