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!