|Elder Royal's 1st Baptism!|
From left: Bro. Faustino, Nanay Rosa, Elder Declar, Jordan, Nanay Martin, Tatay Servillian, Tatay Martin, Erick Tan
Well, this week was definitely one of the longest of my life. The days went by fast, but the week just dragged on. I figure it will continue to be like this until the language gets better. Usually, during our lessons I just sit there and try to figure out what's being said, or I just look at all the lizards on the walls. We taught a lot of people this week. Some are progressing more than others. Sometimes after a lesson I'll ask Elder Declaro (from Antipolo, by the way) what the investigator’s feelings were after the lesson. Sometimes he says that they're not interested, even though I may think they are. I am getting better at reading people, and now can tell when people are interested or not in our message. We ended on a really good note this week. Our investigators, Nanay Martin and Tatay Servilliano got baptized on Saturday, and I was the one to baptize them. Yeah, funny story about that. Last Saturday, Elder Declaro told me that I was going to be baptizing them. I told him that he shouldn't joke around with me like that, but he was serious. I thought, "Why me? I don't even know these people." As the week passed on, I still did not know anything about them, except that they're spirit and testimonies are very strong. They are truly the nicest people I've met here. For example, most people here kind of dismiss me, even look down on me, because I don’t speak the language very well (yet). However, Nanay Martin and Tatay Servilliano are different. When I speak to them, they look right at me and listen to everything I say. My love for these investigators grew a lot during the long week, and I'm so glad that I was able to baptize them. I wanted the baptismal service to be very special for them, so I decided to learn the baptismal prayer in Tagalog, even though Elder Declaro told me that I could do it in English. I told him it would probably be more meaningful to them if I did the prayer in a language that they understand. So, Nanay Martin was up first. I said the prayer and baptized her, but I had to do it again because I forgot to close in the name of Jesus Christ. The second time was successful. Then, I baptized Tatay Servilliano without any problems. I was also able to help confirm both of them members of the Church yesterday during sacrament meeting. We took pictures before and I'm trying to send them right now, but the computer isn't reading my HSB thing, so I'll try again later.
|Jordan's Christmas package (that he opened too soon)|
I still have a ton of pictures from the MTC that I need to send and a couple of videos. Maybe I'll figure it out today, and if not, I'll do it next week. One of Tatay's neighbors, Erick Tan, came to the baptisms yesterday. He really enjoyed the service and is now excited to be baptized. Tatay Servilliano came with us to help teach him last night. We taught Erick and his family last night the first lesson, and it went really well. I feel that when we talk about Eternal Families and the Plan of Salvation that they will all want to be baptized. I felt that during our lesson, so after I bore my testimony on the lesson we just gave, I also bore my testimony on how grateful I am for God's plan for eternal families. They seemed really touched by that. After our lesson, we asked them when we could come back. They asked if we could come back “every day.” My heart just jumped with excitement. That was awesome to hear. Hopefully, they will be able to come to church on Sunday.
|Elder Declaro was pretty excited about the Christmas box|
I found a new fun thing to do while we're knocking on doors. I got this really awesome umbrella that when you press the bottom, the entire thing shoots up and opens all at once. So after we taught one of our investigators, I pushed the button to some chickens and roosters to scare them, because the roosters are really annoying. It was pretty funny watching them scatter everywhere. Then I thought I would do it to all of the dogs that we see. Dogs are everywhere here, so I had plenty of opportunities. So, a dog walked by us and I pushed the button. The umbrella went shooting out and the dog took off running and yelping away from us. Elder Declaro and I just busted out laughing. I think our walks are going to be more fun now since I discovered that fun little trick.
|Jordan loves the Royal soda in the Philippines|
Question/answer time. Mom, yes, we do have a laundry lady. Her name is Sister Estanoco and her dad is actually Tatay Servilliano. Yes, I can only email you and Dad. Also, yes, Mom, I have been writing down words in the little notebook to help with my vocabulary. And yes, Dad, you can post my email address to my facebook and the blog you are keeping. But, make sure you tell everyone that I can receive emails from anyone but can only write you all directly via email. I like emails, but they can take up a lot of time to read. Real letters are sweet, too (always worth the wait). And yes, I do get emails from other people. I was recently forwarded an email by Elder Bigg's parents about his first week. That was fun to read. I love that guy! Oh, and yes, Dad, I got that huge pile of “Dear Elders” you sent ahead of my arrival to the Philippines. To be honest, I haven’t had time to read them yet.
Okay, now about our Christmas call. We have two options that the mission president has given us:
|Jordan covered in all the "Dear Elder" letters he received in the MTC|
We are allowed to Skype and have access through a member here. But, we only get twenty minutes and then I'm done.
If you call me, then we are allowed to talk much longer. So, if you think you would rather talk longer as opposed to seeing me while talking, then the phone would be best. President Martino has asked that you call me, so that money and minutes aren't wasted from our phones. So, you will need to get a phone card. I'll be making a set up call that will only be about FIVE MINUTES MAXIMUM a few days before Christmas. I don't have a ton of information on this yet, but I will definitely send you more information next week. Also, you'll probably call me on the 26th here, so that's probably like Christmas afternoon your time. Just so you don't have to worry about waking up at 4:00 am to talk to me (haha).
Well I think that's about it for me. I hope all of you have a great week and hopefully this week will go by a little faster for me (haha). I have a feeling that we're going to accomplish great things this week.
Mahal ko kayo
Elder Jordan Royal
Below are some additional photos we received from Jordan.
|Jordan's MTC District a week before their departure|
|Jordan sporting Aunt Allison's tie!|
|Elders Royal Harrison and Kemmy|
|Jordan with (from left) Elders Palmer Biggs, Harrison at the Manila Airport|
|Volcano in Pampanga, Philippines|
|Jeepni in Manila|