Monday, August 17, 2015


Hey folks!

This week was crazy with transfers and stuff. On Monday night we went to a goodbye party thing at a member's house, and there were a bunch of people there. It was really fun. We ate good food, and played this game where the missionaries each had a team, and we had to put Vaseline on each person's nose and then stick a cotton ball to their nose, and then they had to run to a plate and put the cotton ball in the plate without using their hands... It was pretty funny. And on Tuesday Elder Merrill and I saw Ronnie and Douglas and the Beyers one last time, and ate dinner with the Jennings (who are doing fantastic, by the way. We were talking in the car, and he was saying that it's been such an amazing blessing for us to play a part in helping the Lord change their lives so much. They have come so far even just in the short time we've been meeting with them. It's wonderful, and it makes me so happy:) )

Wednesday was transfers. We drove up to Farragut with Bro Sprague, the same member who drove us when I came in. The meeting was great, it was cool to be with so many missionaries. The energy there was huge. It was so exciting. President Griffin talked about going to work and doing the hard, everyday things. That's what the Lord needs - servants who go to work. We must do all we can with what we have, as is appropriate within our abilities and our calling. The Lord will give us our desires, whether they be good or evil, and we will have to deal with the blessings or the consequences. Find the desire to serve Him and do His work, and He will give you the call, and the abilities, and the capacity. One quote I especially liked was "You don't need to do these big, grand things. You just need to be obedient and have faith... It's things we all can do."

It was a little sad to say goodbye to Elder Merrill, Elder Galaviz, and Elder Nelson, but I'm glad they get to go on and serve more people in new areas, and I'm grateful for the time I've had with them. Elder Merrill is in Chattanooga Valley South area (which I think might actually be in Georgia, I'm not sure), Elder Galaviz is in Signal Mountain, TN, and Elder Nelson is in Blairseville, GA.

We got 4 new missionaries in our district! A new Sister missionary whose name escapes me is training in Louden with Sisters Fowers and Rowley; the new Harriman Elders are Elders Udy (pronounced YOU-dee) and Stringham; and my new companion's name is Elder Livingston. He's from Fruit Heights, Idaho, and he's really cool. I like him. He's very different from Elder Merrill, and this transfer is definitely going to be a growing and learning experience for me. But it's going to be a good one, too. :)

We didn't really get much done the rest of the week. Elder L. has been settling in, and we had district meeting on Friday. We've mostly been visiting a bunch of people and introducing him to the members and our investigators and all that stuff. Hopefully this week we can get back to working hard, I've missed having a lot of lessons and stuff. It has been nice to spend time with people though, and Elders Udy and Stringham are fun to hang out with. :)

Last night we got to have dinner with a couple families in the ward and a non-member family who lives next to one of the members. It was a lot of fun. And the members have fainting goats, which was awesome. (Yes, there is a video)

My thought for this week is about patience. I read an article on that I really liked. (Here's a link to it: I'll share a few quotes from it that stood out to me.

'...committing to patience doesn’t mean we shrug our shoulders and give up hope. Elder Maxwell taught: “Patience is not indifference. Actually, it means caring very much but being willing, nevertheless, to submit to the Lord and to what the scriptures call the ‘process of time.’”1 I had always thought of patience as a somewhat passive response to life’s experiences, a sort of relenting. But patience is not relenting. Patience is a manifestation of inner strength and devotion to the Lord.'

'Elder Maxwell also taught: “Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be.”2 This idea really resonated with me (and not just because I am an impatient baker). It’s discouraging when plans fall through or don’t pan out as expected. To our mortal minds, divine timing can be hard to understand. But what I can understand is that God is a loving Father who has a plan that guarantees eventual happiness if we are faithful, and I am learning to accept His timing with confidence—not with anxiousness.'

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! I love and pray for you all!

Elder Swindler


I have a lot of pictures from past weeks that haven't been sent, so bear with me.

1) Post-haircut selfie 

2) Elder Merrill and I with Austin and his dad

3) Seen across the street (your guess is as good as mine)

4) A weird sign

5) Elder Merrill and I saw a turtle!

6) Elder Merrill and the turtle

7) Action shots of the South 

8) Doorbell and a giant spoon

9) Yuk! This monster was hanging by the gutter of one of our investigators. It's huge... And earlier that day, Elder Livingston and I had been doing service for a guy named Bill Leffew, clearing out piles of okra stalks from his garden, and in the middle of it Elder L spotted not one but TWO freaking huge spiders in the piles. *shudder*

10) More yuk! I swear Elder Livingston is attracting giant bugs, we've been seeing them ever since he got here. That's Elder L's shoe for comparison. The thing was huge.

11) Ronnie and Elder Merrill

12) The Jennings and Elder Merrill

13) The Beyers with Elder Nelson, Elder Galaviz, and Elder Merrill

14) This transfer is gonna be fun

15) Elder Galaviz next to a clever church sign

16) I caught a baby fainting goat :)

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