Well everyone… this week was different.

On Monday night last week I felt terrible. Just absolutely terrible! I drank tons of water hoping my nausea would go away but it kept getting stronger and stronger. The elders came and gave me a blessing and then about an hour or so later I threw up. Then I threw up 5 or 6 more times that night NOT being able to sleep whatsoever. I was so exhausted I was almost delirious. 
The next morning I woke up at 6:30am (after falling asleep around 4am) and I told my companion that I needed to rest probably just until dinner and then we could go out. She texted the mission nurse and she FORBADE me to go out that whole day! I was not very happy about that. There I was, one month left in the mission and I was forbidden to go out in our area. But seriously I don’t really remember that day because I just slept and slept and slept and sweat off the fever I had. The next day I woke up and did my studies normally, I felt a lot better. I even went for an interview with President Jenkins that morning. I felt weak though, I was running on saltine crackers and sprite, but I guess I thought that was sufficient. At dinner I felt terrible. I asked Hermana Knudson and Gutierrez to go on a mini exchange with us so that one of them could drive so I didn’t have to (foreign missionaries are not allowed to drive in our mission). We went to a lesson and afterward we were walking to the next one I told Hermana Knudson that I felt really light like I was about to be lifted off the ground or something. I was just laughing about it and then she got really serious, made us go back to the car, and had me call the nurse.
I called the nurse AGAIN and she chastised me for a good 20 minutes telling me that I needed to stay inside, resting until SATURDAY. Keep in mind it was only Wednesday at that time. She said, “I don’t know what it is about you missionaries that makes you think you are invincible! There are about 8 other missionaries with the same thing as you!” I wanted to scream but I just ended up laughing since I was still a bit delirious… lol. Anyway, I won’t go on any further on how disappointed I was knowing that I practically had to stay a whole week inside. However, I also can not explain to all of you just how much a learned in that time as well.
As I was throwing up Monday night/Tuesday morning, the only thing that was on my mind was Jesus Christ when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is weird, I know. But that was all I could think about. And when I would miraculously get about 5 minutes of sleep in between throwing up, it’s what I would dream about too. I thought about how much pain I was in in that moment, but how I can’t even imagine what the Savior had to experience for me and for you in Gethsemane. And he did it willingly.
The elders brought over tons of church DVDs for us to watch and during one of those days I watched a video about Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. I’ve seen countless videos like this one before, but it hit me harder that day I watched it. In the end, 2 Nephi 2:8-9 popped up on the screen:
“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.”
This week was a bit of a tough one for me. I was physically sick, I felt weak and tired – more than I ever have before on my mission, I have been somewhat stressed as this is my last month in the mission, President and Sister Jenkins are leaving and many changes are coming my way. But at the same time I feel comforted, knowing that the Son of God understands me and knows exactly how I feel and reassures me that it will all work out.
If I could tell you all that I’ve done, all that I’ve learned and experienced in one email for each week it would surely never end. But I hope you can understand what I am trying to get across here. I really love serving the Lord. I know that I am doing His work here in Arizona. I know He loves me. I know He loves you.
Hermana Hershey
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Hermana Escobar happily enjoying her Taco Bell as I eat soup.
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This is Mariana, her mom is getting baptized this Saturday! She is so golden!
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President and Sister Jenkins had a farewell breakfast this morning for all July departing missionaries (since they leave tomorrow morning and won’t get to be there at our farewell dinner) and after we all got our itineraries. I will be flying first to Utah and then to Idaho from there.
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¿”Dónde está el minion”?

Hi everyone!

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all of those fathers
out there! Hope it was a great day for everyone.

This week went fast as usual but a lot of miracles happened. We went
looking for this referral we received a while ago named Isabel. When
we got to the door, this man opened it up and told us she wasn’t home.
We asked what his name was, etc etc and ended up talking to him for a
bit. He just got here from Guatemala and was in a bad accident over
there. It was so bad that he shouldn’t have lived but he was telling
us that he has faith that God saved him for a reason. We shared a
scripture and our testimonies and asked if we could come back again
and he said that we’d definitely could because he believes we were
sent from God. He told us that he had prayed that God would send
someone to teach him about His word and then we showed up! It was so
cool!

Also, we went over to Luz’s house to visit. She was really busy and
asked us to come in. She had learned about priesthood blessings at
church and so she asked for one for her two daughters and her sister
and mother. The elders came over and gave them all blessings. At the
end they were all in tears and the spirit was really strong. The next
day we went back for a lesson and Luz’s sister really opened up to us
which was a miracle! She told us of some problems she has had and how
she thinks it’s amazing that two elders, that she has never met in her
life, came the day before and said exactly what she needed to hear.
They mentioned something very specific to her that she has been
worried about.

