Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012,

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: Christmas just around the corner!
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, December 17, 2012, 12:41 PM

Please do not send anything to the DeeAnn adress. As of Tueday I wont live there anymore :) send all letters and other shinanagins to the Mission Office address. Thanks!

On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM, Jade Swayne <> wrote:
Hey Ma :):)
Sooooo, I have some news fur ya! I am being transferred to Kirtland, New Mexico this Tuesday aka tomorrow! My new companions name is Sister Real and we will be over 3 different wards in that area. Sister Stewart tells me that Kirtland is one of the most profitable areas in our mission. There is a lot of work and a lot of baptisms that go down over there! So I am super duper excited to head out there! The transfer bus will come to pick me up at our church building tomorrow at 4 :D
With this news, yesterday was my last day at Gallup 2nd ward. It was really strange to think that it was my last Sunday....that ward, Sister Stewart and all the people that we interact with in Gallup are the only people that this lil Sister (me) has ever known in my short missionary life. It was starting to feel like Gallup was going to be where I served my whole mission because I didn't know any different. But I am very very verrrrrry super excited to go there!!!! I told my companion that I wasn't going to tell Kylie my new address because I was scared that she would come and track me down lol seeing as Kirtland is right next to Farmington! hahaha I know she has been planning a "sneak attack" for awhile now ;)
But anywho! All the news about the missionaries gave me chills....I! I hope Satan has got his Nikes on because the increasing missionary force is really gunna have him on zee run! Naw whata mean? And my mind is exploding over here just thinking about the girls that my mom taught in Primary are now old enough to go on missions...I bet you are so proud, huh mama? I am so happy for them. They are truly in for the adventure of a lifetime. And my dear sweet Indie. How is she feeling after getting her teeth yanked? I hope somebody recorded her after the surgery!!!!? Please tell me that somebody did...Just so you know Kenz, what you're doing is the best decision you could be making right now. Satan is gunna try to stop you and all of you friends that are trying to go. But if you stick close to your good friends, family and most importantly the Lord, you will make it :) You will be the worlds greatest missionary...I can see it now!
Side note: I will get back to you on our Skype date. I knew how it would all work out here in Gallup. But now that I'm being transferred I'm not sure who's house we will Skype at. But I will let you know when I talk to Sister Real about it.
In other news: We have committed two more people to be baptized on January 8th 2013. Yay!! It would have been great be here in Gallup for Preston and Natalia's baptism, but I know that the Lord has work for me to do else where. But a little background on these two. Well firstly, they are both soo ready to walk into the waters of baptism...they just radiate this desire for righteousness. It's amazing. They really want to be good with God and feel of the happiness that the Gospel brings. Preston is Natalia's father. He was being taught by the misisonaries about 3 years ago. He and Natalia ( who was 10 at the time) wanted to be baptized but was not able to be because he was not living the Law of Chasity. He was living with his baby's mama without being married. But he was determined to tie the knot with his women so that they could be baptized. But in the end she didn't want to work things they spilt up. Preston stopped taking the discussions after the break up because he was going through such a hard time. But now 3 years later he is back in the game. He has been coming back to church and asked us to come over to have a lesson with him and his two daughters, Natalia ( who is now 13) and Kira (who is 7). We went over there the other day and BOOM! committed him and his oldest daughter to baptism :) It was such a special day.
Another person that we teach named Derick Smith is not having the best of luck. He is a less-active member and has not been to church in years. He is a helpless alcoholic who has gotten resorted to drinking hand sanitizer and other cleaning products in order to get his fix. He lives with his parents, Norma and Phillip. And the other day I guess they found about 3 Costco sized bottles of Vodka under his bed and he recently lost his job because he was going to work drunk. I can't help but feel for this poor man....He truly has a heart of gold. But he just can't seem to kick the habit :( We have a missionary couple here in Gallup that specialize in addiction and family relations, we took them to a lesson with us. Derick wasn't there...but we were able to talk to his family about all that was going on. They are so devastated to see their son going through this. And while we were visiting with them we found out that Derick's sister, Kayla, has also been battling a weed and booze addiction. They are all so wonderful...The Hayne's, the Senior couple that I was talking about, can help them through the church addiction recovery program. The sad part is that Derick keeps neglecting to call the Haney's to schedule an appointment. Sometimes I wish I could just twist their arms and force them to get help or to accept the Gospel....but there is nothing we can do. They have to want to help themselves first...I love this family and just want to see them get the help that they need :( This area makes me dislike Satan so much more than I ever did before. He is so....ugh...
Buuuuut on a brighter note. I received that wonderful little package of Christmas notes from my dear familia. They really made me laugh, giggle, smile, and they just made me all around happy! Especially Jeff' I wish you could have seen my companions face when I showed it to her. She just gets all big eyed and asks "Is he a member of the church?" hahaha! All of them were perfect. As soon as I get to Kirtland, I'm going to tape them up by my bed. I might have to edit Jeff's a little though ;) hehehe.
If you think time is going by too fast please raise your hand!..(Hand figuratively raised) It's hard to believe that once February comes around I will have only 1 year left on my mission...
But until next time...This is Sister Swayne reporting from the Farmington New Mexico Mission. The land of enchantment. Over and out!! This is KD7ASD over! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: Snowflake Temple!!!!
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 6:01 PM

