Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fourth Week in Paradise...or in a Monsoon!

October 4, 2014

Well the time has come again for all y'all to read and partake of this wonderous thing entitled "My Week in an Email." This week was pretty crazy but was awesome. I cannot believe that it has already been three and half  weeks. I get my flight plans this next Friday. Time flies when you are having fun...or just learning a different language of how to teach by the spirit and Spanish. So here we go with the the play by play or as I have entitled it the day by day.

Saturday 2nd Half: After I finished emailing for my allotted hour we had about 40 minutes left before our P-day was over. So I immediately wrote my family all the funny stories I couldn't fit in last email. If you want to know them..let my family know and they can post them on the blog...or facebook...or whatever the kids are using these days. :) After Hermana Myers finished with her time we decided we were going to brave the rain and head on down to Great Harvest for some delicious food. The only problem was braving the rain. I was not too worried because I was prepared with a Russian babushka rain jacket of epic proportions. Literally. It was huge but it kept the rain off of me and that is all I cared about. We decided to embark on this journey with courage in our hearts and swift movements. At first we thought we would just speed walk...soon we were running down the sidewalk. Our duty to always have quiet dignity kind of changed for the three minutes it took us to run down the street, but it was so worth it. It had been kind of a funky p day but after we had some time with delicious fresh made food all was made well. We then headed back for class and a great rest of the evening.

Well at 6PM Saturday night our fast had begun and I was super grateful for this opportunity because I had a couple of things that I had been really wanting to fast for. One of these was our dog Finn who had been potentially hit by a car and was facing potential orthopedic surgery. I was really worried about this and the impact it had on my family. I also fasted for some other things as well. Throughout the day I was able to remember the purpose for my fast and feel that much more in tune with the spirit. It was the best Sunday here by far. I had meetings all day. Seriously all day. Life of a STL I guess, but they were such a blessing to keep my focus outward and not on myself. That night we had the devotional fireside and it was really good. They sang an arrangement of "O My Father/Joseph Smiths First Prayer" to the tune of "Homeward Bound." It was great the first time but then the speaker had them sing three more times during his talk. The third time he had us sing along quietly and the spirit that I felt was indescribable. The line, "there's a voice that whispers your a stranger here, and I knew that I had wondered from a more exalted sphere" hit me so hard. I am a divine daughter of God that lived before this time and loved my Father in Heaven. My goal and purpose in this life is to come unto my Savior and find a way back home to my Father in Heaven. It was powerful. This is true for all of us. Needless to say that fireside was powerful. Then we had Sunday night movie night where we watched Legacy which was even better than the Testaments because it is most definitely a love story. Great memories of watching it with my sisters all growing up as I watched it. Felt like a little piece of home. 

We taught three lessons this day. One to our new progressing investigator Maribel who is the sweetest and funniest lady I have ever met. One to Eric (Hermano Porter) and one to Benjamin (Hermano Cuadra). They were all challenging in different ways but none more challenging than Benjamin, but we didn't expect anything different. We learn so much everytime we teach him. Gym time was the greatest thing ever this day. We played 3x3 basketball with the boys in our district. Man I have missed playing and some of the boys are surprisingly good. The Hermanas are not too shabby as well. Hermana Parlogean the character that always makes me laugh harder than anybody else is quite the baller. Have a couple of bruises from her. I received a package from Lauryn Jensen this day and it was sooooo stinkin' cute. With the most amazing letter. Shout out to my girl! Thank you! This day was a very humbling day in which I realized when I struggle most here it is because I am focused completely inward and on myself. Such an important realiz
ation for me. 

Hermanas at the Provo Temple
Well everybody. I have a confession to make. I am a hardened criminal. Its true. I took my second ride in a police car this week up to campus. Apparently they just can't get me under control. :) Haha it only took me going on a mission to find my inner criminal. Nah...Hermana Myers had to go and redo here fingerprints because apparently they didn't clear with the FBI. Yucky!! But hopefully it will all work out for her. It was my favorite policeman again and he even showed the other Hna's the phaser. I felt so knowledgeable because I already knew about the wig wag lights and all being the hardened criminal I am. Lunch this day was hilarious. Somehow bear maulings came up and all Hna. Farrow could talk about was how a bear would "rip your face right off". That is obviously the first thing that happens. Haha. I guess it isn't that funny but she just kept repeating it in different situations and told us that she has looked up pictures of bear maulings. We saw a side of her that we never have before. :) Oh....wow this day was epic. I received a package from the Madre and we went back to our residence hall before leaving for the Tuesday night devotional and so I decided to open my package. It had nerf guns. Three to be exact. One for each of us. I decided to test one out and so I called to Hna. Farrow (poor girl) and she came out and I shot right at her. She matrixed my shot but it then began what we have deemed the "great and almost holy war" in which every Hna was for herself. Then the Hna's next door knocked on our door so we united in that moment to attack them. It was seriously so fun and brought some needed laughs to the day. Thanks mamacita!! We also tried out the alien slingers too. Not as good as the nerf guns but close. They pack a serious punch. 

Well by this point of the week it was still freezing and I decided to bust out the black tights this day. It was so cold. We just so happened to be hosting the new missionaries again this Wednesday which was a blast but seriously so cold. Our teacher brought us doughnuts because we beat him at a game that not many of his districts have beat him at. Our districts got a ton closer as we hosted because we had to wait forever for the newbies to arrive. We talked, played a version of paper, rock, scissors in spanish. We just had some good gospel fun. That night my teacher Hno. Cuadra made me cry yet again. He is incredible. We had a man doing language assessments and all the Hna's in our district didn't want to have to go that night so he brought us all in to talk with him and keep us safe from the man. Now that is love. During this time his leg began to give out. He has cancer in his knee and just found out that it is back and  not good. He could hardly walk. It hit all of us so strong how blessed we were to have him as a teacher and not only that but to blessed with his love and dedication. The question why do bad things happen to good people hit me in a completely different and real way. I didn't get why such an incredible man had to suffer so much in his life, as I was thinking this the next thought hit me even stronger. The Lord knows us personally. He knows what we can handle. He knows what will bring us closer to him. He knows the extent of what we can truly and deeply handle. He knows us and because of this he knows exactly how to try our faith and keep us ever close to him. What a strength to me and blessing to know that he will try me, but I can always make it through with his help. 

Today was such a good day. We were able to teach Eric again and man it was kind of a crazy experience. As we were teaching him, we had planned on teaching him the plan of salvation but as we showed him Gracias A El (Because of Him) to start the lesson off, afterwards we just got talking and discussing things and it turned to a lesson on repentance. I felt this feeling come over me that I never have before and I was able to ask questions in my broken spanish and truly just follow what he needed. It was amazing and such a cool experience. We also were able to teach Maribel and we challenged her to baptism and she accepted. It was awesome. Such a strong spirit there as well. I never feel better or more tried than when we are teaching others. The strongest I ever feel the spirit is when I am bearing testimony of my Savior and this gospel. The reaffirmation every time I bear my testimony is incredible. It is never less true. If anything it becomes stronger and more powerful everytime. 

Yesterday was jam packed. We did our laundry that morning because we don't really have a P-day today because of conference. We worked out hard before the long no working out weekend which was good. I love feeling like I am actually doing something besides sitting and more sitting. We had another hard lesson with Benjamin, but we are getting so much better at many aspects of our lessons with him such as asking questions, door approach, and teaching by the spirit. I learned from this lesson though that I just need to be more bold. I need to not waste 18 months of my mission being scared or trying to be careful and not asking the hard and bold questions. Christ never beat around the bush. He asked his questions lovingly but outright. As a literal representative of him I must do the same. After the lesson though I just felt awful so I do what every good missionary does. I cried. Just kidding I turned to my scriptures. After getting nothing for a while I finally turned to a favorite passage of mine. It is in Matthew 6. It was incredible. It hit me so hard that I have nothing to worry about if I have enough and sufficient faith in my father in Heaven. You should all read it sometimes. It definitely puts perspective on things in my life. I finally had my language assessment with the man. His name is actually Gil. He was so nice and it was great constructive criticism that gave me ways to improve and be a better speaker. Oh...and just a moment of bragging. I may or may not have beat all the Hermana's in my district at arm wrestling. They then had me arm wrestle Elder Ah Quin....i beat him. Easy. Ok, not even, he is like a personal trainer. He killed me, but I almost beat him... sort of. :) 

Anyway. That is my week. I think the greatest and most important lesson learned for me was to turn outward always. To look for the good and to love more fully my investigators, my district, my zone, my teacher, my companions. When you are worried about others, things in your own life seems to just fall into place. I am so grateful for that knowledge. I hope you all enjoy conference and truly search to find answers because I know you will. Love you all and talk to you in another week!! 
Remember who you are, where you came from, and who you truly represent! 
Si se puede!!

Hermana Albach

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