Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Hey folks!
Sorry this is a day late, we had a crazy p-day yesterday and I didn't get to send it before the end of the day.
I'm gonna try for a shorter email again this week, so bear with me. Hopefully it works out. :)

Man, the time goes fast. I hit my 4 month mark yesterday. That's crazy!

This week was good! I'm doing better with Elder Livingston, we're learning to work together better, and I'm learning to really love the guy. He's a good missionary, he really cares about people and he's a hard worker. He's also good at reading people, and making decisions. I think I just needed to learn to see him better, if that makes sense. I think we're both learning to see each other better.

We had a lot of appointments fall through this week, which was dumb. But we still saw some people and got a lot done. We saw the Jennings, who are still doing awesome. They're like my favorite people here. And it's so amazing to see how much the Atonement has impacted their lives. They have come so far in the past year, it blows my mind. (Bro Jennings is a recent convert of like 6 months and Sis Jennings came out of inactivity around when he was baptized)

We saw Wanda too. She's still not coming to church, but she still loves meeting with us and loves the lessons. I don't think she really sees the need to change yet, or maybe she doesn't want to see it. We think she needs fellowshipping most right now. Why would she come to a church where she doesn't know hardly anybody and has no friends? We want to start bringing a lot of team ups to see her. Even if people believe the Gospel and the Church are true, they need friends and a support system if they are going to change their life and join the church.

Wanda could use some prayers though, her health isn't super good. It makes it hard for her to plan to meet with us, and to read what we assign, and to come to church... But it is improving, so that's good. :)

Austin is still doing awesome. And Shasta, the girl I mentioned last week that wants to get baptized, is doing awesome too. Her baptism is scheduled for this Saturday. We're super excited for her.

Sis Madden and Phil are getting married this week!!! I'm so happy!! :D

We had a fantastic fast & testimony meeting yesterday. It was very centered on Christ and the Atonement, and the Spirit was strong, and there seriously wasn't a single break. People were lining up at the pulpit. It was definitely led by the Spirit. I know I learned things I really needed to hear, and so did the other people I asked. And the other elders had investigators come this week, so that was perfect. :)

Funny story from this week. So on Friday night I was twirling my glasses, and all of a sudden the glasses just fell off of the earpiece! The hinge just broke, I guess.. But hey, it's all good, I still have a spare, right? Think again. The next night I was wearing the spare pair (which have the exact same frames), and I reached up to adjust them a little bit, and I heard a little pop. Ah crap. I took them off, and guess what? The hinge broke and the earpiece fell off! Gaaahh!! Haha that's both pairs in two days. :P Heads up Mom, I'll be sending them home for a repair this week. And I duct taped my backup pair, so I'm good for now. :) #hickfix

Message for the week:

I've been thinking a lot about the Atonement in the past couple days. One important part of the Atonement is Grace. It strikes me as important that grace is an enabling power. Grace is not a power that does things for us. Noah is a great example. The bible teaches us that "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8). But Noah still had to cry repentance to the people, and build an ark, and get the animals. Noah still had to do work. Grace didn't take away his problems or do the work for him. The grace of God enabled Noah to succeed, but he still had to exercise faith and act.

Something that stood out to me in the fast and testimony meeting yesterday was that the power of the Atonement is overwhelming. It is beyond our ability to even begin to comprehend. And something else that has been on my mind lately is that God knows you, loves you, and wants to help you be happy.

No matter what you are going through, I promise you that if you will rely on God, and trust in the overwhelming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you will overcome and will be better for it. Remember that Christ isn't necessarily going to take your burden away from you and do it all for you. He teaches in Matthew 11:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Christ does not promise to take your burdens away from you. He asks you to take upon you His yoke, and let Him pull with you. He promises that if you will start to pull with Him, you will find that your burdens are made light and easy to bear, because they become His burdens too. You will find that His grace enables you to pull loads beyond your ability to pull, when your strength is completely gone and you don't know how you are still going. You still have to pull. Noah still had to build the ark. But you'll find you are able to, because Christ is shouldering your load alongside you. :)

My challenge to each of you is to turn to the Savior, with whatever you are going through right now, and choose to let Him pull with you. Take His yoke upon you, and let Him pull your load with you. I promise you that His promises are true. You will find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, and you will find rest unto your soul.

You may not always be able to see Him pulling alongside you, and guiding your path. You may at times feel abandoned, lost, confused. But He is never far away. Hold to the rod, as Nephi and Lehi put it, which is the word of God, and you will be safely guided through. Be patient and keep pulling with faith, and I promise that you will see His hand revealed, and you will look back and realize that He really was pulling alongside you the whole time, and leading you safely through.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen! :)

Whoo! It's only... Like just as long as the other emails. Haha dangit. :P I'll keep trying next week. Sorry guys!

I love you all! The Gospel is true. Make yourselves a great week. And try to make a great week for the people around you too. :)

Elder Swindler

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