Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sweet Success!

            Sorry that I'm writing you super late today.  We went to Tarlac for Elder Cabato to take his English test at the mission home and we just got back.  The good news is that we got a ride there and back by Elder and Sister Lutz (a senior couple serving in Cabanatuan), so we traveled both ways in the comfort of an air conditioned car.  Not only that, but Sister Martino fed us some sandwiches and root beer.  Oh how I love root beer.  I don't get that many chances to drink good root beer here, so it was a joyous and memorable occasion.  Sister Martino said she is really excited to meet you to express thanks for all you have done for the mission through your contributions.  (I mean, come on,  I do have the greatest parents in the world,, right? ;) .)  Anyway, so sit back and relax and I'll get started on the week. 

With Enrico and Josephine Giron for their baptism on Saturday
            The best news of the week was the baptisms of Rogelio Marcelino, Enrico Giron, and Josephine Giron on Saturday!  I haven't experienced a baptism since March, so it felt great again to be apart of one again.  The baptism went awesome.  Especially since Tatay Rogelio was tested a lot before his baptism.  His wife, who has shown great patience for years waiting for her husband to join the Church, was excited to attend his baptism.  However, her Dad (a patriarch), went under some really serious health issues and was taken to the hospital.  She had no choice but to travel with her sister (whose husband was performing the ordinance) to Bakolod to see their dad in the hospital.  Rogelio is brothers with Ariel Marcelino (the one who baptized him) and their wives are twin sisters.  Now all four of them are members.  Cool, right?  Anyway, so Rogelio had to choose whether to continue with the baptism without his wife present or to wait until his she returned home.  That must have been a rough choice, but Rogelio decided to follow the Savior first - which was awesome, because I had just read in Matthew this week of how the Savior taught "whoever will not leave their family for my sake is not fit for my kingdom" (paraphrasing).  That doesn't mean the Savior expects us to abandon our families, but He often tests our faith (or allows circumstances to test us) so see if we will be more devoted to Him.  If we follow the Savior first, He will always take care of our families.  (I forgot exactly where that promise is found in D&C, but it is there.)  So he really chose "the better part." 

From left: Ariel, Rogelio, Josephine and Enrico with their family,
Bro Christian baptized his little brother
            Rogelio was really happy with his baptism, but sad that his wife wasn't able to attend.  But, I also I know that she is thrilled with him right now.  He is just that awesome.  After the baptism, the three of them all shared powerful testimonies.  One thing that stood out to me was something Rogelio said in his testimony:"Now that I know the truth, you can bet that I will NEVER regret this decision my entire life."  How does someone go from saying, “I will NEVER be baptized in Mromon Church” to that?  Simple: by reading and acquiring a testimony of The Book of Mormon.  Once he read it, Rogelio felt the Spirit, which he said told him, "You must be baptized now."  Rogelio is so high spirited and funny.  After he bore his testimony, Rogelio was shaking everyone's hands while Brother Giron went up to bear his testimony (haha).  Brother Giron has a cool conversion story, too.  At first, he was just like Tatay Rogelio.  He ignored the missionaries and always tried to hide from them.  When the missionaries were teaching his wife one day, he said that something compelled him to pick up and chair and sit down and listen to the missionaries.  Ever since then, he's just been a spiritual giant.  They were all confirmed the next day and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  After church, Bishop interviewed them and conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Rogelio and Brother Giron.  The Bishop gave them the responsibility to pass the sacrament next week, so that will be awesome to see! 

With the entire Giron family on Saturday
            We had an amazing thing happen on Sunday.  While we were basking in the joy of the baptisms, to our astonishment, Tatay Arturo with his wife and a couple of their neighbors came to church for the first time ever!  I haven't told you about them yet.  So Tatay Arturo's daughter, AJ, is a really active recent convert and her husband is also really active as well.  The missionaries have been teaching Arturo since April and they wanted to drop him back in May, because he wasn't making any progress at all.  But, AJ wanted the missionaries to keep teaching him.  Even I was ready to drop him, since he hadn't made any progress yet, but AJ was persistent.  So we kept teaching him to show some support.  He just became a big focus for us now.  Hopefully, AJ keeps coming to church.  We're trying to get as many Melchizedek Priesthood holders as we can so that we can start building a meeting house in our area.  The stake president says that they've found a place for the meeting house so that our members don't have to travel so far to attend church.  That will be awesome for the people here one day (hopefully soon).

How about one more picture from Saturday's baptism, with everyone!
            Anyway, I think that's about it.  Thanks for all of your emails and support for me.  I hope that you're all safe continue to build your faith in Christ.  Love you all!  Oh and welcome home Daniel Sorensen!  Glad to hear you served well!  And Stephen Udall, too!  Glad to hear you are all right after your accident on the bus.  Way to serve!  It is really cool to be surrounded by so many examples of valiant gospel living.  Well, take care family.


            Elder Jordan "Serious Root Beer Lover” Royal


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