Saturday, November 17, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012 - You Won't Belive It! God Must Want Me To Learn Something....

Hola Mi Familia! So it is cold here! Ha, yeah...all of a sudden Saturday was really cold. I have had to pull out my PJ pants and long sleeve shirts and my hoodie. It is a little chilly! And apparently there is a rumor that it is supposed to snow here this week? Not sure if that is true, but we will just have to wait and see. I completed 9 months this week! Wow how time flies! It seems like I just completed 8....crazy! I've begun to realize just how fast the mission goes....sometimes it just feels like a dream. This week was the big party of Nacozari Jesus Garcia. Apparently in the 1800s there was a train with explosives heading for Nacozari and the conductor, Jesus Garcia, drove the train through Nacozari to another town where it exploded and he died, but he saved the people in Nacozari, so they celebrate that every year on the 7th of November. So there were fiestas and bands and dances and all tha stuff. It was cool to pass by and watch from a far. won't believe.....This week, I attended my 4th funeral here in Nacozari. In just the 3 months I've been here, I've attended 4 funerals...What in the world is God trying to tell me!?! What does he want me to learn!?! Most people don't even attend 1 funeral in their mission, but me? I've attended 4! I must say that my testimony of the Plan of Salvation and our purpose in this live has grown tremendously, but I still don't get it. Is there something else I am suppose to learn or is He preparing me for something? I was with an Elder in Esqueda waiting for our comps and we went to talk to a member and they mentioned that this brother from Nacozari had died the day before. Well, since I was in Esqueda, there was no way for anyone to tell us. This member who died is the husband of the sister that has the cake shop. His wife lives in Nacozari, but he was attending church in Esqueda with a daughter and her family because of a family argument that the mom and daughter had about a year ago. The 2 haven't been talking for a year, and well, this event brought them together and now it seems like everything is all good and they have fixed the problems they were having. This brother that died also wasn't living with his wife and they were separated more or less. But just these past few months and this last week before he died they had been together again which is good. When we arrived in Nacozari, we went and my comp wrote his family and then we later went to the funeral home to be with this family. A sister from Esqueda and her husband (Justin knew these 2 really well when he was here) came and she brought her violin. She began playing hymns and after a while, a daughter of this brother who died suggested that I sing while this sister plays the violin. So I sang hymns and was accompanied on violin. It was really beautiful if I don't say so myself. After about a good 45 minutes of singing we stopped (my voice was so tired for singing non-stop for that long) and the family had a little testimony meeting. The next day, we arrived at the funeral home and one of the daughters of this brother that died had organized a small choir of family members with songs to sing during the service. We participated and sang "He Sent His Son", "A Child's Prayer", "I Am A Child Of God", "Families Can Be Together Forever", and a few other children's songs and hymns like that. The service was us singing those hymns, the family saying a few memories and their testimonies, and there was a picture slide show. Afterwards we all walked behind the hearse (spelling?) to the cemetery (spelling?) as such is the custom here in Mexico. At the cemetery, the Elders from Esqueda came since this brother attended church there, and they helped us sing hymns as they buried the coffin in the ground. When it was all covered we all gathered around the grave and they dedicated it. This funeral didn't seem to be as "heavy" and depressing as all the other. I think it made a difference that all the family were members and they had a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, and they knew that their family was sealed together forever and that one day they would see their father again. The only people there that weren't members were just friends, so I think that that made a difference. Funerals are a spiritual experience. They are sad, but it is always spiritual and you just feel so close to the veil. There are probably 2 events in life were you feel that close to the veil: birth and death. I can't say I enjoy the funerals....well sort of...Ha! They are sad and depressing, but also uplifting. This first week as Senior comp has been a little hard. I have felt quite alone a bit this week and there have just been times when I've longed to be around other people like members or other missionaries. I don't know why, but that has been hard. I think I miss Elder Cruz. I liked how we both worked together and were equals. We have been having a rough time because, since we can't knock doors, we don't know where to get more people. The members don't help and give us references and so we have very few investigators. We have talked to the Branch Pres. and hope to create a branch mission plan to help get more support and help from members. We will see how the next few weeks go. We did have a first lesson with a couple this week that seemed to go pretty well. I always love teaching the first lesson, The Restoration. It is a message that only we teach. Not even the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Baptists that go out and preach have this message! It is pretty unique. They seemed to understand and accept it pretty well, so we will see where it goes. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to confirm Hector. My first time confirming someone! It was a neat experience and I enjoyed it. Sorry, I feel like I didn't have too much to say this week, but I hope it will suffice! Tonight we are going to Agua Prieta to have interviews with the Pres tomorrow. So I hope to pick up my packages! (since my comp didn't bring them last week....). This week is the big 2-0! Crazy! I've tried really hard not to tell anyone, but I think the family that we eat with on Fridays found out and maybe have something....I hope not. I don't want attention! Ha! We will see! Thanks for the Birthday video! Until next week... I love and miss you all tons! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

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