Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nacozari, Mexico
Elder Joyner loves his new hat!

"He hears every word that I say..."

So I've decided to take my showtune Subject lines and lock those showtunes in my heart and not open it back up for 17 more months. Sorry, subjects will be more general from now on... Hola Mi Familia! Whew! What a week this has been! So the interview with the Pres went fine. It lasted like only 5 minutes...haha...we traveled 2 hours for a 5 minute interview. He just asked how things were going and what was up. Well, the next day (Wednesday) was quite a depressing day. On Tuesday 2 different Sisters from the branch had their mothers die. So we were contacted 7:30 am in the morning Wednesday to see if we could help out with both of the services. There was one in the morning and the other one at night. It was a really depressing day. Everyone was so sad. I have never been to a sadder funeral....The sister and her family were the only members and so everyone else was a mess! It makes such a difference to have a knowledge of the Plan Of Salvation and to know that this life isn't the end and that death is only temporary. Elder Miranda gave a small message and then a few of us members sang Hymns. I was able to sing a little solo of Nearer my God To Thee! It was really nice to sing! Afterwards the Apostolic preacher has his turn to give some words and I could just feel the spirit that we created leave. He didn't say anything bad really, but it was very preacher like and just....bored me really... and then at the end when the family was saying their last goodbyes to the body, the apostolics began to sing some hymn that wasn't as reverent and spiritual as our hymns were. And that is when everyone just lost it. People were crying out of control and just really sad. I started thinking about how I haven't lost anyone too close so far in my life and how it would be to lose a parent or grandparent. Well, after that depressing thingy, I didn't really feel like doing much but sit around and be depressed, but we put ourselves together and went out. Later that night at the other funeral, it wasn't as heavy as the morning. Again in this situation, the sister and her family were the only members. We sang hymns again and Elder Miranda gave another thought and the Branch President was able to come, so he spoke too. Apparently the members liked my solo in the morning, so I was asked to revive it and I did! This was more of a service and it was nice. Once it was over, we sat around a while and then got a ride home. Apparently when we left and the Branch President left is when the other family members called in for their Catholic Priest and that didn't go over too well. Apparently the priest was really disrespectful to the church and his little speech he gave had nothing to do with death, but basically bash the church. They say that he said that the Catholic church was the only true church and that all other churches are just "Cheap little....(insert word of a small store/lemonade stand thing that doesn't translate into English)". He was very disrespect for the sister and her family that were members. I felt really bad. So that was a depressing day, but it was really spiritually uplifting and left me thinking a lot and my testimony of The Plan of Salvation was strengthened so much. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that there is life after death and that death is a short period and that our Heavenly Father has a grand plan for us and this life is a small part of that plan. How magnificent is our God! This week we found a neat kid! His name is Luis and he is 19. We contacted his house and he was the only one there and we talked to him about the Gospel and about baptism. It was really great! He was really receptive and understood so much. He didn't accept a date for baptism yet, but he said he would think, ponder, and pray about it. I'm sure we had other neat experiences, but nothing else really sticks out right now. Saturday night we went to the members next door and had homemade pizza! It has been a while since I have had homemade pizza and it was good! Sunday afternoon, yesterday, WE MOVED! Thank Heavens! So the house is off on a street where people park on the curb and so when we arrived with the beds there was a truck in the way so we couldn't get them in the house. So we went about back and tried to get in that way, but the door was being so dumb and wouldn't unlock for anything so we left the beds in the back. We moved everything else in only 2 trips! Later we tried to get the back door open again, but is just wouldn't budge. It was getting late and I just wanted a bed to sleep. So I prayed! Hard! And luckily after a few more minutes of fidgeting with the door it opened! God hears and answers prayers! I know it and I testify of it! So all day we have spent cleaning and get the house all in order! It is sooo much nicer than what we had and a lot bigger too! And it has a cooler so we have air and also a stove and oven and a boiler for hot water! No more cold showers!!! Well, we have to get a tank of gas first, but the thought is prospective! I will take pictures to send. I am just so happy and content with the move and feel like these next 4 weeks of this transfer will be so much better with this move. Not only is it bigger, but also closer and more accessible to everything! I love it! Well, I think that is about it for now! I love and miss you all tons and hope all is well! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Umm....I don't even know where to mind has all of a sudden become quite scattered with reflecting on the week and reading emails/seeing pictures of cousins who are freaking growing up too fast and I don't even know who they are anymore.... Hi! Buenas Tardes? Umm....yikes! So....what a week eh? Ha! Quite an understatement I would say! Well, your week first... Ha! I think that is pretty great that Dad dragged the whole family to Elberton! Good times eh? I was quite surprised to see that mom spoke! Haha! I don't know what that amused me, but made me smile to read that. I remember going to Elberton once....good ole little branch....probably more like a root than a branch, but whatevs...haha! Couldn't help myself! Ah! What is wrong with me right now...I'm feeling a little weird I need some mental therapy! Another package!?! I haven't even gotten the part one of the 2 yet....ha! Actually, news: Apparently everyone in the mission has been interviewed by Pres. Hernandez except for me and so we have to go to Agua Prieta tomorrow for me to be interview? So who knows, maybe he will bring my package? Ha! I almost want to say fat chance, but prayers are answered! So Nacozari....hmmm...where to begin? Yes, since I didn't know Justin's areas, I had to find out for myself that he served here. We ate lunch with a Hermana Saturday and she saw the name Joyner and said that there was an Elder Joyner here about 6 years ago and he was from Atlanta and I was like, yup that's him! And then later that night, we went to go look at a house to rent (more on that soon) that is owned by a member from Esqueda, a small town an hour away and he did the same thing. And talked about how Justin played guitar and made jewelry! Ha! Yup, that's him! That was pretty cool! So I will have to get some names of people to visit! And no, he has not emailed me.... :( So Nacozari is an enchanted little town in the mountains. It actually reminds me a lot of Helen and Dahlonega put together. It is presh, but it is like in the valley and there are mountains surrounding the town and so it feels a little trapped and closed in like we are in the middle of nowhere and it is some prison town and you can't leave... but other than that, it's great! I do think it is bigger than Sonoyta. So yeah, it is a mining town which is what most of the people here do for work. There is also this big old yellow mountain which is supposed copper? I've decided I don't do well with change. It has been quite a long week. It has been hard going from a small town to another small town. It is hard to go from a place that you are familiar with and with people that you know, to a place where you know nothing about anything and you know absolutely no one! So yeah, it has been kind of rough and I have had to do that praying that I won't want to leave thing, but it is better and I am actually getting settled in. So first off let me complain for a bit, and I can because it will get better....our house is a junk house! I wouldn't even really call it a house. It appears more like motel room to me. There is a room, a bathroom and another room for a kitchen/study area, but it is all really crappy! Apparently we never have running water in the mornings only at night so we have to shower at night. However, all this week there has been water in the mornings except for one day! How lucky! AND we only have COLD WATER!!!!! That is the worst! In Sonoyta, I loved cold showers when I am all sweaty and it is hot, but since here it is much cooler and the sun doesn't heat the pipes in the earth, the water is pure cold! Ah! It is awful! Shower time is no longer my favorite time of the day..... We live right next door to some members from whom we are renting the house. They have animals. Not fun! They have chickens and the worst part...a addition 9 puppies that look about 9 weeks old or something young like that. Nighttime is HORRENDOUS!!!!!! There is no sleeping! From whining puppies to cocking roosters, ugh, it is painful! What else....the washer we share with the family and it is outside and like a bunch of washers down here it isn't hooked up to water so you have to fill it with water yourself until it starts. That is a pain, but I'm just glad we don't have to wash by hand. And the clothes air dry...outside! I've realized I was quite spoiled having a member who owned a laundry mat in Sonoyta! Well, yeah, I don't want to talk about that anymore! The good thing is, we have found a new house! It is owned by members and it is in the town central more or less. It is soo much nicer that what we have and even what I had in Sonoyta. There are currently renters there until Friday and so this next Monday we should be moving in....with hot water, an air unit, a stove, a washer that fills itself, no animals, and right next to a tortillaria where I can buy all the flour tortillas I want! We just have to tolerate this week...6 more days! So yeah! The branch here is nice, I guess...I almost want to say it seemed smaller than Sonoyta, but it is probs about the same size. It doesn't seem like there are a lot of priesthood though. The president is really neat though! He is a cool guy! They don't have a piano, so I thought that this was going to be a long 6 weeks without being able to play, but actually someone has a keyboard so they will bring that in and I will still be able to play! So something a little more spiritual....we had a lesson with a couple who aren't married, Jose and Karina. He is 19 and she is 15 I think almost 16 and expecting a baby. They are living together but don't want to get married for reasons I can't remember. Well, we were talking to them and they were telling us the questions they had and doubts they had about God and religion and everything. The question they had was totally about the first lesson and the Restoration! It is awesome, we set up a return appt to teach them, but they weren't there so we will see what happens with that....hopefully something! I'm sure there were other experience, but I can't remember them right now. Well that's it for now! I love and miss you all soo much! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Sometimes When You Dream (Pray) Your Dreams (Prayers) Come True..."

Hola Mi Familia! Wow! Sounds like you all have had a busy week getting back to school and all that fun stuff! I envy, not really! Ha! I do kind of miss those high school days! I'm glad Cole's birthday went well and that he got my letter! He is getting so big it looks like. He won't be the little kid I knew when I get back. Wow! looks like he hit the jackpot. If it is true what he says about birthday lists, then I better get started! So I completed my 6 Month Mark this past week, which all of you failed to mention, thank you very much, expect for a little blip from dad. 6 Months in the mission, you understand me! 6 months! I'm a fourth of the way through! That is nuts! Time flies! And I just think in another 6 months, another 4th, I will be completing a year! Woah right? Well, now the moment you've all been waiting on transfers......I was transferred! Yup, that's right, no more Sonoyta/Frontier/Border fun! It is actually really good! I've been transfered to Nacozari. It is another little town like Sonoyta, but a tad bigger. It is in the Sierra Madre Zone in the mountains near Agua Prieta, sort of by Nogales, but not really. Thankfully since it is in the Mountains it is a lot cooler and a lot fresher. We've begun August, the hottest month of the year here and it is a killer! In Sonoyta this week, I took my little thermometer alarm clock with me and it was reaching 113! So hot! So luckily it isn't as hot here and it will start to get cooler sooner. And apparently the winters are really cold here, so we will see how long I stay. It is a little bit prettier than Sonoyta too. A lot more greener with trees! As I was traveling here I was so surprised and felt like I wasn't in Sonora anymore. So here is what went down. We found out Sunday morning, I packed that afternoon and we left for Penasco.We stayed the night in Penasco and helped others pack. Half of our Zone in Penasco left! There are a lot of changes this time around I think. 17 missionaries completed their mission and went home and only 11 arrived so I think they had to close some areas or something with the missionaries that we have now. And it was the first transfer with Pres. Hernandez. So I left yesterday morning at 8AM with a Hermana that was being transferred. We arrived at Hermosillo around 2PM and I had to walk up the street to another bus station to go to Agua Prieta. I had to wait until 4:30PM in the bus station until the bus left. While I was waiting huge waves of elders came in with the buses every so often to go to their new areas. Apparently now we all have to go to Hermosillo first and then from there we go to wherever. So I met a lot of missionaries! The newbies also arrived with their trainers and one of them was a guy who was in my BYU ward in fall semester! It was crazy and nice to see him! So I left at 4:30PM and traveled to Agua Prieta and arrived at around 9PM. I then had to call the offices to tell them to call the Zone Leaders here. A brother from the Zone Leader's branch came and picked me up and took me to the Zone Leader's house. I spent the night with the Zone leaders and had a good time talking to them. They are both from Utah and have just a few months left. They gave me a lot of good advice on how I can grow this transfer. This morning I left at 8AM and took another bus 1 hour to a town, Esqueda where my comp was waiting for me with other elders, and then we traveled another hour to Nacozari. My new comp is Elder Miranda. He is 22 years old and from Mexico City. He is of the same generation of missionaries as Elder Melchor and so he has 14 months in the mission. Part of the advice that the Zone leaders gave me last night was it is my responsibility to step up and take the initiative in missionary work. That is what I've been praying for. A change that would help me grow in this aspect and so I guess Heavenly Father's way of teaching me and letting me grow is by giving me a chance to help! So I am a little worried about how this transfer will go, but I will just have to trust in the Lord and do the things I promised I would do to grow. Already I am feeling a little bit of that transfer blues from going to a place that I became comfortable with and the members and people I knew to a new place that I know nothing about and I know no one. It will just have to take some time getting used to it all I guess. The house sort of sucks and is really, really small and not that great, so I am going to try and find another one to rent. Apparently in the mornings we don't have water only the afternoons for some reason, so we have to wait and take our showers at night. Elder Miranda says that there aren't really too many houses to rent because so many people come in here to work because there is a Mine here, that all the houses go fast. We will see though... So that is that! I feel like I have typed way too much and I hope I don't bore you all. I just needed to get my thoughts out! Moral of the story: God answers prayers and He does it in the way that we need it. Well, I think that is about it for this email! I hope it isn't too much of a book for you all! Thanks as always for your emails and the pictures too! I love to see them! I love and miss you all tons! Here's to a week of new things... ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Much Amor, Elder Joyner
A Nice American Family that fed the Missionaries
Elder Joyner & Elder Castro in Penasco
Missionaries in the Penasco Zone

Monday, August 6, 2012 - "Don't Feed The Plants..." (Rather Don't feed the Dayne or he'll get sick!)

Hola Mi Familia! Wow! Summer is over for you all huh? Seems it went by really quickly to me, I'm sure to you too! Sounds like you will have a busy week having a birthday and getting back to school! It is blazin hot! They said that one day this week was 48 grados which is around 113-118 degress farenheit! It is hot and the sun is hard, but I feel like the Lord blesses us because I don't feel as much heat as I could. Some days when they say it is hot, I say it is hot, but I don't feel as hot as I could? I don't know? Did that make sense? Well, this week just started right off bad for me! Ha! Tuesday night for dinner I heated up a Maruchan (the one in the foam cups) and around 1:30AM that night I woke up feeling sick. It was soo not fun. I continued to feel nausea throughout the day and we didn't leave to work; I just slept and rested the day. I really wasn't able to eat much at all. Well, it's not like we have too much I could have eaten, but still. I had like a piece a bread every few hours. Luckily for Lunch we were scheduled to eat with the members right next door to us and the Hermana had already made a soup and I was thankfully able to eat that. But other than bread, the soup, and snacking on Trix cereal all day, that was all I had. We had this Chicken Salad type thing for lunch the day before, but my comp never was sick, so we think it was the Maruchan. Needless to say I won't be eating the foam cups ever again! So that happened! Thursday night mutual was really quite neat! We had a lot of people come, members and non-members, and we played games, the Relief Society did Zumba, and it was a lot of fun! If only all Mutuals could be like that, but that usually only happens once every few weeks. Nothing else too exciting really happened this week. We received our monthly allowance so finally I have money again! Thank Heavens! This morning an unfortunate event happened to me. I woke up to find my backpack had been infested with ants. Yuck! Oh, it was so gross! There were ants everywhere! All over my clothes and things. I usually always pack a package of chips ahoy cookies to take with me in case that the Elders in Penasco don't have food for us for dinner or lunch so I take that to eat just in case. Well, I guess the ants found that little package and that is what set them off! Eww! I am still cringing! I was so paranoid after I cleaned up this morning that I kept going through my backpack to make sure I had everything out. So we won't be packing cookies anymore! Sorry, if this was a short email. I feel like it was short and of little worth, but hopefully something will get me going more this week. Transfers are next Monday, so if you don't hear from me then, it may not be till Tuesday or Wednesday depending on what happens...we will see....who knows this could be my last week in Sonoyta?!?! I love and miss you all tons! Good luck with starting school this week! Have fun and be safe! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner