Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Monday, August 26, 2013

What An Awesome Weekend!

Jordan at the Manila Temple with (from left)
E. Raagas, Declaro, Jordan, Rose Marie, (Kalikid member), and E. Hernandez
Traveling to the temple with Kalikid members
I had the amazing experience of being able to attemd the temple on Saturday with Nanay Rose Marie Rabe and members from Kalikid Branch (my first area)!  The members and the sister missionaries in Kalikid (Sisters Sarto and Curtis) picked up Elder Hernandez and me in Gapan, as it's on the way to Manila.  The drive there went by pretty fast.  We were in a mini-tour bus and were able to fit a lot of people in there.  I rode in the back of the bus chatting with some of my good friends from the branch.  I can actually talk to them now, so I got to know them better than I could back a year and a half ago when I served there.  We pulled up to the temple which is located on top of hill across from the MTC.  Guess who the first person I saw waiting for us as as we were dropped off at the temple?  Good 'ol Agusto Declaro (formerly known as "Elder Declaro" and my trainer)!  We were the first missionaries to teach Rose Marie, so it was awesome that we were reunited.  Agusto was also with Domingo Jr. Raagas (Formerly known as "Elder Raagas").  He was in my mission, too, so it was cool to see him, as well.  While we were taking pictures, Kimmey Talento arrived (Formerly known as “Elder Talento”)!  The three of us (Elders Declaro, Talento and me) were all part of teaching Rose Marie.  It made for a great picture.  There were a lot of missionaries there from the MTC and the missionaries from the Quezon City Mission were there giving tours of the temple.  We went to the MTC and were able to find a place to eat.  We crossed the Church's underground tunnel from the temple to the MTC, and it was awesome.  The tunnel is actually really beautiful.  It's all marble and has hanging pictures of the Savior. 
Jordan in the tunnel between the Philippines MTC
and the Manila Temple

            I can't tell you how happy I was to see a temple again!  I felt the Spirit immediately as we walked in the through the doors.  It was incredible.  I really liked the clothes they have the temple.  First, they have the most comfortable socks in the world.  I can't really describe the material, but just know that they're really comfortable.  Their long sleeve shirts, barongs, are really cool looking, too.  I wouldn't mind buying one to wear to church in Vegas.  The session was just awesome.  There were some things that I'd forgotten, so it was great to be reminded.  I had the greatest experience in the Celestial Room and thanked Heavenly Father for using me as an instrument in bringing Rose Marie the Gospel into her life.  I then realized that missionaries don't serve to just baptize, but to strengthen the ones they baptize and prepare them for the temple.  I'm just very blessed to have been able to go to the temple with her.  The Area Presidency really blessed the mission for letting us go the temple now.  I know a lot of missionaries would give everything to be able to go to the temple with their recent converts to witness them receive their endowments or be sealed as a family, so I'm eternally grateful for this privilege.  I hope I will never forget this experience.  The trip home was definitely longer because of rain and traffic, but it was worth everything.
Jordan surrounded by Kalikid friends at the temple
Spire of the Manila Temple
            We have been struggling to find new investigators in our area who are willing to attend church.  (Remember last week when I explained how difficult it is for people to get to church here due to the extreme distance of our meeting house.)  Elder Hernandez and I had a special prayer at the temple to ask what we needed to do in order to find people who are not only willing, but who will actually want to come to church and receive the Gospel.  I read Alma 16:16-17 while at the temple and it really helped strengthen my faith:

            16.       And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—
17.       That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.
Jordan at the Philippines MTC in Quezon City

            So that's pretty much my motivation.  We're looking for people who will "receive the word with joy."  As we were working yesterday (the day after the temple), we walked by a street that I knew we hadn't visited before.  We decided to see if there was anyone that we could teach.  We were able to teach three new families, who will hopefully progress and come to church.  They definitely have the necessary income for the transportation each week, and we taught the Restoration with a lot of force and power that I have not felt in awhile.  So, we felt a direct answer to our prayers in the temple almost immediately.
Jordan with Rose Marie and E. Talento in Kalikid for the baptism in 2012
            I guess that's it for this week.  We had zone goal setting this morning and have been reporting all day, so that's why this email is arriving really late, while you all are asleep.  Thank you for all of the love and support you give me every week.  I sure love you guys.  You will love the temple when you are here.  It is awesome!  Mahal ko kayo!  Ingat lagi!

            Elder Jordan "Spiritually Recharged" Royal

Jordan & Junjun Declaro with Rose Marie at the Manila Temple
(Junjun Declaro is going to get a big hug from us as the BEST TRAINER EVER!)
Jordan with the sisters in Kalikid and the former Elders Raagas and Declaro

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