Saturday, January 25, 2014

December 2, 2013 - Thanksgiving

Hola Mi Familia! What a fantastic week! Look at all of you with your food eating. First Blue Willow and then Thanksgiving! Geez! So Jealous! I LOVED the photo of Thanksgiving! It was fun to see you all with your plates empty and so full and Grandma and Grandad still eating...haha! Good times! Fried Turkey sounds good! I don't think I have ever had the chance to try one...I seem to always be away from home when you do it. This week has been kind of long and seemed to be pretty busy too! Seems like the busy-ness just ends! There is always so much to do and so little time to do it so we have to work quickly and efficiently. We started off this week with a pretty awesome meeting with Elder De Hoyos of the Seventy who is part of the Area Presidency of Mexico. He came to Hermosillo and all the ward councils and full time missionaries were invited to this meeting! It was a really great meeting and all about "The Hastening". He talked about how missionary work is not the missionaries' work or the members' work, but that it is the Lord's work and we are all working together as one for Him. I think it was really good for the members to hear all this from a General Authority and to get them going! He only talked for about 10-15 minutes and then we did a little activity. They had tables set up in all the classrooms and the cultural hall and we all split up into ward councils. They had the ward councils make 2 lists. In one list they all put names of people they knew who weren't members--being friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers,...anyone who was a member. Then on the other list we made a list of names off all the Less Actives that were recent converts, or youth, or priesthood holders, etc. Just in these 25 minutes that he had given us to do this activity; our ward council was able to have a combined list of almost 60 people! It was amazing! Us and the sisters were like...we go to your houses and ask for names of people you know and you give us nothing and then we come to this activity and you make a list of 60 people as fast as a finger snap...what is going on here?! The Pres. is always saying how the ward council should be the ones who fill our agendas every week with plans and people to visit, but that hasn't been happening and now with this meeting just like that we were able to make a list of names of people to visit. Now all we need is for the ward council to contact these people and make appointments for us. It was a really neat activity and meeting and I think it really encourage and pumped up the members that were able to attend. At the end of the meeting our ward council was sitting up at the front of the chapel and while everyone was leaving Elder De Hoyos came up to Elder Farrow and I because we were the closest missionaries and he told us that we expect members to do their part, but that when they don’t, we have to fill in and find and teach people on our own to keep the work progressing. It was a neat little personal advice experience from a General Authority. There was one commentary that Elder De Hoyos said at the very end that was very interesting. He said that members had become inactive members when they stop reading their scriptures every day. Imagine that! You can go to church and serve in a calling and all that jazz, but a general authority said that we weren't considered active members if we don't have personal daily scripture study! If you don't do it--do it and get active! :) That night of the meeting we decided to do interchanges with a companionship in our zone that has been struggling a little the past few weeks. It was my turn to leave and so I went to the other area in Balderrama for all of Wednesday. The Elder I was with has only been out like 2 months on the mission and hasn't been active his whole life but now is just on fire and loving the mission. I learned a lot from him and hope that I was able to teach him something as well. He has a lot of enthusiasm and love for the people which I liked. Wednesday night we got back together and were able to discuss with one another what we learned during the interchange and how we can improve. Thursday was a grand day! A Thanksgiving day! We started off the day going to the hospital to get the flu shot! Hermana Hernandez wanted all the missionaries to get it (just like she had us to it last year) so we went and got it done. And then that afternoon, we had thanksgiving feast! Like I had mentioned and the picture you all saw, a member and her family invited us over for Lunch that afternoon. It was fun! It was weird cause it didn't really feel like Thanksgiving (probs just because I wasn't with my family) but it was still fun and we ate good! I am thankful for the sweet member and her family who were able to invite us over! A little up date on investigators... Well if all goes according to what is planned, we should be having a baptism this week. The 9 year old that we have been teaching has gone to church now for 5 Sundays and so he is ready for baptism. He is pretty excited and I think his family is too. Finally a baptism and hopefully more on the way! There are 2 boys that are already thinking about missions! Haha! Their grandma told us this week that they have been worried about how their mom will take it when they have to go on a mission. And they are just 15 and 14 and still haven't been baptized yet! They are really awesome! They now have 3 weeks in church and technically just lack 2 to be baptized! We had a really neat lesson this week with them. The ward did a ward church cleaning night on Saturday and everyone was there cleaning even them! At the end we were planning on having a lesson with just them but then the youth stayed to listening in and some of the others who were cleaning and so we ended up having a mini class with about 12-13 people! It was really neat! We talked about the Plan of Salvation and how baptism is the key to this plan! The spirit was there and I think everyone like it. We received a reference this week from a member for her next door neighbor. This guy is a doctor. He lives alone and is pretty somewhat rich. His mom baptized awhile back in another town but is now inactive. We when got to his house we were a little unsure how he would accept us because we saw his fancy super new car and his big nice house. But when we introduced ourselves, he said his mom was a member and he let us in. We started talking to him and he didn't really have any belief in God and so we began to teach him how God is our Heavenly Father and the importance of that. He seemed to really like that and the spirit was there. I then asked what he was looking for in life or what he most wanted and he responded happiness and to maybe have a family one day. We taught how obeying God's commandments and the Gospel blesses us and gives us a fuller and eternal happiness. We then sang a hymn and he accepted to read a part of the Book of Mormon. He was really neat and he seemed to like what we were saying so we will see, but I think he could progress nicely. One last experience! Yesterday, as you all know, was fast Sunday and I was able to go up twice! Let me explain: I went up to give my normal testimony how I love doing every fast Sunday and then when I sat down I got a tap on the shoulder. I turned around and it was a member and she wanted me to go up with her to translate because she wanted to give her testimony. So we went up! She was nervous and not quite sure what to say and I think it was her first time. I told her a few basics of a testimony and told her to say what came out of her heart. It was finally her turn and we got up there together! She would say a sentence or 2 in English and then I would translate it in Spanish. She gave a really sweet and beautiful testimony and the spirit was there. And on top it was fun for me to translate! I really like it! Well, here is to fantastic week! Hang in there gang! Holidays are almost around the corner! Just a few more weeks! You can do it! I invited you to do the same activity as we did with Elder De Hoyos and make a list of people you know--even if you think they wouldn't accept, put them down. And they pray to know who is ready to recieve the missionaries. Love you and miss you all tons and just remember--you are only active if you read your scriptures daily! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

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