Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Alex & Elise Skype

FELIZ Navidad. Well the highlight of my week was definitely talking with FAM. Wow it was so good to talk and laugh and have a good time. And WITH ELISE TOO. That was pretty sick! It didn't really make me homesick, but more that I just wanted y'all to be out here experiencing it with me. So I don't have much to add from when we talked but I'll update those who I didn't talk to.

Elder Joyner & Elder Castro

So on Christmas Eve, we did loads of stuffs. We did like a flash mob type of deal at the mall and sang Christmas carols for people. That was fun! Then since Hispanics celebrate Christmas Eve, instead of Christmas Day, we had like three dinners Christmas Eve! It was so nice. Christmas Day we woke up and opened presents and then went to visit some people. We Skyped around 2ish and talked for a lil bit. After Skype, we were supposed to have dinner with a member but they canceled on us. Somehow Sis Wright found out about this and said that no one should not have dinner on Christmas, so we went and had dinner at President's house. That was super fun! We then finished the night out with a zone activity at the church. It didn't really feel like Christmas to be honest, but it was fun nonetheless.

We found out something interesting about transfers next week. So it has been announced by an Apostle that they don't want missions to have transfer devotional anymore. so normally we would have a transfer devotional at the mission office and then disperse to our areas from there. What's going to happen now is that we'll find out if we're being transferred and to where on Saturday and then next week were just going directly there by means of traveling with our zone leaders or by public transportation. So depending on where I'm going, i could go by public transportation. Haha that'll be weird.

But yes that's really all I have for this week because I forgot to send out an ponderized scripture. So for this week lets do Alma 34:41.

Whoop whoop! Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a happy new year this week! 

Here's a little new year's uplifting message for this week!:

Have a good week!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

With Zone at Bodega Bay Chapel

Thursday, December 24, 2015

FELIZ NAVIDAD (Dec 21, 2015)

HOLA FAMILIA. Wow It's crazy to think I get to talk to the Fam this week! That's supa supa exciting. So yes the plans for that is that I will give you a phone call around 2ish when I'm ready and then we can configure the Skype call. Then once Elise has to go, we can finish up. I'm able to get to use the computer at a bishopric member's house. I'm super excited to talk with y'all!

It was sad to hear the loss of Uncle Don this past week. I know it must be a hard time for the Dowdle family, but it sure does help to know the power of the atonement and the gospel that we have in our
life. It's a special think to KNOW that we will see our loved ones again after this life. That's one of the most important principles we teach as missionaries. I'm praying (and if we were aloud to fast more I would) for the families and friends of Uncle Don.

This past week we had our Mission Christmas party! It was fun and I was able to see my dad (first companion in the mission) and have a good time. We did a lip sync competition to Christmas songs, where each zone would pick a Christmas song to lip sync to! We did hark the herald angles sing by Pentatonix and It was supaaaaaaa fun! I'll try and send that video on! We also had the ward Christmas party and the bishopric asked the missionaries in the ward to make a skit, so we did just that. We did another lip sync to the song, "Donde esta Santa Claus?" That one was so much fun! Now that one I will be sure to send!

Someone asked me about Christmas plans! So Christmas Eve we have dinner and then some caroling. On Christmas, we are going to get up and go do some service for a while, and then have the rest of the day to Skype and visit members and really do whatever. It'll be a fun day! This week we have different activities going on too. For example, we are going to flash mob the mall with Christmas carols, and were also giving out some hot chocolate to the homeless, and different things like that! Should be a good time!

For this week, the lucky scripture chosen was Alma 7:10-13:

"10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the
Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to
the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."

Seeing as it is Christmas time, this scripture seems very appropriate to ponderize this week. This scripture pretty much explains itself so I don't have too many additional comments to add. I do like in verse 10 where it says that Mary was a "precious and chosen vessel." That just sounds so spiritual and uplifting to know that it wasn't just some random person, but that she was a prepared and chosen personage to deliver the Lord, Jesus Christ into this world. The rest of the scripture talks about really why we need a Savior. That is something I have asked many people whilst doing the Christmas initiative this year. Why do we need a Savior? As Christmas approaches this week, ponder that question. Think about what it really means to you. Why do you personally need a Savior? I can testify that he was born for us, so that we might live again. It is my witness, as a representative of
the Lord Jesus Christ, that He Lives. I put on my tag every morning knowing this eternal truth. I hope with all my heart you can find that too.

Have a good Christmas all and enjoy time with family and friends. It's a special time! Take some time and enjoy and relax. Can't wait to talk Friday! Love to all!
Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

PUES [THEN] (Dec 14, 2015)

My Christmas Tree
December is flying by holy cow. There's only three weeks left in this transfer! I can't believe it. This has been another longish week. Most
of our planned lessons fell through so that was kinda of sad I suppose. The Hermana's had a baptism of someone that we helped them co-teach so that was fun. I sang at that baptism which was a good time. I can't think of much else that happened.

Dayners, I got our zone and the North Santa Rosa zone to pray for Tyler when I heard about his surgery. Is he doing any better? Have you gotten any other updates?! We're definitely have some fierce prayers coming his way!

I'm excited to talk with y'all next week! So yes since Elise is gonna try and be on around 4:30, I will try and be on around 5 (your time). I'm going to look for a member to let me use their computer too. That may be the hard part though. We shall see! I also get a call before I get on to tell you I'm ready and such! Tis good fun.

We've been having success sharing the Christmas video this year! Lots of people are very open to just watching a quick to minute video. It's good fun sharing a message that is universal and touches all! Weeeeee. I encourage you all to watch it and ponder it. Speaking of pondering.......

Mediticemos! (Let's Ponderize!)

10 And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.

11 And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.

This one is plain, simple, and to the point. No beating around the bush. No wishy washy debatable topic. Obey the commandments, and you'll be blessed. It's that simple. Wow. Who'd-a-thought?! Nephi and his people obeyed the commandments and was blessed with flocks, and heards, and animals of every kind. By obeying the commandments, we're just allowing God the chance to bless us. I feel like sometimes we feel it's super hard to receive those blessings from our Father in Heaven, when in all reality all we have to do is obey his commandments. He couldn't have made it any simpler. Any excuse we have for not obeying them is invalid. Like Dwight Schrute would say, "False." I invite us (yes including me) to reflect upon ourselves and see what we can improve upon, because there is always room for improvement. God may be waiting to give us some of those blessings because there may be something we're doing/not doing. He's so ready to bless us, so let's let him ya? Ok cool.

Have a fantastical merry week and I shall talk to you next week! I love you!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Monday, December 7, 2015

Busy Busy Busy (Dec 7, 2015)

Holy Canoli. What a week! It's been our first full week of the transfer and boi has it been a busy one. We've had lots of appointments and some pretty good lessons.

So the first one is an investigator named Bonnie. We have been trying to see her all last transfer and it didn't really happen much. We have been able to have a couple lessons with her this transfer though. She is super strong and has been taking lessons for forever, the only thing is that she has to get married before she gets baptized. So Friday we got a call from Bishop saying they had an interview with him and wanted to get married on Saturday! She also said she was ready for Baptism possibly this month too. So we got super pumped for her and she even called us and asked me and Elder Castro to be the witnesses and everything! But then we got a call Saturday an hour before the
wedding saying that he had called it off and the wedding was no Mas. He apparently just got cold feet and didn't want to go through with it anymore. It was kinda sad because now we have to wait on a baptism too. Oh whale.

Also Thursday, we received a referral from this guy named Jesus. We went to go visit him and he said we could come talk in his barn. So we had a lesson in this sketch barn lol. He turned out to be super solid and is progressing super fast too. He was going to come to church but got called into work. We're hoping to get a baptism date soon too.

We've got a couple others I'll tell ya about eventually.

On Friday, one of our sisters was on exchange with a sister that was from GEORGIA. She is from the West Forsyth area and knows Noah Causey and Nick Eibler and it was good to have another Georgian there.

We had the Crèche festival Saturday too. It was huge! The performance was pretty good and lead by a local director. It was a good time!

Alma 13:27-29:

27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.

Alma is basically pleading with "the inmost part of his heart" with "great anxiety even unto pain" that the people would listen to him and "cast off their sins" and "not procrastinate the day of repentance."
This reminds me of lots of things. It reminds me of us as missionaries, and although the were not going out physically screaming at people to repent, we do try our best to help and aid those who are
ready to take those steps. Haha this also reminds me of a scene from Johnny English, where the King imposter has a tattoo that says "Jesus is coming. Look busy." This basically means that people are going to say "oh looks like he's coming now, better repent real quick." Except nah. That's not how that works. We can't procrastinate something as eternally important as this. We HAVE TO be humbled before the lord and pray continually so that the Holy Spirit can lead us to become humble,
meek, submissive, patient, full of love, and all long-suffering. This scripture is verrrrrrry similar to Mosiah 3 which talks about becoming "like a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love,
willing to submit to the Lord." This is literally word for word the same. Then if we have that faith, hope, and love, we will be lifted up at the last day to enter into his rest. This is super amazing to me
that we have the opportunity to live in the presence of God after this life, if we do our part. I've gained a testimony of this eternal process and plan. I can testify that it's true and as we come to know
it and learn more about it, we will be more motivated to do those things we need to do to return to Him.

Have a great week y'all! Keep up the Christmas cheer! Mucho amor!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner