Wednesday, December 30, 2015

And a Happy New Year! (Dec 28, 2015)



Elise & Alex Skype
Well, we have done that Christmas thing and are looking forward to the New Year. I told you a lot on Christmas, so let's see what I can tell you. I still had a lot more that I wanted to say but didnt have time. 40 minutes went fast! But it was so good to see and talk to you all!



Matching PJ's from Home
After we talked, we had a couple appointments set up for the night. They all fell through, so my companion and I went caroling to some of our ward members. It was the funniest thing! We knocked on the door and when they opened, we started singing hymns. The looks on their faces of confusion then excitement then joy were priceless. After we sang them two hymns, we reminded them of the real reason for Christmas and then left to sing to other families. It was such a special experience for me. I felt the spirit and hte spirit of Christmas so strongly and we testified to these people through music of the birth of our Saviour. It was a Christmas so different than I have ever had. It was really focused on Christ and not on the things we receive or food or anything. It was a Christmas that I will never forget! 

Another experience that I want to share happened yesterday. We were sitting in Relief Society and as soon as we said Amen for hte closing prayer, an older hermana came up to us and told us that we had to come with her right then to visit a sister who was in the process of passing away. We went to the lady's house and a lot of her family was there. We went in and the lady was sitting in a chair and everyone was around her. We just sang hymns and her daughter talked to her and told her about us and she tried so hard to smile but just couldnt. After we sang one of our hymns, she started to say something. The daughter just burst into tears because she said that her mom hadnt said anything for such a long time and that it was a miracle that she was trying to speak. It was such an interesting experience. There was such a sweet spirit there as we comforted the family and lifted this lady's spirits and she was getting ready to pass on. 



That's all the time I have for today! I tried to write a little more because I know that I have been slacking lately.

Until next week!


LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!


Hermana Elise Joyner

Thursday, December 24, 2015

He lives all glory to His name! (Dec 21, 2015)

THIS IS THE WEEK!

My thoughts are turned to the goodness of the Plan of Salvation this week and the role that the Savior has in it. I am saddened to hear about Uncle Don. I always loved going to visit him. He was always so much like Papa. Uncle Don's family and all the Dowdles will be in my prayers. How great is the Plan of Happiness that Christ came here and atoned for us so that our families can be eternal. I love this time of the year when we can focus even more on the birth of our Savior who made this plan possible. I testify that He is the Christ and through Him only, we can find the peace and joy that the Gospel offers. I have seen this time and time again in the families of some of the members in our ward who have had loved ones die within these past 6 months. 

PONDERIZE!!!! I love the scripture this week. I use it all the time in our lessons. In Spanish in verse 12 it says "sepa como socorrer a los de su pueblo." knows how to succor His people. One of my mission moms told me that socorrer can mean "correr a". In english "to run to." Christ runs to us to help us in ALL of our troubles. This scripture to me means that Christ paid for more than just our sins. He suffered for ALL of our afflictions, temptations, illnesses, sadnesses, and everything that we pass through. He knows us individually and personally! YO SE!

I'm out of time for organizing skype stuff and things, but I'll talk to you real soon!

LOVE LOVE LOVE


Hermana Elise Joyner

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Vamos Pastores Vamos, Vamos a Belen [Let Shepherds Come, Come to Bethlehem] (Dec 14, 2015)

¡Buenas tardes mis queridos familiares! Another Monday is here! And just one more Monday until I can see your lovely faces! 

Like I was telling mom, I will Skype next Friday the 25th for Christmas at 4:30 pm from our Pensionista's house, Hermana Fanny. I will have 40 min. SO, I need Dad's skype info and I will send you my info next week. ALSO, I get to make a 3 minute phone call to set it up next Monday. So there's that...

The next thing is I just love the Hobbs! Little Gracie and Abby made my day! LOVE YOU GUYS!!! 

As for decisions with release dates, I will pray and let you know. Something to think about. 

As for Dayne and his consist taking classes from Sister Graham... STAHP!!!! NOT FAIR!!!!

Something else I should mention, I went to the dentist last week and got a sealent (ant? no sè) replaced. I had a cavitity forming but it's all good now. 

PONDERIZE! 2 Nephi 5:10-11. I love this scripture when we teach about the commandments. The people were obedient in ALL the things of the Lord and the result was that they could prosper and live after the manner of happiness and the Lord was with them. If we are obedient in even the smallest things, the Lord will be with us and we WILL prosper. This is a promise from the scriptures. SEA OBEDIENTE!

I don't have too much time, but I will just share a little experience. Last Saturday, the Stake Primary had an activity where each ward presented a number of songs. The Primary President of our ward came to me and asked if I would help them with our ward's songs. She asked me to sing a solo in English and the kids would sing the chorus in Spanish. She said the song was a super well known song and that I would know it. Well, it may be well known in Spanish but I ain't never heard that in my life (the song name is in the subject line). I had to learn it really fast and then translate it into English. The first verse translated nicely and was great. The second verse did not convert over so nicely and I was too lazy to write something that made sense, so let's just say if anyone actually knew english in the audience, they would seriously be doubting my sanity. It was really funny and made no sense! WHEW!

That's all I got time for now. I love you TONS! And will take to you NEXT WEEK!!!!! AHHHH!!!!


LOVE LOVE LOVE


Hermana Elise Joyner

(We think this is the song she was referring to above)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ha Nacido Un Salvador (Dec 7, 2015)

That's the Christmas video in of the Church in Spanish [the title of today's blog]. I saw it in English like a month ago. Pretty neat stuff! CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

So first, I have some news.... With the recent change in the MTC policy (missionaries speaking their own language stay there for 3 weeks now instead of 2), there has also been a change in transfer dates. That means there is a change in release dates. I'll get home two days after Christmas on the 27th instead of two weeks before had this change not occurred. Just something to be aware of. 

So, let's ponderize! 
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.

I love verse 28! "That ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus being led by the Holy Spirit." I think we can liken this to not being tried more than we can bear as well. Try and tempted and two different things to me from two different sources. God will never give us more than He knows that we can handle. Sometimes to us it may seem a bit much and we can't see our way through, but if we "watch and pray continually" He is there and will strengthen us to handle to task in front of us.

So to answer your question, yup! We got to watch the Devotional last night! LOVED IT! Elder Bednar's was my favorite, but they were all rockin! Me and the other two gringas and a few elders came into the Family History center and watched it in English. It's just so much better to me to hear them tell it in their own voices and with the actual words. Before the devo, the stake choir did an hour performance that was special... Ask me on Christmas (via skype) to describe it. It's awesome and I have to demonstrate for you! 

SO, last Friday, me and 5 other missionaries went to President's house to sing two songs for a meeting he had with the Stake President's of the area. It was so legit and his home is actually like a home with famnily pictures everywhere and decorated really nice and an actual kitchen kitchen. When we finished, Hermana McGinn took us all into the kitchen, gave us a bunch of ziplock bags and just told us to take ALL! There was mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, salads of all kinds, desserts, and so much more! It was actual real american food! My stomach was soooo happy!!!!!!!!

Well, my time is up! So, our scripture for hte week is 2 Nefi 5:10-11.

LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!



Hermana Elise Joyner

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

CAMBIOS! [Transfers] (Dec 1, 2015)

For everyone but me. Yup! I'm still in good ole San Juan with Hermana Trejo! That's a third of my mission here! I guess I haven't done what I came here to do yet... I really do love San Juan. The people and the members are the best!

I don't have much time (sorry mom), so I will see what I can say really fast. Other than the cambios, nothing much happened anyway out of the usual teaching lessons and finding people. 

First, to ponderize! 

12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.

13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;

14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.

I really like the phrase and focused on the "do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously, and this is my Spirit" part. Something that I have been trying to do more is work on my humility. Pride is such a big sin that everyone has. It leads to the downfall of peoples and civilizations (oh hey pride cycle of the BOM). When we can be humble and be just and righteous, we will be able to have to the spirit with us to guide us. In the obra misional, this is so key! We need the spirit if we even want to try and do anything.

So for the real Thanksgiving (...), Hermana Turley and her comp (one of the other hermana comps in the zone) came over to our cuarto and we made a legit Thanksgiving meal (as much as we could). We had mashed potatoes, green beans, bread, and chicken (couldn't find a turkey of reasonable price). It was AWESOME! And then we tried to make this chocolate pie that was just a fail but it was so funny and we ate it anyway! It was a pretty sweet dia de gracias. And the first time I had had mashed potatoes and gravy in 5 and a half months.

Another fun thing that I get to do this week is sing some songs! I've sung in sacrament meetings and devotionals here, but this time, 6 of us missionaries were asked by Presidente McGinn to form a little group and sing for a meeting he is having with the stake presidents of the area. So, we have been in the office a lot lately practicing for this Friday. We are singing "Que Niño Es?" (What Child is This?) and "Cantan Santos Angeles" (Hark them angels are singin!). EXCITING!!! 

That's all I got time for right now...

 LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner


PS. Talk to you in 3 WEEKS!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY...MERRY CHRISTMAS...HAPPY THANKSGIVING??? (Nov 23, 2015)

MOM! GUESS WHAT! I got my birthday package this week! It made me so happy! I loved the "birthday in an envelope." It was funny because the front was stamped September 8th and I got it November 17. Also, I got a Christmas package from Aunt Julie. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!! I've started sharing the goodies with the kids we visit and they just love it! I also gave the stocking to my comp. She took out the doTerra oils and got so confused about what they were. It was a really funny conversation trying to explain what they are. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

GRANDMA!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! 29 is still lookin good on you! I love you sooooo much and think about you every time I load up my laundry bag and head over to the lady who washes our clothes. I am so grateful for you and all that you have done and do for me. LOVE YOU!!!!

Next week is cambios again, so I probs won't write until Tuesday. Heads up! There is a possibility that I will get transferred this time, so we will see...

Here is just a funny little thing from yesterday that lets you know I am in Peru. I was walking down the street yesterday and just see this guy crossing the street with a llama on a leash. In Lima that doesn't usually happen, but in the mountain area of our mission it does. It was just funny!

I'm gonna ponderize real quick here! Cole, I was so impressed with your scripture! I like how it talked about how we can prosper and have success. THe scriptures really do hold all the keys to help us be the best that we can be. When we can ready study and meditate on the things we read and apply them, Satan aint got no power!

This past week, I have been working really hard trying to help Cristian and Magaly work on Family History. We were able to help them find names and were able to go to the temple with these names on Saturday so that they could do baptisms and confirmations. It was awesome! Cristian did it for his Dad. He just came out with the biggest smile on his face and said that he felt the spirit so strongly. That made me so happy because of how hard we had to work to get him to be baptized. It was just an awesome morning! 



So here is a funny story to let you know how far off I am. Me and the gringas in my zone have been super excited for Thanksgiving. It's usually the 3rd week in Nov right? Which was this past week. We don't have a calendar to tell us otherwise, so we celebrated it this past week. We had a grand Peru version of el dia de gracias! It was legit. But I guess we will just have to celebrate it again!!! YAY!!!!!!

That's all I got time for this week! THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL THE GOODIES AND LOVE!!!!


LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!


Hermana Elise Joyner

Thursday, November 19, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAYNERSSSS!!!!!!!!!! (Nov 16, 2015)

Dayne, as they say here in Peru, "IT'S YOUR HAPPY!!!!!!!" I recorded a spanish song for you but it is too big to send, so oh well! I may just record it again in bits and send it to you next week. Ya fue. I don't know.

First, I want to ponderize: I liked how the scripture says in your mind and in your heart. A lot of times, we think things through with our minds and come to conclusions. BUT the way that the Spirit works is through our minds and our hearts. AND when we open our hearts to the spirit, we can be converted. We read a talk by Elder Bednar before he came to prepare that talked about that. I think it was called "Learning By Faith." You should look it up. And that is where the part with verse 10 comes in. Faith. We gotta have faith to get anything done. Another talk by Elder Bednar, "Ask in Faith." Read it. It talks about this and is a pretty legit talk! As for "trifle not" refer to D&C 6:12. Trifle not with sacred things. Revelation is and should be a sacred thing.

I don't have any stories this week (or time). We are working hard and trying our best to be exactly obedient. 2 more weeks of this transfer. HOW FAST!!!!!

Hermana Trejo and Hermana Joyner



LOVE YOU ALL!

LOVE LOVE LOVE


Hermana Elise Joyner

Temple This Week (Nov 9. 2015)

Hey there family! 

First of all, I want to answer Mom's question. We have one hour to report our weekly numbers, read the pres letter, write presidente, read our own email, write our family. The hour goes fast, so that's why I don't usually have long letters. That's not to say that you should stop writing me or write less, because I love it and it makes me happy to hear from you. It's only that I dont have a lot of time to share everything that I want to. I'll fill in the details on Christmas when I can talk faster than I can type. Plus, when you compare it to Alex who writes a book because he can read the emails all week, yeah, I don't write like anything. SORRY!

Sounds like everyone is keeping busy! Especially Dayne. Remember, slow down every once and a while and don't forget to eat dinner. You have time to do that, even if you think you don't. 

