Subject line...you know the drill...
¡Hola Mi Familia!
What a week! Let me just tell you! I'm just going to jump right in!
So our Devotional speaker on Tuesday was....drumroll.....ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND OF THE QUORUM OF THE 12!!!! How awesome is that!?!?! Ah! It was such an amazing devotional! For choir that night we sang "Come Thou Fount" (a different arrangement than Mac Wilberg...not as good :/ ) and usually they put up on the screens who is speaking that night, but they didn't and so I just knew it was going to be someone special! And when he walked in! Ah! It was so amazing! He was very straight forward and blunt like always! He doesn't sweeten things up at all--just says it like it is, but that's great! He talked about becoming converted to the Gospel and how that is the whole purpose of Preach My Gospel is to convert the missionaries so they can then know how to teach and convert the investigadores (sorry, that was spanish, but I'm forgetting how to spell in English sometimes...crazy!). He also talked about being a missionary after we get back home and not going back to old life-styles, but having our mission change us for the better! It was so amazing and so good! It was wonderful to hear from an Apostle of the Lord and to have it be ELDER HOLLAND...ah! He is one of my favs!
Well one word really describes this week: SNOW! It snowed quite a few days this week! Not a lot any of those days and it is already melted now, but still it snowed for quite a few!
To respond to some things:
Dad, I'm not sure what Large group meetings are....If we have them, they don't call them that. We had mission conference yesterday for Fast Sunday if that is similar...?
The TRC or Teaching Resource Center is what I volunteered with last semester. Basically, members just come volunteer and missionaries get the opportunity to teach lessons to members! It was quite fun actually! The past 2 times we have gotten this really sweet sister from Mexico who loves to talk to us and she helps us with spanish (and says things in English if we don't understand...shhh...don't tell!). She is really sweet and it is fun teaching and talking with her! We go to TRC once a week!
Ummm...Okay...Mom, you don't know how excited I was to hear from your 1st letter of the week that Ms. Linda had been baptized! Uh! It just makes me so happy! When I went out with Elders to teach, I could just really see how ready she was to be baptized, but she was just holding back for some reason and I thought it would be a while before she consented, but thank heavens she did! I hope Elder Self was there to see it, but he probably wasn't huh? But, that makes me really happy! :)
I just want to brag on some people who made my week! Thanks for the letters from: The Hobbs, Aunt Sally, Aunt Debbie, Aunt Melon, Aunt Glenda, Stephanie, Grandma and Papa, Princess!, Valerie Perschka, my BYU buds Carrie and Casey, Sister Grant, Cole and of course my wonderful parents (I hope I'm not leaving anyone out)! Thanks for the letter! I love them! Keep em coming!
So I've been thinking....Missionary life-style really isn't that hard! Like I don't even miss facebook or my phone or any of those worldly things like at all! It weird, but great at the same time! I saw a district presidency member with an iPhone and was trying to remember what it was like to hold one...I couldn't remember...that's okay! I can't imagine what technological advances will take place in the next 2 years! Maybe DVDs will be in the past and it will only be Blu-ray....who knows! The thing I only really miss most is my musicals, my showtunes! I LOVE MY SHOW TUNES!!!!
So the last 2 days have been sad! Last night I had to say goodbye to Jared. He left early this morning for Nicaragua! It was easier since we already said goodbye before we left for our missions, but that much hard since we didn't think we would see each other, but we did! Wesley leaves tomorrow morning, so I get to see him tonight! We all spent an hour just talking last night! It was sad! I will miss them! It will feel so lonely here know they aren't around and that I won't be able to see familiar faces on Sundays. But C'est La Vie! (That was French, not Spanish ;) )
Now getting to last night!!!! Our Fireside last night was ALEX BOYÉ!!!! For those who don't know him, he is an African-American LDS recording artist from London who also sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! It was so amazing! I have always loved him and it was great to have him be our fireside last night! He sounded amazing as always, but was also so inspirational and uplifting, which is what I really needed this week! He talked about his conversion, and then went into how important our jobs as missionaries are. Some points he made that stuck out to me were:
"There is ALWAYS something positive to say about our situation no matter how horrible or hard it may be."
"The Lord has given us the power to think and to dream as big as we want--that's free agency!"
He sang "Our Savior's Love" and "How Great Thou Art"! He really put a new perspective on things for me. I don't know why God has us go through some experiences, why we "Dream the Impossible Dream", and why things turn out they way they do. What sucks is we usually don't find out till later what the reason was, but I know that God has a plan for me and he knows what I need. Just by that one fireside, my perspective about my future has changed. I loved the thought of what he does as a career. He sings! He sings hymns of praise and inspirtation and goes around doing firesides. He brings the Spirit to the lives of other! That's what I want to do with my life! I may not make it as a recording artist...we will just have to see...but I know I always want to be a missionary and l bless the lives of those around me!
I'm so thankful for this Gospel and for the opportunity I have to be a missionary! I love being a missionary and missionary work! It is the greatest! There is no other place I would rather be right now than here and in the Service of my God!
A quick thought from my personal study: I've been reading "Jesus The Christ" and one part is talks about the magnitude of the Savior and His name! Everyone knows how great and powerful the Savior's name is. Even those that defile it and mis-use know of the power of his name! What an amazing thought! Also, In 2 Nephi 9:20--it states that God knows all things and there is not anything save He knows it! It's that just great! Do you all have any personal insight from your studies?
Thanks for the quotes and scriptures mom and dad!
Dad: "If I have 3 hours to chop down a tree, I will spend 2 hours sharpening the ax!" --Benjamin Franklin
I love and miss you all so much!
Thanks for your love and support!
¡Yo Se que vive mi Señor!
Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Joyner! :)