Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bob Marley the Prophet

Hola Familia,

Forgive the apostasy in the title line.... Allow me to explain myself...

This week we decided to go visit the family who came to church to deal drugs with the elders investigators, you know... Because the Gospel changes lives and what not.  Well, we found their house and taught them lesson 1.  They were a very young couple with dreadlocks both sitting outside their house wearing homemade tee shirts that they drew marijuana leaves on, but they agreed to come to church again and seemed pretty positive so we went ahead and started teaching them.  They even agreed to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet! So, we went ahead and challenged them for baptism.

"Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?"

Investigator "Uh, what are the requirements, like what do we have to do first?"

Well that is a good question, so we briefly explained the Word of Wisdom... And this was his response.

"Well, here is the thing..... It is great that you guys have this Joseph Smith guy, but we already have a prophet.... His name is Bob Marley.  That is why I keep my hair like this.... I am just into really natural stuff and I really like smoking weed.... That is the pact that I made with God.  So thanks, but I am not really interested."

Well, I had no idea what to do with that, so we just invited them to  church and got right out of there.  But really, it was pretty funny. 

This week was pretty successful, even though we didn't have any investigators  in church we have started building a relationship with the branch here.  Sunday afternoon the second counselor took us to a really cool part of our area to go visit some less active and part member families who live out there (it is like an hour away in a car.... Did I mention that this area is HUGE?).  It was really a positive experience to be able to gain the trust of the members.  The presidency also asked us to speak in church which is another evidence that we are gaining trust.  I spoke about the power of member missionaries.  It was good, and we are starting to see some results. The work here is slow, but good and I have faith that we will find people who progress.

This week in my Book of Mormon study I was reading in Helaman 5 verses 2 through 5.  Really gave me some personal comfort.  We have been working hard here, and maybe we haven't seen a whole lot of outward results, but I know that God is preparing miracles here in SE, and I know that I am changing.  The mission has changed me.  I am becoming exactly who God wants me to be.... Sometimes that means we suffer, but God knows better than we do what it is we need.  I love the mission and I am so grateful for this experience.

I love you people! Thanks for praying for us

Con amor!

Hermana Wise

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Almost Got My Head Chopped Off....and Other News

Hola familia!

Wow, what an adventure it is to be here opening area for the 4th time in SE.  This week was tough, really tough as we tried to gain some traction in this very tiny branch.  But, we are definitely seeing miracles and coming to love this little sector of the Lords vineyard.

Okay, for the title of this email.... This was going to be one of those ''wait until you come home'' type of stories but it is just way too funny to not tell you guys. Just try not to worry about me...

So, we are opening this GIANT area but they just pulled the elders who were here and moved them more southward. As a result, when we get completely lost I can always call Elder Larson (who entered with me) and ask him a thousand questions to try and find our way around... Kinda helps, but he only had 3 weeks here before we took over. 

Anyway, the elders just kept telling us all about ''Juan.'' 

According to the elders, Juan is a golden investigator who is going to get baptized in April. 


So, clearly we decided to go try and find him.  It was late Saturday night when we started looking for him.  The address wasn't very clear (welcome to Guatemala) and while we were looking we passed the house of some converts.  As a spur of the moment decision we asked one of them to accompany us for the visit.  She did, and brought her 9 year old niece with her. 

So we find the house, and the grandkids yell to us that their grandpa is waiting for us and we should come in... So we did.... and were super excited to meet this ''super awesome Juan.''

Big mistake... Next thing I know, we came face to face with Juan... An angry 80 year old Guatemalan man who was yelling at me and holding in his hand a machete.... That's right people, A MACHETE!!!  He started yelling at me asking why the Mormons are always bothering him and explaining that he ALREADY GOT BAPTIZED THREE TIMES in other churches.... But then here was the real knee slapper... He then started explaining to us that he was reading in the Book of Mormon and he read that Nefi chopped off Laban's head with a sword.... He then proceeded to make giant swinging motions with his machete as he explained to us exactly how Nefi chopped off Labans head.

... And there I was.... Completely convinced that this man was going to chop my head off...

I wish I had a picture of Hermana C's face in that moment... and the convert's.  I quickly just invited him to church and then we BOOKED IT OUT OF THERE!!!

Yeah... We called the elders.

I am just grateful my head is still here on my neck... God is merciful. The elders totally bought us ''Sorry we almost got your heads chopped off'' cake. Almost makes up for it, but I am still resentful.

 We also got to go to the temple this week to do the work for Hermana C's grandma.  It was just incredible.  The Spirit was so strong.  After coming out of the font, Hermana C just hung on me and we both cried, the Spirit was so strong.  I really know that she accepted the work.  What I wasn't expecting was how strongly I felt the presence of Grandma Dora... Pretty sure that our grandmas are companions up there in spirit heaven preaching the gospel. 

Other news... We had two investigators in church on Sunday! Granted, they came to deal drugs with the elders' investigators, but hey! Beggars can't be choosers. 

Keep praying for us people! I am definitely praying for you!!! If all else fails, just drink Gatorade and get on with your life, that is what Guatemala has taught me. 

Love you guys!

Hermana Wise

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chased By Jesus

Hola Familia!

Well, I have officially survived another Holy Week here in Guatemala... What a miracle.  Friday morning, NO ONE was in their house, after all of our plans fell through we started knocking around the central part of our area before lunch.  Finally, we found someone in the street and started teaching her a basic first lesson.  It was right after the prayer when I heard a scary... BOOOM DRUM TUM DA DUM coming from right behind me.  I flipped around and there He was... Jesus.

Okay, not the real Jesus... Just some Catholic guy dressed up as Jesus marching through the street hauling his giant cross (Jesus didn't even carry his own cross... So confused).  Anyway, said Jesus began chasing us.  That's right people CHASING US.  We straight up got chased by Jesus through the streets of Palin.  It was the scariest/most hilarious experience.  The best part was how I couldn't stop yelling at Hermana C:


Luckily we were able to outrun the guy and find a lesson before lunch. 

Other fun surprises this week, I got to have divisions with Hermana P.  It was awesome.  I love that girl.

Other unexpected news:

.... My companion and I are no longer in Palin.  We had emergency changes yesterday and are now serving in an area called SE which is located in the mountains above P. 

I am serving in a branch again.  This area is huge, and for the past five months the elders who visited here didn't touch the area book... Like at all.  We literally have nothing.  There aren't even old investigators and none of the converts come to church nor have been visited since November.... It is a challenge, and it is hard but I know that God wants me to do it.  Who on earth opens area four times during their mission? Oh yeah... I do.  Pray for us, please. 

We got the news just before conference.  I remember feeling so stressed when President explained that I would be opening an area AGAIN.  Honestly? I was kind of resentful towards God for a minute there.  Opening areas is hard people, really hard.  But listening to the MoTab sing "Consider the Lilies" really reminded me that it isn't my right to question God and His will for me.  So here I am... In SE.... Lost, but doing the will of God.  So all is well.

Tomorrow is going to be a very special day.  President has given my companion and me permission to go to  the temple to do the work for her grandmother because Hermana C told me "I just want someone on the other side waiting to receive my Mom, and I feel like my grandma will accept it."  Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Well folks, that is about it.  I love you guys! Shout out to mi papi chulo singing in the MoTab, you make me so proud.

Well,  I love you people.  Pray for us and know that I pray for you too!!!

Con amor!

Hna Wise