Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Hey folks!

It's only been a few days, but a lot has happened. We have been working hard and have seen some successes this week. For one thing, we were able to help that part member family move his week, the one I mentioned last week that we found at the ward dinner. We were also finally able to meet with Allen Chappell, one of our investigators who wants to be baptized. He's had some crazy medical stuff going on so we had to move his baptismal date to March.

We also said goodbye to Elder Cazier this week. President Griffin did a sort of half-transfer for all the people who would be going home just after Christmas, and that included Elder Cazier. We drove to Knoxville on Friday to drop him off, and he flew home on Saturday. We were sad to see him go. He's been a good companion. Also, it's been really weird adjusting to just having the two of us. Sometimes we pretend he is still there and talk for him in the car haha.

Oh! We also saw the Nagy family again on Sunday. We love them, they are always our last stop of the week and they are the best. We are usually there for like 2 hours because they are just so awesome. Well, they are a part-member family, and they asked us to start the missionary discussions over again with them, and this Sunday we taught them the Restoration. The Spirit was so powerful as we talked and it was amazing, especially when his step-kids bore testimony to him. Plus they had a friend there that night, just by coincidence, and she stayed for the message, and she really liked it. She asked for a Book of Mormon and said she would read and pray. And both Allen and their friend accepted an invitation to be baptized! We haven't set a date with them yet but we will soon. It was awesome!!

We have something incredible in this church. This is the only true and living church on the earth. That doesn't mean that other churches don't have truth, nor does it mean that this church is perfect. It means that we are led by a living prophet of God, that we have the authority from God to act in His name, and that we have the fullness of His gospel. We are not perfect, and neither is the Church. But we are Christ's, and we can see His enabling power made manifest in our imperfect lives and throughout the history of His church. While there may be things we don't understand - perhaps facets of doctrine or events in our history or actions of church leaders or something else - there is so much we do have and that we do know that the other things become important in perspective, and we can become willing to set them aside for the time being, trusting in God that He will help us understand in time and as we exercise faith in Him and continue onward. As Christ Himself taught us in Matthew 7, the way to know is to taste the fruit: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. ...Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." The fruit of the Restoration is good, and it has blessed my life. I know it will bless the lives of others. That is why I am here sharing it. How has the restored gospel blessed your life? When was the last time you tasted its fruit?

I love you all! Merry Christmas, and make yourselves a great week!

Elder Alex Swindler

All About Them Pics:

1) Goodbye to Elder Cazier. Love that guy.

2) Our ward and primary are the greatest!! They gave us and the Sisters a whole bunch of stuff for Christmas!

3) One of the Sunday school classes attempted to make us gingerbread houses. ...hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

4) I got a haircut

5) Angel with a bazooka

Video: I (sort of) attempt the cinnamon challenge. I know it was only like half a teaspoon full, but hey, it was something.

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