Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Week of Successes

Jordan - close up and personal
            Don't let the subject title confuse you.  It wasn't really the week of success.  It was the week of great success!  We committed FIVE of our investigators to baptism this week and have set goal dates for all of them.  Hopefully, they are successful, because this is pretty exciting.  Three of them are from the Rescue Program here in the Philippines (Jarom and Jonas Sta. Maria, Erick Padre).  The Sta. Maria kids are such smart kids.  Jarom was a former investigator about three years ago and was ready for baptism, but then the missionaries didn't follow up with the date.  They really know their stuff.  It's like we don't even have to teach them (haha, but we do, that's the rule).  We've really been trying to get their parents to come to church as well, because they're sealed in the temple, but have been less active for a couple of years.  After many assurances from the parents that they would come to church, only Sister Sta. Maria came with her children, which is a big improvement from last week since these kids went by themselves.  We'll have to follow up with Brother Sta. Maria and asked what happened.  We're trying really hard not to baptize little children without a strong support system from their parents.  The reason why we have so many less actives in the Philippines, and especially here in the Angeles Mission, is that missionaries baptize little children with no support from their parents, so they never make it back to church.  The missionaries usually know their situation before baptism, but baptize them anyway, which just isn't what missionary work is about. 
Jordan . . . outstanding in his field
            Anyway, we met a woman this week, Rose Marie, and she's just great.  She's a referral from Nanay Rosa (syempre, de ba?).  Almost all of our investigators are from her.  That's what you call a great fellowshipper.  While she and Elder Declaro were talking, and I couldn't understand, they talked about what we were going to teach her.  When we got there, I noticed that she had a shrine for her husband on a table in the corner of the room.  This is a very common thing here when someone dies and it gives missionaries a clue of what to teach first: The Plan of Salvation.  I was about to lean over and tell Elder Declaro that we need to teach Lesson 2, which is the Plan of Salvation, but as I was about to tell him, he already had the Lesson 2 pamphlet in his hand.  So I took a guess that's what they were talking about on the way over there.  We taught her twice this week, and she just loves what we're teaching so far.  She even came to church yesterday with a copy of the Book of Mormon we gave her.  She even stayed for Sunday School.  It's a miracle that we received that referral, which, by the way, is the most effective way in finding new investigators (future missionaries, take note). 
Elder Frearson from New Zealand . . . is awesome

            Yesterday was all about Rescue.  We didn't teach any investigators yesterday.  Instead, the Branch Presidency, the District President, and some of the members took us to some less active families that we haven't met yet.  It was awesome seeing the members doing the teaching and bearing their testimonies.  The Rescue Program has really sparked interest in the Kalikid.  Our less active members are coming back to church and we're continuing to invite other less actives to come back to church. 

            I went on another exchange with the Zone Leaders in Palayan.  This time, I was with Elder Manalo.  He's a fun guy to be around.  I'm glad I was able to be with him.  We taught the same investigators that I taught with Elder McCormack last Sunday, and they all remembered me.  You know why?  Besides the fact that I'm tall and white, they love my blue eyes.  All of the Filipinos here seem to be crazy about blue eyes, and especially the members in Palayan.  At a certain member’s home in Palayan, they're pretty much all girls from ages 12-17.  It was really hard to teach them, because they kept staring at me and interrupting us and trying to make up some stupid pick up lines.  I think they're more converted to the missionaries, but Elder Manalo kept telling me that they have strong testimonies.  I wasn't really buying it.  Oh well.  If any of you are going to the Philippines and you have blonde hair, are tall, and have blue eyes, just be ready.  (Take note Miles Kehler and Seth Bohman.  Congrats by the way, man!  I know you'll love it here.  I had a Sister in my district from the MTC that is in your mission right now, and also some other cool Elders that I met at the MTC.  The Philippines is definitely the place to be.  And Brennen Marshal, you go in the MTC very soon don't ya?  You'll love it there.)
On the bus to the bowling alley on P-Day

Zoning out!  Love getting together with the zone for activities
            Last Monday, after I emailed, our zone went to a bowling alley in my area.  We went with Sister Adonis and others from the Branch.  The bowling ally was actually a lot nicer looking than I thought it would be.  You know how they have bumpers and stuff for little kids?  Well here, they have three lanes that are miniature EVERYTHING!  The bowling balls are like the size of shot puts for Track and Field and the pins were about half the size of regular pins.  I thought it was the coolest thing.  It probably would've been harder, but that would've been really fun to play on those lanes.  Elder Bradshaw and Elder Manalo challenged me and Elder Frearson to a game.  Only two people were allowed in one lane, but the scores were added from the two people, so you could challenge the lane next to you.  I didn't do as well as I have usually done in my prime (like I ever had a prime in bowling, haha), but we still beat them in two games.  The losers had to buy the winners ice cream (which they haven't done yet).  I'm just going to keep bugging them about that until it actually happens (haha).  Elder Bradshaw is actually really good.  He's bowled since he was 12.  He knows how to spin the ball and stuff, but it wasn't good enough to beat us.  Today for P-Day, we went to some place in our area with Sister Adonis and everyone else that was with us last week.  We went on top of his mountain and a great view of pretty much everything. 
Bowling Day
                         Thursday morning during our exchange in Palayan, Elder Declaro and Elder McCormack came from Kalikid to meet up with us to do our service project at a local less active family in Palayan.  The family has a roofing business.  They take long grass (I forgot what it's called) and there's some wrapping involved and stuff, and that's how they make their roofs.  They call them KidKids.  It was pretty hard to get good at it at first.  I was tutored very patiently on how to do it by one of the members in the family.  Of course, they had to tutor and help me, because an American has probably never made a Kidkid before.  I was able to get good at it and it actually turned out to be pretty fun. 

At the Adonis home after bowling
            So this week I've been having random fantasies about volleyball this week.  I thought about that a lot everywhere we went.  On our way to an investigator's house, I'm just completely zoned out.  I just keep thinking about the good times that I had playing volleyball.  I seriously miss it - a lot.  Like a whole lot.  Speaking of volleyball, I read from Dad that Jahren from Coronado got his mission call to Georgia and that Byrin Romney got his mission call to England.  Seriously that's awesome!  There are so many missionaries that are getting their calls now.  It's awesome!  This work is probably the best thing you could be doing right now.  Well, I think that's about it for me.  Tapos na.  Sana Makakaroon kayong maganda ng linggo!  Mahal ko kayo!

            Elder Jordan "Bowling Champ" Royal

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