Monday, May 11, 2015

A Strange Adjustment

After various requests for  a new blog entry, I humbly thought, 

"give the people what they want."

And then when I say "various" I definitely mean two, but that is plural so BOOM BABY new entry. Is that what this is even called? An entry? I literally have no idea because I'm what you call a faux blogger.  Because actually I was just emailing for the past 18 months and then my awesome MOTHER was copying/pasting those emails by origin to a blog spot. So, I'm not really a validated blogger. Im just a glorified emailer.

But you know I enjoy it. So I am back in action almost exactly two months since finishing the most exciting, terrifying, exhausting, riotous adventure of my life: the mission. It was so unique actually, that it gets its very own definite article every time I bring it up. 

'yeah so how was your mission?'
'oh the mission is the best thing i ever did'

'so what was the best part of your mission?"
'so in the mission there are lots of great things.'

'hey when did you get back from your mission?!'
'oh i got back from the mission like a month ago.'

I'm kinda annoyed with myself for doing it but I'm not alone in this unusual practice so I think I'm justified. Isn't there a saying like, if everyone jumps off a cliff would you do it? I guess for me the answer is yes.

Yeah that is a bunch of lemmings jumping off a cliff. Like me.

But being home. So there's a topic for discussion. It is so many things all at once. Seeing my family for the first time was pretty exhilarating. Being released for the first time was like my little world-made-slightly-larger-by-living-in-two-third-world-countries met a nuclear weapon.

Yeah. Dont be upset with me for it. You feel it. I will never forget the words that pounded through my brain when I was out of the club.

 'You are a normal person now.'

 and I could feel the painful mediocrity of it instantly. Just like...extra spiritual aid? Gone. Intimacy with the spirit 24/7?  Goodbye. Actually representing the Savior all day, every day? No more. Having a reason to talk to all the weirdos on the streets forever? Retracted. It was a very real, thick moment for me. I really loved being a missionary, and I mean nothing against all us 'normal people', but we are normal, and missionaries are not. They're *special*.

So the first few days I felt like a new born baby I'm pretty sure. Freakishly vulnerable and in a new world. I think Brandon had on the Dark Knight at one point and I almost started crying. Looking at the TV felt like sinning. Everything looked so BIG. America is so BIG. I made a few trips to Costco and I'd be like, Mom I wanna look at the socks (mine were threads). And she'd be like, ok they're around the corner. 

My thought: "Oh I can't go alone."
And then. 

"oh. yeah."

But there's been so much to do, think, feel, hear, and taste, that I thought I could best sum up in my tried-and-true top ten. So here is what I've crafted-- some things that will happen when you come home from a central american mission to seattle washington. So, the top ten, of

Hiking Little Si--
Washington is unMATCHED for beauty

10. Phone ringing off the hook. When everybody tryna to call you and you feel so comfortable speaking English. And everyones like, it is so good to see you/hear you/chat with you on Facebook and Im like, wait. Is this not the mission because I'm pretty sure my power-hungry zone leader is gonna walk around the corner ANY SECOND and tell me that I'm being demoted to junior companion so we gotta wrap THIS CALL UP. But I guess after heavily neglecting any family/friend relationships for a year and a half, you  have to realize that there is at least a little bit of make-up work. 

9. Winco foods. So I go there and walk down the hispanic foods aisle to hear native speakers speaking spanish. And then when my little sister comes with me I half scream succinct Spanish phrases at her hoping some latinos will be like, 'wait did that white girl speak spanish right now???" and strike up a convo with me and ask me if I speak Spanish  So far the efficiency rate of this tactic is coming in hot at 0%. Like about 0 successes in 65 attempts. Emma says I gotta be louder. #illgotojailfordisturbingthepeace

8. So I like, legitimately thought everyone would consider me dead while gone, and that--upon returning-- no one would recognize my miraculous though inevitable resurrection. I was pretty wrong on that. DEAD wrong. Getit? my friends are blowing up my Facebook messages and im like,
 you wrote me zero times on my mission.

Hahaha. jk jk jk i forgive you i totally get it you were totally super busy yeah life happens like that but hey really no worries yeah i for sure understand but its done now so hey wanna get together for lunch sure that sounds fun we have a lot to catch up on im so excited its been so long!!! lol hahaha BAE hahah lol wut yassss
Me tryna figure out snap chat.

but really.

7. *BAE* wait what? I don't....Emma what does this mean? I can't understand how these people are writing on this internet. danish excrement words and what the

7. Netflix. how could this internet wonder NOT be on the list. I mean I haven't gone too hog-wild on this one--thanks to seriously all my self-control and pretty pathetic viewing options. But have you guys seen Flip or Flop? Because that Tarek character is fun. And im always hoping they make bank on their houses. But even the modest profits leave me feeling fulfilled. The thing is I really go nuts when they don't tell you how much the house sold for. but like, NUTS. 

6. RELIEF SOCIETYYYYYY. Saturday brunch? Speaking. Sunday school class? teaching. Visiting teaching moment? Sharing. boom boom boom I AM THE QUEEN OF THE RELIEF SOCIETY FORGET PRESIDENT I OWN THIS LEAGUE. Just GIVE me some more assignments. PLEASE. Especially because I am in a transition state and can't get any real callings thanks to unwritten rule #466. And because you guys KNOW i am feeling like a worthless, lifeless, useless piece of matter after working 16 hours a day in the VINNNNNEYARDDDDD. but hey. charity never faileth. what. Can I get some more all caps in this one? 
Me seeking fashion
 advice from Wes.

5. Weddings. Bridesmaiding. well i think i have like....3 dresses now. so its a long shot from 27 but that is my ultimate goal. then maybe i can make a movie with james marsden. *uh-huh* But weddings are nice.  

4. THE HOBBIT. shoot. i LOVE LOTR and i just really enjoyed this cinematic masterpiece! do you know what i am saying?! battle of the 5 armies? richard armitage being the sexiest dwarf ever? Legolas loving someone? Kate from Lost just falling hard for that other good-looking dwarf?  that was a 5 hours well spent. Extended version anyone?

3. Doctors visits. Moms like, i think you have some serious vitamin deficiencies  i think you are addicted to sugar. i think you have dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa??? So i have seen too many doctors for my personal taste, but I guess I am winning back my health. Good news is that the blood tests came back and after all those jokes I DO NOT HAVE DIABETES. What a win. But my cholesterol is high......dang it. 

2.5 Facebook. If you think I haven't Facebook stalked you, I have.

2. ***Boys**** first day back. Old friend (xy chromosome type) comes up and im like 'my hand is in your face take it' and he's like, 'come on, alaina!?' and im like, DONT USE THAT NAME. Then i realize he is in the right and I am 
in the wrong and that it is perfectly acceptable/palatable to *hug/embrace* men. I just need time. 
Andrew killing it on his FaceTime home

1. Family! So the airport moment. When I landed in Seattle and I was walking down the halls to get to baggage pickup, I started tearing up. It was unexpected, but you need to know that in that moment, there is a lot culminating. There is a lot of emotion in a liiiiitle ity bity space in time. First time without a companion, first time not tracking numbers, first time going home. Then I found them, and that was nice. We hugged, we cried, we went home. I felt the carpet. I ate a casserole. We slept. I got used to the strangers. And over time, i was like, hey. You know. I really like this family of mine. Its been a real treat being together again (minus younger brother ANDREW who is currently in Chicago) . Lots of memories flooding back. I don't know. Its just feels very comforting to be in my home town, the house where I grew up, living with my family. I'm savoring it. There's a rare sense of security that comes with it.

There it is. I'm back. I miss central America, I'm buying a ticket like tomorrow to go to Belize this summer, but it ain't all bad. The gospel is still true. And all those little things that were so necessary on my mission feel even more necessary now. I love that. The gospel brought me joy in El Salvador and Belize and it brings me joy in Seattle Washington. And its not the 'i just bought a sweet bluetooth speaker' or a 'kate spade bag' kinda joy. It doesn't go away. It doesn't dull. Its sustaining and fulfilling all the time. There is nothing more precious to me than the gospel. 

So guys. Here's to a few more uncomfortable readjustment adventures and continued scripture study. 
All my love, 

straight up.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mission Complete

The name's Hirschi. Sister Hirschi. Like the chocolate. 

Alaina with President and Sister Hintze in San Salvador
My days telling that joke are numbered. And the pity laughs that follow are numbered even fewer. 


And it would appear that this is it. 

The final bow. 


And as such, I leave you all my final epistle. (Alaina comes home this week!)


This week, I decided to work. 

Just like every other week. 


Because in the end, this week isn’t really much different than all the rest. 

Except that I got sick. And my companion effectively broke her foot. That’s a real low blow Satanas. Let’s fight fair. 


But no WORRIES. This ward is PILAS and we arranged some babysitters for my companion and some recently returned missionaries went out to work with me. Which was kinda fun, because they were all seasoned professionals. 


But isn’t it weird how time slips? 


And isn’t it cool how Heavenly Father blesses us? 

Because this week I think I had the most powerful lesson of my entire mission. 


With a woman named Va. We found her with her cousin--who has been receiving the missionary lessons for 10 years. At first we weren’t too sure about her, but I proved to be wrong. 


Like always. 


We taught her prophets, Christ’s church, and the restoration. And the spirit in her little home Friday night at 7pm was tangible. In tears she told us that she had been passing through some really hard times. Family times, that she knew God put us in her path and that she knew our message was good. 


And she wanted to learn more. 


I loved Va’s description of our message....something good. 

The mission is something good. It’s good for the people we serve, and it’s even better for the missionaries. 


digo yo. 


Because I think I’ve learned a lot of good things on my mission. 


I’ve learned that I don’t need material things to be happy. 


I’ve learned that you can focus all your time in others, and be happier than you’ve ever been. 


I’ve learned that the hard days always pass. And that they’re forgettable when the good days come. 


I’ve learned that eating food with your hands is totally acceptable in many countries. 


I’ve learned that for some people, life is literally about surviving. 


I’ve learned that it hurts a lot to leave people you have served among. 


I’ve learned that Elders are sometimes annoying, but sometimes really, really impressive. 


I’ve learned that the happiest people are those that put in practice the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, whether they’re aware of it or not. 


I’ve learned that the most successful people are those that put into practice the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 


I’ve learned the family is the foundation of society. It is the foundation of identity. Without families, a community or country cannot function well. 


I’ve learned that Gods commandments always have a purpose. 


I’ve learned that Latinos are really fun. And some of my best friends in the whole wide world. And they have a lot of nifty money saving tricks up their sleeves. 


I’ve learned that people think differently than I do. 


I’ve learned that buses are really crappy transportation. 


I’ve learned that patience is a virtue. And that it comes from God. 


I’ve learn that you can be offended, but still respond graciously. 


I’ve learned that self-discipline is a Godly attribute. 


I’ve learned that people are FUNNY. I had never laughed so much in my life until I came to Central America.


I’ve learned that when you don’t feel like working, it’s the best time to work. And that if you just get out there and do it, you’ll feel like it.


I’ve learned that I love to write. 


I’ve learned that I love to meet people. And talk to lots of them. Because there are a lot of stories out there. 


I’ve learned that I love my family a lot. Especially at Christmas time. 


I’ve learned that you don’t make better friends anywhere else than in preaching the Gospel. 


I’ve learned that the promptings of the spirit really are still and small.


I’ve learned that Spanish is a really cool language. And that it’s hard at first, but then you get to the point where you don’t remember not speaking Spanish. 



I could keep this list going, and I could make it a lot better. But the clock is ticking, and I’ve learned that obedience is important. It might not change others, but it will change me. 



But I really like something that President Hintze has said to us since day one. 


I know who I am, and who I can be, if I choose. 


I know I can choose to be something better thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks to Christ himself.


I cannot express the profound gratitude that I feel for the past year and a half. It has been without doubt, the most trying, fun, exhausting, exciting, frustrating, spiritual time of my entire life. 


I have loved being here. 

I have loved meeting so many incredible people in Belize. 

And also in San Salvador. <they have inspired me and they have changed me!


I am so, so, so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father, who still speaks to us. Personally. I’m grateful for the pure gospel which was restored thanks to a young man who had a question. I’m grateful for the plan of happiness, and for our Savior, who overcame the two things we could not--death and sin. And weakness I might add.


I’m grateful that I was counted worthy to be a representative of Christ. In all I did, I tried to emulate what He would do. I know this time allowed me to become closer to Him, to focus on the things that matter most. I know I’m different. I know I’m better, and I know that it’s because of Him. 


So, thank you ALL for your incredible support during this past 18 months. I have been blessed beyond what I ever could have imagined. I have loved this mission beyond what I had ever imagined. It hurts to end this chapter, but I look forward to serving the Lord in many other ways. ASi que...


22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!


See you state side. 


Hermana Hirschi








Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Last Stand

Well folks. It looks like things are winding up. 


It’s time for the final sprint.


The last hurrah. 


The end all. 


It is my last full week in the mission. My last go as a full time representative of the Church of Jesus Christ. Everyone keeps asking me how I feel. This is what I say. 



I feel totally normal. I feel like it’s just another week in which I’m gonna fight apostasy and faulty reasoning and preach the gospel to every creature under heaven, like a good man Paul once did. And then next week, I’ll feel a little weird. A little off. 


So I won’t write all my ´I’m grateful fors´ and ´I’ve learned´ just yet, I’ve got 7 LONG DAYS to get grateful for more stuff and learn more things. Asi que, the run down. 


This week, we had a multi-zone conference and I was forced to give my first “final testimony” against my will. 


The area doctor also spoke and he instilled an everlasting fear of diabetes and worms and parasites and in grown toenails in me. I’ve sworn off cookies and men’s church shoes forever more. 


Then they gave all the missionaries cell phones so that we can get caught up with the 90s. Good thing I’m leaving next week and TAKING ANDREWS SWEET PHONE. (Andrew left her his google Nexus phone since he just left on a two year mission)


We also went to church. And found some people who want to hear the gospel message. One man, Mario, had spent 10 years taking the missionary lessons!!! I think he knows more about missionaries and the gospel than I do. But for real. He was the nicest person I’ve ever met, and I was soooo intrigued by him. He isn’t a member. I asked him why he hadn’t been baptized, and he told me that he just had a few doubts, but that he loved this church. 



And then I remembered that they day before I’d read this article in the March Liahona that talks about the difference between doubt and questions. 


What, then, is the difference between a question and a doubt? Questions, when asked with a sincere desire to increase one’s understanding and faith, are to be encouraged. Many ancient and modern revelations have come as the result of a sincere question. The scriptural injunction to seek and to ask in order to find is among the most frequently repeated. Sincere questions are those asked with the “real intent” (Moroni 10:4) to better understand and more fully obey the will of the Lord.

A sincere questioner continues to be obedient while searching for answers. By contrast, I have seen that when people doubt their beliefs, they often suspend their commitment to commandments and covenants while waiting for answers. The doubter’s posture is generally to withhold obedience or limit it, pending resolution of the doubts.

Good stuff right?? Let’s have questions, but faith is not waiting to act until we have all resolved. Faith is acting and trusting in our Heavenly Father, knowing he will reveal all to us as we are true and faithful. 



I love you all. I’ll write something really inspiring next week I promise. 

The book is blue and the church is true. 



Hermana Hirschi


Also Sis Smith sat down for lunch one day at a bar stool and the screws magically popped out and the chair collapsed and I came UNDONE. Still laughing. Furniture round these parts y'all. TOP NOTCH. 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Pump it UP!


People it’s hot here. 


But I realized this week that I actually really like the heat. Like a lot. It doesn’t bother me. Unless I’m fasting and haven’t drunk water in 26 hours and I get a little delusional and I feel really...weird and like my veins are drying out.


But then I broke my fast and I loved the heat again! 

Except when I can’t sleep at night bc I’m just sweating instead. 

So maybe it sounds like I don’t really like the heat, but actually I do. A lot. It’s unusual. I don’t fully understand it, but there it is. Love is a beast. 


Well, I’m relatively certain you can’t understand the stress of answering and reading 40 emails in 75 minutes unless you’ve been a missionary. It’s the worst. For real the worst. 




And because my flesh and blood Andrew Hirschi IS GOING TO THE BYU! In two years, after his mission, because he got accepted!! (Sorry for stealing that thunder Andrew.) 


AND my bff CARYLYNN JENSEN is getting married in April! And imma be a bridesmaid!!! holla. I love weddings. They are THE BEST. (the Kriol is creeping back into her speech…it’s going to be really interesting talking to her when she gets home!)


Well it was a real kicking week. We were swinging. We had lots of meetings in the city, and in my last area we lived in the city so the commute was pretty easy. But now....we live like 8 hours away. Sorry for exaggerating. Only 2, but with the EXCELLENT transportation round these parts, it’s a 3 to 4 hour trip. Goooo. 


The best time was when we had to ride the bus standing for the trip, and I was like super indignant and like CHIVALRY IS DEAD and I had on this super huge fat backpack (viva North Face) and every time someone passed me I got ripped down to the floor practically. At least Sis S was laughing. 


Also this morning Sis S and I were working out and suddenly she turned insanity into a dance. and I SWEAR I’ve never seen anything so incredibly hilarious. She’s a funny one you know. 


But in other news, we found some greeeaaat people this week. Like Ml, who asked me in the first visit, what is the difference between your religion and all the rest? INTELLIGENCE. Then he asked why bad things happen to good people and why we don’t drink coffee. Hahaha I said I don’t know to all of them. JUST KIDDING: But yeah. I loooove thinkers. Let’s ask some questions about life you know? Let’s get thinkinggggg. 


And Ls. What a champ. He lost his wife of 30 years about 7 years ago, and he misses her. So we talked about the plan of salvation. And how he can see her again. Then he came to church. ESOOOO. 


In conclusion, I’m soaking up every second I have to testify to these good people of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It just makes such a huge difference in the lives of people! So I finished up the Book of Mormon this week for the first time in Spanish, and I read this scripture again and again it struck 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.

 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.


Come unto Christ. I testify that He is there! That people change! I’ve seen it! Countless times! It all depends on our willingness to come unto him. So do what you have to do but ditch the excuses and choose the right. 


He doesn’t expect immediate perfection, but immediate progress. 


Love you all, 

Sister Hirschi

Monday, February 23, 2015


Alaina is probably going to kill me for posting this pic,
 but it is so classic Alaina!

Hey now hey now

This is what dreams are made of. 


Thanks Hilary. 


We had some goood times this week! It’s weird because with tanto tiempo en la mision, (with much time in the mission) one forgets what it’s like to be immersed in a new culture. 


For example, this week when a bolo (drunken man smashed) was bothering us, I hardly gave it any thought. It’s just a regular ordeal for me these days. There are drunk men around and they’re gonna bother, you just ignore them. 


But MAN. Sis S got a kick out that guy. She even took a picture of him. Actually quite a few. It was all fun and games until he got up to come and talk to us at close range and Sis S screamed and ran away and some on lookers died laughing at her reaction. 


So did I. 


But yeah. Were just working. I’m just missing Mejicanos. And leaving it all on the court. 

The spiritual court, brethren and sisters. 


And still learning. That is the most amazing part. LIFE IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING. And I love it. And something else I love is teaching the gospel every day. I guess this week I realized that I won’t be able to teach pure and unadulterated doctrine in the way I’ve been able after day hour after hour in the same fashion that I have been for so long. 


And the gospel truth? I will miss it! goo. So, I’m testifying and teaching with all I’ve got. 

Also some people are like, hey do you remember me? When I see them in the street and its super uncomfortable because I’m always like....



But it normally comes back to me. But how fun right? PEOPLE REMEMBER ME. Aaand I guess people out here love the catholic channel on TV, because many people have been saying, 


Hey! I saw you singing on TV!

Like I’m not joking I really am famous. Haha

(if you remember, in December, Alaina sang for an awards ceremony for Padre Flavvimucci, a local Catholic priest who was receiving a community award for his work strengthening families.  The ceremony was televised so Alaina has had her 15 minutes of fame!- Alaina's mom)





Well this week I guess I was feeling a little overwhelmed. Feeling nervous about my little brother Andrew, and this whole mission thing. And I needed some consolation. And then I read this


Consider the Lord’s uniquely individual invitation to “take my yoke upon you.” Making and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to and with the Lord Jesus Christ. In essence, the Savior is beckoning us to rely upon and pull together with Him, even though our best efforts are not equal to and cannot be compared with His. As we trust in and pull our load with Him during the journey of mortality, truly His yoke is easy and His burden is light.


-David A Bednar


After a year and a half of testifying of Christ, I really do know that these things are true. Christ lives and He can give us peace. He has given me peace. The most fun part about being in this area is that people tell me I’m different. That I’ve changed. I consider it a high compliment because I’ve been working very hard to change! And I am different. I’m better thanks to the Savior. And I can keep improving myself. Why is Jesus Christ important in our lives? In’s the hope I have to always start over fresh. To always improve myself. It would indeed be a dark world if we thought we could never be forgiven or change or move forward. 


The gospel is soooo centralllllll. 


Be good. 

Love you all. 



Sister Hirschi


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Go little brother, Go!

Saying goodbye to Andrew at the airport...without Alaina :(


This week, I am proud to salute yet another faithful family member. 

There are many happenings for la familia Hirschi these weeks. 


So. ANDREW. GO GET EM. Today departs my littlest brother Andrew  Hirschi for the MTC in Provo Utah, to begin his very own 2 year mission! 

Have fun learning Spanish Andrew. (He will be Spanish speaking in Illinois, Chicago West mission)

And have fun eating in the MTC

But for real. Because if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll be living on a lot of eggs and cereal. 


So. Another week down in scorching hot El Sal. Um. The good news is that my Belizean tan is coming back to me really fast. I thought I was doomed to go home white white white. 

Not in this sun Charlie. 


Also, we’ve been living in some fun conditions, considering that we lost power Saturday night and water Sunday morning. 

va creer. 

But the people are quite kind, and a passerby noticed we were living in darkness, and started messing with our cables Sunday night, and lo and behold. 

He fixed it. I didn’t have much to offer him besides the gospel and cookies, but I think that’s fair recompense. We’ll see if he agrees. Tony-you’re a rock star. I think that was his name....


My baby also arrived. Her name is Sister S, and she is from Las Vegas Nevada and she has a desire to WORK. Which is great. We’ll be going strong right to the very endddd. It’s funny though, sometimes she asks me questions like


Was it like this for you in the beginning?

And I can’t remember anymore. I don’t remember not speaking Spanish. I don’t remember milk that doesn’t come out of a box. I don’t remember the food tasting super bland. 

It’s all normal now. 




Guys. I’m short on time again. But hey. We’re working hard. The Lord is blessing us, and the church is true. The Lord loves His missionaries ok? 


Choose the right. 

And Love, Sister Hirschi



Monday, February 9, 2015

Back to Basics

Well guys. 

 President Hintze has it in for me. 

He sent me to the desert. But not just any old desert, the same desert. 

The same desert where I was 14 months ago. 





This. is. unREAL. 

SO. It was wild ride this week so I hope yall are ready.
Monday night Mago and I were desperately hoping to be left together. I had a feeling about a month ago that this would not be the case, but at any rate, she is my hija and I love her and I wanted to finish up with her in my second love, Mejicanos. (My first love being san Ignacio, Belize). 


Unfortunately, the Lord knows when we are comfortable. And when we have been comfortable for too long. And He knows when we need a stretch. 


Monday my good friend and AP Elder R gave me a jingle. 

Sister Hirschi.


You’re training. 



I kinda saw that one coming. But we still didn’t know if I’d be in the area or if I would leave. Tuesday night, 10pm, the dreaded call came. 


Sister Hirschi?


You are the only one leaving in your house. 




Sooooo. I packed my bags folks. I called all my friends in Mejicanos; I let them know, I cried, and I threw all my JUNK into my suitcases, and got ready to move. 






Changes meeting was a riot. Largely because for the first time ever in our mission, an AP, 3 zone leaders, and I left our former posts of leadership to train the newbies. And guess who is taking my place as the sister training leader in cusca?


None other than MAGDAWG. Wow I seldom have felt such pride. She is still a baby but she’s leading the pack! I know she'll be AWESOME. 


Then the announcements came. The pictures rolled. Zone by zone went by. Then, the zone where I was born, 14 looong months ago popped up. 


And I just knew it. 

Sure enough, I am being thrust back into my first area!! With the heat, the dust, the pueblo, and the glory. My baby is not actually my baby right now. I’m with a mini missionary from a neighboring town named Sister Pz. My true hija should be arriving tomorrow, and I’ll start her training then. Sis Pz is a champ, but she is a convert of less than a year, so sometimes I teach her the doctrine in the morning, and then together we teach it in the afternoon. 


Have I said that there’s always something new in the mission?

So the low down is that I’m reopening the area. I’ve never opened an area before, and I have always kind of wanted to and kind of not. 


It’s a little tough. 

The days are a little long. 

But, I’m figuring it out. The good news is that, I remember a lot of this town. So I can get around pretty well, and we’ve been able to defend ourselves. The majority of the members remember me, so that has been a tender mercy. Its super fun to catch up with them all again and see how they’re doing. 


I’m not sure if y'all will remember, but the house I first arrived to was something less than a celestial mansion. The good news is that since I was here, president determined our last house was a health hazard, and they have since secured other living quarters. Our new house is really nice! The only catch--no light in the bathroom. It makes using the restroom and showering...difficult. 


On the bright side?


So yeah. Basically I’m going around and finding all the people I knew so long ago, and it’s strange to see how the town has changed and how it hasn’t changed. Its muuuch hotter here and there’s a lot of dirt, and I sweat. I feel like I’m in Belize again. 


But I guess I owe some sort of ode to Mejicanos. I used to say that my heart was buried in a chest under the chapel of san Ignacio, but I wanted to leave a vital organ in Mejicanos. Because. 


I really love it. And I don’t want to go home at this point; I just want to go to Mejicanos. Man. It’s painful leaving people and places you love. This has got to be my least favorite part of the mission. But I did learn from my experience in leaving SI, and I did manage to get a little better grip when I left the area. 


But when you love people, its gonna sting. So, my lungs are buried in a chest under the chapel in Mejicanos.


But one day I think I’ll go back to live there, and to reclaim my lungs.  Mom and Dad do not crush this dream right now. 


But ultimately, I’m here to serve the Lord. I’m here to do His will, not my own. And I know that He has a purpose. I know there are people here I need to find and serve. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that...but then I read this scripture and I got matcheted by the word of God. 


 12 And it came to pass that when I, Mormon, saw their lamentation and their mourning and their sorrow before the Lord, my heart did begin to rejoice within me, knowing the mercies and the long-suffering of the Lord, therefore supposing that he would be merciful unto them that they would again become a righteous people.

 13 But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin.

So what did I learn from this scripture?? Unless we CHOOSE to be humbled by our trials, we cannot learn. The Lord will never force us to learn. Unless we accept with faith the will of our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we talk about trials as automatic growth, but this week I learned that it always depends on us. 


Agency. What a cool thing. 


Guys. I love you. I love my cousin Kylie. I love the gospel. I love Mejicanos. I love all the amazing people I met there. They really did change me. And I really did see miracles. I’m a better person because I lived in Mejicanos for 6 months. 

My heart hurts for these dear, dear people. I miss them all. Mom find them in Facebook please.


Welp. I love you all. Be good. Read the scriptures. Be faithful. and...Pray for me. Please 


Love, always

Hermana Hirschi






Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This week...

Alaina and her companion "Mag Dawg"

Hey friends and family and loved onessss. 


This week. We laughed. We cried. We fought. We made peace treaties. We ate pupusas. We did insanity. We baptized. 


Juan . You golden grandpa you. It was a precious baptism. It was the fastest I’d ever baptized an investigator from meeting them to helping them to make a covenant with our Heavenly Father! So that was fun! Juan is also the oldest person I’ve ever baptized! Coming in at 67 sweet years old. He is so tender guys. So loving and sweet and genuine. And he looooves to talk. I have learned a lot about El Salvador in 1968 this week. Did you know it cost only one colon to see a movie in 68?



Alaina with the Mission President and his wife, President and Sis Hintze

But yeah. Also I realized the other day that I have been teaching English for the large majority of my mission. And...I LOVE IT. I’ve decided that the two chapinas that were living with WILL LEARN English during their stay with me. In fact I’ve gotten a little Nazi about it. Every night after we work, I teach them and we read the Book of Mormon in English. Maybe the following conversation will help you understand why I love teaching them


“Do you guys know what the word butt means?” (hey, I have to teach them slang too or they will never understand!)


Sister M “”


I lost my head. Good guess, but no. 


We have a lot of fun. 


We had a really neat experience on Monday. We were walking down the street...late to a always. And some girls stopped us and were like...wait can you teach us?!?! And I was flabbergasted. People asking me to teach them the gospel?!? What a beautiful experience! Turns out one of the girls is deaf...I know absolutely nothing when it comes to sign. Good thing Magdawg took sign for like 8 years in high school. She can understand a lot. So I try really hard to communicate with the girl but I feel like a new missionary again because I have no idea what’s going on when we talk to her. But now I'm all fired up to learn sign when I go home. 


Theeennn. We taught a man named Mg. We talked about the Book of Mormon. The best book evaaa!! And he thought it was a bunch of facts about Joseph Smith...and I was like, I just told you it’s another testament of Jesus Christ! How did you confuse that? Ha-ha Sorry sometimes I get a little saucy. But I never say saucy things to investigators no worries. 


Anyways, we explained that we worship God our Father and Jesus Christ. But then the idea occurred to me, what better way to teach this principal than with the literature at question. I flipped open to Mosiah 5


 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.


And then I was like, also look at this. 


26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins



was really touched by those scriptures. And we made some major break throughs.


And I love being a missionary and teaching the truth. I know this is the truth. Just study it out. Pray. I love the gospel guys. 

Be good! Follow the Savior. Nothing makes us less unhappy. Nothing brings greater joy. 



Hermana Hirschi



Monday, January 19, 2015


The Seahawks won. 
I may be in El Salvador, I may only hear Bachata and Cumbia, I may only see Futbol games, but I still know that the Seahawk’s won. 
Atta boys. 
Well. This week Sis M and I did our thing. Putting fechas, preaching the gospel to every creature in every corner of San Salvador. In full or part health. Because one time we ate some skeeeetchy chicken at Mister Donut and I was not feeling on my a-game. Menos Mag dawg who spent the night throwing up. 
But I'm pretty convinced that after 16 months of hard labor, my body is breaking down. Just down and out. Who knows the kind of intensive recuperation I will need after this. At least 4 months in a spa I’m thinking dad. :))))))
But by this point, I'm feeling 100% El Salvadorian. I’m just it you know? I’m a professional at hand washing my clothes in the pila. I’m whipping them out faster than the Latinas these days. Pupusas are my main sustenance. I need the basics to get by. No sheets? No problem. 
Also, I realized recently, that I have been teaching English almost my whole mission. 
And I really enjoy it. It was kinda hard at first...because I didn’t know any of the rules of our ridiculous language, but now I do. It’s pretty neat. Our class right now is a blast. This week I made them write get well cards to Elder P, who is another missionary that also teaches with us. (He got his appendix taken out and was pretty ill). Well the idea seemed promising from the start. But the students delivered much more than I had ever anticipated. Let’s take a look at some of their best phrases for our all-American friend Elder P:
-your presence necessary in the community
-let you to be healed the Holy Ghost 
-you are a great person, a best friend
-welcome to the club appendix
There were some more charmers, but I forgot them. Hopefully these will suffice to give a taste of the laugh we had. Clearly we have a little more work to do. 
Also. One time I took a young investigator to church with the blessing of her mom. but then a little demon girl took her out of her class while Mago and I were in our own class and the girls decided to play in a plant that the young investigator was highly allergic too. Of course.  After church we found her almost hysterical and scratching her arms like crazy. 
I got a little panicky, but then I remembered that I had American meds at our house. AMERICA. We poured water on her arms and ran to our house and gave her an antihistamine!! Never have I been so grateful for antihistamines ever. Add to that, we gave her some cookies and pudding and she calmed down right quick. I was about to offer her peanut butter, but was afraid of further allergies and further law suits.
Her mom was super chill about the situation. 
JA, another investigator, also came to church. He is super tender and last week got to church literally an hour and a half early. I have NEVER made it to church and hour and a half early... We met him like...2 weeks ago. And he’s getting baptized! He is an elderly gentleman, but he is full of faith. He trusts in the Lord and is getting baptized this coming Sunday!  He lost his wife about 5 years ago, and he misses her something terrible. He had many questions about the plan of salvation. It was so fun to teach him that God has a plan--a perfect plan even--and that he WILL see his wife again:)) In fact, families are the central part of that plan, and it’s all possible thanks to Christ. 
Also, I’m rereading the general conference talks. What else. Ah. I just love learning. Mago and I have been using the talks a lot. 
So basically I am extremely grateful that God still speaks to us today. That He calls men to be His servants, His mouth piece, so that we can know what is going on. Also, here is a warning, I’m about to put in a really long insert. But just...hang in there. It will be worth it. 
As an airline pilot, I flew numerous hours across continents and oceans during the darkness of night. Watching the night sky out of my cockpit window, especially the Milky Way, often made me marvel at the vastness and depth of God’s creations—what the scriptures describe as “worlds without number.”1
It was less than a century ago that most astronomers assumed that our Milky Way galaxy was the only galaxy in the universe.2 They supposed all that lay beyond our galaxy was an immense nothingness, an infinite void—empty, cold, and devoid of stars, light, and life.
As telescopes became more sophisticated—including telescopes that could be launched into space—astronomers began to grasp a spectacular, almost incomprehensible truth: the universe is mind-bogglingly bigger than anyone had previously believed, and the heavens are filled with numberless galaxies, unimaginably far away from us, each containing hundreds of billions of stars.3
In a very short period of time, our understanding of the universe changed forever.
Today we can see some of these distant galaxies.4
We know that they are there.
They have been there for a very long time.
But before mankind had instruments powerful enough to gather celestial light and bring these galaxies into visibility, we did not believe such a thing was possible.
The immensity of the universe didn’t suddenly change, but our ability to see and understand this truth changed dramatically. And with that greater light, mankind was introduced to glorious vistas we had never before imagined.
It seems to be a trait of humanity to assume that we are right even when we are wrong. And if that is the case, what hope is there for any of us? Are we destined to drift aimlessly on an ocean of conflicting information, stranded on a raft we have poorly pieced together from our own biases?
Is it possible to find truth?
The purpose of my remarks is to proclaim the joyful message that God Himself—the Lord of Hosts who knows all truth—has given His children the promise that they can know truth for themselves.
Please consider the magnitude of this promise:
The Everlasting and Almighty God, the Creator of this vast universe, will speak to those who approach Him with a sincere heart and real intent.
He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts, and feelings.
He will speak in a way that is unmistakable and that transcends human experience. He will give them divine direction and answers for their personal lives.
Pres. Uchtdorf
I know this gospel is true. He lives. We can find truth, but we would be wise to not rely on our limited experiences. I know we are children of God! 
 Good luck this week. Be righteous. 
Hermana Hirschi