Friday, April 29, 2016

Bruh, this week though... (Apr 25, 2016)

Hello hello! It's so good to hear how your week went! You could say this was quite the amazing week for me! So much happened and it was all really great and positive. I guess first is a report on Elder Bendar. That was such an insane and truly humbling experience, to be in the presence of an Apostle of the Lord. We were able to get there a little bit early and get seats on the second row, so we were literally five feet away from him for 3 hours. He asked all the missionaries to read four of his talks before we arrived on Saturday in preparation for what we did. Our work with him was basically a big discussion about his talks and what we learned and then questions we had for him. There are so many things that we discussed that I wish I could include in this email, but unfortunately can't do them justice with a simple email. I think one of the things that struck me the most was how "human" he was. He was cracking jokes and was just another person. Now obviously he's not just some ordinary guy, but it was great to get that personal experience with him. I know everything we felt and learned from him will be applied to my missionary work and experience. I can also testify that he's truly a man called of God to fulfill the work of the Lord on the earth today.

We also had zone conference on on Thursday and a lot of it was geared towards how we can better ourselves as teachers. One of the biggest things that was brought to my remembrance was how us as missionaries need to teach the best we can but that ultimately it's the Holy Ghost that teaches and testifies. We need to get out of the way sometimes of the Holy Ghost and just let him do his job. It's when we, as missionaries, start to think we're so good and great and get in the way of the Holy Ghost. It was a great conference as usual!

Elder Latharo's Haircut
Other tidbits, highlights, info from this week includes the following. I cut my spainard's (Elder Latharo) hair this morning. Mom you would be so proud. Probably my first and last haircut I will ever give. I will say I'm gonna stick to the arts..... We had a bunch of less actives, who we've been working with, come to church. We've been doing lots of less active work because our investigators keep falling through. We're probably gonna end up dropping pretty much all our investigators and start over! So that should be fun this week. Elder Beeston and I have a couple of baptismal interviews this week that we're going to give to the investigators of the English elders. There's a cool story behind one of those that I'll tell you next week or on Skype.

Moroni 4:3
3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

I won't write too much, but I just want to mention something about our preparations for partaking of the sacrament. This was something mentioned in the conference with Elder Bednar. It was said that if we do not prepare ourselves spiritually before partaking of these emblems, it is useless. The importance and significance of this preparation is crucial for the power of the sacrament and ultimately the atonement to take effect. It's such a great opportunity to partake each week of such a sacred ordinance.

Ok I've rambled too much. I'm off! Slay this week and we shall converse again next!

Les quiero.

Elder Joyner

Thursday, April 21, 2016

BEDNAR WEEK yeet (Apr 18, 2016)

Hello All! Another week in the books! This is usually my favorite/most stressful time of the year, so I understand why all the hustle and bustle. I hope you had such a fantastic birthday, Father, even amidst
your work and Bishop responsibilities. I also very much like your little selfie you took of you and your crew at the aquarium. Què lindo! Cole bby, I'm sari you're allergic to Georgia haha. Do you have
to get inhalers or medicines or anything? Mother, when are you taking Dayne up? That will be a fun little Canada trip! Whoop Whoop! Hermana, espero que sus translados vaya bien y tú no necesitas crujir tus dientes :)

We have an exciting week coming up! Tomorrow, Elder Beeston and I are going on exchanges with some Elders from the district. Thursday, we have Zone Conference with the Napa zone in Napa, so that'll be fun to go back up there. Finally, on Saturday, the one and only ELDER BEDNAR is coming! The whole mission is meeting in Santa Rosa and we will have the opportunity to hear him for like 3 hours! I'm so very excited to be able to meet him and hear him speak. Ahhhhh he's one of my favorites yas! Next week we will have Zone meeting on Tuesday and the week after that we have the temple trip and then Mother's Day. Holy cow this transfer already flying by.

