Jordan is now less than three weeks away from the Philippines. He will spend Thanksgiving in the MTC. Since we’ll be in Provo, it’s like we get to spend Thanksgiving with him . . . in spirit. Jordan seems to have been somewhat concerned with reaching the point of appearing older and wiser to new MTC arrivals. He has apparently used that as a means of measuring his progress. This got me singing from Sound of Music (with some revised words, of course, from the perspective of the newly arriving MTC missionaries):
We need someone older and wiser,
Telling us what to do.
You are six weeks going on seven weeks,
We all look up to you.
We feel gratitude to our wonderful veterans this day, including our faithful fathers. We also recognize veterans who have served in the Lord’s army of faith. Have a great weekend (and . . . Go Cougs - beat the Aggies tonight (basketball) and the Vandals tomorrow (football)).
This week seems to have gone by pretty fast. Actually, I don't know, I'm still trying to decide if it went by fast or not (haha). Anyway, we had a good devotional from Elder Eduardo Gavarret of the Seventy (I think that's his name). He talked about the story of Christ instructing Peter and those with him where to put their nets when fishing in the Sea of Galilee and then, after doing as instructed by Christ, their nets were amazingly filled to the brim with fish. (Awesome account in Luke 5.) Elder Gavarret told us that we need to "Launch our nets into the deep." I didn't really understand what that meant until later as we were bearing our testimonies as a District. I came to understand it as being able to leave the shore and everything else behind to go out into the deep and dangerous waters to catch the fish and bring them back to shore to the Savior. The Savior told Peter where to go and cast his net. Peter did as the Savior commanded, and he was very successful. So, that's what the Savior has done for me and all of the other missionaries in the world. He tells us where to cast our nets, and then we launch our nets into the deep to bring in many fishes or souls. I would not be a successful fisherman if choose to keep my boat at the dock and fish from the shore. As missionaries, we are called upon to leave the comfort and safety of the shore. The bigger fish are in the deeper waters, and there we must go to make the great catch. So, that was my spiritual upliftment for the week. (Just kidding - there's more.)
Elder Brown and I taught our "investigator" this week, and we asked her to be baptized. We just taught about the Atonement in the Plan of Salvation Lesson in Chapter 3. I thought this would be a good time to ask her to be baptized. I told her that she didn't have to decide right then, but I challenged her to pray about it right then and there (to ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true and if all our other messages are true). The next lesson we had with her, we asked her if she had a testimony of the Book of Mormon and everything else. She claimed that she didn't know what a testimony was, so we committed her to read Alma 32 (the chapter on faith and testimony). Anyway, we'll see how that goes. I won’t say that getting dropped a week ago was a blessing, because it's never good to lose an investigator; however, since then, Elder Brown and I have been doing great with our lessons. We're getting more and more serious with them and they usually turn out very well. All of the missionaries started teaching each other last week as investigators. Sometimes those turn out as well as the other lessons, but it is definitely good practice. We are called upon to play the role of investigators also. We were instructed to think of someone that we knew and pretend to be them. It's been a pretty good experience so far.
I saw Tyler a couple of times this week. It's usually after dinner that I see him. We never have our cameras when we see each other, though. (I'm sorry Aunt Kim!) He's doing great though, and I can tell that he's changed a lot in these last couple of weeks. He leaves on Monday, which I'm super jealous about. Our roommates, four Spanish speaking missionaries called to serve in Pittsburgh and Texas, are leaving on Monday as well. It is hard not to be a little jealous when I see other missionaries leaving. : /. Only 17 days left and counting! I cannot wait for the 28th (my departure date). Woo! Well, I'm trying to think of what else has happened this week, but my mind is suddenly blank. I love my District, and I'll be pretty sad when we leave each other in the Philippines. Five of us will be serving in the Angeles Mission, so that's pretty cool. We had 20 new missionaries come into our zone this week, so the classroom building is pretty crowded now. There are at least 40 new missionaries that are going to the Philippines that arrived on Wednesday. I just had to asked some of the new missionaries if we seemed much older and wiser than them (which was my immediate impression when I entered the MTC). They all said that, yes, we do appear older and wiser. So, that made us feel pretty good, old, and wiser, because we never thought we would reach that status.
|Jordan - one week pre-MTC . . . wise, only . . . less wise|
|Jordan with Elder Brown 4 wks later: Definitely Wiser!|
The language is coming along a lot better than it did a few weeks ago. I'm still not that great at it, but it'll come. Happy 11/11/11! Pretty awesome that I'm in the MTC for that day (haha). Well I hope that everyone has a good day and week. Pinatototohanan ko na totoo ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo. Nagpapasalmat po ako para sa pamilya ko. Miss you all! Mahal ko tayo!
Elder Jordan Royal
P.S. Dad: Elder Harrison said that his Mom checked out my Facebook, blog, etc., and I was just wondering if you could check my Facebook and accept any friend requests, as some people have written and said they want to get my blog. That would be great. I love your letters and all of your updates. And thank you Mom and Dad for the package (the one I haven’t received yet but you said is in the mail). I’m excited to get it! :) (Missionaries love letters and packages tons.) Good luck with work and your callings as missionaries! It’s awesome that we actually get to serve as missionaries together.