Friday, May 30, 2014

Good thing I LOVE this little town!

The Zone on a p-day.  A zone is a group of missionaries that work in the area.  P-day is the day the missionaries prepare for the week by doing laundry, grocery shopping etc.  It is also the day they can sight-see, souvenir shop, write letters etc

Another guaranteed 6 weeks in my lovely little town. Changes came and went. They took my companion, Sister H, back to the United States and left me with..........SISTER N! Making a smash hit return from the CCM. We were together in Mexico for 6 weeks and now we are reunited, and it feels so good. 

So here is this week’s rundown. For a photo finish. 

1. I had no medicine and my gums were receding to my jaw and I remembered my mom telling me to gargle saltwater. I did. By a miracle the next day everything was fine…Because I know you are all deeply invested in my dental care. Gingivitis is serious everyone.

2. I touched a lion. because a circus came to town, and the animal cages were just hanging out in a field. Of course no one was monitoring them. So I petted him. #goodideaalways. Mom I am missing a finger btw. WOW JUST KIDDING. But what a rush! The lion was exceedingly friendly. And huge! So were the tigers. They don’t call them big cats for nuthin!!

3. A giant moth attacked Sister H in a lesson. Let’s just say I laughed and cried and screamed excessively. 

4. J GOT BAPTIZED!! It was a beautiful service. He had a ton of support!

5. My new companion came in fresh from San Salvador. I guess I rode my bike too fast for her on Sunday. I guess. Because when she came around one corner she rode off the cement, into the grass and hit a water pipe which started spouting water and she flipped up over her handle bars and the bike fell on top of her. 

I can only offer my gratitude for having made the decision to turn around and check on her to see the previously mentioned event unfold right before my own eyes. I applied myself sooooooooooooooo hard to refrain from laughing. No way. It was too unreal. 

Well. R** and K** are my favorite people ever! Almost. They are just so ridiculously prepared for the gospel. Every commandment we teach them they loooove and see the wisdom and merit in it. They want to participate in everything. K** really understands how to put the Lord first. 

SO this week. I went crazy for President Monson's talk. "Obedience brings Blessings" and another one "obedience to law is liberty'. This is a principle I failed to understand before the mission. Obedience is the key

Surely there could not be any doctrine more strongly expressed in the scriptures than the Lord’s unchanging commandments and their connection to our happiness and well-being as individuals, as families,and as a society. There are moral absolutes. Disobedience to the Lord’scommandments will always deprive us of His blessings. These things donot change.

Well put Elder Perry. Obedience brings us peace of mind and a clear conscience. I have never tried so hard to be so obedient my entire life--to totally place my will on the altar. It is not easy. But I have been so much more satisfied with myself and my life! I feel so liberated. So just do it! Just give it up. Just turn it over to the Lord. Just do things His way. He can make so much more of us than we can of ourselves. I know that Jesus Christ has power beyond our understanding to change and mold us. The fruit of the gospel--and the spirit--is the sweetest feeling we can have in this life! 

SO. Stay cool. And remember, when you reach a new level--you meet a new devil. So be obedient. Nice. 

Love you all. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to make friends

Another crazy fast week. 

I can't say everything that happened. I have to address this issue at the beginning of the email to soothe my OCD tendencies. But I am going to dry to get to the best parts. 

Let's launch. 

One day, Sis H and I are tracting(going door to door talking to people), doing our thing talking to every stranger we find. We knock on a great big green house door. 

Out top emerges a little grandma, on the porch. She invites us up immediately. She is so nice! 

She sits us down, and graciously offers us something to drink. Sister H obliges the friendly grandma, even though we are in a hurry. 

She brings out two glasses filled to the brim with a brown looking juice. I note that there is foam on the top--and acknowledge the fact that this is unusual for most natural juices. But I’m not acquainted with all  Belizean juices! Maybe this is something new. 

So remembering that missionaries cannot deny food or drink from well-intending folk, I take the cup, and throw back a nice, big gulp. Fearless. 

Throat burning. Tongue tingling. Senses blurring..............................


Rancid olives are in my mouth. Or so it seems. 

I say, "I’m sorry, what kind of juice did you say this was?"


I am not super smart, sure. But since my time in Belize I can identify a coke with little effort-if any at all on my part. Grandma is called out of the room by her live-in. I turn to Sister H, in a near panic. 


'SISTER H, THIS IS BEER I KNOW THIS IS BEER!!!!!' in strained whispers. I am hatching a plan to dispose of the beer. I consider running to the veranda and throwing it on the street below. But I don’t know when grandma will be returning to the room. 


She came back, apologizing profusely. "I am so sorry! I gave you girls beer!!! For Mother’s Day we had coke and beer and I got them confused!"


"Serious? Oh glad we caught that one!"

