The Words of the Swenson Family
In Jin Nim and Jin Sung Nim:
I never liked giving testimonies in front of people, but of course I do want to share my experiences so far, as everyone does. It’s a lot easier when written. I want to begin with how grateful I am to you and your wonderful family. I seriously don’t think I can say that enough. I am grateful times infinity.
This year on STF has been so amazing. I think I might just say that it’s been one of the high lights of my life. Last year was a good experience, but honestly, I really didn’t like the intense feel of it -- I am so glad I went through it and learned what a life of faith is. The problem was I didn’t understand how to put it into practice in real life. It helped me realize more that Heavenly Father is definitely real and present, but when I went home I forgot how to find Him without fundraising.
When I came back for witnessing, I hoped to be able to practice having God in relationships and life without having to carry around a box of sun-catchers. I was so excited when I heard about all the changes on STF, especially for ballroom dancing. A lot of people thought it’d be really weird, but I didn’t really think so because I’ve always wanted to take up some kind of dance. I was so surprised that the chance came on STF, of all places! Anyway, I would talk for hours about how much ballroom dancing has changed SO many things for the better (such as creating true brother/sister relationships), but I’m sure you hear it a lot. I want to talk more about my experience in witnessing and living at 43rd St.
I really enjoy witnessing and talking to people and helping them feel God’s love, but there are many times when I get too nervous or scared to go up to strangers. I’ve been overcoming this because I remind myself that they aren’t strangers, but my brothers/sisters as well, just like the amazing ones I live with at 43rd. It inspires me so much to see guests come in and feel so happy because of the atmosphere we, as a family, have in our center. I get scared of commitment, but when I think of committing so a spiritual child more as loving my brother/sister, rather than it being somewhat of a burden, it becomes so much easier to witness to people. I want them to be a part of our family (God’s family).
Another part of witnessing this year that is an amazing and important experience (but is SO challenging) is having to take ownership over my own life of faith. Last year, developing a life of faith was pretty much forced through fundraising with captains that always checked up on me, but this year I am responsible for my own growth and life of faith. At first, I was really frustrated with the responsibility, but now I’m really grateful because I know that this is the best training for college life.
Another experience that I am so grateful for is learning how to attend True Family. Before this year, when I thought about attending True Family, I never thought it meant getting to know them and working with them so closely to fulfill God’s dream. This year definitely helped to break down many barriers that I had with the True Family and now I’m starting to feel more closeness and love for them and their love for me and all of STF. Just knowing how much they care for everyone really inspires me to want to inherit that same love for all mankind. I really love them and want to do more for them.
When we went to Father’s autobiography event, I was really happy to be able to help it run smoothly. I got to put together programs and pass out the gift bags to all the tables. In the past, I would have probably done these things very unwillingly, but I was surprised by how much I wanted to do whatever was asked of me. I saw how much Father gives to us, how much time, love, investment, and sacrifice of sleep he gives to us in order to teach us correctly how to bring peace to our world and all people. Even if the task given to me seems small and I feel like it won’t make a difference, I want to continue to have a heart of attendance for Heavenly Father and True Family whenever I do anything because I know how much they give to the whole world.