Saturday, June 28, 2014

1st week in the MTC

Hey Fam,
Made it here fine. I have a letter on the way. My P days are on Saturdays so I'll be on from around 8:30-9:00. The MTC is a lot easier than I thought it would be. They have Everything scheduled so you know where you are supposed to be at any given time. Besides p-days. This is my first p-day but all we have done is eat breakfast and do laundry. We are going to hit the gym later and play some basketball. Thats probably the thing that makes the MTC so easy. You have a TON of time to just sit around, prepare, and relax. I only have classes for about 6 hours. The rest of the day is companion study, personal study, language study, and gym time. Last night we taught our first lesson sa Tagalog. The first part of the lesson was decent and the last part was awesome. We understood what he was asking us and we were able to respond accordingly. the language is pretty easy. It's coming a lot quicker then any other language I've learned. Also, I was put in a trio so I have two companions. Could you get me Logan's address that would be great. Also if you could get Adam and Sacs Address that would be great too. 

     Elder Tanner Swensen

This is a picture of my room.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Call: Holy cow it's here already!

Tanner submitted his papers on Wednesday April 23, 2014.  Two weeks later he received his call on May 7th.  Of course, he didn't want to make a big deal out of it.  He only wanted his immediate family, Adam, Zach, and Aaron there for the opening.  No Facebook or Instagram posts were allowed.

Elder Tanner Shane Swensen,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Philippines Cauayan mission. 

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training on Wednesday July 2, 2014.  You will prepare to preach the gospel in the TAG-A-LOG language.

This was a complete shock to us all.  Never had any of us guessed that he would go to the Philippines.  He took German in high school and we just had a German exchange student so maybe Germany, high possibility he could have stayed stateside (New Mexico Navajo Nation), or maybe South America.  The most we knew about the Philippines was we had some super nice Filipino ladies in our Ward (and boy were they excited when they found out). 

But the bigger shock was that he was leaving in 8 weeks.  Tanner did not own a suit let alone any missionary clothing at all.  We had encouraged him to get his packet in quickly and Susie had been praying that he would leave soon, but we never imagined in 8 weeks.  Yannick, our German exchange student and Tanner's very good friend, was coming to visit on July 12.  We thought we would at least have that time, but it wasn't to be. 

We started to get some things here and there.  Tried to get Tanner to get his paper work done.  For some reason he could never get his passport and visa photos right (pictures in street clothes, pictures with his beard, pictures with his glasses on, pictures with his collar stuck in his tie).  Finally we just took the best of what we had.

With about 4 weeks to go we still didn't have a lot of his clothes and were starting to feel the pressure (just his parents not Tanner).  Then we got a phone call from our Stake President.  The church office had called and asked if Tanner could report one week early on June 25th.  Of course he accepted and we (mom & dad, no Tanner) hit the outlet stores and completed his shopping in one weekend. 

In three more weeks he was ready to go.  On June 25th, we woke up, packed his bags, and were ready to go.  We stopped in Orem and said goodbye to his older sister Britt and his younger sister Hadley who was at a soccer camp.  This left us time to grab lunch and still have time before he was to report at 1:30.  But Tanner was ready to go!  He passed on lunch and had us drop him off around 12:00.

Mom's prayers were answered, the Lord provided a way, and our oldest son was ready and eager to serve!

The Call!