Saturday, November 17, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012 - Woah!

Buenas Tardes Mi Familia! Wow! What a week this has been! So much has happened! It has been crazy! Sounds like you all have kept quite busy yourselves... That is flipping fantastic about the BYU game! That is so great that they dominated and all! Sounds like it was fun, no? Well, I've got a lot to say, so I will just get to it! Starting off chronologically... So when I was talking to you all last Monday I was starting to have drainage and nose problems and all that junk! The next day, I woke up and my problems had worsened. We have investigators that have been sick so I think I may have gotten it from them. Our leaders called that morning and told us that Pres. Hernandez wanted all the missionaries to get the flu vaccine. So we went to the "hospital" to get that taken care of. There are 2 types of hospitals in Mexico: a big hospital that we think of and then something they call the "seguro" that is like a scaled down hospital, but it is all free, you just have to pay for medicine. That is something that I found out interesting. Since there is so much poverty here they make health care available free to everyone. So we went and got the vaccine for free! What I didn't know, but found out afterwards is that if you have symptoms of the flu such as drainage, etc. , you aren't supposed to get the vaccine because the symptoms could worsen. Well, no one asked me before and I didn't know, so I went ahead and got the vaccine and well, what do you know, my symptoms worsened. I woke up Wednesday with an achy body and got really tired really easily just walking around the house. Well, things got a little worse and I developed a bad cough Thursday that I assume is from the drainage that I have. Well, since then I've purchased pills I've been taking and I am getting slowly, better...a little bit. So that happened and was quite rough this week. I now do not have a voice, but we will get to that later. So there is this sister in the branch that lives in a little town called Cumpas that is an hour away. Nacozari is the closest branch to Cumpas so she comes here. Well, apparently missionaries have gone to Cumpas before to work before, and this sister has a friend who comes to church with her almost every week and seems really interested, but we have never talked to her. Well, we wanted to get permission from the Pres. to go to Cumpas to teach this friend and maybe work a bit there one day. Well, Elder Cruz called and the Pres. said no, and that we needed to work in our own area. He also said this and gave a reason. He said that according to certain numbers and such that he went to a meeting with the Area presidency and that they are planning on closing certain areas to missionary work that don't have a strong leadership organization in the church and they are going to be focusing more in areas that have more member support and help. Well, he didn't specifically say Nacozari was going to be closing, but he hinted at it right there and now we are thinking that they will be closing Nacozari to missionary work for some time. That is sad because we have a good teaching pool of people right now who want to get baptized. We have transfers this next Sunday, so we only have a week left and we will see what happens.... but there is a possibility that I could be transferred this next week. Last week in Naco Town (possibly)...sad! I really like it here! Now to the main part of this week.... So we found out Friday morning that a brother in our branch had passed away. I don't know if you remember that picture I sent you a few weeks ago with Elder Miranda and I with an elderly couple. Well, the man in that picture is the one who passed away. He has been sick for the past 3 months and has been having issues. He went to Hermosillo a few weeks ago to be operated on and just returned this past week. We went to visit him and his wife with the Branch Pres. this past week and he was in a lot of pain, but getting better. I gave him a blessing in this visit. Friday, we found out he passed away all of a sudden and we went and spent a few hours with his wife and a few members who were there. At this point, the Elders Quorum President that was basically taking care of all the services and everything asked us if we could help him later on in the day to dress this brother that had died in his temple clothes, since his wife and him were the only members of their family and there wasn't really any more priesthood brothers available. I thought, weird, but okay. About 2 or so hours before we were supposed to go help I started to realize what we were going to do. I started to think how I don't even like going to viewings and seeing the dead people in their coffins and how in the world was I going to go now and dress this brother having to touch and handle the dead body! Oh I started freaking out! I prayed hard asking "Heavenly Father I don't know what I've agreed to do. I don't like seeing dead bodies much less touching them. I don't know that I will be able to do this. Please, help me make it through". We got there and the 2 of us with the Branch Pres. and Elder's Quorum Pres. dressed this brother in his temple clothes. Well, once again, God really does answer prayers and I was able to make it through. It turned out to be a really special and spiritual experience believe it or not. Just dressing the guy would have been one thing, but the fact that we were dressing him in his temple clothes and that he had returned home to "the God who gave him life" it was really special and just made me think about a lot of things. The next day we were asked to prepare a small talk to give at the service. Again, preparing for this, like the other 2 funerals I have attended here in Naco Town (3 funerals just in this area!) my testimony of the plan of salvation grew! A few hours before the service, the Elder's Quorum Pres. who was supposed to be directing the service and dedicating the grave called us and told us that his wife's aunt just died and he wouldn't be able to make it and that we would have to direct the service and dedicate the grave! I was freaking out! I was so worried and felt like breaking down! I felt like I wasn't qualified to do any of this and why us? I again prayed, really hard, and again my prayers were answered! I was in shock for a while, but I was able to accept the fact that we had to do this and just move on. I said that I would direct the service if Elder Cruz would dedicate the grave! (Ha! easy out for me!) We postponed the services an hour of so and right as we were getting ready to start and the Elder's Quorum Pres. walks in. He was able to make it after all and direct the services and everything and dedicate the grave! What a blessing! My prayers were truly answered! All I had to do was speak and give a musical number (which ended up with me losing my voice a few hours later due to my sickness...and I still don't have a voice to this moment.) which went really nicely and left everyone crying even due to my sickness Interesting things about Mexico and funerals. They stay with the body throughout the night for the viewing. We started the viewing Friday night and the widow stayed at the funeral home that night and some members stayed with her. Another thing, they don't put the coffin in a steel/metal box going into the ground. They just put the coffin in the ground and then bury it. And everyone stayed they till it was buried and some of the family members helped. Well, to top that off, we had to speak in church yesterday which made my voice even worse! Well, that was my week! Like I've said before, the mission give you experiences you wouldn't otherwise have had. How many 19 year olds do you know that have had to dress a dead body and almost direct funeral services and dedicate a grave...I don't know too many, but that happened. I am grateful for these experiences though! They strengthen my testimony in so many ways! Before the mission I had such a fear of dying, but now I am so excited to die! I am not ready, there are still many things I want to do in this life, but when the time comes, I will welcome it with honor being able to return to my Father in Heaven having completed my purpose on earth. Well, that was my week, let's hope this one is not as crazy! Ha! I love and miss you all dearly! Have nice week, happy Halloween, and vote MORMON on Friday! :) ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner!

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