Elder Swanger has been called to serve in the Tulsa Oklahoma, spanish speaking mission.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

23 November 2010

Hey Mom,

I got a letter from Alfredo Chandia and he might be sending music to you to put on the ipod. Is there Spanish music there? I sort of want to make this short so I can get a nap in, but I don't know if I am going to make it that far. I got sick again, but this time I took care of it right away so I am fine. But I got the rest of the apartment sick.

Hey! I am going to lose weight this transfer! My companion is a runner and the track or loop we run is very hilly. It is hard but fun. We run around the lake that is right next to our house. Could you send sweat pants with pockets and a jacket. It is kinda cold in the mornings.

There is no more real investigators this week. We baptized the people that we were teaching so we are focusing on finding. We are finding quite a lot of people. Our next baptism could be on the 25th of December! Isn't that fun!?

How's this last week been? Have you been sledding? This is T-bone's first snow, how is he taking it?

If you were a street sign, what would you say?

My new companion is crazy and loves to make sound affects.

Con amor,
Elder Dustin

p.s. He plays the t-bone (trombone)

22 November 2010

BTW you can send pictures by mail. I have done it and the came out good. Just write on the envelope that there are pictures or send them in a card.

Right when this companion of mine came in he started to change the things that we did and there is already a lot of improvement in the people that we are teaching and we have more people that we are teaching. We are following the principles that are in the PMG a lot more closely and that is what is doing it. Oh, everyone in the apartment is a musician now except Elder Tarati. Oh I almost forgot to say what the name of my new companion is. His name is Elder Lloyd. He is from the same high school and Elder Holmes. Elder Tarati has a new companion named Elder Rieske (Risky). Thanks for the picture of the dogs and he cat. She is a poser. I still need a picture of the family on a regular size photo.

That’s not fair I want to get snow here! We are playing in the branch turkey bowl it is awesome. We will be playing soccer and the closest other Spanish group is coming down and we are playing them. The books that I sent were given to us by a member that moved down to Utah and they didn't have room and I thought that it would be fun to have the books (in Spanish) after I got home. One of them is called "Grapes of wrath and we are not supposed to read it as missionaries but everyone says that it is very good. So I sent it home. I have my second companion and am learning things so much faster. We have gotten lost several times already even with a GPS. No I don't print the emails because that would cost money. I am staying pretty warm but the president told us because we are both new to this area that we need to get vest jackets to wear under the suit. They have some cool ones over at Rue 21. The young men here are all getting them from here. Hey I will be sending out Christmas cards, I will send one for the primary.

I already got the pictures from the email but I don't think they will print but I will let you know when I go to Wal-Mart. My new companion wants to learn how to cook. So we are going to be cooking a little more which is cool. My companion is diabetic and so the package that he got from his family, half for me, was full of candy.

We will be putting up our Christmas tree soon. It will be good fun. We don't have anything but lights. Oh, if there are candy canes that are spearmint can you send some. I will use them to mix my hot cocoa, and to decorate the tree because there is only lights.

They were just over at a member’s house and my companion was taking his Good bye pics with the members so I took one with the kids. This companion is from Fruit Heights UT.

16 November 2010


We had a person named Orlando come to church for the first time. He is actually being taught by the Spanish Elders outside of our area. To be short in writing, things went so perfect there was no way that one part of it could be planned. He wants to drop the other Elder's in Springdale and be taught by us. The other Elders are going to be mad when they find out.

Out of all the areas my companion has been in, this is the one he likes the most. He also said that this has been the golden experience for me as my "birthplace". He talks with the Mission Pres. a lot and evidently most of the mission has been being tried because they have lots of zero's across the board for key indicators. Right now I have to go. Next week I should be able to write more.

Elder Dustin Swanger

15 November 2010

Gracias papi,

Well, I know for sure that I am staying here for Christmas, but I will have a new companion. My companion (current) was so mad to get the call because he only has 6 weeks until he goes home so he wanted to stay here. My new companions name is Elder Lloyd, he will be coming in on Thursday. Because Elder Holmes has been here for so long, six months, every one of the sisters wants to feed us before he leaves. We have two dinner appointments a day, but to be able to do that they have to invite a friend that is not a member over for diner too.

Yes. I have used my bike but not very much. We have to have five bike days or days that we ride our bikes as much as possible a month, so not very much. I have had several firsts this week; the first is an exchange outside of the apartment with the zone leaders and while on the exchange we went through a grave yard in the middle of dark and went to Wal-Mart on a day other than p-day and had my first MCM. We went to Sonic for the MCM. I will be spending a little money soon to get a book and the gospel library for JR for Christmas. He is excited to go on a mission so I write him and try to keep him wanting that. (Erase the last two sentences; don't put them on the blog)

Today we are going to go to my companion’s favorite restaurant and the best ice cream here to say goodbye. If you are there you can respond.

The mornings are very cold now. It is freezing almost every night. The other morning we were trying t clean the inside of our car windows for a car inspection and the water just froze to the glass immediately. The sleeves (calf compression sleeves) already came and I will tell you that they are awesome. I got them Sat. The baptismal clothes is the temple cloths. Yes, I lost them. I just need a pair of white pants and a tie. The shoes I won't need because there is no temple in the mission. I can't go to the temple until I am back home. That is fun that you might be in the YW. I will write a letter and tell you about this Sunday, because it was great!

For Val or you, my password is xxxxx and there are people that are trying to post pictures of the Branch activities and they need to be friends with me first so if you want to see my branch you will have to accept them. That’s face book. What everyone here does is have their family send a list of the people that have requested them and say who is not really their friend but you can just accept everyone.

