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

Friday, September 20, 2013

Arrives to Coban Mission

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dear Esquerra family

We are very happy to inform you that Sister Esquerra has arrived safely in the Guatemala Coban Mission.  It is a great blessing to have her with us. We will have many opportunities to serve in the mission and we look forward to hastening the work together.

Each missionary is encouraged to write the mission president and her family each Monday. Whenever possible, e-mail is the best way to communicate.  She should only use the authorized church e-mail account and not other web sites or services such as Facebook. It is also important for her to receive word from home.  It seems that the most happy and productive missionaries are those who receive active support from their family and priesthood leaders with regular and positive letters.

The mission experience is one of great challenges and blessings.  It is also a time of significant change and development in the lives of the missionaries.  It is our desire that each one that comes to the mission will be able to reach their full potential as a disciple and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This will come through their faith, obedience, diligence and desire to bless the people they serve. 

We appreciate your love and prayers on behalf of Sister Esquerra, her companions, their investigators, and the marvelous work she is doing here.  We pray and have confidence that the Lord will bless you and your loved ones.

With Love and appreciation,

President and Sister Curtiss

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Hola Famila!!!

I am so excited to here from you all!!!! YOU GOT
RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!!! I haven’t gotten the dearelder
yet, but if you send it before Sunday it should be coming in that
following Thurs.  Esta bien :) I just got back from a morning session of
the temple, and I just absolutely love it there!!! I notice something
new every time I go. The celestial room is just absolutely gorgeous. It
is so bright and aw, just so beautiful. I noticed today that there are
many little sun motifs throughout the celestial room, which adds to
the beautiful mirror motif of a sun on the ceiling. Very Tangl-ish ,(From the Movie “Tangled”
haha. But in all seriousness, I am constantly reminded of our loving
Savior while I am there. The Sun. The Son :) And the sealing room is
just off of the celestial room, and I like to look at it every time I
go. I definitely want to be married in the temple :) The temple is
smaller, the session rooms have 3 rows of pews and the veil is also in
the same room. But I love it!!! Its just so cozy and inviting (Plus, I
like the pews because the witness couple can sit together and hold
hands. Missionaries can’t be witness couples, but its cute to see the
witness couples sitting by each other. The CCM is also very small. The
capacity is 150-160. It used to actually be only 100, but they have
converted the hostile attached to the CCM as an extension (that’s
where the sister missionaries stay). So the CCM has been under
constant reconstruction. But I love the CCM. The size is not
overwhelming and you get to know so many people (because you are
seeing the same people all the time). New missionaries also came in
this week, including the girl from my dorm!! It was so nice to see
her. We also got 2 new roommates. They are 2 Latina missionaries. They
are so nice. One of them knows English pretty well, but last night I
was talking a lot with the other sister. She had a rough first couple
of days, but we talked a lot about family and things we like to do.
They are both so nice and have the most beautiful smiles :) Mi
companera is so great as well. Her name is Hermana Empey and she is
from St. George. I have been learning so much from her on how to be a
better person. Having a companion was kind of weird to get used to, but
we have been so blessed with unity and the ability to communicate to
each other. Such a Tender Mercy! We both want to get better at the
language and better at teaching and sharing the gospel through the
Spirit. Speaking of getting better at the language, we got una
sorpresa este lunes. (Surprise on Monday) From 10 am - 9 pm, my district and another
district need to speak solo espanol. We’ve been given 5 straws, when
you hear someone talking in English, you take their straw. The person
with the most gets a big chocolate bar. We will be doing this for the
rest of the time that we are here at the CCM. Honestly, it was a bit
overwhelming, pero (but) it will only help us get the language down. We are
supposed to always carry our Spanish dictionaries with us everywhere, as well.

Last p day, we got to go to the Mercado (market). Seriously, I felt
very Destination Truthish (One of Tiewa’s favorite TV shows) as we were going through the mercado. It
looked a lot like the one they went to in Mexico. The night before,
our district was given 2 Books of Mormon to place there at the market.
Our teacher has taught us that we should always be carrying a Book a
Mormon in our hand. And towards the end of visit, me and 3 other
sisters placed our Books of Mormon!!!!! Hermana Adair (the missionary
from the airport) was talking to the vendor about the Book of Mormon.
He then asked if they were our copies. I then said "No, queremos
compartir!" (No we want to share it with you)  And then we placed them!!!! We even got their contact info
and gave their contacts to one of the teachers. It was crazy!!!!! But
so neat to try to communicate and hear people’s stories. The people of
the mercado were so kind with big smiles. The people down here have
the biggest smiles!! En Serio :) (Seriously)  We also visited a relief map of
Guatemala (giant map made of cement). I got to take my camera, so I’ll
be sending those home too.

How has school  been? Do you have first day
pictures? How has the archery been going for you Kayla? Dad, I also
got your letter this week, and it came at a time when I really needed
it. Thank you so much!!!!I know I am known and I am Loved. Your letter
reminded me of your phone calls when I was up at school and you were
coming home from work. Thank you so much Dad!!! Thank you all so much
for all of your constant love and support. I am strengthened so much
by your support. I finally got to send out my letter home yesterday
(since were under construction, its been kind of tricky to find the
mailing out box and when its out). I’m sorry its taken so long for me
to send it out I hope you get it soon. Can you also send me Kathee and
Martins address too? How was your birthday Joci!!! I’m sending you a
little something special :) I love you all con todo mi Corazon (with all my heart). Muchas
Gracias por su amor! (Thank you for your love) I am still so happy about the rain. And thanks
for telling me how Lola’s (family dog) doing, I have been thinking about her. Give
her a big hug for me and a really good belly rub (and a really good
ear scratch too)! I love you all!!!!!! Cristo vive!!!! Yo se!!!! Yo
se!!!! :)  (Christ Lives! I know I know)



Con Amor, Hermana Esquerra

Monday, August 19, 2013

2nd week is in the Books (including a new best breakfast ever)

Hola Familia!!!


Week 2 flew by. Every other week, I will be writing you either Monday or Tuesday because the CCM is getting cleaned (the latin missionaries leave every 2 weeks, so they clean the CCM at the same time too). That means my P Day this week is on martes!!!!  (Tuesday) We will be going to the mercado (market) and then the temple again.


Right after I emailed you last week, we got to go to the Guatemala City Temple. I LOVED IT!!! It is very small, but it so so beautiful. Celestial Room is so gorgeous!!! I definitely want to go back as often as I can. It was also really nice because the only people in my session were my district and one witness couple. It’s very peaceful there


And then, earlier this week, we had a mariachi band come and surprise us at lunch!!!!!!!!!!!! You know how much I loved that!!! It was my Mission Presidents birthday, and they performed a mini concert for us. One of the songs they performed was the song Kathee and Martin (Aunt and Uncle) danced to at their wedding reception. It the one dance that starts out with the man doing his footwork slowly and then he progressively dances faster and faster. I absolutely loved the mariachi band!!


I also had the best breakfast ever this week..... fried eggs with a tomato juice/ sauce on top with a side of tortilla chips covered in a green chile sauce. This may sound weird, but IT WAS SO GOOD! I’m definitely going to be cooking that when I come back home. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water! haha


This week, we also had our first lesson with our real night teacher (we’ve been having subs the first week). He is awesome! He such a happy person. Whenever you ask him how he’s doing, he answers EXCELLENTE with a big smile and he has such a love for the gospel. One of the first things he did was write the doctrines of Christ on the whiteboard, and he had us repeat the words out loud. I actually got choked up as we were doing this exercise. I got a glimpse of what it was like when we were being taught in the Premortal Life. I felt the Spirit so strongly, and I know that, just as our teacher has great hope in us, we were taught by angels with this same (and even stronger) hope and love. 


Mi companera y yo (my companion and I) have also taught a few lessons to the Latin Missionaries. It is definitely difficult because of the language barrier, but I am understanding a bit more and more each day. One day, we taught two lessons to the latin missionaries, and I actually had a little headache afterwards because I was concentrating so hard to understand. haha. But I was happy because my spanish is getting better. I can actually ask questions to the latin missionaries and they understand what I am saying! haha. After one of the lessons, one of the elders we taught told my companera y yo that we have beautiful spirits. And we will get the language down. We just have to keep trying. I also noticed that in both of the lessons we taught that day, the latin missionaries prayed for us to bless us that we may learn the language and be able to speak the language. I definitely feel strengthened by the hope of the people that are around me here at the CCM. 


And guess what, this Sunday.... I gave a sacrament talk in Spanish!!!! I feel kind of bad comparing it to this, but it was like the Reaping in Hunger Games. They call you from the podium in that moment to speak, and then everyone sitting around just looks at you. I was the first speaker of the meeting. They give you the assignment earlier in the week, and everyone just writes a talk just in case they are called. I had a feeling I was going to be called, but it was still a shock. I just took a deep breath, and then went up tp the podium. The topic was the Great Apostasy, so I just read my talk straight from the paper word for word. But then I bore my testimony unscripted, and it was a powerful experience. It was one of those moments where you don{t really remember what you said because you were completely guided by the spirit. I can remember that I bore testimony that the light of Christ and his gospel has been restored and that there is real power in the Atonement, but I can{t really remember how I said it. All I know is that the words came to me, as I paused and pondered what to say next. And I felt so great afterwards. 


This week, my district also went to the temple and we talked with people on the grounds. Again, it was great practice and we were definitely blessed by the light of the people we met. 


I sending a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you Joci, Shondeen and Soonwye from here in Guatemala. I hope this message sends some rain your way, and please remember that Christ does live and you are a child of a loving heavenly father :) I love you all with all mi corazon :) You are all in my prayers :)



Con Amor, Hermana Esquerra  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Recapping 1st Week in Guatemala

Hola Familia!

Your encouraging letters have been so refreshing!!!! Muchas Gracias por su amor(Thank you very much for your love)!!!! I can’t believe I've been here only a week. I am definitely having great spiritually uplifting experiences. Like dad said, I started the visa paper right when I got on the plane. All in Spanish. haha. Pero, the people of Guatemala are so friendly!! And they helped me out a lot. I felt so Destination Truthish(Destination Truth was one of Tiewa's favorite TV shows and they traveled the world) as I got my passport stamped. From the very start, I was blessed with tender mercies.  I was in the very back on the flight to LAX, so I got to talk with the flight attendant. She’s LDS!! She gave us some wings pins and said we would be in her prayers that night. We arrived at the CCM I think around 7 am. The CCM is much smaller than I thought. If you look up a picture of the CCM *MTC, what you see is all of it.  Pero, I love it! It’s cozy and simple. And the temple is right next door. The walls around the CCM are tall, and we are surrounded by tall buildings, so all you can see of the temple from the CCM are the steeples. But when I first saw the temple, it literally took my breath away! Pictures do not serve it justice! Es muy bella(It is very beautiful)!!

The weather is great here. It rains on and off, but when it rains, it pours. But the hard rain does not last for more than a couple minutes. Like the big monsoon storms back home. But the sky here is filled with big fluffy clouds all the time!!! I love it!!! The sky looks so much bigger here because the clouds are so massive and magnificent. And they set a gorgeous background to the steeples and Angel Moroni on top of the temple.

Oh, and also as I was travelling here, an Allred theme was constantly showing up... Allred fleece blankets from the flight attendant... Allred bus picking us up from the airport....(Allred was a local musician in Utah, who Tiewa enjoyed to listen to)

Definitely made my day even better. Heavenly Father knows my quirks and I know my life is filled with tender mercies. Life is Great!!!

I am also very well fed here at the CCM. The food proportions were huge!! And my first couple days, I was often asking for half proportions. Refined beans are common to eat with breakfast. And a lot of tortillas. And a lot meat smothered in salsas and gravy. I am well taken care of. 

I have also been teaching an investigador(Investigator). On Friday, we invited him to come to church. And he accepted!!!!!! Mi companera (Company) y yo could not stop smiling after our appointment. I have gained such a strong testimony here of el poder de espiritu.(Power of the spirit). You cannot teach effectively without the spirit. You and your companion need to be in tuned with the spirit. It is the spirit that keeps you and your companion united and it is the spirit that fills our investigadores with hope. It is the Spirit that helps us to progress. I am trying very hard to listen for the still small voice of the spirit, because this is often how the spirit communicates with us. Since I have been here, the gift of discernment has become so much stronger within me. I can better recognize when Satan is trying to bring me down or distract me. I love this gift so much!! 

Also, it surprised how much spanish I know. Studying the scriptures in espanol before coming here has helped meso much. And praying in Spanish before I came was also a huge help. I try to speak with the latin missionaries as much as I can. I know I have a lot to learn, but I am already seeing the blessings of the Gift of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues in my life.  

I've also been recommended by a few missionaries to tell you about Its an email website, but DearElder prints your email to me out and sends it to me. I should get the letter around Thursday. And that way, I can have more time to write because I would have been able to read the letter ahead of time. Just a heads up.

 I absolutely love it here!!! I can't wait to actually go out. I am inside most of the day, and I feel kind of in a limbo state. Technically, I’m in Guatemala, pero(but), not really because I am just here at the CCM. I can see where Dad is coming from when he was at the MTC, pero, I am so grateful to have gotten here to Guatemala in safety. And the p[people here are SO HAPPY!!! They have very bright and big smiles!!!! And like I said before, it is SO GREEN!!!! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

I am so grateful for all of your constant love, prayers, and support. I truly do feel strengthen. I am praying for you all everyday!! I glad that you saw Mr. Easton and got to talk to him. Mikayla and Joci, I hope you have an incredible school year!!!! Full of happiness, new experiences, and lots of new k knowledge. And full of direction from the Holy Ghost.

Recuerda Siempre que tu eres un hijo e hija de Dios!(Always remember you are a son and daughter of God) Never forget that. He lives, and loves you so so so so so so much!!!! TJAB and an eternity more. Please pray to Him with your heart. I love you all so much!!!!

Keep Smiling!!1


Todos Estan Bien!!!!! (All is Good)

Con Amor, Hermana Esquerra

PS. I got my nametag!!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!

PPS. Also, if you send packages, don’t worry about the stickers. Simply address the package to Hermana Sonrisa Tiewa Esquerra. The postage services will see HERMANA and know that its a {Mormon Missionary}

PPPS. Muchas gracias familia!!! Time definitely goes my way to fast!!!! I’ll send you a letter soon too!!!! I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First email from Training Center

Hola Familia!!
I only have a couple minutes to write, but I am here in Guatemala! :) I am alive and well and I am already learning a lot and testing my español. I tried talking to a couple latin sisters at lunch today. I slept most of the time flying to Guatemala, but arriving was amaizing! I took a lot of pictures, but the CCM has our cameras (there have been cases of stolen cameras here). So it might be a while until I can send them to you. The Guatemala Temple is beautiful!!!! Literally took my breath away.And it is SO GREEN here!!! And the breeze here is so nice and cool.
 My companion is great, and I truly feel blessed with comfort and peace. Thank you so much for all of your constant support. I will write you more on P day :) El vive!

Hermana Sonrisa Tiewa Esquerra

We can't wait to see the pictures and practice our Spanish.....

Leaving for Guatemala

 After a 30 minute delay, Hermana Esquerra left for Guatemala via Los Angeles and Delta.  Here she is with her family just before leaving to go through security.
 Final hugs with her sisters......