Bautismo de Martinez y Libia

unnamedIt was a weekend of baptisms! And it was so great! Three out of the five Martinez’s were baptized! The mom gave her testimony at the end and it was so powerful. She talked about how she came to our ward for the first time and she was praying to know if this really was the truth. As we went to Sunday School we were talking about the priesthood and she said that she felt a peaceful feeling that she had never felt before that she couldn’t even explain. She received her answer that this church was true right there in Sunday school. It’s funny because I remember that day, and I thought it was a horrible day to bring an investigator because everyone kept on sharing their opinions, going into deeper doctrine, etc. but it just goes to show that the Lord is capable of doing His own work and it truly is the Spirit that can touch the hearts of people.
unnamed-1The next day Libia was  was baptized as well! So Libia is a Spanish lady that the English elders were teaching as well. She decided to go to the English ward to be with her children but she doesn’t speak English very well so she asked if we would keep teaching her. Her date was moved a couple of times but after a few months of chaos and confusion she was finally baptized! And she was so happy!

Though this week was filled with baptisms and other miracles it was still a bit of a tough one for me. With Matt’s birthday coming up, that seems to be something always in the back of my mind. It is not easy being away at this time. It wasn’t easy last year either. But
Heavenly Father always knows just what I need. Yesterday was particularly hard but we got the chance to take a few different investigators to the visitors center. In the VC they have a little exhibit called “God’s Plan for His Family” and it just explains why the family is so important and how we can live together forever. We showed this twice to two different groups of investigators and it was amazing because at the end I got to bear my testimony of eternal families. I felt the spirit so strong in both of those moments.

I know that the ordinances we do in the temple are so important and some of the greatest blessings we have. One of these ordinances is the sealing of a family. I had the opportunity to be sealed to my family back in 2001 in the San Diego Temple. Because of this, I know that I can live with my family again after this life. I know I will see my brother again. I know where he is and I know that he is happy.

Alma 40
11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection–Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

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I am blessed to have the knowledge that I have. I am blessed to have the family that I have. Part of why I came on a mission was to give back to God for all that He has given me, for He has given me a lot. I am forever grateful for forever families.

Love,
Hermana Hershey

Flatiron

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Sorry to write kind of late today, but I went on a hike! Not just any hike though. This is the hardest hike in our mission. We started dark and early and 4:30am and didn’t get home until about 1:00pm. But the hike is called flatiron and it literally requires hands and feet. It
took so long to get up and it was the hardest hike I have ever done and probably will ever do in my life. But it was so amazing! I loved every second of it even though right now I cannot feel my legs.unnamed

On the way up I ran into a guy named Kevin who is a Jehovah’s Witness. We started talking and I testified about the gospel. It was cool that even during a hike early in the morning I got to share my testimony. It was a really great experience and one that I will never forget. I will add many pictures from the hike this morning. It’s funny because we got lost on the way down so it took about and hour extra. But it was so fun and I am grateful for all of the friends I have made here in Mesa. We went with almost the whole group who flew out to Mesa this time last year.

Well so much has happened this week I don’t even know where to begin! Hermana Avalos, the one who was just baptized a month ago, came with us to teach one night and her testimony is so strong! It just makes me so happy whenever I hear it! She is so great and I am so lucky to know her! We had a fireside last night and she and one of her sons bore
their testimonies and it was such a great experience!

I also went on exchanges with Hermana Zamudio this week and I just have to say that she is one amazing missionary and person. She has had so many trials, it is honestly unbelievable, and yet she is still here on a mission. She and her twin sister are the only members in their family. I learned a lot from her and I was actually working in the VC
for the day since she is a VC sister. It was a fun experience.

unnamed-2The Avalos family went through the temple to do baptisms for the dead and we got to accompany them! It was so amazing and also super crowded but they had a great time! It was cool to be able to go and help them through it! Afterwards they took us to get Sonoran hot dogs which are hot dogs wrapped in bacon and are topped with beans, onions, guacamole, ketchup, mustard and who knows what else. They were pretty
good though.

We rode with them in their car to save miles and the windows were down the whole time so my hair got so messed up and tangled! Karla tried to help me out with it and it was such a funny experience. We ended up ripping part of my hair out! It had never been that tangled before, haha. She is so sweet.

unnamed-6Well I just wanted to share a scripture from the Book of Mormon. It’s in Alma 37:37 which says, “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” I love this and it stuck out to me the other day during my studies. I think it’s so Struve that we need to always be praying and ask our Heavenly Father for guidance in all that we do. Whether it be school, work or family, I know that He cares and is always willing to help us if we let Him.

Well I love you all and hope you are doing well!

Hermana Hershey

Mas fotos:

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Balloons

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Wow what a busy busy week it was! It went by so quickly I can’t believe it. Well I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day!

unnamed-4Let’s see, we went to the temple twice this week, once in English and once in Spanish and it was so fun in Spanish! I did a lot better than I thought I was going to do. I really have come to love the Mesa Temple. It’s definitely a close second to the San Diego as being my
favorite.

We also went on exchanges and I was with two English sisters, Sister Crookston and Elisan. It was so fun but I feltunnamed-2 bad for them because they can’t speak any Spanish and they both came to my area with me. But they were good sports! Sister Crookston told me about how she went to BYU-I and I said, “Everyone has tried to convince to go there and no one has ever succeed.” And then she totally convinced me to consider BYU-I, something I never thought could be done! She has so much energy it was so fun.

unnamed-3We went with one of our investigators to New Beginnings for the Young Women and they did this really cool activity that I loved so much! So they had us write our testimony of the Savior on a piece of paper along with Mormon.org and then we tied it to a balloon and let it go with the hopes that someone will find it and visit the website. I thought it was a genius idea!

unnamed-1We had a Spanish Conference on Saturday with all of the Spanish missionaries in our mission. It was fun to see everyone and it’s crazy how few of us are are compared to the rest of the mission. Our mission president was talking to us and made us feel pretty special as being Spanish speaking missionaries in a prominently English speaking
country. He told us that we are called specifically here for only a specific group of people. Well, he made it sound a lot better than that but you get the point.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Hershey

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The Season of Oranges has Just Begun

Hey everyone!

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Grapefruit

This week was so amazing! The work here is going so well! Also citrus season is back so people are giving us oranges and grapefruit like there is no tomorrow. Our investigator gave us these grapefruit that are the biggest grapefruit I’ve ever seen. Arizona knows citrus.

So we have an investigator who has a problem with drinking coffee and she believed that what we taught was true but she “could not stop drinking coffee because she loved it so much.” So we had a lesson with her trying to help her in the best way possible. She then mentioned how she loves frapuccinos from Starbucks. And I was like, “You know that you can get any frapuccino without coffee, right?” And then she freaked out and was super happy and said she would quit coffee. It was kind of strange.

We have been finding a lot more people to teach, which has been great. We even got some bikes today so that we can ride around some trailer parks in our area to talk to people more easily. I’m really excited for that!

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At In N’ Out celebrating Hermana Gonzalezes’ year mark.

So last night we went to a formers house and a girl opened the door who was about 15 years old. She was watching the super bowl and told us all about it, haha. She invited us in and her sister and mom came out as well. This family was so awesome. Usually when you first
contact someone as a missionary it’s a bit awkward, but this time it wasn’t at all. Both Hermana Gonzalez and I got along so well with them right of the bat! It was so great! But the Broncos won the super bowl which isn’t so great (Dad that was for you).

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My district

So much is happening here the time seems to be flying by faster and faster. I get to go to the temple two times this week! Once in English and then our mission president has put together a Spanish Conference for us missionaries and we will get to do a session in Spanish! I am really really excited for that!

Well I hope you all are doing well! Miss you!

Hermana Hershey

 

Mucho Éxito

Hey everyone!

This week was so SO GOOD! This was the busiest week by far but I loved every minute of it! We found so many investigators this month we even passed our goal. We also have people on date to be baptized this month. Also, Carlos Avalos and his son (2 of the 5 who were baptized last week) got the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday! They all have recommends to do baptisms for the dead in the temple! I am so excited for this!

Yesterday we went to the visitors center to watch Meet the Mormons with the Avalos and others from our ward and it was so great. Afterward I was showing Karla (the 15 year old girl) that my missionary tag was on the wall in one of the displays and then she said, “I already talked to my mom about going on a mission. I really am planning on going!” I was so excited! That was probably the highlight of my week.

With good things also come bad. We were at our investigators house talking to her outside when a man pulled up. He got out of the car and started talking to our investigator – totally interrupting our conversation. He turns to us and says, “So are you ladies with the LDS church?” And I said yes. Then he said, “So you think you have the truth?” And I said, “Yes, I know that we do.” He then was the most disrespectful and rude man I have ever talked to. He started quoting Bible verses at us and telling us that we were wrong and whatever.
Turns out he is a Pastor at some Christian church. It’s hard to believe someone would call them self a Christian and act like that. I tried my hardest to be kind and I told him that he is a son of God and that He loves him. Sigh, so many rude people.

It kind of left me in a downish mood and then I started to beat myself up a little bit. I thought that maybe I should memorize more scriptures and study the bible more in depth. I felt like maybe I just wasn’t “educated” enough. Then I remembered that the 12 apostles the Jesus called when he was on earth were not kings and princes from royalty but they were fishermen and common people. The Lord qualifies those He calls.

One thing that Pastor said was that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. He said that he, himself, had studied for years and went to school to do what he does and he has studied the Bible extensively. And apparently, in his opinion, Joseph Smith couldn’t have been a true prophet. A scripture from the Book of Mormon popped into my head.

It’s 3 Nephi 5:13 which says,
“Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.”

I thought to myself, “Joseph Smith was called of God Himself. Who were
you called by? Your diploma?”

One thing I know is that Joseph Smith restored the gospel of Jesus Christ once again to the earth. He was called of God to be a prophet, a long with those who came after him and our living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. That pastor is wrong. Based on what he was saying he did not understand the LDS religion and he was only looking to argue.

I think it’s funny that many people have tried to attack and run down my beliefs, but by attacking me it has only made my testimony grow. I am glad to be here on a mission at this time. It has not been easy but it has been worth it.

Hermana Hershey

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I just wanted to also show you these birds that we see everywhere here in Arizona! I didn’t know these type of birds existed here. I finally caught a picture.