[This is transcribed from a handwritten letter, so excuse any errors]
Monday has come again! It’s kinda funny how before the mission, everyone dreads Monday, but on the mission, Monday is just what the doctor ordered.
To start off, I’m gonna tell you about a new investigator named Esperanza. She is really the best! She is just a little whipper-snapper! Her name is Esperanza Rubio, and she is single and happy! She’s like 75 years old, more or less. She was a member reference. Anyway, we found her last Sunday, and she has already come to understand all about the Priesthood and the Apostasy! When we talked about the Apostasy, she gave us a history lesson of the Catholic church. She got some revelation there. We presented the Book of Mormon. She looked at it and was like “I’m gonna start at page one and read this whole thing.” And I was like “great! Let us know how it goes!” She got really excited. We took her to church today. When we showed up at her door, she was waiting outside all ready to go so that we could be early. It was too cute! She has this old lady shuffle and it takes us 10 minutes to walk down the street a little. She is very opinionated and says her mind! And totally gets away with it! We were in our Gospel Principles class and she answered all the questions and the questions of other people and was cracking jokes the whole time. Too cute! We were talking about the Priesthood and she says to the class, “My friend Guzman is a Priest. Who knew?!” I was kinda super proud to be sitting next to her. I just love this lady and have only visited twice! What a Rockstar! She asked us how much longer we will be in Peru and we told her. She said to Hermana Giler, “You go. Hermana Joyner and I will be together till the end but you’ll be outta here soon!” It was kinda the greatest moment of my life.
Thanks for the Easter package mom and Sis. Ritz! You’re just the best!
So conference this past Saturday was pretty legit! Usually it’s just a pep talk about how great us women are, but this time they actually put forth a call to action. I liked it! But I also felt really out of the loop with the world news (and you know, Dad, I like my world news). What’s happening to make refugees a conference topic? Fill me in folks! I love it when Sis. Neill Marriott speaks because it reminds me of home. SOUTHERNERS ARE THE BEST!
I am so pumped for this weekend! I LOVE CONFERENCE!!! And for some reason, it’s even better as a missionary. What is the Lord preparing for us?! We have 4 sessions to find out! All 4 sessions really are awesome and important. One thing that I have found to be super helpful and meaningful for conference or whatever meeting of the the church is to take questions. Pray about them beforehand and then take notes during conference. I promise your questions will get answered in one way or another because mine always have. I learned that principle from Bro. Whiting my Freshman year in Seminary. There are a lot of things I take from all my Seminary teachers and apply them here in the mission field. Really Seminary is the best thing ever! But back to conference questions. ¿Lo Horá? Will you take questions to conference? I sure hope so!
Easter was yesterday. HAPPY EASTER!!! Here in Peru, it was just another day. No one talked about it at church yesterday. A bunch of people were out and about as usual. It actually made me kinda of sad. But, don’t worry! I celebrated! I was reading Jesus the Christ about the resurrection and Mary Magdalene. I put myself in her place. To be sorrowed by the loss of her Lord. She went to better anoint His body of the burial. When she showed up, the tomb was empty. How distraught and worried she was. She ran! She bolted to the Apostles to tell them, and then returned herself to the tomb. She was so grieved with the loss of His body that she just started crying. When the “gardner” asked her why she was weeping, she was prepared to take the body of Christ herself and find another place for Him. I love that what snapped her out of it was the Savior saying her name. “Mary”. With the tender love and affection that it had been said before He died. What joy she must of felt! She went in for the hug but was stopped. She probably had so many emotions going through her mind and heart at this time. How would you feel to be overcome with sorrow only to turn around to the resurrected Lord. Your Savior and Redeemer. Standing there in front of you. His hands extended so you could see the marks in His palms. Just wow. My heart couldn’t and CAN’T contain the joy, the relief, the gratitude! HE LIVES!!! My favorite words in the Bible, “He is not here, for HE IS RISEN!” HE IS RISEN! I know it! And because He is risen, we too can rise. OUR family is forever! ALELUYU!!! ALELUYA is the Easter video from the church this year. I loved sharing it with people. ALELUYA! Ėl encontrado una vida nueva. Solo es por medio de Jesucristo. Si que Ėl vive. Se que Ėl está aquí para ayudamos si permitimos. Se que por medio de Ėl, y su expiacion podemos llegar a seu limpios de los pecados que tengamos y las no son tan buenas. Ėl es mi Redentor. Se que esta es su iglesia verdadera. Siguelo y encrentra una vida nueva!!!
[Here the general idea and translation - her handwriting was a little hard to read in Spanish - He found a new life. It is only through Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I know that He is here to help us if we let them. I know that through Him, and His atonement, we can be clean from our sins that we have when we are not good. He is my Redeemer. I know this is the true church. Follow Him and find new life!!!]
Hermana Elise Joyner