Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Holy, Holy Week, Batman!

Alright mi familia,

First thing first: So sorry that I didnt write last week.  With transfers, immigration complications, and 16 hour pre field orientation, and "WHEN" you get kidnapped safety briefings... Us newbies didnt get to write.

But I am HERE! I am actually HERE! It actually feels pretty surreal to be out on the mission.  But I love it.

Here is a surprise, my trainer is white.... I know.  Crazy.  Her name is Hermana H______.  She is from Colorado, she is super great.  We are currently serving together in P_______  just outside the city.  Its absolutely crazy here.  But I love it.  The people here are hilarious.  I feel like I can understand a lot of what other people say to me.... I just can’t respond to save my life.  For example, we were out contacting on my very first day and I met a guy who seemed pretty interested in hearing our message.  However, when I asked for his address, he gave me a blank stare.  That’s the thing here, no one knows their address, legal name, or age... kinda complicates things.  So I asked where he lived mas o menos and he responded by chucking his recently finished mango pit as far as he could in the general direction of where he lived while screaming...


Very helpful.

Alright, another surprise... I have seen SO MANY people that I know here.  This past week, I saw Hermana P_______, Elder H_________, and Elder H2_______ and Elder Matt H______ from the East mission.  It’s so weird to see people from before the mission on your mission.

This week was a really interesting week to be born into the mission.  It’s Holy Week here in Guatemala.  Basically, that means that everyone in the universe floods the streets of Guatemala and drinks until they can barely stand up.  Then they wash all the streets and decorate them with different colored sawdust and flower petals until the whole street looks like a giant mural.  Super cool.  After the streets are finished, everyone comes out, dresses up like Jesus, and hauls their giant crosses through the street.  Then, at exactly 6 PM, every family brings their home made Judas Isacriot statue into the street and they light them on fire.... So you know, typical Easter stuff. 

In all seriousness, it is super cool to get to see such a different culture there. 

Our area is really diverse and very large.  Some of the members here live in homes, and others live in, what my District Leader calls, "sheet metal castles." We work hard.  We teach a lot.  We baptize.

Speaking of baptisms, we have 4 this week! My trainer, Hermana H________, has been busting her tail to make this all happen.  She is just great.  One family, and one college aged student will be baptized by Saturday.  Now we are just working hard to find other families that have  been prepared to hear the gospel message.

Speaking of working hard, we work hard in this mission no matter what.  President Brough says that even if you get Dengae, you still work.  Which is great.  Our mission works hard, because we understand the importance of what we are doing.  However, on my second day in the field I made the fatal mistake of eating a sketchy boiled mango thing that one of the members gave to us.  Food poisoning hit Hermana H_______ first, and me shortly thereafter.  She didn’t eat as much of the sketchy mango thing as I did, so she only puked twice.  I on the other hand, threw up mas o menos 10 times that day.  Which, actually, turned out to be a blessing of sorts.  This was how our door approach went that day...

"Hi we are representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, can I throw up in your bathroom right now?"

Hard to argue with a sickly white girl.

Then while I was puking, Hermana H________ would teach them the first lesson #blessings .

You know how the saying goes, mangos are a Bulimics best friend.

In all reality though, the blessings and miracles seen on the mission are incredible.  Yes, this is the hardest thing that I have ever done.  Yes, there have been moments when I wonder what the heck I am doing.  But I know that the Lord provides a way.  I know this is his work.  I know that through Him, I can do all things.

Other things to share,

I got into the honors program at Utah State! Hooray! That means that I have priority registration when that time rolls around.

Also, I think I have a check in the accordion file over the phone. Will you check for that and deposit it for me?

ALSO! I get Skype you guys on the 11th of May! I am SO EXCITED!!! This will be the first time my mission Skypes on a holiday.  As a result, you guys need to get an account and make sure that it works before that time. 

Also, thank you so much for the package! It was SO GREAT! Just so you guys know, it’s a mission rule that I can’t drink anything caffinated.... unfortunately.  But, with the change of mission presidents, the rule could change too.  So I will hold on to it and see.  But genuinely, thank you guys so much!!! It is such a blessing to have a family that supports me in the work. 

I love you guys SO SO SO MUCH! I can’t wait to hear from you next week. 

Love always


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Have we not great reason to rejoice?

Hola mi familia!

Ammon asks a great question in the book of Alma: Have we not great reason to rejoice?

Sí! We have so many reasons to rejoice! This week has been full of them. 

Reason 1: estoy muy agradecida por a la oprotunidad de ver congrencia general en el CCM.  La cnofrencia esta muy bonito.  Me gusta mucho!

Really though, GC was AMAZING! I am so grateful that I got the chance to watch it in English here at the CCM.  DAD! I SAW YOU!!!! I was SO PROUD! My district was all watching it together, we passed around your picture and we were all on the edge of our seats during every song looking for you.  Every cinco minutos, someone would barge into the room and ask if I had seen you yet.  Sure enough, there you were.  They zoomed right up on you and everything.  The room erupted into applause and cheers and I promptly burst into tears.  Not because I was homesick, but because I am SO PROUD OF MY DADDY! But even more than that, conference as a missionary is AWESOME! Who cares about the Super bowl? Conference is the event of the year, and it happens twice a year!!! 

Reason 2: Mi padre es en THE FREAKING MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR! You're the coolest. During the rest hymn we all stood up and sang as a district.  I felt cool knowing that I was singing alongside my dad, although we are countries apart.

Reason 3 to rejoice: I got to go to the temple today.  We get to go every day, but today was extra good.  How blessed are we to have eternal truths revealed to us in the temple? Extremely blessed.  I even did the final part in Spanish.... And didn’t completely mess up! More reasons to rejoice.

Reason 4: My CCM districto.  For reals, my district is amazing. It’s incredible to see how 7 different people can be brought together so perfectly through the Lord.  We work hard, and we play hard too.  Namely, the Elders try to mess with us.  This week, they spent 5 days trying to convince us that it is cooler inside with the lights off.  Every day we would come to class and they would already be in there, huddled, studying in the dark because "It is just so hot outside."

What dorks.

Reason 5: For the next few days I have a temporary companion.  Her name is Hermana ______________, she has been serving in the Rhetalaleu mission for the past 10 months, however, after getting Dengue fever for the third time they are sending her stateside.  Usually, when someone gets Dengue 3 times they die, but she isn’t dead so she is off to Texas instead.  She is honestly the COOLEST sister I have ever met.  Her flight got cancelled, so she is here at the CCM until she can fly out on Wednesday.  She has such a positive attitude and has been helping me a ton with my Spanish.  She gives great advice and is way cool.  She looks and reminds me a lot of Annie Wise, you know, if Annie lived in the jungle for 10 months and stopped brushing her hair.  I love this girl.  I feel like I just inherited a trainer while still in the CCM.  Nothing better.  Definitely a tender mercy from the Lord.  She gives me hope that I will one day know Spanish because after 10 months, she can’t even speak English anymore. 

Starting school immediately after my mission will definitely be an adventure.

Reason 6: Predicad mi Evangelio.  For reals, how did people ever be missionaries without this book? During conference, several General Authorities quoted lines directly out of it.  It was awesome! Family, you should all start reading from it too! Especially the Christ-like attributes section.  It’s such a great guide for anyone, member or missionary. 

Speaking of which, what are you guys studying right now in the scriptures? I want to hear all about it.

Pause, someone is barbequing a wild dog outside right now.... Welcome to Guatemala, folks.

Anyways, I enter the field next week! Everyone please send some prayers my way! I feel like I don’t know any Spanish, but I know I will learn quickly through the Lord.

Also, I know you guys just sent me a package, but there are a few more things that I need....

1. Hermana ___________ recommended I start taking trunature digestive antibiotic.  She says she bought hers at Costco, but any type of digestive probiotic would be a good idea,  Over time they will help me build up immunity to parasites.... Not a souvenir I would like to take home, gracias.
2. Lice medication, another recommendation from Hermana ___________.  Apparently if I need it, it can be hard to find here.  Better safe than sorry.

3. Refills of my facial medications

4. More short sleeve shirts *its hotter here than 75 degrees

5. Hymns Made Easier book, I am going to have to play all the time

6. Clean and clear face wash

7. Battery for my camera (look up the model on Amazon prime purchase history) mine was stolen for reasons that I don’t understand, and my camera is useless without it.  Also, another SD card would be great!

8. One more skirt made of material that won’t blow all over in the wind... because most of my skirts do.

THANKS SO MUCH MY FAMILY! I LOVE YOU BUNCHES!!!! Also, because I am leaving next week I very well may not write, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from me.  I love you all so very much. 

Yes, we have great reason to rejoice, for we rejoice in Christ.

JesuCristo vive

Con amor,

Hermana Wise

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Suprise! I'm writing on Monday again!

March 31, 2014

Hola! So it looks like I am writing on Monday again.... Not entirely sure why.  Maybe I would understand if I could read the schedule, but it is entirely in Spanish.  So it’s just a surprise every day!

Once again, no enter key... Sorry for the jumbled mess. 

First off, I sang in church yesterday! In front of the whole CCM... That was scary. Hermana ______ and I sang, and Hermana ________ played the piano.  We sang "I know that my Redeemer lives" and brought Sister Cox (the CCM presidents wife) to tears.  Hopefully  in a good way! The branch president recorded it and sent it to us, I’ll forward it to you. 
Truthfully, there isn’t much to write about this week.  Same old, same old. Learning Spanish, embarrassing myself trying to speak it. 
The usual.

Tomorrow, the other trio leaves which will make us the oldest at the CCM.  So weird. 
Things are really improving in the companionship.  I channeled my inner Momma Wise and talked to Hermana _________ about what has been going on.  She seemed a little surprised that I would be bold enough to talk to her about it.  I read some scriptures with her about what I hoped our companionship could be like and she seemed very receptive.  I asked her what I could be doing better, and she didn’t have much to say.  But, things have seemed better since.
My district is awesome.  We work hard and play hard.  Namely, we play four square during Deportes, and I dominate...Not that I am competitive or anything. 

Also, my dear CCM teacher, Hermana Alverado is coming to Salt Lake for conference! I will send you guys her email, but it would be awesome if you would invite her over for dinner or something.  She lives in the central mission and could tell you all about the area I will be serving in.  Plus she is the kindest person on earth and has great English.  I will forward you her email. 

I wanted to thank you guys, Mom and Dad, for teaching me from the scriptures.  It is surprising how many people here have no idea about the Gospel.  My parents are the greatest.  Linc and Kenz, be sure to study every day! And memorize your scripture mastery! It will serve you so well in life.  I have letters written out for both of you.  Linc, yours has tips for the mission.  Kenz, yours has tips for high school.  Love you both.  Good job on the ACT, Linc! You’re a smartie.  Imagine if you actually STUDIED?

Spiritual thought of the week:

I was studying this week about the Anti Nefi Lehites burying their weapons of war.  We learned the cultural significance of weapons to the Mayan people.   Their weapons were their most valuable and precious items.  It would be the equivalent of Bishop _______ burying his Viper in the backyard.  That was the level of their dedication to the Lord.  Similarly, we each need to be that dedicated.  That is what it means to have "real intent."  We must be willing to, without hesitation or restraint, follow the will of God.  The blessings that come will be remarkable, just like they were for the stripling warriors. 

Side note, Hermana ________ says that if she dies young it’s ok because she will just find a stripling warrior on the other side and marry him... That girl.  Love her. 

I am so grateful that I get to be a missionary here in Guatemala! I already love these people so much!!!

Also, please pray for my other CCM teacher Hermano Albedio, he lost his mission scriptures and is distraught.  I know if we pull enough prayers together, we can figure out where they are. 

All my love!

Hermana Wise