Thursday, November 20, 2014

I've Never Been so Grateful for Mufflers...

November 17, 2014

Well with a title like that this email has GOT to be great right? Right...or so I think...but I am going to make you all wait until the end to understand the true and full meaning of it. So on with this email. To start off, this week has been very different. We had zone conference and a lot of random things kept popping up but it was awesome. Ok, enough pep talk for all y'all...here....we.....go.....

This is the market place. Brazil is there behind me...
the green trees across the river. 
Monday - Well after the craziness of trying to type on a broken-struggle-bus-keyboard we went to buy our groceries. During which time I bought the ingredients to make Peanut Butter No-Bake cookies (without chocolate or coconut) for a member that helped bring Lorena to church the previous Sunday. I was really worried to make them but they were DANG good! So good, in fact, that we bought more ingredients later in the week (according to Hna. Chandler’s request) so that we could make more for ourselves. What can I say? I'm kind of a big deal! :) Then we concluded this night by hiding all of our good food due to the fact that we were going to be having two sisters from a different zone staying with us for zone conference the next day. Apparently, here there is no such thing as asking...so we just hid the stuff we didn't want them to have. Pretty silly! 

Chandler and I rocking the zone conference
Tuesday - My first ever zone conference! It was so cool! Loved it! It was all in Spanish, and as it began I heard my name announced for the opening prayer. Did they ask me if I would say it? Naturally not, they just knew I would because I am such a spiritual powerhouse, or just wanted to laugh at my awful Spanish. Pero <But>, come to find out, I was allowed to say it in English. Greatest day ever! Then I actually understood most of the conference, and our presentation went really well and everyone was involved, thanks to the bribery of candy we brought. It was fun. 9 hours in total and I feel like I came away with a better idea and understanding of my purpose as a missionary. It is truly preparation for the rest of my life, and bring to others the chance to change and create a future for the remainder of theirs. Pretty awesome! It rained all day so at least we were inside. At the end they asked if we would do our zone conference at a different zone conference the next day. Woohoo!! They loved us!! At the end of the day we had our first English lesson with Juan Jose Palacio. He is awesome and SO polite. It was actually really interesting for me too, because I feel that principles in Spanish are becoming more cemented in. We all know what they say, if you can teach it then you know it! Blessings. It was the craziest thing with Juan Jose, we were walking down the street and he approached us and asked if we taught English. Crazy the miracles and tender mercies the Lord places in your path. 

"It's just a cow, Kate!"
Wednesday - Well we taught at a different zone conference and had to ride the bus there. I thought I was going to die. The people are so aggressive and crazy here, but surprisingly there are very few accidents. It is seriously a miracle. I met other hermanas and they were so sweet. Shout out to Anna Hone if she ever reads this. I met her twin cowgirl. Their voices were identical and I was totally freaking out the whole time because, if it closed my eyes, it was like talking to Anna (a friend from EFY, fellow counselor) from home. Crazy!! We also got another homemade brownie from Hna. La Pierre. Those things are the most incredible thing ever so the fact that I got two basically made my week… and my skirts not fit. Chiste!! <joke> They still fit! Then as we were coming back the creepiest thing happened. This bus driver honked as we were crossing the street and creepily waved half behind his curtain thing while driving and just stared. Yikes. I mean it is super normal to have men catcall and stare, but this man had reached a new level. Good thing he was crossing by. Hermana Chandler and I have just decided it is because we are so good looking due to the gospel. Must be a technique/blessing the Lord gives his sisters. Who knows? Okay, I'm just getting ridiculous now. 

Thursday - We were tracting a ton this day and tracted into this crazy mean grandma lady. All I had said was that were were missionaries from the LDS church and she started yelling and came up to the gate and continued yelling/talking in a really gruff voice. Hna. Chandler handled it like a champ
Ginormous anthill
though and, come to find out, she had had a really bad experience with a Mormon member that was super rude. By the end of our five minutes talking to her, she was wishing us suerte <luck> and really sweet and smiling. At least we were able to leave her with a better impression of the church then when she started, but boy, was it a bit freaky because I couldn’t understand everything but I knew she was not happy. Tender mercy of a companion that speaks the language really well. Then we visited Lorena, the lady who came to church last Sunday and gave her a Book of Mormon to read and pray about. She told us her daughter LOVED church. She may just be the key. We are going to follow up with her this week. Then we taught Juan Carlos and Carmen. Carmen is so stinking cute and Juan Carlos is funny but man is he stubborn! We taught this lesson with a member of the ward, Ana, she is sweet and preparing for mission. It was really cool in the lesson when we asked Carmen if she had received her answer about the restoration that we had taught her about the last time and she told us of this dream she had.  She saw four men in suits headed outside the temple and she shook one of their hands, the man had white hair and BLUE, BLUE eyes and she could feel the power in his handshake and she knew it was the priesthood. She took this

dream as an answer because she knew they weren’t priests from any churches here. It was crazy but super cool because no one has white hair and blue eyes here. Juan Carlos, on the other hand, was super stubborn and blamed his age for not being able to change and believe, but we will keep trying because through the power of the Atonement and our Savior change and a fresh start is never out of reach or impossible. 
Some of the homes -- I am SO blessed!

