OK! My beloved family. Here is the long-awaited note mother and father have been asking for. I’m gonna write it little by little because of time, so if it doesn’t make coherent sense, that’s why. Well, I’m in Chorillos.Las Villas.1. WAHOO! It’s awesome! It was sad to leave San Juan and all the family I found in that area. Six months is a long time, my friends. It was hard to say goodbye to Magaly & Cristian and their kids and all of our rescatados (rescued). Everyone kept telling me what a difference I made in the ward and stuff like that. I really didn’t do anything, but it’s curious how God works through even just one word or act. But now I am in Las Villas and am meeting new people who are just awesome! I really do love my new area and my new companion, Hermana Giler. She is from Ecuador and has 13 months in the mission. She is a convert of 10 years. She is like the sweetest person you will ever meet. She is so service-oriented and puts everyone before herself. After having a few companion problems with one of my anterior companions, I am just so glad to be with her. She is obedient and so ready to work and be excited to do so ALL the time. It’s gonna be a great cambia (and hopefully two)!
So I am in Family History, and I LOVE IT! What that means is, that on top of our area responsibilities, we have this responsibility. The Zone brings their recent converts and rescues to the church, and we have a lesson with them about Family History, temples, bautismos vicarious (Dayne, translate because I can’t for the life of me think of it in English - baptisms for the dead), and that stuff. After the lesson, we help them create a Family Search account and add their family information they brought from filling out their “My Family” booklet (like how you helped me do mine). Then we check to see if they have names to take to the temple. If so, we print and prep the names and plan a trip. This past Thursday, we took a group (rather large group) to the temple (many for the 1st time). At the temple, we have to prep all the names and make sure the temple is ready for the group and help the people and then we wait outside until they are done. I love being able to watch their faces as they come out of the temple for the first time. It really is such a special thing to be able to participate in. We also put together a report every week to see how attending the temple affects retention. The people who go and have these great experiences in the temple are less likely to fall away. The temple really is the house of the Lord. Even though we don’t go into the temple with the people, just being on the grounds is good enough to feel the tranquility and the difference of the temple from the rest of the world. I’m just really excited to be a Family History Hermana.
As far as my role and my companion’s role (we are both Sister Leaders) as Hermana Lider Capacitadoras, we go on exchanges with the other family history sisters all over the mission and prepare trainings and we are supposed to have the “perfect area” in family history. No pressure, right? No, it’s good. FAMILY HISTORY RULES! DO IT!
So our ward is actually a ward. We even have a beach in our ward. There are two companionships, us and one more. It started out as Elders, but after a few changes in the mission, we now have Sisters and no Elders. Just think! The missionary force of the Ward is 4 Hermanas! How sweet is that! It made me pretty excited. As far as the people we are teaching, we have Patricia. She is going to get baptized this Saturday. She’s had her interview and is all set to go.
This is from my letter to Presidente so if something doesn’t make sense, that's why.
"I absolutely LOVED the training that we received this past week from the leaders of the Church. One of my favorite parts was from Elder Andersen. I loved his promise that when we don’t know what to say, speak of the Savior. I find that there are times when I'm not sure what needs to be said to help those we are teaching, but I love the spirit that comes when we open our mouths to talk about Jesus Christ. That's what captured my attention the most. I also loved the re-focus on repentance. It makes me think about what I actually understand and apply in my personal life from the Doctrine of Christ. I want to live it so fully so that I can testify of the doctrine. I think that if we don't aren’t personally living what we teach, how can we teach it? So, this is my new focus for the mission. Find the doctrine and apply it (I was already trying to do this, but now even more). And then take the doctrine and apply it to the people we find and teach and help them have their own conversion. This training really was great!
My miracle from the week comes from a less active named Fanny. She has had a lot of problems come up in her life recently and has really been relying on us to give her spiritual boosts and help her through this time. She had never been to the temple before. On Thursday, we went to the temple with the converts and rescues from the zone, and Hermana Fanny wanted to come along too. So, she went for the temple for the first time and walked around and waited outside while the group was doing baptisms. She felt the spirit so strongly there and just loved it! She left the temple a different person. It was amazing! She said that she will do whatever it takes to be able to go inside the temple and receive the peace and spirit that we can find there. She is so excited to return to the church now and actually read her scriptures and do what is necessary to become worthy. The temple truly is the house of hte Lord."
The training we had was the world-wide missionary training that the church did. It was awesome! For Alex (because you saw it), what Elder Bednar did was what he did with us when he came. Basically the same topic too. It was pretty legit. The church is refocusing the work on baptism and repentance. That's really what we are sent to do. Declare repentance and help people change their lives through covenants like baptism.
Well, that's all I got time for this week. Keep studying those scriptures and singing those hymns (did I tell you they called on me last week to do a musical number for sacrament meeting? Welcome to the barrio Hermana Joyner! hahaha, it was really funny!)."
LOVE LOVE LOVE,
Hermana Elise Joyner
"Prorrumpir en alabanzas al Santo de Israel" 2 Nefi 31:13 (Shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel)