Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From Dec. 2, 2013

This week is probably the most eventful week of my mission so far.
This week, on Thanksgiving, we started the day by cleaning the house of one of the coolest members in the world. They were out of town, and we love them so much we decided to clean their house. We began, and getting about 6 hours into it, the boys were lost, having no idea what to do next. Not because it was almost finished, but because it was so messy haha. The girls kept us in check, and after a few trips over a couple of days, we were able to finish cleaning. There's a picture attached that shows one section of our efforts.
I had surgery on Friday. It all went well! Elder Bird had to wait 6 hours at the hospital from start to finish, but for me it felt like less than an hour. I felt GREAT! When I was in the process of "coming to," I translated some Portuguese with Elder Bird, solved math problems that he quized me on, said hello to every doctor that passed by, and asked some really random q's about the Gobi desert to the nurse tending to me. I still can't figure out all the weird looks I was once again I am crutches-bound. But my district is my new family right now, and they for sure treat me like family. I am well looked after every day. We were worried Elder Bird would be bored on Friday after my surgery because I was couch-bound, so we had a BBQ with the districtFriday night. We got a gift card for $35 from a member, and me and Elder Bird bought $35 worth of steak for the BBQ with everyone. It was fantastic, until it came back up in the bathroom haha.
So on Sunday Sister J wasn't feeling well, so we went to the  sister's apartment to give her a blessing of comfort. We talked for a while and it was time to take my pain pills. Before I knew it, I was out for the count! In the meantime, Sister J was getting worse. She's gluten intolerant, and she thinks she ate some gluten over Thanksgiving. We were trying to get her to go to the hospital, and she wouldn't go. She's a total stud. But she should've gone anyway. Because this morning she had to be ambulanced over to the hospital this morning! We went and visited her with the other elders to make sure she was ok. She's doing better and just got the go ahead to leave.
The point of the story is that even though we're away from our families are far away, sometimes across seas, we still have families here with the people we form friendships with. On a mission, you can't just learn to like the people you're around. You have to learn to take care of them, mourn with them that mourn, walk with those who are discomforted, and be a family when they don't have one. I'm so grateful for the people I teach with and get to know here on a mission. Elder Bird leaves in 2 and a half weeks, so we're getting another elder named Elder Herreira. He's going to Brazil also! It will be so hard to see Elder Bird go. He's like a big brother to me, and I'm glad I could meet him and see a great example of a big brother. Well, we have to go pick the Sisters up from the hospital, so I can't respond to any more emails, but love you all!
Elder Jake Hirschi
From November 25, 2013

This week is hopefully going to be as good as last week was! We saw numerous miracles, and had some amazing experiences as well.
We've been visiting a number of people who used to come to church but have fallen away or lost interest recently. Our job is to help bring them back. So we visit a man named Will, whose wife died not even a year ago. His wife got him interested in the church, and now that she is gone, he was bitter, angry, and uninterested in associating with it. As of Monday, that is. We went over there and I'm only halfway exaggerating when I say he used more vulgar words than non-vulgar words in our "discussion" (very one-sided). He was in a whirlwind of a mood, and I wasn't sure if his pets were going to survive the week haha. We visit him again on Wednesday, and he's a little better. Not 100% but at least he wasn't yelling too much. We gave him a chapter or two to read so we could discuss it the next time we came over. Then on Saturday, we went to his house and he had a 100% turnaround. He had read the chapter, actually enjoyed it, and started smiling and even laughed once or twice. It was truly one of the best things I've seen on my mission. I like how we don't work for money or praise, because the change that comes as a result of people turning to the gospel is far better than money or praise, as cheesy and cliche as it sounds.
   We had multiple experiences just like this, including a man coming to church who hadn't come in 2 years, at least. The missionaries have visited his house twice a week for as long as we can remember, and he's never come to church. This week he came to church, and he said "wow, it just feels like I'm home again." Such a humbling, gratifying experience again!
   We also helped a woman write a letter to her son who lives in the virgin islands, who she wants nothing more than to be with again. She is blind, and has failing kidneys, as well as diabetes. Her relationship with her son has been scarred because she was supposed to bring him over to the US and she's having trouble doing so. Her son doesn't even know that she is blind or has any of these problems, so he misunderstands the difficulty in getting the paperwork done required to bring him over to the US. Her son is mad at her because he thinks she doesn't love him. They talk very little over the phone, and we suggested she write him a letter.  She can't even see us, and we've only met her one other time, and she still trusted us enough to ask us what to write in this letter to her son. It was another humbling experience and one that was important for me to learn this week. It helped me appreciate the great family I have, and the ability I have to email home every week, even if we can't talk on the phone very often or see each other very often!
   So long story short, we had a great week. I'll be straight-jacketed and under the knife this week so Elder Bird is going to have to figure out a way to entertain himself for a couple days. We're planning a big bbq in our district, so that's something to look forward to also.

 Dad, how many days did it take you to recover? I'm going to try to beat you, so heads up.
 Mom, thank you so much for the package, the Portuguese talks are great, and I do appreciate the hoody I've missed it... and
 Megan, thank you so much for the tree, which is displayed on our wall, it's gorgeous.
 Johnny, we have our old 90's family pic up above the kitchen sink, and you're the cutest 4 year old I think I've ever seen. Thanks for the letter.

 I do have a couple the top of my Christmas list (perhaps early than Christmas so Elder Bird can see it) it the reenactment of our 90's family picture that we took at the Roenthal's right before we left for our missions. I've been craving it like crazy! Also another inhaler is never a bad thing:) Thanks and have a great week in Wichita!!
 Elder Jake Hirschi

From November 19, 2013

So today is my 5 month mark away from home. Time flies by, yet a ton has happened. Miracles happen left and right if you just open your eyes to them. For example, I have to get knee surgery. Boo hoo. At first I was praying that I wouldn't have to get knee surgery, because typically when you're on a mission you get sent home for surgery, no q's asked. There's a missionary who left home yesterday because he has to get surgery on his wrist. He should've left in December but he has to go now. So this happens all the time. But after seeing a series of miracles, I'm more blessed than bummed. 
 First of all, it's a minor surgery, so I do NOT have to get sent home for it. Miracle in and of itself. Second of all, and perhaps more important, I'm not in Brazil yet. If everything would've gone "according to plan" I would be in Brazil right now, and definitely would've gotten sent home, because they wouldn't let me get surgery internationally. I hurt my knee by kicking a soccer ball. I've kicked thousands of soccer balls, and I've never had to get surgery because of it. But because of what the doctor said, this was going to happen eventually. I don't think it's coincidence that it happened while I was randomly kicking a ball in NY, as opposed to Brazil. Part of my reason for being here may be to get surgery, and be all healed before going to Brazil, and kicking thousands more soccer balls:) So I'm grateful that I am where I am, and it doesn't bother me that I'm not in Brazil yet.
 So in our ward the sister missionaries started what's called the ward fast calendar. I hope I haven't mentioned this yet, because I can't remember. But anyway people in the congregation sign up for a day to fast on. They sacrifice two meals and consecrate that day to fasting and remembering and praying for certain people. The missionaries call these families the night before they are going to fast, and they tell the family which names the missionaries have asked them to fast for. The night after they fast, the missionaries call again and report all the miracles they witnessed that day, and thank the families for contributing to those miracles through their sacrifices. There's something about getting a whole network of people to sacrifice and pray for one cause, that produces miracles and blessings beyond what it would've been without the sacrifice. The miracles have been overwhelming, and part of that is due to the fact that we're simply opening our eyes. Always watch for miracles, because they're there. 
 One exciting thing that we were able to do this week is attend a Baptist Gospelfest, or gospel music concert. It was a hit, and more than 300 people showed up. A featured singer from Georgia sang, and she knocked the roof off the place. The choir that sang also blew us away, and gave us a free CD (despite the $10 required donation we paid:)). That was so much fun, and even though we were 2 white people out of about 8-10 there total, we felt fellowshipped and made a lot of friends. 
 Sorry the email is so long, there was just a lot that went on this week. I can't write nearly as much as I want to!
Have a great week-
Elder Jake Hirschi

From November 11, 2013

This week was great, we did a lot of good work, despite Elder Bird being so close to going home. He has about a month left, and it's really easy to get "trunky" or distracted by thinking about home so much, but he's doing great. He's in charge of the missionaries in our little area, and he gives such great trainings. At the end of the training multiple missionaries were getting sick last week, so they asked for blessings from us. It was such a great experience to feel the spirit as I was able to lay my hands on someone's head and bless them with health and safety. I don't know where else you'll find a group of 19-21 year olds on their own organizing times to meet in order to listen to each other tell about the miracles they've seen in the lives of other people, and how they can better teach other people the principles of living the gospel. I also don't know any other place where teenagers would knock on random people's doors and invite them to hear a message about Jesus Christ haha but it's such a great experience. Even taking religion out of the picture, it's fun to meet new people and learn about their lives each and every day. This week I had my MRI on Saturday, and a follow-up appointment tomorrow, so I'll have actual results from an actual doctor pretty soon. Mom, thank you so much for the package, it's so perfect for my language study! Letters are coming soon!
Elder Jake Hirschi  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Here is the latest post.  Also, if you want to email Jake, his email is:

Wow it's freezing here! Send me all the coats you have!
Just kidding, it is true that it's getting cold here, but it's definitely bearable. Mom I appreciate the gloves and hat and priceless PJ's you sent me:) I did get your last package by the way, sorry I never acknowledged that. I think I'm good so far as far as things I need. The good thing is that I actually have a car in this area, as opposed to bikes like my last area. We have a certain amount of miles that we have to stay under each month, but usually we have access to a car all day. This is really nice when the wind hits you like a brick wall in the morning. We did have multiple miracles happen this week, and the weather was the most appreciated probably. So this week, we counted out that we set a record of 28.5 hours of service this week. This is totally abnormal, but we got a friendly call at the beginning of this week and we had no idea what we were getting into. There is a lady who used to come to church, but doesn't anymore, who the other Elders who live by us ran into. This lady was moving into the same apartment complex as the Elders. They asked the lady if she needed help moving, and of course volunteered me and my companion as well.
We spent three pretty much full days at her apartment, packing boxes, playing Tetris in the truck with all the boxes, and loading unloading, with a couple flights of stairs in between. The miracle comes in because the weather was pretty much great whenever we moved this lady. But right when we finished moving her, it turns freezing and rainy outside. Yeah it was quite the experience, but the light at the end of the tunnel was reached after 15.5 hours or more of moving her. We also raked multiple yards this week, and moved two other families besides this lady. Apparently everyone loves moving right before it gets cold here in NY. But keep in mind also that we only had one completely healthy person moving out of the four of us. My companion and another Elder had serious back problems two weeks ago, so it was a miracle they could lift anything, let alone the 300-400 pound freezer we had to lift into a truck. My knee was fine during it all, but still not 100%. Overall, a great week.
Also I went to the Doctor's Assistant and he said that it's probably a small meniscus tear, but nothing's for sure until I get the MRIs done. They should be scheduled hopefully for this week. Surgery would be minor and wouldn't necessarily have to happen now, so I may be able to put it off til after the mission or later if I even need it. We'll see, but we're all hoping to play basketball today, so we'll see if everyone comes out alive and healthy!
Thanks for all the emails, sorry this one went long- Love you all!
Elder Jake Hirschi

Hello from Roc City-
I've been in Rahhhchester for about a week now. I've loved everything about, and I think I'm really going to miss this area when I eventually leave it. So I've turned a new page, washed an old rag, made a new bed whatever you want to call it here in Rochester New York! I said so long to Buff City and was sad to see it go. But I still have all the memories and things I learned there with me always. My new companion is Elder Bird. He's a stud, really. So missionaries go on missions for two years, right? That's 24 months (right?;)) and Elder Bird has 1.5 months left!!! I'm going to send him home, and that will be a sad day. He's super relaxed and we really connect well. There is one problem, though. We're both broken! Not really, my knee is actually  quite good even though I haven't quite seen a doctor haha but he's had some back problems for years. This week he started experiencing shooting pains, and he'll see a chiropractor this week. Our mission president is a chiropractor himself, but unfortunately according to mission rules, he's not allowed to operate on missionaries. There's also another missionary in our area who also threw out his back this week. Us kids are getting too old for some of this stuff...anyway, yes in answer to literally everyone's universal question: it is getting cold here in NY. But just so everyone knows, I bought a coat. It's a ski jacket, and yes it will keep me warm. Plus, we found a jacket in the closet of the apartment (which is a way nice apartment haha) so I'm all set! Thanks for the concern though.
So something cool happened this week. I'm supposed to go to Brazil, right? Well we were eating dinner with some members of the local congregation and we started talking about Brazil. Guess who lives next door to them? A Brazilian family! It was crazy so we went over and talked to the family-they love talking Portuguese grammar so I'll be over there quite a bit. This week was filled with lots of little miracles like that one. There are many people in the world though, that know that if they turn to the gospel, they will be comforted. They are just unwilling to change. We as mortals are naturally hesitant to change. But if we make the effort to wake up to get to church, or sit down with our family and read the scriptures, or talk about religion in general, then we see the blessings. I know it's hard and sometimes just not on our schedule, but keep Heavenly Father on the schedule! I'm not lecturing you, I'm just acting as if you are people we teach haha!
Have a fantastic week!
Love ya,
Elder Jake Hirschi

