Hermana Hipol vs. The Goat and The Master

Wow what an amazing week. I have learned so much again. Time seems to pass so fast, my goal is to always be keeping up with the pace and use my time the best that I can.

This week was very challenging in a lot of ways. I have plateaued a little in my spanish and I am using it as much as I can, though I struggle at times. The miraculous thing is that without fail, I am blessed with an amazing tender mercy cada dia that reminds me of my purpose and rejuvinates me for the next day. I am taking the council of President Hinkley to “forget myself and go to work” and Hermana Judd and I have been working hard. We cannot always directly see the fruits of our labors but we keep working. We have found some beautiful families and some other people that the lord has definitely prepared to recieve us. I also have the blessing of a great companion. Hermana Judd is so awesome!

This past Saturday we had a massive Ward Activity se llamó Destino Final that simulated a plane crash and we walked through the plan of Salvation post la muerte física.  Each room in la capilla was dedicated and decorated to represent each lugar: el mundo de los espiritus, and los tres reinos de gloria. We had been working on this with the ward council for about a month and it turned out a great success. We had a family of investigators come down and it was a very positive experience for them. It was so amazing. In all of our preparation we felt like something was missing, but we werent sure what. Hermana Judd and I were sitting at lunch the day before when she turned to me and said, “Hermana! We do not have anything about the savior!” We had forgotten the biggest part of the entire plan… so, we grabbed an extra room in la capilla and showed each group that came through the movie Gracias a él or “Because of Him·. You should all take time to see it today and share ti with someone else! It is beautiful. It was the final destination of the activity and the coolest room. Hermana Judd and I had the opprotunity to work in this room for a couple of the groups and after we shared the movie we shared our testimony of the Savior and his role in the Plan of Salvation. The spirit was so strong and it was very humbling. This is his work, we are his messengers, and it is only through faith and endurance in Him that we can return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.

This week we have had a lot of rain…. as in a lot… as in flood. It was soooo cool! This past tuesday we were soaked all day. At one point we were up to midthigh in water. It was really surreal, but after about six hours of being soaking wet, I was a little ready to go home… but we kept going and it was mazing!

This week we worked a lot with less actives. We teach a lot of older people and there were so many tender moments and cultural shocks that I had this week. We met with one elderly couple. He is mostly deaf and she is blind and mentally gone. But there were so many times when I would see them and he would be holding her hand, buttoning her dress for her or feeding her. It is so tender and reminds me of what is really important. They are so poor. They have two goats that they share with their children that live next door and one of the goats had babies this past week. They were soo cute! We passed by the next day to find out that one of the babies had died that morning. It was so sad, but as we left we saw this hermano. HE WAS EATING THE BABY GOAT THAT HAD DIED!!! It was a little traumatizing…. Yesterday we visited another older Hermano. He is extremely poor, he has nothing and his living conditions are terrible, and yet he faithfully comes to church every week and is nothing but happiness. When we passed by he pulled out the dirtiest, saddest looking guitar that I had ever seen in my life that I had ever seen. He began to play “How Great Thou Art”. It was beautiful…. I was reminded of the poem “Touch of the Masters Hand”.

I love this work so much… My Heavenly Father is a God of tender mercies… This week I have found so much strength that is not my own. I have seen miracles. I have learned so much about trusting in the Lord and learning to rely on his timing.

I am so excited for General Conference! I hope that you all have plans to watch it and to listen to the prophet.

I love you all! Thank you for your love and support!

Hermana Hipol vs. The Boxers

What a week of miracles! Learned so much, and my eyes were opened as to how strong the Lords hand is in the work.


At the beginning of this week we had a lesson with Hermano Luis, an Athiest. He was trying so hard to catch us in our own words and tease us, I felt like the Book of Mormon Prophets combating with the antichrists. He was intrigued by our message but it was clear that he didn’t really want to learn. He shut down Hermana Judd midsentence, saying that she lacked conviction and a true testimony that our message was true. I felt the spirit so strong…. Its funny, had I been the person I was before my mission I would have argued with him and gotten furious, I mean, I love my companion! But instead I felt the spirit so strong and was overcome with such a strong feeling of love for this man. It filled me up, so much so that I was shaking. In my broken Spanish I looked at him and said that I may not know much, and I might just be a young girl with little experience in this world, but that I am a special witness of the Living God, that there is a God, and that nothing will change or diminish my conviction. The words just sort of came out…. and I don’t really remember everything I said, but I was using Spanish that I had not learned. It was cool. But I told him that we did not know why he let us into his house, but I knew that a part of him wanted to know if our message was true and I promised him as a Missionary of Almighty God that if he prayed aloud, simply asking if there was a God, having even the slightest desire to know if the Lord was there, that he would have an experience that he could not explain with any logic or worldly knowledge. The spirit was so powerful…. I felt so humbled. I do not think that he will take that challenge but I know without a shred of doubt, that there is a God, that he is all powerful, that he is all loving, and that we are representatives of him.


The largest miracle of this week was when we met with our eternal investigators, the Lopez family. Hermana Elizabeth has been struggling so hard to act in faith and pray, having studied with another church for fourteen years. We have helped them get married and their daughter Katherine was baptized. Hermano Armando wants to be baptized but the Hermana tiene muchas desafios… We had them read 3 Nephi 11 and this lesson we were going to review it and try to commit them to a date… When we arrived, Hermana Elizabeth was so excited to see us, she asked if we could read the chapter together, since she was the only one who had read. After we read we asked her if she had read and prayed. She got so quiet. I was a little nervous. She told us that she wasn’t going to read but she could not sleep. So she got out her scriptures and prayed before reading. She read the chapter heading and suddenly felt the spirit so strong… She started to read and when she got to Christ’s appearance she felt physical arms wrap around her in a hug. She felt the marks in the Saviors hands. When she read about the Doctrine of Christ she cried…. Hermana Judd looked at her and asked her if she would be baptized. The spirit was so strong…. She nodded yes. I love this family!! But it was so amazing. I had no words to say in English or Spanish, but I was filled with so much love. We continue to work with them, but I love this family.


We had an incredible zone conference this week with Elder Ochoa. He really pepped us up and we decided to open up our mouths and talk with everyone…. So on our way home Hermana Judd and I also contacted two buses! We stood up in front and said, Hey we are missionaries and we have a message that will change your life! Most of the people just stared but we found two people that were so ready to hear the message of salvation. I am strengthening my confidence in my ability to open my mouth and talk to people and we are trying to find people to teach. As we have put our faith in the Lord we have contacted so many wonderful people. Every house we approach is willing to hear more. It is amazing!


The funniest thing happened yesterday! We went to pick up one of our investigators, Lito, for church. He is about eighty five and has bronchitis… and is a little crazy… but he has the sweetest heart and wants to be baptized. Anyways we went to pick him up and he answered the door in…. true story, women’s boxer shorts…. it was so funny!! He said that his kids had taken all of his clothes to wash them and hadn’t brought them back but when they came he would join us at church… he didn’t come… so after church we went back and he was still there in his boxers… he invited us in and he finally found some pants. Oh dear…. On a side note…. before we came he had been watching Lord of the Rings. Love him!!


Anyways… I love the work, I love my companion, I love my Savior!

I love you all!


Hermana Hipol vs. The Unexpected Journey

Crazy, Crazy week! I learned so much….

Well, this week I had to take a road trip with some of the new elders to San Salvador, to get our residency and such. We took a van down to the capitol, got our papers done and then went to Wendy’s for some lunch… As we left the restaurant we entered traffic to head home… and then our engine died (There are no cars here in El Salvador that are not broken in some way). We happened to be in the middle of traffic, going up a hill. So our driver put the car in neutral and we proceeded to cruise back to Wendy’s… backwards, across traffic. It was terrifying. We could not fix the little van. So here we were, an hour and a half from Santa Ana, a bunch of new missionaries… with no idea what to do. Our driver looked at the car, looked at us and then told us we would have to take a bus back. We found a bus, paid a quarter and all hopped on… Here the public transportation is sketchy… at the least. All of us were packed onto this bus with tons of other people we literally were standing on top of each other. We got off the public bus and found another one that would take us back to Santa Ana. We finally made it back about an hour later than we were supposed to but I learned that the Lord definitely looks out for his missionaries!

The Lord never ceases to surprise us and pour out the blessings of heaven for us. This past week we contacted so many people that were ready to hear the message. We are teaching a hundred year old woman, named Elizabeth, who is the sweetest person ever, as well as a young family. It has been nothing short of miraculous! We had some of our greatest lessons too! Here in El Salvador there are tons and tons and tons of small churches, and so as missionaries, we have been asked some obscure questions. Last night we were teaching one of our favorite families. The mom studied 14 years with another church and our entire lesson was using the bible to prove that Jehovah and Jesus Christ are the same person… It was a powerful lesson! We had a member with us who killed it with the spirit. There was so much love and so much patience. I bore my testimony and, wow… gift of tongues. I don’t even know what I said but I know that the spirit was there. They are definitely going to be baptized. They were married this past Saturday and Hermana Judd and I decorated for their wedding! We had everything set up and time came to start but they weren’t there…. they showed up half an hour late, in perfect El. Salvador style… but it was a lesson in faith.

Today is Independence Day! We are watching a parade, playing volleyball and making cookies as a district. We have so much fun! I don’t know how we are going to be able to teach with all the parties but I know that the Lord will provide.

I am so blessed. I have an amazing companion, the ward is amazing and my Savior is always there giving me additional strength. This week my comp and I made dinner with a family that helped us teach. We taught them how to make French toast and it was actually pretty good! My favorite food here is definitely fried plantains…. or frozen chocolate bananas.

