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On Apr 21, 2014, at 1:13 PM, Jacob Hirschi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I forgot the camera AGAIN! I have some great pictures, including some of our little April snowstorm and our crazy trip to the church historical sites with Felicia! Nooo! One of these days maybe...Anyways this week has truly been crazy. We had a zone meeting on Tuesday, which was about 45 minutes away. It ended with a nice little 1 inch snowstorm...luckily it didn't stick where we live. So that took up a ton of time! Then on Thursday, we went to a place called Palmyra, and saw a bunch of sites with early church significance, including the grove of trees that Joseph Smith knelt in prayer back 194 years ago, asking which church he should join. Sometimes we also feel that way- which church is the right one for me? Even if you've grown up in a church all your life. So having the experience of kneeling in prayer in a sacred spot and talking with your Heavenly Father is quite the experience. And I never would've been able to do it here in NY if my mission call had not been changed to Ribeirao Preto Brazil! So I'm pretty lucky. My companion is also supposed to go to Brazil on his mission, and I was able to share with him my experiences of putting everything towards the place you are now- (lifting where you stand) and eventually truly feeling like this is where the Lord needs you, and not feeling like you're missing out on something. This mission is where I am needed. I know that. I'm ok with staying here for a while longer, and even feel like I'm not necessarily ready to go, because there's more for me to learn here. It took a while to get to this point. And sometimes I get a little down that I might not be able to speak fluent portuguese or have amazing amazon stories to tell after my mission, but the thing is that it's not about me. It's not about me at all. This realization occurred to me fairly recently- that if you love the people you serve, you will want to be wherever you are. Brazil, New York, China- it's all the same. It's the people that make the area, and if you love them, you will be ok with wherever you are. So here I am!Saturday we went through the Palmyra New York Temple with a member of the ward who has never been. The temple can seem different to some people who have never been through. There is a lot of symbolism in it, and it's easy to get lost in the symbolism. I have been trying to gain a stronger testimony of the temple every time I go. I think the biggest testimony builder for me recently was seeing this sister go through for the first time. She expressed how much happiness and peace she was feeling. You could see it on her face. When I see people have peace and joy in the temple, with a smile so big, I realize that I can get caught up in figuring it all out- but have been forgetting about the feelings of the Holy Ghost you receive, which is most important. You can logically maneuver your way through different religions, but ultimately you're going to stop and settle down in the one that makes you feel the spirit of peace and happiness the most. I've never been happier than when I was going to church, feasting upon the scriptures, and working on my personal relationship with Heavenly Father. My family has been an intricate part of my conversion, and we've been tightly knit together with the faith that families can live forever. We believe families can be together forever by being sealed in the Lord's temple- a place of binding things on Earth that shall be bound in Heaven. It's a place where families go together and come closer together. I believe anything that helps families focus on the eternities together is of God. Not many places here anymore that do that hahaThis email is extremely long, so I'll quit now. I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter!Love,Elder Hirschips I've realized how often we DONT focus on the true meanings of holidays...Bunnies? Chocolate? Really? haha check out this video for the TRUE reason we celebrate Easter. No really- go to it.