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