Saturday, January 25, 2014

Monday, December 9, 2013 - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Hola Mi Familia! It's the most wonderful time of the year! Don't you all just LOVE Christmas time?!?! Cause I sure do! I just love you all so much! I was pretty nostalgic reading about your weekly activities and reminiscing about the old days when I used to be super busy too and going from one activity to another! *Sigh*...oh the good ole days! So it is cold! This past week the weather has really just turned cold. I wrote you a few weeks ago saying that it was cold, but that is nothing compared to what we are experiencing now. The long sleeve shirts and sweaters have officially made their seasonal debut! We have a boiler/water heater, but the missionaries from last year never paid the gas bill and it is really high and the mission won't pay it neither the house owner so we are going back to using a bucket and water resistance to heat our water again. It just got too cold to bathe with the normal water from the faucet. Well, this week has been just an amazing and such a very very spiritual week for me. It has to do with Wednesday. I will explain in a moment though. First off Wednesday morning, we were going to a lesson that wasn't planned, but we just wanted to drop by and while walking my comp saw a house that he had contacted a few weeks ago while we were in interchanges and when I had left. He was like "Let's go contact them" and my, wasn't it a surprise! We knocked on the door and a lady in her early 40s came out and invited us in. We began talking. She said she let us in because she saw us and could see and feel the peace that was radiating off of us and in our eyes. She said we just radiated peace! We began talking and she was a really nice lady and super easy to talk to. She was very open and not really too much into any church. She said she goes to the Catholic Church when she wants to, but feels that there is something missing there. We began to talk and we sang her a hymn and shared a scripture with her. She just out of the blue asked how she could go to our church. She was asking if she went, what would it be like and everything. And then she asked how we baptized in our church and how if she wanted to go about doing that how it would be done. She was very interested and said that she would like to go and check it out. Well, she didn't go this past Sunday, but we have a good feeling about her. She seems very open and seemed like she could progress. We just need to go back and visit some more. On Thursday we had to opportunity to do a service project. An investigator that we have works in the central state office of a high school chain here in Sonora. She has been in charge of an English Spelling Bee and asked us to help. There were 50 English words that we had previously helped create sentences for. Now, on Thursday, we went to her office to record ourselves! We recorded each word: how it is pronounced, the definition, and the example sentence! It took almost 2 hours to do the 50 words, but now the whole state of Sonora will be able to practice their English with 2 native English speaking missionaries! Haha! How neat, no? Friday, we had our Multi-Zone Christmas Conference with the Pres. It was us and another zone. We performed out "O Holy Night" piece and we rocked it, if I do say so myself! The spirit was felt and set the tone for the meeting. Hermana Hernandez especially liked it and said she wanted to send it to the Area Presidency! Haha! It was a really nice and very spiritual conference. We talked a lot about new missionaries and how to adapt to the mission life and help missionaries who are struggling. Elder Farrow and I had to do a mini training and skit to teach a little how to help missionaries who are struggling. It went okay, but wasn't that great! They fed us a nice Christmas lunch, but unfortunately no Piñata this year... :( So Saturday, we finally had a baptism. The 9 year old was baptized and it was a special event. Only his mom was able to make it because his whole family was sick. It was very spiritual for everyone that went, but especially him and his mom. I did a special musical number of "I Feel My Savior's Love" and then was asked to do it again for church the following Sunday. I would send pictures, but my camera was dead and my comp left his memory card at home next week I will try and get them. Now, for the Wednesday event! So I don't remember if I told you this, but you remember, the family that we ate Thanksgiving Dinner with? Well, she was going through the temple 2 weeks ago for her endowments cause her mom came to visit and she invited us to go with because we had been helping her prepare and giving her the temple prep classes in English. We talked to Pres. and he gave us permission to go to the temple. Well, it turns out that the day she was going in is when we had that meeting with Elder De Hoyos of the seventy and all the ward councils so we weren't able to go with her because we had to be there. So we planned a trip to go with her again this past week for her 2nd time and we planned to do some family names that she had. OH MY HECK! Was that just one of the most amazing days! I had not gone to the temple since last April....about 8 months ago almost and it was so wonderful being back! Right upon entering a wonderful, wonderful peace was felt as we left the world and entered the Lord's house! While getting dressed in all white I was more than thrilled to be doing a session again! The temple video was just MAGNIFICENT! Absolutely stunning and like you said, very emotional! When it started I was like "SISTER HOBBS, BUT WITH BROWN HAIR!!!" Haha! It was super weird! And I just couldn't stop thinking about The Whitings the whole time! I'm pretty sure I've met her before! I think this video just made the session even more spiritual for me and I just learned a lot of new things and felt even more how special the Plan of Salvation is for us! I love how in the mission, one of the greatest testimonies I have received has been of the plan of salvation! I would like to share a few things that touched me about what I learned from the temple. First, like so many people say that we have the original sin and that if only Adam and Eve had not sinner we wouldn't be suffering here or whatever. But here this week, I truly realized how necessary it was for them to do this transgression. And I think Adam and Eve, even though they were innocent, they really knew that! They really knew that it was part of God's plan for them to fall and to be cast out of the garden. I am personally thankful for that, because I wouldn’t be here today if they hadn't have fallen. We also wouldn't have the opportunity to experience happiness and sadness and what true joy and peace the gospel brings. Second, the Atonement! Because of the fall, I have realized (I always knew this, but it just got to me this week and touched Me.) just how important the Atonement is to SAVE us. Christ just didn't come to suffer to know how we suffer, but his suffering SAVES us from he affects of the fall. He is the one that allows us to enter the Father's presence again and have eternal life! I think Adam and Eve also knew that and they were so happy and thankful for it too. They fell and God told them that He would provide a Savior to Save them from this transgression, and then they were SO SO HAPPY to hear that and I think it meant a lot for them too! I really just can't express my feelings and all the knowledge and spiritual revelation I received this day! It was such a very special and spiritual day that that wonderful spirit was with me for the next 2 days even and I was on a spiritual high with my mind wandering! I love the temple so much and am so excited to make it a weekly goal to go when I come home. I felt such joy and peace to be able to help others receive their saving ordinances. And such peace and tranquilness was felt in the Celestial room! It was nice and a bit touching knowing it would be my last time going to the temple here in Hermosillo in the mish! Well, I hope this wasn't too crazy! My mind was so on the temple and the wonderful experience that I had that I may have forgotten some things, but there is always next week. I hope you all have a super duper fantastic week and that your minds are temple centered! Mosiah 2:5-7 the people prepared to listen to King Benjamin by putting the doors to their tents towards the temple. Do the same and put your home and lives towards the temple and you will be blessed! I love you all and can't wait to talk in just 2 weeks! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

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