Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sorry! I can't keep you gotta go.

Hola Familia!!!

I am being refined here in the mission I believe.  I am still happy.  I still am grateful that I chose to serve, this has just been a crazy, crazy transfer thus far. 

I will save you the gory details, but my health has been suffering this week.  The nurse became concerned that this weird flu that I have been having was something more serious.  Which means that I was sent to the medical clinic this week to get everything checked out.

Let me tell you, you don’t know sketchy until you have had your blood drawn in a 3rd world country. 

Well I will save you all the details of the lovely things that have been happening to my body this week. But, when all was said and done the answer came back:


What a blessing. 

Well, according to the Missionary Handbook we are not allowed to have pets (see page 50).  Sorry parasites, you have got to go. 

Luckily, I have medication that I am now taking and things should be looking up soon. I haven’t thrown up in 48 hours, so that’s good.  I also think I have been losing some of the mission weight I have put on.  Bonus!

But yes, this week has continued to be a bit difficult.  C______ and her daughters didn’t get baptized this Sunday.  But they came to church! We continue to see miracles here in the field.  I just need to be patient.  When I reflect on all the miracles we have seen here in P_______, it reminds me that a month without baptisms really isn’t the end of the world. 

I have really learned this week that we choose to be happy.  We can choose to be miserable, or we can just decide to be happy.  This week we have had investigators drop us, it´s been raining, we survived earthquakes, found a nest of scorpions in our house, my companion has disgustingly smelly foot fungus, and I have been battling an aggressive Guatemalan parasite. 

But, I am still happy! 

I have faith that if we have faith things will turn around. 

Thanks for the prayers!!! I need them.  I appreciate them.

Praying for you all too!!!

I am attaching some pictures of our Zone P-Day in Antigua.  Beautiful.  I am totally going back to this place with you people after the mission.

Happy Birthday Linc and Kenz!!!  

Sorry this is short.  I have to email the nurse...

Pilas, pues!

Con amor!!!

Until next week,

Hna Wise (and pets)

PS Shout out to Emily Kwok for getting called to HELSINKI!!!!!! Whaaaat?! Did not guess that one.

Shout out to Alisa my-best-friend Baker for slaying her farewell talk!!! Love you, go rock it in Mexico!!!

"Stella! (obscure movie reference)"

Sierra and Hermana B (and their district in the background) in Antiqua.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Buenas Dias!

Alright, I can´t lie.  It´s been a pretty tough week here in P_________. 

Don´t get me wrong, I love being a missionary and I love this area.  We have just seen a lot of disappointments this past week. 

We were supposed to have 3 baptisms on Sunday.  C_______, F________, and M_______ accepted their baptismal dates and where progressing right along.  However, when we went to visit them Friday night, they told us that they don’t want to be baptized anymore. 

It was crushing. 

To make things worse, our other baptismal candidates didn´t show up to church on Sunday thus disqualifying them for baptism this month.  We had a goal to baptize 8 people in our area this month, and we are yet to baptize any. 

And it looks more and more like we aren´t going to. 

Man, not baptizing is hard.  Especially when there are people who are ready to receive this message, yet we are doing something wrong. 

This isn’t as hard for Hermana B_______ because she baptized in her old area this month before coming here...

Every night the district leader calls to check in on us.  Friday night (immediately after C______ and her kids rejected their baptismal date) it was my turn to talk to him. 

Elder F_________:  ¨How are C_______, F_______ and M_________?¨

Me: ¨They rejected their baptismal dates tonight.  We have no idea why.  They just told us that they don’t want to get baptized anymore.¨

Elder F_________: ¨Hermana Wise, you guys need to work harder.  You HAVE to baptize this month.¨

Gee, thanks Elder. 

It´s been hard to fight off the ¨you´re a bad missionary¨ feelings that accompany not baptizing.  We saw so much success in this area the last change with Hermana H_________, and things just seem to be slowing.  We still have people who are progressing, the ward is still willing to help, but we just aren’t seeing many fruits of our labors this week. 

The icing on the cake was having the flu and throwing up in half our lessons for the past few days. 

I am trying so hard to be a happy little missionary.  But this week really has been tough.  This morning during my personal study, I was looking for scriptures about ¨hope¨ I found this great one in Doctrine and Covenants which I forgot how much I loved:

(Translated from Spanish.... Probably not correctly)

¨Thus, my beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do everything in our power so we can stand still with complete seguridad (assurity?.... English is hard) that we will see the salvation of God and he will reveal his arm to us.¨

Ok it´s D y C 123:17.  Someone will have to look it up in English for me. 

The point is, many times as a missionary we do everything physically in our power and yet things just don’t seem to be going our way.  But, I know that if we are humble, happy, and patient, we will eventually reap the rewards of our labors. 

Sometimes, we just need to stand still and trust in the Lord. 

I have a lot of faith that we will see a miracle and C_______ and her daughters will still get baptized this Sunday.  But if not, I know that The Lord wants me to learn something from this. 

Hermana H________ always taught me that we have really hard weeks right before really great weeks. 

So, I am hanging in there!!!

Still a happy little missionary.

Pray for C______!!!!!!!!

Love you guys!!!

- Hna Wise

PS - I got the package, thank you so much!!!

LINC! HOW THE HECK IS ECUADOR???? I need a full update. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I can’t believe I just got stung by a scorpion.... I HAVE HAD THE COOLEST MISSION EVER!

Buenas dias mi familia!

Well it happened, the glory days of being with Hermana H_________ have ended.  Changes were so sad.  The last night of our change, Hermana H__________ and I obediently turned out the lights and prayed right at 10:30.  But then we just sat there in the dark crying for a bit. Finally we pulled ourselves together and climbed into bed. 

Two minutes later I hear a yelp from Hermana H__________´s bed. 

¨Something bad just happened!!! I think there is a scorpion in my bed!!!!¨


So we turn on the lights and look.... Sure enough.  It was giant and it stung Hermana H___________´s leg.

So there we where, last night of the change.... Hermana H____________ on the phone with the nurse and me with a broom and pan trying to kill the darn thing without getting stung myself. 

The nurse had never heard of a scorpion sting in this mission so she had no idea what to do. 

You know, pop a Tylenol and call it a night. 

So that´s what we did.  After approximately 30 whacks I killed the darned thing, we prayed that Hermana H__________ wouldn´t die in her sleep, and crawled back into bed. 

As we were falling asleep, Hermana H_________ turns to me and says:

¨I can’t believe I just got stung by a scorpion.... I HAVE HAD THE COOLEST MISSION EVER!¨

Man, I am going to miss that girl

But, I have received Hermana B________.  She is from the Dominican Republic and can´t speak a lick of English.  That´s right folks, if you thought my English was bad before, it is about to get a whole lot worse. 

To make things funnier, the nurse gave me very specific instructions to scorpion-proof the house.  But here is the catch, Hermana B_________ is a hypochondriac.  The nurse explained very clearly that my new companion CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. 

So I have been scorpion proofing the house and pretending not to understand her when she asks me what I am doing. 

But, we are getting by.  Hermana B_________ has been out for 9 months and has spent her time here serving in the coast.  Truthfully, this week has been a little hard.  Hermana B______ is great, but she just isn’t Hermana H___________.  She is used to teaching people who really struggle to understand basic concepts of the Gospel (most people on the Coast can’t even read).  So often when she teaches, it almost comes across as though she is ¨talking down¨ to our investigators. 

Don´t get me wrong, she really is a great missionary.  I know I am going to learn a lot from her.  I just love our converts, members, and investigators so much!!! I imagine this must be what it is like leaving your kids with a baby sitter; you just want them to be safe. 

But little by little we are getting used to how the other one teaches.  

I think my Spanish is improving.... At least I can understand more of what the drunk guys on the street are yelling at me. 

Oh what a blessing.

Speaking of my Spanish capabilities, yesterday we had a Family Home Evening with some of our progressing investigators with the Bishop´s family as well.  I am not entirely sure how it happened, the whole ward showed up.  We probably had about 20 people there.   The plan was to watch the Restoration movie and explain about Joseph Smith.  Unfortunately, the disk wouldn’t play in Spanish. 

Bishop:  ¨That´s ok, we will watch it in English, Hermana Wise will translate it.¨

Perfect...... I have been here for a whopping 4 months.

So there I was, in front of the whole ward, translating word for word the restoration film as we watched it.... BUT I COULD DO IT!!!

Such a miracle.  The gift of tongues is so real.

We have definitely been seeing miracles here.   With a lot of prayers, we will have 3 baptisms this weekend and 4 more before the end of this month. 

We are working hard!

I really do love being a missionary!  I love these people and I LOVE Petapa. 

Praying for you

Hna Wise!

Ps HOW IS ECUADOR, LINCOLN????!!!! I want to hear all about it. 

Happy birthday Holly!!!!

Love you people, don’t be stoops

Sierra, doing battle with the scorpion

And Sierra won!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Hola familia!

Another week has come and gone here in P_______.  I feel like this change flew right by.  Hermana H______ keeps telling me that the mission just goes faster and faster (which stresses me right out because I already feel like it is going super fast). This week I have finished the third change of my mission.... which means I am a fourth of the way through...... This is just too weird.

The good news:  I get to stay in P_______ for another 6 weeks!

The sad news:  Hermana H_______ has to leave.

The mission is just so traumatizing this way:  You get shipped away from  your home and everything familiar, run around telling everyone about Jesus, come to love a group of strangers and the strange person you are stuck with 24/7...


And the process repeats. 

Honestly though, watching Hermana H________ say goodbye to our investigators and converts has instilled a deep sorrow in me knowing that, one day, I will have to leave P_________ too. 

I just want to stay here my whole mission.... maybe my entire life.

But, thus is the mission.

We are continuing to see great things in our mission and in our area.  Presidente Markham is quite different from Presidente Brough.  But, he is keeping the standard of obedience the same in the mission so we will continue seeing sucess.  I am excited to be working with the Markhams, they seem like really great people. 

Funny story of the week:

Hermana H________ and I have been teaching C_______ and her 2 daughters for a few weeks now.  They have been progressing right along, so in order to prepare them for baptism we needed to teach them the Word of Wisdom. 

We set an appointment, and showed up with a solid lesson plan to help them understand this commandment.

There was only one problem:  C________ had to get a tooth pulled out that morning... And they had to put her under twice...

She was stoned out of her face.

So there we where, teaching the Word of Wisdom to two young women while their mom sat in the corner, swollen, drugged, and occasionally muttering things in Spanish about the Catholic church.

I can check ¨Teach the Word of Wisdom to someone under the influence¨ off of my list of things to do on my mission. 

The best part was, C_______ almost gave her bloodied molar to Hermana H_______ as a gift.  How cool would that have been? 

Well family, that is about it for today.  Thanks for all your love and support while I am here in the field.  It really does make all the difference. 

Pray that C______, F_______ and M_________i will accept to be baptized this Sunday!

Pray that A_______ will come to church!

Pray that J______ l and Y________ can get married so they can be baptized in July!

Pray that M______, J_______, and J________ will be able to get baptized too!!

Pray for my new companion!

Love you all!  Pray for each of you every day. 

With all my love,


Sierra with her first beloved companion, Hermana H.
The flooded streets of her town.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Hola Familia!

This week has been going just great! I´m happy.  I´m healthy.  I was bitten by a dog.... BUT it didn’t break the skin so I didn’t even have to get a rabies shot.

I am so blessed.

Things have been progressing well here in P_______.  We have several investigators who are working towards baptism.  Our converts are (almost all) coming to church regularly.

 And, best of all, the World Cup is almost over..... Almost.

Yesterday, Hermana H_______ and I had quite the experience. It was late, and we were in a lesson with a member and a less active family.  As do most lessons with members, the lesson ran a bit longer than the 30 minute slot we had planned, but not terribly long.  I remember as we left the lesson realizing how quickly it had gotten dark.

But, the street lights were on, so we weren’t worried.

Hermana H________ and I dropped off our member and hurried to our next appointment.  Now, we weren’t in a part of our area that was exceptionally dangerous.  But, we weren’t in a part of our area that was exceptionally safe either.

 Right as we were almost to our next appointment, the lights went out.  All the lights all through P_______ blew out.  Leaving us, two gringas, stranded in a now very dangerous alley in Guatemala. 

Without even saying a word, Hermana H_______ and I took off at a dead run to make it to a member´s house. 

I honestly have probably never been so scared in my whole life.  When the lights go off here, it basically turns into a wild free for all.

Luckily we made it to a member’s house, called the District Leader, and within 2 minutes the lights all came back on leaving us safe to continue working.

But this experience really made me think.  We are so incredibly dependant on the light of Christ in our lives.  The light of the Gospel is what keeps us safe. It allows us to see.   However, sometimes we choose to withdraw ourselves from the illumination of the Gospel.  As we are disobedient to the commandments of God, we slowly withdraw ourselves from the light and creep further and further into the dark.  This change is often gradual.  So slow that we don’t really notice it (like when we left the lesson).  Other times, when we commit serious transgressions, we withdraw completely from the light all at once leaving us helplessly and dangerously in the dark (like when the lights blew out).

Either way, the situation is dangerous.  When we disobey God´s commandments, we put ourselves in spiritual and physical peril.  We don’t realize how incredibly dependant we are on the light of Christ until it is gone.  We need to constantly be evaluating how much light we have.  Because when we realize it´s gone, we are already in danger.

I am so, so grateful for the protection we have here as missionaries both spiritually and physically.  I am also grateful for the protection we enjoy as we live the commandments.

I LOVE the commandments, people!

Other exciting news from this week:

POR FIN F_________ got baptized this weekend.  It was awesome! He bore his testimony afterwards about the importance of persevering (preseverar? How do you say that in English?) to the end.  He also talked about his own desire to serve a mission.  This kid is pilas.  I am just so happy for him.

We have a new mission president, who we will meet tomorrow. (Pray for the Markhams!)

Hermana H________ peed her pants.... Again.

That´s about it!  Thanks for all your support! I love you guys so much. 

Good luck with the entrevistas Holly! I know you will do great!

Linc, when do you go to Ecuador? Hermana M______ (from Ecuador) is extremely excited for you!

Happy 4th!

THIS LAND IS MY LAND..... Just for you dad. 

Hna Sabia