Thursday, October 24, 2013

From October 14, 2013:

 We had a wonderful family come to church this week, and I fell in love with their really cute kids. The night before the dad had played video games with the twin boys (spitting images of me as a kid, with  the buck teeth and all...) until 3:30 am, on the condition that they have to go to church the next day. I loved that haha my job in the middle of sacrament meeting turned into being babysitter for the kids. They were really good but in serious need of paper to doodle on in the middle of the meeting. We had a great luncheon thing after church, and our congregation was so welcoming to everyone, visitors and members. I love bringing families to church because I know the massive difference the gospel has made in my life, and in my family life. I would not love my family as much as I do if they hadn't brought me to church. All the family and friends that came to my farewell, I hope you felt welcome when you came because we know as missionaries that friends and love are so important when you're put in a new environment, like coming to a new church. This week was just great I felt the Spirit a lot when talking to people and planning to meet with people. Attitude determines altitude, and in this case my altitude can really make a difference and change people's lives, so I have to have a positive attitude! thanks for all the mail and packages (I did get the satchel I will wear it as requested by the mission president although I don't want to:) ) Love you all!
Elder Jake Hirschi
Hello everyone- as the blogmaster and mother of this wonderful missionary, I want to apologize for getting a little behind on his blog!  (We won't tell him until he comes home :) ).  Anyway, some of the posts are a little out of order.  I am recommitting to keeping the blog updated in a timely manner.  Just to update everyone, Jake is serving in Rochester, New York, on a temporary reassignment, as he is still waiting for his visa to Brazil.  This is a very common occurrence with missionaries heading for Brazil.  Sometimes the visa's take many, many months to come through.  He is anxious to go to Brazil, but happy to be serving in New York!  Thanks for following Elder Hirschi's blog!
From October 7, 2013

Hi from the great city of Buffalo!
So this week was amazing here in Buff city. I've never fully appreciated or looked forward to (or stayed awake throughout for matter) General Conference until this year. We tell so many people about how we believe that God works through a modern day prophet today holding all the keys of His Priesthood, but we rarely have a voice to match him with. This week was General Conference, a massive broadcast where many church leaders, including the Prophet and the Apostles give us council for our day. It is broadcasted into something like 85 languages live? Practically anywhere in the world people have access to the words of our leaders today. No one tunes in closer to conference than the missionaries. Since the Prophets tell us what God wants us to be focusing ontoday, missionaries make sure to take as many notes as possible to relay to those who are looking for the gospel. One thing that really stood out to me in this semiannual conference was President Thomas S. Monson's talk during Sunday morning. In all the years we've heard President Monson, I don't think I've ever seen him cry or stray away from his typical emotional personality (the happy sing song voice of his). This conference, his talk was based on his love for his late wife, and no one listening could deny the emotional strain losing her took on him. What this showed to me is that he is real. He knows struggle, he experiences difficulty, and he's not just some man who tells us to power through our problems while he doesn't have any. It doesn't matter who you are, rich or poor, black or white, male or female, everybody has experienced some kind of pain and heartache. Even the Prophet of God. This made so many of the other talks more meaningful, because strength through trials was a big theme. The Prophet has to struggle just like we do. But more importantly, Jesus Christ struggled not only just like we do, but so many times over he experienced the pain we experience. If we can look to him, whether you are just an average joe or if you are a prophet of God, you can have strength through trials. A ton of people we teach are going through some serious trials that I've never experienced, and so we focus a lot on conquering your specific trials and recognizing them as sources of strength and catalysts of faith. Sometimes it's hard because I've never experienced anything like what people here have experienced, but that's why we help people gain trust and faith in the Lord, not in us.
Two missionaries from our district were waiting for visas to get to Argentina, and they came on Saturday! I was happy for them esp because one of them has been waiting for about 6 months or so! A sister missionary that came out when I did just got hers too!
So somewhat funny story: We were eating fruit and cinnamon rolls as a ward before the Sunday morning session of general conference started, and apparently there was a stranger who walked in (there's prob around 30 people already), stayed for about 15 minutes, and then left after snatching one of the iphones of a young mom in the ward! It had a pink cover, and she immediately called the police haha not sure what they were going to do about it though...downtown buffalo is a rough place and I feel like the police have better things to do than search for missing Iphones. I'm not actually serving in downtown buffalo don't worry mom plus the elders that are there have to be home pretty much before dark so everyone is kept safe!
Thanks for all the packages, letters, and emails I love them all!
Elder Jake Hirschi
Most recent post from October 21, 2013

Hello from Buffalo New York!
Unfortunately, this is perhaps the last time I will type this phrase.....I'm being transferred to Rochester City area! I'm really excited to start a new experience in the actual heart of Rochester haha it'll be different for sure. So yes I am going to get a new companion, whose name is Elder Bird. Elder Allen is getting a new visa waiter (missionaries temporarily waiting in the States for the Visas to go elsewhere aren't true missionaries in this mission, we're "visa-waiters" JK I love it here!) whose name is Elder Holmes I think. So this morning I packed up my suitcase, and backpacks and tomorrow morning I will start a new phase of my mission in Rochester, NY! Typically missionaries stay together for about 2 or 3 6week periods, then one of the missionaries will get "transferred" to a new area, within the boundaries of the overall mission. My mission goes from Lake Erie and basically Niagara Falls farthest West, to the Finger Lakes on the East border. So I'm actually going a relatively far distance to my new area. This week was a fun one. Only a couple hours after I finished the email home last Monday, we started playing hockey with some newly baptized members, a really cool family. We played a little basketball and soccer as well, and right before we were about to leave I hurt my knee somehow playing soccer, but it should be up to snuff in the next week or so.
---insert for my mother...--- mom don't freak. Don't start trying to call the mission etc etc haha the President's wife is our caretaker and she takes care of stuff like this. Let me just explain to you what happened so you can give your diagnosis. I kicked the ball, no other contact occurred, and my knee locked up like it has done before in past years. Usually I just straighten the knee and I hear a pop and everything's fine, and that's what I did this time too. But even though it popped back or "unlocked" there was still some sort of knot that prevented me from straightening my knee at all. For the first day at least I could put no weight on it. The next day I hopped into zone meeting haha and another stud missionary looked at it. He said I was positive to the apley's and mcmurrays tests with lateral pain along the joint line in valgus at 60. I don't know what that means, but it has gotten a ton better since then. I got a blessing tuesday night and now I can walk without crutches but with an obvious limp. I can straighten it almost all the way with a little pain but I think there's some fluid buildup that's preventing it from fully extending. Sis francis hooked me up with a doctor I'm going to as soon as I get to Rochester on Wednesday probably. So it's no big deal, it's just hard to do missionary work when you're crutching around and not biking...---(resume)
All this means is that missionary work is a lot slower than normal, seeing that we can't ride bikes like we normally do. This week was also rough because we see what people need in their life to make them happy and they just choose otherwise. The happy moments of a mission outweigh all the hard disappointing times, but that doesn't mean you won't have many disappointing times as well. I can't but help to think about how much disappointment Heavenly Father feels as He sees exactly what we need to do to make ourselves as happy as possible, and then witness us refuse to take the right paths all the time. It must be really frustrating! I think as we go through life it's a lot easier to take a step back and really scrutinize our small decisions. The small decisions inherently combine to create bigger things, and a basic outline of where our lives are headed. If we direct the small and simple decisions based on what will make us the most happy in the end (not necessarily the easiest or most convenient now) then I bet we would avoid a lot of life's difficulties. For example, when our lives are really busy and we have a thousand things to do, it is really inconvenient to sit down and pray to Heavenly Father to know He's there, and to let Him know that you're still listening. But I know that if we take time out of our day and really focus on what prayer does for us in the long run, we will have a happier, more peaceful life filled with more concrete perspective and understanding. Then when we run into life's tribulations, we can fall back on the same being that we've been kept in contact with the whole time. We will know that He's there, in the good times and the bad. We don't have to feel like we're alone. So many people don't take time to do the small and simple things. I know I didn't before now. But it's so important, and part of my job as a missionary is helping people see the bigger picture, and ultimately come closer to Christ. No one here is perfect (my family is pretty close regardless of what my mom says in her emails:)) but everyone here has a perfect example to look towards. Thanks for all the emails and letters!
Send letters to this address now that I'm moving and I don't know my new address yet:
460 Kreag Road
From Sept. 23rd

Hi mom! You sent this email right as I was starting to write one home. First of all, I'm not beating myself up because of losing things. Everything got replaced besides the wallet and money really isn't all that important out here haha. There are far more important things to worry about and invest your energy in out here than losing a wallet. I'm glad you got yours back though. As far as the scriptures, I gave you a few just because if one didn't work for some reason, you had some backups. I want the D&C 4 one, though. As far as clothes go, I'm saving up enough every couple weeks to buy more clothes that it's not a problem. Yet. I will let you know, but the couple in charge of apartments has asked if the visa waiters need quilts. Winter is coming very quickly....don't worry I'm taken care of:) Also, did Kylie send an email yet?? I saw that she landed but I didn't see a group email. It is beyond fathomable to think she's there before I am haha but I can't wait to hear how she is doing. What a different environment that she's been thrown in, without any idea what lies ahead. Both trials and more importantly life lessons she'll never forget. I know she'll get home from a mission and not be able to believe that she ever thought about not serving a mission. The sister missionaries can do things on a mission that the elders simply can't do. Like getting through to some people. So this week, we had a fantastic time teaching people and getting to know people more personally. The highlight of the week was going to the temple. Our ward had a temple trip and 40 people showed up at the lunch beforehand! It was a great turnout, and I could really see the whole ward join in and put it together. There was one lady who has a hunched back, can barely hold her head up, but she went through the temple with us anyway. There is no age limit to the temple. I also was able to notice how much symbolism is portrayed in the temple, especially through pictures of nature. It made me think of how many things that are found in nature that really typify Jesus Christ and His purpose for us. Some time just take a walk and take note of how many times and ways you see God's hand around you just in that walk. For example, everything we use for energy, everything we eat, produce, everything that lives and grows temporally, is generated through the power and energy of the Sun. Likewise, everything in our lives that we experience and are able to grow from, originates from the Son, or Christ. Nothing can learn. Nothing can feel. Nothing can grow without the help of Jesus Christ. It is so simple sometimes to see the influence He has in our lives. We got to talk to some great people this week, including a family from Sri Lanka, the same man we've been teaching from Congo, two Chinese students, two Haitian family members, another man from Sri Lanka, as well as another man who has an accent but who's been too many places to know where it originated haha don't really know how that one works but he's VERY passionate about his beliefs, whether they are political or religious. My companion Elder Allen said something that defended Paul Ryan, and this man got in his face and my favorite quote of his was: "PAUL RYAN?? PAUL ryAN? I bet you that if he was running for JANITOR-IN-CHIEF he wouldn't get elected. JANITOR-IN-CHIEF!!!" What a guy. There are so many personalities out there, and it's amazing to know that not one of them is exactly identical. Thanks for all the emails and letters, and by the way I did not get my visa yet, and according to someone I talked to the Brazilian President just stood up President Obama and ditched out on a luncheon so there may be more delays on letting Americanos into Brazil if she's still offended by him. I would love to hear any updates you may have!
Elder Jake Hirschi
From September 16, 2013

Hi Fam!
Mom I AM getting your emails I hope you are getting mine! Did you get the one about Seminary? I'm going to attempt to answer all your questions:
1.) I am getting emails, about two a week or so.
2.) I am feeling good.
3.) I'm not homesick in a bad way, it's more like I'm thinking about my family more and appreciating them more, not missing them more.
4.) Twosome, instead of a tripanionship: I like it more because people can focus easier on listening to two people instead of three, but it's also harder because you're around only one other person for most of the day not two people to talk to the other when one is irking you haha. Life lessons being learned every day...
7.) We're always able to keep busy, even if it means tracting for a couple hours in a day.
8.) Best thing to do as member missionaries? Find the people you love most without the gospel, and set up a time to meet with the missionaries with your friends. People can give referrals to the missionaries but we've concluded that without involvement of the members who referred the referral in the first place, it's pretty much as effective as tracting another house. Setting up an activity or a dinner with the referral and the missionaries is a lot more effective because they have the comfort of their friends along the way, does that make sense? We had a great stake Priesthood meeting yesterday all about member missionary work, and it was really effective. Anyone who sincerely listens to the discussions and reads the Book of Mormon won't be offended about you inviting them to look into the gospel in the first place, because it will only make them happier. The worldwide mission broadcast that you went to right after I got set apart as a missionary is really effective too, and we're trying to get our bishop to show it to the whole ward at some point.
9.) The missionaries can really make a difference as far as how much the ward helps in missionary work. Sometimes, and I think this ward is one of those times, if you ask them and push them to help, they will! The ward has turned out to be so strong in helping us fellowship, welcome, and teach investigators. There are great people that are willing to take the time out of the week to not only give us rides and accompany us to lessons, but to do missionary work on their own and use us in their personal efforts. The job of missionaries is to assist the ward in their missionary efforts. This is something I never realized until I got on my mission. I can't wait to get involved with missionaries when I get home, too, because it really makes all the difference. Don't leave the elders and/or sisters hangin! Honestly when I was at the Red Bridge ward I don't remember seeing very many investigators at church ever, and no more than one or two at a time, and the missionaries never introduced them to me either (that sometimes is not their job I should have found them, but anyway). At my ward now the Buffalo Ward, granted there are 10 missionaries haha but their are probably 10-12 or more investigators at church every week. It's great, and we make sure to introduce them to a ton of people and make them feel welcome. I think Red Bridge Ward area may be a tough area, but it can be done!
10.) I'm ok for now on gloves and coat. It hasn't been cold enough for a coat yet, but I am guaranteed to be here another 6 weeks because president said you do stay until the end of the transfer even if the visa comes before that. Elder Allen said he has another coat also. President did however tell me that I need to get a satchel instead of a backpack. He gave me six weeks to get one. Sooooo could you maybe order me one with my checking and send it to me? I'm not picky but he said it's mandatory now:( thanks.
11.) I am ok with waiting right now. President made me think that all visa waiters are inherently dying to leave haha which I don't think is true but he puts a firm emphasis on the fact that this is your mission right now, which is true. But he's trying to get rid of a bunch of trios. It is hard to focus though when more visa waiters are coming in and I just talked to a kid going to Manaus who got here last week, who was in my building at BYU so that made me excited to go again...don't tell anyone...
12.) I DID get my DL, immunization card, debit card, etdc thank you so much! It came a while ago sorry for not mentioning it, but I appreciate you picking up for the mistakes I make! What else is new right? Hopefully a lot when I get home haha I'll work on my personal responsibility...
I think that's all the questions. Thanks for the letters Dad they're great and you should be getting one soon also. What's aunt Kitty and Uncle Richard's address? I'll shoot them a letter also. Thanks gramps and Gara for their letters too! And everyone else!
Elder Jake Hirschi

From Sept. 30th

Hello how is everyone this week?
So I've been reading Alaina and Kylie's emails and compared to theirs, I sound like I'm depressed and unmotivated...that is not the case! I'm just a guy so don't judge. Anyway, this week was another great week with some great experiences. In our area, a "village" technically North of Buffalo called Kenmore, we've started to teach a lot of families. Really solid families. I think the gospel of Jesus Christ really hits people home when they have their families to experience it with. The whole reason we are in families is to increase our happiness and knowledge and be able to experience the same joy that Heavenly Father experiences. He is the ultimate example of a perfect father. We can look to him with any concern and He has a perfect answer because He is the perfect Father. We love to show a certain Mormon message online to people that pretty much compares the role of an earthly father to the role our Heavenly Father plays, it's a cool one. This week we've also had the wonderful opportunity to teach an entire household of people straight from China, who really have no Christian background at all. It's funny because they have a Chinese name (which you could listen to 50 times and still not remember a minute later) and then they have an American name, which they basically make up on the spot haha funniest thing to see their process of making up their own name, or occasionally forgetting their own American name, and then asking their other Asian friends to remind them of it. You can tell family is important to them. It makes it considerably hard to teach though when everyone else you've taught has a somewhat concrete idea of who God is, yet now we're teaching people who yes have heard of God, but don't really know what people believe about God or who Jesus Christ is. So it's a new experience, but so cool to get a new perspective on culture and religious background! The great thing is that you can love anybody, regardless of which country they came from or what they believe at square 1. The first step to teaching people and helping them change their lives is to love them. That's how God does it (God is no a respecter of persons) and that's the way it will always be. Speaking of which, thank you so much for the letters, packages, emails, it's so great to be surrounded by the prayers and cares of my family and friends. So another thing we started doing this week was think OUTSIDE the box. It's about time, right? Because really it doesn't make a difference in OUR personal lives if you come to church or not. We know it will help your family, it will make your week less stressful and more insightful, and really it helps you grow spiritually and just feel good! That's why it's so frustrating. Because people bail on themselves...deep. Anyway so we got a hold of some of the local sister missionaries and they helped us out with a little craft day. We decided to make the posters that are attached to this email, and then we took a picture of us holding the pictures. We put magnets on the back of the pics and made them into little refrigerator reminders to COME TO CHURCH! Basically church helps you regardless of what you're feeling. The most common excuse for not coming to church? I can't wake up on Sundays...ha. That's funny because Matthew 11:28says Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. So really the excuse is not there. We hope that these little reminders will help people see the need to go to church and partake in the spiritual feast that goes on there. I really have come to appreciate church (as a 19 yr old punk people) and I end up looking forward to it every week because I have recently left church the past few weeks really feeling my Savior's love for me and what I'm doing here in Buffalo. I may not be in the exotic foreign country I thought I would be in at this point, but people are in need in every country and community. So as long as I can open the doors of invitation to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I'm ok where I am. I can't focus on going to Brazil because I can't take my focus off the people in Buffalo who need us now.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tomorrow is the first day of my 2nd transfer here in NY, and 3rd transfer if you include the MTC. SO much has happened but time still flies as fast as it can. My two trainers were Elder Barnes and Elder Allen, and Elder Barnes was here before Elder Allen got moved into the area. This transfer (a transfer is every six weeks when missionaries may or may not be switched around the different assigned areas within Western New York) Elder Barnes is getting transferred to a place Northeast of Buffalo, called Brockport, and me and Elder Allen area staying in Buffalo, without a third companion. Although it is sad that Elder Barnes is leaving us, we will have much more room in our apartment haha. This week was awesome, especially at church when people you invite actually come, and even people you've never met before, that want to learn more come too! This week was one of those weeks. We're teaching a man from the Congo, who came to America to seek more opportunity. There's also a man from Uganda who is in a refugee camp seeking opportunity and more freedom. It's amazing to see everything they gave up, including material things but especially their families for a time, just to try to form a better life for them and their families in the future. Among all the bad in the world, esp in the Middle East right now, there are people out there who have their eyes set on freedom and peace. Sacrifice is often a sure requirement and I love seeing people fulfill that requirement. Love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Elder Jake Hirschi 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