Got to go and write the mission president. bye

Dustin Swanger

9 November 2010


Sorry, I am not going to get to writing the primary today. I am writing this at 9:50 pm. Right off I will answer your question about the baptismal clothes, yes, that is the temple clothes. At this point it doesn't look like I will get them back.

Music for Ipod: All creatures of our God and King, the version by voice male, my comp thinks. My companion requests good Spanish music. Everything he has is very cheesy.

One of the families that we are teaching, the one that I want you to meet is the Oliva family. We help the children with their homework until everyone is there. It is usually the mom, Patricia, Leslie, Kimberly and Kayee. We teach on the front porch. Their father is the one that is being baptized. Patricia and Leslie are new converts and after Leslie's baptism William, the father really wanted/wants to be baptized. He is being baptized this Saturday, the 13th. His father is next but he learns a little slower so we will concentrate on him after William's baptism.

The other person that we are baptizing is Will Hidalgo. He is engaged to a member. He doesn't speak much English and she is learning Spanish. It is interesting, but love speaks another language. He is the person that has the perfect answers to every question that we ask. He always comprehends everything perfectly! I like teaching him for that reason. Next week I will tell you about two other investigators.

Tu Hijo,

2 November 2010

Mi familia,

Antes no recuerdo, my calf is 16 1/2 inches. (for calf compression sleeves)

My French is useful here. Over half of the kids that are in the branch are taking it and the kids not in the branch so every one is coming up to me for help with French. It is fun.

Because J.R. is interested in going on a mission, I am getting him a referance library for missionaries. Debbies is the Far West in Arkansas.

Tell the primary thanks and I will send a letter for each primary next week. Something interesting, we are to try, if possible, to keep up our talents while here on our mission. I am wanting to write music, I want to have a Christmas CD written by my return. If it becomes a distraction I will send it all home.

I could be training after another transfer because half of the Spanish elders are leaving.

I played "Go Fish" this week with pass along cards. LOL. That was fun.

Love and care,

Sunday, October 31, 2010

25 October 2010 (part 2)

The first is that I gave my first talk in Spanish and it was so hard because it was in Spanish but every one was really nice about it and asked how long I had been on a mission. My anwser really suprises them. The second is that we watched a parade. The whole town here stops for the parade and we knew that the people that we had set up to teach were in the parade and we were right. It was one high schools homecoming and all of the middle schools and the elementary schools were in it too so there was going to be no one at their house.

Emergency information can be texted to xxxxxxxxx don't give this number out! this is the phone number of the cell that I carry with me. I cannot reply. Don't send me alerts about bad weather because we already get those. I was told that you should never have to use this number again so just get rid of it after you use it. It is the phone number for this area. I was at a dinner appiontment and the person wants to meet you. (mom) That got me thinking. are you still planning on coming down here to pick me up? (Dustin couldn't remember the pin for his debit card)

BTW regular chips with hotsauce is really good. Also cucumber with lime and a tiny bit of salt is really good. OK something that I learned last night at dinner. Thats when I do the most speaking. We learned the Spanish form of spanglish. Like we add an -o to the end of every word they add -eshon to the end of everyword. It was very hard to understand. There I had my first bad hispanic food. Monudo. It is so gross. It is cow stomach. Thankfully we didn't have to eat all of it, just until the fish was done cooking, so we talked a lot so we didn't eat very much. Also there was a really funny joke that even makes sense in English.

Don't be afraid to send more pis of the fam and the animals.

Have you studied not just read True to the Faith? It is really good. I love it. Reading about things that we teach about you get alot of insights that I never thought of before. One thing that we teach is that you pray before you study to understand that which you are studying and recieve revelation. This really works you should also try that. Then pray again but I forgot what to specifically ask for.

OK, so I am out of notes for right now. O I am getting a copy and green eggs and ham because there is a missionary copy that we like to glue into It but right now it is hard to find the book.

The SD card. Are you going to take the pics off and put them onto a flashdrive or something like that? I am printing pictures off here and putting them into a pic thing. Random thought. My companion looks like a deacon. and I look like I am like 22, lol that is whot the miembros dijieron.

25 October 2010

ok, That took a little time to read through (my email to Dustin) and yes we( all missionaries) love to get packages. We all gather around to see what the other got and just make a big deal out it. While I am on the subject of packages. I got a lot of packages really just one or two I really don't remember but I got 3 cards from people for Halloween. That kind of makes me nervous for Christmas.

I will try to get Alisha something here and send it. I will just send it to the house. For Christmas do you still want me to make a list? I can start that soon. There are a coulpe books that I want and perferable in English I willl send them to you later. One thing I know that I can never say no to is ties. As a missionsary you can never have to many ties. Just remember that my suits are blue and green. I gave my black one away to someone that needed it because it didn't fit me right anymore. It was too tight. I didn't know that because I didn't wear it much or for very long.

One thing that you can do that is really easy and you might like it is to watch the priesthood performance and grandma said that there was a time that it showed me that I was smiling. If you could take a picture of that and send that to me so I can have that in my memory book that I am making here.

Also because we are the missionaries people like to really use us a lot and one of the things that we are doing is singing in the choir that is about to be created. hispanic people as a general statment don't sing very well. this will be fun. I think that we are singing in spanish. Oh, BTW don't tell JR that I told you but he told me that he has a girlfriend now. lol.

About the music don't forget Christmas music. I know that we have a lot. Have you been using the music that G & G Wiberg have? for sure seeing that you brought it up. I would like some Mannheim. God bless ye merry Gentlemen is one of my favorites. I also really like the music (Christmas) from the celtic women. (Ding dong merrily on high) Oh please pass the word that when you write a letter to please date it.
Two things that were really awsome this week.

(Dustin left off here, but I got another email half an hour later)

19 Oct 2010

Hola, mi familia,

I have a part in my hair! It still looks very weird. My companion is going home in 11 weeks. If you're interested. That info was for Val. I have his home address.

Oh, G&G Wiberg sent a whole lot of candy. You know what I don't remember if/what I told you in the email. Right now is our hair cut day, sleep, shower from playin' v-ball. I sweat a lot more here. By the way, in this mission we give ourselves the haircuts. Scary!

They love my cooking here because none of them know how to cook! Oh, my turn for the hair cut. Thanks for the pics and tell Grandma & Grandpa for the package. Oh, it is beginning. Please send the red block blanket that you made. It will be warm enough with the other blanket I got here.

Con Amor,
E' Swanger

As a last thought, I had my first baptism, but didn't baptize. I left my baptismal cloths at the MTC and already sent for them. And I saw a live armadillo.

18 October 2010

The lessons or discussions that we teach every week are only around 15 minutes, but they run about 1 hour or longer because it is hard to leave and it is rude not to finish the conversation, also about the food I only eat one plate but they really fill it up. After you eat the food, all the food that they give you then you can say that you can't physically eat any more.

I like both snailmail and email but would still profer snail mail because I still only have a limited time on the computer it is only 45 min because I have to write the Mission President.

I have had my first real funny! I said for my companion, "Mi companero necisita espacia para su pie." The tranlation is "my companion needs room for your food." I ment to say pai or pie in ingles. O man the people are funny,. and there are so many different dialics of spanish. I will be able to talk in all of them like my companion can by the end of my mission. My companion has one more transfer left which is how the missionaries out here measure time. I am his first and only "son" or person that that he has trained. Everything has a nickame out here and we have to learn them because we would not be able to talk to the people and understand what they are saying and vis versa.

My companion, Elder Homes is from Utah and loves baseball. That is his biggest thing and he loves to laugh. It is hard sometimes to get through companionship study becasue we willl be laughing so hard. He likes music but doesn't care to play it. He does know one song on the piano.
Before I forge,t the rule about music was altered. The name is still the same songs of the restoration but that can include anything that you think could be found in a church store that is still not counrty,etc.; be played in a sacrament meeting; or is a soundtrack from a church movie. Still no classical. That makes me sad, I want water music so bad. O there is a song that we have been listening to that is to the song jupiter, the middle slower section and the first words are holy father it is driving me and companion nuts we can't find the name of the song and he swears it is in the himnario.

Don't forget the photos and I will frame the one with the family and if you want you can just send it framed. Other than that I don't really have that much to ask for that I am not going to buy here. I am getting sheet protectors so that I can save some things and make a scrape book here.

I love the spanish people, they are so kind and (the white people too) more than back home. We were tracking down this street that the english elders told us had alot of hispanics and found this hispanic BBQ and we got one return apiontment and as we were leaving the person that we didn't talk to, because he was running in and out of the house getting things becasue he was cooking, yelled at us and asked if we wanted to eat. So, of course, we did. He hates his church but knows that we are to go to church and said that he is going to try ours. He only lives a block from the church anyway. When his wife cameback from her work we found out that she is a past investigator that was lost when she moved. Then she got married which is something that hispanics for some reason don't like to do. She even had a date for baptism and my compaion has been trying to find her for like 2 transfers. One tranfer is 6 weeks.

Because a lot of people throughout the day offer us food or a pop. We cannot say no. We do sometimes if it is a member. Just for the pop. They don't drink water here, it is mainly jugo. The white people drink water though. I think I am becoming racist, my conpanion is and is doesn't care to hide it. Yesterday we got 6 people that we are going to try and see, but that takes awhile because our area s so big. It is the Stake and so far I have only been in 4 cities that are in the estaca. Today is the day that we try to work off all of the stuff that we ate. We are playing hard core v-ball for 2 hours no breakes or very small breaks. Last week was b-ball. The elder from the Islands is from Kiribiti and pronouned kitipis.
Tu hijo,
Elder Swanger

Sunday, October 10, 2010

9 October 2010

Mi Familia,

The purpose of this letter is to let you know that we did eventually make it to the Mission Home. It is very beautiful here compared to home. It is the perfect mix of back home. There is a little brown and green grass, but it is mostly green. I already love the mission president and his wife. Today is "training" day in the mission home. We are really just being taught everything that we were taught in the MTC. The church is teaching us how to teach slightly different and we were not suppose to be instructed on it till we came here. But because we were in the MTC for nine weeks, our teachers ended up teaching us the new stuff. It is really just learning how to be a good missionary at the beginning of our mission, not just at the end.

Hey! Guess what!? They have trees and plants and flowers here, without a sprinkler system. And real food is amazing.

I have to start to part my hair because that is a mission rule and tradition. (Leah-oh, that's a good one). I am keeping a binder here that I am going to fill with the things here. (a scrap book of sorts), and first preparation day I will go out and buy paper protectors to make it.

Elder Dustin Swanger

(posted on the side bar too)
325 E. Walnut St. #B
Rogers, AR 72756

Dustin was spotted!

How many times did you see Dustin? When we got to watch the P-session in between sessions on Sunday, we saw him 7 times. He told me when he got to call me, that he spotted himself 8 times. He also said that when he was trying not to smile is when he saw himself on the monitor. He said that he is not nervous at all about going out into the mission field, he could hardly wait to get there. He first went to the Mission Home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The next day he went to his first assigned area: Rogers, Arkansas.

10 Oct. 2010. Today during Fast and Testimony Meeting we learned that Brother Alfredo Chandia and Ben Chandia were in the audience at the Priesthood session of conference. The were in the front section of the Conference Center but on the opposite side, but they were able to get a couple glimpses of him and of course on the monitor.

We also had a surprise visitor, Sister Allred. She came with her family to Sacrament meeting. She was one of the Sister missionaries that taught JR the discussions in our home. So now I guess I should update you all on JR. He is still living with his grandparents in Montana and going to school there. He started going on splits with the Elders as soon as he arrived there and got involved with the young adult program. He helped teach a man in his 20's who got baptized within a month of JR's arrival. He is now helping to re-activate a family. We are very proud of JR, his testimony, and his determination to do what is right.

1 October 2010

Today was the last time that I get to go to the temple. I liked it but They didn't let me do the service because my compainion is sick with a little cough but we may have said that he is really sick because we were speaking in spanish. LOL but all is good I just get to Email you earlier.
I am so excited tomarrow is the big day and for me and my companion it is an all day event. One of my teachers is going to be there and I am soooo EXCITED! Is Shay sill working with Mr. Henderson? I am only curious because I send that card through you to him. Thanks to whoever delivered it. I don't recall If i said but I would like to get the shin splint sox because we are to try and do somthing active everyday and I was told be someone that just returned from my mission that the spanish people play soccer a lot!!
Sorry but this letter is going to be alittle short because the internet is being funny on this end. OH Joe you are fired! the whole time that I have been here you have given me a spititual thought every day and yesterday was the first time that you repeated a thought. That is still amazing that you can do that but I was betting that you could not repeat a thought for the whole time that I am here.
You can put the pics that you wanted to on the ipod, I just didn't want to have a lot on there because I would like a variety of music on there. I don't think that I will ever give up on my music ever. It has aloud me to connect with alot of people here and other elders want to know when I play so they can come listen. I can play improve hymns now. my Poor wayfaring man of grief sounds so good.
For a warm up I play Finale and that usually draws a croud so I've stoped. LOL
Les amo! (love y'all) I love the letters that I get from cousins they are Awsome! Thanks for your support!
My time just went up.
We had a day in the field were we taught others all day long 7 lessons a day. It was very tiring and my compainion didn't likeit. But I loved it. I don't think he liked I because he has a sore throut and is lossing his voice and he wants to sing tomarrow at conference and the doctors said that he might have to lip sinc. I am sending pics in the mail and the music if you are making a scrap book. we are to keep small ones with pics of family pets companions and other things to help us connect with investigators. They have a new way of things that we will learn when we get out in the field. Our teachers heard that it is better! I had to get my suit drycleaned for the conference and have to buy a couple other things before I leave but I am getting the least expensive things I can find but Everything here is 40% off so I am getting things here. Chruch printed things are at cost to make.
Les amo!
E' Swanger

Friday, September 24, 2010

24 September 2010

Hola otra vez!

OK i am going to start with the news that I had to wait all week to tell you. They canceled the MTC Choir until after General conference! and I am in the MTC special choir that will be proforming at the priesthood general Conference session.!!!! How amazing is that! I have never been to see a general conference, and no joke almost every person here has, and the first time that I am going to go I am IN IT!!. There are only about 10 people that have not been to a gerneral conference before and there are 360 something in the choir. They were picked out of 2500 people here at the MTC. We are currently above the max capacity by about 200. It is alittle crouded.

You can tell JR that I will be sending him a letter today. This week I have really been helping people mainly the new guys that need help with spanish which is funny because I myself go the the tutor about once a week. Twice this past week.

You wanted to know cuando (when) I leave and it is going to be on the 6th de octubre (of October). I got my travel plans yesterday and leave and 3 o´clock in the morning. My compañero is not happy that we have to get up that early. LOL. I really don´t have alot that I want to say right now.

About the choir, you should have seen me when I gat the acceptance letter I was jumping up and down. I will send more info on this in a letter.

Again the reason that I don´t have a lot to say right now is because I doin´t have me notes with me. But I do remember some of the things that were in you letters that I wanted to talk about. One of them is music. Here and the tienda (sorry I forgot the word in english) they have music and I have speakers and a CD player. There is a lot of music here that we don´t have at home and I can get it for 20% off being a missionary. I already got the Handel Halleluya: Mo Tab CD.There are lots of others that look realy good. I might grab one right after this.

Some of the songs that I want I am sending in the letter because I already have it writen down. I did that last night.

I don't know if I already told you but there is an elder here that is a great artist and he drew a picture just for me. Moroni walking to go and bury the plates. also I got pics that he drew earlier of the Title of Liberty and a scene of the aftermath of battle. They are amazing.I have two songs that I want you to listen to. Himno pagina 88 in the spanish libro de himno. It is very pretty and only in the spanish book. there is another one, but I don't remembr the number but I want you to lesten to the songs de wizard of OZ because it is the mellody of one of the songs. I will send it in my letter.

