Wednesday, December 30, 2015

And a Happy New Year! (Dec 28, 2015)

Elise & Alex Skype
Well, we have done that Christmas thing and are looking forward to the New Year. I told you a lot on Christmas, so let's see what I can tell you. I still had a lot more that I wanted to say but didnt have time. 40 minutes went fast! But it was so good to see and talk to you all!

Matching PJ's from Home
After we talked, we had a couple appointments set up for the night. They all fell through, so my companion and I went caroling to some of our ward members. It was the funniest thing! We knocked on the door and when they opened, we started singing hymns. The looks on their faces of confusion then excitement then joy were priceless. After we sang them two hymns, we reminded them of the real reason for Christmas and then left to sing to other families. It was such a special experience for me. I felt the spirit and hte spirit of Christmas so strongly and we testified to these people through music of the birth of our Saviour. It was a Christmas so different than I have ever had. It was really focused on Christ and not on the things we receive or food or anything. It was a Christmas that I will never forget! 

Another experience that I want to share happened yesterday. We were sitting in Relief Society and as soon as we said Amen for hte closing prayer, an older hermana came up to us and told us that we had to come with her right then to visit a sister who was in the process of passing away. We went to the lady's house and a lot of her family was there. We went in and the lady was sitting in a chair and everyone was around her. We just sang hymns and her daughter talked to her and told her about us and she tried so hard to smile but just couldnt. After we sang one of our hymns, she started to say something. The daughter just burst into tears because she said that her mom hadnt said anything for such a long time and that it was a miracle that she was trying to speak. It was such an interesting experience. There was such a sweet spirit there as we comforted the family and lifted this lady's spirits and she was getting ready to pass on. 

That's all the time I have for today! I tried to write a little more because I know that I have been slacking lately.

Until next week!


Hermana Elise Joyner

Thursday, December 24, 2015

He lives all glory to His name! (Dec 21, 2015)


My thoughts are turned to the goodness of the Plan of Salvation this week and the role that the Savior has in it. I am saddened to hear about Uncle Don. I always loved going to visit him. He was always so much like Papa. Uncle Don's family and all the Dowdles will be in my prayers. How great is the Plan of Happiness that Christ came here and atoned for us so that our families can be eternal. I love this time of the year when we can focus even more on the birth of our Savior who made this plan possible. I testify that He is the Christ and through Him only, we can find the peace and joy that the Gospel offers. I have seen this time and time again in the families of some of the members in our ward who have had loved ones die within these past 6 months. 

PONDERIZE!!!! I love the scripture this week. I use it all the time in our lessons. In Spanish in verse 12 it says "sepa como socorrer a los de su pueblo." knows how to succor His people. One of my mission moms told me that socorrer can mean "correr a". In english "to run to." Christ runs to us to help us in ALL of our troubles. This scripture to me means that Christ paid for more than just our sins. He suffered for ALL of our afflictions, temptations, illnesses, sadnesses, and everything that we pass through. He knows us individually and personally! YO SE!

I'm out of time for organizing skype stuff and things, but I'll talk to you real soon!


Hermana Elise Joyner

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Vamos Pastores Vamos, Vamos a Belen [Let Shepherds Come, Come to Bethlehem] (Dec 14, 2015)

¡Buenas tardes mis queridos familiares! Another Monday is here! And just one more Monday until I can see your lovely faces! 

Like I was telling mom, I will Skype next Friday the 25th for Christmas at 4:30 pm from our Pensionista's house, Hermana Fanny. I will have 40 min. SO, I need Dad's skype info and I will send you my info next week. ALSO, I get to make a 3 minute phone call to set it up next Monday. So there's that...

The next thing is I just love the Hobbs! Little Gracie and Abby made my day! LOVE YOU GUYS!!! 

As for decisions with release dates, I will pray and let you know. Something to think about. 

As for Dayne and his consist taking classes from Sister Graham... STAHP!!!! NOT FAIR!!!!

Something else I should mention, I went to the dentist last week and got a sealent (ant? no sè) replaced. I had a cavitity forming but it's all good now. 

PONDERIZE! 2 Nephi 5:10-11. I love this scripture when we teach about the commandments. The people were obedient in ALL the things of the Lord and the result was that they could prosper and live after the manner of happiness and the Lord was with them. If we are obedient in even the smallest things, the Lord will be with us and we WILL prosper. This is a promise from the scriptures. SEA OBEDIENTE!

I don't have too much time, but I will just share a little experience. Last Saturday, the Stake Primary had an activity where each ward presented a number of songs. The Primary President of our ward came to me and asked if I would help them with our ward's songs. She asked me to sing a solo in English and the kids would sing the chorus in Spanish. She said the song was a super well known song and that I would know it. Well, it may be well known in Spanish but I ain't never heard that in my life (the song name is in the subject line). I had to learn it really fast and then translate it into English. The first verse translated nicely and was great. The second verse did not convert over so nicely and I was too lazy to write something that made sense, so let's just say if anyone actually knew english in the audience, they would seriously be doubting my sanity. It was really funny and made no sense! WHEW!

That's all I got time for now. I love you TONS! And will take to you NEXT WEEK!!!!! AHHHH!!!!


Hermana Elise Joyner

(We think this is the song she was referring to above)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ha Nacido Un Salvador (Dec 7, 2015)

That's the Christmas video in of the Church in Spanish [the title of today's blog]. I saw it in English like a month ago. Pretty neat stuff! CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

So first, I have some news.... With the recent change in the MTC policy (missionaries speaking their own language stay there for 3 weeks now instead of 2), there has also been a change in transfer dates. That means there is a change in release dates. I'll get home two days after Christmas on the 27th instead of two weeks before had this change not occurred. Just something to be aware of. 

So, let's ponderize! 
27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;
 28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
 29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.

I love verse 28! "That ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus being led by the Holy Spirit." I think we can liken this to not being tried more than we can bear as well. Try and tempted and two different things to me from two different sources. God will never give us more than He knows that we can handle. Sometimes to us it may seem a bit much and we can't see our way through, but if we "watch and pray continually" He is there and will strengthen us to handle to task in front of us.

So to answer your question, yup! We got to watch the Devotional last night! LOVED IT! Elder Bednar's was my favorite, but they were all rockin! Me and the other two gringas and a few elders came into the Family History center and watched it in English. It's just so much better to me to hear them tell it in their own voices and with the actual words. Before the devo, the stake choir did an hour performance that was special... Ask me on Christmas (via skype) to describe it. It's awesome and I have to demonstrate for you! 

SO, last Friday, me and 5 other missionaries went to President's house to sing two songs for a meeting he had with the Stake President's of the area. It was so legit and his home is actually like a home with famnily pictures everywhere and decorated really nice and an actual kitchen kitchen. When we finished, Hermana McGinn took us all into the kitchen, gave us a bunch of ziplock bags and just told us to take ALL! There was mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, salads of all kinds, desserts, and so much more! It was actual real american food! My stomach was soooo happy!!!!!!!!

Well, my time is up! So, our scripture for hte week is 2 Nefi 5:10-11.


Hermana Elise Joyner

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

CAMBIOS! [Transfers] (Dec 1, 2015)

For everyone but me. Yup! I'm still in good ole San Juan with Hermana Trejo! That's a third of my mission here! I guess I haven't done what I came here to do yet... I really do love San Juan. The people and the members are the best!

I don't have much time (sorry mom), so I will see what I can say really fast. Other than the cambios, nothing much happened anyway out of the usual teaching lessons and finding people. 

First, to ponderize! 

12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.

13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;

14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.

I really like the phrase and focused on the "do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously, and this is my Spirit" part. Something that I have been trying to do more is work on my humility. Pride is such a big sin that everyone has. It leads to the downfall of peoples and civilizations (oh hey pride cycle of the BOM). When we can be humble and be just and righteous, we will be able to have to the spirit with us to guide us. In the obra misional, this is so key! We need the spirit if we even want to try and do anything.

So for the real Thanksgiving (...), Hermana Turley and her comp (one of the other hermana comps in the zone) came over to our cuarto and we made a legit Thanksgiving meal (as much as we could). We had mashed potatoes, green beans, bread, and chicken (couldn't find a turkey of reasonable price). It was AWESOME! And then we tried to make this chocolate pie that was just a fail but it was so funny and we ate it anyway! It was a pretty sweet dia de gracias. And the first time I had had mashed potatoes and gravy in 5 and a half months.

Another fun thing that I get to do this week is sing some songs! I've sung in sacrament meetings and devotionals here, but this time, 6 of us missionaries were asked by Presidente McGinn to form a little group and sing for a meeting he is having with the stake presidents of the area. So, we have been in the office a lot lately practicing for this Friday. We are singing "Que Niño Es?" (What Child is This?) and "Cantan Santos Angeles" (Hark them angels are singin!). EXCITING!!! 

That's all I got time for right now...


Hermana Elise Joyner

PS. Talk to you in 3 WEEKS!!!!!