The temple was beyond amazing. Did I ever tell you that I went there once with a young womens group when I lived in Arizona? I never would have guessed that 5 years later I would be at that same temple as a missionary. And to answer Cookie and Clay's question: Yes, the temple workers volunteered to come in on their day off to allow us to do a session. They had so many people volunteer that they had to turn people away. I really had no idea how much people loved missionaries until I became one.
Anytime a family feeds us they are basically thanking us for being there in their home....One family said that it is a blessing to have us at their home because they want their kids to see real missionaries. Haha how cute, huh? And then we were at the bank getting cash out of our missionary accounts and a lady named Matilda hands us 10 bucks and tells us to buy ourselves some lunch. Then about 2 days later we were out at dinner, using a gift certificate that the owner of the place gave us, and this women just pops up out of nowhere and says "thank you for what you do. Take this to pay for your dinner". She just tosses 20 bucks on the table and runs off before we can give her a proper thank you. And then while we were here emailing at the college one of the families in our ward shows up and gives us money for dinner! I does one even begin to explain their gratitude?...I don't have the words.
I know it's Heavenly Father working through His servants.. And I just feel so blessed to be His representative. I just think back to Alma chapter 5 where Alma the younger speaks about " redeeming love" and how we can "sing" praise to our Heavenly Father by the way we live our lives. Well...after these past few months I can't help but say confidently, that I want to sing my praises to Him for the rest of my life...I love Him. I love Him because He has blessed me with you...all of you. And for this missionary experience of a lifetime.
Please, anybody who reads this blog...consider serving. Because it really is the greatest transformer ever. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I'm so grateful to have 15 more months of this. And I'm grateful to be a Swayne/Paxman...Because really, all of you have been my driving force.
I will write more about what is happening in the area next week. I am a little pressed for time right now. But keep in touch and keep saying your prayers. I knew the Master hears us. I believe that with all of my heart and soul. Love Sister Swayne
Fiddle faddle :) Harriett knows what this means

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: December....can you believe it??
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, December 3, 2012, 1:06 PM

Hey Mommy!
Today more than ever I am so so sooo happy to find your e-mail in my box. Every Monday I feel happy to get over here to read your love notes but this week I feel especially happy! I walk around all day with this love in my heart...this love that I know is from all the love that I have been marinating in all my life. You, the family, the ward, and all the people that I've meet through out life have done such a good job of injecting me full of sustainable love...because I just feel it all the time. Thank you all for everything...every little thing that you have done for me warms my heart every time I think about you.
This mission has worked wonders on my heart. I feel this deep intense chunk of love within my heart and feel more and more that my soul is enlarging each day I am here. This was especially true the day that I received my Christmas I am literally in tears as I write this because I am so very very grateful for all of you...thank you does not even begin to cover what I feel right now towards all of you. Your support means the world, the moon and the entire solar system, to me. Thank you Kylie for delivering those boxes...I love them even more now that I know that so many people have touched it! 

Also, we have a baptism this Thursday!!! :):) The first one ever for this lil missionary! woooohooo! His name is Reginald Carr. He is Denai or Navajo. 26 years old. and pure as pure can be...He is kind of slow mentally and we have been teaching him since I arrived in Gallup. When I first arrived he was not progressing too terribly much. He would forget a lot of what he was taught and we were not even sure if he needed to be baptized due to his mental capacities. BUT through much prayer and deliberation to teach more simplified lessons we have him committed to baptism :) We are now praying that he will just remember to come to his baptism! haha he is very forgetful. But we love him. He has been one of our MOST committed investigators.
We also have a temple trip this next Monday :D We will be going to the Snowflake temple! And since this is happening on a Monday we will not be able to email until Tuesday. So just a heads up. I don't want you to worry and think that something is wrong if I don't write you on the usual day.
And thank you Misty for e-mailing me about Mitch's game! Again, I was over here in a public library crying in front of the computer screen. Just thinking about my studly cousin beastin out there on the court gave me such a rush. I love that boy...He may not know this but he truly is one of my best friends...Him and Jacob both. We were raised together and now I can't ever imagine life without our memories. I also could never have imagined how much I love them...This mission really has been the greatest. It has helped me to realize all of this love that I didn't even know was inside of me.
But ok! This past Friday Sister Stewart and I got to work a booth at the Gallup Balloon Rally!!!! So cool right? I wish I had pictures to show..but it was not until after we left that the balloons took full flight, BUT we all need to come back to this balloon fest together when we reunite. ok?!!
Lastly, mom....seriously. How did you know that I have been buying that brand of oatmeal for the past 3 months? I eat it every morning at breakfast!! And how did you know that Sister Stewart loves Kashi Granola bars?!! It's kinda spooky to see your amazing gift giving skills in action. Because you really do know exactly what I need ALWAYS!! haha how do you do this? Has Kylie been spying on us and reporting back to you?! haha that or you really are just the most in tune mom on the planet!
Whatever it is...I really appreciate it. I love all of you so much! And think about you everyday. Wondering and hoping that you're well. But at the same time I know that Heavenly Father is taking care of you :) This brings me comfort.
Ohh and one last thing. Anybody who wants to write me can use the e-mail. BUT if you do, you need to include your home address so that I can write you back snail mail style. Please and thank you.
Love Sister Swayne, cuz she sure does love you.
P.s you can give my blog address to whoever you want, mama :):)
Can you post some pic of your primary class?! please please please !

Monday, November 26, 2012

Photo update.

November 26, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: Did you have enough turkey?
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, November 26, 2012, 1:03 PM

Well...This was a Turkey day NOT to be forgotten!!!
First it was my first mission thanksgiving (1 down 1 to go!!)
Second, I did not have one single item of food that I didn't like.
Third, I got to hangout with some of the greatest families in the Gallup 2nd ward.
And fourth, I love Gallup!!!!
This place has reaaaaaally grown on me and I simply can not bare the thought of being transferred someday. Haha and yes yes...I know what you may be thinking " Is this the same girl who basically went into a depressions when she found out she was going to New Mexico?? and now she says she loves Gallup!?whuuuuuut!?" And to answer that question I have to say "no"...I am not that same girl...I am still brown and full of poise and grace, as I have always, been (haha) but other than that I feel different. I feel like a completely different person than when I left. I never would have guessed that I could have SO many..SO SO SOOOOO many character flaws! Haha. And I also could have never guessed that the Lord would do so much to help me to correct myself.
These have undoubtedly been some, if not the most, PAINFUL weeks/ months of my life! It is hard to get up in the morning, it is hard to be with somebody 24/7, and it is hard to do almost everything that we as missionaries are asked to do. BUT I would not give up these uncomfortable, painful, humbilifying,character-shaping months for all the watermelon, coconut waters and cobs of corn in the world! (Only those who know me well will understand the weight of that statement) 
I just can't even begin to tell you how much I love being a missionary. To see the joy that people feel when you come into their home. To see the relief in their eyes when you tell them that there is life after death. To see the change in them when they follow up on challenges and begin to develop their own testimonies.
Wow...What a fulfilling life it is being a missionary. I wish that I could wear a head cam to show you all of the crazy things we see out here. We got word from our President that, since all of the mission will be filling up after the age change for missionaries, they might be opening up the Rez area to the sisters again!!!! Which means we would be living on the Reservation.....Isn't that awesome!?
The Rez has been closed to the Sisters for years. But now that there is a new mission president (President Batt) , that rule might change here in the next few months. The word on the street is that the mission will be increased by about 100 missionaries! They wanted to increase it to more but there is not enough housing out here right now for that many to come in.
It's awesome to be a witness and a helping hand in bringing the children of Lehi back to the truth. I never would have guessed that my mission would be so prophetic, if that's the word I'm looking for.
Mitchell, Jacob, Kenzie, Mckale, Connor, Chan and Kylie....if you ever even have a thought about serving a it. It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. It is totally worth every sacrifice to get out here. To see people's lives changed, to feel love for complete strangers and to be on the Lord's errand is the best choice my 21 year old self has ever made.
On a lighter note, it is crazy to think that we will get to skype each other next month, Mom and Dad. It is even crazier to think that my whole entire 22nd year of life will be spent without any of you physically in my life...that is nuts! But again I'm grateful to be here and I know that this year will go by really fast.
Welcome home to Joe Cobb!! I missed you boi! :) and can't wait to see you in 2014. I told your mom, before I left, that I was bummed that you were getting home before I got to see you. I told her " now I'll never get to marry Joe and become a part of the Cobb family!! He'll be married before I get back!" lol and your mom said " There is always adoption.." Sooo, basically instead of me fighting BYU girls to death for your hand I will just go with your mom's idea ;) you might just have a new sister when I get back home...Haha I will not miss my chance to be a Cobb again! I love your family. Thank you for the e-mail Sister Cobb. Your door approach idea might just happen one of these days...
Well, I think it's time for me to log outta here and get back to work. Our Jeep's head lights weren't working, so it's in the shop right now. So currently we're driving a Chevy Colorado pick-up. Which is one of my dream cars. I love driving this lil thing! I wake up every morning thinking "Yes! I get to drive on the Rezzie roads in a lil beast wagon'' It's a pretty awesome life, I must say..
But alrighty. I love all of you! and I mean, ALL. I think about ya often and honestly don't miss you because I am having such a great time here and have lots of wonderful memories of our time together to sustain my days. And please don't take that the wrong way. I just really do love being a missionary and am slowly but surely losing myself in this work.
So again, I love you all so so much and know that we will be together again before you know it. Don't waste a day missing me. Live life to the fullest instead so that we can have all kinds of great stories to share when February 19th 2014 rolls around :) :) :)
Keep the letters comin. I love them! And a thousand times " I love you!"

Monday, November 19, 2012

Photo updates.

District meeting, guy in middle was leaving the mission that week

The family who feed us on my Birthday. The Billies :)

Our first day of snooooooow
Confusing right? They didnt answer. which bummed me out. I wanted to see who these people were!!
Ernesto Watchmens Baptism this past week!! Woohoo! He's the one standing next to me. His brother baptized him.

November 19, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: Gobble Gobble!
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, November 19, 2012, 2:25 PM

Wus uppp errbody :) Hope all is well wherever this e-mail is finding you. I want to give another shout of thanks for all of the letters and love that I have been receiving these past few months. Sister Stewart told me that " I receive more mail than anybody she knows." Haha! And I think that may be true. All of you are so wonderful and it warms my heart more than a Hotpocket on a Foreman grill in July to see that our friendships are real. That you didn't just forget about me as soon as I left. And I understand that eventually the letters will not be as abundant as they are now, because I know that you all have lives and will get busy, but I'm not going to think about that right now. All I want to do is hope and pray that the letters I have now and the letters that I will receive in the future no matter how scarce they may become (lol) will always help me get through the tough days.
They truly are my gold. I love hearing about your days and knowing that we are still connected.
But this week was a goodie. I was asked to speak in our District meeting. I was asked to speak on the Atonement, and wow...what a privilege..I like to think that this assignment was Heavenly Father's way of saying " It is time for you to learn more about this subject" and for that reason I was beyond excited to be given this assignment. Because more than anything, I want the spirit to teach me. I love to learn the spiritual truths of the spirit.
I really truly believe that missionary work brings about blessings in the life that we left behind. I received two letters this week from two different family members telling me that they have started going back to get emotional just talking about this....I need to hold back the tears though...I'm not so sure how the Navajo culture feels about crying on keyboards. lol. There's gotta be some kind of superstition regarding this..haha nah, I'm kidding, I need to be more respectful...but anywho. These two letters have given me so much strength and so much hope. After reading them I felt something come alive in me, something that I never even knew was there...I felt a renewed sense of hope in having a Celestial family...not just the family that I will someday create with a special guy, but the family that I currently have. I can't help but believe that all those who have become inactive within my own family will someday come back to full activity in the church. I have never wanted something so badly in my life....
But enough of the gushy stuff. I need to mention that all Christmas packages need to be sent via priority mail, please :) We have a temple trip coming up on the 10th!!! Snowflake temple here we come! Annnnd I have now knocked on and have been received at the door of one man without pants and another in just his whitey tighties...classy right? I have also been in a house straight off of the show "Hoarders." It was NUTS!!! I have never seen walls made of random stuff and walking space the width of a foot long sub sandwich. It was crazy. And there were all of these random cats coming out of the piles...eww! Haha! Also, I had a puppy jump into my skirt....which was interesting. I was able to restart an old Navajo lady's fire last night. ( Thank youuuuuu Grandpa for teaching me how to build and restart fires, It really came in handy that day.)
Also, We currently have 3 thanksgiving day appointments for dinner and have declined about 4 more. Haha! People really do love the missionaries :) Our P-day was switched from Monday to Thursday this week because President Batt felt that we would not be able to get much work done on Turkey day. But we were blessed to be able to e-mail today so that our families would not worry. What a great President we have here in the Farmington, New Mexico Mission!
Grandma, I wish that I were going to be there to eat some of your "nice Turkey." ;) muhahaha
I also laughed when I saw that you went to Hoopes the other day!! Haha, I love you all so much, you make me laugh.
Please keep writing me. Your letters really make my heart so flowery and gay. (?)
Well, alrighty, gotta go! Duty calls 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Misty Eyre
6:09 PM (4 hours ago)
to Jadepaxmanpbreeparkcraig1carrollharriettbryant1memariekingsburypattivance
What you said Jade makes me think of one of my many many motto's I say to myself through out the day... "What you think about, you bring about!" This reminds me that self pity, stress, anger, anxiety, etc is a choice. That I can choose to look for the joy in life and be happy.

