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, 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 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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Unusual Time

I was reminiscing today, and had to post this pic of Alaina leaving for her mission.  We couldn't tear ourselves away until she made it all the way through security.  I cant believe that was over a year ago!.- Alaina's Mom

            Hello world. 


This week, quite frankly, was extremely unusual. 

But I quite enjoy that aspect of the mission, weird things are always happening. Things you’d never expect. For example:


An earthquake Monday night at 10pm while you’re just trying to write in your journal for crying out loud.


Good thing my training from the 2nd grade came rushing back to me. I was perplexed for the first few moments, just like, why is it that my chair is shaking? Then I looked at my compa, and she was shaking too. And I was just like, of course, earthquake. We swiftly exited the room and stood under the nearest door ways. It lasted about 30 seconds in total. Overall, we remained fairly composed. It was pretty nuts to watch the walls of our cement house sway back and forth though. Things like that remind you how fragile our lives are. 


With the earthquake commenced the weirdest week of my mission life. The next day we were walking the streets on our way to visit someone and a lady walked past us chanting under her breath and calling us witches. okkkk. Nice to meet you to too! I love these people 


Then, a Halloween miracle. I have been showering in cold water for the past year. This has been a topic of frequent discussion among the missionaries because we just don’t really like it so much. Then, the day after the earthquake, Sis M got out of the shower and she said...hey....the water is hot! I didn’t believe her but I took my turn, and I repented for lacking faith. THE WATER WAS INDEED HOT. We can only ascribe this blessing to a Halloween miracle, because that is the nearest national holiday. But for true...since then...we have hot water. hahaha how in the world...


THEN. Things got weirder. A man stopped us on the street which always makes me suspicious. We normally do the stopping, only the crazies stop us. But he wasn’t crazy at all! He informed us that there were some Canadian doctors coming to help out the people here and do some basic procedures and that they needed...TRANSLATORS! Or, Mormon missionaries. So Saturday I had the opportunity to work with she Dr. Lee, who was actually a dentist. When I first got there she was in the middle of filling a tooth, and she said, ´tell him to open his mouth!!!´and it was high stress and she was super demanding. But when we finished the procedure, we got to small talking and Dr Lee and I were fast friends. We made a great team. To break the ice I told her my grandpa is a dentist, and I thought that might qualify me a little more. I think it worked, because before long, I was assisting in the procedures. hahaha. yes! The best part was when Dr Lee started freaking out because of a fire she saw outside of the window of where we were working. I told her, ´doctor lee, its ok! It’s just a woman cooking her tortillas! But I don’t think she believed me and she was super concerned about the fire. hahah but other parts of the world people cook over open fires. fyi. 


And thennnnnn our super awesome ward mission leader Álvaro Merino, who is a man, thought it would be sooooo funny to give my companion a month’s head up for her talk (a talk is a 15-20 minute sermon given during sacrament meeting.  The LDS church does not have paid clergy so the members are given assignments to speak in church) in church yesterday so she could appropriately prepare, and told me nothing until....he announced my name over the pulpit. Do you KNOW how hard it is to fly by the seat of your pants in Spanish??!!!!!!! Hard. I’m still plotting revenge. 


But guys. Apart from this super freaky week, most fitting for the month of October, the work is blowing up here! The members are on our team! They give us people to teach, they do family home evenings with us! annnnddd Nelson, our investigator who has decided to get baptized this Saturday, bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and it was so great. He said ´just as I read, I want more. I don’t want to put it down. And when I stays with me´


If you want to be happy. Read the Book of Mormon. IT’S TRUEEEE

I love you guys. But really. I do. And I love this scripture.


11 And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hathasent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.



If you want to feel god’s love, keep the commandments. If you want to change, have faith. If you want to have faith, repent.


Sista Hirschi


PS I just want you all to know, that my English is suffering. So I’m sorry that some of these sentences are less stellar than they used to be. But there is just soo much Spanish. And I love it. LATINOS!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Esnoop Dough-g

Que ondas my friends from the north??


The other day a friend of ours here in El Salvador attempted to pronounce the names of many popular musical artists in America. 


I fell on the floor when he tried Snoop Dog. Latinos call him esnoop dauwgh. I wish I could spell their pronunciation. More like, ehsnooop dough--ggg. I can’t get over it. 


Apart from bad English and worse Spanish, it was another lovely week.


Well I think I’ve adjusted to the city life. Not sure I like it, but I’m used to it. The other night, for about one minute, there were no cars at the intersection right next to us, and it was....silent. I remembered that sometimes the world is quiet...and I LOVED it. One day I’ll go back to Belize. It’s always quiet there. 


In case any of you have been worried the obliteration of my pride, I want to reassure you that the mission continues to bulldoze over my head. I don’t think I’ll ever reach the point where I don’t feel totally helpless without the guidance of the Lord. Training has brought an onslaught of insecurities with it...I just don’t want to mess up a new missionary! It’s been nerve racking, and I need a lot of help. How can I know if I am doing it right? I can’t, without the guidance of a loving and patient Father in Heaven. 


That being said, Sis M and I are having a great time. She is stellar. We get along well, and we have a lot of fun. She is from the Provo (Utah) area, and she has been filling me in on things from the outside world (If you can call Provo the outside world.).


Did you guys know this phrase? THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. When she told me about this fad, I laughed for a longggg time. Good to know twitter is alive and kicking. I just have forgotten how to use it. ew. Social media. I forgot about social media. SCRIPTURES!! haha


Miracles continue to pave the streets of El Salvador. Yes I’m fully aware that makes little sense. But my English is taking a hit with all this Spanish. dios esta pendiente de ustedes!! AS I’ve been doing some personal introspection and reflection on my mission, I realized that in the beginning I was sooo grateful for the WHY and the HOW of the gospel. Or namely, the plan of salvation (why) and the restoration (how). But as I’ve matured in the mission, I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the what. The very simple, basic truths. faith, repentence, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. Those are the things that in the end change us. Those are the things that--provided we do them--make us into something we weren’t in the past. The rest is just information. The best information, but knowledge without acts can’t help us. 


Check this out. 

But our voices can be more powerful if we can get the gift of bearing a sure witness that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of the world. That witness will come most powerfully out of your own

experiences with the Atonement of Jesus Christ working in your life. If you reflect often on how His Atonement has changed you and if you give thanks often, you will find that your witness of Him gains power to touch the hearts of others.

Henry B Eyring



How powerful is that?? The message of the restoration of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ is the single most beautiful message I have EVER heard in my entire life. Faith and repentance and covenants!! I know He hears me...



32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God


I invite everyone to come unto be perfected in Him. TO ACT. Faith is all about action.


. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.



I testify of Him. 


Until next time, keep it real. Keep the commandments. Exercise your faith. 


lotta love,


Hermana Hirschi


Monday, October 6, 2014

Haircuts, Prophets and the humble people of El Salvador

Well a year in the mission starts to do things to you...good things. Really really good things. 


For example, this morning I woke up, and I was like, Hmm. I’m gonna cut my hair. I am so stinking tired of my hair. 


So I cut off like 7 inches over my bathroom sink. My hairdresser will be appalled in 6 months’ time. I’m sure. I was like...cracking up because I butchered it so bad. But the thing is, I’ve spent enough time in El Salvador and Belize that things like bad haircuts hardly seem important anymore. Let’s feed the starving children down the street before we become preoccupied with my split ends. 


So I got my first trainee in the mission! Her name is Sister M and she is a little trooper! I am impressed with her enthusiasm and excitement for the work. She´s got blisters alllll over her feet, but she soldiers on. She also has blonde hair and green eyes and doesn’t notice when the men are being men, so I carry a freshly sharpened machete at all times. Haha I remember when I was oblivious too...


I guess I’ve been reflecting a lot on the beginning of my mission this week given that I am creating a beginning experience for Sis M. It’s just INCREDIBLE how much I’ve learned. I forgot that at the beginning I really didn’t understand Spanish. Like at all. How bizarre. But she is awesome. We will be a dream team. 


Sadly, her very first day in glorious El Sal, we were harassed by a drunk homeless man who refused to leave our doorstep. He wanted some money, but the rules are that we don’t give money. I invited him, cordially, to church and he got on the ground and started bowing to me and exclaiming that he was Jewish. 


Just another day in Central America folks. No need to stop and stare. 

The antics went on for several minutes and finally I just gave him a dollar. He left abruptly. Then I repented. 


But, I want to focus this email on the MIRACLES we saw in El Sal.  And that the Lord is hastening His work...especially during General Conference weekend. (General conference is a semi-annual meeting for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The presiding leaders of the church speak during 5  two hour sessions over 2 days)  Incredibly, we had 8...count em EIGHT nonmembers attend general conference! And boy, we were all edified. Some highlights right quick—(Out of the 10 hours of counsel she listened to, these are the things that popped out at her)


1. Get really, really good at repenting. 


2. Get really, really good at forgiving. 


3. I knew it would be easier to follow the example of our Savior with her at my side. (awwwwwwwww so sweet!) (I don’t remember this quote…I’ll have to look up who said this about his wife…it is sweet!)


4. Trying to please others before pleasing God is inverting the first and second great commandments (Matt. 22:37-39). It is forgetting which way we face.”


5. The sacrament becomes a spiritually strengthening experience when we listen to the sacrament prayers and recommit to our covenants.” 


6. May we make the decision to increase our level of worship and commitment to God, and may our response to His invitation be heard loud and clear:  ‘Yes Lord, I will follow Thee!'



It was all so inspiring and motivating. So now, take into consideration C.   We prayed so hard to find more people who would be willing to come to and appreciate this great opportunity to listen to a prophet of God. Saturday night we knocked on a door and very nice man, C,  opened up. We began talking, we asked if we could come in, he said yes. He is Catholic, but we explained that God still calls prophets, that His nature never changes. C responded by asking how I could expect someone to respond to such a declaration! He said ¨Seriously?? There is a prophet on the earth today? ¨ 

We said he could listen to him the next day in ......general conference! 

´Where? Where can I listen to him? ´

And lo and behold...C came to general conference. He told us afterwards that this is all very new, but soooo interesting to him. I am SO EXCITED to teach this man. A humble, honest truth seeker. 


M also came with her family! She brought her boyfriend and son and sister in law and mother in law. They stayed for two sessions. I made her kids popcorn to try and pacify them. 


Also, who loved the new feature of the general authorities speaking in their native tongue?? I did.
(The general authorities-presiding leaders of the church- constitute 1. The prophet/president of the church and his two counselors 2. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and 3. the Quorum of the Seventy as well as Presidencies of the auxiliaries such as the Young Woman's) 

Ok. With renewed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and conviction in this--His restored gospel, I testify that He lives! That His gospel is the only plan of happiness. FAITH REPENTENCE BAPTISM RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST AND ENDURING TO THE END. We can change! There is always hope! Pray! Be righteoussssss. 




The conference talks can be read/watched/listened to at his link



Until next week. 

Hermana Hirschi
El Salvador