Monday, January 20, 2014

Tiewa and the Chicken


This week has been pretty eventful :) We had our baptism of little Merlyn :) She turned 9 this last Saturday. She has a lot of family from Coban, so I was able to see familiar faces! Like Diana :) She is getting ready to leave for a mission in March to Nicaragua :) She is such a strong example to me of enduring faith. She doesn’t have the support of her dad in serving a mission, but she wants to serve. She is just so amazing!  Thank you so much for the fotos!!!! :D  The other sisters here in Salama also had a baptism for a young man named Rojelio, and that was awesome! He really has a deep love for this gospel and just wants to keep learning and learning. 


This week something also happened that I never ever thought would happen to me.... I got attacked by a chicken! haha. We were visiting a less active, and she gave us some fresco and bread. We were sitting outside in her yard, and I turned around to grab a piece of bread. And then I felt something on my arm and I heard flapping. There was a chicken trying to balance on my arm pecking at my bread! hahaha. I wish I could have gotten a picture, it was hilarious! I didn’t get scratched or anything, but was a crazy chicken! I’ve learned I need to protect my bread from now on


I was thinking about being in Guatemala yesterday, I was one divisions with a member, and as we were chatting, it hit me. I’m talking Spanish in Guatemala! I am learning and growing out here that is for sure. 


Wow, my time is really flying! We also received a ref this week, and we see a lot of potential in her. Her name is Marilyn. She is the aunt of a recent convert (Marielos). She definitely needs a testimony of the Plan of Salvation in her life.  Will you please pray for Marilyn and her family and Rodeldi and her baby Fernanda.  Please pray for the health of her baby.


This week we also have cambios (transfers). I will be staying here in Salama, and Hna Brandaris is going to Poptun, Peten (her first area). She has been here in Salama for about 6 months, and she hopes to come back here for her last change (she only has 2 changes left). 


All of my companions have been great! I love them all so much! :)  Hermana Mandi Empey (CCM) Hna Castaneda :) Hnas Sol and Blackmer (in the Capt) Hna Allen and Hna Price (Coban) and Hna Brandaris.  It is so good to hear about Sister Boushley’s homecoming! :) It sounds like she was just beaming!


Thank you for sending this me this picture of Tata!!! :D   I can see it. We both have the same squint. haha


And felicidades  a (congratulations to) Kayla for BYU I :) I know BYU is coming up soon!!! :) I’m praying for you Sis!!! :) And I know that once the letter comes, you will feel so much relief! :) Hang in there!!!! :) And Joci, wow!!! I want to see some pics of you playing basketball! :) I know you have a great coach :) I love to hear how you are going and trying new things. Always keep trying new things, and you will have so many incredible adventures in life :)  


I am praying for you all always! I am glad to hear that you got to go to the temple. I love the goal that you have to have us all there together in the Celestial room with our spouses too. That is the ultimate goal, to be an eternal family! :) I love you all SO MUCH!!!! And your letters and emails always give me the extra boost for the following week :) This life truly is full of blessing :)


Love you!!!!! I have to go now!!!! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tiewa learning new skills


My big highlight for the New Years Eve was that we got to see the temple! Our driver was so sweet and he took us by. He told us that we had 3 min to take pictures. They even had a Nativity scene set up and everything. My comp and I went running to the temple. Just to be on the grounds was so sweet and so relieving. Just like a big, deep, refreshing breath. 


I had a DT (Destination Truth-One of T’s favorite TV shows) moment yesterday. We were taking some backtrails and trying to cut through to one of our areas with a member. And then we came up to a river. There was a family there at the river and they told us that we had to cut through right there to get to the area that we wanted to go. So we hiked up our skirts and went. It was very funny, but a lot of fun too.


This last week, I fixed my clogged sink. It was REALLY, really clogged. And I took the pipe off underneath and everything and cleaned it all out. And now, the sink works AWESOMELY! I love using it and hearing the water run all the way down the pipe with nothing in the way. I never knew how satisfying the sound of a clear pipe could be. I bet it makes Heavenly Father chuckle a bit to see how excited and happy I am with my sink, as He watches me run the water just a couple seconds longer. But I bet He is so proud to see me growing and learning in this life-- this is the reason why we are here. Just as we are excited to see a young child take their first steps or learn to write their name, Heavenly Father is so happy and celebrates with us in our little successes of life :)


And last night, we had another great lesson with another new investigator. His name is Edu. He is probably about in his 20s and he was also another contact (I met his mom in the street earlier this week, and when we passed by to visit her, he was the only one home). We also taught about the Restoration to him. And again, things were just clicking in his head, you could see it happening. He thinks what we are saying is true. He says it’s interesting, and he thinks the Book of Mormon is true. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and ask our Heavenly Father if it is true. We also invited him to be baptized in Feb, but he told us that he is going back to Coban to study in Feb. He really needs prayers too, I hope and pray that the hope and light of our lesson will stay with him, that he won’t forget the Spirit that he has felt, so that he will continue to learn and grow in this gospel too.


And yesterday, WE GOT A FECHA!!!!!!!!! (date for a baptism)  This has been our biggest struggle; we have been struggling to find new and progressing investigators. And this last fast Sunday, we fasted to find these people that are ready and we fasted to find a fecha (Date for a baptism). The following days were very hard and with a lot of walking. We had a couple days when all of our lessons fell through. But then yesterday, out of nowhere, we got a fecha. Her name is Marlin and she will be turning 9 this Saturday. She told us that she wants to be baptized and that she needs the charlas (discussions). So we visited her for the first time yesterday. She is SO SWEET :) She truly is an answer to our prayers.



This week has been an interesting week. My comp has been really sick this week; her asthma is coming back. The first couple days of this week were the worst for her, and she had to recover for a couple nights. During those days I worked in divisions with members. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I learned a lot, and I am growing. We had an incredible lesson with one investigator when I was doing divisions. Her name is Kimberly, and we taught about the Restoration. It was our first lesson with her, she was a street contact and we finally found her. And the lesson just flowed, I felt the Spirit so strongly. I was able to teach with examples and it was so rewarding to see connections click in Kimberly’s head as we taught. And the member I was with (se llama Linda) was so awesome in the lesson! She was able to explain things simply, but in a way that really invited the Spirit. She helped me so much with the language. And after we talked about the Book of Mormon, she asked us if she could have one. Of Course!! She really is so interested and she wants to know for herself if this message of the restored gospel is true. She was glowing!


The only thing is that she moved this Friday due to work. She moved really far away. And she doesn’t have a telephone. But she told us she will look out for the missionaries (the people with the nametags). I hope and pray that she will continue to learn and grow in this gospel. That lesson was just absolutely amazing! She is such a sweet and beautiful spirit! I know the Lord knows who she is, and He will not let her be lost.


These last couple days I have been struggling with the language. I think it is just because I have been so tired these last couple days. But it has been really difficult for me to speak and to understand. I could hardly talk in the lesson with Marlin. I was definitely becoming discouraged, because I know I could explain these things in English. But I know I am here in Guatemala, speaking Spanish, for a reason. I just need to keep trying and study and practice. He is always guiding us from a bigger, an eternal perspective. And I am so grateful for His hand and guidance in my life :)  


After writing about our week, I felt a lot better. I love you all so much! And I am so grateful for all of your support and love. Your support and love and really made a difference to me this week :) Again, thank you thank you thank you! I love you so much!! :)


Monday, December 23, 2013

Bed Bugs Long Gone

It is so good to hear from you too! :) My companera and I are working really hard down here. I have not slept harder in my entire mission until I got here in Salama. I totally conk out at the end of the day. haha. We are trying really hard to find new investigators. Earlier this week we found a new family! :) It was an inspired miracle that they were found.  The family is Aura and Angel. First we found Aura at her house. It was pouring rain, and we just came up to their house and called to see if anyone was home. She let us in right away, and she was so warm and inviting. Later that week we met her husband Angel. He has many questions, but he was willing to listen. Please also pray for Amisaday and his girlfriend Mari :) Amisaday has his baptism this Sat! He is very excited for his baptism and he is whizzing through the Book of Mormon. Mari is so sweet. She really tries to make me feel loved and known here. She is a less active, but she has been coming back with Amisaday. But she has struggles with her family life. Sometimes she comes and other times she doesn’t


It is great here :) My area is much more city than what I had in Coban, but we also have a lot of country side area. This area is HUGE! :)   I am so excited!!!! :) Bed Bugs are long gone.


Thank you so much!!! I am praying for you all always!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!


Con Mucho Amor, 

Su Hija

Hermana Sonrisa Tiewa Esquerra

Salama Zone December 2013 (Tiewa is in 2nd row, white shirt)

Monday, December 16, 2013

1st Transfer

I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!! :D THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!! :D I got it the day of our Christmas Conference :) (Wed) I absolutely loved the gifts all wrapped up :) And the VOICE RECORDER was such a pleasant surprise :) WITH YOUR VOICES ON IT!!!! :) That was the best gift of all!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!


And now I am here in Salama! It is beautiful here. We are surrounded by mountains and they remind me of Provo Canyon. I came in at night, so waking up to the sight of these beautiful mountains was amazing! 


And mi companera se llama Hermana Brandaris (my companion is named Sister Brandaris). Ella es de Panama!!!! (She is from Panama).   She has many pictures up of the Panama Temple (Panama is one of Tiewa’s favorite Temples), and it makes me so happy :) She is great too. She is quick to love and I love how she teaches, she is able to explain things simply and in a way that really makes sense. 


We are working hard, and I feel like we had a pretty good week. I got to get to know the area (its huge!) and the people we are teaching. Yesterday we had a great lesson! We met with a less active se llama (names) Karla. She is scared to pray about serving a mission because she is scared the answer will be yes. I completely understand how it feels to be in the spot. And I got to tell her my story about when I was praying about the mission. The lesson just flowed and the conversation just carried along. And my companera (companion) was right there beside me testifying of the truths of the power of Prayer. We explained to her how to first pray for her heart to be open to God’s will. This is was my prayer after the mission age announcement, and after praying for my heart to be softened to His will for a month, I received my answer. And it was the most direct answer I have ever received. I also told about how much I have grown here in the field. I am becoming a much wiser and stronger person, I am becoming someone I never imagined I could become before the mission. And it is all because I am doing His will. Wherever you go, whatever you do, if you will just follow His will, He will raise you up to be someone you never imagined for yourself. It is absolutely amazing. 


She told us that she would pray for her heart to be open to His Will that night :) That was such an incredible lesson, and I am praying for Karla too :) 


We have gotten a little bit of rain, but it has been pretty cloudy here. Felicidades A Mikayla!!!! Wow, what a great accomplishment!!! Physics!!! 


And my Spanish is really coming along! Now that I am with a Latin companion, I am able to see just how much Spanish I know. Contacting and lessons are becoming so much better because I’m understanding! I still have so much more to learn and study (a lot of verb tenses), but I am amazed by how much of the Spanish I do know. The gift of Tongues is Real! :D


And thank you so much for all of your prayers. I really do feel the strength and hope of them!!! :)  That was a tender mercy of this week. It was Thurs, as I was kneeling down to pray for personal study, I felt the hope you all have for me. It was incredible; your support is lifting me up and making me a better person :) You all help me to remember why I am here. Thank you!


Friday, October 25, 2013

The work is going forward!

As always, it is so good to hear from you all!!! :) I am so extremely blessed by such incredible love and support :) Thank you so much for all of your prayers! And thank you Joci for fasting for me :) Estoy bastante agradecida por su amor (I am very grateful for your love) :) 

I would love to see pictures of Truck or Treat!!!!!!!!!

And it is so good to hear that Sister Miles got mi carta (my letter) :) Estoy agradecida por su animo y su apoya tambien (I am grateful for your encouragement and your support also):)

I also greatly appreciate you (Mikayla) going with the missionaries tambien (also) :) The members add an incredible witness to the discussions. I also have a deep appreciation for the members and their involvement in missionary work because it is a missionary rule aqui (here)that we cannot leave to  teach after 5:30 without a member. This is for safety reasons and to help extend friendships to the investigators. So again, thank you so much!!!! :)

This week has been very full and..... interesting. But also so miraculous!!!!! :D We have a few investigators that have the desire to be baptized and learn more about the gospel. But they are minors, and we are running into problems with their parents. One hermanaita se llama Carina Canchau (Young girl named Carina) . Ella tiene 16 anos (She is 16 years old). She has been reading the Book of Mormon, and she wants to be baptized. She lives with a lot of family in a little valley, and her parents we never home when she was. She told us her mom doesn’t care if she’s baptized, but her dad said no. 

But we also started teaching her Dad this last week, and our last lesson with him was not good. I understood very little, but mis companeras y yo (my companions and I) had a bad and yucky feeling while teaching him. To say the least, he has very different views of things like the Fall and Adam and Eve and other principles of the gospel. My trainer feels like it is not a good idea to return, we just couldn’t feel the Spirit. But it is very sad because this means we can’t meet with Carina anymore, and this breaks our hearts.

And another family we taught two kids and their grandma, and one of the kids is a 15 year old boy se llama Salvador (his name is Salvador). Salvador’s mom was there but left after we started teaching the lesson. As we were teaching, Salvador was reading and flipping through the Book of Mormon, and he was really into our lesson. He even asked us who Nefi (Nephi) was in the pictures. And he wants to be baptized. We invited them to church, but when we came to their house that Sunday, the Mom answered the door and she was not happy. She said her family already has a religion. But she said she’ll talk with her husband about the matter and decide whether it would be okay for us to teach her kids.

Despite these trails our investigators are facing, we have had incredible miracles this week tambien (also). Like yesterday, we set 3 fechas (dates) for baptism! And this is solely because of the Lord’s hand in our lives directing us and the Holy Ghost testifying as we teach. Yesterday, we found a family because there was a girl sticking her head out her door. We passed her house twice, and she looked out at us both times with a grateful smile. We started talking to her, and then her mom came to the door. My heart sank because I was scared of how the Mom would react to our message. But she invited us in and she was extremely pleasant :) We later found out that she had heard of the church before and that she had gone before in the capital. But then she moved here and lost contact with the church. Her name is Emma :) and her daughter’s name is Samatha (age 9). They both want to be baptized. Emma wants peace in her life and she wants to be closer to God. Their date for baptism is Nov 30, but if they come to church this Sunday, we might move it up closer. It was truly a miracle to find this little family :)

And then after that lesson, we had a lesson with a member’s friend se llama (his name) Diego. Diego is 21 and the member that came with us se llama (her name) Diana (she’s turning in her papers Wednesday!!!!!!!). And like I said before, the added witness of the member invites the Spirit so much more to the lessons, and after we had Diana give her testimony of the Book of Mormon, we invited Diego to be baptized. He recognized the peace in his heart, and he accepted the date of Nov 30 as well. 

Oh, and there this also another boy named Antonio. Can you please include him and his family in your prayers too.

Esta obra es la obra de Dios (This work is the work of the Lord). Te necesito siempre (I need you always)!!!!! This work is true and the gospel of Jesus Christ is also so true. El poder de Dios es poder de Esperanza (The power of God is the power of Hope) :) 

PS. I got a letter from Emily this week. SHE’S GOING TO CHURCH AND SHE KNOWS HOW TO PRAY NOW!!!!!!!!! She says she is praying for me. This is such a beautiful tender mercy! 


Monday, September 30, 2013

A year Ago I was at the Conference Center attending the RS Session

Thank you for sending me that picture!!! :) I love it!!!! I also just got all of your letters yesterday, and it was such a tender mercy to receive them :) Completely made my night :) Joci, I love the quotes you sent me :) They literally made me laugh out  loud :) Thank you!!! You always make my days brighter :)
 And Kayla, thank you so much for your words of comfort, you truly have the Gift of Comfort :) Don’t you ever underestimate yourself, you have such a good and pure heart. Un Corazon de Calidad :) I can’t wait to see where you go in these next chapters of your life. Keep on SMILIN :)
 And Mom, thank you so much for your words of guidance too! I am so grateful for you advice siempre and your guidance always helps me to see the good within me and see the hope in mi vida :) You really have been a great example to me of enduring fe y esperanza.

 And Dad, muchas gracias for your words of advice :) You have the gift of teaching with Humility, and I have and continue to learn so much from you. Again, thank you so much for your support, your hope and your light. I truly have been born of goodly parents-- parents who teach and guide with charity and humility.

 And, Lola, I love you so much too! Keep doing your yoga and eat some spam for me :)

This last Saturday was the Relief Society Broadcast, and for me it was a great and spiritual experience. It was broadcasted in Spanish, which was very interesting and eye opening to me. I didn’t understand a lot, but I learned and was edified so much. It is just so amazing to me how faithful people are to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to modern revelation today when they can’t understand the language it is originally given in. Being able to understand and know English is such a tender mercy to me and it is something I have definitely been taking for granted all my life. For me, the tone of voice makes such a big impact on how I receive what is being said to. It truly is a gift to be able to translate-- not just the words, but the tone as well. When President Burton was finishing up her remarks, she was getting choked up and tearing up as she spoke. I don’t know what she said, but I felt the Spirit so strongly at that moment because the woman who was translating was speaking in a choked up and teary voice as well. Her message had that much more of a deeper impact because of the tone it was presented in.

I think it would be an incredible job to be able to translate for conference. I want to help people receive the words of these inspired leaders in the best and most impactful way as possible. What I mean by this is that I want to help people feel a deeper connection to their words by presenting the words of these leaders with reverence. This night was a testimony to me that revelation surmounts language barriers, especially when President Monson spoke.

It also hit me this night that a year ago, I was at the RS session live at the conference center with my roommates and ward. I had no idea then that I would be serving a mission a year later, let alone that I would be watching this session in Spanish in Guatemala. Back then, my mind was preoccupied on other things-- I was trying to spread my wings and soar as I just started this new chapter of my life living away from home. I was thinking about drawing homework assignments, the music culture of downtown Utah and a bunch of others things. But a mission wasn’t even a thought to me then. It doesn’t feel like a full year ago, but it amazes me all that has happened since a year ago, how my life plans have changed for the moment, and how my priorities have changed as well. It’s exciting to me to see where I will be a year from now and to see how I have grown and to see the new bits of wisdom I have gained. This next Saturday will mark the year anniversary of the big mission announcement, and it is very interesting to me to look back and see where I am now. And to ponder about where I will be later.

And lastly, like I said before, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the English Language, especially when el profeta(the Prophet) speaks. I know that the power of revelation conquers language barriers, pero, es mas calidad a escuchar las palabras de los profetas en ingles (but more quality to hear the words of the prophet in English). I don’t know how to describe it, but there is a special spirit when His words are heard in the original form. Hence, I have a deeper desire to help mi companera y others a aprender ingles (my companion and others to learn English). I told mi companera (my companion) this too after the session. I wish I brought more pictures of temple square and of the conference center. She has such a strong desire to see these places someday. She thinks it’s absolutely incredible that I have actually been in the SLC temple and that I have actually seen the prophet.

This is true faith. In contrast to los hermanos de Nefi en 1 Nefi 17 (the brothers of Nephi in 1 Nephi 17) she doesn’t have to see the prophet in person or have actually been to the SLC temple to know that Thomas S Monson is the true prophet of God and that the power of temples is real. And I am so amazed and so inspired by her testimony and the testimonies around me. This truly is a blest land, and I want to work so hard to make any impact I can here.

I do get frustrated sometimes, I have such a hard time understanding the needs of the people. But I know that I just need to have patience with learning the language and learning how to teach. Again, I am so grateful for all of your advice, comfort, and prayers. This Is Possible. And I Know Miracle Are Waiting To Happen. I just need to move forward in fe (faith) and believe in myself. God will never EVER put us in a situation that will lead us to only fail. DIOS NOS AMA MUCHO! DIOS NOS CONOCE PERFECTAMENTE! (God loves us and knows knows us perfectly)And He sees us as all that we can become.     


I have such a strong testimony in the Evangelio de Jesucristo, yo se que el Evangelio es verdadero (Gospel of Jesus Christ and I know the Gospel is True)

I send you all my love, and may rain come your way :)

Con Mucho Amor,

Hermana Sonrisa Tiewa Esquerra

PS. I introduced mi companera to Pringles this last P Day. She really likes them and says "Son muy ricos!" :) Pringles really are an international snack--DT.


First cold bucket shower.....And it felt so nice!!!

I love these projects Mom!! (For Relief Society Super Saturday) It is so good to hear from you :) I AM OFFICIALLY IN PETEN, SAN BENITO!!!! :) I’m in the very top of Guatemala (as we drove here, we drove right through the intersection that takes you to Mexico). It is really hot here. But I love it. I GOT TO RIDE IN A TUC TUC FOR THE FIRST TIME HERE :) They are basically shelled mopeds. And mi Companera es de Ecuador-- Hermana Castaneda. She doesn´t speak English, so I am definitely getting a lot practice. And our neighbors (our home owners) are incredible too-- they don’t speak English either. The Blanca Familia. Hermana Blanca  cooks terrific food and Hermano Blanca tiene un guitarra (has a guitar) :) I got to play for a little bit today.

We have been working a lot with inactives. The goal here is to form the branch into a stake. We have a lot of members, but the big issue is not having full tithe payers. I really want to work so hard to help these people.

We also have a sister come with us on splits and she is working on her mission papers. Her name is Maria Patricia-- Patty. And she speaks Chetqui. I learning from her too :)

Last Tuesday was when we left the CCM. From there we drove to Coban (4-5 horas) and then the next morning, we drove to Peten (6 horas).

Since I have been here in Guatemala, I have developed a greater appreciation for many things. Like knowing English. Whenever we watch General Conference excerpts, it is always through translators. It is such a tender mercy to able to understand the general authorities speak without a translator... their words are still true, but it make a difference to hear and understand their own voices. Hopefully I’ll watch conference in English, but we will see :)

I also took my first cold bucket shower my first day here. And it felt SO NICE! They are very refreshing after the day’s work. I am very grateful for these cold showers here :)

Hermana Adair is also here in Peten!!! I get to see her on Sundays and I even saw her here at the computer lab. It was great to be able to travel all the way up here with her. My district leader from the CCM is also here, and he is even in my district! Again, its great to see familiar faces.

There are  times here when I do get frustrated, but I know Heavenly Father is only a prayer away. My testimony in the power of prayers and the scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon) have grown so much! I love the Book of Mormon. I was studying 1 Nefi 17 reight now, and it is so amazing what new things I find and how they apply to my life right now. Cristo Vive!!!

I am definitely keeping Kayla in my prayers :) And I am so glad to hear that mom got her new schedule. And that joci is in chorus!!!  :D You will definitely have to send me pictures of your hike too!! I have a lot of pictures too, and I plan on developing them soon.

I love you all con todo mi corazon!(all my heart) Cristo vive y nos ama y nos conoce. Y su evangelio es verdadero y esta restuarado :) Guarde la esperanza y fe siempre!! :)

Con Amor, Hermana Sonrisa Tiewa Esquerra