Monday, March 28, 2016

Aleluya! (Mar 28, 2016)

[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!!!]   

Les Amo!!!

Hermana Elise Joyner

Monday, March 21, 2016

HE IS RISEN!!!! (Mar 21, 2016)

Family History Sisters from El Salvador and Ica
Easter is this week and General Conference is the next! IM SOOOO EXCITED!!!!! What are you doing to prepare????

MADDIE IS COMING TO PERU!!!!! YASSSSSS!!!!!! Peru is just something special! SHE'S GONNA LOVE IT!!!

I also don't have a lot of time, so I will paste my Pres letter and then explain more about Hermana Esperanza next week when I write out a letter (she is a hoot and a half!). 

"This week's miracle comes from a reference from a member. We went to visit an active family and share the Aleluya video. When we asked for references, the brother, Hermano Guzman, gave us a reference of one of his friends from the local market, Hermana Esperanza. She is an older lady who lives alone and has a lot of questions about religion. We went to contact her immediately and set up an appointment. There was a special spirit when we were teaching her as we testified that God is our Father. We invited her to come to stake conference and her answer was "well why not?! when will you pick me up?" She was so excited to come with us and was ready waiting at the door of her house when we went. She felt a feeling of family in the Stake Center. She said she couldn't hear many things because the volume wasn't that loud, but her response was, "when we come next time, we have to sit right up front!" She is already planning for church next week! This is a miracle to me. That we found a receptive investigator who came to church. We haven't had much success with investigators in the capilla [chapel] lately, but Hermana Esperanza came!" 

PONDERIZE!!!!!! Oh wait. There is no scripture this week... Next week???

I was gonna tell you something else, but I literally cannot remember for the life of me... oh well, I will write it next week. Hopefully something crazy will happen so that I can liven up my emails a little more. Sorry!


Hermana Elise Joyner

After an exhausting day!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Matrimonio de los Gatos (Mar 14, 2016)

Well, this week I hit 9 months!  CRAZY!  I feel like I just left, but I've met so many amazing people and had so many wonderful experiences.  I've had my eyes opened to so many blessings that I have in my own life and how our Heavenly Father loves ALL His children.  I can't imagine how my life would be without coming to Peru.  And I can't wait to see what these next 9 months hold! AHHH!!!

So you probably want and explanation of the subject line....wait!  I wanna tell you about the Walker family before I jump into that.  The Walkers.  They are pretty much my favorite family!  I even named them myself.  Outside our house, there is a little parquecito [small park], like all the other homes in Chorrillos.  Anyway, every morning there is a family that leaves to go walk around this park.  They wear the same clothes, walk in a line in the same order every day, and always have the same objects.  Pam (the daughter) is always in front with her yoga pants, purple jacket, and a giant cup with a straw in it.  Right behind her is her mom, Judith.  Judith is a little shorter and stouter.  She always has this fuzzy brown jacket and a giant PVC pipe.  Following here is her son.  Wilson Walker.  He has a rocking sweat suit.  Gray with blue stripes.  He is all about the posture, always with his shoulders and head held high.  I think he glued his hands in his pockets because he never takes them out.  Bringing up the rear is our dad, Bob.  He always wears the same gray jacket, zipped up all the way, and these black shorts with the most rockin tennis shoes.  He has a hat and walks with his head down and his hands held behind his back.  And there you have it!  The Walkers!!!  How punny and I?!  It makes laugh every morning when we see them.  One day I'm gonna talk to them and covert them!!!

Back to the "Matrimonio del los Gatos" [marriage of the cats].  First, I'll explain what that means and then why it's the theme of this past week.  There are these things called mototaxis (Google it) and sometimes they will put giant megaphones on top of them and drive around playing advertisement on a loop.  There was like a week or two in San Juan where a moto drove around announcing "Matrimonio de los gatos! Come see the matrimonio de los gatos! Parque Rojo! Matrimonio de los gatos!"  It would go all day, especially during personal study.  I wanted to throw a watermelon.  It drove me crazy!  Anyway, this week reminded me of that.  Everywhere we went it was like MARRIAGE!  We got to watch the first hour of the YSA Face-to-Face with Elder Holland this past Tuesday.  Basically, they talked about marriage.  It was cute but also kinda weird to listen to because it was like "I'm a missionary".  It was good though!  Dayne, you should watch it if you haven't already.  And then this Thursday, all the Zones here in Lima (and with a few other missions) went to a meeting with Elder Lynn G. Robbins from the Presidency of the Seventy.  And what did he say?  "Elders y Hermanas, ustedes estan en la clase pre-matrimonio 501!"  [You are in the class pre-marriage 501]  It was pretty legit!  He spoke really good Spanish.  He talked about how we need to study the attributes of Christ in order to be ready for marriage.  And then he was like, "Don't wait too long after your mission."  I was just sitting there like "what is this?"  It was a great meeting but a little weird as well.  And for that, my subject line is "matrimonio de los gatos!"  AHHHH!!!

Ponderize!  Alma 37:38-44

These verses talk about the Liahona and how it guided Lehi and his family, how it showed them the way in the desert.  It worked according to their faith and diligence.  It helped them find their way to daily miracles in their journey.  In verse 41, it says that these miracles came when the family did the little things, when they remembered the Lord, prayed, went to church, read their scriptures, had faith, were diligent, etc.  But when they didn't do this, they couldn't progress, both as a family on their trip and individually.  But I love verse 44!  How easy is it to pay attention to the word of God!  Which leads us to a direct course of eternal happiness!  Shows us the way to the promised land!  Si tan solo prestamos atencion!  If we only pay attention!  If we do the small and simple things, we get a straight shot to Eternal Life with our families!  Tan facil es!  How easy it is!  We just gotta do it.  We just gotta start today.  Pick one thing that maybe you aren't doing or maybe aren't doing diligently.  Pick it, pray, and promise to Heavenly Father to do it.  I promise He will help!  I've seen it in my own life and in the life of those we teach.  Gosh!  The Book of Mormon is so neat!

Well, that's all I got for right now.  I'll probably think of more things I wanted to say 20 minutes after I finish interneting.  It always happens.  But for now, that's it!

I hope you have an AWESOME week!

Love Love Love,
Hermana Elise Joyner

P.S. Happy Birthday Papa!!!



Monday, March 7, 2016

Another Monday! (Mar 7, 2016)

Another Monday! Gosh, time is flying by! And lots of crazy news to open in my email! Mostly coming from Dayne. Glasses, Canada, what's next! Hahahahaha, I'm glad you all are finding new adventures. 

This past week was busy but not. We had to lead a workshop about family history in our leaders council this week and then do it again for our zone. As far as our lessons and area, we've been walking a lot. A lot of our appointments have been falling through and so it's just been one of those weeks. Every time this happens, I make myself and Hermana Giler say one thing that we are grateful for and one miracle that we had that day. Can I just tell you how much it lifts your spirit when you focus on gratitude rather than complaining and pitying yourself? Really, the grace and miracles of God are all around us if we just look. 

We got some good stuff coming up! Tomorrow, we get to participate in the Face-to-Face with Elder Holland (if we bring someone that we teach with us). Thursday, the Zones here in Lima will have a conference with Elder  Robbins from the Presidency of the 70. And then GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!! And then we are going to have another training by an Area 70 within the first couple weeks of April. I'M PUMPED!!! Good stuff is happening!

Ponderize! I don't have time to write out paragraphs, but I really liked the scripture this week.

This week: Alma 37:38-44 (I don't remember if i have used this one or not).

That's all I got time for, but I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!


Hermana Elise Joyner