I want to share an experience we had this past Saturday. We went to go set an appointment with an active family in the morning (we are going around the ward members and sharing the first vision with them to try to excite the ward more with regards to the work). When we went, the active members weren't there, but the mom, Nelly, who is less active was. We went in and shared about faith. We asked her to say the closing prayer, and she just started crying. Her daughter just moved to go to school, and the mom is having a really rough time with it. In Peru, the families live together basically always until they have been married for a few years and need to move to their own home. So, her daughter leaving is kinda a big thing for her. She said that she hasn't been in the house much lately and that it was a miracle that we came at that moment when she was home and that we were able to share the message with her. It just shows me that the Lord is guiding us to people who need His help. His hand is in every part of this work when we do it His way.

PONDERIZE: Ok, so Mom's scripture from Alma.
42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
 43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.

This scripure is something that I have been learning this transfer. Right now, we are planting seeds. We might not have a ton of appointments, we might have walked around for 7 hours straight without sitting yesterday, but we are developing faith. We are practicing diligence, patience, and long-suffering. And one day, we will see the fruits of our labors. It may not be within this transfer. It may be when I stop by San Juan on my way home next year. I don't know. But like Papa always says, "count no days lost." 

This week- the one Dayne picked from D&C!

Here's a fun fact for you- WE GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE FRIDAY!!!! YAY!!!! The only thing is that we don't get pday today. Off to work we go! But it is so worth it! 

Sorry, that's all I have time for! I know it isn't much, but it's more than last week! And Mom, if you want to send me questions, do! I'll answer them within a month. One question per week sound good? I think I can do that.


Well, LES AMO MI FAMILIA!!!! Hasta la proxima semana,


Hermana Elise Joyner

Monday, November 2, 2015

It's a Short One! (Nov 2, 2015)

I have like 5 minutes, so sorry! 

These past two weeks have been... faith building. Heavenly Father is trying to teach me something. I just don't know what yet... We plan our days and have set appointments every day, and then we go out and NOBODY is home, except maybe one person. So basically, we have been just walking around our area every day for 5-7 hours every day without stopping. I'm learning. Poco a poco. And training is interesting... But it is good! And being a missionary is awesome!

I'm out of time, but I LOVE YOU!!! I'm gonna ponderize mom's Alma 32:42-43 this week.

LOVE LOVE LOVE


Hermana Elise Joyner

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Hardest Thing I Ever Loved to Do (Oct 26, 2015)

Good Monday to all! Once again, I don't have a ton of time (sorry mom).

First of all, the thing that I am most excited about... Remember the second week of August when our shower broke. Well, we have been showering from the cup and a trashcan until three weeks ago when our stove top broke and we couldn't heat up water anymore. COLD! Well, this past Wednesday, someone came to fix it. WE HAVE HOT WATER!!! Oh happy day! I feel clean again! So that's cool.

The next thing that I gotta say is just that I have the best family ever, especially my mom! I walked into our zone meeting and the zone leaders gave my this box with my name on it. And in this box was such wonderful things with wonderful letters and goldfish and chocolate and cereal and just wonderful things! (I need a converter not an adapter) I was just soooo happy! It's the little things in life. Seeing the handwriting of my family, putting on a new shirt, eating some goldfish. THANK YOU!!!!

So. I'm a trainer. We picked up our companions last Tuesday and went straight to work. My comp is Hermana Yanes (but she is changing her name to Trejo and I'm not sure what to call her bc her name tag says Yanes). She is 21 and from Hondurus. She is so ready to work and hates wasting any time. Her Spanish accent is a little different, so I have a hard time understanding her. She is also not used to speaking to Gringas learning the language so she has a hard time understanding me. I love language barriers. It's actually really funny to watch us have a conversation. I want to send you pics but this computer is a little wonky so next week.

This week has been... a learning curve for me. Every day, we have had appointments lined up all day, and every day, all but one fall through. We go to every house and person I know and just nothing. There have been a lot of times when we are standing on the sidewalk while I try to figure out where to go and I just have no idea. But I know in these times, the Lord is just waiting for me to turn to Him. And when I do, He is there and will guide me and lift me. Being a trainer is hard, but we aren't alone. He is so mindful of us!
    
My thoughts on the scripture (it'll be short bc I ain't got time). What an amazing moment that will be when we finish our work here on this earth and can go to our Savior saying that what we have done is sufficient and that we have a place of rest of respite with Him. But first, we have to do all we can, declaring ALL our days. That is what I am in the midst of. Rejoicing in my Lord in Spanish in Peru. 
Well, I have no more time. Sorry! I'll answer those two questions next week mom. LOVE YA!
Have a great week! 

LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!
Hermana Elise Joyner

Ponderize Ether 12:27 or the one Alex says

26 And I saw that I must soon go down to my grave, having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world.

 27 And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mom and Dad, I Have to Tell You Something.... (Oct 19, 2015)

I'M HAVING A DAUGHTER!!!(meaning she will be a trainer to a new missionary) That's why I'm writing today and not tomorrow. I go to pick her up tomorrow. We got the call on Saturday, and let's just say I didn't believe my DL at first. I JUST FINISHED MY TRAINING! I am going to be praying A LOT this week. As far as ponderizing the Corinthians scripture (2 Corinthians 2:9), I think it totally fits the situation I am in right now. God has stuff prepared for me that I can't (and wouldn't) even imagine! And I know that through His Atonement and with His help, I can do it. I just need to rely on Him. And I will. A LOT! Oh goodness me...




So I don't have that much time, but I do want to tell you about ______ and ______. THEY GOT BAPTIZED!!! They told us last Monday that they wanted to be baptized on Thursday, so we were working on getting that organized.  When they came for their baptism, they were just smiling so wide and were just shining! They bore their testimonies afterwards and I just felt the spirit and almost started crying because I was so happy that they took that decision. And in a year, they can be sealed as an eternal family!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!

I'm legit out of time. An hour is so short to do all I have to do.

The scripture to ponderize this week: Enos 1:26-27. Alex pick one to share this next week. 

LOVE LOVE LOVE


Hermana Elise Joyner



Monday, October 12, 2015

Ama el Pastor sus Ovejas [The Shepherd Loves His Sheep] (Oct 12, 2015)

The Lord really does love His sheep! And He sends us missionaries out to declare and proclaim that message to the world. To Peru. To Lima South. TO SAN JUAN! Qué grandioso es nuestro llamamiento! YAHOOO!!!! We say that little phrase right there in Spanish every morning and it is just so true. How glorious is my calling!

First off before I forget, next week is transfers so I won't be writing until Tuesday. We will find out my new comp on Saturday. Now that I will be out of training, it's game for anything! AHHHHH!!!! I know that I will still be in San Juan since Hermana Zambrano is going home. The only question is who will be joining me... This transfer flew by! I feel like she just barely got here.

I don't have a lot of time today because I spent a good bit with the fam history (thanks everyone for helping me fill in my missing information. I greatly appreciate it!!! And the people I visit will be able to see the great importance of family history). So, the one bit of news that I do want to say is.... ______ AND _______ ARE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Can I even tell you how excited I am?! After 10 months with countless missionaries, they have finally accepted to take this crucial step towards the celestial kingdom. AHHHHH!!!!!! THEY ARE JUST GONNA GO BE SEALED IN THE TEMPLE IN A YEAR AND BE A FOREVER FAMILY!!! We are still working on all the details on stuff so I will let you know how it goes next week. BUT I'M JUST SOOO HAPPY!!!!!!!!

So last night, the young single adults asked Hermana Zambrano and I to speak and sing for a missionary fireside. She spoke. I sang. It was legit. I'll try to send you the video if it will go through. I sang Dear to The Heart of the Shepherd (but in Spanish).

I have so many things that I want to tell you, but I guess it will have to wait because I'm out of time. 

The one thing that I do want to say is, Mom, don't worry about me! Just send prayers this way and we got this. There have been some reported incidents, and we are being a lot more careful recently. I have the Lord on my side and I am His servant. I follow His Spirit and am safe. He protects me. We're all good!

And the last thing is PONDERIZE!!! Dayne has chosen the first scripture for this week. 1 Corinthians 2:9. I'm gonna do this one this week and then include in my email next week what I got out of it. You should do it too. We can connect some continents here through the scriptures and the spirit. 

I'm legit out of time now.  You are all lovely and loved greatly by ME! AND THE LORD!

LES AMO!!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner


P.S. Alex- you are about to go through a big transition! Just make it to Sunday and all will be well. And study study study and lean on the Atonement. I have a personal testimony that the Lord and His sacrifice will carry you through this part of your mission and then before you know it, you will have one more week of training! LOVE YA KID!

Monday, October 5, 2015

What a Marvelous Week!! (Oct 5, 2015)

(This is a transcription from a handwritten letter)
OK kids! Once again, I wanted to write out a letter. Mostly because a ton happened this week and I want to tell you about it. First, last Monday, we went to the beach! It was super fun. And is in our zone too! We just played on the beach and took pictures. We played capture the flag. So fun! I was running around and around so much, let me give you some advice– think about it really hard before you go running on the beach. I was sore until Friday! Legit! I had the hardest time walking around San Juan. But it was worth it on Monday. 











On Wednesday, it was the birthday of Hermana Ramirez. So, because we have the same pensionista, Hermana Zambrano  and I helped prepare a little surprise for her for lunch. We went and bought her a cake and decorated that the Tapin’s dining/living room all cutesy. And then Zambrano helped prepare a Colombian feast (they’re both from Columbia). There was so much food, and it was a ton of fun. Zambrano was freaking out the entire morning about it. That night we had a lesson with an investigator named _____ this is our second lesson with him. We were talking about baptism and challenged him to a baptismal date. He turned to us and said "Hermanas, I want to be baptized sooner." That was pretty neat! The Lord really is preparing people to except the gospel. After that, we had a lesson with ______ and ________.  We talked about prophets and challenged them to listen to Pres. Monson in conference and promised them that they would find the answers when he spoke. We challenged them to be baptized (again). But, this time ________ said yes! And then we put a specific date. And he said yes! I might've tried to do a couple of cartwheels of joy in their living room. Seriously though! THEY ARE GONNA GET BAPTIZED!!! Easily the highlight of my week. They are gonna be an Eternal Family! 
On Thursday, we had interviews with Presidente. It was awesome. We each had like 10 minutes with him and then the Assistants looked through our Area Books and agendas and Hermana McGinn (Mission President’s wife) talked with us about random stuff. It was good stuff! I love we we get to talk to them. As a rule in the mission, all the Latinos have to learn English. So, when we talked with Hermana McGinn, she gave us the homework to only talk English for one day (except for lessons) every other day. Aye-aye captain! Easily done on my part! 
So Friday was my birthday. Yup I'm 20. Kind of cool, I guess. When I woke up, Zambrano had covered the wall in front of my bed with hearts and had a piece of cake there. It was sweet. Other than that, the only thing different about the day was lunch. The Hermanas slyly asked me what I usually had to eat on my birthday. I tried to describe Mama’s fried chicken and mashed potatoes. I couldn't do it that well because I don't know Spanish words when it comes to food. The only thing that are Hermana Stedtmiester (this is one of the gringas) knew to help me describe what was to say that it was like KFC. Lo and behold, what is sitting on the table when I walk in? KFC. Except they don't have mashed potatoes here, just french fries. It was so cute and so sweet! I almost started laughing. KFC was my Peruvian birthday meal. Other than lunch, it was just a normal Friday. Nothing too special. All of our appointments but two fell through. So we ended up just walking around all night. Yup.


But Saturday and Sunday! Wow!!! I love General Conference! I have had the desire to watch it for the past two months and then it happened! I feel like (for missionaries anyway) Conference is like Christmas morning for kids. Just treasures everywhere! I went in with three questions and came out with a billion and a half answers. I found there to be some general trends– being changed by the Lord, the Sabbath Day, the genuine importance of women, and church leadership. I thought that Sabbath Day observance was so interesting because that is something that I talk about on a daily basis with people. And then to hear the General Authorities reiterate the importance was neat. To watch Conference in English, we all crammed into the small Family History room to stream it from the Internet. On Sunday we got them to hook up a satellite feed on a TV in a bigger room. I loved when Sister Marriott (YW) spoke. She was the one with the Southern accent and started her talk by quoting an old Presbyterian hymn. It took me back home for minute. It was funny. As far as the favorite talk, I don't think I have one this time. They were all good!! Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, and Pres. Eyring stuck out to me. It was all good! I just came away from it all so filled spiritually and I just want to do it again! I want more!!! But That's okay. I can do it in 6 months…
Well that's all I've got for you this week. The only question I have is what scripture are we going to “ponderize” as a family this next week??? Just pick one and we can be studying the same verse in Peru, Georgia, Utah, and (eventually) California.
 Love love love you all!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner

Sunday, October 4, 2015

CONFERENCE IS COMING! (September 28, 2015)

First of all, guess what is at the end of this week… CONFERENCE!!!  I am so stoked!  I have been really wanting to watch conference for like the past two months.  AND IT’S HERE!  Saturday night we got a little appetizer for this next weekend.  Women’s Conference was so good!  The three Gringas in our zone (myself included) had a little party watching it in English on the Family History computers.  There were a couple of moments where we lost the signal but we were able to rewind it because it was on the internet.  But really!  I went in with 3 questions and as soon as the first speaker opened her mouth, answers didn’t stop coming until we said “Amen” for the closing prayer.  Our Heavenly Father is so aware of us and knows exactly what we need and when. Now it is up to me to apply what I learned in my life. Oh, so good! I'm just even more excited for the next four sessions and three new Apostles are going to be called. Crazy! When we found out about Elder Scott, one of the Latina sisters just kept repeating “We're in the last days, last days!”. It was cute. Not really. 
Well, this week has been hard and good and pretty much everything in between. Hard because like every day almost all of our appointments would call us and cancel or wouldn't be there. We would end up walking around all day without even stopping once for a lesson. It's really hard to stay positive and happy all the time when that's all you do. But this week was also good! One lesson that we did have was with _____ and _____. We had kind of a short lesson about repentance and didn't say anything about baptism or whatever. After we finished the prayer and we're getting ready to leave _______ started asking questions like "What kind of clothes do people wear when they get baptized? When’s the next baptism? How many people do you have getting baptized? Who can baptize me?" I got so excited when he started asking us. We didn't put a baptism date on, but he is so close! AAAHHH!  We're going to let him listen to Pres. Monson first and then we'll try again. Another awesome part of this week was intercambios (transfers). Why? Because Hermana Turley came with me.  Why was it awesome? Because she is from Arizona and can speak English. Seriously! We just had a blast! And the day we were together was the only day when all of the people we were going to visit kept their appointments. So we had plenty of lessons. And then we made pancakes from scratch, which was so yummy! It was great just to get a perspective from a Gringa and advice and to just talk and say what I wanted because I had the words. It was a great little break that I needed. 
As far as events, that's about all I got for you this week. So here's a spiritual thought for your week. Romans 8:35, 38-39: “Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, Shall be able to separate us from the love of God, Which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” How awesome is that scripture? Very! There is nothing that can make our Savior move away from us. He is always there with open arms to help us repent, comfort us, carry us through whatever we are going through, and to walk beside us every step of the journey. I know that Jesus Christ lives. He walks with us every day, all day. Jesus Christ atoned, suffered and paid for our sins. I'm thankful for His sacrifice that He gave so that we can return to Heavenly Father as an eternal family. I'm very thankful for this knowledge. I love you very much! Have a great week. 

Love, Hermana Elise Joyner

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Siempre Gozo en mi Alma (Always have joy in my soul) (Sept. 21, 2015)

¡Hola! ¿Comó estamos hoy día? Espero que la respuesta es "sí." BAH! That's all the Spanish I got right now. I'll do English now so that all can understand and that my email will be longer than 5 sentences. 

I think it's so crazy that the MTC allows family members to do TRC in the same district as the missionaries. That's so funny! I can just picture Dayne and Alex as they passed in the hall. It made me giggle. And nice cast Alex!

Anyway, this week has been so full and yet not at the same time. I always have so many experiences that I want to share that I don't have time to, so I will just share a story or two.

Wednesday morning, we went out prosylting like a normal day. We had a lesson and then went to go find a house of a reference. Well, while we were trying to find the direction, this lady walked past us looking kinda sad. Zambrano had the impression to contact her, so we did. We started talking and she just started crying. She went for a walk to try to clear her head of all her problems. She has two little kids that she has to care for and her husband can't work because he is really sick and they have no money and that's all I can remember but there was more. Basically her life is just full of challenges right now and she can't see the hope. We asked if we could go to the park and share a message with her. We were across the street from the capilla and she said that she wants to go into the capilla. SO, we went into the church and started sharing about the Atonement with her. Turns out, she was baptized when she was 9 but never actually attended. SHE'S A LESS ACTIVE! We were able to share some scriptures with her that helped her calm down a little and find a little bit more peace for the moment. It's amazing how our Heavenly Father works. There are no coincidences in this work. This is His work and we are simply the instruments who are in the right places at the right times.

On Thursday, I went to my first funeral that I can remember. I know I went to Uncle Randal's but I don't remember it much. This one was a member who had cancer. Only she and one of her daughters are members. The rest of the family is not. They held the service here in the capilla. It is so amazing to see the difference between people who have the knowledge of the gospel and those who don't. I just wish that everyone knew about the plan of salvation. We will see our families again because we can be will them FOREVER! It was an interesting experience with a sweet spirit.

On Saturday, I made no bake cookies for our ward council to try to get them excited to come. Let's just say that the ingredients are a bit different here. I had to improvise a little bit. It was actually kinda funny. And we don't have measuring materials so everything was by the eye. Oh Peru! They turned out fine....


I LOVE YOU! I HOPE YOU ALL ARE DOING WELL! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!


LOVE LOVE LOVE


Hermana Elise Joyner

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Miracles Are Real (Sept. 14, 2015)

This week was so great! We've had so many little miracles like everyday this week!

First, ALEX! I'm not gonna lie, I laughed a little when I found out that you broke your hand. Still got it buddy! DL! How fun is that! I'm glad that you are enjoying the MTC. I legit loved the CCM. It's such a special place where the spirit just dwells so strongly!

SO, my new companion is Hermana Zambrano. She is from Columbia and is a convert of 2 years. When she came to the mission, she was the only member of the family. Her mom got baptized last November. Talk about blessings! Anyway, she is the cutest person ever! She has the biggest heart and automatically loves EVERYONE! She is such an awesome missionary too. She teaches straight by the spirit and the people just open up. And she laughs at like everything I say which makes me feel better because sometimes I feel like I don't have a personality in Spanish. But she is awesome! And it made me realize how trunky my last companion was. I didn't know because I didn't know any better, but now it's like real time to be a missionary and learn everything that I didn't learn last time. Although, like Guelet, Hermana Zambrano is on her last transfer too. I just keep killin' off my companions! So this means that I will be here in San Juan until at least December. 
Hermana Zambrano

Look Out!















One thing that we have been doing this past week is getting to know the members around here. I didn't really have the chance to do this last transfer, but we are now. And it is awesome! The members here are so great and have awesome conversion stories!

So pensionista! I talked Hermana Tapia (the Ward mission leader's wife and the pension of the other hermanas) into cooking for us too! BEST EVER! We give her money twice a month and she takes care of everything from there. THe money comes from the 650 soles we get each month. We go to her house to eat. She always starts each month with a giant bowl of soup and then for the meal a mountain of food. LITERALLY A MOUNTAIN!!!!! If I didn't go running every morning, I would be in trouble by the time I leave here.

It's starting to get hotter here. No me gusta. But it's fine. I even had to break out the sunscreen one day.

In our zone, we got two more gringas. YASSS!!!!!! I love the latinas but it is nice to have hermanas that I can talk to and be myself because there isn't a language barrier. One has been out for 11 months and the other is a NEWBIE! I'm not the absolute baby anymore! Even though I still kinda am. It's just so neat to see her and where she is and know that that is where I started and to see how far I have come with spanish and just being a missionary.

Dad, I forgot to answer your question last week. I printed off the 4th Missionary and am on pg 17. It's a little long and I don't have a lot of time to read it but it is so good! And I'll say more when I'm done with it, but it is definitely changing the way I'm thinking about my mission. 

So, Magaly and Cristian. I don't remember all that I have told you about them. Anyway, they are our investigators. They've been meeting with the missionaries since February. They had a bapt date for the 29th of August but it fell through. We were in our lesson on Friday and just laid it out there for them. Like ya gotta get baptized. Well, Magaly flat out said the church is true. HUZZAH!!! It was legit. BUT, Cristian wasn't convinced. So we had everyone bear there testimonies. The spirit was soooo strong! When I bore my testimony, I just had the truth reconfirmed to me so strongly. I KNOW IT IS TRUE! EVERYTHING! The church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and everything that came from that moment in history is true! We have another lesson with them tonight, so hopefully we can set a date for the 26th of Sept. (next Saturday). I'm praying really hard for this!

I'm out of time now, but hopefully this email was a little better than last week's.

LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner


¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor!
Wonder Woman

I can paint!

School in Peru

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Cambios! (Sep 8th)

Ok, friends, family, everyone in between! I am officially half way through training! HUZZAH!!!! I don't have a lot of time to write because I spent too long reading emails, but there isn't much to tell anyway. 

COLE! IM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! Way to be! That part is awesome even if you don't think that it is. [Cole has a new part in the OYP play Charley and the Chocolate Factory]  If it makes you feel better, I was usually in the background of the plays that I did. But I did my part with all my heart and had a blast. You're gonna be awesome! 

CAMBIOS! Hermana Guelet is gone. She left Sunday after church. It was kinda hard because she was packing her stuff and is going home to her family and it was just kinda like, oh yeah. I'm still doing this for like 15 more months. But all is well, and I am glad to be here!

At 6:15am yesterday, we had to be in our stake center for cambios. SO EARLY! Anyway, my new companion is Hermana Zambrano. She is from Columbia and is just the cutest! She wears her heart on her sleeve for EVERYONE! Like literally, she is just so full of love. 

Mom, don't worry, the first thing that I did yesterday when Zambrano came was find a pensionista. No more cooking lunch! Thank goodness! It took too much time to prepare food every day.

Well, I am out of time. I know that this isn't a very satisfying email, but I will try to make up for it next week.

Thanks for all your help with the family history! I greatly appreciate it. It will definitley help as I share it with the people we teach.

LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!!


Hermana Elise Joyner

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Handwritten Letter (Aug 31 - pt 2)

[note from Elise's Dad: Elise doesn't always seem to not have enough time to put her thoughts in an email, so she occasionally writes handwritten letters and takes a picture to email.  Here are her thoughts this week]


 




First Baptism

Cristina's Family

Whenever I hear the song of a bird or look at the, BLUE BLUE SKY!!!! (Aug 31st - pt 1)

What an awesome week this was!!! Oh my goodness! The weather especially has been awesome! And by awesome, I mean there was sun and almost a blue sky for 3 days! If you dont know, the sky in Lima here is usually very cloudy without sun. But it has been marvelous!!!

First things first! Dayne- I swear if you go to Kelli O'Hara's concert and don't get me a picture and something signed by her for me, a year from December, you will get the noogie of a lifetime! But for reals! I'm so jealous! I already missed Laura Osnes with MOTAB. 

And COLE! Look at you moving up in the world of OYP! Good luck with all!

Alex, I hope you have a fab first week! My motto is "Make it to Sunday!" But with the MTC and my first week here, I thought I was going to die and the MTC would take forever until Sunday. After the first Sunday, everything went so fast. And same with my first transfer. So, you can make it to Sunday!

Dayne and Holly, here's a fun fact for you! Peru is very proud of their chia seeds here and they are super cheap! Let's just say a couple times a week, I have chia seed pancakes for bfast...

Guess what is in one month..... GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!! I am super excited! Lately I have been really wanting to watch conference, but I still gotta wait another month. BUT we can all start preparing now to be ready to receive that inspiration and revelation that just flows during conference time. 

As far as the shower goes, we still don't have hot water, so cup showers. Actually starting yesterday morning, we don't have water at all... Hey Peru! It's fine, we just need it to cook, and wash, and everything with the bathroom. Hopefully, they will get it sorted out later this day.,..

Mom, did I ever tell you that Hermana Winward taught me how to braid. I thought you would want to know that.

Have you ever been in an earthquake? I hadn't either... until Friday. We are on a fault line here in Peru, so I've been waiting for it for the past 2 months. Well, Friday at like 1:30, I was sitting at the table, studying our area book, and Guelet was cooking lunch. All of a sudden, everything started to shake for like 20 secs (ish). We looked at each other and were just like OK. I started laughing bc I've never been in an earthquake before. It was really funny to me. Guelet just kept saying "this building is anti-seismic. they felt it a lot worse on the ground." And I was like ok. It was pretty legit. 

This week is going to be kind of a hard one. Guelet leaves on Sunday, so that leaves me to know the entire area and all the people and everything involved with San Juan. It's kind of stressful and I'm a little scared for her to leave and to have to show a new companion around the area and "lead hte are" how they say. BUT I know that the Presidente and the Lord knew that I would have to do this and they have confidence in me. SO, I got this! 

Speaking of leaving, next week are transfers, so I won't be emailing until Tuesday. FYI

LOVE YOU ALL SOOO MUCH!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner

P.S. ONE MORE WEEK FOR MI FAMILIA LIBRO!!!  I need pics from Mom's side, dates and birth places from all siblings of everyone, and stories of my great gparents

  • Is the Peruvian food spicy?  Or have you really been able to tell since you only cook for yourself? i haven't had peruvian food bc we cook for ourselves, but from what ive seen, its more bland
  • Is your shower fixed?  Is the shower like the kind Dayne had on  his mission where it is plugged into electricity by the shower head?  Wear your rubber shower shoes kid!  yeah, the shower is the electricity thing
  • How close are the nearest members to you? a street over
  • How is your Spanish at this point?  Can you understand people when they talk fast yet? i cant talk any better, but i can understand more
  • Do you always walk in your area or do you take a bus or taxi anywhere? walk everywhere except one area where we have to take a "motor"
  • What time do you have to be in at night? by 9, or 9:30 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

View from our apartment



Such Great Things Are Happening! (Aug 24th)

Wow, sounds like you guys are quite busy! In a week or so, it will be all quiet again. GET READY ALEX!!!! Once you get into the MTC, you will get into the rhythm of things. And Dayne, don't get too lonely out there in Utah without me! 

So, last Friday, they moved our P-day from today to then so that we could go to the temple. All we get to do today is email. But the temple. SOOO GOOD!!!! I just love the temple. I have officially gone more times in Spanish than in English. I went with some questions to get answered, and as I was sitting in the celestial room, answers just flowed! I know Heavenly Father is so aware of us and is willing and wanting to answer our questions and prayers if we go to Him. 


















So last P-day, Hermanas Murillo and Rameriz (the other hermanas in our zone), planned a surprise for Guelet and another Hermana whose area is about 30 minutes away. Murillo is from Hondurus, so she made a traditional meal from there and bought a cake and decorated the house of the Tapias and made it all fancy. She even made homemade tortillas. It was super good! It was a little going home party! 


In two days, ELDER BEDNAR WILL BE HERE!!!! I'm super excited!!! I will tell you about it next week, but it's just gonna be awesome!

This Saturday, we have the baptism of Cristina. She is 9 years old and just the cutest! She reminds me of Gracie. Her whole family is less active except for her older brother who takes care of her. It's really awesome because we found her while I was here, so I've seen her through to baptism. I gave her a CTR ring when we taught the commandments and she just flipped out. It was the funniest thing! She hasn't stopped hugging me since!
The other two people who were going to get baptized this Saturday as well are not. We are moving their date to two weeks more. Magaly and Cristian. They are such a great family and I just want them to get baptized so bad! We fasted for them last Saturday, so now it's all in the Lord's timing.

So, as far as homesickness goes, Dad, I'm not really homesick... And if I ever am or get down about anything, there is always one person who pops in my head... Alex. The image of Alex slapping himself and using his finger to tell himself "no, bad Alex" comes to my mind, and then I'm fine. So, thanks Alex! You're a real pal!

I'm out of time, but one little reminder... My Family Booklet. Thanks! Pics, stories, the works!

I hope you all have a great week and can rest a little.

LOVE YOU LOTS!!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner

Our Apartment



Happy MonthDay to ME! (Aug 17th)

I'm not sure if you are aware (Mom is), but yesterday was officially 2 months since I have been called Elise outloud. Like, my name is officially Hermana Joyner. YASSSS!!!!

Sounds like we both had quite a week! I wish I could've been there with Cole and everyone at the temple. SO PRECIOUS!!! And DAYNE! Welcome back to the real world!  Nice to see ya (or at least your name on my emails). 

To answer your question Mom, no we dont eat dinner. I'm honestly not sure if other people do here because I'm not there with them when they eat but I'm sure they do. I take an apple and a granola bar with me each night. I'm fine. Dont worry about me! I eat plenty of veggies each day and am keeping my immune system up (which needs to happen bc Guelet has been sick this past week). But Im fine! It's all good in the neighborhood! I also drink water like crazy. I can tell that I am losing weight though. I've cooked a couple times this past week and Guelet the other days. Maybe after she leaves, we can find a pensionista. 

So last Tuesday, our shower broke.. Yup. It only gives up freezing water that is impossible to shower in. Seeing this as unacceptable, Guelet and I boil giant pans of water every morning and put it in a trashcan and shower using a mug. If you ever want to have a super fun time, I suggest doing this. Oh hey Peru! Bahahaha! I actually think it is so funny and Guelet's reaction was priceless!

So on Friday, we had multi-zone training with the McGinns. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Except, Guelet volunteered me to play the piano and it was just bad. The opening hymn was fine, but the rest was just a train wreck... YOLO! But the training was great! They didn't know Spanish before coming, so they are learning just like me. President McGinn is awesome at the Spanish thing, and Hermana McGinn makes me feel better about my Spanish. They are really sweet. I was the only gringa in the meeting, so she talked to me a lot at lunch and stuffs. It's awesome because she is feeling like the exact things that I have been.  The training was really good too. We focused on the Restoration and how it is the key to helping people understand everything else in the church.

I want to tell you a little more about our ward mission leader. His name is Hermano Tapia. He is like 80 and just loves the missionaries. Every Monday, we go over to their house for FHE with our investigators and less actives. But the best thing is his wife! She is so funny! She tells me the same things like 20 times and doesn't remember a thing. She thinks I don't know anything in Spanish (which is partially true). I walked into their house last week and she gave me a giant hug. She took me by my shoulders and was like repeat after me: "Bueños días." She made me say it like 5 times, and I was like it's nighttime. She's really sweet though and using big hand gestures to make sure I get what she is saying. Guelet just sits there and laughs. It's too funny! She is the pensionista for the other hermanas in our zone. 

Next week has big things! First of all, we get to go to the temple next P-day with our zone. SUPER EXCITED! Oh yeah, and ELDER BEDNAR is coming next Wednesday!!!!! SO COOL!!!!! That's gonna be awesome! And then next Saturday we are having 3 baptisms! Good things in store!

My time is up, but I just want to say that the church is true and God hears our prayers and will answer them through His scriptures. Many times this past week, I have found answers in the scriptures to my prayers. 

One last thing, I need all's help! Our zone has a goal to fill out the booklet "My Family" Google ig you don't know what it is. There is a big push in the mission to do family history work. So, I need pics, names, dates, stories, places, and everything to fill out this book. If you could look through and see what is needed and send me the info within the next two-ish weeks, that would be awesome! Also, I encourage you to fill it out as well. You never know what you could learn. THANKS!!!!

I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE THE BEST AND KEEP BEING YOU!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner


Nuestro Padre Celestial nos contesta mediante sus palabras en las escrituras. Yo sé que esta es verdadera.

Missionary work is not easy because Salvation isn't easy! (Aug 3rd)

That's a quote from Elder Holland. SO TRUE! This week I learned that missionary work is WORK!

Anyway, first Mom. I just need to say thank you for buying me those sketchers walking shoes. They make my life so much easier when we are walking around for 5 hours straight.

Next, I'm pretty sure there is someone who has a birthday this week...not sure who... oh yeah...COLE!!!! YOU OLDIE! HOW ARE YOU GONNA BE !?!!!! ¡QUÉ EN EL MUNDO! But really bud, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I wish I could be there for your ordaining and the temple, but I will be thinking about you!

OH! I have really exciting news! Last Friday, I figured out how to work the shower, so now I have moderately warm water. That literally made my life!

Good luck with school this week! I look forward to hearing about it.

So! San Juan! I'll start by telling you about our "ward." I say "ward" because there are only like 70 people and not all of them show up. But they call it a ward so YOLO! The bishop is really nice and ready to do some missionary work. The ward mission leader is this cute little old man who is super excited to work with us. He has great ideas and wants to help in any way possible. Our ward has a lot of less active members, so that is where a lot of our work is concentrated. Reactivating members.

The people we are working with. When I got here, we had 2 people with a baptism date for the end of August. Within the past 4 days, we have committed 3 more people for that same day. I really hope all of them keep doing what they gotta do to make it to that day. Especially that family I told you about last week with the 4 year old. We went to their house again on Friday for a lesson, and she walked right past Hermana Guelet to give me a hug. I was like "Yeah, that's right!"

Thanks for the recipes mom! We only eat lunch and not dinner, so those will come in handy. They gave us rules and guidelines for what to eat and how to clean our food and all this. I'll be ok.

I want to share an experience that I had yesterday afternoon. On Saturday, after lunch and training, Hermana Guelet and I went out proselyting. We have plans and backup plans and backup backup plans. No one was home or would let us in to share a message. We walked from house to house for 5 hours straight without stopping. My legs and feet and back hurt, and I was hungry and thirsty from fasting, and I was exhausted. Sunday morning at church, everyone came up to me to welcome me into the ward, but most of their Spanish was slurred and mumbled, and I couldn't understand anything they were saying. That was my breaking point from the week. When we went back to our apartment for lunch, I knelt down and said just laid everything out for my Heavenly Father. I got up from my prayer and did what President McGinn said to do when we feel this way. I began in Matthew 26 and studied the Atonement. Particularly, around verse 40 (ish), when Jesus said to the Apostles, "Could you not watch with me for an hour?" That hit me! Can I not persevere and find those who He has prepared for just 18 months! I CAN! That gave me so much strength and comfort. When we went out to work after lunch, I felt no burden on my back. My bag was light even though it had the same things as Saturday. My feet and legs and back didn't hurt, and I was able to go forward being the most happy that I had been all week. I know that this is the Atonement working for me. I have never had an experience with the Atonement like that, and it was awesome! I know that Christ is walking beside me everything step of the way to strengthen me and help me complete His work. He is there and so aware of all of us! Whenever you have problems or anything that you need help with, just call on the Lord and He will help. He is there. Always. We just have to take the action to go to Him.

Well this is about all I have time for. Until next week!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner


Nuestro Padre Celestial contesta nuestras oraciones.

The Lord is on thy side! (Aug 10th)

What a week! This week was a lot faster! And so filled with so many things!

First, thank you for all the emails! It's always good to hear from home. I'm glad everyone is doing well. And you're new toy! You got a fully equipped van!

First, some advice for Alex. STUDY!!!! PREP NOW!!!! Read and STUDY PMG!!! You are going to wish you had if you dont. I had only rad through it once before my mission, and now I wish I had become more familiarized with it. The time before you go into the MTC is so precious because everything changes once you get in there. SO, buckle down and get to work.

I only have about 10 minutes today, so hopefully I can share at least part of what I want to.

Aunt Melon- feel free to use whatever you want! My letters are here for you!

Here in Lima Sur, I have become well acquainted with stairs. To get to our apartment, I have have to climb 63 (to be exact). And then to get to appointments and what not, there are yet more stairs. I just have to look at them and say, "Ok! Here we go! I've got the gospel and you got the house! Come at me stairs!" Im gonna have really strong legs by the time I come home. Just think about that while you are driving around in your cars, Alex...

I HAVE SO MANY EXPERIENCES I WANT TO SHARE!!!!!

So last Saturday, the CCM missionaries came proselyting like we did. They were in their first weeks when we were in our last, so I could recognize some faces. It was awesome becuase I walked into our capilla and chilling at the front was HERMANO V.!!!!! It was awesome and I got to talk to him for a little bit and it made me happy because there were people I knew. And English.

So for the past two days, it had been "raining." This rain is more like a constant drizzle that makes everything wet. I LOVE IT!!! I has never rained but it did. It was just refreshing and rejuevnating. We were standing on the sidewalk yesterday, trying to think of where this house was and I just though "Im in Peru, in the middle of rain, trying to find people to talk about Jesus with. HOW COOL IS MY LIFE!" But legit! It is cold here too! In the morning it is so hard to get out of bed bc it's cold and there are no such things as indoor temperature systems such as AC and heat. You live what you live.

I have a talk for you ALEX! And Dad and whoever wants to be uplifted! I dont know if you can find it. If you cant, tell me and I will take a pic of mine and send it to you.  "Fear Not, I Am With Thee" by Dieter F Uchtdorf, 2014 Seminar for New MIssion Presidents, Tuesday June 24, 2014. SO GOOD!

So ever since my experience last Sunday, I have been so ready to just go out there and serve! We've been able to find 3 new people to teach this week and it's been great! I love this work adn this gospel! It's still hard and still like what am I doing, but prayer is real and the Lord is on my side!

Dayne, if you want to send me some tips on how to learn Spanish, that'd be kinda neat...

I dont have any more time!

I LOVE YOU!!! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR NOTES!!!! And the mission stuff, Dad.

Your favorite missionary (starting Tuesday),

Hermana Elise Joyner

SOME QUESTIONS FROM MOM:
How far is it to church?  Do you walk or ride?  walk, 30 streets from our apartment
Do you have any good stores close by?  we have to walk like 15 min to a grocery store
How long will you be with your trainer?  Are you on the 12 week training program? with Guelet until Sept. 6 but then I will get another trainer to finish the 12 week
Where do you go to email on p-days?  Are you on a timer?  the church, no timer but Guelet is like on point when it comes to times and the internet
Where do you do your laundry?  Washing machines or by hand??  everyone in the mission pays members to do it
Does anyone cook anything for you?  I was confused if you are cooking all 3 meals by yourself? no one cooks for us, maybe when Guelet leaves, we will get a pensionista, but for now, I find something for breakfast and lunch and then no dinner
Is your back feeling better?  Dad sent you some back exercises and I will send some Yoga stuff in another email, my back still has problems but i just gotta stretch it, nothing else hurts though
How many are in your district?  How close are the closest missionaries to you? 6 in the district, we are hte only sisters, there are 2 more hermanas in our zone
How does the mission give you money?  Do you get a debit card like Dayne did?  How much do you get a month? debit card that we take money off of, 650 soles per transfer

Do you pay rent and utilities or does the mission do that for you?  we pay