In order to bring more joy to my life I am looking for more "TA-DA" moments like when I was young and I couldn't wait to get home to show my mom what I did that day or when my kids say to me, " Watch this mom...." I think that we don't do this enough (or at all) when we are adults. Maybe it sounds silly but I think we all can use more "TA-DA" moments in our lives! So I too challenge you to set a goal to bring more joy and silliness into your lives by looking for things that make you happy! 

Think everyday, what is the best thing that happened to me today? Please also ask those that you see every day, it literally changes their physiology. Give yourself and others permission to be joyful!

Everything in life is about feelings. EVERYTHING. How you feel about
yourself, family, friends, your purpose, etc.

The number one thing that people want in life is recognition and acknowledgement. Humans crave attention!
They want to FEEL SPECIAL. Make it a goal to make others feel special, including yourself!

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: Snow Snow everywhere!!
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, November 12, 2012, 1:22 PM

Hey Mom and everybody!
I had a great Birthday! I loved my new clothes and all of the other goodies I received. THANK YOU EVERYBODY! I really could not ask for a greater support system. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Also, Mom, if it is not to much trouble could you ask the Bishop to give the ward a very special thank you to all those in the ward that gave cards, money, and such things during the time of my farewell. Now that it's Thanksgiving time I feel exceptionally ungrateful for not ever sending out thank you cards to everybody like you told me to. Also, if anybody has time, will they please post on my Facebook a thank you from me. Because wow, I received a lot of love on my birthday, as well as those last few days before entering the MTC. It would mean a lot if somebody could do that. Also, If Tiara Sims is reading this, I wanna give her a lil shout out for the e-mail she sent last week. It was great hearing from you...I am not allowed to respond to anybody outside of the family by e-mail, so I can't respond unless you send me an address. I am trying my best to be an obedient Sister. Haha, but it's really tough sometimes when I get e-mails from friends and can't respond to them because I can't re-e-mail them and I have no address to write to. So please please, if you have time, WRITE ME! Because, Basically...I love you and don't want you to feel like I'm not responding to your e-mails.
But okie dokie, you asked me what I want/need for Christmas and since you are so amazing I guess I will share my Christmas list with you,
1. Pictures! anybody and everybody send me pictures!!! The ones that I have received thus far are hanging above my bed and greet me every morning when I get up. I try my best not to think about all of you and home while we're working, but it is really nice to come home after a long day of missionary-ness and see your smiling faces before bed time. *Don't think that these have to be family portraits or anything, haha the more random and hilarious the better**
2. We have been doing a lot of tracting lately and they have told us to not let our bags get too bulky because bulky=stuff and stuff=people wanting to steal your stuff. So I have been thinking that my scriptures are to big and that I should down-size to the compact quad. I know they are expensive...but I really would love to be less of a target. Haha if you get what I'm sayin. They don't need to be fancy. They just need to be small.
3. I need tights. I have 3 pairs right now. But just in case. (black and grey are the colors that I have now. those are the colors I like).
4. There are some wool socks for about 12 bucks at R.E.I that I should have bought before coming. They are just R.E.I brand..nothing sophisticated I just know that they are really warm and my tootsie's have been gettin cold while tracting so some of these would be nice. Also they don't have to be R.E.I lol they just need to be warm. I have lots of extra space in my boots so don't be afraid to get something fatty and thick. I like em chunky ;)
5. This might sound silly, buuuuut...testimonies. I would love to have your testimonies in writing. Because I know someday my heart is going to be hurting from the lack of immediate success in our area and I'm gunna need your warm,heart felt words to pick me back up and get me re-motivated for the next day. So please, anybody who feels comfortable sharing their testimony with me, I would love to have those. Also those of you who are not religious, it's ok not to send your testimony about anything church related. You can write about what you believe life motto..anything. Your words and examples are what got me out on this mission, your words and examples are what I am made please send me some more building material :)
6. Oh! And some little neon tabs would be very helpful. I need them to mark my scriptures and the Gallup Wal-mart is always out of them!
I can't think of anything else...but if I do I will let you know. Thank you for caring about me.
It truly is amazing how life goes. One minute we are making a plan or setting a goal and the next minute we are living said goal. That's how I feel about this mission. It feels like only yesterday that I was to turn 21 and start working on my papers. And now I'm here, 22 years old on the mission that I have prepared my whole life to serve. It's still hard to believe that I'm here. But as the days go by, I begin to forget more and more about life before my mission. I could barely remember what my personal cell phone looked like the other day, somebody mentioned Facebook during a dinner appointment and I really had to think "what's Facebook?", and slowly but surely the song lyrics and movie quotes that I could so easily recite are slipping away from me. It's nuts! Somedays I really wonder who on earth will I be after these 18 months? And honestly I have NO idea..I couldn't even begin to guess. All I know is that I will be better than when I left...I have already changed so much. I never thought that I could be broken down and rebuilt so much in just 2 months-ish time. 
So back to the first idea of setting goals and then living them. I have discovered most intensely on my mission, more so than any other adventure, that when we think a thought, set a goal and decide to act on them we are making the decision to change. We are deciding to improve ourselves and evolve. And though we make this decision, that we want to challenge ourselves and become better, we sometimes or most times, for some of us, get discouraged when we don't see instant results. We may start to think that we are not capable of changing...But I can promise you that this is not true.
As children we believed that we could do anything, that we could be anything and that we could touch the sky. When did this mentality die in us? When did we decide that we were not meant for greatness? When did we come to the conclusion that our dreams must be limited to our current situation and that we can never be the person that we dreamed of being as children? 
Was it life that beat us down? Was it the fear of trying that crippled us? Was it a person that said " You don't have what it takes?" What was it?
Well, whatever it was or is, I want you to do me a favor...GET RID OF THEM.
Delete those thoughts, get over those fears at whatever cost and start dreaming big. And know more than anything else, that YOU CAN CHANGE.
I know from experience that change is possible for every man, woman and child. I know that hope, determination, persistence and faith are the ingredients for success in all things. I know that we all have the potential for greatness...and you may wonder, "How does this 22 year old know that everybody has this potential?" To that question I reply by saying, "I know these things because I have a testimony that we are all sons and daughters of the divine. Even God the creator of all things in both heaven and earth."
I may be 22 years old, with little to no real life experience in comparison to some, BUT as I live and breathe I know 100% without any doubt that every person living on this earth is a son or daughter of God. And I know that because of that divine heritage we are capable of so much.
So if you are 40 years old and want a black belt in it! If you are 67 and want to go back to college...go for it! If you are struggling with an addiction or find yourself stuck in an abusive relationship...change that! Or maybe you are just stuck in a rut and don't know what to do...whatever your situation, I can promise that if you get down on your knees and plead with the Lord with full sincerity of heart with a willingness to act on His command, He will not only hear you, but He will deliver you out of your pain, fear, distress...whatever you are feeling. He will help you meet your goals and He will help you change.
I have a testimony of this. I do believe that all people can change...But more than anything I know that God and faith on His sons name can help us accomplish our goals, live our dreams and become the person that God created us to be.
I love all of you. And hope that you will give up on colorless dreams, sad days and regret. And instead start living with a bullet proof faith in yourself and in God's ability to help us. I know that we all have goals as to who and what we want to be... But I also testify that if we give our burdens to Heavenly Father, He will make us into something more than we can even imagine.
Please believe...
Please act...
And please strive everyday to be happier than you were yesterday.
A big shout out to all from Gallup!! woot woot!
Love, always, Sister Swayne

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: BIRTHDAY!!!!!
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, November 5, 2012, 1:15 PM

Where do I even begin to describe this week...Tuesday? Yea. let's go with that. Ok first off, We went-a-tracting! Which, by the way, is the junior form of people watching, Im convinced. Just imagine two cute girls on your door step trying to tell you the most bizarre story that you've ever heard....Are you imagining this?? I hope so! Because that is the only way that you will understand some of the expressions, greetings, and answers we receive from the people of Gallup, New Mexico. They know exactly what we're about as soon as they see our black name tags. We have had some people, after we've knocked on their doors, sneak up to the door so we can't see them in the window and lock their doors so we can't walk into their homes.... yea! Are you confused by this too? It's like they think Sister Stewart and I are some big Amazon women that are going to beat down their door, pillage their homes, eat their food, steal the natural resources from the land and say "Be baptized or I will cut you!!" While they are cowering at the point of our jugular aimed Samurai swords! They just...I don't know lol I don't understand the whole locking of the door part.
But anyways, Tuesday was full of fun people and people with the saddest stories you've ever heard. One man named Victor, told us how he had been an alcoholic for 10 plus years...and how after he let go of drinking he became subject to prescription medication for about another 10 years. He has two sons who are, to his knowledge, going down the same path of destruction that he was at their age. He expressed how helpless he felt. How he wants his boys to have a better life than he did, but they don't listen to him. He even told us that he had thought about shooting his sons if they didn't shape him, I guess, death is better than what he suffered. He also wanted to shot one of his doctors and his wife...crazy. The saddest part of this whole discussion with Victor was the fact that he wants to come to church but can't decide if going without his family would be wrong. He seems to think that it would be disloyal to his family if he were to save himself and leave them to essentially "burn in hell"....So it's a very tough situation. And we don't know how to help Victor.
That same Tuesday we meet a family living out on the Rez. One is from Mexico, Rosando, and his wife, Deann are from the Rez. They have lived in the Gallup area for about 3 months. They lost their business and had nowhere else to go. Rosando is from a very very wealthy family in Mexico. While Deann is from a Rez town that had no electricity or running water..The two came together and have helped each other in some very amazing ways. When they first meet, Rosando was a major meth user and was close to death. Deann came into his life and taught him what love was..she helped him with his addiction, but in the end he was beyond human help. This is where the Lord came into their lives. Deann was a part of the placement program and was baptized into the LDS church, she has some basis on Christianity and prompted Rosando to give his addiction to the Lord. She knew that God was the only person that could save her husband. Rosando was so stubborn about prayer and all of the repentance stuff..but Deann was persistent. And eventually her persistence paid off. Rosando was freed from his Meth addiction and now has a beautiful testimony of the power of Jesus Christ. He told us how God was the only one who could help him..he would have died if God had not helped him to overcome. This man had me in tears...I could fell his testimony and his true faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. My own testimony was strengthened that day..and I look forward to going back to that families home. I want them to know about the fullness of the Gospel and how it can bring a person EVEN closer to their savior and redeemer. I am so excited to see them again.
I went really in depth with those stories. I apologize...but I hope you liked them :) For time's sake I'm going to skip to Friday and the greatness that occurred that day. 
There is a brother in our ward named Brother Craig. His is native American and has a United States sized heart. This man has really been through the ringer. He is a Vietnam vet (so we hear a lot of "back in Nam" intro's in our conversations with him). He has been through two divorces and suffers from intense Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But with all of that said, Brother Craig takes the sister Missionaries out for lunch every 2 weeks. He loves the sisters...they saved him from, this is a direct quote, "a path of self destruction". So again, he loves us. in a non-creepy,psycho war vet way. lol.
This past Friday we went to a Mexican restaurant with Brother Craig. He is not a very positive person and began to go on about how the people in the ward are hypocrites and how he hates hearing them get up to the pulpit and talk about living the gospel when they are the biggest offenders of not living that same Gospel principle. He went on like this for a few minutes and Sister Stewart and I just sat there until he was done. That's when I was instantly inspired with a thought...I decided to bare my testimony to Brother Craig about how yes, there are many people who do not live the Gospel the way they should, but that is not stopping him from living it. Sister Stewart and I both went on to tell him that he doesn't need to worry about what others are doing, that he can be a self sustaining member who depends 100% on his savior...I don't remember all that we said, but boy was this guy eating up our words! Haha, it was amazing! When we met Brother Craig at the restaurant he was in negative mood, but by the time we said goodbye to him after lunch he was clearly happy. He told us that he always feels so happy when he talks to us and I knew that he really meant it.
These are all simple stories of missionary life. And I don't know, maybe they don't mean much to anybody but me. But I just wanted to share the stories of the amazing people of Gallup, New Mexico. In hopes of expressing how great missionary work is. Whether we are helping a post-addict understand that he can be free of the shame and guilt that he feels everyday, helping a family learn more about the God that they already worship or giving a lonely soul a new view of life...I know that this is the work of God. And I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can answer all of life's questions. I know this because there has not been one time that I have felt like I didn't know what to do to help a person...the Gospel covers every concern and every question that any of these people present to us. The hard part is getting them to believing...
But we will keep on pushing ourselves, finding prepared individuals and testifying of what we know is true...I pray that our daily efforts will be enough to help these people. I am truly feeling a new love for them that I didn't feel when I first heart is softened and I really really want to be able to bring the light of the Gospel into their lives permanently.
Everybody reading this please read the Book of Mormon. It's truly is the word of will change you life. I promise.
Love Sister Swayne 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Farmington, New Mexico Mission

With Sister Stewart (companion) and Brother & Sister Bott, the mission president.

 With all the elders going to the Farmington, NM mission.


MTC fun. We got a kick out of this! haha. I didn't put the tag there on purpose, and I was just looking in the mirro and saw how hilarious this looked. Hope you think it's as funny as we did that day. :)

Last temple day before entering the mission field. The one in the green sweater was my MTC comp. Sister Pielstick. She was NOT happy that day. haha

Our house.

Our apartment living room!

Our car. Her name is Nizonhi. That means beautiful in Navajo. 

A mural we found near the track one morning.

Sister Stewart and I outside of a historical restaurant in Gallup. It's called El Rancho. Sister Shephard, a sweetie in our ward took us to lunch there after a Navajo funeral.  

Outside of a home on the Rez. There was a dead sheep skull laying in front of the door and some random dog who was in desperate need of a boob job. She had just had puppies and was a tad bit saggy.

A sweet bus that gives rez tours! We saw it in the wal mart parking lot and I asked this lady if she would come in and take a picture with me. haha! Obviously she said "yes!"

This speaks for itself. haha. 

 A home on the rez. Everybody out here has like 12 cars! It's nuts! And lots of sheep, cats, and dogs everywhere. 

This is the home of Glassy Tree. A woman that we've been trying to track down.

October 29, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: Fw: Pitstop
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, October 29, 2012, 2:25 PM

Hey Mom :)
Happy Monday. I hope things are well out there. I hear that it's snowing?! It's crazy to think that it's that time again. I did recieve my winter clothes and the Driving record. Thank you thank you! It came just in time because the weather has just decided to get cold. Sister Stewart and I are snake children together which basically means that we are always cold! Our apartment is warm and we also have this little space heater that keeps our toesie warm while we do our 3 hour study session each morning.
Which reminds me! I never gave you a run down on what it is that Sister Stewart and I do each day. Well, shame on me! let's change that :)
This is our Sista Missionary schedule
6:00 am Rise and shine. We get up every morning and go to the track at Miymura High school. it's about 5 minutes away from our place
7:00 am come home. Sister Stewart showers while I eat breakfast and do my personal study for an hour. Then when she is ready at 8 I get in the shower while she eats and does personal study.
9:00 am We say a prayer to open up our companionship study. In which study, we read from the little white handbook (3 pages a day) then we discuse what we did in personal study. Our mission president has asked us to read the B.O.M 30 mintues each day. and as a companionship we have decided to study Preach my Gospel each day. After discussing our study we talk about our plans for the day, which we have previously scheduled on planning day (every Friday we plan out our lessons for the week. this takes about 4 hours)
10:00 we do the 12-week trainning program. Since Sister Stewart is my trainner we have to do this trainning program each day. I actually like it :)
11:00 we finish studying. and hit the streets because it's time to teach! We go out a either find people to teach, teach less active members, teach recent converts or investigators.
1 pm Lunch time. Then more teaching/finding/service until dinner
5 or 6 Dinner time
7pm back to teaching
9 or 9:30 We have to be back to the apartment.
9:30-10 We review our daily goals and record whether we meet them or not. Write down the progress of those we teach in our record book. Plan our schedule for the next day
10:00 get ready for bed. pray. write in journal.
10:30 Lights out!
Man, that's even exhausting to write haha. It's a long day but wow...they fly by so fast!
We had alot of our investigators come to church these past rwo weeks and we hope to find more people to teach because our pool is very limited right now and we are having a hard time scheduling appointments. So please keep us in your prayers with hopes that we will find people that are ready for the Gospel.
There are alot of great people out here in Gallup. They have alot of struggles ranging from intense poverty, abuse, alcholism, drug abuse, lack of education, depression ( this is probably the saddest place I have ever is really important that you have a stock supply of internal happiness because the stories we hear and the faces we see are all very depressing), and the common idea that nobody needs the Gospel in their lives. It's so different here...but I am glad to know that Heavenly Father believed/ believes in me enough to send me to such a sad sad place with the idea that I can do some good here.
So no doubt, this is a tough tough mission area. But I have hope..The Gospel will be the beez-kneez of Gallup someday :) just wait and see.
I love all of you! and appreciate your letters more than you will ever know. Gallup is a deppressing place, but your letters are like little packets of sunshine that keep me above all of the sadness that cankers this land so heavily. So again, thank you thank you! Keep in touch and stay safe.
God lives, I know this without a doubt.His work is alive and well out here in Gallup. And I pray that you will all allow His work to be alive in your hearts as well.
 Love Sister Swayne

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: Monday, la la
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, October 22, 2012, 11:57 AM, you're going to make me cry with that song haha you and I are going to have to sing that duet style when I get home. So be practicing. Also I heard rainbow connection playing at the grocery store a few weeks ago and of course it made me think of you and our ole pal Kermit thee frog. "He's a carribean anphibian!" lol...that stuffed animal drove me nuts. but I know how much you love it ;) and wanted to play it ALL zee time haha I love you mom. You're seriously one of a kind. These days I find myself thinking more and more about how awesome our family is. I got really excited the other day thinking about the family reunion in 2014. I hope you can make it this time around
I recieved a Halloween card from the Vances the other day that really made me smile. Will you please thank them for me. I want to write them. but the sooner they can feel my grattitude the better, right? :) I can't even contain the joy that I felt when I heard from you, grnadpa, patti and now Mckenzie herself telling me that she is working on here papers...that is so awesome.
But ok. let's do some of these questions :)
1. Sister Stewart is from a suburb of Sacramento, California. And has 2 younger sisters Named Tabitha and Tiffany. She also has an older brother who was recently reactivated in the church and later baptized his wife. isnt that sweet!! She still can't believe it! Her brother and his wife will be married/sealed in the temple a few months after Sister Stewart gets back to Cali. She is super stoked! Ohh, and she leaves July 24th of this coming year. She hit her 9 month mark a few days after we became companions. SO yes....she is dying. (that's missionary lingo ;) )
2. Our apartment is really cutsy tootsy. It's actually one of the nicest housing situations in our mission. We are basically living in a mini community and the place we are staying in can hardly be called an apartment. It's more like amini house! It is owned by a semi-active member named Sister Tina Nunley. She is this awesome senorita from Mexico. She takes such good care of us would love her. But basically, there are 3 houses on their property. One where Sister Nunley and her husband lives, when his not out doing a job. Then her daughter lives in the next house (which is placed next to ours) and then there is our little two bedroom house. It's pink. lol. and we have a basketball hoop...legit. I know...
3. We have eaten at a members house almost every night since I've been here. They are so kind and the entire ward basically knows me as "Sister Swayne, the Sister with the messed up stomach" lol...I have starrted a new thing where I get pictures with every family that we eat with. I havent been the greatest at this. But since you are asking about them, and since I love them so much already, I need to step up my game so that I can remember them when I leave this area. Because they really are so great. I wish you all could meet this amazing ward.
4. Nope. zero people make more of an effort to look at the ground when we come around. They know what we're all about..haha
5. Yes!! I love my bag :) She needs a name though...any suggestions?
6. Alot of salad!!! and Im lovin it. the members don't always know what to make so we just ask " if it's not to much trouble Sister Swayne can always eat salad. She loves that. But if that's not possible she can just eat whatever you serve. We are very grateful for you wanting to feed us and don't want to be annoying" it has worked well and the memebers have been so creative as to the differnt salads that they make...I feel like such a punk asking for special treatment. But they have been so understanding.
7.And lastly, we get our groceries home in style mama ;) We drive trucks out in this mission. So We have a Jeep Compass. YEA YEAAA!
Sorry that I was not able to write more about Alex. We did see her again and I will write more next time. k! Love all of you
And thank you Kylie for the blog. I know if my blog is anything like yours it is simply wonderful.
And please send any letters to the Gallup address and any packages to the Farmington address. The Farmington addy is for the mission office and will be forwarded to us. But letters can be sent directly to the Gallup address if you want me to get it quicker. It's up to you :) And I apologize to anybody who has written but has not recieved anything in return. I have not forgotten about you. Your letter will be in your box soon :) I love all of your letters....I wish you only knew what the mean to me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 15, 2012,

From: Jade Swayne <>
Subject: Re: My how time flies...
To: "Penny Paxman" <>
Date: Monday, October 15, 2012, 1:16 PM

Hey Mom :)
I can't believe that it's Monday either...time really is flying by so fast! The MTC already feels like a dream to's as if it never even happened. But now that Im outta there I have an hour to e-mail instead of 30 minutes which is so nice! We go to NMU's library to email. (New Mexico University Gallup Campus). We get to print for free too so I always make it a point to print out your e-mails so that I can read them during the week. Usually before I go to bed. They make me feel closer to you and everybody else. I love your e-mails and letters. They are seriously worth more than gold right now. **Side note to anybody who has sent me a letter: I have fur sure read every letter at least twice..some even 5 or 6 times. haha I really do love them.
Your hopes and prayers have been answered, Mama. Gallup is going well. But I can't lie...this place has a weird vibe surrounding it. Some of the people at church have mentioned the fact that we live in a very unique area. What they mean to say is that there are so many natives that live many natives that believe in the traditional ways. aka they believe in rituals, curses, superstitions (ohh my gosh you can't step in dog poop without having to worry about some Navajo superstition surrounding the act of trampaling doggy droppings, it's insane!), Medicine men and women, special cakes that give you super strengths, skin walkers, evil spirits and so much more....This culture is a very interresting one. One that is facinating but also very frustrating. I've heard stories about natives being sick and asking for a blessing from a medicine man, a Catholic priest, a Baptist pastor and a Priesthood holder...just so that they can cover all of their bases when it comes to getting well again. hahaha. Like I said, they are SUPER DUPER superstisious. And the funny thing is that many of the people who cover their bases like this are baptized members of the church...but I really don't know where they stand in their beliefs. Because maybe it's just me but asking for a bunch of blessings from a bunch of different people doesnt really sound like sounds more like fear and insecurity in their religious convictions. I think it all comes down to the fact that many of our investigators have a hard time with commitment. They don't want to get married. And they don't want to come to church...there is always something else that they have to do. So I don't know...Gallup is just an interresting place. My companion and I actually just dropped all of our "progressing investigators" because they weren't progressing...they weren't keeping commitments and frankly, it felt like we were wasting our time with them. And I know I know..haha. that sounds really harsh. But was almost like they wanted us to come there just so that we could listen to all of their problems. Which is fine to a certain extent...We are their to show them that we care. But we are also there to teach them about the Gospel..and it felt wrong to spend so much time listening to the people who could care less about improving their lives, who just want to tell us about how bad their life is, who have no interest in letting us teach them...while there were so many other people in town that really want to know about the Gospel, People who are starving for the Gospel without even knowing it....So needless to say, Sister Stewart and I went on a "drop" rampage and got rid of the people who were using us as therapists.
Now...please, before you judge me and think that I have become some heart less beast please realize that it was hard for us to drop alot of these people....ha...actually ya know what. It wasnt hard to drop them!! I'm not even going to lie to all of you! We thought it would be hard at first because we care about these people and have groen to love them...but It felt so good to be done with these people at the same time. People who had two page long records dating back to 2005! people who were feeling the spirit when we were there but not doing anything about it, who had excuses like "I can;t come to church because I had to do laundry" or who say that we can come visit because we're cool! I am sooooo happy to be starrting new. Sister Stewart and I have made a commitement that we will be more bold with our message, that we will quit trying to be everybodies buddy, and realize instead that we are representatives of Christ who have barely 12 hours a day and 18 months total to do the work that we have been called to this mission to do. We basically realized that we cannot waste our precious time with people who are not yet prepared for the Gospel. We decided to instead focus on finding the people that the Lord has prepared...And boy oh boy does it feel good! So now we are hitting up the "Perspective Elders" list and the " Part member families" list. I will give you more details about our new direction and let you know if we have better success this way. I have a great feeling that we will be doing alot more sowing the seeds of the Gospel and not as much reaping (aka baptizing), but hey what do I know? The Lord works in mysterious ways :) All I know for sure is that whether Im a reaper or a sower I know that I am working to bring God's children the truth and that's enough for me :) as long as I know that our time is being well spent.
Thank you so much for calling/texting Dad for me. he has been writting me alot but it would be nice for him to read these e-mails too.
So again, thank you!
I can't lie...Im pretty jealous that you got to see the Kingsbury's. But then again, I don't worry because I know that we will all be together again before we know it. Time is really flying! I can't believe that I will be 22 next month...that blows my mind. 
Will somebody let Mcklae know that I want to hear from her. I want to know how the dance went :) And please, somebody let Mitch know that I was thinking about him extra lots on the 11th! how did his birthday go? Did he have a party or anything?? Is he treating my baby Maxi right? haha
I love that you think that youre not included in the Holy grail of motherhood, mom. Exactlly the opposite! You are an amazing mom and I have been so sensative to that truth now more than I ever have previous to my mission. I just...I don't know. My heart feels so full when ever I think about our family. We sang families can be together forever in Relief Society yesterday and think I could stop crying like a ninny? Forget about it! lol I Love you all sooo much and think about you often. And brag about you shamelessly of course..haha I also can't help but reflect upon the idea that serving this mission is really going to make me a better mommy and that is so much better than the one that I would have been if I hadnt come on this mission. I feel more patient, less judgemental, more able to see past the little short comings of those around me, and all around more peaceful.
The other morning at the track I was able to do something that I hadnt been able to in my previous 21 years of life...I was able to say " I will never go another day without this Gospel. I am sold for life. For me there is no turning back when it comes to Christ" I had never been able to confidently say that without having little worries in the back of my mind tellling me that I couldnt commit to something like that..I never wanted to say it in my prayers because I never wanted to say something that I wasnt sure that I coudl do. But for whatever reason, that day on the track was my time...It was my time of confidence in myself and in our Lord Jesus Christ. It was as if all of the fear of faliure was deleted from my mind...not because I think that now I have these super powers that give me immunity to sin. No, rather I have realized that I am going to fail everyday at living this Gospel as I should...Im going to fall down. And Satan is going to win a few battles here and there...this is life. But those little faliures don't mean that I have to be permanet butt-head for life. NO WAY, MAN! that's what repentance is for :) We can fall down and get back up because of Jesus Chirst and His sacrifice...isnt that awesome? He died for us so that we can have the ability to make mistakes and learn. He is so wonderful...He is so real...and He is for everybody :) So never ever never ever ever never think that you are to "wicked" for repentance. That you are to far gone for redemption. Because that simply IS NOT TRUE. God is always waiting for us to repent. stand up. and move on. Satan is the perminant butt-head who wants you to believe that you are damaged goods. but again that IS NOT TRUE!! You will always be forgiven if you go to the Lord with a sincere heart felt desire to change...He will always forgive. He will give us the courage and the tools to pick up the broken and sometimes shattered pieces of our life and He will help us glue those pieces back together. But the greatest part about the glue that the Lord uses is the fact that this glue cannot be seen after the repair has been made...the cracks of repaired glass cannot be seen. Because what once was shattered and scattered about can be repaired by the Lord and become perfect, shiney and new as if it never even happened.
I know this is true friends and family. I know that God lives and I know that He is doing everything He can to keep us all together, temporaly and eternally. He knows the love that we have for eachother and wants us to continue to be strong so that we can live together in a better world someday; His world. And I want that for all of us...I want to see you all again...clothed in honor and celestial glory :) were happiness will be more full than a super bowl sunday stadium. Where we can all live together without worries. How great does that sound? If that sounds great please oh please raise your hand! haha and more than anything...believe that this can happen. Believe that the Church of jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. Believe that we have everything we need within our selves to reach this goal of eternal famliy-ness. Believe that Satan only has as much power as we give him. And believe that you and everybody who has ever lived on this earth has choosen Jesus Christ once, and that YOU CAN do it again! YOU can be forgiven of EVERY sin. YOU can be with the ones that you love FOREVER. and YOU can stick it to the man (aka Satan) and tell him to get the heck out of your life!! YOU have that power....never ever never ever never never forget that..please. 
I know that we will all fail more than we'd like to admit...but I also know that we can also get back up, take Christs hand and keep truckin on.
Lets all pledge today to fix our lives and center our minds and hearts around Christ. So that we can all laugh and play and smile and jump for joy in heaven together someday.
This is my deepest prayer and my vision for all of us my dear dear friends and family. I love you so much. But your Heavenly Father loves you more. Turn to Him and I promise that you will never regret it. I know that I don't.
Love Sista Swayne
P.s I am warm at night mama. but an extra blanket would be nice along with my coat and boots. They say it should snow in the next two-ish weeks. Also I need my drivers record so that I can be a driver. I guess that it just needs to be a record of my driving history. So PHX DMV would be the people to talk to about that, but what do you think?
Also Yes, there is a wal-mart!! woohoo! And can't wait to read your talk. Thank you Thank you for all of the love, prayers, and support. I can feel your love everyday :):) Hope you can feel mine radiating back to you.