Monday, November 28, 2016

December, ugh what how? (November 28, 2016)

Happiest of Mondays to all! Hope everyone had a super good Thanksgiving, even if it was on a non-traditional Friday haha. The sunroom porch looks good though, so good job fam. We had a good day of thanks! We woke up and went help set up for the Crèche (nativity) festival that's this weekend. We did the same last year and set up like some 30-40 Christmas trees! Good fun! Then we went to a turkey bowl in the AP's ward, which was fun! In the afternoon, all six of the Spanish missionaries got together and made (and delivered) thank you cards for members and investigators and such. It was a good time! Our first dinner was at the Freebairn's! It was super good and a blessing to eat with them. Obispo invited us over next and we went over there to eat with him and some other members. That was a party too! After that, the Spanish crew went to the mall (Black Friday crowds eeeek) to try and do some contacting, but it ended up that we weren't allowed to do that and were stopped by Paul Blart Mall Cop haha. Oh well. It was a good idea!

We've started the Christmas initiative this past Friday, #LighttheWorld. I actually got to see the video in early November bc tech elder. 😬😬 Last week in district meeting, we went through each day of December and thought of ways we could serve others. It's really true that when we serve others we are only in the service of our God. I'm excited for this Christmas season and for the opportunity to spread the light of Christ a little more. 

We have a super busy week coming up! We have MLC on Friday and there's a lot of prep for that. We also just have little things here and there we have to do so we'll be pretty booked most the week. Hopefully, Lisette will get baptized this next Sunday! That's the plan as of right now! Keep her in your prayers please! 

I don't have too much more to report on. I can't believe it's December already. How did that happen?? Always remember your divine worth and eternal importance. I cherish and love my mission and appreciate the love and support I get from each one of you. Have a super week and keep on keepin on!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Monday, November 21, 2016

El Día de Acción de Gracias!! (November 21, 2016)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! It doesn't feel like that's already here but I guess it is, believe it or not. We had our ward thanksgiving party on Friday and it just felt like it was still August or something. Can't believe how fast time flies! I hope y'all have a super good day on Thursday and can eat lots of turkey and stuff! We have plans to go to cousin David's first and then to Obispo's house. We have some other activities planned for that day but I'll let ya know next week. Should be good!!

We had a pretty cool miracle happen on Friday. We went to go to a lunch with a member. Afterwards, she had informed us that the owner of the restaurant (a friend of the member) had wanted a blessing. We said we'd love to do it and help him out. We met with him and kind of explained what a blessing was and then Elder Hall (one of the Spanish elders), only being a couple weeks out, gave his first priesthood blessing. Although the spanish was a little bit broken up, it was such a strong spirit that was there in that blessing. We could tell he felt it too. We told him that he could have this same spirit to be with him always, and that through Jesus Christ he can find peace and comfort in this crazy life. He said thats something he wanted to learn more about; we set up a return appt for the following sunday (yesterday) and we were actually able to go back and teach him the restoration. I feel like time and time again Heavenly Father keeps proving to me that he is in the small details of our lives. If we hadn't have gone to that lunch, we wouldn't have met him and picked him up as a new investigator. I'm grateful for the spirit leading us to those who the Lord has prepared. 

We had a good lesson with Yezli! She had read the chapters we left with her and invited her to pray before she read. She did! She told us the scriptures came to life when she read them and was so much more clear to her this time! I love the scriptures and the lessons and principles we learn from them! I invite you all to better your study of the scriptures and to more fully read our "letters from home."

With Thanksgiving this coming week, I am full of gratitude; for my mission, for my calling, for my mission president and his wife, for my family, for my friends, for my Savior, for His Gospel, for everything. Thank you for all you do. Know i appreciate it so very much. Have a super week!!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Transfer11Week3 (November 14, 2016)

Hello Hello!
How's y'all doing? HAPPY BIRTHDAY DWAYNE! Another year another piece of cake, amiright? It sounds like you gots a fun day planned to go see a show, but you should find someone to go with you bud...... :) just sayin. Wow and next week is thanksgiving what? That's pretty crazy how that came so fast. It's crazy to think I'm in the same zone I was in last year for this year too. Should be a good time!

This week seemed kinda busy-ish. I was kinda sick at the beginning of the week but it seemed to clear up as the week went on! I just got a little too exhausted. We had a couple of pretty cool experiences though! One being this last Friday. We had received a referral in the afternoon and went to contact the person that night! The referral was busy and said we could come back another day, but as we were walking back to the car there was a garage open with some blaring mariachi music, so of course we go to check it out. We walk up and start talking to this one guy named Adan. We showed him the video from the Easter initiative that talks about how through Christ we can find a new life. After the video, there was a pretty long silence, and not just like any kind of pause, but like a piercing silence that you could feel and tell he felt something and was thinking about something. He looked up and said something like where can I find you guys or where can I learn more? He told us how he wanted a new life and needed to start over. We promised him that he could be clean and start a new life through Christ. We also promised him that through baptism our sins can be washed away and we can feel new. He wanted that. You could tell in his eyes! We set up a date for this next week to come back and teach him. It was really a tender mercy to see someone so ready to change be placed into our hands, our care, by the Lord. 

Other fun things that happened, Elder Crowley and I had to translate Stake a Conference which was stressful but crazy. It was a good experience though! Also, me and Another elder (elder Allsup) sang at a baptism of Saturday. We had a total of 20 MINUTES to prep, but it turned out ok :)

We also had interviews with President on Friday. I presented the question, that I asked you mom and dad, last week about how I can completely give my whole heart over to the lord? He gave me some real great counsel on it and there are several things I'm doing to try and achieve that. One of them is that I started the Book of Mormon with that in mind. This was something Elder Bednar challenged us to do, and something a dear friend of mine did with this same question. I love it and will share more insights as I go along. I am reminded of the lyrics from Come Thou Fount, which say: "Here's my heart, Oh take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above." This is the time to do the work of the lord and I'm more ready now than ever. 

I want to express my gratitude and love for each one of you. Please know I love, think, and care for each one of you. I love my mission and every second of it. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Love is what conquers all. 

Have a superb week.

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A1Week1 LETS GO (November 7, 2016)

Hey hey!
It's super good to hear from y'all. And btw Cole and dad why are you putting up Christmas lights already? It's not even Thanksgiving. That's a little crazy. And Thanksgiving and Christmas are super soon too. How did that happen?? Time is definitely flying. 

This week was crazy! First, on Monday after PDay we got a call from Obispo saying that we needed to rush over to an Hermanas house cuz she just gotten her kids taken away from her. So we rushed over, still in PDay clothes, and tried our best to comfort her. We were able to give her a blessing and sing a hymn with her to help her feel better. Her story is a longer one and it's a little more complicated, but hopefully she'll be able to get them back very soon. We had transfers on Tuesday and I had to say goodbye to some dear friends, but that's ok because it won't be too long before we can reunite. Elder Crowley and I were running all over the place trying to get stuff ready and make sure everything went smoothly. I'm now with Elder Sidwell, who was trained by Elder Atkinson. He's from Logan, UT and such a goofball! I've already been serving around him for one transfer but it's fun to be his companion! We'll definitely have a good time this transfer. We still live with Elder Crowley, and now his new greenie, Elder Hall! He's from Littleton, CO. We love the four man mansion haha. The rest of the week consisted of either Elder Crowley and I working on tech stuff, or Elder Sidwell and I exploring our area. It's funny because I already know a little of this area because i served here in August when I was with Elder Atkinson. 

Our teaching pool isn't too big right now, but we're gonna change that :) We do have 3 or 4 possible baptisms this transfer, but I'll update ya more on that as it comes. There is one lady who is for sure getting baptized soon. Her name is Yesli. Her boyfriend is a less active member who is starting to return. She so ready! She's waiting for her residency papers to come back so she can get married so she can get baptized. It's crazy! They eventually want to go to the temple and get sealed, but for now it's just a waiting game. So keep her in your prayers!

I'm so very grateful for each and everyone of you. I love being a missionary and on the Lord's errand. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he suffered for each one of us. If you have not already come to the same knowledge, I invite you to do so. You will be blessed because of it. I love you and hope you have a sicknastysweet week! 

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

HAPPY HALLOWEEN (October 31, 2016)

Hello familia! Happy Halloween. It feels weird that it's transfer week this week so we've been busy preparing this last week. So It's a little different this time. Elder Crowley and I will stay tech elders but not as companions. There are so many Spanish either in the middle of training or coming in tomorrow, so I am follow up training Elder Sidwell (who has been serving in the Laguna ward for the past six weeks) and Elder Crowley is training a new missionary. We will be living in the same mansion that we have :) and will be in the same ward together. We're the first ever tech trainers haha it'll be good! 

We have this really really golden investigator that were working with. Her name is Lisette and she is the sobrina de un miembro en nuestro bario (niece of a member in our new ward) (who she also happens to live with). We've had some really touching experiences with her over the last couple weeks. One is when and how she told us she received an answer to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She said she got down to pray and felt such a feeling of tranquilidad y paz (tranquility and peace) that should couldn't stand it. Then later on in that lesson, we could tell she was feeling the spirit so strong because she just told us that she knew it was true. I just wanted to give her a hug (but I didn't) and say, "you've found it Lisette. You've found what you've been looking for. Welcome home." In our other lessons we have, she just seems to "get it." We don't often have to repeat things too much or re-explain them as I've often had to do with other investigators. We had a lesson on the plan of salvation that I think she especially loved because she had lost a child at birth about a year ago. We told her that she could see her child once again and it was cool to see that that wasn't really a foreign topic to her, but rather something of familiarity. She is also embarazada (pregnant) with about 5 months left. The spirit is really working within her and touching her heart. I'm grateful for the power the spirit brings and how it works among the children of our Heavenly Father.

All the missionaries in the Ward spoke yesterday and but we were bummed when Lisette didn't come. That's the only obstacle we have with her. We have baptismal date set for the 12th of november, but she's got to start coming to church. We are also trying hard to get her Husband in on the lessons with us, but he's a little more reluctant. Elder Crowley and his new companion will continue working hard and she will enter the waters of baptism soon!

Also we had zone Meeting. "Spirit was felt, jokes were told, memories made."

I think that's about it for this week. I hope y'all have a super-dee-duper week this week! Enjoy the butter! Much love ✌🏿️

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Week 5 and MLC! (October 24, 2016)

Hey hey hey!

Happy Pday y'all. I hope you're having a fantastic day.  It's starting to get colder and it's raining like crazy too! Finally!! It hasn't rained since like last February. Anywayyy! Here's a quick update from this last week!

We had MLC on Friday so we spent a good chunk of the week preparing for that! Elder Crowley and I taught on Facebook standards and such because a fourth of our mission has less than 3 transfers. We shared Dave's Facebook story and how much of a success it was on Facebook and how it impacted so many. We'll forward on that media that we used! The AP's taught on Prayer and Being the People were really called to be as missionaries. It was super bueno! 

Ok I'll have to tell you about Tuesday last week. So we we're at the mission office and the AP's told us that Dave and Dina had called them needed help but they were busy working on something with president, so they needed us to go. We willing went over to help! When we got there they said they needed Dave lifted from his medical bed onto the couch so they could install a new air mattress for him. He is on hospice and is not looking to good. He's down to about 110 lbs. We moved him to the bed and then the guy came into change out the mattresses and accidentally blew a fuse, which Dave's air compressor was plugged into. They scurried and changed him to an oxygen tank real quick, which was a scary moment. We ran some extension cords from another room into that room to get it all fixed. We had to wait for the air mattress guy to run back to his warehouse and come back with the correct parts and such. While we were waiting, we got a call from the Hermanas in our ward who said that someone needed a blessing because they fell and broke their knee. It just so happened the person that needed a blessing was in the same apartment complex, so we ran over, gave the blessing, and then rushed back to move Dave from the couch to his new bed. A lot of things happened in the space of like an hour and a half. I was really impressed by one specific moment though. Right after they got Dave hooked up to his oxygen tank, Dina went over and gave him a hug and comforted him and just kind of held him for a second. It's something I'll never forget, because I could truly see one of the strongest connections of love between them. Not like a lovey romantic love, but an indescribable event that doesn't come easily. They really cared about each other and I could feel the meaning of the phrase, "To love another person is to see the face of God," really come to life. He is so close to going to the other side I think that's what we ultimately all search for in life, and it's really what god has for us. That how I imagine we are in his embrace and how we will feel one day when we are. 

We are working hard with a lady named Lisette and actually set a baptismal date with her for November 3rd. She is actually expecting and is kind of hitting her in her life rn that she needs to change her life. We'll keep you updated with that! Other fun events included my compa playing piano for the primary program yesterday, our car breaking down so we have use the mission transit van for a little bit, and we drank boxed Water so. 

I think that's it for this week. Thanks mom for the little Halloween package! We enjoyed that! Have a super week y'all! Much love!

Con Amor

Elder Joyner