Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hermosillo Mexico LDS Temple More Hermosillo Missionaries

Monday, February 11, 2013 - ONE Down LESS than ONE to Go!!!!!

Hola Mi Familia! Well, it happened! This past Friday, I completed ONE YEAR in the mission! It feel pretty dang fantastic if I do say so myself! I can't even imagine that one year has passed, but it has! So crazy! I have learned SO much in these past 12 months! I can't even being to think or count all of the things I've learned and life lessons that I have experience. I definitely think I am NOT the same person I was one year ago. Well, this week was kind of seems like as time goes on we are getting less and less people to teach and those that we have are not progressing as well as we would like. Our 2 investigators....I'm not so sure about them. I am thinking that the lady’s sister who was just baptized a month ago is just talking her into and she likes the idea of getting baptized and all and I don't think that she is really receiving a conversion. She is just interested because she has seen the change in her sister, but she needs to understand that she has to put in an effort to change and receive a testimony. And her 9 year old son is quite a difficult kid. He doesn't seem to pay attention too much and would rather be playing instead of listening to us. He is just a kid so it is understandable, but he really like primary when he went last week. We just need to find games or creative ways to teach him. Unfortunately they didn't go to church yesterday and so the dates for the 2nd of March have fallen and we need to see what is up and plan another one. The other lady is progressing really well! She came to church for the 2nd time yesterday and that really made me happy. She is reading the Book of Mormon and although she has a hard time understanding it sometimes I think she likes it especially when we help her see how it helps her in her life. She is still having problems with her husband. We taught her how to receive personal revelation and how she can ask God what she should do in her situation. She seems to like church especially Relief Society. We really need to find her a friend though that can help her feel more welcome, but it is hard to find someone to match her because she is 20 (my age....that is weird) and has a 2 year old son. But we will work on that. Hopefully if everything continues to go well, we will have a baptism for her the 2nd of March. This week because of various events and circumstances I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement and how fantastic it is! My knowledge and testimony have really grown tremendously this past year on the mish! It is really fantastic to know that we have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven thanks to Jesus Christ. A lot of times when we talk about repentance we talk about it with a reluctant or possibly sad tone. Something like "Oh I did something I shouldn't have and now I have to repent". I have come to learn that we should not be like that. We should be happy and excited to repent. We all make mistakes and sin and Jesus and Heavenly Father give us the OPPORTUNITY and GIFT of repentance! Isn't that great! We get a second chance. So maybe our attitudes should be "Oh, I did something wrong that I shouldn't have, but heck yeah! I get to repent! I get a second chance to try and be better!" Just a thought... Well, that is about all I've got for this week I hope you all are well and enjoy this week! Hope everyone finds a Honey to celebrate the 14th with! I will be excited to celebrate "Single's Awareness Day" with the rest of the singles of the world! Rock on! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

Monday, February 4, 2013 -

Hola Mi Familia! Week one day of this short only 5 week change! Just 4 to go! So this week is the big day!!! On Friday I will complete 1 YEAR in the mission! WAHOOO!!!! It has gone by WAY fast! But you know what? I currently will be home in 1 day less than a year! Yup that is right, I will be coming home just a week shy of 2 years. Since this transfer is 5 week instead of six to match up with the MTC schedule to get a ton of missionaries, everyone currently in the mission will be going home 1 week earlier than scheduled. That is just okay too! But I was actually scheduled to arrive home on Mom's birthday next year! Haha! What a birthday present that would have been. Oh well, I will already be there to celebrate then! So crazy....ONE YEAR!!!!! It is crazy to think that David only has 6 months left...I'm sure his family is happy about that! My inbox was filled with news of mission calls! This is absolutely fantastic! My friend Casey just got her call to Minnesota, Kyle Bradley to Ghana, Jeanette to Peru, others have put in their calls and should be getting letters this week! That is so fantastic! The work of the Lord is really progressing! Another big news for Mexico! In Mexico City there is a church owned private high school call Benemerito. It is basically BYU in high school form. They have religion classes, prayers before every class, live in apartments, have devotionals, etc. It is really awesome and is a high school! Well, apparently after about almost 50 years, the church has decided to close the school and make it into an MTC! This will be the 2nd largest MTC in the world, second to Provo. Apparently they will have about 1,000 missionaries entering every month. There was a satellite conference for alumnus with Elder Holland and Elder Nelson who were at the school and made the announcement. A bunch of people who went to this school have been quite upset, including my comp. I can imagine their pain. I would DIE if they closed my BYU. But this is just another sign that the work of the Lord really is moving forward and there is more of a need for a bigger MTC in Mexico than for a high school. This week has been alright. It seemed like so many appointments that we put fell through this week and many times we were left not knowing what to do with our time. Even back up plans fell through. It really sucks when this happens. It is so much better when you have something to do every hour of the day. But we were able to put a few baptismal dates with people and find a few new investigators. There is a lady that has just moved here from Obregon and she is so impressed with the change that she has seen in the little girl’s mom, that she wants to listen to us. We taught her one lesson and she accepted a baptism date, along with her 9 year son. We had 3 investigators in church yesterday which was a miracle! This 8 AM time really hurts us! No one wants to go to church that early, but thankfully these investigators did! They are priceless for doing that. The other date that we have put is another lady. She came to church which made us really happy. The thing is, we just need to work on her husband. We also received a reference from in-actives that these two twin brothers who are apostolic wanted to know more about our church. So we found them and set up an appointment for yesterday. We went and began talking with them and they were really knowledgeable in the bible and have a lot of faith in Christ and God is really strong in their church, but we actually had a really great discussion. We discussed our similarities and taught them the Restoration. They didn't accept the Joseph Smith story, but we read them a scripture from the Book Of Mormon and they really liked it. So now our plan of action is to get them to read the Book Of Mormon, and if they do that and pray to know if it is true then we could have other investigators that could really progress and be really strong converts. This lesson was really good. Although they might had done more talking than us, we definitely could feel the spirit in the lesson and it was so much better than talk to Jehovah's Witnesses-no contention and the doctrine is actually quite the same! One last experience that I just have to share! We got out late of our weekly District leader meeting with the zone leaders and we were waiting for buses, but nothing was coming. My comp said that he thought they stopped at 9PM and that we would have to stay with the Zone leaders till the morning. Well, I said a pray in my mind that we would have the means to get home quick and safe, whether a cheap taxi would pass by or the right bus. Well, after a few minutes, a taxi passed by and I was going to signal it, but down the road I saw a few buses, so decided to wait to see. Well, thankfully one of those buses was the one we need. We got home and there weren't a lot of people on so we didn't make too many stops and were able to make a normally 45 minute bus ride into 15-20 minutes. This was really a small blessing and tender mercy from the Lord! God ALWAYS hears and answers prayers! Well, that is about all for this week. Hope I haven't left anything out. Hope you all are well and that you have a super duper week! HAPPY ONE YEAR TO ME!!!! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder (one day less than a year) Joyner!
The Baptism The District The Zone

Monday, January 28, 2013 - Miracles happen!

Hola Mi Familia! Welp, another week gone and today is the big day of transfers.....unfortunately we didn't have transfers. We didn't have transfers, nor the sisters in our district. I think they said that this transfer will only be 5 weeks instead of the normal 6 because the MTC receiving new missionaries and all we need to get on their schedule to receive new missionaries. Other big news for this change: they have split our zone. I think they are making room for a new stake. Previously the zones were according to stakes and each stake was a zone, but now they have split our zone and so there will be 3 zones in Hermosillo and I think they will be making a new stake here soon. Apparently as well the next time we have transfers we will be getting a bunch of new missionaries and so our ward and the ward of the sisters will be getting another companionship I think. Well, this week has been kind of rough and dry with it being week 6 and all and no one knows if they will have transfers. We did have various neat lessons and heard quite a few terribly sad stories from less actives on why they don't go to church. It is so sad and horrible to hear how mean and rude people can be and how easily people can get offended. It is so sad to hear that someone doesn't go to church and get to enjoy the blessings there because of other members who have offended them. It breaks my heart. This week we FINALLY had the baptism of the little girl. We went with the bishop this week to make sure that gas could be put in the tank to start the boiler and have hot water and that the water reservoir could be filled. Saturday, we arrived at the church early to ensure that everything would get done and that there wouldn't be any problems. We heated the water and it was nice and warm and the water pressure was quite fantastic and strong. The font was filled and the little girl actually came on time this week. Haha! The sad thing was that of all the people we invited, very few members showed up....only 4 and our zone leaders and the sisters. That just really make me sad how the members are not supportive sometimes and just dismiss things like it doesn't matter, when it really is important to support this little girl and her family who are new members. Well, we started the service and I sang a musical number of "I Feel My Savior’s Love". It came time for the baptism and I went ahead and got into the water, but the girl wasn't coming. After a few minutes, I go to the other side of the font to see what is up and she doesn't want to do it. I've told you all how she is very timid and shy and doesn't talk well, this just made it worse! She didn't want to get into the water. She said she was scared. Her mom kept asking her if she wanted to do it. Her mom really wanted her to go through with it, but she wouldn't get in the water. She said she did want to get baptized, but that she was scared of going into the water and going backwards. We told her that she could just bend her knees and dunk down vertically, but that still didn't happen. So I was just chilling in the water for about a good 30 minutes or so waiting for her to come. Finally my comp said a prayer with her and her mom and after a few more minutes the mom kept encouraging her and said that she would get in the water with her. The mom started in and got her feet wet. This must has helped, because the girl seemed more receptive to this, after a while she felt more comfortable and was able to get into the water. She didn't want anyone to see the baptism, so we kept the doors to the font shut and we just did it there with just her mom and the two witnesses. She went down once, but didn't cover her head and so we had to do it again. She went down again and all went well. So that happened. At least she was able to do it and God really helped her feel comfortable and at ease. I was very thankful for the power of prayer this day and that everything turned out right in the end. Well, that is about all I got for this week. Just 2 more weeks and I will be completing months again...but this time it just won't be any sort month completion...but 1 YEAR!!!! Yikes! I love and miss you all tons! Hope all is well! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner
The District Elder Joyner having fun! LDS Church Building in Hermosillo, Mexico

Monday, January 21, 2013 - "Savior Redeemer Of My Soul..."

