Thursday, September 24, 2015

Siempre Gozo en mi Alma (Always have joy in my soul) (Sept. 21, 2015)

¡Hola! ¿Comó estamos hoy día? Espero que la respuesta es "sí." BAH! That's all the Spanish I got right now. I'll do English now so that all can understand and that my email will be longer than 5 sentences. 

I think it's so crazy that the MTC allows family members to do TRC in the same district as the missionaries. That's so funny! I can just picture Dayne and Alex as they passed in the hall. It made me giggle. And nice cast Alex!

Anyway, this week has been so full and yet not at the same time. I always have so many experiences that I want to share that I don't have time to, so I will just share a story or two.

Wednesday morning, we went out prosylting like a normal day. We had a lesson and then went to go find a house of a reference. Well, while we were trying to find the direction, this lady walked past us looking kinda sad. Zambrano had the impression to contact her, so we did. We started talking and she just started crying. She went for a walk to try to clear her head of all her problems. She has two little kids that she has to care for and her husband can't work because he is really sick and they have no money and that's all I can remember but there was more. Basically her life is just full of challenges right now and she can't see the hope. We asked if we could go to the park and share a message with her. We were across the street from the capilla and she said that she wants to go into the capilla. SO, we went into the church and started sharing about the Atonement with her. Turns out, she was baptized when she was 9 but never actually attended. SHE'S A LESS ACTIVE! We were able to share some scriptures with her that helped her calm down a little and find a little bit more peace for the moment. It's amazing how our Heavenly Father works. There are no coincidences in this work. This is His work and we are simply the instruments who are in the right places at the right times.

On Thursday, I went to my first funeral that I can remember. I know I went to Uncle Randal's but I don't remember it much. This one was a member who had cancer. Only she and one of her daughters are members. The rest of the family is not. They held the service here in the capilla. It is so amazing to see the difference between people who have the knowledge of the gospel and those who don't. I just wish that everyone knew about the plan of salvation. We will see our families again because we can be will them FOREVER! It was an interesting experience with a sweet spirit.

On Saturday, I made no bake cookies for our ward council to try to get them excited to come. Let's just say that the ingredients are a bit different here. I had to improvise a little bit. It was actually kinda funny. And we don't have measuring materials so everything was by the eye. Oh Peru! They turned out fine....



Hermana Elise Joyner

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Miracles Are Real (Sept. 14, 2015)

This week was so great! We've had so many little miracles like everyday this week!

First, ALEX! I'm not gonna lie, I laughed a little when I found out that you broke your hand. Still got it buddy! DL! How fun is that! I'm glad that you are enjoying the MTC. I legit loved the CCM. It's such a special place where the spirit just dwells so strongly!

SO, my new companion is Hermana Zambrano. She is from Columbia and is a convert of 2 years. When she came to the mission, she was the only member of the family. Her mom got baptized last November. Talk about blessings! Anyway, she is the cutest person ever! She has the biggest heart and automatically loves EVERYONE! She is such an awesome missionary too. She teaches straight by the spirit and the people just open up. And she laughs at like everything I say which makes me feel better because sometimes I feel like I don't have a personality in Spanish. But she is awesome! And it made me realize how trunky my last companion was. I didn't know because I didn't know any better, but now it's like real time to be a missionary and learn everything that I didn't learn last time. Although, like Guelet, Hermana Zambrano is on her last transfer too. I just keep killin' off my companions! So this means that I will be here in San Juan until at least December. 
Hermana Zambrano

Look Out!

One thing that we have been doing this past week is getting to know the members around here. I didn't really have the chance to do this last transfer, but we are now. And it is awesome! The members here are so great and have awesome conversion stories!

So pensionista! I talked Hermana Tapia (the Ward mission leader's wife and the pension of the other hermanas) into cooking for us too! BEST EVER! We give her money twice a month and she takes care of everything from there. THe money comes from the 650 soles we get each month. We go to her house to eat. She always starts each month with a giant bowl of soup and then for the meal a mountain of food. LITERALLY A MOUNTAIN!!!!! If I didn't go running every morning, I would be in trouble by the time I leave here.

It's starting to get hotter here. No me gusta. But it's fine. I even had to break out the sunscreen one day.

In our zone, we got two more gringas. YASSS!!!!!! I love the latinas but it is nice to have hermanas that I can talk to and be myself because there isn't a language barrier. One has been out for 11 months and the other is a NEWBIE! I'm not the absolute baby anymore! Even though I still kinda am. It's just so neat to see her and where she is and know that that is where I started and to see how far I have come with spanish and just being a missionary.

Dad, I forgot to answer your question last week. I printed off the 4th Missionary and am on pg 17. It's a little long and I don't have a lot of time to read it but it is so good! And I'll say more when I'm done with it, but it is definitely changing the way I'm thinking about my mission. 

So, Magaly and Cristian. I don't remember all that I have told you about them. Anyway, they are our investigators. They've been meeting with the missionaries since February. They had a bapt date for the 29th of August but it fell through. We were in our lesson on Friday and just laid it out there for them. Like ya gotta get baptized. Well, Magaly flat out said the church is true. HUZZAH!!! It was legit. BUT, Cristian wasn't convinced. So we had everyone bear there testimonies. The spirit was soooo strong! When I bore my testimony, I just had the truth reconfirmed to me so strongly. I KNOW IT IS TRUE! EVERYTHING! The church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and everything that came from that moment in history is true! We have another lesson with them tonight, so hopefully we can set a date for the 26th of Sept. (next Saturday). I'm praying really hard for this!

