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! 

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. 


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