Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Week of Miracles

Hola familia!

Wow, where do I even start? This week has been incredible. Stressful? yes.  Difficult? yes.  But incredible.  I am so blessed for the opportunity I have to serve here as a missionary. 

To begin, these things growing on my head? Just an infection.  Nothing serious.  I am SO GLAD THAT I AM NOT GETTING SENT HOME/ STATESIDE. 

This week I was SUPER stressed out about what the possible results could be of what these lumps on my head were.  Wednesday night I finally broke down and asked for a blessing from the Elders in my district.  Elder H____ gave me a blessing wherein he:


2.  Promised that "the Lord would answer the prayers of the righteous, and I would be blessed to finish my full time missionary service if I prayed with faith."

I felt a lot better after that.  Hermana and President Markham were praying for me all week.  Thursday, they took me in to get my stitches out and receive the diagnosis.  We offered a kneeling prayer before going in.  I just felt an overwhelming peace.  I knew, without doubt, that it was just going to be okay. 

The moment we walked in, the doctor told me:

 "GOOD NEWS, YOU CAN KEEP WORKING! YOU ONLY HAVE AN INFECTION!" Hermana and President Markham broke down and cried.  It was at this point that President Markham looked at me and said,

"We didn’t tell you before, but the whole mission has been praying for you specifically that you would be able to stay."

Wow.  I am so humbled that every single missionary in the Guatemala City Central mission was praying for me this week.  I just feel so loved.  I know that when we pray to God, we aren’t changing His will.  Instead, we are securing for ourselves blessings that He is already willing to give us, we just have to ask Him first.  I am so grateful that 240 other missionaries were also asking for the blessing that I needed.  I truly know that God hears and answers our prayers when we ask Him with faith.  I am pumped that I get to stay here for a year.  My mission is just getting started. 

Other great news this week:

I SAW HERMANA H________[her trainer]!!!! I love that woman with all my heart.  Poor thing was worried sick about me.  But, it was just so fun to get to talk to her for a bit. 

THE TWINS CAME TO CHURCH AND THEY LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!  Best part?  At the end of sacrament meeting we sang "the Spirit of God."  Halfway through the song, S______ looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said

"I think I can feel this fire that they are talking about in my heart right now, am I feeling the Holy Ghost?"

I got all choked up but responded "si"

She then told me:

"Yo se que esta es la iglesia verdadera.  Es verdadera, yo se!"

You are right kid.  The church is true. 

Moments like that make it all worth it. 

Love you guys! Thanks for the prayers!!!

Hermana Wise

I also have pictures this week!

The Guatemala sun is slowly turning my hair red (in this light it looks REALLY red...but it isn't quite that pronounced). But definitely red highlights!

This is why I won't be wearing my hair in a ponytail anytime soon.

Here's the beastie they removed from my head!  Cool, huh?

Friday, September 19, 2014

I had head surgery in a third-world country!

Hola familia,

Well, yes this week has definitely been interesting.  Sorry that I have been keeping secrets from all of you (family included) but to catch you all up: for the past few months I have been having weird bumps growing on the back of my head around the base of my skull.  Now, these things keep getting bigger and aren’t going away so, finally, they decided to chop one off on Thursday.

Yup, that is right.  I got surgery in a third world country.  It was pretty traumatizing. 

It involved a whole bunch of little Guatemalan nurses and doctors talking to me in "tu form" and calling me by my first name.  Then, they forcefully separated me from my companion, tried to make me take off my garment (yeah, THAT WAS SO NOT HAPPENING), then they shaved my head and chopped a lump out of my skull.  This was the conversation between the two doctors during the operation (translated into English)

Doctor 1: "wow... This is a whole lot deeper than we thought!"

Doctor 2 “Yeah, this is really gross.  Ew! How gross!"

Doctor 1:  "wow, we still haven’t found it yet! This is REALLY going to hurt.  Will you pass me the saw?"


But when all was said and done, they pulled this lump out of me, stitched me up and sent me on my way.  I had 4 lessons that day and 43 contacts.  There just isn’t time to rest in the mission :)

I feel like I have learned so much about my own potential being here as a sister missionary.  I have been pushed, molded, beaten down, and tried during my 6 months of service here.  But I have also been supported, loved and carried through the hard times.  I honestly don’t know what The Lord wants me to learn from all of this.  But, I am learning how to trust Him.  I know that He knows better than I do who I need to become.  He knows my potential.  He knows who I need to be.  He is guiding me to become that person. 

I pray that whatever this is doesn’t complicate or disqualify me from serving here in Guatemala.  I love this place.  I love being a missionary.  Thursday they will take out my stitches and give me a solid diagnosis.  I trust that Heavenly Father has this all under control.

I love you people.  Thanks for your prayers and your support.

NO, the twins didn’t come to church on Sunday... DARN YOU SATAN! But they will come next week.  I have complete faith that they will be baptized soon.

Lots of love!

Hermana Wise

[Editor’s note: We purposely didn’t send this email out until we heard the results of Sierra’s biopsy.  ALL IS WELL!  It is just some kind of weird infection.  She will take some medication and have a little battle scar on her head to remember her mission (and for awhile, a little patch of baldness where they shaved her head for the surgery!) She was pretty stressed that this would force her to be sent back to the states to finish her mission…or worse, would send her home.  She has come to really love Guatemala.  But everything is just fine.  We spoke briefly to her after her doctor’s appointment and everyone is breathing a big sigh of relief.  Her mission president’s wife was there to be “the Mom” figure through all this and we had a very nice conversation with her about all this afterwards.  Thanks for all your prayers in Sierra’s behalf!  The mission continues…]

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I fell in an open manhole cover and smashed my face on a toilet!...

Hola familia!!!

Well, let’s just cut to the chase here; I know you are all curious about the subject line of this email.  Allow me to explain Hermana Wise’s most recent adventure,

Thursday, I completed 6 calendar months in the mission (I say calendar months because I technically completed 6 months when I came to V__________ in "mission time" because every 4 transfers is supuestamene 6 months.... But this is just an irrelevant tangent)

Anyway, Thursday night, there I was running (literally) to an appointment at about 7:30 at night.  The only thing is, that it was raining and there had been an accident.  As a result, there was a lot of traffic, and a lot of (to quote my mother) "rubberneckers" in the street trying to see what had happened.  So there we were, hurrying to our appointment and trying to dodge the tiny Guatemaltecans in our way. 

One minute I was following Hermana C________, and the next I was in a man hole. 

I guess in Guatemala, there are no laws about when and where you can leave your open man holes.  So there was one just hanging out in the middle of the sidewalk in V__________.  I know what you are thinking:

"But that is so dangerous!"

Don’t worry, someone else thought the same thing, so they courteously placed a dirty, broken, toilet in front of the hole to keep people from falling in.  Too bad said safety measure was placed on the opposite side of the hole from where I fell in.  Meaning that instead of being protected from danger by said toilet, I just smashed my face into it as I fell into the man whole. 

The greatest part of the adventure was the Evangelico lady who screamed out "OH HOLY SPIRIT, HELP THIS WOMAN OF GOD!" as she watched me fall... It was a nice touch. 

But, thankfully Hermana C________ and a bunch of helpful little Guatemalan ladies fished me out of the hole (meanwhile, previously mentioned Evangelico lady was yelling "THERES A GRINGA IN THE HOLE, A GRINGA IN THE HOLE!").  Miraculously, nothing was broken, so I took some extra strength Tylenol and we went to our appointment. 

Happy 6 months to me!!!

Alright now down to business, we got some very exciting news this week: 

V_________ IS RECIEVING A SENIOR COUPLE THIS WEEK! Whoohoo! We are so excited.  This ward is pretty disheartened about missionary work at this point and I think a nice, excited couple of senior missionaries will be just what they need.

We are definitely having a very genuine mission experience here in V_________, we are seeing some amazing miracles and some great experiences but we are also having some real disheartening moments. 

Sad moment of the week: J_______ broke up with us.  He told us he doesn’t want us to come by anymore and that he isn’t ready to be baptized anytime soon.  We left a really positive note on his registro and know that, in time, other missionaries will find him and he will be baptized. 

Happy moment of the week: two of our investigators, R______ and her sister C______ came to church this week!!! Whoohoo!!! They loved it.  R______ is 17 and didn’t realize that some of her friends are members, C_______ (age 10) loved primary.  They are getting baptized on the 21st.

House of pilas people didn’t come to church, but are coming next week.  As they were walking to church they received a phone call that their grandpa was in the hospital so they ran to visit him.  Darn you Satanas, keeping our investigators out of church.... But they have stopped drinking coffee and are going to be baptized on the 28th.  The Markhams are even going to come! Hooray!

That is about it folks! Love you all a whole lot! Stay pilas

con amor,

Hermana Wise


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Only on the Mission can you sleep through a 5.1 earthquake :)

Sup gringos!

This week has been weird, really hard, but really great too!  The work is chugging along here in V_______.  We didn’t have a single investigator in church on Sunday, which is always hard, but we have seen a lot of miracles and I know that we will have some this week.

Thus far, J_________ is not baptized.  More than anything, he is just afraid.  He knows the church is true but he won’t be baptized because he "hasn’t felt the joy in his heart yet." So.... We are working with him.  I have no doubt that he will be baptized, it is just a matter of when. Keep praying for that boy.  For now, we wait.

We have definitely seen some miracles this week, let me catch you guys up first:

My first day in here we ran around our house knocking doors for my first hour.  While we were knocking, we found and taught a pair of 13 year old twins (S______ and M_______).  They were fairly positive so we set a second appointment.  But, when we went back to find them they weren’t home.

Then, early in this week, we had about 20 minutes left to prosylite (don’t judge... English is hard).

Anyway, we decided to look for the twins again.  This time they were home (YIPEE).  So we prayed and started the lesson.  About 2 minutes in, S_______ tells us "wait here a minute, my mom wants to talk to you guys."


So here we are, anticipating to get ripped apart by a Catholic tiger mom.  But, MIRACLE! Turns out the mom is a member.  She was baptized when she was 9 but stopped going to church later in life because her alcoholic husband didn’t let her.  A year ago, she left her husband and has been waiting for someone to help her come back to church. She also listened to us.  We were teaching the Book of Mormon.  While we are there teaching, the grandma pokes her head out of the window to listen and then comes to join us.  Pretty soon, a friend of the twins (C______) stops by and he starts listening too! After about a minute he asks us to wait and ran to bring his mom so she could also hear about the Book of Mormon. 

So there we are, all of the sudden teaching a house full of very positive, very receptive investigators.

Geez, it was like we were on the coast or something.

But, it gets better.  C______, M______ and S_______ have all accepted baptismal dates for the 21 of September.  They couldn’t go to church last week, because they were out of town.  But they are all coming this week.  What a miracle.  We anticipate that C______’s mom will also be baptized, we just need to find her again.

What a crazy miracle.

So, pray for the house of pilas people.  I can’t wait to see how things turn out with them.

Other news of the week:

1.  I ate a "fire chili pepper" on a dare and earned the respect of the elders in my district

2.  I have been called to be district retention leader (for the third time....)

3. I slept through a 5.1 earthquake (we are sleepy as missionaries)

That is about it, folks! Love you guys! Make good choices.

Con amor,

Hermana Wise