Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An American, Guatemalan, El Salvadorenan Christmas and a Happy New Year


Feliz Navidad and Happy New Year! 

 

Posing with the bags of cookies
Well I feel extremely overwhelmed at the quantity of information that I would like to put into this email. Christmas week!!!!!!! Too much happened...today my companion and I want nothing more than to rest. 

 

By the way, Sis Mago is awesome. Love her. Mag dawg. What a rock star. 

 

I guess it all began on Monday. The first day of the week. Sis Mago and I decided to make 450,326 no-bake cookies because we have no oven and we wanted to give something to all the fantastic people that we know here in El Sal. We actually made a meager 240 cookies, and then we put them in little bags and attached cute little cards to them. It was a labor of love that kept us up a little late, and I don’t think I’ll eat EVER another no bake cookies in my life. que lastima. But it proved to be a well-received gift.

 

Tuesday was our mission Christmas dinner multi zone! It was a pleasant time. We even got to......WATCH A MOVIE. And I was almost in tears because I haven’t watched a movie in a very extremely long time. We kept it clean with Disney’s A Christmas Carol. But man I ate it up. I just soaked in every single second of Jim Carrey. It was fun. 4/5 stars. But yeah...the Christmas multizone has to be the most anticipated multizone of the whole year. I love being together with allllll my mission buddies. They make me laugh. And ever since I cut my hair I have been coined the mission ´soccer mom´. I’m not sure how I feel about the title...but I like my short hair so I have to suffer the title for now. 

 

CHRISTMAS EVE DAY! Here Christmas Eve is the big occasion. Everyone has a huuuuge dinner of...rice and chicken or turkey. And they stay up until midnight partying so they can say Merry Christmas on the dot. And there are a looooot of fireworks and drunk people. We ate two dinners that night, including the best turkey I’ve ever had in my life! (Sorry mom) When we got home, I decided that the four of us (me, Sis Mago, Sis E, and Sis Mart) would carry on the traditional Hirschi program of Christmas eve. haha Sis E and Sis Mart are from Guatemala and they seemed unsure, but I assured them that they would enjoy themselves. 

 

We started with a song and prayer, and then read the account of Christ’s birth in Lucas. Then, there was an enforced talent show, in which I made sure each sister participated. It was funny. I did my traditional annual dance to Josh Groban’s the First Noel. I received high ratings. Mago

braided hair. E did stand-up comedy. Mart put a mustache on her face. ???? We are a talented lot.


Waiting on the balcony for fireworks
 

Then we opened presents that we’d bought each other. I got a giant heart shaped box from Sis Mart and I gave her a skirt that didn’t fit her. And then we went out on our balcony and waited for the fireworks! It was quite the spectacle! We sang a lot of songs while we waited. But it was so beautiful! We had a sweet view from our balcony. We retired to bed a little tardy that night.....

 

We also did a ward Christmas dinner which I greatly enjoyed. Ironically, we get many more people to the party accompanied by a full dinner and show than we do to church....hmmmm what does that tell me. We need to give away free food at church! My favorite part of the party was when Álvaro signed us up to sing and didn’t tell us. 

 

Always a gentleman that one. I testify of the importance of ward mission leaders. 

 

But actually the most fun part was the karaoke at the end. They gave Mago and I some good ol English Christmas songs to perform. We probably got a little too into it. Who can say. Santa. He didn’t come so I think that means we got to into it. 

 

I have written in my notes of things to include in my email this week ´Latin revolt´ but I’m not entirely sure what I was referring to...if the story comes back to me I’ll clue y’all in. 

 
Skyping with Alaina...it was pixely, but worth it!
 

Naturally I quite enjoyed skyping with my family. BAAAAAAAAAAA I miss you all so much! You guys gotta work on your Spanish though...blank stares when I spoke to y’all in my favorite language! But really...after talking to them and lunching with our Bishop, we hit the streets. And we....preached the gospel! Again!! Like every other day! But I felt that it was a sacred privilege to testify of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the day dedicated to Him in many parts of the world. 

 

Saturday we did another trip to the temple with our investigators and we had an activity about the “He is the Gift” Campaign. I got to thinking about gifts that we can give our savior this year, and Mago and I ran across this quote...

 

President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) gave some practical advice that helps us do that:

“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”3

Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy. Without His birth and His Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.´´

 

As I think on some of the New Year’s goals I’ll be setting this week....I want to think on what I can improve for my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that as we diligently live the gospel of Jesus Christ, as we stay on that course each day...we change! We create lives of joy and progress and improvement. He is the way and the light! Read the Bible. And the Book of Mormon.

 

Love you all!!!

 

Have a great week! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never even realized it was 2014.

 

Hermana Hirschi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas


Hello! Merry Christmas to all! 

 


Thanks for putting down your eggnog and gingerbread cookies to read this email right quick.

 

This is truly a sacred time of year! I LOVE IT. Really, really, really a lot I love it. What a beautiful opportunity we have to reflect on the reality of our Savior Jesus Christ and on the love of our Father, who gave us His son. 

 

I can especially feel their love...more poignant and present in my heart--at this time of year. I have been studying the scriptures and focusing on the Savior this week as we near Christmas day. But this week, during church at a Sunday school class, the teacher began quoting scripture like it was no big deal (and I was super impressed and decided to memorize all scripture so I could do the same thing) but the topic was faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what he quoted

 

Yea,even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report,and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.

 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth.

 

As a class, we produced a number of definitions of the word faith. And I would submit that we could discuss faith and what it is for at least 8 Sunday school classes, but our teacher said, it’s just believing in those words of Isaiah. Its believing that He really suffered in the garden of Gethsemane for MY SINS and MY WEAKNESSES. Just believing that He really did that. 

 

And I was like....

 

It’s so simple! And so beautiful. 

He lives! He atoned for us. And He was born...in the town of Bethlehem. I am so profoundly grateful for that truth! 

 

So. Merry Christmas everyone. I’m trying to be a little more Christ-like today and every day. It’s the only thing that makes any sort of sense. 

 

But...it was a very good week. I called up good ol Prez Hintze Monday night and got permission to go to the temple with our ward and converts on Tuesday evening. What a still spirit was there. I don’t know. It’s hard to find words to describe the peace of the spirit. 

 

The other days...we just worked. And we found some crazy positive people! I got kinda tired of contacting but we have to open our mouths. 

 

One time we started talking to this guy and he started warning us of the lady he lived with...like

 

You guys gotta get outta here. I’ll come to church on Sunday...but she’s coming

 

And I was just super confused. So we waited too long

because in the next nanosecond a rather rotund and tall woman flung open the front door.  And she started screaming at us. hahah oh man... buuut. What interested me in this particular instance, was what she said (or maybe screamed) as we walked away. 

 

She said we were wasting our time as missionaries...much more as Mormon missionaries and that we should be....studying. 

 

Like in school. 

 

Later that the day the irony of her comment struck me. 

If I didn’t believe in a God, and that I could return to His presence, why the heck would I study? Why would I try to improve myself and get better? Just because it would make me feel good inside? I guess. But how.......disappointing. I’m so glad that I know intelligence is the glory of God, and that apart from relationships and my character, I will take any knowledge with me into the next world that I’ve accumulated in this. So yeah, I will study! 

 

But I gotta finish this mission thing first. 

 

Anyways. Life is good y’all. I love to be here in El Salvador. I love that it is Christmas time. I challenge you all to do something Christ-like the day of. Go out of your way to serve another. Listen. Be kind. Live the gospel, and remember that as Pres. Monson taught, love is the very essence of the gospel. 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Felix Navidad. I’m looking forward to talking to my family and eating 4000 tamales and sweet bread AND the ward Christmas party and the multi-zone talent show and serving the beloved people of El Salvador. 

 

Love,

Sister Hirschi

Monday, December 15, 2014

8 Minutes of fame with Father Flavvimuchi


What’s up guysssss

 

 

Love you out there. 

 

Can you guys believe that we are halfway done with December? I’m convinced that this is the fastest moving month, and it goes even faster when you are frantically searching for people who want to learn about the Savior!

 

Notable items of interest this week: 

 

First up: changes happened (AKA transfers). My foster child was taken from me (aka Sister Othe 2nd companion that she was training...the "twin") and so was our little Latina Sis P. I was pretty bummed about that...but the good news is that the Lord saw fit to leave me out here in jolly ol M (her same area...no change)!! With my daughter (her companion who was brand new in the mission when they were made companions) Sis M! As such, we continue our morning routines with Shaun T (the exercise video), and bothering our ward mission leader as much as time and the law permits. Basically, I’m stoked. 

 

Some new sisters arrived to live with us. Hna E and Hna Mz. They’re both from Guatemala and speak no English. YESSSS. I love speaking Spanish so muchhhh with them. Sis Mz is probably like 4´6. haha I literally tower over her. When I hug her I just bend over directly at my waist. But she is a little ball of joy. Everything I say makes her laugh. I’ll say “Hey Sis Mz what are you cooking over there?” and she erupts in laughter. hahahahah it’s a good time. 

 

Also I got famous this week. 

 

 

I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life. Evidently, each year the church awards a member of the community who has given significant contributions to the community in the support of strong family values. So there is a nice little presentation, some music, and a catered dinner afterwards. 

 

It just so happens that the members in charge of this event are in our ward, and asked my compa and I to do the musical portion. 

 

Of course. 

 

(Mom I sang alto and you’d be so proud). We performed Regocijad Jesus Nacio and Cantan Santos Angeles and I played the piano on another number. But anyways, this year the award went to a Catholic Father. I’m a little confused about his heritage...because he was born in Boston, but his name is PADRE Flavvimuchi (Italian) and he has lived his entire adult life in El Salvador. He spoke Spanish and it was almost too much for my mind to handle because the entire time I was just like WHAT IS YOUR LANGUAGE YOUR NATIVE TONGUE PADRE QUE ES. Still don’t know. 

 

Anyway, we performed with a violinist and a cellist. It actually sounded pretty good to my ears...but the exciting part is that CHANNEL 8 FILMED THE ENTIRE THING. hahahahaha and we were live baby. My first live performance. Singing for the padre. In El Salvador. Who thought fame would come to me like this??

 

After the ceremony we were kinda the poor relations there at the party, so they set us at a table in the back and we tried to convert the people that ate with us. hahaha but hey ...we still got the food which...no lie, was the best I’d had in about 15 months. 

 

This weekend a few people have been like, hey! I saw you last night on TV! And I’m like “I know. We’re gonna go big soon. We’ll call ourselves ´the sisters´. Also you can view our rerun on channel 8 4:00 in the morning on Monday. Don’t miss it.” 

hahaha yeah. 

 

The mission. 

 

 

haha. 

 

The never ending adventure. 

If you don’t believe me, serve a mission. 

 

So apart from that, 

We worked. We found some good people. A man named J showed up to church of his own volition. I was like, who are you??? Just a guy we talked to once who has now come to church two weeks in a row. That doesn’t happen!

 

In addition, 4 of our recent converts are going to the temple this week. On Tuesday. There is no greater joy than that! Already on their way to the House of the Lord. 

 

So here is what I would like to do now. This week a kid asked us how we can know if God is really real. And I said, “well, consider the evidence. Then it’s personal. You have to ask.” It’s amazing to me how many people do not know that they can ask God a question! But we can! And He promises us that He will answer. 

 

7 ¶Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 

 

I know God gave us His son. He has been there since the beginning. Sometimes I don’t understand how it could be all possible, but I know enough to know that I don’t know all. He is blessing us here in El Sal. 

 

So, I encourage each of you to ask. Find out if its ´real´. But what joy this sentence really does give! To know that our Redeemer lives! That he loves us! Let’s remember that...especially right now. Let’s seek Him diligently. 

 

I LOVE YOU ALL! 

Be kind. 

 

Love

Sister Hirschi

 

 

PS this email was super dificil to write. Spanish is taking over my brainnnnn

 

Also this was very inspiring. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Its the most wonderful time of the year!


Hey guys! 

 

So guess what. 

I cut my hair. Again. But this time I went big league. I chopped it alllllll. 

I was just so...bored. So it’s just below my chin. SURPRISE! hahah the best is when the elders try to compliment me without saying anything that could borderline be determined as inappropriate.

 

Oh hey Sister Hirschi. Oh. You cut your hair. 

 

Yes I did. 

 

....it looks good..............

 

Thanks. 

 

.................

 

 

hahahahahaha its too much fun. I LOVE ELDERS. Really I do. 

 

Besides that...today I went to a palace?? That was pretty sweet. I didn’t know any such building existed in El Salvador, but I ended up on this Latin adventure with an Argentinian and a Nicaraguan and a Honduran??? (All missionaries mind you) and we got lost...and found A PALACE. When does that happen?? So we went inside. It cost only one dollar for the tour and it was STUNNING. So that was fun. Pics next week y’all. But if you’re dying to know...it’s the Palacio Nacional. Google it. 

 

ummm ademas, we had AN AMAZING WEEK. So it started with a leadership meeting where president showed us the “HE is the Gift” video. Basically I LOVE  the church. And it is super hip and with it. And our president has asked us to inundate the world with this message...that Christ is the gift. So we are carrying our little dvd player around the  streets of El Salvador and showing it to everyoneeeeee. Amazingly, the video never gets old for me. Check her out. 

 


 

The only problem is that the word they used in the translation to Spanish is correct...except that it’s not a Spanish word used here in El Sal. So noooo oooone knows what we’re saying when we tell them about it. Oops. 

 

NEWS FLASH. I just watched it in English for the first time...right now...and it’s DIFFERENT than the Spanish version we are showing. What the cray????!!!

 

 

 

It’s the Christmas season and the miracling has begun!

 

Last night, during the superb Christmas devotional, we pulled a fecha. (scheduled a baptism)OUT OF NO WHERE. M, last weeks groom's mom, had listened to us before, but her work schedule is nuts. Nuts as in 9am to 3am in the morning. Yikessss. 18 hours working a day? There was no way for her to go to church ni nadaaaa. And then last night, she quit her job, and she asked us, when can I get baptized?? And my jaw just hit the floor. Because I am not kidding when I say last week I worked harder than I EVER have to find SOMEONE who was ready to be baptized. And nothing came of it. And then a random guy of his own volition came to church on Sunday, and then M quit her job. 

 

He prepares the way folks. He always does. Here is a classic

 

7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

 

Also this is awesome:

 

15 And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;

 

 

That is our faith! If we are obedient, the Lord will prosper us in the land of El Salvador. 

So we are still working as hard as humanly possible. I know that FAITH, our faith in the Lord can make this happen. So far, December has been just insane. Please, please,  please pray for us and those we are teaching! 

 

I love you all and I love El Salvador. I LOVE THE MISSION.

 

FELIZ NAVIDAD! Watch that video in Facebook! I testify THAT HE IS THE GIFT. 

 

Love you all

Hermana Hirschi

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Weddinging


Happy thanksgiving y’all. I hope you ate much turkey. 

 

Honestly I totally forgot about it the day of...becauseeeeeee

 

 

 

How many of you have planned a wedding in three days? I think that can go on my resume actually. That must qualify me for something. 

 

SOMETHING. 

So I think by now you are pretty familiar with M....an investigator of ours. Well, she has a boyfriend--Mo, and together they have a son. We have been teaching them the gospel for about 3 months now, and they really needed to get married so they could be baptized. 

 

Well Monday I called M and I was like, 

 

Heyyyy. How’s it going. 

 

Good it’s my birthday!

 

Wow really? That’s great! Happy birthday! So. Do you want to get married on Saturday?

 

....................ha. haha. 

 

I thought this was going to not happen. The goal was to marry them Saturday, and baptize them Sunday. Well Wednesday evening we went to their house, and taught M and Mo a SUPER powerful lesson on the importance of families in God’s plan. Questions see this link https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation

 

And somehow...M and Mo were like, ok yeah. We’ll get married. 

 

And I was like..

 

sooooooooooooo. This Saturday? 

They were pretty hesitant at first. But we told them they already had been together for 4 years! What’s the holdup, you know? Let’s get these people to the temple!!!

 

And they agreed. 

Then the pandemonium ensued. We immediately contacted a lawyer and began paper work. Then we contacted the ward and started working with. 

 

Br. Merino, Sister M (my companion) and I ran from dawn until dusk Thursday visiting EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of our ward to solicit their help and to invite them to the wedding. I made close to 40.000 phone calls each night when we came in to get everything in order. One member drove like 6 hours round trip Thursday morning to get some needed papers for M. The bishop and his wife took us to the alcaldia to pull out papers for Mo. And guess who was there. 

 

OUR friend from the event with the Canadian doctors! He recognized us, even though we didn’t recognize him. And he got us all we needed in like, 20 minutes, informing us that without him, we would’ve been there for about 3 hours. That was A MIRACLE because we needed to get all the paper work to the lawyer ASAP. Friends in high places and low places helping us out. 

 

Well I didn’t sleep too much. But in two days, by Saturday morning, we had pretty much everything ready to go, we just had to do the actual wedding. 

 

Then the lawyer called me. 

And calmly explained to me they couldn’t get married. 

Well I couldn’t handle that ONE BIT. So I told the elders to call her and figure it out. 

 

To make a VERY long story short, there was something wrong with the papers we pulled out for M, and the office was closed Saturday and there was NO WAY OUT. None. The wedding was canceled for Saturday. We got this news at about 11 am Saturday morning. We were set for Saturday night at 7. 

 

We immediately set to work trying to FIND any other option. I called every person I knew. M and Mo were freaking out. I was lying on the floor and the lawyer turned off her phone because so many annoying missionaries were calling her begging her to FIND SOME WAY. 

 

So. Around 3, my companion and I just prayed. A lot. I called my good friend Elder G, an assistant. I said, Elder G, fix this please. He WENT TO THE LAWYERS HOUSE and we sent him all the legal documents we had for M. Then. We waited. I paced the house back and forth for about thirty minutes. And we read about faith and we HAD faith. I said this prayer.

 

“I can’t fix this. To man this situation seems impossible. BUT I know you can put the right people in the right place to work A MIRACLE.”

 

Elder G called me back. 

“They can get married.” 

 

We cried and screamed a little and at 4:30 we went to finish up the details. 

They got married. 

It was a beautiful service. 

 

And. 

 

Sunday. 

M, Mo and C (another investigator they've been teaching for awhile) all got baptized! The baptismal service was absolutely stunning. Many members came to support the three in their choice to follow the savior. 

 

So, when all is said and done. 

I am never planning a wedding again. 

I need to sleep. 

But I KNOW faith is a real power. We can literally work miracles! We can make things happen through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

 

 

 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

 

Be righteous. Have faith. This is the work of the Lord! 

Love Sister Hirschi

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The finest breed on earth storms CHICAGO WEST MISSION SPANISH SPEAKING


A Multi zone meeting.  Alaina and her two companions are on the right
with Pres and Sis. Hintze
 
Wow. 

 

I AM SO EXTREMELY PROUD AND EVERY PERSON IN MEJICANOS EL SALVADOR KNOWS THAT MY LITTLE BROTHER, MY OWN FLESH AND BLOOD, HAS RECEIVED HIS MISSION CALL! 

 

He will be serving the Lord in Chicago! For two years...and speaking my BELOVED Español!! Can I tell you guys I’ve been praying that he would go Spanish speaking for the last 14 months?? Latino wannabes in the Hirschi family. 

 

But basically, we meet someone on the street, we say

 

“Hi, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and  MY BROTHER IS SERVING IN CHICAGO!!!!!! ISNT THAT WONDERFUL!?!?!?!”

 

hahahahaha I think we will get many baptisms from this new method of contacting. (jk)

 

The only bad part, ya´ll, is that he is leaving for this adventure of adventures on February 18th. And if any of ya´ll even remember, I’m coming home exactly one month afterwards. So I’ll miss him for another two years BY ONE MONTH. 

 

Don’t worry. We won’t give up that easily. The Provo MTC might be well guarded, but she isn’t impenetrable. Breaking and entering. It’s happening.  March 2015.

 

Hahah ok. But coming down just like 3 feet from that cloud I’m on, I have other news! 

 

This week I was reflecting on my many adventures in the field, and I thought to myself. “Wow, I just have two changes to go, I don’t think there is ANYTHING new they can throw at me. I’ve had colorful companions, I’ve trained, I’ve been to Belize, I’ve been back, I’ve been a training leader, I’ve had companions that spoke no English, I’ve seen it all. I think its smooth sailing from here on out!”

 

Wrong. 

 

Maybe that is something I am secretly addicted to when it comes to the mission. ALWAYS surprises. 

 

I got a call from Sis Hintze Tuesday morning (The Mission Presidents wife).

“Hi Sister Hirschi, so I’m about to change your life here.”

 

Those sorts of sentences always inspire confidence. I immediately assumed one of my immediate family members was dead. So I am practically on the floor like, 

 

“What… WHAT IS IT SISTER HINTZE?”

 

“You’re getting another baby!!!” (Mission speak for “you will be training a new missionary”)

 

Twins??!! (Sorry in advance mom for all the mission jargon) (She knows I’ll be trying to translate for everyone J-Alaina’s mom)

Yes. It is true; we are now working in a trio! My first trio in my mission! And I’m training two new missionaries! 

 

Sister O is my new baby. She is from California, but her parents are Mexican so she speaks perfect Spanish. HALLELUJAH! She is helping me out a lot. She waited for her visa one change (6 weeks) in Texas, and arrived just this week. She is also 19 and guess what guys. SHE GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN 2014. Huh??? So young! 

 

She is an EXCELLENT missionary, but has been a little shocked by the culture. 

Here is an example:

 

Sis O: “Wait, we just cross the street without a cross walk?”

Me:  “There are no crosswalks in this country.”

 

I just forget a ton of things that I’ve gotten accustomed to, and she gets really confused and then I have to retrace and explain. 

 

But it is weird how training two newbies is really like motherhood, and how taking on a second daughter has seriously increased the responsibility. I think I can relate to mothers all over the world right now. I have panic attacks from time to time on meeting BOTH of their needs and keeping BOTH of them safe and carrying enough snacks for BOTH of them and making sure they BOTH are having a great experience and feel happy. 

 

Sometimes I can’t sleep! hahahaha. 

But they are BOTH stupendous, and I love them both. They are mis hijas amadas, they follow me around like a mother duck. 

 

I am well pleased in mis hijas amadas. 

 

Well. Apart from that. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! We had a party this week and we ate turkey and pie. Shoot I love pumpkin pie. Also, El Sal continues to blow my mind. Take from that what you will. I love it. The members are the bomb. 

 

So this week. Be grateful. We have so much! These people here always amaze me with their gratitude. Guys...if you’re living in the United States you have 65451654354656464 times more things and stuff than anyone here in this country. Trust me. I am so grateful for all that I have been given. Here’s a list to help y’all spin your own. 

 

1. MY LITTLE BROTHER ANDREW and his example. 

2. My mom and dad and Brandon and Emma. 

3. Mis hijas amadas and companeras. 

4. All my wonderful extended family that writes me so faithfully!

5. Belize. 

6. El Salvador. 

7. The lady who gave us a ride to Walmart this morning. 

8. Br.  M (their Ward Mission Leader-the one who gave her 5 minutes’ notice to give a talk in church a few weeks back…I guess she forgave himJ)

9. The scriptures

10. Living prophets and Apostles

11. The Restoration

12. Spanish

13. School

14. THE GOSPEL

15. Houses

16. Christmas time. 

17. Music

18. God

19. Jesus Christ

20. The plan of salvation

21. Kylie and Jakers and their examples

22. Clean water

23. Beds

24. Walking

25. The lady who sells insanity sets (workout videos) and finds my house in El Salvador and brings it right to me

26. President Hintze and Hermana Hintze. 

27. Barrio Mejicanos

28. Email and Skype. 

29. People who still can pronounce my name

30. Chocolate.

31. Temples. 

32. C and his baptism this week

33. The S family

34. That my cousin BRITTANY IS GETTINGMARRIED after I get home from my mission :)))

35. The sacrament

36. General Conference

37. Pupusas

38. Friends. Like Wes and Zac.

39. People willing to listen to our message

 

And on and on and on

 

Just to name a few. 

 

I love you all! Be good. Serve missions. Live the gospel. 

 

Much love, 

Sister Hirschi

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jazzercise is sweeping Central America


Hi y’all! 

 

Here I am...EXCITED TO BE ALIVE. Does anyone else have those days, where it just feels so excellent to be living in this world?

 

Because...GOD IS REAL! YAYAYAYA FOR MONOTHEISM! 

Also I’m pumped because today Sis M and I are going to be able to buy the 8 disc set of insanity and we are really looking forward to adding to our collection. Shawn t! (The sisters have 30 minutes each day to exercise and are encouraged to stay in shape)

 

But actually, this week was a little rough. Around all edges. It’s cool. We have to know the bitter to taste the sweet. You feel me?? But basically somehow we ended up with zero people to teach...almost. Largely because those we were teaching were baptized, so we hit the streets and talked to as many people as we could. And this we did hour after hour day after day. 

 

Also I came to realize that El Salvadorians are interesting.  You meet some special characters when you talk to everyone in sight. But diversity is the spice of life true? Most people don’t even open the door when we knock, they just open their plastic blinds and put their face in them and ask what we want. Hahahahaha. Alrightttt! 

 

But the highlight of the week had to be the relief society activity on Saturday. (Relief Society is a woman's organization in the church focused on service) All the women in the stake brought their home goods that they crafted. There was a lot of food. And a lot of Christmas cards. But when Sis M and I walked into the event, up on the stage was a grandpa with two grandmas behind him...doing jazzercise to the BEEGEES. We watched in awe and admiration. I’m sure you can only imagine my delight when the grandpa invited others to participate with him. The BeeGees? Aerobics? A Spanish grandpa shouting in Spanish to keep us sweating? We simply could not resist. We joined the jazzercise. (Dad the white handbook says nothing about dancing). 

 

And how we enjoyed ourselves. And how the audience heckled. But we danced on and emerged triumphant. Sis M couldn’t stop laughing, but I tried to keep a straight face for the majority of our jazzercise. Which lasted longer than we initially anticipated. Anyways. We’re now the estrellitas balerinas prinsesas misioneras de cuscatlan. Which translated roughly means little ballerina stars princess missionaries. hahahaha.

 

Also. I learned this week that there is a strain of chocolate being produced more delicious than that of my own heritage (Swiss). I learned how to make chocolate from scratch! And it is super fun, and simultaneously super delicious. Cool!

 

But the real highlight of the week was when C agreed to be baptized! Remember him? We found him at the time of general conference and taught him about prophets, affirming to him that God continues to call prophets in our day to warn us and lead us. C was pretty interested in this idea, and came to general conference the next day. We’ve been teaching him for about two months now, and he’s been reading the Book Of Mormon the entire time. It has made the difference in him!

 

The other night C said to us...without us even broaching the topic...yes I would like to get baptized.

 

SWEEEET. 

 

And then, we taught him the plan of salvation, and we focused it on the atonement and that thanks to Christ, we will be resurrected, and that Christ felt the pain of all of our sins, and all that is painful that happens to us in this life. I am well acquainted with this truth by now, but it was new for C. As he began to understand what we were telling him, he got a little animated. 

 

´So you’re saying that Christ paid for all the consequences of sin too, not just the sins´ 

 

yessssss. All the sickness in the world, physical, mental, social, all of it--He knew it. 

 

Because of Adam and Eve’s choice to partake of the forbidden fruit, all will die spiritually and physically. We cannot overcome either. FOR THAT REASON Christ came to redeem us. 

 

 

44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

 

I testify that He lives. That He lights the way. He is the way. He is the truth, He changes us as we willingly choose to accept and live His gospel. This is the most important message the world could have. It is the truth about our existence and nothing surpasses it in beauty or import or urgency. Every day our lives should be centered in Christ. 

 

Well. 

 

I love you guys. I love my family. Please just read the scriptures
.

 

Oh be wiseeee. What more can I say. 

Love

Sista Hirschi

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Choose the right


So I think y’all got the routine down now for El Salvador.

 



This week there was another earthquake. Maybe I really do need to repent...in addition; my companion and I tried to make Pupusas on our own because I have decided that my children will be raised on Latin cuisine. 

 

Pupusas
We gave it our all; I can’t say we were successful. They made us really sick and so we have determined to leave the Latin dishes to the Latinas. nahhh we won’t give up that easily. This week will bring with it attempt number two. 

 

Our zone had a rap jam sesh. It took jamming to another level for me, and you may rest assured that we employed our very best Spanglish to our rhyming advantage. I really enjoyed myself. It’s a hobby I plan on taking up when I go back the United States. 

 

In other news, I received some sad information. I had planned on extending my mission just a liiiiittle bit. But I was denied that request. I died a pinch when I was informed that I will have to go home in March. To be specific, I think it was my kidney that gave out on the spot. So now I’m dealing with the harsh reality that one day my mission will end. One day I will not be graced by the presence of sooooo many lovely Latinos. One day I won’t get to spend 24/7 teaching the gospel as a representative of Jesus Christ. Rough. 

 
A little brother at the baptism
 
 

I don’t know if any of you have heard references to Latin blood before? Like how Latinos blood just runs a little hotter than ours does up in the north. Well this is not just a saying, it’s supported fact. It gets wildly entertaining when these people get riled up.

 

And I can’t say...but I think one of the more awkward experiences of my mission life happened this week. Many Latin women have tried to convince me to marry their sons, but this uncomfortable situation was amplified when a woman tried to get her son to take me dancing at a club. I’m still cringing. I think she has misunderstood the missionary purpose. 

 

Well N, our recent convert, is tearing up the mission field. This week he referred us to two of his friends. He came with us to a lesson and bore a beautiful testimony of the restoration of the gospel. Until he had to stop speaking, because he got a little emotional. It’s interesting to me that so many of my convert’s testimonies don’t seem to really flourish until after they are baptized. I’m not certain, but I’m gonna guess that it has something to do with taking that step of faith.

 

The Lord really blessed us in finding people to teach this week. Mini miracles abound. I refound this scripture, and I would like to share it. 

 

 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

 

 

Hmm. That is true. And I would like to add that nothing feels better than knowing we have been forgiven. 

 

Christ is our redeemer! We need to remember Him every minute of everyday. 

 

Much love.

Sister Hirschi

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hirschi como el chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!



Alaina with an Elder from Guatemala
 
Hey people. 

 

Another super duper week in El Salvador!! I love it guys. I just love this mission life. It’s the best. It is its own little world and I’m totally sucked in. 

 

I don’t know how to organize my thoughts from this week, so I’m just gonna be straight. You straight?

 

My shower shocks me. I know that the shower is an unusually frequent email topic for me, but it never ceases to throw curve balls. The latest is that it sends electrical currents through my body when i touch the knob. It hurts. I’ve tried to dilute the pain by touching the knob with both hands, and it seems to be pretty effective. 

 

I’m not sure how many of you have served missions, but those who have will know that we get our money at the beginning of each month. And those of you who know me will know that I’m not always suuuper savvy when it comes to budgeting. Granted, I am learning. In the school of life. And this was the last week of the month. So I was gearing up to eat rice and beans all week...but then my companion and I prayed to get free food...AND IT WORKED. Hahahahaha. Almost every day we got a toooon of free food!! I testify of the power of prayer. 

 

In addition, my prayers in the morning are nuts. We generally end each day talking to Hno M, our ward mission leader. Obvio, we speak Spanish. And then add to that we speak Spanish all day. But normally, I still think in English. But as of late, when I pray in the morning and I’m not totally coherent, my prayers go a little like this:

 

Queirdo padre father, gracias and please nos bendice to have exito today. gracias. En el nombre of Jesus Christ, amen. 

 

It’s just weird. 

 

But good news guys! My friends are coming back from Belize! This week we had changes and I’m still with my compa Sis M which is great. And a bunch of people came back from Belize. It was fun to be reunited. 

 

The thing is. I want to give you good people a heads up. From here on out, it’s very likely my emails will get shorter and lamer. I’ll talk to you guys in person in 4 months. 

 

But the spiritual seizures siguen. AH SPANGLISH. My brain is so confused. That’s another reason for the shorter emails. We had a neat experience this week. As missionaries, we have an extra portion of the spirit to guide us and lead us. And if you aren’t as slow as me then you recognize when the spirit is talking to you. But this week, I finally learned to act on the promptings! My compa and I went to a ladies house for an appointmentt and it fell through so we were leaving. As we walked past a house I just had this thought...knock that door. And I thought “naaahhh. No thanks.” So I kept walking, and then the thought persisted and I thought. “Fine. I’ll follow the spirit.” 

 

So we touched the door, and a sweet little lady came out. Miraculously, she let us in. Then her daughter entered the room and we told her about our temple activity that we were having and she was so intrigued! And she was profusely grateful. She is really excited to keep learning from us. The Lord guides us. I know He does. 

 

We gave a tour outside the temple this Saturday! I taught family history with sister M. I showed a couple pictures of my family. Including a postcard I got in California once of some men in the mines. My family members aren’t pictured, but it’s an old picture so I thought that was good enough. I gave some info about my family history and my name...Hirschi. And I said that joke...you know the one. Soy Hna Hirschi, como el chocolate...close to 14000 times. Some crowds were tougher than others. But it’s generally a pleaser. 

 

I know this the Lords church. I know He lives. I know the mission is the BEST THING IN THE WORLD. 

 

I read this morning that the power of a testimony doesn’t come from eloquence or from the volume of your voice, but from your personal conviction. 

 

Guys, I’m convicted. Very convicted. 

 

Christ lives. Remember Him. 

 

Stay cool. 

 

Suerte



Hna Hirschi

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mission Madness


 

The dream lives on in El Salvador. 

It was a strange week.  

 

SO let’s get down to business. To defeat the Huns. (Those of you with kids who love Disney movies will recognize the Mulan reference. When you are writing fast- she only gets an hour a week to do all of her computer correspondence-you don’t do much proofreading! )

 

Earthquake number 2 took place this week. A good friend of ours informed us that the frequent earthquakes are a result of our personal iniquity. He has presented a pretty good argument, but I’m not entirely in agreement. This one wasn’t nearly as long or large as the last though. Well see if earthquake round 3 hits. 

 

Tuesday I went to la cuidad with a sister to help her get her visa figured out because...SHES GOING TO BELIZE. That lucky dog. My heart has healed since the sever from Belize, but....still....it aches from time to time. I’m super excited for her though. 

 

The sad thing was that we became horribly lost in the city of San Salvador. We didn’t really know where we were going. We asked a number of strangers on the streets to lend us their cellulars, and these requests were denied. It’s not exactly Candyland out there. Finally, after some prayers and the use of intuition, we noted a lady that had to be a member of the church. She was, and she lent us her phone. We finally made our way to the office, but not until I was a nice cherry red. Burn baby burn.

 

What else can I tell you guys. OH YEAH. We had a baptism! Nelson.


Alaina and her companion with Nelson and the Ward Mission Leader
What a champ! It just makes me sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo very happy when people decide to follow the Savior. The service was El Sal style, so we started late and no one who was supposed to show up did, but in the end everyone got there, and there was a beautiful spirit in the service. These people are truly incredible. You know something I’ve observed in the mission? Maybe cultures and language make us a little different, but people are the same. I’ve mentioned this before, but it strikes me hard every now and again.

 

 

I just want to add a note on the shooting that took place in MPHS this last week. I want to extend my sympathies to all who were involved or are affected in any way. I know the Lord is conscious of all who have been affected, and I know that while I will be unable to comprehend the depth of the pain of those involved, there is one who understands this tragedy perfectly. I love this quote from president Henry B Eyring:

 

Curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time. Getting older does not do it alone. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.

 

I love that. Time alone will not heal us, but it will take time to heal. I testify that as we turn to the Lord, as we trust in Him, as we thirst after truth and righteousness and strive to follow His footsteps, that He will console us. He does live. He does know our names and our struggles. He does walk with us. And all that He asks in return is this

 

 20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

 

All that he requires of you  is to keep his commandments. So my final words today...be believing! Trust in the Lord. God has always sent messengers to teach us His gospel of happiness, study their words. Look for them. Even if you have never had any reason to believe in God before, even if none of your friends or family has believed, find out for yourself! Read the testaments that there are of a Father in Heaven and an Only Begotten son...or in other words, the scriptures. And consider kneeling down and asking God yourself. Then consider my testimony--

 

I know that God lives. I know that Christ lives. I have much to learn, I have much to become, but I believe. Let us be believing. I promise that nothing brings deeper fuller joy. 

 

How sweet the joy this sentence brings! I know that that my Redeemer lives! 

So does Nelson. Baptism is such a miracle!

 

I love you all! I love my Savior, and I love Mejicanos. I want be a missionary forever and ever and ever. Not really, but I will try to extend my stay. 

 

Love always, 

Hermana Hirschi