Friday, March 28, 2014

Sorry Mom! I panicked.

March 24, 2014

Hola familia y amigos!

Today makes the half way point for my time here in the CCM.  Time seriously doesn’t make sense here.  I simultaneously feel as though I barely got here and I have lived here for several months.  Pretty sure I am gaining weight though, or bloating from all the frijoles.  Probably both.

By the way, the enter key doesn’t work on this, so someone will need to break it into paragraphs.[Gotcha covered….Dad]

First off, I got called out of the audience in sacrament meeting on Sunday to give a talk on faith in front of the whole CCM.... Yeah! I have only been here for a grand total of 3 weeks.  Pretty sure I just blacked out. But I got through it.  Thank goodness for the gift of tongues.

Secondly, last p-day we got to leave the CCM and go shop down the street.  Guess what was playing in the shops? Florence and the Machine! And guess what I bought? A Doctor Pepper.  That’s it.  I am never coming home.  Guatemala has everything that I need.  

So last week we got a new batch of Nortes, which means that we aren’t the youngest in the CCM anymore.   But here’s the weird part.  One of the hermanas sees me and screams "ARE YOU SIERRA WISE?" to which I replied that I was.  Then another girl screams “FROM THE LOVING THE LAMANITES BLOG?!" She then began pulling all of my blog posts out of her satchel... she had printed them off.  They all read them together on
the plane ride here.  The super weird part was that none of them had any idea that I was even here.  I didn’t know if I should be flattered or completely creeped out.  I was a little of both.

Funny story of the week:

How can I put this lightly.... Latino elders are “interesting.” Many of them have never seen a white girl before.  They tend to get.... attached.  One such elder took particular interest in me despite my attempts to avoid him.  Last Wednesday, before he left he asked for my email.  I politely refused, and he proceeded to beg me in broken English to have it.  I didn’t know what to do!  So... I gave him yours mom.  So sorry.  If you get an amorous email entirely in Spanish... my bad.  

Also, every time the CCM coordinator sees me he asks if I am either Cat Woman from Batman, or Fantine from Les Mis....

No.  I am not Anne Hathaway.  

Also, the CCM is located next to a crazy night club.  Last night, I was studying the Law of Chastity when "I’m
sexy and I know it" came blasting through the walls of the CCM.  But hey, opposition in all things.  On a more serious note, The Gospel is so true! The spirit is so strong! It’s amazing how The Spirit will testify when I don’t have the words to.  Linc and Kenz, be dilligent in studying the Gospel.  Your time will come quickly.  Also, DONT DROP OUT OF SPANISH! I hate myself every day for that.  Oh! and my mission scripture is Moses
6:32 through 34 beginning at "Go forth and Do" It’s amazing.  

Also, my district loves making fun of me.  They are keeping a talley of the number of times I say "I love my family" It;s a lot. I just love you guys.  Can’t help myself.  


Talk to you all next week.  


There are Elders in the Bathroom

March 17, 2014

So the spacebar doesn’t really work on this [computer].  That’s a new one.


So to begin, allow me to briefly complain and then I will talk about all the things that I am loving.

So last week we had our first companionship inventory... That was exciting.  Hermana _____ and I planned out how we were going to make it positive because we knew that Hermana ______ has been having a hard time.  So at first, we focused on all the things we have been enjoying, and then finished off asking what we could do better.  Hermana _______ bluntly informed us that she likes Hermana _______, but hates “people like me.”  When I asked her what she meant, she said that she hates happy people.... So not really sure what to do about that.  I have just continued being my happy self.  I guess she can deal with it? I have been praying for her.  Maybe some prayers from home would help too.

Also, FHE idea for this week.  In PMG there is a really great section about evaluating your own personal development of Christ-like attributes.  It looks like a checklist.  You should all do it for FHE and tell me how it goes! It’s amazing for anyone, not just missionaries, to evaluate their relationship with God.

Dad! You are a hero here.  The Latinos y Latinas think it is SO COOL that you are in the Mo Tab.  They keep asking to see your picture so that they will remember to look for you in conference.  You’re famous.

Alright, a typical day here in the CCM entails waking up at 6:20, reading scriptures, working out, eating breakfast. Classes until lunch, then more classes, then preaching, then classes, then preaching, then dinner, then classes then preaching then falling into bed dead tired.


