Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stress-Induced Pruny Fingers

Hola Familia!

I am so happy that you made contact with Hermana Haymond... I love that woman.  When she comes to the house make her spaghetti and curry.  Yes, I know that makes absolutely no  sense to eat spaghetti with curry but after living in this country for 18 months eating spaghetti with rice and tortillas she won't even care. Plus it is her two favorite foods.

This week has been crazy, but really good.  We are working hard and definitely seeing some miracles coming out of it.  Our stake president has set the goal that every ward here in A baptizes 8 people... For the elders in the district that means that they need to baptize 4 each because they share a ward... But here in P1, we are the only companionship.  We know it is possible to baptize 8! Please pray for us to reach the goal!!!

We had a week of faith-building experiences.  We had to drop a family that we thought would be baptized this week because they decided to start working Sundays... It was hard to have to let them go.  But, when we showed our faith the Lord definitely blessed us.  By some miracle we had 8 investigators in church on Sunday.  It was a MIRACLE.  We had people who we had talked to in the street just show up at church and the members brought non-member friends.  Wow, we are so blessed to be working here. 

Hermana C is doing great! Training is hard, and so is being trained but we love each other and we are plugging right along. 

For the past few weeks my fingers have been all weirdly pruny (even though it isn't even raining here yet).  But then some crazy blisters started forming so I took advantage when we saw the doctor at Zone training and I asked him what it is... 

The answer?  Stress-Induced Pruny Fingers. 

Okay, that isn't what it is actually called.  It has some type of scientific name but the moral of the story is that my fingers are pruny because I am too stressed out.  But don't worry! I have some finger cream that he gave me and it is getting better. Just one more weird thing to add to the list.

Okay I wanted to share an awesome conversion story with you guys... My district leader is named Elder P.  Elder P is from El Salvador and entered the mission the same time I did.  Although his whole family are members he was only baptized 2 years ago (one year before leaving on the mission).  I guess his mom got baptized with his older siblings when he was 3, but later when his parents divorced everyone went inactive.

Ten years later, the missionaries found and activated his mom (at this point Elder P was 17)  But Elder P wanted NOTHING to do with the missionaries.  He tells us that he would always tell them

"VAYAN AL INFIERNO, MORMONES!" (use google translate)

and tell them other horrible things until they would go away.

According to Elder P the story goes:

"Well... And then some stuff happened.  I made some bad decisions and ran into some problems.  Before I knew it, I found myself in a dirty prison cell in El Salvador.  It was at this point when I was humble enough to actually read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and really have the desire to know if it is true.  I got my answer, got my act together and got baptized.  A year later I left on the mission."

Wow, people.  The Gospel is so true.  It really does have the power to change people and help them get their lives on track.  I really love the promise in the introduction of the Book of Mormon:

¨Invitamos a toda persona, dondequiera que se encuentre, a leer el LIbro de Mormon, a meditar en su corazon el mensaje que contiene, y luego a Preguntar a Dios el Eterno Padre en el nombre de Crist si el libro es verdadero.  Quienes pidad con fe lograran un testimonio.¨

I love how it says TODA PERSONA  that means everyone, people.  The Gospel is true and it is for EVERYONE.  I have seen this Gospel change so many lives of so many different people.  It has changed me, and I testify that it can change anyone.

I love you guys! I hope everything is well.  Please pray for me and for Hermana C and for her family.  Her mom is really struggling with her health.

Love you people!!! Pray that we can baptize here in Palin!

Con amor!

Hermana Wise

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Well, that was fun while it lasted.....

Hola familia,
Wow, this week has been an emotional rollercoaster.  First off, yes... I have left the coast.  I was sent to P______, a super cool part of our mission that is up in the mountains near (but not on) the coast.  My area is right at the base of a volcano... Life just doesn't get cooler people.  The toilet flushes all on its own in our apartment and we consistently have water.  There are NO bats living in our house and we also don't have a pack of wild dogs that chase us home every night. AND I wear sweaters now... I know.  It is unbelievable.  I am moving up in life, people.
Additionally, there are a lot of people here who are just straight up Lamanites.  A lot of people here wear corte and don't even speak Spanish.  The members have been teaching me a bit of this crazy Mayan dialect but man, Mayan is a hard language to speak.  Did you know that there are 32 different types of native languages here in Guatemala? It's true. 
And, yes I am also training... This is where things get interesting.  I received Hermana C from Nicaragua.  She is 22 years old and got baptized when she was 9, but immediately thereafter she fell away from the church.  Until about a year ago she had never gone, but some sister missionaries found her and slowly started to activate her.  It wasn't until about 6 months ago that she truly started actively coming every week. 
... But she has NEVER read the Book of Mormon.
In addition she has some real scary holes in her knowledge of the Gospel (for example, she doesn't know what the Priesthood is).  So for the past week I have basically dragging her around and trying to help her learn the Gospel every possible second.  But, I eventually tipped off President Markham.  He was pretty shocked.  It is a requirement to read the Book of Mormon before entering the field.  So, he made the call that she needs extra help....
So she is being sent to take the discussions from the former Sister Training Leaders and read the Book of Mormon. 
Yeah, the emergency change will happen tomorrow and she is seriously unhappy about it, but I know that it will be the best for her. 
I have no idea who I will be receiving, but President Markham tells me that it will be someone who has already finished her training.
So, yeah.... That has been rough.  I know that there is nothing more that could have been done but I just feel like a failure.  I was pretty excited (although terrified) to train but I just feel like I didn't do good enough... and now my hija is getting adopted.
So yeah, hard week.  Pray for me, but more than anything pray for Hermana C.  Her mission is going to be the make it or break it experience for her whole activity throughout her life. 
Also, my "mom" went home last week... HERMANA HAYMOND I MISS YOU!!!!!!!! She is going to call you people so you can meet her in real life.
But, as far as miracles go... We baptized a family this weekend.  Literally, we did nothing.  It was all lined up when we got here but still, it was cool.
That is about it for this week, sorry this is so short, I just had to take a while writing President this week. 
I love you people!
Hermana Wise

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

With Child

Hey family,

Wow, so much has happened this week.  First off... The news.

It all started Thursday morning.  Hermana Z and I were comfortably doing our morning studies when all of the sudden the phone rang...

... No one EVER calls during morning studies. 

When I answered it was the APs. 

Elder H: "Hermana Wise, I am just calling you to let you know that The Lord qualifies who he calls.  Now, I want you to listen... Trainers need to be perfect, diligent, obedient, they must inspire and uplift their companion, their influence will impact their trainee for their entire mission...They have to work miracles, including the miracle of baptism....

(giant pause)

.. And you and Hermana Z will BOTH be training.¨

Wow.  We did NOT see that coming at all.  But wait, it gets weirder. 

So we hyperventilate and panic a bit and then the phone rings again:

This time it was the Sister Training Leaders.  They called to congratulate us about training and cheer us on when all of the sudden Hermana O asks me:

¨So, Hermana Wise... Did President tell you where you are going?!"

Me: " WHAT? I am leaving? We didn't even know who of the two of us was leaving!"

Hermana O: (backtracking)  "Uhh.... Well maybe I mean who knows! Maybe not, I mean uhhh you could stay or uhhh.... WE GOTTA GO LOVE YOU BYE!"

So weird.

The zone leaders called that night and asked me the same thing.... But it wasn't until yesterday that I got the official notice that I will be the one who is leaving.


Really, your guess is as good as mine... But it is going to be something weird... Because it is always weird when the zone leaders know about it ahead of time. 

Likely, I will be opening an area and training.  This will be my 5th area before I reach the year mark on the mission and the third consecutive area that I have opened.

... The mission is crazy, people.

But give me your guesses, where in the world is Hermana Wise?  I will find out tomorrow, but you will find out in a week.

But that explains the title... Here in the mission those you train are your "children" so I am with child. 

Other crazy news:

We had a COMPLETE turnaround with K and she got baptized last Friday.  It was a complete miracle, she is like an entirely new person.  It really is a miracle to see how the Spirit can work in someone.  The service was super cool and it really was a tender mercy of The Lord.

It is just amazing to think about all my converts and the hand of The Lord in their lives to help carry them to the Gospel truth. 

The Church is true, people.  Ask God, He will let you know.

Before I forget! Please send me a new pair of croc flats.  I have walked holes into the pair that I am currently wearing.... That can't be sanitary here in Guatemala.  I really don't need a big package, just a pair of croc flats size 10 (maybe 2 to last me through the mission).

Also, remember way back in my training when we baptized F and P  Well, I got notice last week that they are really struggling.  I was going to go to their temple sealing but now they are considering divorce... Please pray for them. 

Spiritual thought:

Okay people let's be honest... I have NO IDEA what I am doing here.  The thought of training has been stressing me out a bit, especially in a new area.  But, this week I was reading about the Brother of Jared (my favorite Book of Mormon character).  I absolutely love his faith to obey with exactness what God commanded him to do. He, as the Lord commanded, built the eight boats. Then, after he presented the problem to The Lord about the lack of light in the vessels.  When the Lord asked him to present the solution, he didn't take the easiest way out instead he climbed the highest mountain and brought the stones back to The Lord. 

But, if you think about it... all he had were some pretty rocks.  They didn't help him at all until The Lord reached out to touch and illuminate them.

That is kinda how the mission is.  We work as hard as we possibly can but at the end of the day all we have are some pretty stones.  WE don't do anything.  WE can't change anyone.  But, this Gospel message is true.  It has the power to change people.  It can and does illuminate the mind and The Spirit to testify of eternal truths. 

I know and testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the very same church that Christ himself established during his earthly ministry.  I know that He leads and guides his church today.  I testify that in the year 1820, a 14 year old boy asked God to know what church he should join but had an experience that changed history forever.  I know that God called Joseph Smith to be his prophet.  I know without a doubt.  And I know that ANYONE can know it too...

.. Just get down on your knees and ask God. 

Pray for me people, I have no idea where I will be this time next week.

Pray for my hija. 

Pray for La G that I have to leave behind (I love it here, people)

I love you all and pray for you often.  Keep reading the Book of Mormon.  Its true and it will change your life.

And with this giant cliff hanger, I leave you.


Until next week,

Hermana Wise