Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Mission Birthday

            Man!  I can't believe that it's already been over a year since I entered the MTC!  On this day a year ago, I was with my awesome MTC district watching General Conference for our first weekend in the mission.  I can remember that day very vividly.  I also the day that I entered the MTC.  I can't believe it's been a year since then.  SOOOOOO much has happened in my life this past year.  Not only for me, but for you guys, too!  I'm excited to see what will happen to us this year.  Yeah!
Jordan with Elder Batingal, and the bishop and his wife
            Well, a lot has happened this week.  We taught tons of lessons this week (over 40 again), but it felt like nothing was really coming out of them, because only one investigator attended church and the attendance at church seems to be decreasing each week.  A lot of people we teach, investigator or less active, are waiting for the chapel to be finished before returning to church, they want the bishopbric to change, the ward to split, or provide some other excuse.  It's hard to hear those kind of things.  The members don't know that the Church organization is/and will always be true and perfect, but the members aren't.  Come on.  We're all human aren't we?  I sometimes wonder what it be like if a church member offended me (accidently or on purpose), would I forgive them and go back to church?  I would hope so.  We only hurt ourselves when we take offense and hold onto negative feelings. 

            Anyway, as I said earlier, I thought that we didn't really accomplish anything, because of the outcome of the week.  However, on Sunday afternoon, we went and taught one of our part-member investigators, Mak-Mak.  He's living with his extremely rich cousins, the Cortados, who are very active in the Church.  Their daughter is actually serving right now in the Philippines Angeles Mission.  Guess which Zone she's in - the Tarlac Zone.  She's only about an hour drive away from home.  I don't know how all that worked, but it's what the Lord wants.  Her mom is always asking us how she's doing and stuff and giving us letters to give to her.  She goes home in January, so that's not too long.  Anyway, Mak-Mak is 18, and he's super awesome.  He's been taught by the missionaries for some time and been coming to church, so it's like he's already a member.  Well, we taught an awesome about the feelings of the Holy Ghost.  Many people do not understand how the Spirit works, so after we explained him the feelings of the Spirit and used Moroni 7 to teach hime about how to know if something is of God.  Mak-Mak has been feeling the Spirit for awhile, but he really didn't know what he was feeling until we taught him that lesson.  We then invited him to be baptized on October 20.  He gladly accepted and is excited. 
Jordan with Elder Batingal and Randy
             Other than Mak-Mak, we don't have any other investigators as far along as him.  However, we have others that are progressing.  Like 22 year-old Mark.  He received a witness that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true, but he's not coming to church.  We'll probably have to teach him about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  He's got a lot of potential, though.  We also talked with a lot of people on the street this week.  When we would go back for a return appointment with them, most of them just run and hide in their house.  I don't understand why people don't just come out and plainly tell us that they're not interested.  That would make life easier for everyone.  We respect all religions.  We only invite people to come unto Christ and add to their knowledge about Him.  We did have a pretty funny experience with this yesterday.  We went to teach this old Tatay, who'd been really nice to us during past lessons, but he hid when we came to his house.  When we left, we came back about a half hour later and saw him in the bukid.  We decided to see if we could catch up with him.  He was pretty far, we kept getting closer and closer to him.  We really weren't walking that fast, but as we closed in on him, he began walking faster, and did not look back.  When he got to the highway, we saw him practically running.  By the time we arrived at the highway, he was gone.  (Haha.  O Tatay.)

            Elder Batingal and I are having fun together.  He goes home at the end of the month.  We like to joke with each other and quote funny quotes from the Tagalog version of, "The Restoration" video.  "Joesph, matagal na hindi ka nagsisimba" (You haven't been coming to church Joseph).  "Ganoon ba?  Huwag kang maging palawo iho"  (I see.  Be aware of pride boy.).  It's only funny because the way he says it (haha). 

Jordan, doing some sole searching
            Well, I thought I wasn't going to tell you this, but I'm pretty much out of stories, so I guess I'll tell you.  So for the first time in my life, I got a really painful boil on my chin.  Like, it was numbing my chin and it hurt to talk.  I always shower and have no idea how I got it.  Anyway, that was when I first got here.  Then on Monday, it got to point where I could get rid of it.  I'll just tell you that it consisted of a hot towel, a needle, and some anti-bac ointment.  So that one's gone.  Then a few days later, I got another one, but in a more painful spot: ride smack dab in the middle of my left armpit.  Boy, it hurts a lot more than the one on my face.  I think that the bacteria is still in my body and traveled to a different spot.  I'm taking antibiotics, so it should be gone this week.  Hopefully by tomorrow, because it really hurts to move my arm.  I don't think I've ever been through so much pain like that before until now.  Wow.  I'm not telling you this to worry you, (trust me, I'm totally fine), but to inform you about what's going on in my life.  (Job’s entire body was covered by boils.  Wow, I can’t begin to imagine how terrible that would be.)
Not a sole survives

            I think that'll do it for this week.  We have ZL/DL Conference this week on Wednesday, so I'll hopefully get some mail (including Mom's package for me).  I hope that everyone is going well over there.  I can't believe that General Conference is already this weekend!  I watched that for my first Sunday in Mamonit.  Time flies.  Well.  I can't wait to see you guys in another year, but I won't let that hurt the work.  I will keep working with all my heart, might, mind and strength, with an eye single to the glory of God!  Alright.  Peace!  Mahal ko kayo.

            Elder Jordan "1 Year Missionary" Royal

Monday, September 24, 2012

Greetings From . . . . . . . . .

            Victoria, Tarlac Zone!  That’s my new area.  Yes, I got transferred this week after being in Mamonit for over six months.  I'll miss the members and our recent converts, but I was really excited about my new assignment.  My new companion is Elder Batingal.  This is his last transfer, so he'll be the second companion that I've sent home.  Elder Batingal is an incredible worker, humble, and charitable.  I was pleasantly surprised.  He's really sprinting to the end of his mission.  That's the missionary I hope to be at the end of the my mission.  But, before I get into more details about my area, I think I'll go back to my last week in Mamonit.
Jordan with Jayson, Bessie, Rofina and Lolita in Mamonit a few days before his transfer
            Every companionship changed in the Sta. Ignacia Stake this transfer, except for Elders Retaga and Witt.  Elder Retaga will be sending Elder Witt home this transfer.  That is the fourth time Elder Retaga has served with a missionary in his last transfer before going home.  Before our transfer announcements, we went to the Zone Leader's house to play basketball at 6:00 am at the stake center with our new zone jerseys we bought a couple of weeks ago.  They're so sick!  I forgot to bring my camera today, so I won't be sending pictures.  Sorry. 

            So, now I'm here in Victoria, Tarlac.  I'm still DL, or Relief Society President now, because I'm the DL of two sister companionships.  The cool news is that Sister Sharp, from my MTC group,  is in my district.  Elder Palmer, also from my MTC group, is the new ZL in Angeles City, so that's pretty cool.  I'll see him when we have ZL/DLC (Zone Leader/District Leader Council) with President Martino in a couple of weeks, so I'm looking forward to that. 

            Working with Elder Batingal was really fun this week.  We taught so many lessons, even though we've only been together for about four days.  The work in Victoria is incredible.  This last week, we taught a total of 41 lessons.  Victoria's really big.  It's half city/half bukid.  After being in nothing but bukids for over six months, I actually enjoy them.  The only bad thing about Victoria is that it gets so hot here!  I miss being in the mountains where it was cooler.  There's still some who speak Ilocano here, but it's mostly Tagalog.  Obviously, I am conversant in Tagalog, and prefer it, but I did learn a little bit of Ilocano during my six months in Mamonit, and it's been pretty useful so far.  You know, questions like: "What's your name?""Yes/no", “Good morning/afternoon/evening," "My name is Elder Royal.  You?""Just a little bit""water""Do you have any questions? Additions?  Answers?"  That's about it.  It's fun to use,though.  For the first time on my mission, some little kids asked me what my name was . . . not in English!  They asked me in Ilocano thinking that I wouldn't understand them, but as soon as I answered correctly, they esteemed me as the coolest Joe they had ever seen (haha). 
Jordan with his district in Mamonit on their last Preparation Day adventure before his transfer
             Elder Batingal and I have a good time together.  We get a long very well, so I'm looking forward to this transfer.  We have a lot of progressing investigators, most from part-member families.  Investigators from part-member families are great to teach, because they already have a support system.  The members here are pretty cool, except there's some kind of division within the ward because of some personalities (nothing that can’t be fixed).  The chapel's been going through renovations since April, so we're renting a meeting house until that’s completed.  They say we should be able to go back there by November, so I'll definitely be there for that.  The temporary meeting house isn't the greatest thing in the world, but it's alright.  I'm trying to get to know all of the members and the people in this area, and it's been coming along.  The area is huge, with a bunch of cross streets and neighborhoods, so I probably won't be able to memorize it right away.  It's getting a little familiar, but I probably wouldn't be able to find my way back home if we were to go on splits right now.  I don't have a pillow at the house, so I had to improvise.  Well, okay, I do have a pillow but it's like six inches long and 1/4 inch thick, so it's not really efficient (and technically cannot count as a pillow).  I took some of my clothes and put them inside my pillow case, so that's been working for me so far, but I'm definitely taking Elder Batingal's pillow when he goes home. 
Jordan here with Ruben Rechelle Dave and Reden et al, a few days before his transfer from Mamonit
            Well, I’m sorry that BYU is struggling right now.  But seriously, a two-point conversion instead of playing for OT against BSU last week?!  Oh well, BYU seems to always start the season with a 2-2 record, so at least we are there.  I'm glad that you're alright over there.  I really want to vote, so please get me an absentee ballot as soon as you can.  And Dad, the ZL’s have the letters you and I wrote to deliver to the woman who found my cards and returned them, but have not yet identified the member who received the cards from her.  I’ll let you know if that happens.

            Mahal ko pa kayo.  Ingat.

            Elder Jordan "Victory-a" Royal

Monday, September 17, 2012

Elder Dela Paz IS TRAINED!

            Before I forget again.  I need to tell you that President Martino says that we can vote in the upcoming election!!   How cool is that!?  I don't know how to do the whole absentee ballet thing, but I'm just excited that I'll be able to vote.  Go America!  Anyway....

            Sorry, it is taking me so long to email you guys right now.  We went back to the Camaling River to take pictures and had an awesome lunch that we just cooked right then and there.  I was last there six months ago.  It was a lot cooler this time because the river is now full (from the rainy season), so the irrigation system made like a cool rapid-waterfall thing.  The water's green now, too, but it still looked pretty sweet.
Jordan (right) with (from left) Elders Witt, Dela Paz and Retaga - eating fish at the edge of the Calaming River
Jordan at the Calaming River six months after his first visit
            Well, it sounds like you all had a pretty rough week over there, too.  I guess we're in the same boat then.  Not only am I sobrang galit at BYU for losing to Utah (blah), our work wasn't really that great either.  We were pretty much punted everywhere that we went to this week.  Which was sad seeing that it was probably my last full week here in Mamonit.  We did not teach that many investigators because they are all in the bukids working the harvest.  We were able to teach Tatay Ruben again, though.  We met him a couple of weeks ago and weren't able to teach him since.  He's an inactive Jehovah's Witness, so that's the knowledge that he grew up with.  Once we explained to him that Jesus is actually Jehovah from the Old Testament and taught that doctrine from the Old Testament, he accepted it right away, saying: "Yeah that makes sense."  Awesome!  I guess we'll keep teaching then.  I think that was about the highlight lesson of the week with an investigator.  Our recent converts are doing great, so I don't really have any worries about them (Jerome, Ruben & Rechelle, and Bessie).  It was pretty sad teaching Bessie for my last time yesterday.  I'm definitely going to miss the Spirit that I felt while teaching her.  She's had such an incredible change of heart.  She loves the Gospel.  Bessie sent us a text earlier today thanking us for teaching her.  We went over yesterday to Brother Jayson Coliado's house (boyfriend) and taught her the importance of eternal marriage.  It was really funny, especially since they're most likely going to be married.  Jayson was like: "When you find your awesome future worthy-Priesthood holder husband, it'll be awesome for you guys to be married in the temple."   We were all laughing when he said that (haha).  If they do get married in the temple, they'll have to wait until September 1, 2013 when Bessie's been a member for a year.  Maybe I'll be able to attend the sealing!  (haha)  That would be so awesome!  We taught Ruben and Rechelle the same thing.  It wasn't as sad, because I'll probably see them one more time before I leave.  They're also progressing well.  Jerome attended Mutual for the first time on Wednesday.  We've been encouraging him to go to Mutual even before he was baptized.  He never went, because he is pretty shy, but he said he had fun there, so hopefully that'll be a weekly thing now.
Jordan and Elder Dela Paz with Ruben, Rechelle and their mom (with others he did not identify . . . sorry)
             I can't believe that the transfer is over this week!  We're going to Sta. Ignacia this Wednesday for Transfer Announcements.  There's probably going to be a lot of changes in the zone.  Every companionship could change by this week.  I've enjoyed my six months in Mamonit.  Well maybe not the first three months, but it definitely got better.  It'll be sad to leave, but I'm kind of excited for a change.  Elder Dela Paz will be able to take control of the area.  He's awesome.  He'll do just fine.  I had a good time training him.  So perhaps I'll be writing you guys from a new area next week.  I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness to the earth.  I am grateful to be one of those blessed enough to take that message to the world.  It is a great joy serving in the Philippines.  I love being known as "Elder Royal."  Mahal ko kayo talaga.  Namimiss ko kayo.  Ingat.  Be safe.  Peace.

Elder Jordan "Former Trainer" Royal

Go Lights!  District 3 - last Prep Day together  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Temple Ready!

Generational Picture: Jordan here with his trainer (or "father") to the left (Elder Declaro), and his trainee (or "son") to the right (Elder Dela Paz).  So, in missionary terms, Elder Declaro is a grandfather, Jordan a father, and Elder Dela Paz a son.  Just some fun ways missionaries identify with each other and connect the mission dots.
            Well, sorry that I'm writing pretty late this morning.  You're right, I am late writing because we played basketball this morning.  It’s always fun, but I did terrible today.  (Darn.)  We're still working on getting zone jerseys, so that should be sweet.  Yes, I received my box this week.  Thank you!  I got it after zone conference.  Too bad, because that miniature Preach My Gospel would've been really helpful.  Oh well, I'm glad I have it now.  I can use it for interviews and zone conferences without bringing the usual giant one.  It gets annoying fast to carry it along with my scriptures. But now, my burden is light!  Woo!  And yes, I did receive the ATM card.  But no, I haven't tried the number yet.  I always forget the number, anyway.  Oh well, I have it saved somewhere so I'll look at it later.
Jordan with 09.05.12 Elders Saldino, Garcia and Dela Paz

            Work was a little difficult this week.  The rain has stopped, so it's harvest season again, which means that NO ONE is EVER in their homes, because they're all in the bukids planting that good 'ol rice.  And when they get home, it's straight to the liquor.  (I’m speaking generally, of course.)  I was worried when we went to Michael Razalan's house, because his older brother, his father, and their friends were drinking in front of their house.  Michael is a less active member who just returned yesterday (woo!), and his family is all less active except for his other brother and mother.  So, I thought Michael was drinking with him.  But, I was relieved when I saw him inside the house with his mom watching TV.  Awesome.  We've really made progress with him.  His life has changed so much since we started teaching him.  There are some rumors that Michael drinks, but we're not going to force him to tell us.  We've gained a lot trust with him, so if he has been drinking, I think he'll honestly let us know.  We also had another less active return yesterday, Nanay Juan.  I met her on my first day in the area six months ago, and she hadn't made any progress at all.  I was starting to think that we were wasting our time teaching her family, because she would always get mad at her son during our lesson.  Also, she was depressed, stressed, and always complained of being tired.  Over the past several weeks, we just decided to visit them, without teaching - but just to say helld and see if they needed any service.  When we would visit them, we would just invite her and her family to church and promised that Heavenly Father would help her situation.  Four weeks ago, Nanay Juan attended church for the first time in years.  Once she started coming back to church again, she slowly began changing her attitude.  Now, she's happy, joking, and giving, even though they are extremely poor.  We promised that her life would change if she returned to church, and look what happened!  There are other less actives who aren't nearly as poor as Nanay Juan, yet they refused to come back to church for various reasons - usually because they were offended and cannot forgive and get back on track.  All they have to do is apply just a LITTLE bit of faith, and the Lord will do the rest (Alma 32).  For some people, that's the hardest thing to do.  When the Lord sent poisonous serpents to bite the Children of Israel for their wickedness, the cure He gave them was to look upon a brass serpent raised in the air by Moses (which represented Jesus Christ).  All they had to do was look and live.  And that was the lesson not only for the Children of Israel, but for us all.  It is as easy to cure ourselves of the effects of evil as it was for the Children of Israel to be cured of a poisonous snake bite.  If we desire to truly live, all we have to do is look to Christ.  God does not give us commandments that we are not capable of doing ourselves (1 Nephi 3:7).  He even helps us with the easy things.  I'm baffled sometimes with our less actives.  Some of them are just like the Children of Israel who wouldn't look, because it was too easy - they had no faith.  They expected bigger, harder or more spectacular things (money, bigger house, members to personally come up to them and apologize without going to them, etc.).  So sad.  Happiness for us all is a mere look away . . . so long as we are focused on Jesus Christ.  He is, always has been, and will always be the answer.
Jordan with Elder Tuitema, who is also from Las Vegas

            We had a really good zone conference this week.  Our theme was how to become a “visionary man.”  President Martino used the story of Lehi from First Nephi, noting that the term “visionary man” is used mockingly.  Lehi acknowledges that he was, in fact, a “visionary man” because without that blessing, he and his family would have perished in Jerusalem (1 Nephi 5:2). President used examples of “visionary men” in the scriptures and also from modern times.  He defined a “visionary man” as "a person who is spiritually determined to accomplish an objective."  I think that's a pretty good definition.  He used a quote by Henry Ford that I really liked: "If you think you can't, you are right."  I also like a quote from Thomas Edison: "I didn't think 1000 times in making the light bulb.  I just discovered 999 ways NOT to make a light bulb.”   Inspirational, right?  Zone Conference was awesome (as always).  We saw Edel Pal there, who is serving as a part-time missionary in the Tarlac Zone.  Edel is from our area and will be leaving to serve in the Philippines Naga Mission on October 13.  His family will have three full-time missionaries serving at once!  They're son just turned in his papers a couple of weeks ago, but hasn't received his call yet.  Speaking of my area, this will likely be my last full week serving in the Mamonit area.  Transfer Day is on the 20th

            So Bessie, Rechelle, and Ruben all attended the temple to do baptisms with the ward on Saturday!  Awesome!  I can't believe the growth that I've seen in all three of them - especially Bessie, who once said that she would never join the Church.  I'm really glad she did.  They all enjoyed the temple very much.  While visiting Ruben and Rechelle one night, we met their grandmother.  She just turned 80.  Her husband died back in the 70's, so she's been alone for a while.  Her only child also died.  She's not from our area.  She's incredibly poor and has to sell her clothes to get enough money to buy sacks of rice for herself.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation, because she really wanted to know how to be with her family again.  She was really accepting and wants to know more.  We referred her immediately to the Elders in her area, so hopefully they'll start teaching her this week.  I definitely imagined her in the temple being sealed to her family for eternity.  Awesome stuff.  I really love this work!  Sharing the gospel light with others is the most satisfying, rewarding, joyful work in the world.

            Well, I think that's it for this week.  If I'm forgetting anything, sorry.  Mahal ko kayo lahat!  Ingat!  I hope that you guys are safe!

            Elder Jordan "18 days until I’m out a year" Royal

Monday, September 3, 2012

Boom Goes the Spiritual Dynamite!!!

            Hey Everyone!  I don’t know if you realize this, but it's September already.  Yeah.  As in, I'm hitting my one year mark this month!  It doesn't feel like it has been nearly a year.  I still feel like the new wide eyed missionary that was dropped off at the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah on September 28, 2011.  It is crazy how fast time flies by when you're on a mission.  Even Mom's mission has gone by fast.  Mom has been serving in the mission office longer than I have been out.  Speaking of...I guess I'll just answer your questions right now so I don't forget.  Yes, the package is here, but I do not have it yet.  It is the zone leaders’ house.  We have Zone Conference on Thursday, so I'll just get it then.  And yes, you can send the ear plugs still.
Elder Royal . . . .  Just chillin'

            I am sorry it took me so long to write you all today.  It's the first Monday of the month, so you know that what that means...well maybe not, but it's Withdraw Support Day (when we receive our monthly funds)!  So we went to Tarlac this morning to do that.  And when we go to Tarlac, we have to play basketball with the Tarlac Zone.  We got up at 5:30 a.m. today in order to play for a couple of hours, withdraw our funds, eat, shop, and then come home.  So sorry about that.

            Anyway, we had a pretty slow week (once again), but we had a great weekend.  But first, I think I'll share a couple of street contacting stories from the week.  Since most of our investigators have been baptized already, we had a very small pool of investigators to work with.  Those we are teaching are awesome, but we only get to visit them once a week because they're busy with school or work, so we mostly just tried to focus on finding.  There are a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses in our area.  It's against their religion, I guess, to receive any teachings, pamphlets, or anything from other religions, but they have their missionaries out there all the time distributing their pamphlet: “Awake!”  When they come to our house, or when they want to talk us, we always take the time to listen to them, because we respect other religions and other people's beliefs.  When we try to give them a pamphlet or even a hand-shake, they refuse it.  I've even heard the excuse: "Oh I'm sorry, I'm allergic to handshakes."  No joke.  Well, besides them, we contacted a former Jehovah's Witness named Ruben as he was out street contacting for his church.  We were taken by surprise when he agreed for us to share with him a lesson right then and there.  I was like: "Really?  Awesome."  We taught him half of Lesson One (The Restoration) and he agreed for us to come back and teach him when he's home.  The problem is that he is only home during the evenings.  Well a couple of days later when we came back to teach him, we spoke to Reuben’s wife who was just sitting in front of the house.  We told her that we had taught Reuben a few days earlier and that he asked us to come back.  Well, she had to go to the hospital, to work, or be sick . . . one of those two.  In short, we didn't teach her.  Their children have moved out of the house and are members of the LDS Church.  They're probably less active, but that's a cool connection.  We will be following up with them.
Jordan with Bessie, Jayson and Elder Dela Paz
             So onward with Bessie's baptism on Saturday.  Awesome!  Awesome!  Awesome!  Astig!   Those are the four A's that I would like to describe that baptism.  Bessie’s RM boyfriend, Jayson, baptized her.  Bessie came out of the water with a scream.  It wasn't a loud scream, but it was still pretty funny.  Either, the water was cold (which I'm sure it was), or she just felt the Spirit so strongly that she screamed.  I felt the Spirit very strongly, so I'm guessing that's why she did that.  When Bessie bore her testimony later, she was very happy, energetic, and glowing with the Spirit.  Usually, when it's time for the newly baptized people to bare their testimonies, they're usually really shy and either don't get up, or they do it very reluctantly.  But, Bessie just raced up front to share her testimony and thanked Elder Dela Paz and me for teaching her.  As honoring as that was, we know that the Spirit was the real teacher.  We were just the Lord’s instruments.  She knows that, but we are honored to have been the two missionaries blessed to meet and teach her.  It's amazing how the Lord prepares us to teach these great people.  Bessie confirmed yesterday and will be going to the temple this weekend with the stake.  Ruben and Rechelle, who were baptized last week, will be attending the temple with Bessie, along with the rest of the youth here.  Ruben also received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, becoming a Deacon.  So three out of our four recent converts will be going to the temple this weekend!  We have not given up on making it four for four.  Jerome, recently baptized, was really sick this week, so he wasn't able to attend church this weekend.  So, we are planning on helping Bishop interview him so that he'll be able to attend the temple as well.  Imagine that!  All four of our recent converts attending the temple this coming weekend.  It's such a wonderful feeling to see all of this unfolding in the lives of these people that we have so grown to love.  Hopefully, we'll be able to find new investigators who will progress just as well as our Fab Four.
Jordan and Elder Dela Paz with Jayson, the Bishop & his wife,
and the Coliado Family

            I know I am probably missing some other things, because I feel a bit rushed.  But, I can’t think of anything else right now.  Transfers are on the 20th, so that'll come quickly.  This Wednesday will mark my sixth month in Mamonit.  It doesn't feel like I've been here for six months.  Time has a funny way of flying when we are so busy serving others.  I am grateful that I have been blessed to have stayed here long enough to see the success we have experienced lately.  It was a long time coming, but it came nonetheless and I got to see it, to live it.  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love being His witness, His servant, to be serving in His employ for the sole purpose of drawing other souls to Him.  It is an honor to be known as Elder Royal, to be living among the humble, wonderful Filipino people.  Life is great.

            Take it easy out there.  Those of you in school right now, have fun with that.  Wow.  Summer's over already.  Happy Labor Day!!  Mahal ko kayo!  Ingat!

            Elder Jordan "Nearly a Year Out” Royal