Monday, February 22, 2016

Farmers Tan on my Neck and Arms. Farmers Tan the Secret of my Charms! (Feb 15, 2016)

[Note from Elise's Dad - apparently the email servers were down last week, so we received this email a week late]

Well, I am sitting outside on the temple grounds, waiting for the recent converts and rescues who are inside the temple doing baptisms and confirmations.  There are clouds in the sky blocking the scorching sun and a really nice breeze going and I am just as content as can be here as a missionary in Peru Lima South.  I’ve been promising a letter and here it is!  I know I’m not great at this whole writing thing, but there is never enough time to write everything that I want to write.  I’m always filling out forms or planning for something or other.  But this week, I’m sending something of substance.

So a couple of weeks ago, we participated in the world wide missionary training.  The missionary department reminded us of our purpose as a missionary - preach repentance and baptize converts.  It was an awesome reminder of what I’m really here in Peru to do - invite others to come unto Christ by helping them follow His doctrine.  President McGinn has been helping us re-focus on this as well.  We’ve had several trainings and meetings with him in this past transfer where he has helped us learn something new about the doctrine (like what I wrote about repentance last week. I really did love that new point of view!).  I’ve been trying to focus more recently on how I can teach this doctrine body, clearly, and directly.  As missionaries, we shouldn’t be timid to invite people to do hard things.  These hard things are what are going to help them change their hearts to come more unto the Lord.  It’s what we are called to do!  So I say, “Arrepentíos!”  Being a missionary is great!  Doctrine is great!

A couple of weeks ago, I promised details about the baptism we had. Foreknowledge –Hermana Patricia has like bronchitis or something with the couple of other things. I don't know. So, we had been planning and preparing everything for like two weeks. We got everything ready– time and date, hot water, clothes, program, special musical number, people to come, etc. The most important part was the hot water. She needed it for her health and reminded us like five times a day. We had been told that it was all good and they had checked it and everything was fine and ready. Day of baptism comes. We show up to the church at 6 PM for the baptism at 7 PM. We get there and they tell us the hot water is broken and that an electrician is coming to fix it. He shows up at 6:20 and all the rooms he needs to access to fix it are locked. So, the solution the brethren came up with was to jump through the TINY window above the door and unlock it. So they stack chairs on chairs on the table podium thing and I thought there were going to fall and die.
Climbing Through the Window
They got it open and got to work. We had to push the baptism back to 7:30 so we could get hot water. Unfortunately, it didn't work that well. The water was still pretty cold, just not as cold as before. As for the clothes, our ward mission leader brought two dresses. They were both way too small for her, so we had to run around and try to figure out a solution to this little setback. After 30 minutes of looking for an alternative, Hermana Patricia finally told us that she had a white jacket in her bag that she could put over the dress that fit better.  So while we were working on the water and the clothes, our ward mission leader (he was called a month ago so it’s his first baptism) was trying to make a program on the computer.  So, 7:45 rolls around and we finally get the water (ish), the clothes, and the program.  What we lacked was the people.  The Bishop showed up at 7:30 and that’s about it.  We were calling all the members we knew like crazy.  We had like 7 more people show up.  But the brother who was going to baptize her was not one of those 7.  So last minute, the 19 year old Ward Secretary jumped up to the plate and helped us out.  As for the special musical number, the Relief Society was gonna sing a special hymn, but none of them showed up.  SO, Hermana Joyner and the 3 other missionaries sang a little impromptu Primary song.  We finally started at like 8:10 PM.  Oh adventures in the mission!  It was good though.  She got baptized despite the temperature of the water.  It was actually kinda funny because the kid who baptized her almost dropped her and they were both struggling to get up  The most important thing is that she made the covenant with God and is happy.  

Fun fact: Did I ever tell you that the Tapia Family from San Juan have a son here?  Well they do.

We’ve been staying super busy with Family History.  We have had a lot of appointments from people all over the Zone.  It’s awesome!  I love how excited they get when they enter the information into the computer and the green temple pops up and they can see that they have names to take to the temple.  It’s awesome!  I love being in this mission because we have such a unique focus on helping people get to the temple with their own names almost immediately after baptism or being rescued.  As Sister Leaders, we’ve been doing trainings via Skype.  It’s pretty legit.  Technology is connecting us! Yeah, Family History is the and you should do it.

So mom was asking about our pensionista.  We started with one at the beginning of the transfer and then we changed a few weeks ago.  Her name is Hermana Carmen.  She cooks so healthily and I love it!  Her husband is less active and her son just filled out his mission papers.  She’s great and they treat us like their kids.  It’s super cute.  

Here in Las Villas, we have been working a lot with people who have problems  A lot of 20-year old single moms, people with depression problems, people who lost their job, people who have grown up in really hard circumstances.  I’ve really been able to see the peace and healing that the Gospel and the Atonement brings to us when we embrace it in our lives.  It also has made me reflect on my own circumstances.  I am so grateful for my family!  For my parents who have raised me in the Gospel and taught me the correct principles and how to depend on the Lord.  And to have all my siblings firm in the Gospel is a blessing as well.  It makes me think of Alma 17:2.  Next September (2017), we will have the moment that the sons of Mosiah had.  We will rejoice that we are still going in the way of the Lord.  And my grandparents who are such a great example to me of love and dedication to God and our family.  It I can become at least a small part of what the 4 of you are, I’ll be doing alright.  And my Aunts and Uncles and cousins and adopted family members who I put in there too.  I’m just super blessed!

Well, that’s all I have time to write, but I hope this makes up for at least a little for the other weeks. :)

Thanks for always writing me.  It makes me super happy to see your names in my inbox every week.  Thanks for your love and support.


Hermane Elise Joyner

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