As she was sitting there telling us all of these problems she has
(which are pretty tough problems if I might add) I was feeling
inadequate and not really knowing what in the world I could say to
her. Then all of the sudden the thought came to me, “What are you
doing, Hermana Hershey? You have almost all of the teachings of the
Presidents in your hands (on my iPad) that you could share!” So I went
through my tags and shared this from Elder Dale G Renlund:

“At the same time, I can emphatically state that because of the
Atonement of Jesus Christ, ultimately, in the eternal scheme of
things, there will be no unfairness. “All that is unfair about life
can be made right.” Our present circumstances may not change, but
through God’s compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more
than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever
hope for. We are promised that “God shall wipe away all tears from
[our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor
crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things
are passed away.”

The other day one of my recent converts messaged me and told me that
she is so grateful for all that I taught her. As I read that I
wondered if she – and all others I have taught while on my mission –
will ever know how much more I learned from them. Watching people
change because of the atonement has been one of the best learning
experiences for me. I don’t think these experiences could ever be
replaced by any others.

Our recent convert, Jesus, has a younger brother named Omar who has
autism. Omar is so fun to be around! He has so much energy! He also
loves the Minions. Hermana Gutierrez had a stuffed minion that she
told us we could give to Omar. So yesterday we went over and gave it
to him after a lesson with his family. I have never seen someone so
excited to receive anything! It was so cute to see his face just light
up over something so small!

Well I have so much more to say but this email is already pretty long
but I will leave you all with my testimony of the priesthood (aka the
authority from God to act in His name). I know that that power was
lost for many centuries after the death of the original twelve
apostles but that it was restored by the prophet Joseph Smith. Many
think that we may worship Joseph Smith, but that it far from the
truth. We only worship God the Father. Joseph Smith was just another
prophet as Moses and Abraham were. But I do know that he was an honest
man and that if anyone ever has any questions or doubts about the
church the first thing they need to do is read the Book of Mormon and
pray to know if it’s true. Because if the Book of Mormon is true, then
everything else we teach and believe goes right along with it.

I love you all –

Hermana Hershey

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Omar and his minion
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 blurry but this is my best friend!
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we tend to carpool with our roommates

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I have been drawing things that happen during the week in Hermana
Escobar’s 12-week book (for trainees)!

El Bautismo de Brent

This week we had Brent’s baptism! Even though none of the bishopric
came and neither did our ward mission leader, it was still so great! I
felt the spirit really strong and I could see how happy Brent was!
Brent is only 11-years-old and he comes from a part-member family. He
has a sweet spirit and he said that he wants to go on a mission just
like his brother! Definitely a baptism I won’t be able to forget. We
actually met him and put him on date Hermana Escobar’s first night!

I had a really cool experience while teaching an investigator named
Luz. She was telling us about her hardships in life. She is from
Mexico and has two little girls, one with some medical problems. She
was telling us how she came here for a better life and that it has
been hard but that she has so much faith and she knows that God gives
us trials for a reason. She said she didn’t know why she had the
trials she does but that she has faith that everything will work out.
As I was sitting there listening to her I just felt so much compassion
for her! I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to be in her
situation and yet there she was with so much positivity and hope. She
has come to church twice since we met her and she is really excited
for her baptism!

Friday we were weekly planning in the church building and this lady
walks in and sits in the couch across from us. She was there for a
mid-single adults party that night and came to cook something in the
kitchen. I was talking to her just trying to get to know her and I
asked if she needed help with anything. I could tell she was a little
bit… different. Anyway, I literally just said, “we can help you if
you want” and she just replied, “I don’t think girls should be
missionaries. It makes since that the boys would do it… They have
the priesthood and it’s their job to teach the gospel.” I was in
shock! And so I told her that I disagreed and she laughed and said,
“Well I’ll just let God speak for himself.” And so I said, “Oh, He
already did through a prophet when he extended the invitation for all
worthy young men AND women to serve missions.” Then she just looks
down at her phone and we stood up and left. I think to say I was angry
would be an understatement.

