Hermana Hipol vs. Making History


Well this week was filled with so many tender mercies. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and never ceases to bless me. This week there was no miraculous increase in numbers, not a lot of super positive new investigators, and a lot of room for improvement, but there were so many tender mercies from the Lord. As we sought the spirit, we were guided to people who needed us, be it members or nonmembers. Too see that the Lord led us to those who needed us brought a lot of comfort and peace, knowing that despite the difficulty we are doing our Fathers work.

When it gets a little rough we take a break, say a prayer, give thanks for our many blessings and keep working. I just love being a missionary!

The perfect cure was the Conference yesterday. We had a surprise visit from Elder Steven Snow in the first quorum of the seventy. He is the Church Historian and Recorder, and he came with his assistant, Brother Turley and Elder Alonso from the Area Seventy.  It is the first time that the church historian has come to El Salvador, and it was the coolest conference ever! They came to ask about the missionary work here and to share a little with us. They talked about being pioneers and how our work is fulfilling prophecy. I was reminded of my own pioneer heritage, and that despite all the trials, they held firm to their testimonies and were able to accomplish great things. I also was reminded that in being the first missionary, I am also a pioneer and the great responsibility to work hard.

They counseled us to work hard, to be obedient and to keep a journal, keeping careful of what we are learning and how we are changing. Sister Snow shared a powerful testimony of how the mission is preparing us for so much more afterwards in life, and how we need to live it to the fullest and work our hardest while the Lord has given us this time. Then, they whipped out their tablet and pencils and paper and got to know us. They asked for stories from convert missionaries, a multi-generational missionary, and an elder and sister who have more than a year in the mission. When he asked for missionaries with a lot of time, Elder Snow called on me! He asked me how I have changed in my mission, and I was left speechless. Wow, I am not even close to the person who stepped on a plane 15 months ago. I have come to know so much more about the gospel and come so much closer to my Heavenly Father. As I have been able to serve others I have come to learn so much about the Plan our Heavenly Father has, and that it is perfect. I have come to better understand and apply the atonement in my own live, as I have come to help my brothers and sisters apply it in their own life.

I was reminded of a Shakespeare quote they used in this last general conference “Twas I but tis not I. I do not shame what I was, since my conversion so sweetly tastes being the thing I am.” My mission has made me a new person. I am not who I was yesterday, and I am trying my hardest today to make myself better tomorrow.  I am so grateful that the atonement makes us into new people and I am excited to work this new change.

That’s right, a new change, and my second to last agenda! I am not baggy or trunky, but things are getting real here. I cannot believe how fast time is passing!! I just want to work, work, work, and I am so excited to see what lies in store these next six weeks!

I love you all! Hoorah for Israel!!

Hermana Hipol vs. The Last “Last Rains”

Another week of work here in Tazumal. What a week! We have hit the famous “last rains” of the year and are entering into summer. So of course, it has been a deluge for the last three days. I finally donned the smurf blue rain poncho I promised myself I would never ever put on…. Nothing like a good lesson in humility! But it is all good, I sure do love the rain!

I was hoping that we could use the damp weather to our advantage, hoping that the sight of two soggy missionaries would soften the hearts of the people and let us in…But the Lord has seen fit to try our faith and dedication this week…. I am not sure why it is that when we try our hardest, the work toughens up a little bit. We have found some amazing people, had spiritually charged lessons, committed them to baptism, and then they disappear completely and we can never find them again. The earth has swallowed them up, as my comp says. She has such a great sense of humor, no matter what we can always find a reason to laugh. I have come to notice that when we leave a house, the local preachers and religious neighbors are very quick to also visit and try to break up any foundation that we placed with our investigators. I don’t think I have ever fought harder to try to teach, than in this area, and I am grateful for the chance that I have to strengthen my own testimony.

We have been trying our hardest this week to give our all to the Lord and his work. In our companionship studies we have been focusing on the Atonement and how it applies to us as missionaries and how we can help the people we are visiting come to understand it better. As we have done so, we have felt a greater urgency to share the gospel and we have a greater love for the people we visit.

On Friday night we got an email from our Zone Leaders, saying that they needed us in the stake center on Saturday to participate in a missionary activity. So we got all our stuff together and when to the Stake, excited to contact investigators and to teach…. well it was not that type of missionary activity. They had called all the RMs in the stake and all the young men and women who are preparing to go on a mission together and were trying to animate them to serve the Lord. They wanted me to share my testimony on… well my mission. It was really nice, the spirit was definitely there, but at the same time, it was an awful slap in the face of the reality that my mission is passing super quickly!! The worst part was when they had a mother with a missionary in the field come up front and talk about her son coming home in January (love you mom!)

Yah, so it was a little rough, but I gotta shrug it off and run through the finish line! No time to be baggy/trunky!!

Sunday came around and sadly, we did not have any investigators come, but after two weeks of conferences, what a beautiful blessing it was to be able to participate in the Sacrament. I am so grateful for the atonement of my Savior and that it has the power to purify, sanctify and fortify.

I’ll just close with my meditize scripture this week. Helaman 3:35

No obstante, ayunaron y oraron frecuentemente, y se volvieron más y más fuertes en su humildad, y más y más firmes en la fe de Cristo, hasta henchir sus almas de gozo y de consolación; sí, hasta la purificación y santificación de sus corazones, santificación que viene de entregar el corazón a Dios.

I love you all so much and I am thankful for all your prayers and support!

Hoorah for Israel!

Love, Hermana Hipol

Hermana Hipol vs. Platano Picking

Well, another week, where did it go?

I cannot believe how fast the time is going, and I wish we could add another day to the week.  I convinced my companion that we need to become more “consecrated” and give an extra effort to focus in only on the mission. One of the biggest distractions that we have had here in Ciudad Real is MUSIC!  Everywhere we go, people are blasting their tunes, and a lot of times it is music in English… Believe me, I thought that here in Tazumal would be the last place in the world that I would listen to Ed Sheerans new music (though at this point I am not sure if it is new or not….) but, he found his way to El Salvador. So, we are trying to “set ourselves apart” a little more, and though hard at first, some miracles have happened….As a companionship we studied “A consecrated missionary” (this cool packet/talk thing) and we set goals on how we can better dedicate ourselves to the work. We both learned so much about the gifts that the Lord has given us, and our potential as missionaries, if we dedicate ourselves completely to the work. We are trying our hardest to be exactly obedient, and to give an extra effort when we feel tired or discouraged. And the Lord has poured out his blessings.

We are starting to find more and more people to teach. As we are trying to find less active and inactive members, the Lord has guided us to some beautiful people that he has prepared to receive the Gospel message. The largest blessings we have seen this week have come from the Book of Mormon. We have been studying how to better present and teach from this wonderful book. We are trying our hardest to teach in every lesson with the Book of Mormon and to use it not only in lessons, but even in street contacting. On Saturday we went to visit a young man named Johnathan and he was so excited to see us. We had scarcely said hello when he asked if we had brought him his new “bible.” We did not have a lot of time to visit but we shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy to read. He held it as if it was made of gold and said that he would start to read it right away. When we invited him to be baptized he looked at us, then at the Book of Mormon, then said “Si.” Wow!!! I love being a missionary!!

We are reading the Book of Mormon as a mission as well, marking all the references to faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I am also marking all the names of Christ. As we have been reading the spirit has become so much stronger in our lessons, our contacting, even in our home. Our conversation is focused more on the mission, we have achieved almost all of our weekly goals, and more than anything, we are so much happier. All my “mediatizing” scriptures are also from the Book of Mormon. This week is in 3 Nephi 12:6, gotta get the Spirit!!!!

I love the Book of Mormon. As I have read my testimony of the atonement and repentance has grown so much. I feel the spirit as I teach, and I have come to have a stronger desire to help those I come in contact with.

Another weekly highlight, we had Stake Conference!!! We had a special visit from President Spjut and an Area 70, Adrian Ochoa (he said a prayer in General Conference). He came to a multi-zone conference when I started my mission, and it was awesome to see him again over a year later. I shook his hand, and though we did not have time to talk, it was still a neat experience. All of the talks were on the Sabbath day, scripture study and retention. There is so much work to do, and I left motivated to work another week in this great cause!!

As for everything else, the weather is still hot, though we get an occasional rain at night, making sleeping so much more wonderful! The traveling circus has also come to town, and every night is filled with bright lights, scary clowns, and tons of fried foods (they even have something like funnel cake). It is a public menace, but a great chance to contact families!

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support! I love you all and I am so grateful for everything! Keep the Faith, be happy, and be epic!

Hoorah for Israel!!

Love, Hermana Hipol

Pictures (harvesting plantains… it is a knife taped to PVC pipe…..) my companion wanted to cook, so we borrowed some plantains from the other sister missionaries.

Hermana Hipol vs. General Conference Part 3

Wow, what a week!!!

I am not sure where to even begin. The days are flying by and are meshing all together. We are working harder and harder and the Lord is pouring out his blessings.

I loved the Conference this week. So bittersweet, having the last conference in the mission…. ahhhh where is the time going!!! I received so much personal revelation and I am excited to put all of the things that I learned in practice! Our chapel was able to broadcast the conference here in Ciudad Real, so we did not have to travel far, but for a lack of computers, they only had the conference in Spanish…. oh well, thank goodness for the gift of tongues! But really truly honestly, what a wonderful blessing we have to be able to listen to living prophets and apostles who receive revelation specifically for us in our days. I know that these men have been called of God, because every word spoken was something that I needed to hear.

I came away from the conference with a stronger desire to dedicate myself to the work, to align my life more with the Lords will and to truly lose myself in the work.

I don’t have a favorite talk but I was specifically touched by the comments shared by the three new apostles. I loved when Elder Renlund shared, “The Lord does not call you for what you have done, and he calls you despite what you have done.” I have truly come to recognize firsthand that whom the Lord calls the Lord qualifies. I am so far from perfect, I have so much to improve on, but I am so grateful for an infinite atonement that allows me to make changes in my life and start anew. I am also grateful for a mission call that allows me to share these blessings with my brothers and sisters!

I love you all!

Hoorah for Israel!

Love, Hermana Hipol