Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rest in Peace Grandpa Kelly

Note from the Editor (Jordan's Pappy)            

Leona Kelly with her grandchildren WITH children
            We have had a challenging week with the passing of Maralea’s father, Howard Ray Kelly, on Monday afternoon.  Maralea arrived at her parents’ home in Reno Monday evening, while Kelli, Royal and I joined her Thursday evening.  My father-in-law, also known as Grandpa Kelly, was the epitome of what we should all strive to be in life.  I first met him on Christmas break, 1982, when I drove Maralea home to spend a few days with her family.  We were pretty serious by then, and after meeting her family, I knew I would ask her to marry me and hope for the best.  The best happened, and we are grandparents of two wonderful children nearly 30 years later.  Ray Kelly left mortality with 38 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, with four more on the way.  I am enclosing a picture of my mother-in-law, Leona Kelly, standing with her grandchildren who have children (taken at a family luncheon on Saturday).  I am also enclosing a picture of the Kelly family members who were able to make it to the funeral on Saturday.  It is a staggering legacy, a living testament to the good that comes from living a gospel centered life.  I am also enclosing a picture of Jordan with his grandparents, just before he left on his mission.  Our children are so incredibly blessed to have two wonderful sets of grandparents who have made our job as parents very easy.  I am grateful to know that in the Lord’s great Plan of Happiness and Salvation, families are intended to be forever.  These pictures remind me of what I am fighting for in the battle of good and evil in this life.  What will heaven be like?  In my mind, it will be like this great Kelly family photo, with numbers many times over.  What great joy we will have in that day.  May we all live with a desire to knit our hearts together as one with the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Kelly Family, picture taken November 3, 2012
            Here is Elder Royal's letter . . . . 


           President Martino called on Thursday to tell me about Grandpa Kelly's passing.  He told me that the letter I wrote to Grandpa Kelly was read to him before he passed away, so that made me feel really good.  Thanks so much for that.  I am sorry I could not be there for the funeral and burial service.  I am certainly there in spirit.  I prayed a lot for Grandpa and Grandma Kelly, you all, and the entire Kelly family a lot once I received that phone call from President Martino.  I hope everyone is okay.  Grandpa Kelly has set a great example of how to live a Christlike life by serving others daily.  I love him very much and will miss seeing him when I return home.  But, I am grateful to know of God’s Plan of Salvation, that families are intended to be tied together forever, and that we will be with Grandpa Kelly again in the next life if we will simply choose to follow the Savior Jesus Christ and receive His saving ordinances.  Thank you for giving me that gift of gospel understanding and power.  It sustains me daily.  I love you Grandpa! 

This is the last picture taken with Jordan and his Grandpa Kelly, September 11, 2011
             The work of saving souls moves ever onward.  This week went by fast.  (They all seem to blend together lately.)  We were only able to work in Victoria from Thursday-Sunday, because I was in Victoria all week with Elder Revillio until Transfer Day on Thursday.  I had a fun time working with him.  We had exchanges with the other companionship so I worked with Elder Despain in their area as well.  Elder Despain and I were in Sta. Ignacia Zone for two transfers and he's an awesome guy.  He was still pretty new at that time, so his Tagalog wasn't that great, but he's improved a lot in the past months.  I enjoyed working with him, too.  Our transfer announcements came Thursday and they were absolutely crazy.  Elder Revilio made up a fake transfer announcement that fooled everyone, even the former zone leaders that have done that in the past (haha).  He didn't mess with my transfer, but everyone else's was funny.  We had an area close and then other area with two new elders coming into the zone to open a new area.

            My new companion is Elder Rabino from Digus, Dabao.  He's my second companion from Dabao and my third Bisayan companion in a row.  I've only had two companions so far my entire mission whose first language was Tagalog.  They know all Tagalog anyway, so it's not like it's hard for them, even though they say it is.  He's in the same batch as Elder Dela Paz, so he's still pretty new in the mission as well.  He's quiet sometimes, but he's very good at teaching.  Anyway, I'll go back to Transfer Day and talk about what happened there.  Elder Rabino came from Cabanatuan City, so I had to wait at the Stake Center until about two for him to show up.  While I was waiting, we saw Elder Palmer who came from Angeles to help the Sisters with their bags and stuff, so that was awesome to see him again - especially since we had so much time to talk and hang out while we waited for our companions.  Sister Sharp was with us as well, so we just talked about MTC memories and shared other mission stories from our areas.  Once all of the traveling missionaries showed up, we also saw Elder Biggs and Elder Brown coming to meet up with their new companions.  It was really cool to see them both there since I hadn't seen them since the mission conference back in May.  We're having ZL/DC again at the end of the month, so I'll be able to see them again.  I met up with Elder Rabino and then we headed back to Victoria.  We got back late afternoon, so we didn't get to many appointments, but at least we got a dinner appointment that night (haha).  It's been hard with Elder Batingal gone.  Not only did I lose a close companion and have to start over with someone else, but now I'm getting lost in the area trying to find appointments.  Like one day, we pretty much traveled in a big circle trying to find Mark's house, but at least I was able to eventually find it.  Since I've been leading the area, I've figured out where a lot of things are, so that's good.  Even Elder Rabino's starting to get the area down.  Like when we were on our way to an appointment, I was about to turn down a street when he corrected me and told me it was the next street.  I thought, "Oh yeah" (haha).  We had some really good lessons and stuff with Mark and his siblings, but they still haven't come to church yet.  Mark knows the Gospel's true and it was restored by a prophet, but he's still active in another church.  (Sigh.)  Always next week, right?
Jordan shows off his zone basketball jersey

Back side of the zone basketball jersey
            Church was really good yesterday.  Our attendance is getting higher and higher every week.  There were only 97 people in church a couple of weeks ago, but yesterday there were 140.  Even some less actives that have been less active for years came to church, even though I don't know who they are.  One less active is actually Mak-Mak's cousin who lives with the Cortados (Hart).  He's 21 and has only been a member for three years.  He said he stopped coming because he's done some bad things in the past, but Mak-Mak really encouraged him to come to church again, and there he was.  We taught him yesterday with Mak-Mak and he taught me how to do that cool pen-spinning thing that I've seen people do before (like Gian).  I practiced it all last night before going to bed, and now I'm pretty good at it (haha).  I also learned a cool pen trick from Elder Batingal that I've been doing as well.  Well, since I'm on the subject of spinning things, I guess I can tell you that Elder Brown taught me how to spin notebooks, binders, and books on my finger like a basketball.  I haven't done that one in awhile, so I was a little bit out of practice when I did it yesterday while we waited for the bishopric to call us in for PEC meeting.  (Nice that I am learning all these valuable spinning skills.)  We taught Jovani again yesterday.  He was the only one of our investigators who came to church.  It's too bad that his dad won't let him be baptized right now, but he still comes to church and reads the Book of Mormon, so hopefully his dad's heart will change.  His dad's not from Victoria, so we can't really talk to him or teach him.  We have talked with him before while he visited, but that was it.

            I saw someone reading a newspaper on the bus this morning with a front page headline that read: "Obama Takes an Early Lead."  Nooooooooo.  Election Day's Tuesday, isn't it?  Oh gosh.  If Obama gets elected, I hope the world will just end in Dec. 2012. ;)

            Well, I think that'll do for this week.  Sorry no.  Maybe next week.  Hope you guys stay safe.  Please give my love to Grandma Kelly.  Mahal ko kayo.  Ingat.

            Elder Jordan "Help America Survive" Royal

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