So with that whole thing on my mind, Friday night I was a little
worried because we had been so busy with set appointments and meetings
that we hadn’t found any new investigators. So Friday night every one
of our lessons cancelled beforehand and we were able to go find. We
knocked on a referral’s door but no one answered. So we decided to
just walk to the other street all the way around and see if anyone was
outside. We talked to those we saw (which were few) but they were not
interested. I had a prayer in my heart as we kept walking when all of
the sudden I just turned my head and saw the lady coming out of her
house. I have never seen someone with such a desperation in their eyes
and she looked at me. I walked toward her and said “Hermana, are you
okay?” And she burst into tears. She came towards us and then told us
how she doesn’t want to live with her husband anymore because they
constantly fight. We walked with her to a chapel about 10 minutes away
and called the elders for a blessing. Then one of the members (Hermana
Gonzalez – she’s the best!) came to talk with her. We ended up
spending the whole night with this lady and her two little children.
Turns out she is a member but has been inactive for more than 10
years. At the end of the night when we were saying goodbye, she
grabbed my hand and told me how thankful she was that she saw us and
how we helped her so much.

The next day we found four investigators and one more on Sunday. We
ended up hitting our goal within the last days of the week. I know
that we needed to be walking down that road that evening and that she
was crying out for help and Heavenly Father sent us to her. I can’t
explain how or why I turned my head to see her, but I am glad I did.
Even though we didn’t find as we had planned that night, Heavenly
Father needed us to be somewhere else. I also know that that rude lady
I was talking about earlier was wrong and that girls CAN and SHOULD be
missionaries! I know that sisters can get into places that elders
can’t, just like the prophet has said. To comfort this lady in her
time of need would be not as easy for an elder as it was for a sister.

I know that everyone is a child of God, including the super rude lady.
I was angry but now I’m over it. She obviously has some trials that I
cannot see and I have some that she couldn’t see either.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Hershey

 

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Brent’s baptism!

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I went to downtown Mesa again

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I will miss the sky here

El Principio del Final

Dear family and friends,

This week has been good. I literally cannot believe that this is my
last transfer! I started “My Plan” today and it was weird. I am
staying in the same area and finishing training Hermana Escobar.
President already told me beforehand so I wasn’t surprised. I am so
glad though! Also Hermana Knudson is coming with Hermana Gutierrez so
we will get to be roommates!

Wow so many things happened this week. First of all we went to the
visitors center with Jesus and an investigator named Osman. We watched
the Joseph Smith movie. In the middle Jesus tells us that he feels
sick and then runs out of the room. I think he had the flu because he
was shaking and sweating pretty bad. Poor guy threw up in the trash
can outside. We ran to a senior couple that serves in the VC and asked
he elder for a blessing. He was talking to this member who was
visiting the VC and asked if he would help in giving a priesthood
blessing with him. They take Jesus in the office and this random
stranger – who I have never met and still don’t know his name –
proceeds to give Jesus the most powerful blessing ever! I look up
halfway through and see that this man has a tattoo on his arm. It was
obvious that he is either a convert or was inactive for a while
before. My testimony of the Atonement was strengthened in that moment.
I was in tears at the end of that blessing. I tried to hide my face so
Jesus wouldn’t see me crying, haha.

One thing I have really come to realize is that no one is perfect. We
ALL make mistakes and fall sometimes. Everyone is different and has
different strengths and weaknesses. But we are not expected to be
perfect, and we are not expected to walk this life alone. We have a
Savior who understands us and is always there to help. I have come to
realize that there are many things I would not be able to do without
Him. And training a new missionary is definitely one of them.

“My Plan” is kind of strange and definitely not what I was expecting.
My whole life right now is the mission and “My Plan” helps me to see
that this is just the beginning and the best is yet to come after I
return home. I was kind of thinking that this was the best thing that
has ever happened in my life (even though it’s been tough) and I
wasn’t very excited to go back to a place where I know things will be
different and I will most definitely be different as well. But I can
see now that change will be good. However I am still glad to be in the
mission and I am still overwhelmed thinking of how much time I don’t
have.

Anyway, enough of that. It is so hot here! Above one hundred degrees
every single day! If you would like to feel what Arizona feels like I
invite you to turn your oven on and just sit in there. I’m not joking.
That is what it feels like. But I’m not complaining because I actually
think I will miss it in a weird way.

Things are going so well in the area. We have an investigator named
Angel and he is very prepared. He asked for Sundays off from work just
to go to church. He basically bore his testimony on the sabbath day
during one of our lessons. We also have a baptism this Saturday for a
young boy named Brent. We are seeing many miracles!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Hermana Hershey

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