Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On to 2017.... (December 26, 2016)

Hey hey! 
It was so good to talk to y'all yesterday! That's crazy I've done three of those and only have one left. Weird! Christmas was so good and I could definitely feel a special spirit that of Christ that you can't feel any other time. I hope all had an opportunity to serve those around you in an effort to #LIGHTTHEWORLD. Also, congrats Cody on the engagement! Happy for y'all!

We had a pretty good week! 
Tuesday, Elder Achal and I went on exchanges! We. Had. The. Best. Day. It was probably one of the most successful days I've had on my mission thus far. Everyone we came in contact with, we either had a lesson with, set a return appointment, or set a baptismal date with haha. That was a sweet experience! We were waking away from a door about to go upstairs to knock some more doors, when a man comes to the rail and says, "Hey, are you the Mormon missionaries?" We replied and he said, "Well come on in." We got to talking and he told us that he had once investigated the church an de was actually going to get baptized but that it didn't happen. We asked him if he would prepare himself for the 21st of January and he said YES. It was amazing. We went over the baptismal questions right then and he got the majority of them correct! I've never seen that before. Que increible es! We will continue working with him and praying for him and such. 

We also had our Christmas devotional. That was fun! Elder Allsup and I sang a song. That was super fun! We had breakfast and actually got to watch How a Grinch Stole Christmas! WHOOP WHOOP! Good times. 

That's all I got for this week so far. Keep on being the best. Keep praying. Keep loving. Keep believing. Till 2017!

Con Amor, 
Elder Joyner

UkiahChristmasYayayayaya (December 19, 2016)

HEY Familia! Wow it's super good to hear from you! Glad Elise got home safe and sound. It's weird having everyone home except me haha. But I'll talk to ya soon enough :) it's been a quick week. Lemme give you the run down. 

So Tuesday we got back to Ukiah and got unpacked and got groceries and then got into to planning for ZL stuff. We had dinner and went on splits with the Spanish group leader that night, Bro. Henrie. Wednesday was a good full day of work and then we headed down to stay the night in Santa Rosa for MLC the next day. It was funny because I stayed with the tech elders in my old apartment haha. MLC WAS SUPER BIEN! It was nice being able to just sit back and take it all in and not worry about the logistics and tech part (although I do miss it.) Thursday night we were gonna go back to Ukiah but there was a flood warning and so we had to stay one more night in rosa. It was so good :) Saturday was Zone meeting with the stuff we learned at MLC. I was able to teach on the spirit and how we can have it more as missionaries. Super bien! Ok back up back up one more thing. Tuesday night I got a call from the Hermanas in Santa Rosa saying their investigator, Josue who was getting baptized on Saturday, wanted me to baptize him! WHAT. That's never happened to me before. I had met him at church and went to priesthood with him and such. I was so honored! So after zone Meeting on Saturday, we headed down to Santa Rosa again for the baptism. It was awesome! That was definitely a tender mercy this week. 

A couple miracles from this week. We set 3 baptismal dates this week! That's such a miracle for me. I've never set that many (I don't think?) The first one was on our first day together. We had been finding up in Willits earlier that day and hadn't had too much luck so we decided to go down to see an investigator (German) in Ukiah that hadn't been seen for a while. German wasn't home so we just decided to knock the surrounding doors of his little apartment complex. We knocked probably about 10 and set one or two return appointments until we came upon the second to last door. We knocked and he opened it pretty quickly. This is Jesus Mendoza. He is around our age. He opened it pretty quickly and let us in. We could tell he's been through a lot recently and wanted to change his life around. After sharing the initiative and a brief restoration, we invited him to be baptized and he said YES. We testified to him and set a date for the 21sf of January! It was so cool. Ok ok next miracle. Get this, one of the return appointments we set before meeting Jesus turned out to be our other two baptismal dates! We set a return appointment for Sunday. Their names are Maria and Carlos. They had just barely had a new born bebe. We went and showed the initiative video and then after the husband was like, "so in your church, what does one have to do to get baptized? My wife has never been baptized and I don't really go to church so like what do we have to do?" Elder Perez and I just kinda sat there in amazement until one of us was able to answer haha. We also set a date with them for the 21st of January! It was incredible.  Same date. One apartment apart from each other. If that's not the lords hand working in our lives, I don't know what is! The Lord has been merciful upon us this week and I am forever grateful for it. 

It's been such a good week up here. I'm adjusting but loving it. Thank you for all your support and love. Talk real soon :)

Con Amor

Elder Joyner

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Transfers Transfers! (December 12, 2016)

This will be kinda of a shorter letter this week because tomorrow is transfers and we don't have to much time to write. S/O to Elise who is heading home tomorrow. Love you Sis. Safe travels! Transfers are happening. I'm leaving Santa Rosa and heading to Ukiah as a Zone Leader with Elder Perez. I've heard really good things about him and this area and I'm excited. I'm pretty sure there's just a Spanish group up there so we might meet with one of the English wards. It's a good change up but a little bittersweet right before Christmas. This'll be good for me though. I'm gonna hit it full force!

We had a pretty good week. We were able to set a baptismal date with one lady named Naomi. That was a cool experience that I may have to save until next week. We were able to see Dante again this week and go over the plan of salvation with him and his sister, Abigail. This area is really popping and I'm excited for elder Sidwell and his new compa!

This week we have an MLC on Thursday, so I'll already be able to come back to rosa haha and next week we have the Christmas parties and we'll be able to come back to rosa again too haha so I won't miss it too much. That's prolly it for this week. I'll write more next! Love y'all. Have a great week!

Con Amor

Alex with cousin David (Freebairn)
Elder Joyner

Escamilla family

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Les Voy a Decir Algo... [I'll Tell Them Something...] (December 5, 2016)

Happy December! That's crazy that it's already the end of the year. Time really does fly! And it'll probably get faster and faster. Just the fact that Elise makes the long trip back to the south is kinda crazy. Good job. I'm proud of you, but even more important your father in Heaven is so grateful and proud of the service you've rendered for him these past 18 months. Matthew 25:21 ❤️

It's been a crazy week! We had MLC on Friday so a good bit of the week was prepping for that. Since the tech elders are in different companionships, Elder Crowley and I would go together and get stuff done we needed to and our companions would go into one of our areas and do some work there. We basically had to plan out 2 different schedules with our tech stuff and area stuff. It's been crazy, to say the least! There was also funeral at the badger building (where the mission office is) so we had to switch over to the Peterson lane building for this one. It was kind of like a last minute switch up too. We taught about Fellowshipping and how we can do that by means of technology. It was super bien! 

Lisette did not get baptized this weekend :/ We went and met with her with the other elders on Thursday and had a good lesson with her. She says she believes the church is true and everything she's been taught but that she just needs a little more time! We felt strongly she shouldn't push this date back and even got down on our knees with her and she offered a prayer asking if this is what she should do. She got an answer that it is but that just not right now. I have faith that she will eventually take that step and that everything is in God's time. 

Alejandra, who had the baptismal date for this weekend, is probably not getting baptized this particular weekend. She responds to our messages and texts but doesn't ever want meet with us. It's difficult and we think she's attending a different church. But on the bright side, we set a baptismal date with her little 15 yr old brother Dante. That was a real miracle! We're excited for him!

That's all I got for this week. Thank you for your love and support! This is the last week of the transfer so we'll find out Saturday what happens! Have a super week!

Con Amor, 
Elder Joyner