Bueno suerte en el futuro y sus trabajos.
I am runing low and Tel so I will have to say goodbye for now.
E' Swanger

Sunday, September 19, 2010

17 September 2010

Hi. otra vez,
¿Cómo fue su día? the time that we have to be at the temple is awsome, but early. We have to get up at 5am and it is hard to go to bed earlier to make the day go by faster.

First off, thanks Joe for your letters that you send me daily! And the ones that you send telling me to focus on the work that I am going to be doing. Last week I did forget the work that I am doing because we really only do the work on wednesdays while we are in the CCM. The Lord really is amazing, you sent me two letters and there were 4 or 5 talks that were about not forgetting what you are here for. And while I forgot I really was stuggling with spanish and even English but that Is no surprize. After I got back on track I literally spoke only spanish for about 3/4 of the day! Everything is easy when the lord puts his hand in it.

Thanks for sending the letter to elder Cook. It really made his day and the whole floor got a good laugh out of it. This week though he got a lot of letters. 3 I think. He is going to be writing you back.

The Elder that I spoke about earlier, Elder Bernard is gone he went to another CCM to finish his training. We all miss him because he had the funniesst English sayings and when he acted like the gangsters that are in England it reminded me of cartoons. LOL. The last day that he had here he really wanted to spend most of it with me because I became his Spanish tutor and now, I don't remenber what counrty he is in but he is completely submersed in spanish. When I sent the letters that I sent you when I wasn't focused after you had sent your letters telling me to focus were acually sent to you before I got the letters fromyou bad timing.

As for the shin spint socks. I still am doing gym, not as hard core as before, even though my shins still hurt some not much. When I do very little in gym I really have trouble focusing in class. I would rather have some pain and be able to focus in class on the Lords work. If you want to so send them you can but the choice is yours.

Did you like the card that I sent with the seeds? lol the tree that they come from is called ewa, like from avitar.

OK I have ten minutes left and don't really know what to say. I can't anwser your letters because they are on the other side of campus I might answer them in a letter.

Oh, the TRC went really well. This week we had to "go shopping" in spanish for clothes and barter the price and we did really well. I got a pair of pajamas that were originally 40 for 20. We got a native too for the TRC.

We get interviewed by our teachers once a week to see how we are doing. Hermana Capps, one of my new teachers, told me that my accent is very close to a natives. She said that she has trouble understanding me in english but I am very easy to understand In spanish.

Thanks for you prayers and supporting me.


E' Swanger

Thursday, September 16, 2010

10 September 2010

10 September 2010

My family,

Sorry for not being able to email sooner or first or at all whatever it will be. I am unsure if I will be able to email you because my companion has doctor’s appointment and I have no idea when I will be able to write to you. We have to go to a “real” doctor, outside the MTC. The scheduled it for our p-day because they don’t want us to miss class.

Thank you for responding to the questions I sent you. Here is my fun question of the week. If you were a meat, what kind would you be, and how would you be cooked? You probably don’t know but we get to go to gym every day. I go to the field and play beach volley ball. I sweat a lot and I always have to shower. The sand is awesome to land on but you get muddy quick.

I received a package from Darren & Kathy (Grandma and Grandpa too) but there no was return address. If you could include in your next package the address of the family. Thanks!

The language is really picking up. We are going over and learning about 100 to 150 new words a day. Crazy! Now I am at the doctor’s place. It is weird going out into Babylon. We even got lost trying to find the right building.

I have got your package and like the picture of Tori. I have one question for you about the package, why are there three pictures of Val doing random things in the gym and outside in the field? Is it so that I can solicit her to the other missionaries here? Lol! Btw, is she dating anyone yet? I really hope she is.

If you want to send me candy you can but I have a lot right now. The last group of elders that left gave me all of their candy.

Mom & Dad, when you left Utah to go home, did you ever go through the Provo Temple? Today I really notice that the temple grounds are really pretty. I will try to take pictures on Sunday. The grounds are more beautiful than the Portland Temple. The temple itself is in a weird shape. Maybe after I leave and you can come visit Darren & Kathy and look at and go through the temple.

To switch subjects on you, I think I could have tonsillitis. I went and they did a swab test to see if I have strep, but it came back negative. Last night I stopped one of the wife’s of a member of our branch presidency and asked what the signs are and you can tell they are what we call missionary mothers because they checked my tonsils, looked down my throat, and checked my temp. It was funny, I stopped them and spoke to them in Spanish and they had the look of a deer staring into headlights. I’m sure I had the same expression on my face the first week I was here.

The package that Darren & Kathy sent, Sara drew a picture for me, of me. Grandma explains that she is really into skulls right now. The picture is a skeleton missionary. It is actually a pretty good picture. They also sent me some skittles, lots of cookies, and air borne along with a couple of letters.

I got my first hair cut. We are trying to get a haircut every two weeks, but it is difficult to get in. I don’t think the stylist are that good. The sister I had, gave me a fo-hawk. I don’t think that is allowed. Everyone else comes out with a military looking hair cut and I came out looking like a punk. Lol!

To the cousins: CTR, HLB or what ever language you want it to be in. Remember you are not just kids, but a child of God! If you could choose the color of the sun, what color would it be?

Wow, there must be something wrong with his foot because he is taking a long time.

Today was the first time that we did a TRC or oh, I don’t remember, but we go and do a task like share a meal or go shopping in Spanish alone. Then with what you learned about to the person you teach a lesson. This past week we had to do it all in Spanish. Usually you don’t teach in all Spanish until you’re at your half way point. My companion, who does not think he can speak Spanish very well, had a panic attack and we had to go over to the urgent care again. I bet that they now our names by now. In the doctor’s office here at the MTC they know me by name. But the TRC went really well. We or I committed the “investigator” to watch General Conference. It was awesome!

I tried to take the traditional picture with the MTC sign, but the sign is not there! It makes me sad. Also something strange the people in my district don’t want to take the picture with everyone pointing at the mission map where they are going. It makes me sad!

This week we moved, again, rooms and now we have room mates. It is weird that we actually are sharing a room with two other people. They are awesome though. We knew them before, oh, one of them has received four letters now and he going to leave here in two weeks. It would be really nice if you or someone would write him. His name is elder cook. You can send it to my districts mailbox. He is from Hawaii.

I believe I asked for more ties because some of mine are falling apart. If I could suggest colors, yellow, orange, green are the colors that I do not have. I am trying to get one of every color. I have a red tie that I traded for. They can be fun and if you write on the back, I will for sure not trade it.

We have “sports” every day or gym, and in the field a work out every morning.

Right now my companion makes me laugh because he is on pain meds for his foot. Loopy!

I joined the MTC choir. They just started to have practices again. Before we were let out of choir we were able to sign up for MTC special choir. I think it is the choir for the priesthood session of conference. I really want to be in that choir! I will let you know if I get in or what the choir is for. I think it would be awesome to be in the choir for general conference! Priesthood.

I hope that you enjoyed this really long letter. I know that I probably wrote a lot but hey I went to three doctor appointments. This was my entertainment. Sorry if it did not make sense but be glad I did not write in Spanish.

I have been talking with our chauffer, who went to my mission, and I just want to go out there sooner! I was thinking about making it six pages but I think I will stop.


E’ Swanger

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3 September 2010

Thanks for the pic and I really like the way that I look now after looking at that. Getting in for a haircut is really hard because there are a lot of poeple that are trying to get in and so far I have not been able to get one and that makes me sad. the Exersices that they have me doing really help and I am back to normal life and even playing soccer again. But only goaly. Again this week we did not get any room mates and are we are the only ones on our district that are alone. The elders right next to us are awsome and one of them is from England and I think that He is a convert.
Sorry this letter is going to be speratic because I did not have time to plan out ahead of time what it is that I am going to say. The language is doing really well in fact, today I am beginning to help to teach it to the new districts in our zone. thanks for sending me my P blessing it is nice to be able to read it and see that all of what it says is true. about the SD card. When I left, I left one SD card there and on the mirror in the hall. I believe that I told val who it was for. OK, my health status. I am still sick and saw the doctor yesterday and it is just a head cold but because you never really get a break to really relax you keep them (colds) for a long time. Also the real reason that I went to the docter is because my district made me. I have had really red eyes and they were scared that it was Pink eye. Thankfully it is not but just a similar eye infection. My eyes have not gupped at all, thats how he knew and he said that all the sicknesses in the MTC are the same just getting passed around.
I liked that you sent me chopsticks in two different packages that was funny and the district got a kick out of it. There is an Elder here that is french and I really want to go up and talk with him because he is the only native speaker here but my companion keeps saying no. Triste. Oh the Elder that I am going to be teaching is Elder Bernard from England, (my neighbor)
Those skittles were awsome but taste nasty! Oh please tell me you have not replaced the tree in the garden yet. I am going to try and get one of the seeds of the trees that smell amazing and will send it to you if you have not already planted a tree. If you have there may be a spot to plant it if you are not going to fix the pool. I love the tree and really would like one back home. and all the kids will love the tree. It is a pine but does not produce a lot of needles and does not get very wide.
quiero ticlar un carta en español pero ustedes no intienden todos los cosas en mi carta.
I am almost out of time so Expect a letter like usual and you sill did not anwser whether or not you sent my music to the guy that I asked. In the future it would be a little nice to know a little of what has been going on at home because I still have no idea beside what Joe writes me.
Joe please explain well in a letter what MS is and your experience in receiving it and Chiro. My companion likes to tell your story but there questions that are asked that I can´t answer that can be answered in those subjects . Thanks y´all and it would be nice to get a CD with a family mesage. Joe you can put your account on that? It would be easy, oh, and can you describe how it is that you can type blind because that confuses people here.

1 September 2010


I am going to start off with the miracle that happened. E’ Rubalcava was the person that got hurt and I told you about in the last letter. He kicked the ball at the same time as someone else and somehow tore his meniscus in his knee. I was there on the field when it happened. On Tuesday, he went to a surgeon and he saw in the ex-rays and MRI’s and can even feel the tear in his knee. Tuesday night, the night before the surgery, his companion game him a blessing. I was not there for it, but I wish I was.

When the surgeon went in with a camera there were no problems with the knee of any kind. I have seen the pictures of the inside of his knee and know that there is now nothing wrong with it. He is drugged because he went in there and did the prep for the surgery. I love high missionaries, they are so funny. One of the pics you will see is all of us getting high.

I share an online Spanish investigator with three other people. It is not a real investigator though it is a teacher here, but it is great for practice. I am really getting the language down but my companion is not. If you could please give me some hints because he is really getting discouraged. He is the only elder in my district that cannot speak Spanish all day.

The reason that I have been hanging around a sister is because I am helping her with her French. I know what you are thinking, that I need to concentrate on Spanish, but she has been here for 5 weeks and really does not get it. The next time we meet I came up with a great way for her to learn to read out loud because nothing is spelled the way it sounds. I love flash cards.

My companion was given the calling that I want, music coordinator. E’ Stoddard does not do well with stress and having a calling on top of everything else we have to do here is very hard on him. You will love the pictures you will get, we really had fun with it. I took pictures of a painting and prints that an elder gave me. He had several hundred because his dad painted them. The Joseph’s first prayer is what E’ Ranes looks like. The guys here want you to send a picture of my grad pic or beach pic where I have a light blue Hawaiian shirt on. Also a pic of the dogs, if possible the cat in the same pic. Is T-bone still trying to eat the cat? There is a Hawaiian on my floor and someone from my district has lived in 10 or more countries. Dad high ranking dude in air force.

I like my hair this long, it looks good and I do have to fix it every morning, but showers are in the morning anyway. The showers here are fun. There are people screaming in them all the time. The temp goes HOT then COLD to the extreme. My companion and I have never had roommates and we really want them. We got 2 more districts and we still don’t have roommates! I am scared to get a haircut. They are free but they just do what ever they want. My companion had longer hair but I don’t know now. I am waiting for him to get out.

Oh, take the virtual tour of this place, it is pretty. What is the temp at home for this week? Have you hit 120°?

E’ Swanger


Yes another letter. In your package you forgot my p-blessing and line of authority. Also if you dear elder me the symptoms of ear infections vs strep, I think I might have strep because I have had a sore throat for a week and my throat has white spots and there are red dots but it is more pink than a real white. My nose has also been running which is why I thought It was allergies but it would be nice to know for sure. You sent me one chopstick by the way.

Everyone here gets packages that are shoe box size and bigger, so I was really excited tobe getting one. I was shocked at the size, but oh well. We go contacting to other missionaries to practice the language and approaching people. Oh, mints don’t count as candy. I do love them though. The bacon air freshener was a good touch, but it really smells nasty. Lol. Is it the same one that I gave Val for Christmas?

My location is the farthest from everything on campus. If you found a map of it, I’m in 13M top floor. Somos missioneros de la inglesia do Jesa Cristo de los Santos de los eltimos dias. Lol. Say that 40 times a day. I was playing ont eh piano and someone over heard and asked if I would accompany them for a devo. I said that I don’t read music well and don’t really have time to practice but will give it a shot. Luck with that.


E’ Swanger

Sunday, August 29, 2010

27 Aug 2010

Hi it's me again!

You guys don't tell me a lot of whats been going on at home and I am thankfull for that. I think that I would be home sick if you told me everything that went on since I came here. But you could tell me more btw (by the way). Thanks Joe for telling me how you were diagnosed because I really had no Idea.
Ok, we listen to Devos I think 3 times a week and this Tuesday you would not be able to geuss who came and spoke at the Devo. Elder Holland! Joe has probably heard his never go home/ missionary is Important talk. (I believe that he is referring to "Missionary Work & the Atonement", by Elder Holland) You can look it up on lds.org and watch it because it was very similar to the talk that he gave to us, Intro and everything.Some of the things that he said to us are "Every hour, every day, every step all the way!" " It was never easy for Christ, why should it be easy for you?!" I wish that I could just send you my notes from the meeting but I do sort of need them. This is also the first time that all of the missionaries were in the gym for the devo because it was being worked on. It is not finished but they got it done enough for the devo. It is going to close again soon and that is right after this next devo, so I am wondering who the speaker is going to be.
Oh, did you send the package? well if you have not please send some allergy meds because I have had a stuffy nose for a very long time and I thought I was sick but now I think that it is just allergies. Though I was sick earlier this week with the rest of my district. Mom you said that you think that I needed to do a certain stretch, I have been doing that stretch to help because the doctor here gave me a book that has a lot of stretches that I have to do every morning and night. There was also a real miracle that happened here this week that is really amazing! I will leave that for my letter.
Did you look at the CD that I sent and freak out or read the letter first then the CD?
Are you going to send me a CD recording of the family or what are your feeling on that? Did you even get the last letter?
I would like to send my SD card home on the first, but I would like to have the other one here before I send It. Here I can print pictures so I am going to do some of that today so I can write on the back of them. Do you think that I should send the pictures home and you can make a pic binder or should I buy one here and make it.
There is a pillow room in our hall and in the past there have been people that have gotten in and been sent home and now there are those that are tying to get into the room. They call it the pillow palace because they have seen the inside and say that it is a room filled to the ceiling with pillows for the whole campus. They are ridiculous.
I am running out of things to type and only have 5 min left. Oh I bought a new Journal on the second day here because the one that you pick out for me was full of questions and had no room for me just to write what I wanted. Others here make fun of me for hanging out around a sister here and I will tell more about that in the letter I gtg. (got to go)
Bye, E' Swanger

20 August 2010


You wanted to know how I got the “dearelder” letters. They are folded up in a legal size paper so they can’t be read from the outside and held closed by a sticker. Oh, I traded my first tie this week, it was the blue and green one that looked like snake skin. I don’t know if I told you but the first Saturday that I was here I went to the ER (pause for effect). It was not for me but for my companion. He was throwing up all day and he has a lap-band so they had to make sure it didn’t slip. It was cool! I got to see all his insides during this and the only thing I didn’t see was his heart. They stopped before the dye went there.

Our zone has been having some health issues. Our neighbor tore his ACL, some sisters dislocate a rib, there is one more recent and they can’t tell the extent of the damage right now. It’s his knee though. Half my district is sick, my companion has a double ear infection. And here is my injury, I have shin splints with the high possibility of stress fractures. I think both actually. I am not allowed to run for 4 weeks and jump at all for 6. I was told that both of my injuries are the same thing just one heals with the bone and the other the muscle. I have both on both legs to answer any confusion. You will not get a bill because it happened here and the church insurance pays all but $10 and I payed, total, $20 with my calcium and vitamin D supplements. The MTC doctors are really nice.

Hey Val, if you could write to me in Spanish please (anyone who knows Spanish can write to him in Spanish). I have given my testimony in Spanish like 200 times. At 10 minimum a day because we have to do that many contacts. I have given my testimony in French about 10 times, and yesterday I spent like an hour talking and helping one elder in French. He is going to the ivory coast line are of Africa. The mission I wanted. He helped me with my Spanish too, he to four years.

Joe, if you could write a spiritual thought about your situation. My whole district admires you, some say that if they knew you, you would be their hero.

P-day is also our temple day and we got to work in the temple. After we did our session we helped do laundry in the basement of the temple. Oh, that was fun, 60 young men rocking out to church songs doing laundry.


Dustin Swanger

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday 20 Aug 2010

Shay, the song that we did for my farwell is very appropriate for missionary work. It has been done here like 3 times already. We had the coolest Devo. Three people that wrote hymns for the hymn book spoke, and we sang all of their songs. I don't know what the password is on my cumputer. I think that it is La la la. it has three words that are 1 sybille and are the same, Like the Hint Bla bla bla. just go for it and I hope that you can figure it out. If not you can boot it up using the disc to reinstall everything on it. Also It would be nice to have some music by the time that I get out in the field. I cannot listen to it now it is against the rules but I can in the field. What some of the other Elders here do is have there family send CDs with recorded messages to them, I think that is cool. I think that cousins could do that at family get togethers. Oh, today is my p-day and I can only write to you on these days. you will be getting a CD and don't freek out when you see it. Also be sure to keep money in my checking because i am have like $60 in cash left because I have been buying supplies for learning and you have no Idea how many notes we write in a day.
A couple other things that I need is a pack of air fresheners. My place here stinks like a gym and others have been doing the same thing and it is working. also talk with Bro. Silvan before you send the next package because he has the Tie Tack to send. it is sad but everyones parents have been sending candy and using Dear Elder to send cookies and donuts. By the way they are good. Oh the MTC is a place made by our father because there are trees here that smell like heaven. There is one that smells like pink starbursts, orange creamsicle, and other things like that it is sweet! It is kind of funny, there are a lot of tree smellers here not tree hugers.
O, I just read the part about the waterproof paper that is the Med ID and I am not sure that I like that Idea. you can choose I like the taste that you have so just make sure that it is black to match my suits.
gtg bye,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Letter Fri. 13 Aug 2010

My companion is Elder Stoddard and he is from Grace Idaho. We got here at the same time so we are on the same page. Which is nice. The spirit is so strong here and so constant that i would think that i am in a temple. I love it. Today was the first day that we were able to go to the temple and I will be going every week at 7 oclock in the morning. I know what you mean when I was slow and you had to wait for me. I am glad that I stopped for your sanity. My companion takes for ever getting ready and it drives me nuts. I am ready and showered and all in 30 min. And it takes him and hour without showering! I am sorry that I was ever slow.

Yo se el Libro de Mormón es le plalabras de Dios. I like reading it for an hour a day before personal study even begins. I like that they keep us so busy because I hate having nothing to do. Whenever we have free time we are contacting others in the MTC and have to get at least 10 but someone showed us a secret and yesterday we got 22. The highest ever for our Zone. Tell Joe that i really like geting the letters from him daily and if he wants he can send one in braille. I think I know all the letters but if he does, I want the Alphabet. And No contractions! My district leader, Elder Alderman thinks it is awesome that someone in your situation could have so much faith and talent to write to me every day. Please Keep it up. (Joe says it's not talent but a blessing)

I can speak about 40% Spanish and I think that is amazing after only learning it for a week. Everything I learned up to now does not count because it was slang. My teacher is geting married nextweek on Wednesday and we all want to go to the reception but we know that we can´t leave the campus. Our second teacher said that he would love to take us but Hno. Nelson would kill him and he would be fired which is worse than death. Hno. is the abbreviation for brother.

Just a couple questions for you to answer. ¿If you were a shoe, what would you be and why? ¿If you were a Star Wars Character who would you be and Why? (anyone can answer these for Dustin)

For the Primary - Being in the MTC is the most fun that I have had in years. Your learn so much and get to feel the Espiritú Santo every minute of every day. I love being here and learning how to preach the Lords Gosple in spanish. Learn to do what the Lord wants you to do and he will bless you so much and you will be happy.

Oh, I am almost out of time. Man the time is wierd here. A day feels like a month a month feels like a day and I was told a year feels like a week.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letter 7 August 2010

As of the second day I was called to be the senior companion. My companion is Elder Stoddard and we are really getting along. The first couple days the language was hard an no one in my class could speak it. I am glad that it is a beginning to make sense now. It is kind of scary, as of the second day we can no longer pray in English.

We aren't given any free time so my letters will have to be short. Just know that I am doing well and my brain is hurting.

The teachers I have are great. I am so happy, I have written a whole page in Spanish. It is very difficult, everyone else has a background and can pronounce the words that we learn. I can't stop trying to pronounce them in French, and yes, there is a difference.

All of mi classa gets along very well.

Be sure to let everyone know to use dearelder.com, where you can send me an email and I get the printed version the same day after lunch and dinner.

Elder Dustin Swanger

PS from Mom,
MTC box #211