Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Spiritual Feast

            A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT TO ROYAL!  I can't believe he's already a year old!  Crazy to think how fast time flies by! 
Jordan's nephew, Royal, turned one this week.  He will be ready to serve a mission in 17 more years
            We had really awesome experiences this week.  Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Quorum of the Seventy and Councilor of the Philippines Area Presidency conducted a mission tour here all week.  He visited three sides of the mission with our side being first on the first day.  All of the Zone Leaders from the Cabanatuan side of the mission had a little meeting with Elder Nielson about improving our leadership abilities and being "quick to observe" the missionaries in our zone and discerning needs or concerns.  (Mormon 1:2.)  After the meeting, we gathered with the rest of the missionaries in the chapel and the Zone Leaders were told to sit on the stand and "observe" our missionaries.  That was pretty difficult and takes a lot of practice to just look and listen to the Spirit to know whether a specific missionary needed help.  We then listened and received instruction from Elder and Sister Nielson, who gave great talks.  Elder Nielson talked about the "enabling power"  of the Atonement and used most of his talk from Elder Bednar's talk that we were to study before the conference.  It focuses on how the Atonement gives us strength to change our circumstances rather than changing our circumstances entirely without any work on our part.  And then my mind was blown away when Elder Nielson quoted from Elder Bednar about Agency.  Elder Bednar states that he listens to members of the Church who've been endowed, sealed in the temple, who are active in the Church tell him that they have their "agency" not to pay their tithing if that is their desire.  To these people, Elder Bednar responds: "No.  You've already spent your agency when you made a choice to covenant with your Heavenly Father to always follow him and keep his commandments."  Just a really interesting fact that our agency's spent once we covenant with God, because we have chosen to give our will to Him.
Jordan with former companions Elders Declaro (middle) and Talento
             The Baler Zone Leaders slept at our house from Tuesday night until Friday morning, because of the Mission Tour and we had Zone Leaders Council with all of the Zone Leaders in the mission at the mission home with Elder Nielson, so it would've been really hard for them to go all the way back to Baler back and forth.  That was fun, because Elder Talento is one of the Zone Leaders there, so he was at our house for half of the week.  Elder Talento worked with us for two days and we had a blast.  It was awesome to be able to teach again with Elder Talento 10 months later and talk about our days in Kalikid.  Friday afternoon, we left for Tarlac for ZLC (mentioned above).  The bus took forever to leave the terminal and there was a bunch of construction on the way, so the trip took about three hours when it should only take about an hour.  We were late arriving at the mission home, but we were there just in time for dinner.  The food was delicious (as it always is at the mission home).  I was able to see Elders Biggs, Bell, and Palmer there, so that was cool.  Our batch has the most Zone Leaders in the mission, which is awesome.  We then had another meeting with Elder Nielson, which was awesome.  Everyone shared what they'd learned from the mission tour and we had more great instruction from Elder Nielson and then retired for bed at the mission home.  I took my first hot shower in over 10 months, which was AAAmazing.

The Cabanatuan Zone
            We had a crazy weekend trying to plan for Thalia, Bless, and John Paul Manuel's baptism.  They couldn't do it on Saturday, so we planned it for Sunday at noon.  Awesome.  Set.  Then we realized that night after we left their house that we had an SMC (Stake Missionary Council) meeting with President Martino and the stake leaders at the same time, so we had to plan it all over again.  We contacted the Manuels the next day and set their baptism for 11:00 am.  Awesome.  Set.  Then we received a text saying that Thalia wouldn't be available, because of a school project she was doing.  Ughh.  So we reset it at 1:00 pm, just an hour before sacrament meeting started.  We then decided to check to see if anyone had started filling up the font.  No one had.  The font was not only dry, but incredibly dusty.  We went into the font and cleaned it up before we filled it up with water.  We cleaned it while we were in missionary attire, so it made for a memorable experience.  Sadly, I forgot to take any pictures.  Darn.  We had SMC with President Martino and then I quickly changed and got ready to baptize John Paul and Bless.  Thalia still came to church, but wasn't feeling well, so she said she would be baptized next Saturday (Feb. 16).  I had a good experience being able to baptize John Paul and Bless.  It was the first time I'd performed a baptism since my first area in Kalikid for Nanay Rose Marie Rabe, so it was a cool experience.  I performed the baptisms, got dressed, and John Paul and Bless gave awesome testimonies.  Once the closing prayer was over, it was about 1:50 pm.  Some of the members were confused when they arrived thinking that sacrament meeting had already started, but the baptism had just ended.  They were then confirmed during sacrament meeting. 
Jordan and Elder Dadizon with the Manuel family (from left: Bless, Thalia, John Paul, Nanay Manuel)
            Well, I think that's about it for me this week.  I really hope that I'm not forgetting anything.  Just continue to be safe and love life.  I'm grateful for all of the fun things you guys get to do.  Love you all and peace out.

             Elder Jordan "Hot Showers are Awesome!" Royal


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