Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Language is Coming - The Spirit is Here

    I have to say that as I read this latest letter from Jordan, I got more than a little choked up.  We love our son soooo much, and it is beyond amazing to read of his mission experiences, to see the understanding he has of the spirit, and to feel of his testimony.  I had Brad type up my journal from 1978-85 back in 2003.  That was quite the chore.  But, Brad learned all about my life.  I recall taking Brad with me to have dinner at Applebee’s with a missionary with whom I served in the mission office in Tallahassee, Tim Perez.  When Brad was introduced to him (then Bishop Perez), he immediately recalled some things about Tim (then Elder Perez) from my journal.  I had Jordan type all my letters to the mission president (not nearly as big a job as the one Brad had, but then again, Brad made more money for his work).  It is rewarding to see that Jordan not only earned money from his given task, but that he got something else from it that is helping him now.  (I started Jordan typing my mission letters home, but he did not get very far.  David says he’s ready to take on that job.  Right, David?)  Jordan’s cousin Tyler Jenkins entered the MTC on Wednesday, headed for the New Hampshire Manchester Mission.  (Jordan references Tyler below.)  We are grateful today for eternal families, for the knowledge we have of the Lord’s Plan of Salvation and Happiness, and to feel the warmth of our Savior’s love as we all strive to acquire His attributes.  There is joy in life’s journey, regardless of where it takes us, when the Savior is our guide.  I’ll stop now!  Have a great weekend!

Jordan (back row far left) with his MTC District in front of the Provo Temple

    Wow.  I can't believe how fast this week went by.  I feel like I wrote an email like two days ago.  I guess that means we are working so hard that we can’t keep track of hours and days - and that is a great thing.  Well, I’ve been on my mission for one month today!  Pretty fast.  Only one more month until I leave for the Philippines.  I’m sure that time will go by faster than I want, as there is so much to learn.  But, at the same time, I really want to get the Philippines and would probably leave tomorrow if I could.  Alas, the language is preventing that.  (The spirit is willing but the language is weak.)  So, I only have one more month to get ready and prepare as much as I can.

    This week was pretty good.  We had a member of the Seventy come to the Devotional on Tuesday, but I forgot his name.  I know that probably sounds bad.  Sorry.  I was going to bring my journal with me while I wrote this, but I forgot.  So, I'm going to try as best as I can to write as much as I can remember in the limited time I have on the computer.  The Devotional was great!  He talked about how important our missions will be for our future families and for generations to come.  As he was talking, I thought about how Dad's mission and my brothers’ missions have impacted me.  They are pretty much the reason why I'm here.  My testimony has been strengthened because of their missions, their examples to me.  I thought about the good old days when I typed up Dad's letters that he wrote to his mission president when he was serving in the Florida Tallahassee Mission.  I learned a lot from reading of his experiences, because it's very similar to what I'm going through now.  I want to have the same impact on my children because of my mission.  I want my children to follow my example, and gain their own testimonies like I did, so they can serve missions with confidence and excitement.
From left: Elders Tavilala, Harrison, Brown, and Royal
    Gian, I read my teacher the note you sent for him, and he had a good laugh from it.  Brother Day had some pretty nice things to say about you.  A lot of the MTC teachers still talk about you when I see them.  All the teachers here are really awesome.  It’s getting a little colder here, but it’s not really bothering me, because the classrooms are super hot!

Elder Bear lives for Jordan's emails
    I had a really good day yesterday.  During our Language Instruction, I was able to understand some more of the Tagalog language, and managed to write my own sentences for our lesson later that night.  I don't know if I’ve ever mentioned TRC or not, but it's pretty much just teaching returned missionaries stuff that they already know.  It's more like home teaching.  They come to the MTC as volunteers and just meet with us, to converse in the Tagalog language.  By the way, for anyone fresh off their mission with some free time on their hands, I highly recommend doing a TRC.  They're just really awesome!  We get to talk about their missions, what they learned from their missions, and asked them what we could do to prepare for the Philippines.  So, last night during TRC, we taught two returned missionaries how they can receive revelation through prayer.  We taught them two lessons.  Both of them attend BYU.  I was able to remember everything that I was supposed to say in Tagalog.  The Spirit was so strong in the room, that I was able to add some more stuff that I didn't prepare for (the grammar was probably off, but that's not important right now).  I even choked up a bit while I was bearing my testimony in Tagalog.  The culture and language may be different, but the Church is true in any language.  Once I understood and accepted that, the Spirit just did the rest of the talking for me.  They were both really good lessons.  We taught them the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and praying in Tagalog everyday to keep the gift of tongues.  It's amazing what the gifts of the Spirit can do.  Those of you who are returned missionaries that have received the gift of tongues, don’t lose it.  Do everything you possibly can to always have it for the rest of your life.  You will be eternally blessed for it.  It was amazing when we told that to the missionaries.  I told them how blessed they really are for having the gift of tongues, because I don’t feel I have received it yet.  These returned missionaries said they gained a greater appreciation for the gift of tongues and how it can continue to bless them.  One of the comments that was given to us really touched us.  They said that our message was exactly what they needed, because they had been wondering for a couple of weeks whether to read the Book of Mormon in Tagalog or not.  We committed them to read and pray in Tagalog everyday.  It was a great experience.

Jordan's last pre-mission moment with nephew Beckham
    It's truly amazing what the Spirit can do.  The language is still hard to learn, but the Language of the Spirit is the most important things that we can gain as missionaries and members, because without the Spirit, we're commanded not to teach - because there can be no conversion without it.  We definitely had a mental breakdown with the language as a District on Tuesday or Wednesday, but all of us had awesome lessons yesterday.  It really boosted our confidence.  Going to the temple this morning really helped as well.

    Well Tyler entered the MTC on Wednesday, but I haven't seen him yet.  I'll continue to look for him.  Hopefully, I'll be able to see him before he leaves.  I hope that he's doing well and that he's enjoying his time here, because the MTC is awesome!   I sent the pictures yesterday, so hopefully they'll get there tomorrow maybe.  We're not allowed to email pictures, otherwise I'd do that.  Well, I hope that all is well with everyone.  Have a great week!  Doubt not.  Fear Not.  I love you all!

   Elder Jordan Royal

Jordan with what we think is his entire MTC District  (We have no idea what the guys in front are doing with their hands, except that maybe they have been playing paper football in their spare time and are practicing for a field goal attempt.)

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