This begins the last week of the transfer and time has definitely flown by. When I look back it seems like I just got here but it also seems like life before the mission didn't really exist. Kind of an odd feeling. This week was especially great because we got to go to Palmyra, which is about 2 hours away, with a guy we are teaching. Palmyra is the place where a lot of church history took place, such as the Smith log cabin, the Framehouse, and the Sacred Grove. There's also a visitor's center where you can watch the Restoration movie and dig deeper into the history of the early church years. What a great experience it was not only personally but to see the guy we took also experience a spiritual boost of peace to help him deal with what's going on in his life. He said he finally felt a feeling of peace that he hasn't felt in a while. To be in the exact location that thousands of missionaries talk about, and millions of church members bear testimony of, is pretty amazing. I'm so lucky and blessed to be in this place at this time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

more to come from buffalo....and a lost wallet!

Hi all! This week has been flippin stressful but just as rewarding also! As far
as the passport stuff yeah I'll prob end up mailing it if I don't find a place
to fax it!!! I was mad about it for about an afternoon, but I've gotten so used
to losing things I've kind of stopped wasting my time worrying about it. Plus
the people at the bus station are getting annoyed at me calling all the time to
see if it turned up. Did I tell you I lost it because I was going to University
of Buffalo when President Obama was speaking there? There was going to be a lot
of people there so we got permission to go up there and talk to people. His
speech apparently was less than what the people wanted but it was still cool to
see people around a college campus again. Some of the nicest people are foreign
students who don't necessarily believe in what we are saying but still have open
minds. I also got to go on exchanges and go into the very impoverished parts of
Buffalo, where sometimes the most people have is their beliefs and their heart.
Money doesn't buy happiness because if it did we wouldn't be able to teach
people in these areas, because they wouldn't be happy. But the truth is that
everyone has the capability to truly free themselves by having power over how
they respond to their surroundings or circumstances- and not letting their
circumstances determine their happiness. We met a former Jehovah's Witness who
has such a strong spirit and desire to be guided to spiritual truth, and who is
willing to open her heart, which is the key. Real Intent can only come with an
open mind and heart. Anyway, we're about to head off to Niagra Falls! one of the
7 wonders of the world, so hopefully pictures will be posted next week! Last
PDay we went to the zoo haha yes it was a nice rewind back to my childhood but
really there is no age limit to having fun is there?
Elder Jake Hirschi

Wow I totally forgot the most important part of my week......MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!
This kid is a stud and he's 12. He just got baptized despite a really rough
family situation and upbringing. My companion taught him before I came here, and
they had already set a baptismal date but it had to get pushed to after I came
so we still got to know him pretty well.
1.) meu primeiro batismo
2.) People flocking to an area where they couldn't even see President Obama
3.) My first two trainers and me at the zoo...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Two month mark!

Every week of the mission you WILL learn something if you allow yourself to. This week I have learned SO much about the importance of families here on Earth, and ultimately the fact that families can live together forever. Everything we teach traces back to the fact that Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to come home and be like Him, because we are HIS CHILDREN. Every day I have learned to love my family more and more. There is nothing that compares to a family centered on the gospel and principles of Jesus Christ, because with those precious principles we see purpose and perspective in our lives to the fullest. Kylie just entered the MTC and of course she's killing it out there, and I am that much more motivated to serve the Lord when I hear about her life-changing experiences in the MTC (many more to come). I also got to hear from a lot of my immediate as well as extended family as they had a big family reunion this week, and I really just want everyone to know how much I love them and how much their support means to me. It's sad to see people reject you and not even give you a chance to tell them what our message is about, because it is centered on the ideas of families and happiness, but the amount of times you get rejected mean nothing when you finally see the effects of the gospel in the lives of families, especially the ones around you. I miss you all BUT look up Matthew 19:29 it's a gem haha
I am slowly learning how amazing of a city Buffalo New York is. You know the stereotype of the attitude of a typical Northeasterner, especially when a young kid tries to talk with them and tell them what can change their life? At first I thought that people from the NE would not be nice people, not going to lie. But I have been humbled, and can be a witness on how nice people really are here. Never judge people before you know them, because you can learn from anyone and you truly don't know their circumstance until you sit down to talk with them. Always keep you eyes open! Can't wait for everything I'll learn this week!
Elder Jake Hirschi


This week has been a week of successes and learning experiences. Success story of the week: We have a 12 year old boy who is going to get baptized next week! He was already taught the lessons by a previous companionship in the area, but he finally is going to go through with baptism this Sunday. There's more to the story, though, because all odds are pretty much against this kid. He lives in an area where drugs and alcohol run rampant, especially among youth. I love seeing him  because despite the bad influences and pressure surrounding him, he sees the paths that he could take, and on his own takes the path less traveled-the one that will bring him a brighter, happier future. So many people we talk to are struggling with some kind of temptation/addiction/situation that they need help to get out of. Now we as missionaries can't help them ourselves. Most of us have never gone through or even seen trials like the ones people go through here. But that's the miracle of it all. Through the gospel, and the strength of our Heavenly Father, people can learn to build their relationship with God and overcome their own trials. Our job is only to help people access their potential. Some people don't listen. A LOT of people don't listen. But when others take the time to really see what the gospel can do to their lives, everything starts to change for the better. 
I'd say something I've learned this week is my need to become a better conversationalist haha We went to a Wendy's and in my efforts to talk to as many people as possible, I see this guy walking towards the Wendy's. I then proceeded to ask him-"hey are you going to Wendy's?" He was obviously walking straight into Wendy's and there was no other places even around...he said "yeah," then kinda looked at me like where else would I go, then the conversation ended. It's truly the terrible awkward times on a mission that you seem to remember and makes stories out of. The Wendy's conversation is not the first of that caliber of awkwardness......
Buffalo is a nice place, it actually hasn't rained once since I've been here. It's hot and people say it's humid, but they haven't seen anything haha it's way more humid in Kansas. Also the MTC seems like forever ago, even though it was only 2 short weeks ago. Days fly by, weeks seem like years, which is usually the opposite of what people say. I'm just glad that I have a long way ahead of me to learn and improve! Sorry the email is so long, but best wishes! 
Love Elder Jake Hirschi