The live-in caught the mistake. Thank goodness for live-ins. When we left the house, we couldn’t stop laughing. I said, "Sister H. I'm drunk." ok ok JK!! 


But that is the first time alcohol passed these lips. Yikes. Mom please explain the Word of Wisdom.


 (Hi, this is “Mom”  For those of you not familiar with the Word of Wisdom, it is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. On February 27, 1833, as recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord revealed which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for the human body. He also promised health, protection, knowledge, and wisdom to those who obey the Word of Wisdom.  One of the foods that we are warned to avoid is alcohol, so most LDS people do not drink alcoholic beverages.   There is more information on this topic at


IN addition...I had a birthday party! It was a great night. My friends the P's invited me over and made me a big beautiful cake! pictures included. We sang Belizean happy birthday and had a feast and I sat in a hammock for the first time in Belize. What a wild night.

I am going to have to finish my stories next week! 

But J is going strong. K and his family are getting baptized and Rsaid a BEAUTIFUL prayer last night that almost made me cry.


Personal peace is the reward of righteousness ya'll. I love obeying the commandments. And as so eloquently put by K our investigator, faith does not mean sitting at home and saying you believe. It means you do what God asks--you keep the commandments. Christ promises peace as long as we do as He asks! 


The Savior is the source of true peace. Even with the trials of life, becauseof the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewardedwith personal peace. In the intimate setting of the Passover chamber, theSavior promised His Apostles that they would be blessed with the“Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost” and then uttered these importantwords: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the worldgiveth, give I unto you.”30 Then just before His Intercessory Prayer: “Thesethings I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In theworld ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome theworld.”31

I know He overcame the world. 


All is well in Belize. . 



Sista Hirschi



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The birthday wishes have been sublime. I truly appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness. It’s been more a birthday week though....since I’ve been here for so long everyone knows my birthday and the recognition has been unending. No complaints. hahaha. Birthdays are a HUGE deal in Belize. They love them. Additionally...


I was BORN to be a missionary. 

Have I mentioned that I love this work, and that I love the people who live in this town, and that I am going to move back to Belize and live here forever. I never knew I could love a town of people so much. 


So this week. You can bet your bottom dollar with a 10% risk level that some nutty stuff went down. 


For an introduction, my new name is this town is "snake slayer". 

A very fitting tittle given some of my recent antics. 

Last week, I was kneeling beside my bed--praying at exactly 10:30 pm, when I heard our house-mate Sister D open our front door and shout, 'AHH! HAY UN SERPIENTE!!'. She is Guatemalan so it is natural for her to revert to her native language when frightened or upset. 


Well I kept praying. right? It’s a baby snake. Or so I thought. Sis D continued to shout. Finally, I finished and made my way to the front door with my companion. There, sitting very complacently on our porch was a snake. I was inclined to leave him be, seeing as he was not entering our house. Sis D  however, told us she would not sleep knowing the creature was by our house. 


So I determined to kill it. But how? We have no knives...or shovels....or machetes or blow torches. Nothing. At first I thought to ride over it with my bike, but I was soon discouraged from such a course of action—because I imagined the snake snapping up and biting me as I rode over him on shadowfax. 


So then. I remember reading the bible, and decided to go with the classic David/Goliath routine. I sought a rock, and upon finding one, threw it with all my might at the target. I hit the snake in the head and it went CRAAAAzy squirming everywhere. All four of us began screaming and ran into the house and kept screaming. 


But another thing that happened....MOTHERS DAY. Do you guys know mother’s day is like the equivalent of Christmas in Central America? Holy hannah what a spectacle. They love it!! 


Of course there was a church activity and us six missionaries were required to perform something. I didn’t want to sing. So I thought we could all share 'things my mother taught me'. Here were some of mine:


1. Diet caffeine free coke is as vital as water to the human body.

2. Camping is fun for about 12 hours. 

3. Putting a wooden spoon in a full, moving blender is akin to setting off a small bomb in your kitchen. (remember this mom? and how the ceiling is still stained?)

4. Using brothers as punching bags results in serious, negative repercussions. 

5. ALWAYS give people the benefit of the doubt. 


We were a hit. 


Well. J** is the best. He is really converted to this gospel. He is willing to live the commandments and as doing so, has gained a personal testimony. He is getting baptized on Saturday! 


R** FINALLY came to church. I was about to give up on him....but for real. And then....HE STROLLS IN. Ah. So rewarding. And he loved it! Of course he did. 


KS** will be baptized on May 24th. Yeah! He loves the plan of salvation. He wants to teach it to his sons. "It just all comes back to the plan of salvation". That's right KS**! His daughter is coming to church with him. 


God is good. God is love. Also I am super impressed with the original 12 Apostles of the Lamb. They up and left everything behind...never to follow the Savior. I have had a tiny baby taste of what that feels like by serving a mission. I am so grateful for those who are willing to testify of Christ and to give their lives in order to teach others the good news. 


Also. I enjoyed seeing my family! You guys--just hang tight for 10 months ok. cool. Maybe longer because I am probably going to try and extend. I LOVE YOU. 


Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. 

We are Gods children. 

Choose the right. 


Love Sista Hirschi


Thursday, May 8, 2014

I don't know about you, but I am feeling 22. Minus about 10 days.

Thanks T-Swift for making my birthday that much more fun this year, by penning and singing a number 8 hit about being 22 years old. 


But is it sad that I am feeling a little old out here? It’s b/c I spend all my time with 18 year old boys. and 19 year olds. But still. 


So among this week’s frivolities we made it to the zoo and met a dog who eats her puppies. Creepy. 


I don’t know what is wrong with that mother...all I know is that the owner offered that information to us as we admired the pregnant female dog. 


"She is going to have puppies, but she gulps them right up when they are born. "


*cue my horror-stricken face*

In most unusual situations, you can hide your disgust, but this...this was too far. We tried to understand from the owner why the mother dog would do such a thing. The reason remains to be seen. 


In conjunction, but not really at all, this week I mustered enough courage to speak in Kriol to someone I met on the street. The conversation went a little like this, according to what I remember:


"good aftanoon! wha di go en?"--me








"oh! how you niame?"--me. 




"great! me name da Sista Hirschi!"--me. 


"oh. I am from Chicago."


"in that case I will immediately stop slaughtering the Kriol language."


Seriously. It took me 4 months to feel confident enough to speak to someone in Kriol. Wasted. 


Aside from that, this week was fun. We went to the zoo yesterday, and I had some potentially unrealistic expectations about the caliber of zoo we were attending, but it was fun. The spider monkeys put on a show.  In America, there are zoo guards at every corner armed and ready to shoot you dead in your tracks if you even drop your crackers near the animal cages. In Belize, we fed them EVERY snack we'd brought, so them came riiight up to us. As noted, the monkeys were especially entertaining. I took some pics.


This week was fast Sunday and I got pretty hungry, but I also learned that fasting has a real power. Because…we are teaching a beautiful new......................FAMILY!!! Ding! hola!! The dad is really sick and could die in the next few months--or he could live. As such, he is certainly very apprehensive about the next life. What will be there, if he will see his family again, how he can prepare them, etc etc. What a JOY to teach him the great plan of our God! I 4real seriously LUV the plan of salvation. Nothing gives me more pure, ecstasy-filled joy. 


But jokes aside, God is perfect. And so is his plan. And it is absolutely beautiful. Christ was chosen and prepared at the outset of the world, in the very beginning to save our souls. I know each of us are of infinite worth. Why? Because of a basic economic principle. The value of a good is measured by the price at which it is sold or traded. We were bought with an infinite price--the blood of the Only Begotten Son. That is part of the reason Christ's sacrifice is called the infinite atonement. 


I've also been chewing a lot on humility as of late. Oh how I wish I could relay to all of all the truths I find in the scriptures! They are so rich. As a literary accomplishment they are something to be marveled at--as the word of God I know they are something which produce faith unto miracles and salvation. But back to humility--I have been thinking about the idea of "this is the way I am and I cannot change". A common excuse we hear in our day. I find this extremely ironic. Not only because we can change, but because it’s not just the way we are. God gave us the weaknesses we have! It’s not us. It’s from a loving Father who desires to instruct and form us into something we cannot comprehend in this life. 


Believe in aGod; believe that he is, and that he bcreated all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has allcwisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not dcomprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.


 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them theiraweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.


In fact, to assert that there is no God is to claim that we, by our 5 senses, comprehend and understand everything. And that what we cannot know cannot be. 


But ultimately, it is a matter of faith. Every man, woman, and child will be backed up to the wall of faith, because I cannot physically prove what I teach or testify to be true. We have to choose what we are going to have faith in…man’s ability to understand everything or God.  Then, after we choose faith in God, we can have a witness of the truth, and our faith becomes a sure knowledge. 


Some weeks are hard. Some are easy. But I know that Christ is the Holy Messiah--the redeemer of our souls and the author of our salvation-- that God is His and our Father and that the gospel and church of Jesus Christ is on the Earth in its absolute fullness. I declare these things to be true--but I do not know these things by or of myself. These are truths of a spiritual nature and I have learned them by the power of the Holy Ghost--a witness which cannot be denied. 


Oh how the gospel blesses lives! 

Oh how I love it. 

And how I wish everyone would drink from the wells of living water. 

Read the Book of Mormon. 

I wish I could write a fuller, comprehensive essay on the above topics and include some ethos, pathos, and logos. But for now, I am outta time.


Everyone. I love this work. It is hard. But it is true. 

Hang in there. Chin up. I love you all, even though the sun is setting on my youth. 


Have a superb week. 

Sister Hirschi!!!