Once & For All

I cannot believe that this will be my last email as a missionary! The
first nine months felt like and eternity and the last nine months felt
like a month. This whole mission experience has been quite different
than I was expecting, but I would not change it for the world. This
last week will be jam packed with things to do, including a baptism
for Angel. After much tribulation he has finally been prepared to be
baptized this weekend!

My mission has been one of the most challenging things I have ever
done. Going from living a carefree life to one with many rules and
expectations was a difficult adjustment for me. To be honest, I am
kind of shocked that I am still here today and that I have made it to
the end. I know that I am a weak person and that I could not have made
it here by my own strength. I know that that strength -without a
doubt- came from the Savior.

My first transfer in the mission field I clearly remember sitting at
my desk just right before studies were about to start and wondering
what exactly I could say to my mission president to get him to send me
back home. I thought that the mission life just wasn’t for me, that I
would never be able to do it. It was at that point that I slowly
started to realize just what Jesus Christ did for me and all of my
problems seemed so small compared to such a sacrifice. I wish I could
say that that was the only time I ever felt incompetent as a
missionary, but those moments came and went throughout my entire
mission – and each time I learned something new from it.

Last Monday we were heading back from a lesson when I saw a truck that
broke down right in the middle of the road. We quickly pulled into a
nearby parking lot and jumped out of the car to help him push it. We
run across the street and Hermana Escobar hops in the front to steer
while I helped this guy push his truck. All of the sudden this other
man comes into the middle between us and said, “Sister?! What are you
doing??” Then helped us push. I just laughed as we tirelessly tried to
push this truck out of the middle of the road. But when he said that I
began to wonder… What WAS I doing? I think I must’ve looked pretty
funny: this young, blonde girl in a skirt trying to push a truck off
of one of the busiest streets in Mesa. I probably would have never
done that before the mission! Once we got his car into a safe place we
talked with him a bit and asked if he wanted to meet with missionaries
in his town. He told us that he wasn’t sure if God existed, but
because we stopped and helped him out he said, “I can see that good
people still exist in the world, and maybe it’s time for me to be
quiet for once and actually listen to His word.” We got his

As we walked back to our car I kept thinking about him. Here was this
guy, obviously struggling, he had tattoos up and down his arms and
neck and just looked like a tough guy. He clearly had a rough past
behind him, but his Father in Heaven was reaching out His hand once
more to help him so that he could change and find out what true
happiness really is. It just proves to me that truly everyone is a son
or daughter of God and none of us are ever forgotten.

There were many things before the mission that I just didn’t
understand that I have now come to understand. There are still many
things that I know I will learn. I have loved being a missionary! I
love the people I got to see baptized. I love the investigators who
actually taught me quite a lot. I love the members. I love the
anti-Mormons who made me question myself at times. I love all of the
priests and pastors I ran into who yelled at me. I love Heavenly
Father. He never took away any struggle I had, He only let me know
what I needed to do in order to get through it. I know for a fact that
if I would have not come on a mission (or given up in the beginning of
it) that my life would be terribly different.

It is so hard to say goodbye to the place that I have come to love so
much, but I know that my time has come. To all of those missionaries
still serving: enjoy the good times and appreciate the bad. Be
obedient and never be discouraged. Know that you really are doing the
work of the Lord, I have a firm testimony of that!

I know that this church is true! I have said it a million times and I
will say it until the end. I know that God is real and that He loves
us and cares. I know Jesus Christ suffered for all of our sins and
weaknesses and that it really is through him that we can have burdens
of guilt and shame lifted from our shoulders. I know that Joseph Smith
restored the keys of the priesthood and the gospel to the earth. I
know all of these things because I have prayed and studied and read
the scriptures. And I also know, that if you don’t know these things,
that you can – but only if you desire. God will not take your agency
and force you to have faith in anything. But just as we can see in the
case of the man that’s truck was broken down, He will always give you
another chance.

I would never be able to express all that I have learned, all that
I’ve experienced in one email. But just know that I love the Lord.
They can take my name tag away but I will never stop serving Him. I
know that I still have a responsibility to share with everyone the
only thing that truly saved my life: the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Les amo a todos. La mayoría de ustedes les veré el próximo martes.
Sigue haciendo fuerte!

Hermana Hershey

Here’s a few random pictures:





El Bautismo de Luz Maria

This week was so much better than last! Well first of all we had Luz’s
baptism and it was seriously one of the most powerful baptisms I have
ever gone to! After she went under the water she started crying. When
she bore her testimony she was talking about how much her life has
changed for the better since she met us five weeks ago! She is so
excited to go through the temple in a year, she can hardly wait. I am
telling you, I have never met someone so prepared to receive the
gospel as Luz Maria. I’m so blessed to have known her.

This Sunday was my last fast Sunday. It’s funny because I spent my
first fast Sunday in this ward as well! Actually it was my first
Sunday in general in the mission field. I remember that day my
trainer, Hermana Del Valle went up to bear her testimony. She went up
and sat on the stand and I was so worried that I would be in trouble
for not sitting next to her so about 30 seconds later I went and sat
next to her. But then I realized that I didn’t actually have to sit
next to her and that now I had to bear my testimony in a language I
could hardly speak! I can’t remember what I said but I am pretty sure
it was terrible Spanish! Luckily this fast Sunday I could speak the
language a bit better. But the embarrassing thing is that I totally
cried at the end when I told them I loved them. It was so
embarrassing, ugh.

Sacrament meeting was so good! We went to visit Jesus (our recent
convert) right before and invite his parents to church (they are not
members). They actually came! And they brought Omar, the little boy we
gave the minion to a while back. I was worried because Omar has autism
and usually can’t be quiet or sit still but it was no problem at all.
I was actually leading the music in sacrament and Omar was sitting in
the front row following my hand motions, haha. It was so weird because
I saw that the last hymn was #338 and I was looking in the Spanish
hymn book and there was not hymn #338 and then the bishop stood up and
said that we would be singing the last hymn in English! It was
“America the Beautiful” and let me just say, I am SO HAPPY that I was
conducting the music that day because it was hilarious to see people
try and sing a song in English! About 2/3 of the congregation was just
looking at the hymn book in confusion.

We also did a “Tree of Life” activity which was a big hit. The point
was to recreate Lehi’s dream from the Book of Mormon. They all thought
it was so cool! I was worried because I thought the set up was a
little ghetto since us missionaries were in charge of it and our
supplies are limited but it was really a great activity.

Well Happy Independence Day everyone! This is one of my favorite
holidays so enjoy it for me. We are so blessed to live in this
country. You should hear some of the stories I hear of all of these
immigrants who have come here from different parts of the world. It is
very humbling and really has changed my outlook on a lot of things in
life. Count your blessings!

Hermana Hershey

1: Luz Maria!!!
2: serving nachos at the tree of life activity
3: we had a nerf gun war to celebrate our 2nd amendment right! 🇺🇸
4: I got Hermana Gutierrez sick on accident.

Luz Maria!!!
Serving nachos at the Tree of Life activity


We had a nerf gun war to celebrate our 2nd amendment right! 🇺🇸


I got Hermana Gutierrez sick on accident.