Really, I do.  Wearing the tag makes it all worthwhile.

Funny story of the week:

Me and my companions were in the bathroom. I was just getting out of the stall and my companions where washing their hands when all of the sudden two Latino Elders come bursting in...

They paused, saw some white sisters and ran screaming “LO SIENTO!”

Couldn’t stop laughing.

My Spanish is coming along, just not at the rate that I would like it to.  Because the rate that I would like it to come would be immediately.  Unfortunately, the Lord doesn’t work like that.  But I keep working and praying and I know I will get there. 

Second Nefi 32 verses 2 and 3 promise that if we learn the doctrine of Christ, and feast upon the Holy Scriptures, we will be able to speak with the tongue of angels.  Now this might be totally false doctrine, but I am pretty sure angels know Espanol.  So it will all be well.

But some prayers coming my way would be much appreciated.

My district is hilarious.  I love it here.

Also, I am the only sister in the WHOLE FREAKING CCM going to Guatemala City Central... Como say what??

Also, shout out to Emily P! She is like a celebrity here.  People keep telling me that I remind them of a sister who just left, her name is Hermana P... HIGHEST of compliments.

Tomorrow is technically P-day.  Today is “email and fast-from-English day.” In other words “write your family in awkward silence because you don’t know Spanish.”

Do what we can.

Tomorrow, Hermana F leaves.  I really will cry.  She is THE COOLEST sister missionary ever.  She is going to tear it up in Quetzal, I can’t wait to hear all about it.

So here was how I butchered Spanish this week:

While talking to our investigator in Spanish, what I said...

"I know that we all experience difficulties in this life I fart God will help us."

I TRIED to say...

"I know that we all experience difficulties in this life BUT God will help us."

PEDO y pero are not the same thing.

Preaching the truth one fart at a time.

Like father, like daughter.

Thanks for emailing me Linc and Kenz!!! I love you both a whole lot. I don’t have time for individual emails today but I will mail you letters tomorrow. In the mean time, MAKE GOOD CHOICES


Con amor mi familia,

Talk to you next week!!!


Hermana Wise

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tenemos cuidado por a la ogra de la CCM

March 11, 2014          

Hola family

So I still am not quite sure how these Guatemalan keyboards work... could be interesting.   Wish me the best.  

Ok so first things first... I am here! And I am so excited!!! There are only about 10 white sisters in the whole CCM.  And I am the tallest.  I was pretty tall for a girl back home but put me in Guatemala and I’m a giant.  I tower over most of the men here.  Throw on some clunky missionary shoes and some bad Spanish and I am a bona-fied freak of nature.  I am the ogre of the CCM.
But really, I love it here.

I have 2 companions--Hermana _______ and Hermana _______.  Hermana ________ is amazing.  She going to USU too, we might room together.  Hermana _______ doesn’t want to be here... as she tells us every day.  It’s difficult.  But we are finding ways to work through it.

Alright down to business, we are teaching a real investigator!!! AH! I didn’t believe it either but he really is an investigator.  Me and my two companions _________ and __________ have been teaching him with our district.  Our first lesson went pretty well.  It was a lot of charades and Spanglish--looks like my ASL will be put to use after all.  Anyway, the next day we walked in and he said “So I looked your church up on the Internet and I found a bunch of stuff about polygamy... Will you explain that to me?”


I had only 4 days of Spanish instruction at that point.  I looked to my companions to see if I had heard him right.  They where clutching each other like a couple of wet cats and looking at me like they were terrified.... So I inferred that I would be answering that one.  Adventures.

Before I came here, Clark told me that not knowing the language is extremely humbling and will teach you to listen like you have never listened before.  Truer words where never spoken.

Funny story of the week:

Last night they asked me to pray at evening devotional... entirely in Spanish... in front of the entire CCM.  They didn't even give me time to brush up on my vocab.  So I did it, and I was able to give the entire prayer just fine.  The funny part was when I finished, the entire CCM erupted into cheers.  All the Latinos were so proud of me for praying en Espanol.  I don’t think I have ever been cheered on for praying before.  But it was pretty hilarious.

Spiritual story of the week:

Last night, we where teaching our investigator, M.  Once again, we had very little time to prepare.  And, once again, he was asking extremely difficult questions.  Like, why women don’t have the priesthood.  I remember praying silently that the Lord would give me the vocabulary necessary to teach by the Spirit.  Then, I opened my mouth and started talking... in Spanish.  I can’t even tell you what I said.  Then Hermana ___________ started teaching in Spanish too! The Spirit was so strong.  The gift of tongues is SO REAL.  It was the most amazing experience I have ever had.  When we got back to class, all three of us just broke down and cried.  I know that not a single word of that lesson came from us.  The Lord truly blesses his missionaries.  The gift of tongues is so real.  Being a missionary is completely amazing.

Spiritual thought of the week:

In Espanol, the phrase “keep the commandments” translates to “guard the commandments.”  I just love that so much.  We should all guard the commandments.

Funny quote of the week:

Hermana _____________, just after walking into the bathroom...


I couldn’t stop laughing.

I LOVE [the picture you sent] SO MUCH!!!! I was dying I was laughing so hard about the picture.  My companions are sitting here crying over reading news from home.  Meanwhile I am laughing hysterically and about to pee myself. Yup.  I love it. 

The Guatemalans are super excited that Dad is in the Motab.  They keep asking to see pictures of him so they can look for him during conference.  By then they will be in the field.

I also had a Latin elder tell me that I am really pretty... that was awkward.  I’ll be avoiding him for a while.

No Dr Pepper.  SO sad.  LAX didn’t have any.

The food here is really amazing, until they try to make American food.  Then it’s disgusting.  I do eat ice cream three times a day, though.  And I had papoosaus for breakfast. The chef’s name is Carlos.

Life is good.

Missionary work is awesome.

I love you guys so much! I miss you, but I know you are doing just fine without me.  Thanks for all the love and support

Con amor!

Hermana Sabia... that’s what the Latinas call me here

PS. Don’t put the Virgin Mary on any of my packages or mail. It causes problems here I guess.  Just put my whole name “Hermana Sierra Faith Wise.” That should be good enough.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Don't Panic! I'm not dead.

Hola mi familia!
Do not be alarmed.  I arrived safely in Guatemala. Although I feel like I have been awake for a thousand years... They did give us a siesta though.  That was nice.. Until we were woken up by a gun fight outside.  
But really, I am safe.  
And despite being tired, I really like it here.  I already feel my Spanish coming back to me... slowly.  
Flying here was an adventure! I sat next to a pregnant body builder who was on her way to Australia for a competition.  She told me all about how they were going to submerse her in a pool of water and calculate the weight of her fetus... Then that weight would be deducted from her overall weight.  
She was terrifying.  
She looked like she could snap my arm in half with minimal effort.  Her fetus is probably ripped too.  She explained to me how you can make yourself look 100 times more buff by eliminating sodium from your diet.  I listened intently as I munched on my sodium-enriched complimentary pretzels.  
Then on the flight to Guatemala, I sat next to a tiny Guatemalan grandma who seemed to be under the impression that if she simply screamed Spanish at me and used excessive hand guestures somehow I would understand her.  
She was mistaken.  
Eventually I realized that she wanted me to fill out her visa papers which... were completely in Spanish.  Yeah, she isnt entering the country any time soon.  
On the other side of me was an Indian entering Guatemala on business.  He seemed very confused as to why a 19-year-old white American girl would willingly enter Guatemala for 18 months with no breaks.  He asked me a bunch of questions about the Book of Mormon.  I really wanted to give him a copy, but the only one I had was in Spanish... He didn't speak Spanish. Besides, there is something inherantly racist about giving an Indian man a Spanish Book of Mormon.... Not all brown people speak Spanish.  
Hermana P. left yesterday for the field.  But, I guess she left me a note! One of the other sisters has it.  I'm excited.  
Has Lincoln cried yet? I'm sure he has.  Have you stopped crying yet, Dad? Just kidding.  
This keyboard is confusing.  I can't find any punctuation or the enter key.
This may need some editing.  
Its beautiful here! I have got to go, but it sounds like my real prep-day will be on Tuesdays.  
Hermana Wise

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Write Me

Write me.  For reals.  Please?

Also, if you are reading this and you don't know me in real life, that's cool.  If you've been called to Guatemala City Central... CONGRATS! Email me all of your questions.   I know that you have them.  I will pretend like I know what I am talking about ;)