Monday, June 19, 2017

"Tomorrow's Forecast: God Reigns and His Son Shines" (June 19, 2017)

The District
Hey y'all! Happy Hot pDay! It's sure heating up here in Petaluma! Yesterday was probably the worst it's been, up to around 100 degrees or so☀️ Keeps this fun! I always love hearing about how eventful your weeks were. Happy Father's Day Dad, Grandaddy, and Papa (and all other fathers out there :) I was really able to reflect on how much you've done and given for me and I am extremely grateful for you and your examples. Much like BeyoncĂ© says, "You're Irreplaceable." ;)

Elder Pederson & Elder Joyner

Ok lets see what happened this week! So we have this new investigator named Brian, who I'm not sure if I told you about last time. He's about 18. It's an interesting story how we found him. So about a month and a half ago, we were in Adalberta's apartment complex just tracting around, and there is this lady getting stuff out of her car. We go up to her and offer to help and accidentally scare her. Haha she was super nice and we were actually able to introduce the Book of Mormon to her. Her name is Maria! She told us we could stop by her house that was on the other side of town. So time passes and we try and stop by and visit her and she's not home for various reasons, but each time we knock her house guess who answers? Her step brother Brian! Initially, he wasn't interesting in hearing from us but about two-ish weeks ago we ask him if we could share the new Prince of Peace video and he accepted! Last Monday night, we decided to stop by and see him again! We taught him the restoration and introduced the Book of Mormon. He seemed pretty sincere about it and said he would read the intro. We were gonna go back last Thursday, but we're bummed when he wasn't there. Saturday, we had some extra time so we decided to go see if he was home and invite him to church. He was there and told us that he had read the introduction and the first 15 pages, which is incredible because most people don't even keep that commitment! We were able to teach him the plan of salvation and he just seemed to "get it." We invited him to be baptized at the end of that lesson and he said he will think and pray about it. He's really solid and we're super excited for him. We unfortunately had to drop Adalberta for right now, but I think it's just curious to see how maybe we found Adalberta so that we would be in her apartment complex that day so that we could find Maria so that we would go knock on her door and find Brian. Coincidence? Definitely not. Wow God is good.
The Pink Slip

We also had interviews with President this week. Although this one was short, he assured me that my next one would be lengthy, seeing as it would be my last one. Mom, just so you know he said that August 1st will be my release date, which puts me at 6 short weeks left! Ahhhhh, weird. This one was interesting.  I came out of the interview with a different feeling that before. I came out feeling like I just had a good talk with one of my best friends. I'm very grateful for the relationship I have with President and Sister Wright. I would not trade it for the world. What a beautiful, marvelous, wonderful thing it is!

We were also able to set another baptismal date with this older man named Ignacio. I was on exchanges the week prior and he walked up to us saying that he had read the Book of Mormon before but left his copy in Mexico and asked us for another. We graciously gave him one and set a return appointment. We went back last Tuesday and had a good lesson with him. He accepted baptism for the 29th of July and said that he is waiting and praying for an answer to know if the Book of Mormon is true! Cool stuff!!

Well, we're working harder than ever. Going out with a bang! We are doing well with our goals and are close to achieving several of them I told President this week, that even if he tried, he couldn't stop Elder Pederson and I from working this hard. He just kind of gave his President Wright chuckle and walked away! Gotta love him. 

Thanks for all y'all do! I love and appreciate you. Have a super fantastic spiritually uplifting week! 

Con Amor,
Elder Joyner

June is bustin' out all over! (June 12, 2017)

Hey y'all! It's good to hear from ya!! Glad y'all had a good productive week! Sounds likes summer! 

This week has been super good here! We've found a lot of success and the Lord is pouring out blessings! Not just like a shower but a thunderstorm!! Tuesday night, we were walking towards Adalberta's house (who, if she wasn't there or if we were sent away again, we were gonna drop) when we see three people hanging outside; two parents, an older daughter, and her kid. Naturally, we went up to contact them. We started talking and ended up showing the prince of peace video. After the video ended, the idea came to my mind to use what we had practiced that day in district meeting and share a quick 4 minute restoration, SO WE DID! It was awesome! They seemed to accept it well and accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. We will be returning next week! There have been several other stories like that one, of people saying we could return. We are excited to follow up with those appointments this week!

Elder Pederson and I set some really good goals this transfer! One of them being that we wanted to find 15 new investigators! We felt like that was a realistic goal based on what we did last transfer. Yesterday, we picked up our 16TH investigator for the transfer thus far! Haha we have decided to double that goal and make it 30 Investigators for the transfer! We are also really excited about Ivan! This week we met with him and basically asked him if this was what he wanted to continue with! He ultimately said that he knows it benefits him and will help him have a better life. We set some goals with him and invited him to prepare himself for baptism on the 29th of July. He accepted!! This is the second time we've set a date with him and hopefully this time he will come through! So that's fun!

We have interviews this week which shall be fun! Can't wait for that!  Got a lot of other good things planned! Should be good!

Have a good week y'all! 

Con AmorElder Joyner

Transfer: 16 Week: 2 (June 5, 2017)

Hi-A y'all! Happy Pday to ya! Hope you've had a super week! Fun to hear about the snake in the garage ahaha! That would've been funny to see. Next time, take a video pls :) 

The Rohnert Park Branch Missionaries
It's been a super good week! Monday, we had a carne asada with the Familia paredes (1st counselor in Branch Presidency) to say goodbye to Elder Angulo. It was a good time. Tuesday, we had Transfers and I picked up Elder Pederson! So he's from Fort Collins, Colorado and has been out for 14 months. He's really into cinematography and filming and such, which is super cool. He's really good at it too! So we came back Tuesday and got all settled in the new apartment. The rest of the week was super successful. We were able to find around 6 new investigators, set a baptismal date with Israel, and had 2 investigators at church. The Lord really blessed us with miracles this week! We set Israel's date for July 9th! He's been investigating for a long time and we think he is ready. His wife has been stopping him for the longest time, but we talked with her on Friday and she said she would support him in his decision. We're super excited for him!

The formerly known San Rafael Zone Leaders/STLS

We both got hit with allergies this last week! As soon as I started to get over mine, my companion got hit with them hard! They're no fun. That didn't stop us though! We're excited to continue working hard this next week. 

Friday, we had a district leader meeting in Rosa and then Saturday had district meeting. We have some really good missionaries in our district which makes being unified a whole lot easier! I really love teaching in district meeting! That's one of my favorite thing to do. Saturday, I taught my section on being a successful missionary and what that entails. Good fun. 

As ever, it's good to get your emails and hear from you. I appreciate the love and support! Much love from out west!

Love y'all!

Con Amor,
Elder Joyner

"It's time to begin, isn't it?" (May 29, 2017)

Hey y'all. Happy Monday! It's been a busy good week over in Petaluma. So transfers are tomorrow and I'll be staying but Elder Angulo will be going to Kelseyville with Elder Crowley! My new companion is Elder Pederson. He came out the same time Elder Brock (my greenie) did, last May. I've met him only a couple times, but he seems like a good guy. Also, He and I will be serving as Co-District Leaders here in Petaluma. They kicked one set of English missionaries out of Petaluma (whereas there was two) and they are moving us to their apartment, which is way nicer than the one we have, so I'm okay with that :) This next transfer I plan on working the hardest I ever have in my mission, seeing as it's my last full transfer in the mission. Time is a very precious, sacred gift. I'm so very grateful for the time I've had to serve the Lord for these two years It's changed my life. 

So update on our contacts, as of today we have 996 contacts which means 4 more to a thousand! We will get those four tonight and complete our goal! It's been pretty amazing to see the change in myself and help the area out as we've strived for this goal. It definitely stretched us this transfer like none other. We really pushed ourselves this week and even had days where we got something like 80 contacts during the day! It's amazing to say we were able to complete such a goal. We'll see what next transfer has in store for us. 

We are real concerned about Adalberta. We haven't been able to meet with her for a long time. We don't want to drop her because we know how solid she is, but eventually we may have to. We met with several new investigators this week that said they didn't want to continue with us because they were already part of their church. When we asked them why they were, they said because of their parents and their family chose that. It makes sense to honor your families' decision, but eventually they will have to come to know for themselves what they believe or not. We, as missionaries, are just here to give them that opportunity to act or not. Something that was taught recently in MLC was that in all things we can either Act or be Acted upon. Eventually they will need to ACT. No time better than now. 

So Mom, I did talk to president today actually about my release date and he says he totally understands why the 1st and not the 7th. He says he will think on it and will decide after all the hustle and bustle of transfer week this week. So I'll let ya know!

I'm super grateful for all you do for me. Have a super fantastic week! Love y'all lots!

Con Amor,
Elder Joyner