Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 30, 2016 P-Day #5

Hello world!!
Life is oh so good up here in Newfoundland!
We have taught a lot this week and done so many things!! We are always busy, which I've found is by far the best thing you can be as a missionary!
We are still teaching the family from Iraq frequently. They don't understand everything we say, but they are so willing to learn and try to understand! They have the desire to learn, so I know that we can do it...But if you all wanted to pray that I'll receive the gift of tongues I wouldn't be mad haha(;
One thing I must confess too, that I never thought I would is...that Utah is seriously the greatest place in the whole world.  I seriously never thought I would say that haha! I miss everything! Mountains...I miss those big beautiful mountains every day!! I know that Utah isn't really what I miss most, it's the people there. Man do I miss you all!! Especially my mama!! She really is the best ever! She's my hero. No doubt. 100%. She is literally wonder woman!! I informed her this week that she better be prepared to have me as a neighbor for the rest of her life because after this I don't know if I can stand being much further than that from her ever again haha!!
Life as a missionary really is going so good! Being able to be a representative of Jesus Christ everyday, and do what he would do if he were in this exact place I am now called brings such a sense of surety in my everyday life.
I love it here. The people are really so nice, I can't believe it! I really don't think I have had anyone be even a little bit rude! Which is seriously the biggest blessing!!
The people are sooo funny. They talk like you wouldn't believe. The first few days I was here I couldn't understand most of what the people were saying haha. But I'm finally catching on to all the little sayings and what they actually mean!
One thing really cool I have learned this week about the power of the Holy Ghost is that it can really be whatever is going to touch that person the most.  In some lessons the spirit that is felt is very calm, or loving.  But every time we meet with the Drdr family it is this fiery spirit that testifies so strongly and brings excitement for the learning! I love feeling the different ways the spirit works for different people. It helps me understand the spirit, but also the people we are teaching so much better.
I'm keeping it a little short this week, but before I go I have to tell you a funny foot in mouth moment I had this week to reassure you that I am still the same McKell(;
We were in the library at our church looking for some material with the elders and a member of the branch presidency. Sister Anderson pulled out this HUGE binder that said "Book of Mormon" on the front...
Sis. Anderson: “ Holy Cannoli! Look at how big this Book of Mormon is!!”
Me: (being the sassy person I am) “Wow!! The people reading that must be blind!!”
Sis. Anderson then opened the giant Book of Mormon and guess what we saw?...Braille. Yes that is right. It was for actual blind people. We literally died on the floor laughing for a solid 5 minutes while the others in the room just looked at us like we were completely insane haha! So if you are wondering if a mission would help me develop a filter...it looks like that just isn't something that is going to happen anytime soon haha!!
Well that's all for this week folks! I hope you have a wonderful week! Thank you so much for your support and prayers. I feel so much love ALL the time! I love you!!
Sista Hird

Canada Halifax Mission

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 20, 2016 Service Project in Gander for "Tim"

May 23, 2016 P-Day #4

May 23, 2016 P-Day #4
Wow! I can't believe it's P-day again already! Craziness!!
This week has been great!! Lots of work! This week we only had two days in our area, because we went up to Gander for the weekend to do a service project for a less active member.  He has been having a hard time coming to church, and the Gander Sisters have been working with him but not having much success in getting him to attend.  So our Mission President, President Pratt called him up and asked him what we needed to do to get him to church.  Tim said that he couldn't attend church because he was just too busy with the houses he is renovating (that's what he does for work).
So President Pratt said "Well I'm going to get all the Newfoundland missionaries up to help you work on those houses so you can attend church!" So that's exactly what we did! We drove up Thursday night, and spent the evening with the Gander Sisters.  Then got up bright and early and went to work. We worked on the backyard, cleaning it up and the fence was falling apart.  So we tore it down and put up a new one! Which I thought was funny because when I got to talk to the family for mother's day pretty much all the kids had to talk about was the new fence that was put up.  So I totally now understand the joy of a nice new fence, haha!
Earlier this week before we left for Gander we had an amazing experience with getting some new investigators!
While I was e-mailing last week our phone rang and I answered it, it was a man who didn't speak English very well, wondering if we could get him a bible in Persian. We told him that we could, but that we would have to order it in so it would take a few weeks.  We asked if in the meantime we could bring an English Bible to him.  He agreed and gave us his address and we told him we would be by later that night.
So we went over to his house that night with the bible and a small scripture from the bible to share (People usually just use it to get free bibles, but aren't interested in the church so they won't let us share a message). We got to their house and rang the doorbell and knocked.  We could hear people in the house but they weren't coming to the door.  So my comp Sister Anderson said, "ahh they aren't answering. We should just go." But I just felt like we HAD to get in that door.  So I started to knock on the closest window (I later found out it was the bathroom window and I was knocking while the father was in the shower haha) We heard some yelling and then the door opened.  We explained who we were and why were there.  Then this sweet mom Hannah let us in.  She didn't know anything about the bible being ordered and was pretty confused because they don't speak Persian.  They speak Arabic. Then the dad who was in the shower while I was knocking on the window came out and joined us. He explained that it had been him who ordered the Bible and that it was for his friend at work.  He then asked us if we wanted to know how he got our number, and we of course did! He went into the other room and came back with a passalong card with our number written on the back! This is seriously a miracle! We walk around and pass out cards all day long and usually don't get any calls from them.  So the fact that he had saved the card, for over a month and then called us was truly the Lords work!! Without the diligent efforts of the sisters before us The Drgr family would have never found us and been able to be taught! So after hearing this we spent some time and got to know the family a bit and found that they were from Iraq and had been living here in Newfoundland for 2 years. They have three kids, Ranya (13), Ronni(7), and Rondi.  Although we have only met two of them (there oldest son, Rondi is 16, and whenever we ask about him Hannah tells us "he's just being a teenager right now". The kids speak perfect English along with Arabic and French.  The two parents speak a little English so Ranya helps with interpreting. Once we had gotten to know them, we told them about our purpose as missionaries and they said they really wanted to learn! So we started to teach some simple and basic doctrine about our church.  They are Catholic, so they have a strong understanding of the bible and Jesus Christ. Which is soo great! They have a lot of knowledge and understanding about things we believe as well. We just have to teach them all the extra things we have in our church(: They loved the lesson and agreed to have us back over the following Sunday. So I got to meet with them again yesterday! Everytime I see them I am just so filled with love! They are so sweet and truly have the desire to learn from us! Our lesson yesterday went just as well as the first.  The language barrier is hard, but we CAN do it! The most amazing thing is as we teach Hannah’s eyes fill with tears, and I know she can't understand everything we are saying, but the spirit is still testifying of the truth of our message. They are always so willing to learn and eager to set up our next appointment! We just happened to find two Arabic Book of Mormons in our church library that we were able to give them! So they have committed to start reading The BoM as a family everyday!  AND they told us they have some friends from Iraq, that they think need to hear this message too!! So they are going to come to our next lesson!! It's truly amazing to think that all of this has come from a pass along card! NO EFFORT IS WASTED! I truly believe this!!
This week has been super busy, but so good! We were able to do some sight seeing before e-mailing this morning and it truly is so beautiful!!
I also got to try Poutine this week, which is like a Canadian delicacy haha. It's basically french fries, with gravy and cheese curds...which sounds super gross...and if you look it up it looks pretty gross too haha but I swear it is SOOOO GOOD!!
I love you all and hope your week is wonderful! You're in my prayers always <3
Sister Hird

Canada Halifax Mission  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016 P-Day #3 First in the Field

May 17, 2016
Well, I'm here in Canada!!!
So I'll start with my travels to this beautiful land!
I left the MTC at 6:30am on Tuesday and took the train to trax and trax to the airport (granny B. you were right)
The craziest thing happened right at the beginning, we were dropped off at the train station by the MTC and an elder was a little bit late, so we didn't make the 1st train which meant we had to take the next one and wait 25 minutes.  Which was something a lot of the missionaries were grumbling about.  But little did they, or I realize that us missing that first train was a complete blessing for me. While standing on the platform waiting I looked to my left and was shocked to see my Uncle Kurt waltzing down towards us, so I called out to him.  He looked as shocked as I was.  He was headed in to work (which is right down the street from the train) he passed the station and saw the big group of missionaries and felt that he needed to turn around and go talk to them.  He had no idea that I was there.  Because of  his willingness to listen to the still small voice, the spirit was able to guide him to me and answer my prayers.  I was super excited to be heading out but also nervous to be leaving and doubting myself and worrying about family.  So I said a little prayer in my heart that I would be able to feel peace and reassurance, and then my miracle walked up to me not 2 minutes later. Kurt was able to be that reassurance I needed and he told me what a great missionary I would be.  It was a true blessing from my Heavenly Father. For those that know me well, you know I joke about how lucky I am.  But in actuality it's not luck, you have no idea how much I've prayed.  It's not merely coincidence or just luck.  It's my Heavenly Fathers divine hand and influence in my life.
Alright, now after a miracle, train ride, and trax ride we arrived at the airport with plenty of time.  We checked our bags problem free, which also was a miracle.  I will fully admit I have some issues when it comes to packing.  I bring literally everything. So the fact that my bags were 50 and 49 pounds was AMAZING! #blessed
After a layover and 10 total hours of travel and being the "Travel Leader" of our group of 5 missionaries we made it to Halifax and finished customs at 1:30am.  When we walked out into the airport my sweet mission president, President Pratt was there waiting for us with the assistants to the president and sister training leaders.  They guided us jet lagged missionaries to the car and took us to the mission home.  Where we found out where were headed and ate some good chili.

I found out I was headed out to St. John's Newfoundland. Which meant that I would be on a plane again very soon.  Newfoundland is the one of the few areas in my mission you have to fly to.  So they told me I would spend two nights in the mission home and then fly out Thursday evening.  Then Wednesday President let us sleep in (he seriously is so loving) We did some training and then went and got Nova Scotia Drivers Licenses. So I had to give up my cute little 16 year old one...but it's all good a Nova Scotia one is much cooler(;Then at about 2:00pm I found out that I was actually flying out in like 2 hours.  Something went wrong with the flight plans so I was outta there a day early.  So I didn't get to spend too much time at the mission home but, I still love them so much! The flight to Newfoundland was only about an hour and a half.  Then when we landed I met my sweet trainer Sister Anderson! I LOVE HER!! She is the BEST! I couldn't be more blessed to have her! She is super sweet and such a great missionary!
I know I will learn so much from her!

Now I'll tell you a little bit about St.Johns and some of the amazing experiences I've had here already! It is a small little town with "jellybean houses" which are just the cute colorful little houses on the cliffs. The people are sooooo nice!! I can't believe it! Many don't want to hear our message, but they reject us so unbelievably politely! They tell us that while they are happy Catholics they are just so proud of us "young people" for going out and teaching of Jesus Christ.  They are amazing! Another thing I love very much here is that we work with a lot of less actives as well as investigators.   They are just as important!

This is week we were able to find and a teach a sweet little old lady named Dianne.  We taught her the Restoration....which leads me my first funny mission story.
Sooo this is me holding the restoration pamphlet so you can really picture this experience.

We pull out the pamphlet to begin teaching, and show her the front cover. We describe to her the loving way Jesus is looking at this sheep and then convo go's as follows:
Us: So Dianne, looking at this picture and how loving Christ is what do you think this means for you? How the gospel help you?
Dianne: *with a very excited look* WOW, sooo the gospel is for animals?!?! Like cats and dogs and stuff can be baptized too??
B'y, let me tell you it was the hardest thing in the world to not bust up laughing. We then explained to her the story of the Savior and the lost sheep.  We also taught her the entire Restoration of the church and at the end I invited her to be baptized and she said YES!!!
Such an amazing experience...with some humor as well haha

This week I also got...my first kiss as a missionary.....
Haha but don't worry too much! My comp and I got to help with a special needs activity here at the church! There were quite a few very friendly brothers that were there, so I got a couple hugs and of course the kiss! It was pretty funny, I was shocked. But had to quickly recover to block the second kiss attempt. Haha ahhh being a missionary sure is great!

Out here we do a lot of door knocking and street contacting. We have so many beautiful parks and city areas we go and teach anyone who listen.  It's a hard work, but it's soo rewarding.
I am SOOO HAPPY.  Being a missionary is my favorite.  It is hard at times, especially with missing all my friends and family back home! But every time I bring someone even a tiny little bit closer to Christ it's all worth it.  Even when they say no, and the best we can do is get them to take a pass along card.  It's all worth it!  

Love you all sooo much!! Have a good week and know you're in my prayers!                                  

Sister Hird
Canada Halifax Mission

p.s. my direct address is :

1A Chimo Place
St. Johns, Newfoundland
A1A 3p7  Canada

Elder Ludlow - MTC  6'7" He's On His Knees!
Breakfast of Champions!  Mommy's favorite meal!

May 10, 2016 Traveling to Canada

I received a text the Morning of May 10, 2016 from my Brother-In-Law, Kurt Nelson:
"I drive by the Provo from runner station every morning on my way to work. This morning I saw a group of missionaries on the platform.  About two blocks further west, I had the feeling I should go back to the station and go see the missionaries.  As the missionaries came into view as I walked towards them, who to my surprise did I see but the Beautiful Sister Hird and her companion. We visited for a couple of minutes, I snapped a couple photos, and gave her a hug.  She said the MTC was great but couldn't believe how quick the time passed by." 
This probably seemed like such a simple thing to him, but to me this meant the world!  What an amazing blessing to see her so happy and ready to serve the people of Canada!  

She Made It!

MTC President visited Sister Hird

Sister Hird & Her Comp with the MTC President Burgess & Sister Burgess

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sister Hird's Epic Farewell Talk

April 17, 2016
I have been called to serve in the Halifax Canada Mission, English speaking and in just 3 short days I will go to the Provo MTC and this crazy, beautiful journey will begin.  The only thing you really need to know about my mission is that Justin Biebers birth town is a part of it.  That alone is proof that God answers ALL prayers. My mission is the Far East coast of Canada, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland - Labrador. There is a unique cultural blend of Irish, Scottish, English and French influence. I am lucky enough to have the Halifax Temple in my mission that I will get to attend. I am 1 of 100 missionaries in this mission and of that 100, 35% are Sisters.  After HOURS of googling I am thoroughly convinced it’s the most beautiful place in the whole world. It’s full of quaint, little, colorful towns and lighthouses on the coast that add to the fairytale feel.  In a specific part of my mission the aurora borealis is as common as 240 average nights a year. Seeing the northern lights has always been something I’ve dreamed of and I’m going somewhere they are just a part of life.  So many little things, that all add up to big blessings.  Which is why I truly believe my mission couldn’t be more perfect for me.  I feel so blessed for being given the opportunity to serve and teach the people of Halifax the eternal happiness of the gospel.
 I was also extremely blessed in the fact that this mission was exactly the kind of mission I wanted.  It really is perfect for me in every way.  I wanted somewhere that was far enough away that it would be a new adventure but at the same time I was worried about going somewhere that was completely different and so foreign, so I would say Canada really is the best of both worlds.  I was also extremely worried that I would get called somewhere that was considered a little bit more of a sketchy place…but not for my sake, for my poor fathers. I don’t think he could have gotten any luckier, because you don’t really get safer than Canada. 
Now of course something very important about my mission is how I got here.  The whole reason I am up here today giving you my farewell talk is because 3 years ago I made the best decision I could have made.  I got my Patriarchal Blessing.  Wow, that really changed my whole life.  Before I got my patriarchal blessing I prayed and prayed that I would get direction.  Now when I prayed for that I was thinking career wise because at the time that was all that seemed important.  But what I was got was completely different. I got that I needed to serve a mission, and then I got some more about a mission, and then some more more about a mission. Heavenly Father made sure I left knowing exactly what I needed to do.  Before this moment in my life a mission wasn’t really on my radar, and after it, it was something I thought about daily.  This helped me to be able to make choices that kept me where I needed to be in life to be able to serve a mission.  That is a blessing I will thank Heavenly Father for every day. 
My topic today is my thoughts on a talk I chose from this past conference. The talk I chose is by Cheryl A. Esplin.  It is called “He Asks Us to Be His Hands” it was given during the General Women’s Session.  This talk is all about service, which is really all a mission, is.  As a missionary we are called to be His hands.
   President Thomas S. Monson, who understands service fully, said: “I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and … lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”  In order to truly live we must be willing to give our life to service.  I know that after I spend a day serving I always go to bed feeling the warm fuzzies. That’s because the simple fact is the way to find fulfilment in life is by giving yourself to others. And let me tell you, growing up not once after being forced my mom to go to a youth service project did I ever regret it.  I always left feeling much better than when I started. For example, there was a young women’s service project, which I really didn’t want to do.  We were going over and doing some gardening for an elderly woman and dirt isn’t my favorite so I wasn’t exactly thrilled about going. In fact I was forced into going by my mom after much begging on my part to just skip it.  So I grudgingly went and immediately upon arriving had my whole attitude changed. I was one of three girls to show up including my young women’s leader who had been at school all day up to this point. Because I had been trying to convince my mom not to make me go, I was late.  So by the time I finally showed up both leader and young woman looked like they wanted to cry they were so glad to have just one more set of helping hands.  This taught me something about service I hadn’t really thought of before and that was; that service effects more people than just those that we are serving.  Service is one of those gifts that keeps on giving. 
Now of course, if you know me you won’t be surprised that I am going to relate my favorite Disney Hero to the Gospel.  Hercules. What a guy. He really does exemplify “Being His Hands”.  In my mind Hercules story is so similar to a missionary’s story. That might be because I’m little crazy, which I have been told before. But I’m sure by the time I’m done you’ll agree with me on this Hercules thing.  Throughout his whole young adult life Hercules struggles and can’t really figure out who he is and where he belongs.  He feels lost. After a desperate prayer Herc learns the most important thing someone can learn, “God is his loving Heavenly Father” Which for all of you, who don’t know, is the very first thing Missionaries teach their investigators.  Literally that is the #1 most important thing to get across to someone.  If you can get someone to really understand and feel that it will change their life, just like it changed young Hercules life.  After his answer to prayer Hercules vows To Go the Distance. He says:
I am on my way
I can go the distance
I don't care how far
Somehow I'll be strong
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere to find where I belong

Down an unknown road
To embrace my fate
Though that road may wander
It will lead me to you
And a thousand years
Would be worth the wait
It might take a lifetime
But somehow I'll see it through

And I won't look back
I can go the distance
And I'll stay on track
No I won't accept defeat
It's an uphill slope
But I won't lose hope
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete

So Hercules has received his mission call and knows he must serve in order to reach his Father in Heaven. Then he spends lots of time training with Phil to learn how and prepare to go save the world.  This is exactly what missionaries go to the MTC to do, minus that fact that the mission prep teacher may not always be named Phil. Now after his preparation Hercules goes out and does. He serves the people. He fights the monsters of the world, which missionaries do as well, but the monsters aren’t quite as literal.  They are the monsters of sin and self-doubt. Hercules does something many many missionaries do when they first go out on the mission before they have learned their true purpose.  He confuses being a hero with being famous.  This can happen to us new missionaries.  We can get caught up in the numbers of people we baptize and forget the meaning of the mission.   So Herc prays to find out why he just isn’t reaching that hero status he so wants, and he learns something very important.  His Father in Heaven tells him that:  "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart” So Hercules learns: Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
So yes, Hercules was right, strength is an important part of being a hero but as we have learned from the scriptures strength alone is not enough.  You must have Heart along with it. Serving is great, but when you truly love the service is when the real change occurs and a hero is born. Now that Hercules has learned what being a true hero is, hades goes all lord of the undead “I don’t think so” and he tries to intervene.  Which I would imagine happens frequently out on the mission.  Satan sees a missionary realizing their full potential and tries to put them down.  But like a good missionary Hercules doesn’t quit he tries harder, even when all the odds are against him and learns selfless service, which brings Hercules to saving souls and becoming a true hero. Selfless service is what made Hercules the God he knew he could always be and it will do the same for us.  Service is the key to our warm welcome and open arms at the gates of heaven just like Hercules experienced.
So there you have it, a mission and service explained with the help of Disney.  This proves that like all the seminary teachers always said, “You can relate anything to the gospel”
 President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught: “You must do … what disciples of Christ have done in every dispensation: counsel together, use all resources available, seek the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, ask the Lord for His confirmation, and then roll up your sleeves and go to work”  Service is the most important thing we can do. But don’t sell yourself short or feel even though you are already stretched so thin you have to find ways to do more.  All you moms out there, just taking care of your kids is a lot of service.  Some of the things you do that may feel mundane are actually the best ways to serve.  Service really doesn’t have to be a big organized food drive and you don’t have to go on a mission to serve, although those are great ways to serve, they aren’t the only ways.  As Sister Esplin said : “All of us can incorporate some service into our daily living. We live in a contentious world. We give service when we don’t criticize, when we refuse to gossip, when we don’t judge, when we smile, when we say thank you, and when we are patient and kind.” So do some act of service every day!  Not only will help those around you but it will benefit you just as much, if not more.
I have a strong testimony about service because I am extremely lucky and have so many wonderful examples of service in my life.  I have grandparents that would drop anything to simply make my day better.  I have siblings who help each other all day every day. I have neighbors who have become family, and that’ve stood by us through all our hardships and helped make them light. I have amazing friends, one who just last week spent hours taking mission pictures for me. Some are out serving missions right now, like I will be in just a few short days.  One of them, who is serving out in Houston Texas wrote me when I got my call with some great advice, he said “Soo you are guaranteed that you will get a companion that you don’t get along with….well…IT DOESN’T MATTER!!!! You gotta suck it up and be the better person! Serve them!! Because this isn’t about you!!! And it never will be about you… So when you find yourself saying the “I” pronoun…check yourself!! Trust me! You just have to remember that you are there for the Lord” Now he is someone who truly understands how to be His Hands.  And of course I have literally the perfect example of true selfless service in my life and that would be my Mama.  I can’t think of a time she wasn’t serving.  Seriously, I think the only reason she even sleeps is because she knows she can better help others if she’s well rested. Weather it’s cleaning, making dinner, reading a story or carpooling to the endless amounts of lessons and practices she is always serving her children and then on top of all that she finds something she can do for anyone around her in need. You would think 10 kids would be a handful on its own and yet somehow my mom always still has at least 5 extra kids running around because this person’s mom had a doctor’s appointment and the other ones parents are out to dinner and so on.  She is truly not only my angel, but an angel in all the lives she touches. Which are numerous. In my patriarchal blessing it tells me “You will desire to be like your mother” and that’s because Heavenly Father knows there is no one better I could aim to be or that could give me a better example of service. So as I’m out on my mission and thinking something seems hard, or too much, all I will have to do is remember my sweet mom and know I can accomplish anything. I know my mission will be an amazing experience that will teach me so many things in so many ways. If I keep my sights set on “Being His Hands” I know I will be able to magnify my calling as a missionary.
I would like to bare my testimony about the truths that have been made known to me through the power of the spirit and experience. I know that service is the true key to happiness and that as we lose ourselves in the service of others we are truly finding our best self. I know that families are essential to Gods plan.  As I have prepared for my mission I have learned the true power of deep sincere prayer to my Heavenly Father and that if we are willing and open to the spirit it will truly speak to us and be our greatest teacher. I have come to know the truth of the holy temple and the blessings and protection it offers me on a daily basis. I know the true healing power of the Atonement; I know that the Book of Mormon is a blessing of truth in this modern day.  I know that we have a loving Father in Heaven that grants us love, aid and support as often as we need. And I know that by choosing to go out and Serve my life and my families lives will be blessed do to my obedience. I know that by living this gospel not only can we endure to the end, but have joy to the end. I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

May 4, 2016 P-Day #2

May 4, 2016

How is it Wednesday already!? 
I cannot believe that I'm two weeks in!! Time is flying by!! It's CRAZINESS!!! The Mtc is just a lot of classes, prayer and teaching!! I think I will have more excting things to say once I am out in the field because there will be more new things and change....WHICH BTW I'll be flying out to the field in just 6 days! WOW oh wow!!! I'm ready and also so sad about it! Our District has become sooo close and saying goodbye is going to be a sob fest!! The Elders and Sisters I get to work and study with every day are a true blessing in my life! They all have something special they add to the group! I KNOW we were all meant to meet and have this MTC time together!
Also HUGE blessing of the week...I got to see my mama!! I was having some tooth pains (I'm all good now) and since my insurance is so weird, I had to go to my original dentist, which meant on Thursday my mom got to come get me from the MTC and we got to spend like five hours together with me as a missionary! It was AMAZING!!! 
Sorry y'all! I'm sort on time this week! But I promise I will send something longer next week because that's when all the change is happenin'!! I love you all! The letters, packages, and most importantly prayers touch me everyday! I have so many people backing me up, I know there is no way I can fail!!!

Missionary work is obviously tiring...best part about this...is I'm in the middle of the hall in the residence hall, and I was there for a good hour haha 

We had grapes at lunch one day, so obviously I put them in my upper lip and sang, as high pitched as I could "Where are you christmas" from the grinch....BIG MISTAKE hahaha! I now do it at least two times a day for random people who need some laughter because it's become quite well known haha! I've been called "Sister Lou-Who" on multiple occasions (: 

Sister Hird

Canada Halifax Mission

April 27, 2016 P-Day #1

April 27, 2016
This week has been the most amazing and also the hardest of my WHOLE life!! I am learning soooo much, laughing lots and of course feeling the spirit pretty much constantly!!
I'll start with an overview of my first week here at the MTC
I would have thought the first day would be the hardest...but you're so dazed and shocked you really can't even get your emotions in check to know  how you feel!! But I can sum up my 1st day with three words. Emotional Roller coaster.
Holy cow!! The goodbyes were so fast and so hard. But at the same time it's the beginning of the most amazing journey, so its definitely a happy sad and a whole lot of overwhelming. We met our comps, roomies and district right at the beginning! I LOVE them ALL!! My comp is from Canada (the opposite side from where our mission is) so shes teaching me lots!  She is super tough and played rugby before the mish...and here I am...the fairy ahaha! Sooo while we are sooo different, its good because it really balances out well!! The only thing I may need to work on while her is table manners(; Then the rest of the activities were all intro type things and then before I knew it, it was time for bed!
One of my oh so wonderful teachers Brother Krudeir (Cry-dur) explained the mtc PERFECTLY...
"The MTC is a lot like trying to drink from a fire hose...you get a little water in your mouth, but mostly your face just hurts" TRUTH. SERIOUSLY. It's funny...but so accurate its sad haha!!
Then the rest of the week is tons of study and classes! So I'll give you the highlights!
we've been teaching investigators and we were able to get two of them to pray at the close of our meeting...BEST FEELING EVER!!! To hear a sincere prayer from someone who has never talked to there Heavenly Father, or even realized they have a Father in Heavenly who loves them so much is the most beautiful thing this world has to offer (other than maybe getting them to know ALL the amazing things about this Gospel) the other thing I LOVE SO MUCH is that being a missionary I am given the ability to feel Heavenly Fathers love for all his children, and boy I do.  I walk into the room to teach the investigator and immediately am overwhelmed with sooo much for love for them I have a hard time not just hugging them!!
Which by the way not being able to hug everyone is HARD! I didn't realize what a hugger I was!! It's so cute, almost every time I time anyone they say, "Oh, you're a good hugger" or something like that and it just makes me happy happy!!
Some other funny things I've learned about my self are that I apparently talk super funny, my WHOLE district makes fun of me constantly for it! I am the only one from Utah in my district so I guess it makes sense...but still...weird haha! I apparently say y'all a lot too, which I swear is and brand new thing...I didn't even think I was saying it until someone would point it out to me!! WEIRD. The MTC does things to people I guess! I had a teacher guess where I was from (without prompting, he just did it) after a two minute max conversation and I said "Oh I'm sister Hird I'm from..." And he interrupted with "Let me guess Sandy, Utah?" I was in shock! I thought the district was just giving me a hard time...NO it's real haha
The best thing in the mission to ever be shown is the Character of Christ talk by Bednar...Elder Brumm was right to tell me to watch that the first opportunity I got! It's amazing! i don't know if you can find it out in "the real world" because it is a talk specifically given and shown in the mtc...but at least look for it because it WILL change your life!
Also here at the MTC we have a devotional every Tuesday night, and you never know who it's going to be...so when Dallin H. Oaks waltzed on in I nearly died!   An Apostle of the church came and spoke to us!!!! Ahhh the blessings of being a missionary are the REALEST!!!
This week I received sooo many letters and packages(my whole district was jealous muahaha)
THANK YOU!!! All your kinds words get me through every day!!!
Funny/Amazing things about the letters and packages I got from my two sets of grand parents was:
1st: I got two GIANT packages yesterday (tues. 4/26) I was dying to open them because both were so heavy (or I'm just weak) so when I finally ripped into them I died laughing! My grandparents know me SO WELL! In BOTH packages were two packs of my V8 Energy drinks (which I desperately needed)  and two boxes of chicken in a biscuit crackers...HAHA I LOVE IT!!! There really isn't much more in life I could ask for!!! Of course both packages also had some other yummy treats I adore and a letter! So they weren't exactly identical but i still thought it was just hilarious...as did my roomies, who are also glad I got a lot so they can eat a ton of it too!!
2nd: I learned that BOTH sets of grandparents are seriously gifted in receiving promptings from the spirit.
like I mentioned before Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke with us Tuesday night.  we get out letter at the end of every day so they don't distract us.  So I got a dear elder letter from Papa and in it he ended with the quote "The most effective missonaries always act of of love" by....DALLIN H. OAKS!! Whaaaaa! Soo cool!!
Now before I tell you the next grandparent miracle I have to tell you a quick little story! So we had an early service project one day, and me being in charge of setting the alarm and the bright soul I am I set the alarm...then didn't turn it on...hahah! So the alarm was set for 5:50 so we could roll around and whine about getting up for about ten minutes before we actually had to get up.  BUT since I didn't set it, it didn't go off.  But for some odd reason at 6am that morning, I woke up out of a dead sleep and sat straight up as if someone had yelled my name...for no apparent reason...and any of you who know me, know that I could sleep in until noon no problem. So the fact that I just happened to wake up (at the perfect time), realize what had happened and then was able wake the other sisters so we could go serve was a miracle! We talked as we cleaned the bathrooms all morning about how lucky we were that I just woke up so we could be there!!  Now fast forward to when I received my packages...in package from my Grandpa and Grandma Buehner my sweet granny had written me a card which was dated with the day we had our service project, and in it, it said,
"Funny story! I woke up this morning at 6:00am. Noticed the time & yelled in my head "TIME TO WAKE UP MCKELL"!! Did you hear me?"
WOW. Are you crying? Because I sure was. Not only was I bawling when I read this aloud to my shocked roomates (who wanted me thank you very much for them, btw grandma) but I can't seem to stop the tears from flowing again now as I write.  At the time I am sure to my grandma it seemed like a funny thing to do...but through this simple act of faith, 4 brand new missionaries who are eager to please were able to wake up on time, not have to rush or panic, and got where they needed to be. All because of you.  YOU ARE MY HERO GRANNY B.
The church is true y'all (if I say it, imma write it too haha)
Thank you for the constant love, support, letters, packages and prayers.  They are all truly felt and appreciated.  I LOVE YOU!!!!
p.s Remember to yell at me in your head, you never know how much I really need it(:
Sister Hird

Canada Halifax Mission

Day One...She Hasn't Run Away

April 20, 20016
Hi hi!!! Super quick!!! I'm getting a tiny bit of time to e-mail and reassure you that I am in fact still in the MTC!! I haven't run away! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I mean it's only been one day...but I'm all about this life! Schedule and purpose!!! All I really need in life!! Also! I found out that my P-Day is on  Wednesday so I won't be able to e-mail again until them!! I love love you!!! I miss you but I'm so dang busy I don't think about it too much so that makes it easy!!!! LOVE YOU!!!
Love your name tag official Sista Hird!!
Kiss the kids for me!!
Sister Hird

Canada Halifax Mission