Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Friday, October 21, 2011

Onward Mission Soldiers! Spiritual Boot Camp is Awesome.

    Week four, letter three . . . and all’s well.  Jordan has four more weeks in the Mission Training Center in Provo, UT before departing for the Philippines.  He sounds great.  We drove by the MTC this weekend during a visit to Provo and waved to him . . . from across the street.  (Well, we actually waved to the buildings and hoped Jordan could feel the family wave.)  Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy toured the Nevada Las Vegas Mission this week.  Maralea and I had the pleasure of meeting Elder and Sister Jensen, and spending some time with them.  That was really a great experience.  During a fireside in the mission home Wednesday evening, Elder Jensen asked us to relate a personal accomplishment that we have had in life that does not relate to our family (as we would all point to having and raising children).  I noted that I have maintained a journal since age 15 and kept journals for our four children, teaching them to do the same.  So, you can imagine how I felt when I read Jordan’s report of Elder Richard G. Scott’s remarks on that subject in his letter below.  (My favorite part: “Thanks Dad.”)  Last night, Maralea and I joined the entire Nevada Las Vegas Mission at the Temple View Chapel for a large gathering to be taught more by Elder Jensen.  It was a lot of fun being there with all those missionaries, Maralea and I both wearing our missionary name tags (Sister Royal, Elder Royal).  It is a remarkable feeling to be counted among “the Lord’s missionaries to bring the world His truth.”  (Quoting Army of Helaman.)  Elder Jensen taught us about the power of testifying as witnesses of Jesus Christ.  He recounted an experience from his mission in Germany when, as a very young missionary, he was called upon to address a Lutheran congregation when he knew little about the language or the gospel.  To that point in his life, Elder Jensen said he had never before shared his testimony because, in his words, “I felt I did not know.”  But, in the process of his testimony bearing, when he said the words: “I know” in German, he received a personal witness that forever changed his life.  Elder Jensen said: “I don’t know if anyone else in the congregation felt what I felt, but at that moment I knew the truth of what I had been taught, and of what we were teaching.”  So, it is a wonderful thing to testify of Christ, to see Him in all things.  Sorry, I got carried away.  Jordan’s letter is below.  Take it away . . . ELDER ROYAL!
Maralea and Sister Anderegg in the mission home kitchen for our Wednesday evening fireside with Elder Jensen

President and Sister Neider (left), Elder and Sister Jensen (right)

    Kumusta everyone!  Well, this week went by super fast!  I really can't believe how fast it went by!  For Tuesday's MTC Devotional, Elder Richard G. Scott spoke to us.  It was awesome!   It was my first experience hearing an apostle speak since I've been here.  He talked about the importance of keeping a journal and writing down our spiritual experiences and impressions that come to us.  I’m so glad that I've been doing that for years now.  Thanks Dad :).  He also talked about when we get off our missions to immediately search for our eternal companions and marry in the temple.  It did seem like kind of a weird topic to be talking about to new missionaries, but it's true.  He warned that some returned missionaries get lazy and don't get started with their lives and just sit around.  Oh, I saw Elder Ryan Moreno (from Vegas) and two other guys that I met at BYU this summer that just came into the MTC.  Elder Brandt Gessle and Elder Brenden Warner (I have no idea if their last names are spelled correctly.)  Anyway, things here at the MTC have been picking up.  I've been studying like crazy to memorize the First Vision in Tagalog (JSH 1:16-17).  You think memorizing that in English is hard?  Try doing that in a completely different language.  I've really been doing well with it, though.  I've almost got both verses memorized, so we'll see how that goes.  We're supposed to memorize it by Monday.  Oh boy. 

    So, I can’t think of much else that has happened here right now.  I love my district and get along well with everyone.  We've got some pretty awesome teachers, too (Sister Ball and Brother Day).  So, I hear that BYU football is doing a lot better now with Riley Nelson under center.  Good for him.  Hopefully they'll continue their little win streak they've got going on.  Sounds like the Oregon State game was a lot of fun.  I'm super jealous of David and Landon getting to go on the field with those All Access Passes and you guys being on TV.  (Ha.)
Here's what Jordan was talking about - David and Landon with All Access Passes at the BYU/OSU game (the Oregon State Trooper totally has their backs)

Remnants of Royals and Ainges at the BYU/OSU game (miss you Jordan!)

And, of course, we had to include proof of our two seconds of TV fame with :40 left in the BYU/OSU game!
The MTC is a really cool place, though.  This is where I want to be.  I've been writing letters like crazy today, so hopefully everyone gets their letters.  I wrote a letter to you guys and enclosed all the pictures I've taken, but I need a bigger envelope to send them in.  Hopefully I'll get those sent to you as well - soon.  Oh, and I got the package of cookies Mom sent me.  They were pretty good.  Thanks!  We got a new District in our Zone, because the older District left on Monday and Tuesday.  It was sad to see them go, including Elder Calinog.  He's a great missionary with an awesome conversion story.  I wish him the best.

    The language is getting a little better.  We've had to teach at least one lesson a day this week.  We went to TRC yesterday, which is like a place where you teach members and return missionaries.  We don't teach them anything new, we just try to help them come unto Christ.  They're actually really fun, because we get to talk and find out about the people.  They're mostly guys who just returned from the Philippines a couple of months ago who attend BYU.  I'm getting more comfortable in the language in our lessons, which helps me feel the Spirit a lot more.

    Well that's about all I can think of right now.  I hope everyone is doing well.  Mahal Kita!  Pagmamahal (I used that correctly, right Brad?  haha)

    Elder Jordan Royal

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