Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane!

Hola amigos y familia!

I officially only have a week left in the MTC! This time next Tuesday, I'll be in California! I'm SO excited. I also can't believe that it's been almost 6 weeks! Some days it felt like 6 weeks would never end. We got our travel plans this week and I'll be leaving the MTC at 4:20am next Tuesday. SO EXCITING!

This week honestly is such a blur. The days went by so quickly, I can't believe it's Pday again today. It was a week full of laughter and some hard moments as usual. I've made so many dear friends here and had so many wonderful moments. 

I think the greatest thing that I learned this week is something I already knew and was just reminded of. I sat in the Provo Temple this morning, thinking about my testimony of Christ and this gospel and was overwhelmed by a sense of peace. I realized that I know that Christ lives. It's not just a belief or something that I hope is true, it's something that I honestly know, just like I know that the sky is blue. It's not something that I doubt or wonder about, I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He is my Savior and Redeemer. I know that God loves me. I feel so grateful that I know these things, and that I get to share this knowledge with the people in California! 

I definitely don't know everything - I think my knowledge is summed up in this scripture from the Book of Mormon. A prophet named Nephi is asked by a messenger from God, "Knowest thou the condescension of God?" and Nephi replies, "I know that He loveth His children, nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things." (1 Nephi 11: 16-17) I feel exactly like Nephi! I don't know everything, and I don't know the answers to all the questions that I have or that others have. However, I know with absolute surety that God loves His children! He loves me, and He loves each of you. I think it's so cool that the God and Creator of this world knows and loves each of His children individually. 

With this being the last week in the MTC, all mail (DearElders, packages, letters, etc) sent here to me needs to arrive by Saturday so I make sure to receive it. If you want to send something to me after this time in the MTC, the address for the mission home in California is on my blog! This is where everything should be sent for the next 17 months.

Thank you all for your support and love and prayers! I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends and family surrounding me. I am thankful for each one of you.

God be with you! Te amo!

Sister Sarah Hirschi | California Arcadia Mission

MTC Address: 
Sister Sarah Hirschi
NOV01 CA-ARC
2005 N 900 E Unit 259
Provo, UT 84602


​Pictures:
1. My district and I found this MormonAd this week and wow it's so true. Keep us updated! We love any and all news from our friends and families :) 
2. WE HAVE OUR TRAVEL PLANS! We were so excited.
3. My sweet friends and sisters! Four of these sisters left this morning and yesterday for their missions.
4. I'm SO excited to go to California! Flight plans made it even more exciting.
5. Hermanas Rolfson and Wheelwright! I love them! 
6. Hermana Flores and I with Hermana Deakin. She's amazing. (Also s/o to the elders photobombing in the background)
7. All the Spanish speaking hermanas with our "MTC Dad" President Price. We love him!
8. All the beautiful hermanas again! 
9. Pajama selfies with our hermanas!
10. Hermana Flores and I with Hermana Machlachlan! We love her.
11. Hermana Rolfson and I! She's going to BYU after her mission too, so we're already planning our reunion

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's A Wonderful Life

Hello friends and family! How is everyone today? I hope you are all well.

This past week has been awesome, as have all the weeks here in the MTC. I'm sitting here typing this looking out the window at some beautiful trees, eating some yummy cookies, and couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I love learning more about Christ every day, and I love being a servant of Him. It rained yesterday and it made me happy! I truly do have such a wonderful life.

Remember the beautiful song I wrote about last week? We got to perform that at the devotional this past Tuesday, and guess who the speaker was! Elder David A. Bednar! What a cool opportunity it was to perform for an Apostle of the Lord, and then to hear his counsel of how we can come closer to Christ. I'm so grateful that God has called prophets and apostles today, just like He has done throughout time. His love is so great and powerful. (Also the rumor in the MTC is that our devotional speaker today might be Jeffrey R. Holland.. stay tuned next week to see if that is true or not!)

This week, I was lucky enough to get to teach a lesson about the Book of Mormon to the other sister missionaries who are serving Spanish speaking missions. As I read and studied to prepare for that lesson, I felt my testimony of that great book grow even more. I love this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley: "There is nothing we could do of greater importance than to have fortified in our individual lives an unshakable conviction that Jesus is the Christ.... And that my brothers and sisters, is the purpose of the coming forth of this remarkable and wonderful book." Could it be any clearer that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring each soul who reads it closer to Christ? Speaking from my own experience, I know that this is true! I've felt closer to Christ each time I read even just a small passage. I know that the same will happen for any person who reads the Book of Mormon with a sincere desire to grow closer to Christ, and I promise you that if you have that desire, you will know that the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and will help you personally in your life to come to know Him. If any of you read the Book of Mormon and feel that, will you share your experience with me? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with the book that I love so much. (If you don't have a copy and want one, let me know and I can get you one for free!)