Thank you for your support! I love you all!

Hurrah for Israel!





Hermana Hipol vs. The Week of Firsts

El Salvador Santa Ana MissionWhat a sweet week! I love it here in El Salvador.


This was definitely a week of firsts. I had my first real papusa, got my first bug bite, saw my first camel spider (scary), chased my first bus, was chased by my first pack of dogs… and had my FIRST BAPTISM! Yesterday this wonderful young girl was baptized and it was so cool!


Her name was Katharine Lopez, (yes, the same name as my first investigator at the CCM) and she is so amazing! Her parents are also taking lessons and we have a date for them too, there are just a couple things we need to finish first. I love their family so much! They are so patient with me and totally understanding, because my Spanish struggles at times…


My Trainer, Hermana Judd is a miracle worker. Turns out, we knew each other before the mission, we had the same mutual friend growing up! I love her to death! We have a small little house in the middle of Santa Ana, Santa Ana. It is extremely humble and quite ghetto, but it is home! We are never there, really. It is just the two of us and thousands of bugs. You learn to get used to them really fast here. Just dont make eye contact with the spiders…. We start and end the day on our knees and it is the best part of the day! We start the day with cereal and usually don’t have time for dinner, so after planning we make a PB&J. A sister in the Ward, Hermana Paty, makes us a huge lunch every day. She is such a gem and has the greatest family. Earlier this week we were leaving our house to go to lunch and I accidently locked the keys in the house…. Hermana Judd said that it wasn’t a problem, we would just go have Hermana Paty Help us… well. Our house has a front patio thing with a big metal door and then the front door to our house… All the homes here have barbed wire along the roofs and fences for safety. Well, that front gate was locked too and so we were stuck in our front patio… All our windows are covered by metal guard rails too… So Hermana Judd found a small razor and attempted to cut through the metal guard rail… After she cut her finger we decided we should probably pray…. long story short, we reached through the guard rails and took out the glass in our window, got our keys and got to work. The Lord definitely keeps us humble and has a perfect sense of humor. We have so much fun together! She pushes me every day!


Really the members here are amazing! Every week there is a Missionary Family that specifically helps us and works alongside us to reactivate and find new people to teach. The Bishop is also amazing, everyone is excited to work with us. They are amazing examples of member missionaries. Yesterday was my first day at church here and everyone came up to shake my hand and welcome me. It is the custom here (for girls) to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek. It took a little while to get used too. But the people here are so beautiful. Everyone lives in extremely humble circumstances, it is quite shocking at times when we enter homes. I have taught in homes made from garbage bags and bamboo, homes with dirt floors and the people are so humble and welcoming. They have been so humbled and prepared to receive the lords message.


The easiest way to teach is to serve. This week we helped clear out part of the jungle, weeding and facing all sorts of unsavory insects, but the Brother we helped, Carlos, is soooooo ready to hear the message. This past Saturday we also bought food and made dinner with a family with a less active. They had literally nothing and so we saw an opportunity to improve our cooking skills. I made horchata! With my Hands!! it was pretty good. But the results were miraculous. Apparently people that have not been as open are accepting us and people that had been stagnate are now starting to progress. The Lords hand is in it all, and Hermana Judd and I are definitely the power team! We have some humbling experiences, but I pray every day that we can be instruments in the Lords work and have an opportunity to serve. The Lord has blessed us so much. I am trying my hardest to lose myself in the work and the days literally fly by. I hope to keep the pace. I am beginning to grasp the gravity of the stewardship the Lord has blessed me with… I pray every day that I can live worthy of it and work my hardest. This is not my time, it is time the Lord has given me. I am here to work… It is definitely not easy… One of the Elders, Elder Perez told me, “If the bitter cup don’t pass, drink it.” There are moments when I wonder what on earth I am doing here and feel overwhelmed but I never ever regret my choice. Every night when I am on my knees talking to my father, I can only remember the blessings and miracles I have received from the day…and I can only offer gratitude. Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies… I just have to keep the pace.


I have definitely lost weight… I am always sweating and my hair is never dry… It rains a lot here and is extremely humid. The other day we had a huge storm and a little river was totally flooded! it was quite scary looking but we were just fine. It is so beautiful here. It is so green and there are so many gorgeous flowers!


My Spanish is coming along really well. Though my companion and I speak English, we try to use Spanish as much as possible. I can understand so much more than I can say, so when I speak I use really simple sentences, but when all else fails I just bear testimony. I have come to rely entirely on the spirit. But I love teaching. The spirit is always there teaching me and giving me confidence. Every Time we begin a lesson we sing a hymn and say a prayer and every time: BOOM! Spirit. I love it! The best part is when we give the baptismal challenge or invite them to do something. We are here to help Change lives and bring people closer to Christ, and it is miraculous to see people make those changes. I love it.


I love you all. Keep on serving. Thank you for your support and your faith.


Hurrah for Israel!



Hermana Hipol