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......