Also! Something that was super fun for me this week was that my district was chosen out of the entire MTC to be the test district for a new class on family history! So this past Sunday, I was able to spend an hour looking through my family tree, learning about my ancestors and it was the coolest experience. I love how important family history work is in this church. As I read through the names and stories of my family members, I honestly felt a connection with them. I love my family, both those on the earth now and those who have gone before! I know God cares about our families, and I'm so grateful that He has a Plan for us to be together with our families for all eternity.

In all honesty, everything hard about being away from my family and home fades in comparison to the love I feel from God. Life was not meant to be easy, but it was meant to be joyful even in the hard times! I have been so blessed to feel that joy even in the midst of difficulties. God is so good to me. 

Thank you to all those who write me letters, Dear Elders or send me packages - you make the world go round and I'm forever grateful to you! They are a bright spot in my days :) As always, if you have any questions or thoughts you'd like to share, I promise to reply to you! 

Since I focused so much on the Book of Mormon this week, I want to just end with a verse that I think perfectly encapsulates my thoughts towards you! "May Christ life thee up, and may His sufferings and death... and His mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of His glory and of eternal life rest in your mind forever." (Moroni 9:25). May Christ lift each of you up this week in both the difficult and the good times.

Con amor,

Sister Sarah Hirschi | California Arcadia Mission

MTC Address: 
Sister Sarah Hirschi
NOV01 CA-ARC
2005 N 900 E Unit 259
Provo, UT 84602



Pictures:
1. Hermana Flores & I outside of the temple!
2. Hermana Wright! She is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. She left this week for her mission in Anaheim, CA and I'm so excited to hear about all her adventures.
3. Hermana Carreon! She and I met in Boise in the Deseret Book right before we both came into the MTC and have become such good friends here! She left for her mission in San Diego, CA yesterday.
4. Sometimes your laundry is just too heavy to carry any other way but this... 
5. Elders! And Hermana Flores. 
6. A beautiful depiction of the verse I shared. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

HALFWAY THERE & LIVIN ON A PRAYER

Hola amigos! OK the subject line is real for two reasons - one, this week marks the halfway point for my district and I! We have officially been here for 3 weeks and have 3 left! And every day I'm livin on a prayer because I can't do anything without God's help, as I've learned over and over again here. I love being at the MTC and I love learning Spanish.

This week we had a sister from France join our district temporarily! She came early to the MTC so that she could go to the temple today and since her companion and district won't arrive until tomorrow, she's been rooming with Sister Flores and I, which has been super fun. Her name is Hermana Martin, and she has the most beautiful accent and personality. She'll be going to the Montreal Canada mission, speaking both Spanish and French. 

An incredible thank you to everyone who sends me letters, emails and Dear Elders! You are the best and it makes my day to hear from you! I love hearing about your lives and all that goes on. Keep them coming because I promise I'll write you back and also we have a competition in my district to see who gets the most Dear Elders! Instructions for Dear Elders are on my blog :) 

Best part of this week: I GOT TO SEE MY SISTER AT THE TEMPLE. It made my whole day and it makes me happy to just think about it! I love my family and I'm so grateful that I get to be with them forever.

One of the other best parts of this week has probably been singing in the MTC Choir. We are singing the most beautiful arrangement of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" and it is so powerful. I can't wait to perform it tonight! My favorite lyrics are these: "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer, we are weak but thou art strong. In thy infinite compassion, stay the tide of sin and wrong! Keep thy loving arms around us, keep us in the narrow way. Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer, let us never from thee stray." How beautiful is that?! Every time we sing it my soul just feels this incredible love and gratitude for Jesus Christ. He is stronger than our largest strengths, and He has the power to conquer all heartache, sin or wrong in this world if we will turn to Him. 

I love being a missionary. I don't think I could ever explain how much joy it gives me to be a representative of Jesus Christ, inviting people to come unto Him! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ and I am so grateful for His Father and our Father, who loved us each enough to send us His Only Begotten Son. What a miracle His love is. 

Thank you for all your love and support! Thanks to those who read my emails/blog posts - you're the greatest.

I love you all! God be with you!

Sister Sarah Hirschi | California Arcadia Mission

1. EMMA! Ok are we not the cutest sisters ever?

2. Hermana Stringham, me, and Hermana Hansen. They live in the room next door and I love them so much. Hna S is going to Anaheim, CA and Hna Hansen is going to San Antonio, TX.

3. Hna Smith, Hna Wright, Hna Flores, me and Hna Martin. Hna Smith left today for the Everett, WA mission, it's so sad to not see her around anymore!

4. At the temple today! Back row: Hnas Flores, Deakin, Giles and Maclachlan. Front row: Me, Hnas Martin, Hansen and Noorda. I love them all so much!

5. Best district ever - Hna Flores, me, Hna Martin, Elder Hall and Elder Christensen.


6. Cutest sister missionaries ever? I think so. Also s/o to Elder Mixon photobombing in the back.










Thursday, October 6, 2016

HOLA Week 2

Hola amigos!

I honestly can't believe it's already PDay again. It feels like I just emailed home yesterday! Time goes by so quickly here.

This was one of the best weeks ever! On Saturday, I had the privilege of singing in the special MTC Choir at General Conference. It was amazing to sing and to bear witness of Christ in the same meeting that the prophets and leaders of the Church spoke about how to come closer to Him. (If you didn't see me, go to lds.org and watch the Saturday Afternoon Session of the Conference!) During the Conference, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for my Heavenly Father for allowing me to have the opportunity not only to sing in the same room as His apostles and prophets (only 360 of the missionaries here got to sing in the choir), but to be able to be a missionary. It's the best thing ever and I already feel sad thinking that in just 18 months my mission will be over. But I'm not dwelling on that because I've got the next 18 months to make the best ever!

My Spanish is improving rapidly, and I think in part it's because we have class totally in Spanish for several hours a day. I can already teach about Christ in Spanish and can bear my testimony of Him which is the coolest ever because I love talking about my Savior! What a blessing it is to be His witness.

Something sad that happened this week is that Elder Smith switched districts. He had been really struggling with the language and teaching and so they moved him to another district with a beginning Spanish class so that will hopefully help him. But it's sad for us because we felt a lot like a family - we spend almost all day together and it's weird to only have the four of us now. 

I've loved the past two weeks here. It's weird to think that I've only been here for two weeks and yet it also feels like I've been here for forever! But this is such a special place. You can tell that this is a place where the Lord's Spirit is present because all the missionaries (over 2000!) are striving to keep His commandments and serve Him fully. It's one of the best feelings to be in devotionals with all the missionaries and to be singing hymns and praises to God!

Speaking of devotionals, on Sunday night, BYU VOCAL POINT CAME. Literally one of the best things ever! They are so talented and they performed so beautifully! If you don't know who they are, go to YouTube and look up "Nearer My God to Thee" by BYU Vocal Point. They performed that live for us and it was such a spiritual experience! 

The food isn't much better but every Monday night they have Subway or Chick fil A or some other restaurant cater to the MTC so I'm surviving :) And honestly I love it here. There's nothing more fun than being on the Lord's errand, doing His work.

I love Jesus Christ! I love His gospel and am so grateful for His Atonement and love. God's plan for each of us is perfect and is for our good - we just need to trust in that.

I love you all! Write me letters and use Dear Elder (it's super easy) because I seriously love to hear from everyone! Mail is the best and I also promise I'll always write back. If you have questions let me know!

God be with you!!



Pictures:

1. IT RAINED! We love the rain and obviously had to take pictures in it.
2. Gangsters comin at you from District 27 E
3. More rain pictures because I love the rain
4. Popcorn party! Always a must after a long day of Spanish
5. This is Hermana Pierce!!! She left yesterday for her mission and I'll miss seeing her happy face all the time. She was a great friend at BYU.
6. THAILAND SQUAD. Everyone in this picture (except for Elder Fjeldsted, the shorter elder) lived in Thailand at the same time I did! And all of them except for me are going to Thailand on their missions! I love them.



Saturday, October 1, 2016

HOLA from the MTC

HOLA EVERYBODY!!

How is everybody? The past few days have been so crazy but also so great. I love the MTC (Missionary Training Center) a lot. It's a lot of work, and a busy schedule, but so so good. 

I'm in the intermediate Spanish class here which means I'm supposedly supposed to be good at Spanish but yikes it's rough sometimes. Our teachers only talk to us in Spanish so for 6 hours of class a day all I hear is Spanish. I've definitely learned so so much! And we practice teaching a fake investigator named Alejandro and he speaks really fast and pretends he doesn't know English (even though he does know how) so we can't ask him questions about how to say something when we don't know, we just kinda go with it which makes for some interesting conversations sometimes in our broken Spanish.

My companion is Hermana Flores! She's from Salt Lake City and is going to the Redlands California mission. Our district (the group of missionaries who came into the MTC the same day and are learning the same language as me) is really small, only 5 people total. There is a trio of elders - Elder Hall, Christensen and Smith. They're awesome and we've all become really close over the past 6 days we've been here. 

I've learned and grown so much while I've been here! I'm not sure what else yall want to hear about - shoot me an email or a letter and I promise I'll reply and answer your questions! Also I've seen SO many people I know and love here! It's made the transition way easier to literally have a friend to say hi to everywhere I go.

The food here SUCKS. I legit feel sick when I eat it so please send me yummy snacks if you feel like it :) Also shout out to the people who've sent me letters or Dear Elders - you're the greatest ever. (Details for using Dear Elder are on my blog by the way)

However, despite the food, I am happy and loving it here. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ with all of my heart. I know He loves me and I'm so lucky I get to spend the next 18 months teaching about Him and His love! I got to go to the temple today and I love the peaceful feeling that brings. What a great blessing it is to be able to feel God's love for me on a daily basis.

I love and miss you all! God be with you!

Sister Sarah Hirschi | California Arcadia Mission

MTC Address: 
Sister Sarah Hirschi
NOV01 CA-ARC
2005 N 900 E Unit 259
Provo, UT 84602