I'm out of time now, but hopefully this email was a little better than last week's.


Hermana Elise Joyner

¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor!
Wonder Woman

I can paint!

School in Peru

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Cambios! (Sep 8th)

Ok, friends, family, everyone in between! I am officially half way through training! HUZZAH!!!! I don't have a lot of time to write because I spent too long reading emails, but there isn't much to tell anyway. 

COLE! IM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! Way to be! That part is awesome even if you don't think that it is. [Cole has a new part in the OYP play Charley and the Chocolate Factory]  If it makes you feel better, I was usually in the background of the plays that I did. But I did my part with all my heart and had a blast. You're gonna be awesome! 

CAMBIOS! Hermana Guelet is gone. She left Sunday after church. It was kinda hard because she was packing her stuff and is going home to her family and it was just kinda like, oh yeah. I'm still doing this for like 15 more months. But all is well, and I am glad to be here!

At 6:15am yesterday, we had to be in our stake center for cambios. SO EARLY! Anyway, my new companion is Hermana Zambrano. She is from Columbia and is just the cutest! She wears her heart on her sleeve for EVERYONE! Like literally, she is just so full of love. 

Mom, don't worry, the first thing that I did yesterday when Zambrano came was find a pensionista. No more cooking lunch! Thank goodness! It took too much time to prepare food every day.

Well, I am out of time. I know that this isn't a very satisfying email, but I will try to make up for it next week.

Thanks for all your help with the family history! I greatly appreciate it. It will definitley help as I share it with the people we teach.


Hermana Elise Joyner

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Handwritten Letter (Aug 31 - pt 2)

[note from Elise's Dad: Elise doesn't always seem to not have enough time to put her thoughts in an email, so she occasionally writes handwritten letters and takes a picture to email.  Here are her thoughts this week]


First Baptism

Cristina's Family

Whenever I hear the song of a bird or look at the, BLUE BLUE SKY!!!! (Aug 31st - pt 1)

What an awesome week this was!!! Oh my goodness! The weather especially has been awesome! And by awesome, I mean there was sun and almost a blue sky for 3 days! If you dont know, the sky in Lima here is usually very cloudy without sun. But it has been marvelous!!!

First things first! Dayne- I swear if you go to Kelli O'Hara's concert and don't get me a picture and something signed by her for me, a year from December, you will get the noogie of a lifetime! But for reals! I'm so jealous! I already missed Laura Osnes with MOTAB. 

And COLE! Look at you moving up in the world of OYP! Good luck with all!

Alex, I hope you have a fab first week! My motto is "Make it to Sunday!" But with the MTC and my first week here, I thought I was going to die and the MTC would take forever until Sunday. After the first Sunday, everything went so fast. And same with my first transfer. So, you can make it to Sunday!

Dayne and Holly, here's a fun fact for you! Peru is very proud of their chia seeds here and they are super cheap! Let's just say a couple times a week, I have chia seed pancakes for bfast...

Guess what is in one month..... GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!! I am super excited! Lately I have been really wanting to watch conference, but I still gotta wait another month. BUT we can all start preparing now to be ready to receive that inspiration and revelation that just flows during conference time. 

As far as the shower goes, we still don't have hot water, so cup showers. Actually starting yesterday morning, we don't have water at all... Hey Peru! It's fine, we just need it to cook, and wash, and everything with the bathroom. Hopefully, they will get it sorted out later this day.,..

Mom, did I ever tell you that Hermana Winward taught me how to braid. I thought you would want to know that.

Have you ever been in an earthquake? I hadn't either... until Friday. We are on a fault line here in Peru, so I've been waiting for it for the past 2 months. Well, Friday at like 1:30, I was sitting at the table, studying our area book, and Guelet was cooking lunch. All of a sudden, everything started to shake for like 20 secs (ish). We looked at each other and were just like OK. I started laughing bc I've never been in an earthquake before. It was really funny to me. Guelet just kept saying "this building is anti-seismic. they felt it a lot worse on the ground." And I was like ok. It was pretty legit. 

This week is going to be kind of a hard one. Guelet leaves on Sunday, so that leaves me to know the entire area and all the people and everything involved with San Juan. It's kind of stressful and I'm a little scared for her to leave and to have to show a new companion around the area and "lead hte are" how they say. BUT I know that the Presidente and the Lord knew that I would have to do this and they have confidence in me. SO, I got this! 

Speaking of leaving, next week are transfers, so I won't be emailing until Tuesday. FYI


Hermana Elise Joyner

P.S. ONE MORE WEEK FOR MI FAMILIA LIBRO!!!  I need pics from Mom's side, dates and birth places from all siblings of everyone, and stories of my great gparents

  • Is the Peruvian food spicy?  Or have you really been able to tell since you only cook for yourself? i haven't had peruvian food bc we cook for ourselves, but from what ive seen, its more bland
  • Is your shower fixed?  Is the shower like the kind Dayne had on  his mission where it is plugged into electricity by the shower head?  Wear your rubber shower shoes kid!  yeah, the shower is the electricity thing
  • How close are the nearest members to you? a street over
  • How is your Spanish at this point?  Can you understand people when they talk fast yet? i cant talk any better, but i can understand more
  • Do you always walk in your area or do you take a bus or taxi anywhere? walk everywhere except one area where we have to take a "motor"
  • What time do you have to be in at night? by 9, or 9:30