Time continues to fly. This was probably the fastest transfer I've been through so far, and it's only going to get faster and faster. And once again, I am sending a companion home at the completion of his mission. Elder Batingal couldn't sleep last night (haha). He was either nervous or excited to go home, but whatever. He is one of my favorite companions. We had a really fun and productive transfer together. Elder Batingal and the other departing missionaries will be flying to their homes on Wednesday. I'll be leading the area on Thursday when I get my new companion. I'll be in Tarlac with one of the zone leaders until then, because his companion also went home today. We were up at like 4:00 am today and got ready. Life has been busy. So here's how our last week went.
|From left: Jordan, Mak-Mak, Bro. Nunn, and Elder Batingal at Mak-Mak's baptism|
This past week was a complete blur. It was like one super long day. We didn't have as successful as a week as the week before, but we still had some really good experiences. The best day of the week was Saturday for Reymark's (Mak-Mak) baptism. But before that, I conducted two interviews for one of the sisters in my district at the stake center. The first one I interviewed had a strong testimony of the gospel and seemed to know a lot. She'll be the only member in her family, which she said is challenging for her, but she has faithful friends in the Church to help her. The second interview started out just like it, only....ended differently. Unlike the first one, she comes fro a part-member family. She had some rather unique issues that I had not encountered before and, for the first time, I had to excuse myself from the interview, have a discussion with the sisters, and call President Martino for some counsel. He directed me to complete the interview and this anxious young woman received what she so desired. I was extremely grateful for this experience and felt that the power of the Atonement as never before. Once I received President Martino’s counsel, every ounce of anxiety and pain left me, replaced by excitement and joy. That was passed along to the candidate as well. This was a growing experience for me. The Atonement, in ways we cannot begin to fully understand, cleanses our hearts, minds and souls. Guilt that has so weighed us down can completely vanish if we choose to give it to Jesus Christ. We say that all the time, but to actually experience it either in your own life or see it work within someone else is life changing. The Atonement is beautiful, powerful, and real.
|Jordan and Elder Batingal with Mak-Mak at his home|
Mak-Mak's baptism was well attended and such a spiritual experience. After he was baptized, he gave a powerful testimony of the Savior and His gospel. He told us a few days before that he was afraid of having a mental-block and not being able to speak, but he prayed the night before that he would be able to bare his testimony and, of course, he felt that prayer answered. What a way to end the transfer/mission with a baptism! We talked a lot to Mak-Mak about serving a mission a year from now and encouraged him to start his preparation. He says he wants to, so we'll keep working on that. It was a great last week for us. The members became really close with Elder Batingal. He'll definitely be missed.
I am very sorry to hear that Grandpa Kelly is not doing well and is expected to pass soon. I have written a special letter to him. Please do what you can to have someone read it to him. I want Grandpa Kelly to know how much I appreciate, love and admire him for having lived such a wonderful life. He has shown us all how to life a gospel centered life. I am amazed at all the joy he has brought into the world through his leadership in the Kelly family. The number of people blessed by his Christlike life is more than we could ever count. I am grateful for the Plan of Salvation, to know the very purpose of life, and to have an understanding that death is merely a process, not the end, that we will all be reunited again as a family with our Heavenly Father - provided we are faithful to the end, as Grandpa Kelly. Please send Grandpa my love. He has been so influential in my life. May the Lord bless and comfort you all at this difficult time. I am praying for you everyday. Mahal Ko kayo. Ingat.
Elder Jordan "Seasoned Missionary at 13 Months” Royal
|Jordan here with his Grandpa and Grandma Kelly a few days before departing on his mission in September 2011|