Monday, February 29, 2016

LEAP DAY!! (Feb 29, 2016)

Family dearest!  Happy Monday!  The first week of our super cambia [transfer] has already flown by and tomorrow is March!  HAPPY LEAP DAY!!! I asked Hermana Giler about Leap Day in South America or even what you call it in Spanish and she said it’s not a thing.  Oh well!  Another very important holiday here in the mish.

So, I’m sorry but I don’t have any fun stories for you this week.  We basically walked all week because our citas [lessons] fell through like everyday.  But that’s OK! That’s when God builds your faith and fills your agenda for the next week!

So, this week I printed out and read a talk that President Nelson gave as a devotional at BYU-Hawaii recently.  It’s pretty legit!  I suggest reading it or watching it (especially Dayne).  It talks about us here on earth at this time and is geared more toward us at the “Millennials” (I think that’s how you spell it. You’ll have to forgive my English).  I love the part that talks about our potential.  He says that if we could see even a small bit of our potential of the plan that God has for us, we would never be the same.  And then President Nelson goes on to say how we can pray for that understanding and glimpse of our divine potential.  How neat is that!  Our Father has so much in store for us.  We just have to let Him work and mold us.  

PONDERIZE!  Ether 12:6 “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

I love the part that says, “dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”  I use this scripture a lot, together with Alma 32:27 to talk about how you have to act and the Lord will help.  A lot of times, we have to show our faith by taking a few steps into the unknown.  BUT, if we do so and if we act on even a desire to believe, our Heavenly Father will help us out and show us the way.  FAITH!  YEAH!  

I kinda don’t know what else to say.  Sorry, this letter is kinda short.  Maybe I’ll have a crazy experience this week that I’ll be able to share next week.


Hermana Elise Joyner

P.S. Happy Birthday Melon!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I'M ALIVE, I PROMISE! (Feb 23, 2016)

So, sorry about the email system last week. I wrote a ton of emails to people too, and none of them got sent. Well, they said that they sent. Just, no one received them. 

Shout out to the Hobbs and the Whitings and the Young Women! Thank you guys so much!!! I will definitely be using everything you guys sent me! And that's super neat that Maddie went through the temple and is working on her papers! Maybe Peru Lima Sur could get another kid from Athens...

So transfers were yesterday! Hermana Giler and I are still together here in Las Villas! I'm super pumped! We work really well together and have fun. It's a good thing too, because this transfer will be 8 weeks long to accommodate the change in the MTC for missionaries speaking their own language. But, yeah, we are still moving the work forward here in Chorrillos. 

This past week, I went for a little trip to one of the areas in the Zona San Juan. I had an intercambio (exchange) with Hermana Stodtmeister for Family History. It was so weird to go back. Even though I wasnt in my same area, the look and feel of San Juan is the same all over. It definitely has a special place in my heart. This week, we were also super busy doing Skype trainings, taking people to the temple, and doing all the last minute things that needed to get done for Family History before the end of the transfer. Then, on Saturday and Sunday (and even a little bit yesterday), Hermana Giler was super sick so we had to stay in while she rested. It was the first time I have stayed in the house my entire mission. I just read a little bit and did some of the little things that I haven't had time to do. So, that was my week (don't worry mom, I'm happy and healthy)!

Proverbs 3: 5-6
5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

This was the first Old Testament Scripture Mastery that I memorized and I made up a little song to go with it so I still remember it and it pops in my head from time to time. I love this scripture! When we trust in the Lord with ALL of our heart, He will provide the way. I promise that His way is ALWAYS better than our's. Trust Him! He's got lots prepared for us if we TRUST Him! Also, verse 6 to me says that we need to be humble. We need to acknowledge that we can't do this alone. POR NADA! We need Him!

That's all the time I have today because I had to go back and resend a couple emails, but hopefully you receive this email.


Hermana Elise Joyner

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

Happy Valentine's ...on Sunday (Feb 8, 2016)

FAMILY!!!!!!! I hope this letter finds you all well (or getting better, those who have been sick...Dad...Cole...).

MOM!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! What a lucky kid I am to have you as my mama! BTW, I got a letter coming your way next week (I started it but never finished so yeah)... I hope you have the bestest of birthdays!!!!!!

First off, CONGRATS to Oliver! That's pretty neat! Dayne...

Hermana Joyner & Hermana Giler

Zone Pic

6 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.
 I really like this scripture! I like the phrase "tabernacle of clay." As people, we are like clay. We are being shaped and molded every day by the experiences we have. I think a lot of times we are stubborn and resist the molding or we try to do it our own way. But, when we let our Heavenly Father be the one to shape and mold us we can become more than we could alone. We have to labor diligently to let Him work His magic in our lives.

For this week, I am changing the scripture in honor of V-DAY! This week we will ponderize Romans 8:35, 38-39.

Presidente excerpt-  "I want to start with my miracle for the week. It shows me the power of contacting in the street. We contacted a family in the street one night, and then a couple days later, we went to find them at their house. Well, we knocked on their door, and no one answered. There is a lavanderia right next to this house. We asked the owner if she knew the family who lived in the house, and she said yes and gave us some information. Afterwards, we contacted her and she began to tell us different experiences that she has had with religion. She commented that she has seen the hand of God so much in her life and is willing to do whatever to follow Him. We set up and went and had another lesson with her. We shared L1 and after we gave her a Book of Mormon and read the invitation in the introduction, she said "ok, that's what I'll do then. I will read this book and ask God. Why don’t you leave me a chapter or something to start reading and then I'll pray." I was so surprised that she was asking us for a chapter. We hadn't even said anything and she was so readily there to accept this message. It shows me that when we do our part to contact, the Lord will put people in our way. Maybe these people aren't the ones we originally contacted, but they are there!"

So, this past week, all the leaders of the mission had a training by Presidente. The thing that he ended with was repentance. It made me think of repentance in a new way. We read hte scripture in D&C 58 (i think it is) about how the Lord forgets our sins when we repent. Really, the Lord is perfect. So He has a perfect memory. He can't forget. He has a permanent mark in His hands of our sins. What He proactively does is puts our sins in the past. He chooses to say that the sins dont matter anymore when we repent. So, we need to do that too. If we have sins in our past, we need to put them in the past like the Savior and God have done for us. Just some neat things I learned this week or some things that I saw in a different way.

That's all I have time for this week! I want to write more but don’t have time.


Hermana Elise Joyner

Thursday, February 4, 2016


First of all... HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA DOWDLE!!!!!!! Once again, you make 29 look younger and younger! I hope your day is just the best birthday that you've ever had and that you are happy and well! LOVE YOU!!!!!

Crazy connection Grandma Joyner made with Papa's family! NEAT! Look how fun that family history stuff is!

As far Maddie and her mission papers, AHHHHHH!!!!!!! That's pretty snazzy! I hope they don't take a month like mine did... Quizas va a tocar PERÚ!!!!! [Maybe you are going to Peru!]

So I wrote out a nice long letter for you all and took a picture. And then forget my camera cord. Whoops! I only got 10 minutes to write too! Moral of the story, here are some highlights and I'll send the letter next week.

Hermana Patricia got baptized this past Saturday!!! Everything that could go wrong did, but the important thing is that she was baptized and was able to make a covenant with her Heavenly Father. In my letter next week (sorry), there are more details of the fun adventure that was her baptism.

16 Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.
 17 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.

I like to use this scripture when people are afraid to commit to baptism. "Baptized without stubbornness of heart." It's effective! To me, it says that we need to take the action. We need to be humble and make the choice to do so. We will be even more blessed if we are.

The request of mom, a piece of Presidente's letter. He likes us to include at least one miracle that we see every week.
"Miracle of the week- The Lord works in mysterious ways. A rescatada [rescued] in our ward fell last week and broke her leg. When we went to go visit her, we talked to her to see what she needs and how we can help. We informed the bishop, and he went to visit her and took a wheelchair which she desperately needed. Her husband isn't a member and has kinda had a hard heart when it comes to taking the lessons. After we talked to them and the bishop gave the wheelchair, the husband was so touched that he said that he wanted to listen to us and be baptized. Granted, we need to make sure that we are baptizing for the right reason, but it was a miracle that he opened his heart enough to accept us to visit with him. The Lord has a purpose for everything!"

If Dayne doesn't choose a scripture, I will. Alma 57:21, 25.

I'm out of time, but I love you and hope you have an AWESOME week!!!!!


Hermana Elise Joyner

¡Prorrumpir en alabanzas al Santo de Israel! [Shout Praises to the Holy One of Israel!]