Hermana Hipol vs. The Apostle and the White Dress

Another week has passed and this change is just flying by. I am not sure where all of the time is going, but all I know is that it keeps going, and going, and going. But though the time passed very quickly this week, every day was blessed with some sort of miracle.

In preparation for the conference this weekend and trying to apply what we have learned in the temple and in the multi-zone conference this last week, a lot of our studies have been reviewing notes that we took and seeing how we can put them all in practice. This week I also finished my studies of the Christlike attributes… wow, what an amazing experience. In trying to come to know my Savior, I have come to find those attributes that my Father has blessed me with and I have received the spiritual confirmation that the Lord is pleased with my work, and that though I am not perfect, He is proud of me. What a tender mercy!

So this week, speaking of conference, what a beautiful experience. On Friday I woke up at three-thirty, to the beautiful snoring face of Hermana Sheehan…. Apparently I was shouting in my sleep all night long, must have been the excitement for what was going to happen. We all got beautified and hopped on a bus to San Salvador. There we met up with the two other missions of El Salvador: East and West/Belize. There was about 500 missionaries there. I happened to see one of the sisters that was in the CCM with me. The guest speakers of this conference: Elder Alonso and Elder Ochoa from the Area Presidency, another Area Seventy and President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles!!! Yep, I got to hear from the next prophet of the church. He even took the time to shake the hand of every missionary there. Yep, I shook the hand, and had a brief moment to speak to Russell M. Nelson! WOW! 25 years ago, he was sent here to El Salvador and he said the prayer, dedicating the country and opening it to missionary work. It was so amazing. The spirit was so strong, I learned so much. Of course, the trip ended with a long bus ride and some soggy taco bell but hey, got to love American food!!


So, after our spiritual high, we came home, anxious and animated to get back to work. Hermana Funez is awesome. I continue to learn so much from her… She has quickly gained the confidence of many members in the ward that beforehand were hesitant to reach out to the missionaries. She works very well with the youth, and I know that the Lord sent her here to be able to strengthen the youth programs of the ward. We are still really struggling to find new people to teach, but we are going to take a leap of faith and trust in the counsel of Elder Nelson, to focus on reactivation and on these prospective elders of the church. I hope that as we do so, that we can grow closer to the members and be able to augment the number of church attendance.

Other than that this week was really peaceful… We have been trying to serve as much as we can, and we have had some cool experiences. One of the coolest is that we are helping a sister in the ward make a wedding dress for a family that is going to be sealed! Yep, you read that right, Hermana Hipol is sewing! Well, buttons that is, I got to put 48 tiny buttons down the back of a dress, madness! It actually turned, out really nice, I might open up a button business post-mish. (That was a joke)

Anyways, good week, great experiences, greater love for my Savior and his work. I love you all!

Hoorah for Israel!

Love, Hermana Hipol

Hermana Hipol vs. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables

Where do I start………………?

Changes, changes, changes. I think that this was definitely one of the most bittersweet changes I have had.

I am a grandma!!! That’s right, my daughter, Hermana Avila, my only living companion up to this point (#mishslang) is training! I am so excited!!! I know that she will do great! I also get to stay in my area and keep working with the amazing people here in Juayua. We were taken out of one of the areas, so we officially are working just in Progresso! YAY!!! I am also not a sister training leader anymore so I get a nice little break from leadership responsibilities. It is the first time in my mission that I have been a “normal” missionary, and I kind of don’t know what to do… ha-ha but it’s a great new adventure!! My new companion is Hermana Funez! She is awesome! She is from Honduras and on Saturday she celebrated five years of being a member. She has five months in the mission, and is super animated to share the gospel. She is such a great example! She is the only member in her family and has gone through a lot to be able to come on the mission, but serves with all her heart might mind and strength.

On Friday we got to take our investigators to do a tour of the temple grounds in San Salvador! It was so cool!! I had the chance to sing a special musical number and the spirit was so strong. I sang “Oh My Father” with two Elders. It was great! While we were there I found a reactivating family that I visited back when I was in Piramidal. The whole family is active now and are preparing to be sealed! It was so cool to see them again!

It was so hot this week! I hope the rain comes soon because we are always drenched with sweat! I have definitely had to become a lot better about drinking water! This week was the week of summer vacation too… there was a week-long festival here in Juayua which means lots of overpriced souvenirs and alcohol, but we got to contact some beautiful families!

I just want to close with something that Hermana Spjut said in changes meeting. She said, “The way you deal with change defines who you are.” Saying goodbye to Hermana Steel was by far the most painful thing I have had to do here in the mission, and there is an emptiness that she left behind her when she left, that I know only time and the Lord can fill. But, change helps us grow and become the people God wants us to be.

I love you all! Please remember me in your prayers!

Hoorah for Israel!

Hermana Hipol vs. He Died

Words escape me this morning. As this week makes its grand entry, where stress and anxiety should be, I can only find peace and comforting reassurance. With one more change behind and one more here to greet us, I am excited to keep working hard and to see what the Lord has prepared. As I have tried to prepare for this change, my Heavenly Father has taught me so much, and as I look to the heavens, I am filled with so much gratitude.

I am very excited and somewhat nervous to see where this change will take us. Since Hermana Steel is finishing her mission, I will be staying here in Juayua another change, making it seven months and a half here!!! Wow, total madness, but we will see what God has in store. The missionary work is starting to catch a good rhythm and I know that only good things lay ahead. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, I was struck too see how much this little ward has changed, well, how much I have changed. While the chapel was not full, there were so many converts there. One of our recent converts, Erasmo blessed the sacrament yesterday, and I could not help but be filled with a huge amount of gratitude and joy to see him there using his priesthood. His wife, Anita, was called to be the Primary Secretary and we have been working with some beautiful part member families.

Our ward mission leader, Hermano Aparicio gave a beautiful lesson on the atonement and missionary work in our gospel principles class. He talked about how much Christ loves us, that he shed tears for us. Then he looked at my companion and I, both teary-eyed and said, “You know the sisters are representatives of Christ because they cry for you too. They suffer when you suffer and they are happy when you are obedient. They love you as Christ loves you.” So, much for trying to stay composed….. It was testimony Sunday and it the testimonies shared were of the missionary work, and experiences that the members had. They are really starting to catch on to the missionary spirit.  I am excited to keep working with them and to invite more of our brothers and sister to come to Christ.


One of my favorite song lyrics reads “To love another person is to see the face of God.”


To say that I love my companion would be somewhat redundant, considering that you have all heard the same thing for twelve weeks. It has been so interesting to be with so many companions as they finish their missions, and to see how each transitions differently into life after the mission. I HATE killing missionaries….. Hermana Steel has fought, and is fighting, and will continue fighting in the great cause of salvation. In this last week, we both were a little sick, but she worked through the pain with inspiring resilience. Looking back on these last three months, I can only smile. Not a day passed in which a smile did not light a darkened room, or laughter resounded in our hearts. Seeing her prepare for her next mission has inspired me, and taught me so much, but also enhanced my excitement to continue on in my own mission. That being said, there is nothing more painful than saying goodbye to a dear friend, even though it might just be temporary. I love Hermana Steel. I am reminded from one of my favorite quotes, and since in mission-speak “going home” is translated to “dying” I found it mildly appropriate to use in this situation.

“When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written “He dies.” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words… and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest “He died.””

Hermana Steel has left one heck of a mission life and legacy, one I will fight to live up to for the next six months. I have always had the bad habit when reading books to re-read certain parts, prolonging turning the next page and continuing with the story, afraid of what the author has hidden in the next lines. But there is no time to drag our feet when the author of all creation has As the Lord is turning this page, I am excited to keep reading.

“Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.” D & C 128:22


This is Hermana Armenia! She is the sweetest little lady and gives the best hugs in the whole world!!

We went to eat yucca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So delicious!