Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Monday, December 3, 2012

One Year in the Philippines!

Jordan (aka Elder Royal) wearing a very good shirt at Echo Park
            Hello Everyone!  Man, it's been pretty hectic this morning.  I am sorry for sending this out so late, but at least you'll have something to read in the morning.  Yes Mom, I received the new shoes you sent.  The package arrived last Monday and forgot to email that great news.  I’m sorry for causing you to worry about that.  The only thing with the shoes is that I guess I'm really not a size 10, because those slip ons are really big and wide, so I can't really wear them comfortably.  Sister Martino told me I can't really return them in because I've already worn them once, so she told me to buy some Dr. Scholls or something.  They would be perfectly fine if I had wide duck feet, but I have really small and skinny feet.  Too bad.  (I know that news probably adds more worry, but don’t.  Everything is fine.)  To answer your other question, Mom, we have 11 zones in the mission, and they will be adding more in the future as the number of missionaries continues to grow.  Oh, and before I forget, THE MISSION HOME AND OFFICE WILL BE MOVING IN TARLAC ON DECEMBER 26th, so all mail that you'll send to the other mission home pretty soon will just sit there for years.  The name of the mission is still the same, which is good because it would sound really weird if it was the Philippines Tarlac Mission.  President Martino says that the new address can be found on LDS.org, so I guess you will need to find it, copy it, paste it, and more importantly (at least for those who don't write me) write me some letters because that would make you super awesome, and more importantly would make a missionary very happy :).  

            We have transfers on the 12th.  I am hoping I am not transferred from the area, especially because of what happened this week and what will happen this month.  Also, I really want to go to church at the brand new chapel, because it's really nice and beautiful inside.  I really want to be here for Christmas.  I'm pretty sure that I'll be here for another transfer, but - of course - I can never be sure.  We had a lot of good things happen this week.  We met a new investigator and his wife who recently just moved from Tarlac City.  The wife is a very active member, and her husband has been investigating the Church for awhile, so he knows a lot.  It's almost like he's a member, because they came to church on their own last week, so we thought they were less active members that we hadn't met before until he came and introduced himself to us and asked if we could teach him, because he wants to be baptized and sealed with his family in the temple.  If anyone out there wonders what missionaries dream about regularly . . . that about sums it up.  This was a dream come true.  James (investigator) is solid.  We set a baptismal date yesterday after our third lesson with him for the 29th of this month, so I really hope that I'll be here for it, especially at the new chapel!  The bishop announced yesterday at sacrament meeting that we will not be moving to the new chapel next week as planned, but next week.  (Ah man!  I was thinking that if I do get transferred that I would have at least one Sunday there, but now I would miss it by just one week!  How lame would that be!  There'll be one lucky missionary taking my place if that happens.  I suppose it is strange how preoccupied we can be with transfers.) 
Jordan trying on some hats in the gift shop at Echo Park with Sisters Jensen & Laude
            We had fast and testimony meeting yesterday, and I miss our Bermuda Ward Singing Tradition as ya'll mentioned to me, but our testimony meeting was still awesome.  Since it was the last testimony meeting of the year, there were a lot of members that bore there testimony, especially the young single adults who recently just came back from a YSA conference the day before.  Even our recent convert, Reymark (Mak-Mak), bore a very powerful testimony that had him in tears.  I couldn't believe the power that was present during our meeting.  Not only that, but I fasted for a miracle to happen to the ward on Sunday, because it's "Miracles in December" again, and I got one.  Our attendance went from 118 (last week) to 156.  We even had less actives there that I NEVER would have thought would EVER come back to church.  But, you get what you fast for, I guess. 

            The Spirit was incredible this week.  I started reading 3 Nephi 11 this week as part of our Book of Mormon challenge given to us by Sister Martino and I finished all of Third Nephi.  I absolutely love those chapters!  This challenge/activity has really changed my outlook on the Book of Mormon, because of so many times Christ is mentioned in it.  I'll most likely finish the Book of Mormon again by next week, so that'll be awesome.  After that, I'm really determine to read all of the it strictly in Tagalog without stopping.  I usually read the Book of Mormon in Tagalog for language study, but I kinda stopped reading it chapter by chapter and just read important chapters that we usually share to investigators.  But, now this is happening.  I'll hopefully finish reading it (and understand most of it) by the end of my mission.

            We had a lot of other stuff happen this week, but I'm almost out of time, so I guess that'll be for another time.  We went to Echo Park this morning for our zone activity, which is alright.  It's one of those places that you go once just to say that you've been there, but will never go back there.  It's really far away and it wasn't that amazing.  It's got a giant statue of the Savior, like in Rio, but not as big.  They also claim to have in a gold box, part of the cross that Christ was crucified on.  Someone brought a football, so we tossed that around in the park for a bit before we went home.

We found a second "Sword of Truth" photo that we just
had to use
            I guess that's about it for me for this week.  I'm really excited to see what will happen as we start week five of our transfer.  That went by super fast!  Elder Batingal's already been home for a month!  Where is all the time going?  Oh and by the way, I've now been in the Philippines for one year!  Also another accomplishment.  I hope that ya'lls will be safe this weekend and have fun with whatever comes at you, or make the most of it I guess.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is true.  He is real.  He lives.  He knows and loves us all, and wants us to return with Him to Heavenly Father.  I am grateful to be sharing that great message of faith, hope and love to the Filipino people.  Segi, lampas na ang oras ko.  Ingat kayo eh!

            Elder Jordan "always astig" Royal

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