Friday - I had RICE AND RAISINS! I promise my mission is not focused on food, but this was an epic moment. For any of you that truly know me, this is the greatest thing in the world. I am obsessed with this. It all happened because our lunch appointment fell through and we were dropped off at the store by her after she told us she had something to do. So I found raisins and bought some rice. Downside: the rice had bugs in it so I picked them out and stored it in a safer container, and figured that if they happened to make it into my rice they would be boiled and killed anyways. <Insert a picture of mom cringing> Welcome to Paraguay! Don't worry none of them have made it and I think I got them all out. Then that night we taught Juan Jose English again and he agreed to come to church this Sunday! We were so surprised but so stoked and we gave him homework of reading a passage of the Book of Mormon in English and using the LDM <Libre de Mormon> in Spanish to help him translate. Trying to find any way to throw the gospel into our English lessons. It is working… maybe. 

No complaints back home about
doing laundry ever again!
Saturday - I did laundry throughout the day whenever we were home for lunch or all the morning. It was crazy. Refer to the pictures. Then we had the primary program practice in which I became all the children’s best friend by bringing bookmarks they could color and having coloring things. (Thanks mom)!! It is always humbling to me how well they speak Spanish as kids and how much I don’t. Good to know I have room to improve. Then I waited there for 2 1/2 hours for it to be over after which we headed out tracting. We met a cow and naturally took pictures…because, I mean, it was a cow. Naturally that has to happen. :) Then we visited a less active family and Lorena again. All in all it was a good, productive night. 

Primary Children of Cuidad Del Estes
(and very familiar looking chairs)
Sunday - JUAN JOSE CAME TO CHURCH!! Say what??? Yes that is right! He came to church it was awesome! He was in all three hours of church, per his request during our lesson on Friday with him. It was crazy awesome! He got to see the primary program and the ward actually fellowshipped him. We teach him again tomorrow night so we will see then if he has any intrest in actually learning about the gospel tambine or solo ingles. Who knows? My scripture study this day was super awesome. I read Alma 17-21. Man, power-packed missionary scriptures, right? The main thing I took away after reading Aaron’s account was that it took him being put in prison, stoned, mocked, spat upon, and a lot of effort going to all gatherings and striving to share their message before they were blessed with visible success in the numbers or people prepared to hear the message. It was after all they could do...the Lord requires the same for his missioanries now and of me. I have to be willing to work so hard and give so much, and as I do so, the Lord will see my dedication and love for the work and bless me in turn. So cool to know that it is normal for it to be hard, but it is also normal to expect blessings and the presence of the Lord as we turn to him and leave our burdens with him. The Lord makes all things possible! All we have to do is turn towards him! Oh, and I also learned that LOVE is what opens doors. Read about the time Ammon was almost killed by Lamoni's father but then beats him and is able to ask for whatever he desires and all he desires is for his brethren in jail to be freed and for Lamoni to retain his kingdom. That is what opens the door to the king wanting to listen more to the message. Love is what it is all about and man do I love these people. They are so humble and so in need of this message and love! 

Now to the moment you have all been waiting for..the explanation of the title!!

Random Paraguay Stuff-
'See' you next week!
-No car, motorcycle, or anything has a muffler. It is SO LOUD all the time. I think I am going to be deaf. Crazy!! It literally sounds like gun shots everywhere at times! 
-We taught a lesson with a guarani speaker and he spoke to his mom in that language and it is the COOLEST sounding language. Look it up on LDS.org in one of the newest talks from conference. So hard to read!! 
-Kids, when given coloring things, focus and just color and color in the lines and seriously get quiet. That is so weird for me. Total and utter concentration during the whole thing and were so respectful of all my coloring crayons. I was sure they would break one. Not at all. Crazy!!
-Look up the word estre├▒imiento...haha nursing language. I think it makes more sense in Spanish.
-Dogs are treated horrible here and are so sad. Makes me sick to my stomach daily!! Grateful for how we love our pets in America!! They are not loved here. They are STARVED for attention. 


Well that is all the time I have for now. Hope all is well with all of you! Love you all and appreciate your love and support! 

Chao,


Hermana Albach 

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