1) What have you learned about from your mission?
The biggest lesson that I've learned from my mission here in Peru is that the changing power of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ did for us is real. This sacrifice, called the Atonement, is when our Savior paid for our sins and suffered so that we can have the opportunity to return to live with our families and our Heavenly Father. I have seen people completely change and improve their lives as they use the Atonement in their lives. I have seen drug addicts put aside the drugs and depend on God. I have seen families unite because they trust in the Lord. I have personally felt the Savior lift me up in this past year that I have been serving Him. When I have thought that I couldn't go on, He took my burden and helped me continue in His service. I know that this is only possible through this sacrifice that Jesus Christ did. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and through Him, everything is possible!
2) How has your mission strengthened or changed your faith?
My faith has grown immensely! Before my mission, I believed and lived the principles that we are taught in the church. As a missionary now, I live these principles and doctrines fully 24/7. As I live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel is confirmed day after day. I know the joy that comes from reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I know what it is to truly converse with my Heavenly Father. I know and experience the blessings from keeping the Sabbath Day holy. There are a lot more examples that I could use, but these are just some. I now know what I want to change in my life personally when I return after my mission because of my increase in faith in God.
3) What is your intended career path after your mission, and how do you think your mission will contribute to that profession?
As of right now, I am looking into studying elementary education. My mission will help me a lot with this! I go out and teach people every day. I find people who cant read or who have never had the opportunity to study. In these cases, we have to adapt and change how we speak so that they understand the doctrines. This will help me as I learn to speak and adapt topics to children.
4) Aside from the theological learning, what have you learned about the culture and people where you are located?
I LOVE PERU!!!! It was definitely a culture shift for me coming from Oconee County, Georgia. The people are so open here. They greet everyone and anyone with a kiss on the cheek. Even if they don't have much, they want to share with you. The food is so good! Every plate contains chicken, potatoes, and rice. SO MUCH RICE! The biggest meal here is lunch. We always start with a soup and then the main dish. They spend all morning cooking so that the family has a good meal at lunch. The houses are very different. I have spent most of my time here in Lima. There are no yards. All of the houses are pegged together with no space in between them. Everyone has a dog or three. The people here accept you as you are and just love you! I LOVE PERU!!!!!
Hermana Elise Joyner