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! 




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. 



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. 





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. 



Be kind. 



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







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


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. 



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. 





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