Not too much happened this past week. I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Lazaro (My Spaniard:), which was such a blast. The weirdest things always happen on exchanges. We came in contact with this one guy who started off really cool, but then turned out kind of crazy. We must've listened to him talk for a solid 45 minutes straight. Oh my, he's quite the story!

OH last night the power was out for a good little while. It was interesting because our only sources of light were these two candles. There is a fireplace in this apartment, but it was already a bazillion
degrees and didn't want to go through the effort. Last night, we also had a Branch Noche de Hogar, which was a blast. The Branch here is different that the others I've been in, but great nonetheless! The
members are awesome and love taking care of the missionaries.

(Just thinking ahead, Elise let me know when you think you'll be available for Skype on Mother's Day and I will try and do around the same time.)

I think that's it for this week! I'm not sure what happened to the ponderizing scriptures, but I was really moved this week by Alma 38-42. I'd love to hear any thoughts/comments/questions/concerns/insights on it! I love you all tan mucho! Have such a great week!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Crashing at the end of the day!

Birthday in Vallejo! (Apr 11, 2016)

Famila. Wow what a great week it has been! It sounds like Mom, Dad, and Cole had a BLAST at Myrtle Beach! Ugh I'm super jealous! But DAS ok. Dayne, I could see you as Mr. Banks :) What songs does he sing? You'll have to forward me the cast list asap. Elise! Usted es una misionera ejemplar y miro para arriba a usted todos los días. Te amo mucho Hermana!
Zebra Cake

Zone Birthday Party
What love I felt from all of you this last week, for my birthday! Thank you for all the birthday wishes and love! I may not be able to respond to every email or message I received, but thank you so much!
Wednesday, was just another normal day! The Zone did have a surprise for me though. Elder Beeston and I were told that dinner would be early and at the church, so we showed up and the zone was there with balloons and a cake and all. It was really fun! Then at night we had Zebra Cake. It was kind of a struggle cake because all the cookies were broken but I tried to piece it together. All in all it was fun!
Happiest of Birthdays to dad this week! Much love! Enjoy your 28th birthday ;)


So this week has been great! Elder Beeston is a really good guy who loves to work! It's been a blast! He's from Syracuse, Utah and actually his Brother served in HERMOSILLO too. He got back about two years ago too. Dayne I wonder if you know him?!?! We've been curious hmm. We live with the ZL's again. They are Elder Atkinson (I lived with and served around him my first transfer in napa) and Elder Lazaro. Elder Lazaro is from Madrid, Spain. He's been helping me with my Spanish and I've started to kind of pick up his lisp haha. It's all good fun!

Elder Joyner & Elder Beeston

We had a couple of cool experiences this week. The first being this. We were visiting some less active members on Wednesday, just getting to know them and such, when we felt inspired to ask their friend who was working outside to come in and visit with us. She agreed and came in. We got talking and she told us that she has been having trouble with her spouse and that she wanted to find Jesus and something that would benefit her life. She didn't have too much time, so we said a prayer with her and then set up an appointment for the next day! So we stopped by the next day and taught her the restoration. The lesson seemed to get off topic very easily, because she has a lot of questions, but once we were able to get to the first vision, the spirit focused in the lesson. We finally talked about that because we know the restoration happened, we know we can be forgiven of our sins and be baptized by the true authority of God. She immediately said, "oh ya I want to be baptized," haha without us even asking her. It was kinda cool! We tried to set a specific date but she wanted to think about a day first. We invited her to pray about Joseph smith, that night, also and she immediately was like, "well could I do it right now?" We said most definitely and she did and received an answer that he was. It was super cool and we will be meeting with her again this week! This was a really amazing experience that strengthen my testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost in our lives.

Another cool experience was yesterday. We were at the church putting in our weekly numbers and this lady knocks on the door and says she came to the chapel to find out when church services are. She is from the Ukraine and is here on an exchange program and is looking for somewhere to go while she is here. We were actually able to share the video "Because of Him" video in UKRAINIAN! We were them able to discuss it in the little broken English that she had. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time and God prepared this lady to come and talk to us! Our Heavenly Father is amazing and preparing those who are ready!

I just wanted to share a quick talk I re-found this past week. It's by Jeffery R. Holland and really emphasizes why the Book of Mormon is important. I absolutely love it!

Hope this is a magical week for all! Enjoy it! You only get one chance to do this week, do it right!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Monday, April 4, 2016

LDSconf/Transfers (Apr 4, 2016)

Hola Mi familia!! It's so good this week to hear from you all again. This has been a great last week of the transfer! I'm super jealous of mom, dad, and Cole at Myrtle Beach! Ahhhh lucky lucky. And Dayne getting to go to conference. AHHH wow what fun! And thank ya mom and dad and Cole for the birthday package too. ¿Què fun, amiright? So we found out about transfers on Saturday night and I am being transferred to VALLEJO. It's only 30 minutes south of Napa though, so not too big of a move. I'll still be in the same Stake and we will travel up to Napa for zone conferences and such. My new companion is Elder Beeston. I've met him before and he's like the nicest guy ever! I've heard such good things about him and how he wants to be obedient and work hard. I'm super excited to have a companion that wants to follow the rules exactly and work hard. It should be a great transfer! Also Elder Scow and Elder King (my past two comps) were in that area so I know the address already. It's:

155 Kathy Ellen Dr
Vallejo, CA 94591

On Tuesday, we had a lesson with Samuel and his daughters and sat them down and established our purpose with them. We told them that we loved our visits but that if they didn't start keeping commitments, then we would have to stop our visits. We asked them what they had learned from us visiting them and to our surprise it was quite a bit. They were able to tell us the restoration basically. It was super cool, because we felt like we had done something right and that they actually learned something. I'm sad to leave them but if they get baptized next transfer I'll be able to come up for it. We also had a lesson with our other progressing investigator, Mayra. She has been kind of putting off this lesson with us for a couple weeks but it was good to finally meet with her. We were able to get Presidente Rico out to the lesson with us. We taught her the restoration and she was very open. She has expressed to us how she is looking for a church and faith right now. Haha she's even expressed to us that she wants to be a missionary some day too. That's super coolio! Our other lessons were just street lessons or random contacts so not too much to report back on that.

Service wise, we did food bank, Salvation Army, and we built a garden for Sis Hamilton's grandfather. This week we also made dinner for the Hamiltons. We had been thinking of ways we could say thank you to them for this transfer (because they really took care of us this transfer). We got Presidente Rico in on it and he took the family out on a bike ride, while we went in and finished up making dinner and cleaned their house. It was a fun little surprise that I think they really enjoyed! Plus I made some kickin BBQ sandwiches.

So uhhh General Conference. What. That was so amazing. Oh My Heck. I don't know if it's just because I was watching it as a missionary or what, but I got so much out of it and received answers to all the questions I had. I especially loved how amazing priesthood session was. President Uchtdorf was super funny with the "perfect woman" and "chewbacca" quote hahaha! President Monson is getting pretty old though and it was sad to see him struggle again this conference. I feel as though families and marriages and the role of parents was really focused on. Also, the importance of keeping the commandments, repentance, and God loves each one of us individually were big ones too. I'd love to hear any thoughts or comments on the great insight we received!

I also read Enos like dad challenged me to do and thoroughly enjoyed the revelation I received from that. I don't have anything specific I wanna share from that, other than when we truly have that hunger to be repentant, God will bless us and will forgive our sins. I'm grateful to have a savior that paid for sins so that we can be clean.

I'm excited to start this new transfer with Elder Beeston. Wednesday will be a fun birthday in a new area! Whoop whoop. Just another year I guess. Love y'all! Have the most fantastic week, and for those on spring break, ENJOY IT FOR ME PLS. ok thx. Mucho amor a todos! Hasta la próxima semana!

Con Amor

Elder Alex Joyner

Gravesite of Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs