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