Sunday, September 8, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013 - "The Power of Baptism"

Hola Mi Familia! Well, this week has gone by a lot faster thank heavens! The first week in a new area is always the roughest, but I now feel better and more comfortable with the area and the people. Our biggest challenge right now is just trying to find new people to teach. The members here don´t seem to be as willing to give us names of friends and people to teach, but who knows....their rich? As far as investigators goes... Our Cuban friend! Well, he has been unemployed for sometime and just got a job which takes up like all of his time so we haven´t had a chance this past week to see him which sucks! But his wife who is a member fed us this week and she said that he has been reading The Book Of Mormon on his own which is pretty awesome and has been asking a few questions. He would be a fast easy baptism if only he didn´t have such a dumb work schedule. He works early in the morning to late at night which makes it super hard for us to visit him and super hard for him to go to church. But I believe in miracles and know that God will help us if we just put forth our own effort. So we will see where that takes us. The grandkids of the one sister that we have been teaching are kind of getting difficult! We have been trying to teach them, but they don´t pay too much attention sometimes and they like to leave and go play in place of listen to us, but it is their decision. We had a really neat lesson this week though with one of the granddaughters. She is OBSESSED....and I mean OBSESSED with Justin Beeber! It is quite funny actually! She is like the only one who normally happens to be at the house when there is no one else there. Well, we were supposed to have Family Home Evening with all the kids one night, but they had all left when we arrived and only this girl that was there and so we did a special little lesson with her. We talked about baptism and how is cleanses us from our sins. We did an activity with pepper and water and dish soap that shows us how baptism washes us. It was pretty neat. We then asked her if that was something she wanted to do--to be washed of her sins and errors and she said she didn´t know and was kind of shy about the whole thing. We then said we would all kneel down and she could say a pray to ask Heavenly Father if it was what she should do. We all felt a sweet spirit during the lesson and it continued as we all knelt down in a circle to pray. She was a little hesitant to do it and said she didn´t know how, so I first said a pray to give an example and then she did it. It was a sweet prayer, but at the end she said she didn´t feel anything. We tried explaining that there are many ways to receive answers to prayers and that it may not come so soon. She didn´t seemed too convinced at what we said, but we told her to pray again that night alone. We may not continue with them, but we will just have to see. This week the Sister missionaries in our ward had a baptism. It was quite a special baptism for a few reasons. First off my comp and I did a duet with him playing guitar as well. It was pretty sick! You will have to look up in iTunes Hillary Weeks singing ¨He Came For Me¨ and then imagine that as a duet. It was quite lovely! I tried sending you all a video, but the file was too big, so you will just have to wait 5 more months. Second of all a sister was baptized and it was just so special for me to see. Her path to baptism has not been easy she has had quite a few obstacles and struggles in her life and almost didn´t make her baptismal date. Many people didn´t know of her past and struggles, but we did know some. It was so special to see her go down into the waters of baptism all dressed in white representing purity. I couldn´t see well, but it seemed like when she and the other Elder were getting ready for the baptismal prayer, she bowed her head and just started crying and a sweet spirit filled the room. She went down into the water and came back up again and she was a completely different person. She was still her same sister, but just clean. She was so happy afterward and you could see her load lifted and see she had been forgiven of her sins. It was just a really touching and special moment for me. I think baptismal services are so much more meaningful when you know the struggles the person has gone through and what it took to get to the point of baptism. It just made me reflect a lot on the Atonement and how there really isn´t anything that the Atonement doesn´t cover. Christ did so much for us and sometimes we neglect his divine grace and mercy. I am truly thankful for Him and His sacrifice for me. Well, that is about all I got for this week. Tomorrow is my first monthly Mission leadership conference with all the zone leaders and President so I will have to report next week how that goes. I wish you all the best to this next new week! Time is ticking! Make the most of it! A favorite quote of Aunt Melon : ¨Jesus is coming look busy¨! I love and miss you all tons! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

Monday, August 25, 2013 - "I think I'm gonna like it here!"

Hola Mi Familia Well this week has just been crazy!!! I will do my best to respond to all the questions and if I miss one just get it to me next time. So I am in Satellite. It is like in the middle of Hermosillo and our area goes from like the center to the most western part. Ummm....the perks.....this ward is freaking RICH!!!! Like the most rich people of all of Hermosillo. OH. MY. HECK. I love going to visit members and people just to see their houses and the wealth. It is crazy! We split the area with a set of Sisters. This is my first time being in a ward with more than one pair of missionaries and so far I like it. Our church building is two floors....! :) My comp, like I said, is from Hawaii. The main island of Hawaii that is close to the temple. We have been talking in English about 90% of the time in between us it is pretty different! Haha! He also went to BYU before the mish and we got to talking and turns out that we knew some of the same people. That was weird. We have about 10 areas under our direction which equals out to 20 missionaries. We are even the zone leaders of the secretaries and assistants which is kind of cool. This week has just been so enchanting! I have LOVED being back in Hermosillo! I love this city so much! I have even had the though cross my mind a few times this week that I could so live here later on in life. The only down fall is the heat. We have a Wal-Mart, Applebee’s, Office Max, Costco, Office Depot, Blockbuster, Papa John’s, a store bigger and even better than Wal-Mart and much more, just within 10-15 minutes walking distance of us! I have really had a load of reflection time this week with new things and such. The few things that I have begun to do as Zone Leader this week I have loved. My favorite part I would have to say is just the fact that this assignment gives me the opportunity to serve other people and to help them learn and grow personally. I love imparting my knowledge to and helping others in meetings and trainings and such. Ahh! I feel like there is so much to say, but I can't organize my thoughts.... In our ward I met someone who knew Crandon about 30 something years ago...that was cool! So we don't have a ton of investigators right now, but we do have a few we are focusing on... There is this guy from Cuba! That's a first! He is pretty cool and has a neat accent. His wife is a member and his mother-in-law was just baptized this past week and he is interested in it all so we are thinking we could put ourselves on that one and make it a baptism. He hasn't gone to church but his family is very important for him and he wants the best to make them happy and so we think we can hit on that. We are also teaching some grandkids of a sister in the ward. She has like 8 that my comp and his comp before me where teaching, but school has started and they are now hard to find them together and so we have only been finding 1 to 3 sometimes. But they seem to like the church and seem to want to be baptized, so we will try to get there. Apart from them we don't really have any others we are teaching, but we are going to begin to do our best to find new people. I feel like we can really do some great things this change and be able to find new people and have baptisms, we just need to work with efficiency and put our priorities in order. Sorry, I felt like this email was kind of dry and doesn't have too much meat to the bones. Hopefully I will get the hang of things more this week and will have more to tell and share next week. I love and miss you all so much! Last week of the hottest month of this year! Thank heavens! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner