Hey everybody!! Here I am again. It is already my second Saturday in the mission field. Crazy! It is also again one of the most stressful days of the week. I love the difference of it all but man is writing everybody in the allotted time a hurdle to jump. But don't you worry your little heads. I am doing quite well at it. Probably because my typing skills are so proficient. Maybe even Olympic level. :)
Guess I should start where I left off. Saturday afternoon was great. We were able to teach Raul again and the spirit was so strong. I left the lesson almost crying because it just felt so right. Then the next day was Sunday which was exciting! We had sacrament in the pool house at Raintree. How it works is everyone prepares a talk in Spanish on a certain subject given out before and then the branch presidency calls up two random people from the audience to give theirs. Scary! But don't worry it wasn't me. Phew!! Then we have talks from a member of the branch presidency and his wife in English. This last Sunday we had a musical number called "Come Unto Christ." I believe it is the youth theme for the year. It was so amazing. I was definitely leaking water from my eyes. Whoops. Then we headed to Relief Society which consists of watching Music and the Spoken word and then having a live broadcast from main campus with a speaker for our lesson. It is pretty cool. Then we went back for personal study time in which I was pulled out to talk with the Branch presidency. Uh-oh!! He extended the offer and invitation for me to be the new Sister Training Leader once this current STL leaves...this upcoming Monday actually. So I said 'yes' of course and they said they would announce it this next Sunday which is tomorrow. Crazy!! So humbled. Yes, I may be the oldest of the group of young ones but I am definitely not very good at Spanish and feel quite humbled that after only a little less than a week he called me to be the leader. I am excited for the opportunity though. Anyways, that night we had a devotional and Tad R. Callister was our speaker. He gave a great talk on the plan of salvation. Then we watched the recording of Elder Bednar's talk entitled Character of Christ. That movie changed my life. It is was incredible. It talked all about turning outward and striving to follow our Savior by never giving into the natural man and turning in. It was exactly what I needed because Sunday was a rough day for me, but after that talk I knew that a mission and turning outward to serve my Savior was exactly what I needed to do!! He will help me every step of the way...because that is what he does. He always turns outward towards us and those in need! Oh and random fact. Sunday is also rough because the cafeteria people think it is ok to offer all the best foods at exactly the same time for the starving hermanas and elders. Needless to say I was NOT hungry at dinner.
Ok, onto Monday-
There wasn't too much craziness or difference in Monday. We were able to watch as our entire district of boys gave a sick Elder a blessing. It was an awesome experience to watch them figure out how it works and then to see their faith. Loved that. Then I was bombarded again but Hermano Cuadra who is muy increible. He seriously sees the gospel in a way that I never have. I always come out of his class learning more than I ever thought I could. He again taught about the Savior which seems to be the theme for this week. He instructed us to Remember Him!! The Savior was deserted at every point of his journey. By his friends falling asleep in the garden, by Judas Iscariot betraying him for money, by even his Father in Heaven at one point, but through all of this he remembered US. He remembered his true purpose which was US!! He again always turns outward. He challenged us to remember our Savior and remember that we are about his work. We are HIS representatives, so we must therefore remember him and follow his example. My favorite line is this, " Salvation is NOT a cheap experience. How can I truly know my Savior if I never walk the path he walked to some tiny degree?" Missionary work requires something of our souls and in turn gives us a relationship with our Savior that is worth more than gold! Again leaking from my eyes occurred. I should probably check the plumbing on those bad boys! :)
Tuesday- I saw Jordan Byers this day and, blast it all, he would only speak Spanish to me which was a little rough but I made it through. :) It was good for me. I also saw Donovan in the mail room which was a pleasant surprise and he gave me his work schedule. I am glad he had his wedding ring on because I am sure the elders that walked in right as this was occurring might have thought it was something else entirely. Whoops! I also memorized the baptismal challenge this day which helped me out just the next day. Back to our investigator Raul. We had been teaching him but our last lesson on Monday fell a bit flat. We felt that we needed to get to know him better and strive to understand what he needed. So we planned to just ask questions, show a video, and follow up with our commitments we had given him. Pause. I'll explain more later. So Tuesday night is the devotional as well and I was in the choir singing Be Still My Soul. We had heard whispers that it was one of the big guys, namely one of the twelve. But that rumors circulates a lot, except this time it wasn't a rumor. Elder Richard G. Scott was our devotional speaker and man was it powerful. He spoke on prayer and the power of it. He spoke of the importance of gratitude in our prayers and for the ability to pray. It is a gift we must not take lightly. Our Heavenly Father loves to hear our voices and waits anxiously for it. Just as you all await anxiously this epistle I write every week. Hahaha. I crack myself up! Needless to say Tuesday was an awesome night, especially because we almost overflowed our toilet while the Branch Presidents wife was there. Yikes. We got a picture. No worries, and my plunging skills came in quite handy! :)
Today was the day! We taught Raul. We prayed. Prepared some more and went for it. We went in and showed Raul a mormon message and immediately after I felt prompted to ask how he felt about it. (Not planned.) We then continued on and I asked if he believed in Jesus Christ and the book of mormon. He said yes. I felt so strongly to extend the baptismal challenge to him but kept chickening out, but my companion kept asking other questions that were good so it was ok. Finally I could not take it anymore and I looked him in the eye and was able to extend the baptismal challenge from memory, never breaking eye contact. It was incredible. The spirit was SO strong. I felt so deeply the power of this challenge because of the change it helps to bring in others lives. He paused and thought and then agreed to be baptized. I was so excited, even though in the back of my mind I knew it was fake. (He wears garments.) Even with that knowledge though, the feeling of the spirit was not diminished. We continued on with our lesson and it was great!! We committed him for October 18th. Hurrah!! Today I also received my gargantuan package!! Thanks Mom!! You are the absolute best! Seriously!! Love you. It was just what I needed. So much Spanish food! Haha. My roommates loved the cookies too! My whole district and teacher loved the Dora fruit snacks. So thank you! Oh reason #58694874 that Hermano Cuadra is the best teacher ever. He just happens to have taught none other than David Archuleta when he was in the MTC. They are buddies and he hangs out with him all the time. He showed us a picture but refused to bring him to class. Dang it, but still he is pretty awesome! Wednesday night I was able to go with the current STL to talk with the new hermanas in a zone that has never had hermanas. They were so cute and that orange dot stood out for miles. No wonder everyone was so nice to me my first day!! :) It was good to see that being a STL is alot like being an EFY counselor. You just have to love them and be there for them. I think I can do it!
Man God is good! I gained an even stronger testimony of the Lord's goodness and knowledge of me personally. He truly put me with a companion that was an answer to a prayer that was vital to me. She was the answer in a way I never thought possible. Our Heavenly Father knows us. He knows everything about us and he knows how to put people and experiences in our lives to get us from point A to point B with the knowledge that he is there. I am so grateful for that!! We started to memorize the first vision in spanish. A bit rough but we have two or three lines down so far. I have found it to be such a blessing my ability to memorize from years of schooling and practice. The Lord prepares his servants to serve him well and magnify their strengths and I have felt mine being magnified. Oh next is the shocking news. Raul is not Raul!!!!! Dun. Dun. DUNNNNNNN!!! He is actually Hermano Porter our other teacher! Crazy. He is awesome though! The weird thing for me is that we are the same age and he graduated from Timpanogas High School in 2010. Kind of a weird thing to have myself reminded I am a lot closer in age to my teachers then to the people in my district.
Friday- Almost done. I'm sorry! :P We played volleyball this day for gym rather than just working out and it was SO FUN. We also threw (like a softball) on Tuesday or something and that was amazing!! Seriously though. Felt so good. Good thing Hna. Farrow played softball for BYU-Hawaii!! The boys in the district below us that our other companion is a part of call me Mama Albach. I guess it was inevitable. A hermana in our district flashed everyone when she jumped up and her maxi flew up almost over her head. Probably almost died laughing. Poor thing. She is just the best though. Totally just went with it. Found out an Elder in my district was at Nauvoo last year when I was a counselor and had my friends Kim, Chanelle, and Nic as their counselors! Crazy!! Love it! Lastly, we studied why bad things happen to good people and my answer to that is found in D&C 122. I challenge you all to read it! Are we greater than he? He did everyting he could for us and all he asks in return is for us to humble ourselves and come unto him!!!
I love you all and love all the letters, emails, packages that you send. Keep it up, but most importantly keep your relationship with your Father in Heaven and Savior growing and developing because that is what is most important!!
Te amo todos,
Hermana Kate Albach