Tuesday, April 30, 2013

S1:E03 "Elder Swan's fiber levels go off the chart."

Hello everybody!
I hope all is going well in the outside world. The MTC is still moving along. The past couple of days have caused quite a bit of drama in my district, because they switched our schedule. Now our gym time is at 6:30 in the morning... but it's all good.
Last p-day after writing you all, I went back to the residence hall and played some hallway bowling. We set up 10 empty water bottles on one side of the hallway, and stood on the other side of the hallway. (15 yards or more) then would roll a tennis ball at the water bottles. (If it hit the wall it didn't count) I finished a full game with 10 points... and wasn't in last! It was surprisingly difficult, but a lot of fun. What I have been doing recently to satisfy boredum is play tic tac toe. But it's not the normal game you all think of. It's ultimate tic tac toe. You have one big board (9 squares) and in every square you have another tic tac toe board. You play on the little ones, and wherever you place your X or O, you make the other people play on the board that correlates to the spot you chose... if that makes sense. (i.e. I play in the bottom left board in the bottom right square, then my oppenent has to play in the bottom right board, because of where I placed mine. It is a ton of fun, and it utilizes a piece of my brain I haven't used since Starcraft.
I thank you all for the birthday wishes. It was nice to receive presents and love from you all. Although the cupcakes I received flipped over despite the kajillion notes on it saying "Fragile" or "Cupcakes", but they still taste fantastic and looks aren't that important when it comes to food anyways. On my birthday I learned just how depressing the english birthday song is compared to other places in the world. The Danish song is one of the greatest songs ever made. I will send you a video of it sometime if all goes well to show you how much fun it is. Just as a sneak peak, you pick 3 instruments, and fake play them in between every verse.
On my birthday was the first day we got to teach CRT. Which was a crazy experience. To try to communicate with other people (or outsiders) in Danish. It went surprisingly well with how little Danish I feel I know. I'm still loving Danish though. I think it is the best language out there. It just sounds so cool to hear, and to speak it. (Icelandik sounds like Danish except you roll every R, I'm pretty good at imitating it.)  But I digress...
Sunday was awesome this week. We have a fantastic devotional, where the speaker pretty much made fun of everyone who had a girlfriend waiting for them telling us statistics about what really happens. But he also talked about how we have to love our companion, and that we are all equals, and we all sacrificed something to be here on our mission.The main thing he talked about was that we will have trials. He compared us to the son's of Mosiah, and how they talked about when they got discouraged, and what they wanted to do when that happened.
For my personal study, I have been studying each of the twelve apostles. It really interests me to see their personalities and what they did. It makes me sad that we don't have a book of scripture from every apostle of Christ. We could learn so much from each and every one of them. (it makes me sad that 2 or 3 of the apostles only have their name's listed, and nothing else about them.) But I learned quite a lot about the difference in the apostles. This week I am studying Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Which means I will probably study one of them this week because of how long it will take. Something I have realized while being here is that studying the scriptures is so much better than just reading them. When you study a certain topic or person, you are diligently searching for links and things you can learn about said topic. I try to understand what is going on, and why someone did something. It has helped me so much to focus and learn more about the scriptures. 
Random thought, if you guys haven't seen the new bibles videos, look them up on YouTube. They are super duper good. (search... lds bible videos, that should work.) 
I'm sorry for not having a whole ton to write about. It's only been like 4 days since last p-day, and every week is the same schedule for me.
I love you all a ton. You all are amazing people.
Elder Swan
P.s. The title is because of all the cherries I recieved that I ate in 2 night...

Here are some district pictures I stole from my companion. (Sorry they are huge.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fwd: S1:E02 "The Cage in the bathroom"

Hej min familie,
The MTC is going well. Another week has come and gone. Although this week is different, because the field is FINALLY OPEN!!! (Good ol' Utah weather) It's been nice to see the sun for 50 minutes every day. Although my pale complexion can't really withstand the "hot mexican sun", it's still nice to enjoy the warmth and beauty of outdoors. Because of complaints I have recieved, I shall go into more depth on how the MTC is for me, and who my companion is:
First, the MTC is good. I wake up at 6:10 everyday. (Suprising, I know) except on P days, I wake up at 6:00 to go to the temple at 7:00. The first thing I do in the morning after preparing is 'study' for 30 minutes. I don't know if any of you have tried this, but when you 'study' before breakfast, right after waking up, it is hard to get anything done. Then comes breakfast, which usually makes me sick so I just eat fruit. Then comes class... which is by far the best. We have two Danish teachers, Brother Pullan and Brother Williamson. They both served missions in Denmark, although Brother Pullan was in Copenhagen while Brother Williamson was more in the hick towns. They both are fantastic teachers, and they both have excellent lessons to teach us. Earlier this week Brother Pullan was teaching us that we need to see our investigators in temple white rather than just in baptism white. Meaning that we need to commit to them, and help them build their own testimony and relationship with God. It was a really good lesson, and I learned a lot from it. The comes personal study, which is gospel study, then lunch, then personal language study, and then class again! It's a pretty repetitive schedule but it keeps us busy, especially with learning a language. (I can see how Phill got bored.) The MTC gives us BYU ice cream two times a week, which is when I summon my inner binge demon, and eat 2 bowls a meal. (at least 1 bowl) All the other food is alright, on chicken cordon bleu night I ate 4 of them, then worried about having a heart attack because of how bad it was for me.
Next comes my companion, his name is Elder Eisert, and he is from Lehi, Utah. In highschool he did ballroom (one of those kids... >.>) which I think is pretty cool. He is quite the awkward kid when it comes to anything social, which means I tend to explain things to people a lot of the time. If I were to describe his personality in a simple way... I would say he is like Tobias from Arrested Development. He tends to say things he shouldn't say (we keep telling him to record himself one day, to realize all the things he says), except he doesn't realize what he is saying. He also has that Tobias awkwardness to him, he is super funny though. We get along well, and we are yet to have an argument about anything.
Okay, now let me know if you have anymore questions you would like to hear, because I think that explanation was decent. :P
Oddly enough, Saturdays are my least favorite days here. They change up my schedule and it just seems ridiculously long. Anyways... one thing I'm appreciative of some people in my room is making fun of Canadians. Something one of the district members said was "She's Canadian though, completely out of the picture." Sadly I can't remember what we were talking about, but anything making fun of Canadians is funny.
Oh yeah, if you haven't seen Elder Bednar's talk, "character of christ", I reccomend looking it up. It is a very good talk, and teaches us what becoming Christ like really means. He talks about how whenever Christ could've focused on himself, he focused on others instead. The way he put it is to turn outwards, or towards other people, rather than turn inwards. It made me realize how selfish I can be at times, or how selfish we all can be at times. But instead of telling you all about the talk, I will just tell you to go look it up with the magical powers of the internet that are granted unto you.
 So the Nicolas Cage picture Lauren sent me is currently residing in our residence hall, on the back of a stall door. So when you go sit down he is right there, always waiting for you. It's been pretty great, that Nicolas Cage has been getting around our district.
Well... thanks for everything and stuff.
Jeg elske jer.
Elder Swan

Thursday, April 18, 2013

FW: S1:E01 "The district meets the MTC"

Hello friends and family,

The MTC has been good, to answer all of your questions. The ice cream is fantastic, but the food in general is the same, and I'm starting to look for new things. I have already gained a few pounds here, which is no suprise when you see how much ice cream there is. My companion is Ældste Eisert. He did ballroom in highschool, and went to Lehi High School. He is pretty strange, and he is pretty much the opposite of me. Because he cares a lot about what people think about him and tries to fit in as much as he can. But we get along well. No problems are between us... yet.

My district is the greatest district ever, we have six Elders in our room though, which is a ton. But we are all like family, we already treat eachother that way. We all get along, and we all have different, awesome personalities. The sisters in our district are all nice. Which is always a positive thing. The teacher we have, Brother Pullan, is a great example to us. He is a Denmark RM, so he knows how things happen over there, but he also teaches us how to be spiritual, and what we should be searching for in people, as well as in ourselves in everything we do. Elder Wawro is a lot like Ty Singerman, he is super funny and he sings a ton. He is the Elder I share a bunk with... just thought I would share.  

Danish is coming along well. We started teaching an "investigator" three days into the MTC. So, three days worth of Danish is all we had to try and teach about recieving answers from prayer. We have been teaching the same "investigor" ever since though, and we are slowly understanding him better, and we are also slowing being able to say what we actually want to say. The MTC has taught me that the gift of tongues is a real thing. I'm able to retain a lot more in here than 2 years of German or Chinese in highschool.

On Tuesday night, Elder Scott came and talked to us about prayer, and our calling as missionaries. It was one of the best talks I have ever heard in my life. If you can find it, you should all watch/listen to it. He told us how to recieve answers to prayer, which is something I think we all have wondered at least once in our lives. I felt the spirit so strongly there. I filled up two and a half pages of notes on it. When an Apostle gives you an Apolostic blessing (I'm probably not even close to spelling that right), but you should listen to it. Because it is your own personally blessing, and it can help you through out your entire life. After he ended his talk, we sang a hymn but before the prayer could start Elder Scott had more things to say. It was the greatest testimony and blessing I have ever heard. He reminded the missionaries over and over again that we have been called BY GOD to serve where we are serving. But my favorite line from his testimony was "I know Jesus Christ lives, because I know him." The way he said that was so inspirational. It made me wish I could say that the way he does. Hopefully, eventually I can say that, even if it's in the next life. But I think we all will be able to say that eventually.

Jeg elske jer, I love you all. The church is true!

Ældste Swan

P.s. forward this to those who care. Phill can post on facebook and ask for email addresses of people who want it. (or mom)