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hello from New York!
When you think of New York you don't typically think of rolling hills and fields, but that's the first impression and view of New York I got when I stepped off the plane. Sorry we couldn't email last Monday, it seems like forever ago that I sent an email! My PDay is Monday here, so emails get to come on Mondays. I arrived off the plane, after a rather hectic morning, on Monday, and we met our mission President. I was with about 10 other missionaries. We spent that night at the home of the mission president, and had interviews with him (in order to get to know him a little better) until 1am the first night haha. The next morning we woke up and went straight to some historic church sites, such as Joseph Smith's log cabin, the Hill Cumorah, Alvin Smith's grave, and finally, the Sacred Grove. It's such an amazing opportunity to be in the exact place that thousands of missionaries testify about around the world. After the site seeing we all went to meet our trainers, or the companion we are with (24/7!) for at least the next 6 weeks! Since I am a "visa-waiter" I was put with two other Elders who are supposed to tell me how everything works and teach me lots of wisdom the next 6 or 12 weeks.They are good trainers. Our job as missionaries in "the field" is to talk with whoever we can, and teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how to come closer to Him. Although the week was stressful, it's nice to be in a lesson and feel the Spirit, which takes away any stress you seem to have walking in to the lesson. We've met some true characters even since being here just a week. My area is the Northern part of Buffalo, which is pretty much one of two or three true cities in the whole mission area. Buffalo is about an hour and a half west of Rochester, so I'm not actually in the city of Rochester. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to see different cultures and backgrounds-say goodbye to the "Johnson County Bubble!" haha it's amazing and heart-breaking to see things people go through their whole lives that I can't even come close to relating to, but it's an even bigger blessing to see people come out of tough situations and become new people through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can't wait to meet more people and see the Lord help me make weaknesses and fears become strengths- Ether 12:27 also my new mailing address straight to my apartment is
25 Logan Avenue #21
Kenmore, New York 14223
and the mission office address, which you can also ship things to is
460 Kreag Road
Pittsford, New York 14534

Buffalo, New York!

Friday, July 26, 2013

last week at the MTC!

I am officially leaving the MTC on Monday, July 29th at 5:30 AM to go to NEW YORK ROCHESTER MISSION!!! This morning I went with Elder C to pick up a package and we went to check mail. Our District Leader has to pick up mail, and he had already checked this morning, with no luck. At 9:00 or so we decided to check it again, and a big stack of papers was sitting there, waiting to be opened. We ran back to gather our district and after 20-30 minutes of hunting everyone down, we ran back to the mail room and everyone ripped open their reassignments, disregarding our original plan of all going in a circle and announcing where we are going haha. Brazil is really delaying all our visas, which means that if you don't have it by the time you are supposed to leave the MTC, you receive another location to serve until you get your visa. I was assigned to New York.Everyone is super excited about it, and I know that when everyone gets to their new missions they will understand why they're where they are even more. I'm going to New York with 5 other missionaries from another district, who are going to Ribeirao Preto also. I am beginning to see different reasons why my permanent mission got changed, although I know I'm not going to understand everything just yet!

In New York I'll still have about an hour each morning as language study, so hopefully I keep up on my Portuguese!

This week we also had an 8-hour conference/orientation about actually being in the field. It really hit me that I'm going to be in the field (actually teaching people outside the MTC is called "the field") in less than a week. It may be intimidating at first, but I know that it's what I'm supposed to be doing right now, and 1 Nefi 3:7 diz: the Lord will not give His children commandments without providing a way for them to accomplish His commandments.

Also before I forget, there was another group of missionaries whose visas did not come in time, and they were assigned to the WICHITA KANSAS mission haha I tried to pump them up for it so if you see any sisters going to Brazil, ask them if they were in the 54th Branch at the MTC!

My next email will be all about Rochester, New York, and I can't wait to send it!


Elder Jake Hirschi

Friday, July 19, 2013

week 4

Today makes one full month at the MTC! Time flies here but in a weird warped kind of way. I feel like I've lived here for way more than a month, but at the same time I can't believe that I'm leaving in a week and a half! It makes you apreciate every moment on the mission, because I feel like every transfer is going to fly by like this one. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to everyone here because friendships formed after only a day or two and have only strenthened since. I've heard of some people in other districts getting visas who went through the Houston Consulate, which is who I went through, so my chances of getting a visa have gone from none to slim! It doesn't matter where I go or really when I get to Brazil, as long as I get there eventually. 
Also every week we have a couple devotionals, and this week they were really good. There's too many people at the MTC so we started doing devos in the Marriot Center on Tuesday nights. This week was Gordon B. Hinckley's son and he was great. We've also had some interesting speakers including the lady who wrote a bunch of the primary songs, Janice Capp Perry. We got to watch a movie called The Testaments on Sunday as well. It really made us ready to be in the field and help other people come to the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel. Just having people learn about another testament of Jesus Christ can unfold so many blessings and spiritual experiences in others' lives.
Our district is now the oldest one at the MTC! It's awesome seeing new excited missionaries come in, knowing what they have ahead of them. Regardless of how much they look like deer in the headlights when they first step into the MTC, you always come out looking like a missionary, so much more prepared than when you came in. We get to escort the senior couples missionaries again this week...I talked to a man at lunch who had served two missions already with his wife, and he expressed his gratitude in us serving the mission of the Lord. It's comforting to know how many prayers are supporting the missionaries here at the MTC and in the field. I thank everyone for their prayers! 
Next week I'll probably know whether I have a reassignment somewhere in the states, or if I've gotten my visa! Ate mais-
Elder Hirschi

p.s. the futebol team is still undefeated...

Friday, July 12, 2013

MTC Week 3!

This week marked the halfway point of my stay at the MTC. It's crazy how fast time flies by, but it's also crazy how much we have learned in 3 weeks, and not just Portuguese. The MTC is a great place, regardless of what people say haha because it puts you in an environment where everyone has the same purpose and work. You can learn from anyone, whether it be a teacher, another missionary, or on your own. That's what I probably love most about the MTC. But dont't think that all missionaries are perfect...our district (a group of about 12 missionaries all going to Brazil) loves to play soccer, and we may or may not have gotten a little too competitive with another district the other day...oops,  :). I'm proud to say that as a district we are still undefeated! Anyway, soccer aside, I'm a little worried about getting to the field because the food schedule here is so structured and more importantly, unlimited. I haven't weighed myself in a couple weeks, and I'm curious to see if eating until I can't anymore every single meal is making any impact on me. My roommates going to Manaus have been guessing how many pounds they're going to lose while there. One Elder is currently about 250 and he expects to lose about 55 or so pounds haha. It seems unrealistic but we heard from someone that it's currently 124 degrees there now....
The Portuguese is really coming along well. The people we teach lessons to actually understand us! Seems crazy right? Not really, because the first time we had to teach someone we literally just read off a piece of paper, without really knowing what we were saying. Now we rarely prepare many notes, and basically have a conversation in complete Portuguese. I love coming out of a lesson knowing that I said what I wanted to say, and making an impact on the investigators lives, even if they're acting haha.
Also I would totally post pictures but the computer says it's restricted so I can't use the Card Reader to import pictures onto the computer! When I figure it out I have some of my comp, district, and some other random stuff. Also something funny that happened this week: For some reason missionaries always want to be the "hosts" of newcomer missionaries, which means we get to take their bags and show them around on their first day. Our district leader got a note and told us that we get to host new missionaries! Everyone started cheering and getting really excited, and then the Distirict Leader told us that the new missionaries were Senior Couples, which means they're married couples and usually at least 60-70 years old haha . So next Wednesday, I'll be giving a tour to a bunch of Senior Couples! Can't wait!!! I'll let you know how it goes...
Elder Hirschi

Sunday, July 7, 2013

4th of July at the MTC

July 5, 2013
What up fam?
How was 4th of July? First of all, MEGAN- I didn't get a fun cookie yesterday;( But they held a devotional, let us watch 17 Miracles, and then we got to go outside and hug the fence to watch the Stadium of Fire from BYU football stadium. It was awesome but there's so many people there that we had to look between two trees to see the Fireworks. At least we got to go outside and stay out past our bedtime!!! It was a rare occasion, believe me. We got into bed at 1130 or so (usually it's 10:30).
In the Missionary Training Center you're organized into districts of 10-12 people, and multiple districts make up a zone. Usually because there are so many girls going on missions, your district is going to have at least 4-5 sisters. We have none, which means we can act like guys. All. the. time. I do love though how quickly everybody forgets their differences here at the MTC, and becomes friends. All difference backgrounds and personalities combine to form great friendships. We've already started talking about potential roommates and continuation of friendships after the mission.
Portuguese is going well. The Lord's hand is definitely involved in our ability to survive learning so much in so little time here. Even the fact that I'm eager to learn all the time is a blessing, and I think it's an essential blessing if we're truly to master the language as soon as possible.
I hope you all watched enough Twilight Zone to account for me at 4th of July. I totally forgot (like I do every year) that the TZone marathon is on 4th of July, but it's ok because I get to watch just as many episodes of The District haha!
Also big news! Only a few hours after I sent my last email I was called in to receive my reassignment. Of course the man who notified me of the new area, President Seamons, didn't know all the information behind it, but he told me I was going to the Ribeirao Preto Mission! It's a little Northeast of Sao Paulo. Of course I was a little dissapointed that they think my asthma can't handle the Jungle (haha what do they know:)) but the Lord is humbling me and teaching me to truly believe that it doesn't matter where you serve, but how. I've told people that before, but I don't think it's something I would've fully believed unless it happened to me.

Thank you so much for the last package it was marvilhoso (?) and thanks for all the letters and for mark thomas' email. Love Elder Hirschi

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 28th, 2013
First Day:
Hello everyone! Today marks my first PDay of the MTC, because they give don't give you a PDay your first week for some reason. This means I wasn't able to email until today, and it also means that we couldn't do laundry until today also...muito mal. Anyway, my first day at the MTC was interesting. We started off by missing the flight to Salt Lake, which delayed the goodbye a couple hours. I also had to empty out some essentials from the suitcase because it was too heavy. But when my roommate Spencer picked me up from the airport, we took a pit stop at Wal Mart so I was pretty much set by the time I set foot in the MTC. I got there three hours later than most new missionaries, but it wasn't a big deal.
My District:
My companion's name is Elder C. We have similar tendencies, eating habits, and senses of humor. He also wants to be a dentist when he grows up...The rest of my district is great too. We have people from Washington, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah (of course), and Michigan. The gospel really brings people together, because we'll all be in Brazil pretty soon together. Actually half the district is going to Recife Brazil, and the rest are going to Manaus. Our teacher's name is Irmao James. He's one of the best teachers there, but he served in Portugal, so his accent is a little different than ours will be. Elder C and  I also taught our first investigator this week, all in Portuguese! The first lessons went very badly, with a lot of awkward pauses, and words that made no sense, but by the end of the discussions we were able to keep the Spirit and actually teach our fake investigator instead of just reading a script. We learn really fast, and although it seems like we know very little at the moment, our district has made great strides in the last week. The gift of tongues, or dom das linguas, is real, and there is no way that any of us or any other missionary for that matter would be able to learn the language as fast as they do without the help of the Lord.
More updates to come soon! Tchau-
Elder Hirschi

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Welcome to Elder Hirschi's new blog! Although this picture was taken at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita Kansas, Jake will be leaving early tomorrow morning for his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Manaus, Brazil.  He will spend six weeks in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, learning the Portuguese language.  He will then head out to Brazil to begin his mission, provided he will receive his visa by that time.  If not, he will begin serving in another stateside location as he waits for it.  As his mom, I have promised to do my best to keep up with his blog (which is my first!).  The plan is to keep everyone updated on his adventures in Brazil. Look forward to his emails and hopefully pictures which we will post as we get them!  We love you Jake, and we are excited to share this journey with you!