Thursday, September 24, 2015

Half Way (Sept. 22, 2015)

¡Hola! It's been quite a week. Some ups and downs pero esta bien. THANKS AUNT JULIE FOR THE TREATS! I definitely needed a change up of food choice because cafeteria food is getting pretty old. ALSO THANK YOU MOM, DAD, AND COLE FOR THE PACKAGE AND CINNAMON ROLLS. I got them on one of my toughest days here so far. My lessons just weren't going well that day and I was stressed, so it was a very nice surprise to cheer me up a titch.

WHOOP WHOOP I saw Dayne for a brief moment last Wednesday! On Wednesdays, we teach member volunteers and Dayne volunteered. I didn't get to teach him but the "intermediate" district in my zone did. Then at the end we were discussing as a group our improvements and Dwayne walked by to leave and gave me a high five. No Hug tho šŸ˜•šŸ˜‘ Its whatevs tho. See ya in 2! JK jajajajajaja

So this week a super neat-o thing happened on Sunday. Our devotional was lead by Lloyd Newell, the voice of The Music and the Spoken Word. Our devotional was entitled: MTC and the Spoken Word. It was basically the same as the real thing they do in the conference center but with the MTC choir. It was sick! We sang High on a Mountain Top, How Firm a Foundation, Redeemer of Israel, Let Us All Press On, and We Thank Thee oh God for a Prophet. His voice is liquid gold. I imagine when we get to heaven, his voice will greet us! Oh Joy!

Alex & Bro. Galvez (?)
One day I was sitting in class and I looked over and saw a familiar face. He was a missionary that served in our Stake a couple years ago that was now teaching at the MTC. I don't remember his name but I got a picture with him!!

This week we continued to teach XX (just learned the internet rules on missionary blogs - will leave out investigator names going forward - Alex's Dad). She is a tough one who doesn't trust God enough to pray. Yesterday, she broke down after like talking to her for like two minutes. She is having family problems and I testified that the power of prayer would help her. She is going to read Alma 32 and hopefully pray about it!!! I know that prayer is one of the best communications we have directly to God. It's an incredible thing. We need to utilize it daily. I know since I've been at the CCM, my testimony of prayer has grown immensely. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to talk with my Heavenly Father daily.

So in class this week, Hermano Horsely (Caballomente) shared a story with us that I'd like to share with y'all. It goes something like this:

A woman was once with her Dentist and the woman exclaimed something like, "Thank God." The dentist said, "Wait, you believe God is real?" The woman replied, "Yes." The Dentist then said, "How could you believe in God or His grace when there's so much bad in the world? There's so many people who suffer daily. There's no way there could be a God." To that, the woman replied, "Are Dentists real? Even with all the toothless people in the world and all those who suffer from cavities and diseases daily. As a Dentist, you don't seek out patients to. Patients seek and come unto you for help. This is the same with God. If we don't seek him out and come unto Him, how do we expect to
be blessed by him?" The Dentist then stood there speechless.

This is very true. If we don't seek out God, how are we expected to receive his numerous blessings? Yes he is a gracious God who blessed us daily regardless of our weakness, yet there is still so many more we could seek out.

We also watched another video devotional on Sunday by Elder Bednar called "Recognizing the Spirit." I feel impressed to share some of my notes from that. Just some things that I was impressed to write down.
* How to know if Holy Ghost or just me? Quit worrying about it. Keep on with faith
* The overall impressions from the spirit come from obeying and being a "good boy"
* Press forward, get going do not sit still
* Don't sit and wait for a dramatic message to come down from heaven
* He increasingly trusts us to do what we must do
* Get to work. Quit worrying about it.
* D&C 80 "4 Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true. 5 Behold, this is the will of him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

I encourage all to read and ponder these different messages.

Sunday also had the opportunity to sing a song in church. I sang a song called "My Soul Hungered." (will attempt to insert video - will only have sound) I'll try and forward the recording I have. I auditioned it to sing during the devotionals and got it. I'm
not sure which one I'll sing at yet but that should be fun. Also, I finally was able to practice with Sister Bills (lol she says hi Dwayne) and were auditioning that song this week. SO THATS GUCCI.

Funny story. So we came back to our room one night and our door was covered in sticky notes. There was one in particular that said "Don't Mess With France." We were so confused but it was a good laugh anyway.  Just thought I'd share that fun tidbitšŸ˜‹ 

I will also forward on some more pictures from this week. I have not had the chance to get one in front of the big map yet though. I will also forward a pic of my x-Ray from a couple weeks ago. THANKS GRANDMA AND PAPA AND HOLLY for those calcium pills. I can feel them working!!!
Spiral Fracture of 5th Metacarpal

I think that's about for this week. Thanks for all the love and support!! I can definitely feel it daily. Much love to all. 2 1/2 weeks till CALI

¡Yo se que vive mi senor!

Te Amo,

Elder Joyner

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Learning Things the Left Way (Sep 15, 2015)

¡Hola! Holy cow what a week! It's been filled with lots of adventures and exciting times. I've been here two weeks and its gone by so fast!!! They say days go by so slow but the weeks go by crazy fast. That's such a true statement. It's been such a crazy ride. 

OHHH soooo I mentioned last week I hurt my hand playing basketball. Well it continued to hurt all week, so I finally went to the doctor on Friday to see what was up. The doctor there was like "Oh it's probably not broken, because you probably would have to have a really high pain tolerance, but let's get it x-rayed just to be sure." So I got it x-rayed and yes it turned out to be fractured. lol good fun! The doctor was kinda shocked! I got a pass and left the CCM (MTC) to go get a cast on that day. It was a clean cut, so it should heal quite nicely. Dad, I think it was just a simple fracture is what they said. I'm going back the 2nd of October to get new pictures of the break and they said they'll probably put me in a velcro splint. It doesn't effect my leave date, but it effects my day to day activities. The way the bone broke made the cast mold a little funky, meaning my pinky finger and ring finger are bent facing downward. It's made things like writing and brushing my teeth (or anything with my right hand difficult to do). Although it seems kinda bad, i'm just very grateful it wasn't anything more serious. It may be a little bump in the road that the Lord has placed in my way, but i'm grateful for the opportunity to learn how to work around it. I am truly humbled by it.

Lovin' It!

Ok enough about that. EXCITING NEWS. We got our iPads this week. It's been such a cool experience already learning how to utilize this technology that the Lord has blessed us with. We're learning how to use it to fulfill our purpose as missionaries which is: 
"Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo al ayudarlas a que recibian el Evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en JesuCristo y Su expiaciĆ³n, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepciĆ³n del don del EspĆ­ritu Santo y el preserverar hasta el fin."

Because it's difficult to write with my cast, it's been a blessing to have the iPad to take notes on 
I had an interesting experience Friday. My companion was feeling sick and needed to lay down, but i didn't want to miss the lesson, SOOOOOOOO i skyped into the lesson. I was able to learn whilst my companion slept. It's cool how the Lord has given us technology to help progress his work. IT'S SUPER RAD&FAB 

I've found great joy in knowing the truthfulness of this message. Something over the past couple days has impressed me. On Sunday I went to another video devotional. This one was "Missions are Forever" by Elder Holland. I've never seen him so fiesty. He "singed" our eyebrows a titch. I wanted to share a couple quotes from that:
"Because it's Gods work we have to do it the same. We Have to. 

Go out and astonish somebody

Salvation is not a cheap experience

The road to salvation goes through Gethsemane

Missionary work can't be easy. Gethsemane wasn't easy. 

When you're engaged in God's work, it will not be easy. 

Every mission is tough. No mission was easy."

I can feel the power and true testimony of each of these quotes. I've had the opportunity to pray so many times and I've been strengthened by the chance to talk with my Father in Heaven whenever I need it. 

Update on Carlos: So we were able to teach him three more lessons this week. We were able to commit him to reading the Book of Mormon and to get baptized. On Friday, we were waiting for class to start and in walks Carlos, all dressed up in a shirt and tie and we find out that HES ONE OF OUR TEACHERS!!!!!!!! Like da heck? I was so confused. His name is Hermano Horsely haha. He's from Colorado, not Chile. LOL and he speaks perfect English. So ya that was kinda mind blowing. This next week we're gonna start teaching both of our teachers who will play the role of investigators. 

 We also started teaching TRC lessons this week. This is basically more teaching opportunities. Right now, we're teaching Olga. She was born in Boston but now goes to BYU. We were able to teach her about how we're all God's children and how he knows and loves us individually. It's been great getting to know her.

Spanish is coming along. I've learned a lot about the gift of tongues and how the lord qualifies those who he calls. I know if i have the spirit and put all my trust in him that I'll be ok. 

On Sunday, some members of my district and I were able to do a special musical number, "Beautiful Savior." This is one we threw together at the last minute. I haven't had a chance to practice with Sister Bills yet because our schedules are so different. Lol Dayne i think it's funny how you think i'm stealing your friends, because I AM. HA jk but not really. I honestly don't see them that much tbh. 

Some interesting things about el CCM here: 
-There's an Elder that is 7'4". That's taller than Shaq. It's fun to watch him play basketball
-The food is muy diferente (EEEEEK)
-Between me and my companion, we've been to the health clinic over 10 times since our arrival

I absolutely love getting mail (especially Dear Elders from mom dad and dayne)! so don't be afraid to send me a little note at anytime. Since i'm district leader, i have the responsibility to check mail everyday, so it's fun whenever i have a little something!

That's probably all for now! I love and miss you all dearly. I pray specifically for so many of you each and everyday. I know God loves each and everyone of us. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, along with the Bible. I encourage anyone who hasn't read and study it thoroughly, then read Moroni 10: 3-5 and pray about the truthfulness of it. 

Keep on enduring to the end!!! 
Yo se que vive mi senor

Te Amo,

Elder Joyner
Elder Rodriguez

MTC District

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Week (Sep 8th)


WOWIE! What a week! (almost) I'm absolutley loving it here at the MTC! It took a little while to get used to it but es muy bueno ahora! So last Wednesday after I was dropped off, I was able to drop my stuff off and then we went straight to clase de espanol. We started right off learning. Then we had dinner and a "new missionary meeting." We sang Called to Serve and wow. That was a special experience! Later that night, we had a tour of the campus and came back and unpacked. My companion is Elder Rodriguez. He is from Lancaster, Penn. (I'll put more info about my district at the bottom). Thursday was class and meeting with the branch Presidency. Our president is Pres Hanson. They are really coolio and stuff. Such a powerful spirit. ALSO, I am the district leader of our district. So that was kinda crazy. Friday, we had more class and taught our first investigator. So they bring in investigators (sometimes fake, sometimes not) for us to practice teaching. We taught Carlos. In espanol. That's crazy sauce. My first lesson went ehh and it kinda stressed me out. My class is a beginner's class, mixed in with intermediates (me and a couple others). It's muy crazy sauce. Friday, after teaching Carlos, my companion wasn't feeling well and had chest pains. So we went to the doctor here at the MTC, and then he we had to leave campus to actually get an x-ray on his chest. He was having pains and such. It turned out to just be like anxiety or something. So he's all good. We spent at least 5 hours at the doctors' offices Friday. That night was our first gym time and I kinda hurt my hand playing basketball. It's not broken, they don't think. They just buddy wrapped it and hoped for the best lol. Saturday was class all day so that was kinda long. We were able to teach Carlos again Saturday, and that lesson went way better. 

SUNDAY WAS THE BEST. Since I'm district leader, I had to go meetings and such. Then we had a mission conference by the Presidency. Our mission president is President Burgess. Him and his wife are really cool. We then had district meetings and testimony meetings. Those were really crazy spiritual. I LOVED IT! We had a temple walk around the Provo temple and the weather is perfect here. Sometimes chilly in the mornings but it always turns out great. That night we had a devotional by the Provo Temple Presidency. That night we had a video devotional and I saw the best talk I have ever seen. It was called Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It's life changing. It was given in the MTC a couple years ago on Christmas morning. I wish I could share my notes on it with you but cpu time is limited so I'll share another time. 

Yesterday, we were able to teach Carlos again and I had a really cool experience. I was reading a lesson that I had written out because I was nervous about my Spanish. I got a prompting to stop and ask him about his family so I did. He said his mom was sick and he was worried. I made a promise to him that if he would read the Book of Mormon, that his mom would be okay. It was powerful. Spanish came to me in that moment. I definitely felt the spirit and was teaching through the Holy Ghost. It was crazy. We teach him again Wednesday and Thursday. 

This morning was the temple. 7:00 SESSION! So very early. Tonight is another devotional and such. 

So ya know how I wasn't supposed to get an iPad until Cali? Well our MTC Zone is a pilot zone for iPad's in the MTC. SO I GET ONE THURSDAY. We'll receive training on it and such. No pictures this week because I'd have to buy a SD  card converter at the store and it's just easier to send them via iPad. So next week!!!

I saw Elder Rom and Elder Giddens this week!!!! Elder Rom is gone now and Elder Giddens will be here for a while. I also saw Elder Rosenburg a couple times and Sister Derzon once or twice. I saw Sis Beals the first day and like everyday since. Sis Beals and I may be doing a musical number together possibly :)

I'm very happy and feel the spirit everyday. It's a sacred place and I'm learning lots. It's already turning out to be one of the hardest things I've ever done but also the most rewarding. I love you all and miss you dearly!!! Have a great week!!!!!

Te Amo,
Elder Joyner

Questions from mom:
  • What day is your P-day? Tuesdays yes
  • What will you be doing on your pdays? Temple, laundry, devotionals
  • What is your daily schedule like? lol mostly class or teaching, then gym at night. 
  • Are you feeling better?  Are you able to eat? yes. it's cafeteria food but yes. 
  • What is the best MTC meal so far? CORDON BLEU
  • How many are in your district? see below
  • How many are sisters? 3
  • Where is everybody going? see below
  • Who are your teachers?  Where did they serve? Hermana Doblin, goes to BYU and served in El Salvador
  • Have you received your letters from mom this past week? yes i have thanks!

My District (all Spanish speaking)
E Rodriguez- from Penn, staying in Provo
E Bjorling- From Palmyra, Ny, staying in Provo
E Randall- From SLC, Utah, going to Arcadia, Cali
E Nixon & E Funk- from West Jordan, going to NYC, NY south
Hermana Glenn- from Orem, going to Arcadia, Cali
Hermana Killian- from Riverton, going to San Jose, Cali
H Kind- from Saint Louis, staying in Provo

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

MTC - here I come!! (Sep 2nd)

I entered the Missionary Training Center today - - excited and probably a little nervous.