Hola Mi Famila! Another week has been quite fast in some aspects and in others quite slow. But it has been quite a spiritually gratifying and uplifting week with many new insights and things to ponder. I'm not really sure what I said last week about my musical number, but on Monday I got together with Elder McNeil from Mesa who is in my Zone who plays piano. Tuesday night I got together with Elder McNeil again and practiced. Then came Wednesday, the big day! We arrived early to practice and everything went well. The meeting started and I went first right after the opening prayer. The number went quite well-not as well as I would have liked for me, but well. I think everyone was quite impressed. Everyone was saying how Elder Cornish's countenance changed when I started singing, like he was impressed to. I almost moved Hermana Hernandez to tears she said. And Elder and Sister Cornish both came up and said thanks for inviting such a strong spirit to the meeting. The conference with Elder Cornish was really good! He served a mission in El Salvador and they were mission presidents in the Dominican Republic and so he knew Spanish quite well. His wife too, but with a very, VERY thick "Gringo"accent. We talked about many things at the conference and it was really good. At the end we he left it open for about an hour and we could ask any question we wanted about anything and we would discuss it and he would answer it. In the end, we talked about the Atonement and he showed us a video of Abraham and Isaac and how their story relates so much to the Atonement. Although I knew the correlation between Abraham and Isaac and Jesus, this video really impacted me. It showed how Isaac being the only son of Isaac and giving him as a sacrifice to God and how hard it was for him to give his only son that he ever had. it also showed how Isaac was WILLING to go and he knew that that is what God wanted for his father Abraham. Of course the application is that God gave his only begotten son and that it much have really been hard to give that sacrifice to the world, but he loved us so much that he wanted to do it. And Christ was WILLING to be sacrificed and give his life for us. This video really impacted me so much and for the whole rest of the week I couldn't get the Atonement of Jesus Christ out of my head. I was constantly thinking about it every day all the time. I also had a continuous love and I reflected on these things. I had a new insight to the Atonement. Yes, I didn't learn of anything new, but I was reminded and received a witness of the Atonement. I was able to use these thoughts and feelings in many lessons that we had this week. I loved teaching and telling people how Christ willingly took upon him the sins of the world and basically lived each and every one of our lives and left each and every one of our pains and problems that we had. And all this because he loves us. And God gave us His son because he loves us too. Soo much....we can't even comprehend the love that God and Christ have for us. I was very impacted by this and still have lingering feelings. So to this weekend....Saturday...baptism of the little girl.... So, we arrive at the Church a little late and the other ward is there setting up for Mutual or some activity that they were going to have. We nicely asked for the room with the baptismal font and they gave it to us. We began cleaning the font and all and went to go turn on the boiler to heat water so that it wasn't freezing cold for this little 9 year old girl. We get the boiler started and leave and then come back and it had turned off. Apparently the gas tank finished and there was no gas, so no hot water. So we said, whatever and moved on to fill the font. Well, we began filling the font and the water pressure begins to lessen. Here in Hermosillo, there isn't a lot of water and so at night they lesson the water pressure to try and save water for the city. Well, this isn't very good for us trying to fill a font in only an hour. We decided to leave it hoping for a miracle and we came back an hour later and it still wasn't filled to the first step of the stairs and it was nearing 7PM time to start the service. Well, by this time only 4 members showed up for the service and our zone leaders. Only 4 MEMBERS!!!! Of all the people we invited and the responsibilities that we delegated to people, only 4 members showed up. And not one of them was the bishop or his councilors or the ward mission leader. Well, 7PM came, and later 7:15 and the font wasn't filling and the little girl didn't even show up! That was the craziest thing. We thought, oh she is really timid and shy and she probably backed out and doesn't want to get baptized anymore. So we called it off. We drained the font and told the 4 members thanks so much for coming and for your support, but we aren't going to have a baptism. We left with a couple to go to the house of the little girl to see what happened. When we got there, no one was there and the neighbor said that they had left to go baptize the little girl. That was the strangest thing for us. The next morning, we went to their house again with that same couple to see if we could take them to church, but again, no one answered and we thought, well maybe they already left for church on their own (they were probs just sleeping). We got to church and they weren't there. This was so depressing and I was a little annoyed. After church, we went to visit them again and the girl’s aunt said that the night before they had taken a lot of time to get ready and by the time the left and had gone to the church around 8PM, it was locked and no one was there. So they had gone, but we had already called it off and left. So that happened.....I'm not sure at this point what is next. We will probs be setting another date for this coming Saturday. The girl has already said that she wants me to do it (well, she didn't tell, us but her mom...she doesn't say a word to us remember?). All kids are in love and obsessed with us Gringos and we are quite playful they say! I do enjoy playing with the kids! Well, that was basically my week.... I hope all is well with you all. At last, the final week of this Transfer! We have transfers next Monday, but I think I will be staying....but who knows... I love and miss you all tons! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner