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.


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!!!!


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...


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

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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

July 29, 2015

July 22, 2015

I dont have any stories really to tell... Everyday is basically the
same here in the CCM. BUT IM IN WEEK 6 NOW!!!!!

¿Qué más?... Oh, I dont think Ive ever told you about our Sundays! So
all the Norte Americanos have sacrament meeting together and it's in
Spanish. Each week, we all have a different topic that we have to
right a talk on (in Spanish) and then after the sacrament, the branch
president calls 4 missionaries to go up and give their talks. I havent
given a talk but I have one sunday left so you never know... Then we
split up into out levels for Sunday school and go over a lesson in PMG
and then for Relief Society all the norte americanas are together and
we go over yet another lesson from PMG. Then we have luch. Then we
have like 4 hours of study time. IT'S AWESOME!!! Before I got here, I
didn t have any idea how I was going to study for that long. But now,
I WANT MORE!!! 4 hours isnt enough!!! I LOVE IT!!! Then we watch
either a recorded devotional from some past time from the Provo MTC or
we watch a movie like Legacy or Joseph Smith or somehting like that.
Then we have dinner. Then we watch another recorded devo from Provo.
It's great! I LOVE SUNDAYS!!! This Sunday will be a little different
because it is our last but who knows!

Something that Ive been thinking about a lot this past week is how our
Heavenly Father really hears our prayers and answers them. Anytime I
pray and ask Him a question or for something, I always get a response.
Usually it comes in the form of a scripture- which just tells you how
important the scriptures are. I am a firm believer that if you want to
talk to God, pray; if you want God to talk to you, read your
scriptures. Our scriptures have such gems in them and when we take the
time to STUDY, Heavenly Father will point out those treasures that we

 We are going to go make cookies with the MTC President's wife
(one of the Hermanas in my district asked her if we could make cookies
with her in her apartment and she said yes so theres that...).

Yo sé que mi Padre Celestial está escuchando a mis oraciones.


Hermana Elise Joyner

July 15, 2015

cant! So crazy! My Spanish is quickly getting better and my English is
quickly getting worse. It's really funny!

What else you tell that I havent said somewhere already... OH!!! Look
up a picture of a "gradallia". I may have spelled it wrong. Anyway,
you open it and it looks like either fish eggs or a brain but it is
super yummy! You have to smash it on the table to open it. And you
dont chew it, you just swallow, seeds and all.

That's kinda all I got as far as emailing....

Oh, SOMETHING ELSE!  So on Monday, us and another district got
together and practiced teaching the Restoration. We memorized the
First Vision like the first week we were here. Anyway, while we were
teaching, it was my turn to recite the scripture in our lesson. As I
was saying it, it just hit me like fuzzy blanket, IT'S TRUE!!!!! I
mean I've had a testimony of it , but telling someone else Joseph's
words and looking into their eyes and wanting them to believe it is so
different. It was AWESOME!!!!

This place is even more packed and it's really weird. I am officially
an avacado!!! It's really advancado but I like saying avacado more.
TWO WEEKS MAS!!!!!! After going out on Saturday, it made me really
excited to just get out there and talk to real people who want to hear
the gospel instead of our teaching pretneding they dont know. But it's
good! The CCM is our little safe haven!


Hermana Elise Joyner

July 8, 2015

will be sad to leave it but I´m also really excited and work with

This was the experience on Sunday night after hte devotional. I wasnt
going to share this but now I feel like I should after Mom´s email. We
went back to the room and were just sharing thoughts and spiritual
experiences. It was super spiritual and just a sacred moment to share
with the hermanas in my district. One of the hermanas felt like she
needed to share 3 Nephi 17. At the end of the chapter after Jesus prays
for the people, angels come down and encircle them. In that moment, I
felt like angels were there with us. Encircling us and sharing their
testimonies in the room with us while we shared ours. I had the
strongest thought that Great Grandma Ed was there. She is the only great
grandparent I know but I just felt like she was there with me and it
was just super special. I know that the Plan of Salvation is true and
that there are angels on the other side of the veil just rooting for
us as we share the gospel and follow on the right path.

I´ve also been focusing on studying Preach My Gospel the past week. It
is such an inspired manual. I think everyone should STUDY it even if
they arent a fulltime missionary. There are so many applications to
personal life in addition to missionary work. It´s SOOO good!

So on Saturday, all the intermedios (like 20 of us) are going to go
out into the real world . SCARY!!!
We split from our companion and get paired with a Latina missionary
and an actual missionary in the mission field. All I´m saying is there
will be a lot of smiling and nodding and not a lot of comprehending.
But I know that it will be good and that I will have the Lord´s help.

It was sad to hear about Elder Packer´s passing. It´s crazy how it
happened within like a month or so of Elder Perry. Maybe they will let
us watch the funeral?...

So something that has been on my mind a lot lately is just how the
world is changing. I dont know if I am just more aware of it now that
I am on a misison or if everything suddenly just changed. We are in
the last days. It´s time for the righteous to get more righteous and
stick to their guns!

Until next week,

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner

July 1, 2015 - Another week gone by....

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I've been here for 2 weeks! That's crazy. I feel
like I just got here yesterday and am still in the beginner level, but
NO! IM NOW OFFICALLY AND INTERMEDIO! A group of the advanced and
latinos just left on Monday and we got newbies last night. CRAZY how
time flies!

So basically nothing new really happened since I wrote that
handwritten note. We are in class basically all day, but its split up
by physical activity, lunch, language program on the computer, and
dinner. I love it though! And all of our breaks are long enough to
give me a breather but short enough so that I dont completely go off
into lala land.

So we got new Latinas yesterday. I was talking with some of them at
lunch today and I was actually having a conversation! LIKE I CAN SORTA
SPEAK SPANISH!!! LIKE WHAT?!!!! Talk about the Gift of Tongues to make
it this far in two weeks!

So, more about my district. All Hermanas! I love it because I think
that it is what we all needed. Four of us are going to Lima Sur (we
are all roomies). Then two are going to Trujilo and two to Lima Oeste.
They are a super fun group and we all have fun learning together and
sharing spiritual experiences.

So with the new group coming in, we got 36 north americans!!! Our
group only had about 20. Like this is a giant group! We have 2 new
roommates that are filling the empty beds in our rooms. I havent met
them yet but Im sure that they are nice.

What else can I tell you about... My teachers! We have a morning
teacher and an evening teacher and one who comes in and out to help
the morning. Our first teachers name is Hermano V. This is his first
time teaching norte americanos. He just got back from Lima Sur about 6
months ago, so he likes to tell us stories about it. He is good but he
talks super fast and we are like, "'¿Comó? But its good. We played him
in ping pong the other day and totally won! The evening teacher is
Hermano F. HE IS AWESOME AND SO FUNNY!!! He thinks that we will be his
last district. He always brings us "supresas" and talks way slower so
we can understand him. He always ends the night with something like
super spiritual and impactful so like every night before companionship
study, the entire room is just so filled with the spirit; it's
tangiable! He likes to tell jokes in spanish and english but sometimes
his spanish doesnt translate over to english so that makes it even
funnier. And the other teacher is Hermana O. She has been helping
Hermano V for the past two weeks but now she has her own district. She
is seriously the cutest person ever!

What else?! Oh, mom you wanted to know about Visas. So coming into the
country, we were tourists. Then the first friday, we went to the
Migrations office and gave them paperwork that the church had already
filled out. Then we went to Interpol to do fingerprinting and stuff
for it. It's not that hard of a process to get a Visa here.

Well, my time is running out!

Hermana Elise Joyner