Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Goodbye MTC . . . Next Stop: Angeles City, Philippines

    We received Jordan’s last EVER letter as a missionary in the Provo MTC this morning.  He departs for the Philippines Monday evening.  (At least we think it’s Monday evening - based on a prior email.  He did not identify am/pm when he said what time he would be calling us from the airport on Monday.  Hopefully, it is in the evening.)  It is wonderful to feel Jordan’s enthusiasm and excitement.  His description of how he spent his first Thanksgiving Day away from home was pretty awesome and presents a great formula for us all: 1) Inspirational words of devotion; 2) service; 3) traditional meal; 4) more inspirational words of devotional.  Jordan has grown a great deal since entering the MTC.  We look forward to receiving his first email from the Philippines sometime next week (sooner the better).  We hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend.  We are going to see the lights at Temple Square this evening.  Mike
(From Elder Royal)

Jordan and members of his MTC district at the Provo Temple
    Hey everyone!  Sorry that I'm writing my email so early.  We had Infield Orientation all day yesterday, so that's why I didn't have P-Day.  We have to do all of our laundry for the last time ever in the MTC early the morning (sniff).  My last week of the MTC was pretty sweet.  For Tuesday Devotional we had the privilege of hearing from Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Twelve Apostles.  I was in the MTC choir with Elders Brown, Tauiliili, and Merril.  We sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."  We got to sing my favorite hymn and listen to an Apostle of Jesus Christ at my last MTC devotional.  Pretty amazing.  Elder Chistofferson gave an awesome talk about how we should yield our hearts to God and doing His will before our own.  I just love when Apostles walk in, because all of the missionaries stand up in quiet reverence and the Spirit just surges into the room.  I love and admire how humble Apostles are.  They always talk about their weaknesses and tell us what they need to improve on.  His entire talk was about what he wished he did better on his mission and what he would do differently.  It was just a super powerful talk.  I loved it!

    Wednesday was pretty sad.  We had our last lesson with one of our teachers, Sister Ball.  We took pictures with both of our teachers after class.  I learned a lot from Sister Ball.  She has a really strong testimony and was definitely inspirational to me.  We still have one more lesson for Brother Day before we leave on Monday.  That will be pretty sad, too.  Brother Day has been a great teacher as well.  We've had great experiences with both of them that I hope I will never forget. 

    Thanksgiving Day was a lot better than I thought it was going to be.  We had a Thanksgiving Devotional in the morning where we heard from Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Twelve Apostles.  We lined up two hours early and were the first ones at the door.  We had great seats.  I was probably about twenty feet away from him.  The Spirit was definitely strong (of course).  Sister Ycmat from our district was chosen out of the whole MTC to be the first speaker in the Devotional.  She talked about the “tender mercies” of the Lord and the importance of making sure we thank God for the daily blessings that we receive.  Elder Nelson also talked about giving praise to God and providing service to people.  It was awesome being able to hear from two Apostles in one week!  After the devotional, we had our last Thanksgiving meal for the next 22 months.  It was a lot better than I expected.  We had all of Thanksgiving essentials: turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and pumpkin pie.  It was pretty awesome.  Later that night, we did a service project in the lunch room.  They had to split the MTC in two sections, because they can't fit all of the missionaries in the same room doing the same thing.  We made a bunch of humanitarian first-aid kits.  (I think they're going to Somalia????  Maybe.  I forgot.  It was somewhere in Africa.)  Our zone was in charge of forming a giant assembly line and passing down all of the finished boxes to the other end.  They played like rocked out Primary songs over the speakers.  So that was my first experience with music with drums and guitar for a long time.  We were dancing and throwing the boxes to each other.  It was pretty awesome.  We then watched the movie, "17 Miracles."  It was the first time that I had seen that movie.  It was an amazing experience.  It follows the Willie Handcart Company from England to their trek across the plains in handcarts.  It was a pretty emotional movie.  I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet.  It was pretty much the greatest Thanksgiving that I've ever had away from my family (since this is the first one).  I heard an Apostle, ate a huge dinner, did service, and watched a great movie.

Jordan and his district at the Provo Temple, looking west toward the MTC (they're really in there somewhere)
    So tomorrow will be my last Sunday here in the MTC.  Oh yeah, Dad, you were wondering what we do on Sundays.  Well when we wake up, we go to our classroom for personal study, breakfast, personal study again, Priesthood meeting, District Meeting (Sunday School), lunch, Sacrament Meeting, Temple Walk, dinner, and fireside.  (They are still pretty busy.)  I'm really excited/nervous to leave for the Philippines in just two more days!  I will probably call home at about 9:00 from the LA Airport, so just a heads up.  I will send the rest of my pictures home today.  They're like a month old.  The camera Mom sent me works just fine, so thanks :). 

    Oh, and thank you Grandma Royal for the package! :)  I will be sure to use it in my apartment next week.  Well, I think that's about it.  I love all of you and pray for you always and appreciate your letters and love.  This is Elder Royal's last email until an unknown P-Day arrives in the Philippines.  Good luck.  I guess I can bare my testimony one last time in Tagalog for you all.  I'm sorry for any incorrect spelling.  I can't really spell in Tagalog yet.

   Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa aking pamilya.  Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa Ama sa Langit at Inyong Anak, na si Jesucirsto at para sa Pagbayad-Sala niya.  Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa Ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo.  Pinatotohannan ko na ang pag-ibig ng Ama sa Langit ay tunay.  Mahal ko Ang Aklat ni Mormon.  Sinasabi ko po ito, sa pangalan ni Jesucristo, Amen.

    [I'm grateful for my family. I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ and his atonement. I'm grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that the love of Heavenly Father is real. I love the Book of Mormon and say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.]

    I know there's some possible errors with that.  You may not know it's wrong, but others who know the language (like Brad) certainly will.  (haha).  So, that's pretty much it.  The Church is true and is the greatest blessing that I have.

    Love, Elder Jordan Royal

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