There and Back Again

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to….”

Here we are, at the end of all things.

I have thought about this email so often, I had so many plans of what to say, some epic words of parting, summing up these last eighteen months, but now as I sit here I am completely speechless.

The P-Day before changes is always super crazy. Everyone is excited to see who will be their new companion, their new leaders, their new area, excited to hear from families, all of the gossip, the news highlights create a nonstop stream of laughter, shouts and righteous merriment. Its weird to be the outsider looking in, to see all the adventures, growth and experiences that still await these missionaries. They are going to close our area, rumor has it that they are sending more elders to Tazumal, so we have a lot to do, making sure the area is ready to receive them. Hermana Reyes is going to Juayua, and not just Juayua, but PROGRESO! I am so excited for her, she will be in my favorite area, the place that changed my life, watching after my converts and all those wonderful people that I love so much! I am so excited for her!!

So our house is a chaotic mess right now. There is laundry drying, and there are half-filled suitcases strewn across the floor. It is so weird to pack things up, to see those few inanimate objects that represent eighteen months of blood, sweat and tears.

Yesterday the three of us going home spoke in Sacrament meeting. It was a lot of soggy eyes and warm hugs. The spirit was so strong; it was a beautiful experience. It was weird, starting to say goodbye. It feels more that I am leaving home, rather than going home.

The most asked question this last week was “¿Como se siente?” “How do you feel?”

To put my feelings into words would be nearly impossible, in English or in Spanish. I feel nervous, I am not quite sure what the Lord has in store, or what I am supposed to do with my life. It is going to be weird, having to get back into the rumbo of normal life, and to not be set apart. (confession, I have been sleeping with my name tag) I feel hopeful, knowing that the people I have taught and have seen change will continue strong in the church, and that if we are all faithful I will be able to see them again. I feel happy to have warm showers and feel carpet again, and to know what it is like to travel in a car again. I feel heartbroken that the dream is coming to an end, that we have made it back to the shire, and the time has come to cross the sea into the west.

Thinking on that, my mind is drawn back to my exit interview with President Spjut. As we were ending he made a reference to Peters Last interview with the Lord. Christ asked him one simple question, “Lovest thou me?” and then he invited him to serve. As I have reflected I put myself in that same interview.

“Hermana Hipol, Lovest thou me more than these? More than your family, more than school, more than all the first world commodities you enjoy?”

“Yes Lord”

“Then feed my lambs, go serve a mission.”

“Hermana Hipol, Lovest thou me more than these? More than your desire to sleep, more than your vanity, more than your wish for changes?”

“Yes Lord, you know that I love you”

“Then feed my sheep, stay on the mission, keep working hard.”

“Hermana Hipol, Lovest thou me more than these? More than your converts, more than the members, more than your companions, more than your missionary tag, more than your mission?”

“Lord…………….you know everything, and you know that I love you. ”

“Then feed my sheep, go home.”

I had always wanted to finish with an epic scripture talking about fruits or the glory of God, but I think I am just going to finish with my own words. More than anything else, I feel so grateful. I am grateful for every moment, every tear shed, every hard moment, every miracle, every door knocked, all of it. The Lord has made so much more of me than I could ever make of myself. I have loved my mission, because it was mine and the Lords. It was my very own epic adventure, a legend that will live on in my heart forever. It has changed me, refined me, and blessed me more than I believed possible and I will sing praises to my Heavenly Father forever for it. I feel so much love, so much gratitude. Nothing can compare with the joy that I felt when President said “You are returning home with honor.” I know that is true. The spirit has confirmed so much that my Heavenly Father is proud of me and is pleased with my work. And that is what is most important.

Thank you for your love, your support, your prayers, all you have done.


Love, Hermana Hipol



Hermana Hipol vs. T minus 10

Where do I begin……?

Really though, I think so much time in the sun has given me short term selective memory…. All week long so many crazy things happen, but when I sit down to reflect and write about it there is a giant blank. Needless to say, it was a good week….

Starting last Monday…. My comp and I went with the other companionship of sisters in our area to Santa Ana, to buy some souvenirs and all that nice stuff. We made it to centro with no problem, wow, and talk about a trip down memory lane. It has been over a year since I walked those crowded, streets or saw those same tomato and underwear vendors. We went, we shopped and started to make our way back when I ran into someone that I thought I would never see again. Familia Aparicio (my ward mission leader in Juayua, over two hours away)! When I saw his wife, Sandra, I bawled like a baby and she pulled me into the biggest hug! It was such a beautiful reunion. I love them so much, and it was the biggest tender mercy!!

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting (yep, we have begun the “lasts”). We talked about the Plan of Salvation, but we applied it to our time here as missionaries. BAD IDEA, did very bad things for my psyche. Really there were so many moments this week when I would just randomly burst into tears, that one of my eyes is now just constantly puffy…. que pena. It’s so funny we focus so much on why we come on the mission, but it does not matter because well, we are here now. Then our focus becomes “why are we here now?” But time goes by so quickly and you know why you have stayed, you realize how much you have learned, how much you have changed, and then comes the final question, why you finish. I am still trying to answer that one, but no worries, still have ten more days of hard work.

From there we are going to fast forward to Saturday. We did an area attack and did some divisions, to mix things up a bit. I got to work for the first time with Hermana Bustos (also going home with me). It was so much fun! We found a ton of new people and filled the agenda for this next week.

Sunday came. We walked into the chapel, only to find that we had no investigators…. and President was sitting there on the stand. Nice. We finished the first hymn, announcements, and then the Sacrament. As the deacons were finishing up, I looked out the window and in walked a family of three that we have been trying to get to church for over a month. I was so happy, I just started to cry. After Sacrament Meeting President walked over to greet the family and he invited them to keep listening and to follow the promptings of the Spirit. They felt so special! But then President gave us a nice surprise, he decided to stay all three hours, something that I do not think has ever happened. It would have been no big deal, but our Gospel principles teacher did not show up, so yours truly had to give the lesson, having not actually prepared a lesson. But I looked at the topic, “Jesus Christ, our Chosen Leader and Savior.” Wow, what a topic. The spirit was so strong, and I almost cried again, but gratefully Presidents presence kept me on my toes and I was a little too busy being a nervous wreck than to cry. Sister Spjut told me it was a great class so that has to be good. A great First and Last time to teach a Sunday school class to your mission president.

Anyways, the time has come, crazy huh?

I love you all.

Hoorah for Israel!

Love, Hermana Hipol

Hermana Hipol vs. 2016, Year of the Dog.

Where do I begin….


Wow, so we have gotten to 2016, crazy eh? I honestly cannot believe it. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and that you are all ready for these next 365 blank pages!

We had a really weird week. On Tuesday we had a fabulous district meeting. We talked about working hard, about success and goals for this new year. We watched a leadership training segment by a man named Yokoi Kenji (he is Colombian….. and Japanese) and he shared something very profound about success. He said that in the Japanese culture, true success is recognized over large periods of time, decades if necessary. Honorable success never comes instantly, rather it requires hard work, patience and endurance. It made me think a lot about my mission and how I am feeling towards the end. Truly, honestly, I had thought that my mission would end very differently. I was hoping a steady stream to the baptismal font or a chapel filled with reactivated members. But, missionary work almost never has instant results, the most lasting, fulfilling blessings of our father’s work, will not show fruits until we are brought again to the presence of our Heavenly Father. The harvest has not ended yet; the show goes on. We just have to work our hardest in the time that the Lord gives us, and in the end, all will be okay. We just have to remember the “why” of service, that it is not about what we want to see, or the end result, rather it is because we love the Lord, and we want to show our love to him by serving his children.

On New Year’s Eve, due to widespread merriment and festive firework throwing, we had to enter the house at eight. We had plans to eat dinner with an inactive family. We showed up and we helped them finish cooking. Just like Christmas, the tradition is chicken, salad and rice. We were so excited to eat together, but we sat down to eat at seven forty-five. Five minutes to eat, ten to get back home, challenge accepted. But then we went to serve the chicken…. it was still raw…. and they had forgotten to clean out some crucial organs……. #chefintraining

so, we ate our rice and salad and then ran home! We planned and then popped some popcorn and spent the night listening to the great and spacious fiesta outside and watching “The Best Two Years.” We finished the movie around ten thirty-ish, bed time, but due to the huge fireworks at the neighbor’s house, we laid awake until the wee hours of the morning.

New Year’s day as we left the house, the streets were filled with the ghosts of the night before. The streets were littered with newspaper shreds, broken bottles, and dinners that had not settled too well…. and not a soul in sight. We had a wonderful lunch eating the chicken we were supposed to have eaten for dinner, and we tried visiting those that were still in town.

In an attempt to better serve the members of our ward, we unintentionally have converted into a dog-sitting service. A couple families left town for a few days and left their canine companions at home…. so we stopped by to feed them. On Friday we stopped to feed Memo, the Cocker Spaniel of our cook, and the pobrecito did not have any food… and everything was closed…. so we ended up giving him rice, and sweet bread, and tortillas. He was still alive when they got home on Saturday so, that is good!

On Sunday the ward reorganized four organizations, and we got a new Ward Mission Leader!!

Anyways, so crazy week. I am really just very excited to have things go back to normal, without any crazy parties, makes the work run so much smoother.

I love you all so much. I am grateful for the unlimited opportunities that this new year has, and I am excited to see what the Lord has in store!

Hoorah for Israel!

Love, Hermana Hipol!