Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monkeys, Pigs, Almost Bears... OH MY!

November 3, 2014 

Thumbs up!
Well here I am again just spending my hour of P'day in the Cyber (pronounced seeburr) and, boy, do I have a lot to tell you. Number one thing to tell you: Yes, it is very hard here but I am going to make it. Thank you all so much for your prayers and emails and thoughts. They have been felt. I am beginning to fall into more of a routine and see the beauty of this experience fully. I mean, there were so many things in just one week that's happened.  Just think...I have a whole lot more weeks. Its awesome. Sorry you saw the crazy emotional and struggling side of Hermana Albach. But let’s face it…it's real and any missionary that says it isn't hard in their first two transfers is probably lying or superman in disguise. :) 

Mission planner
Entonces <Then>... last Monday - After I finished my time at the cyber we ordered pizza that was HAWAIIAN and watched the movie Legacy in our pension. It was in Spanish but that is ok because I was just decorating my planner. I sent my mom pictures so you can see. Pretty relaxing and now I get excited every time I pull it out to write something in it. Then we had our studies that night. It was so great and so refreshing to have time set aside to receive revelation and to feel of God's love for me. It is always there and I needed it. So many things stood out to me but one to remember is what I was fighting for and why I was here. In Alma 43:48, it talks about how they began to fear and shrink but that Moroni helped to rally them up by helping them remember what they were fighting for. This helped me to remember my purpose here is one of a kind and of the utmost importance. I am fighting each day to bring others closer to Christ. What greater cause could I ask for?

NOT a tan!! Welcome to dirt roads.
Tuesday - We changed it up this day and went to see Dario, a potential baptism, in a different area then I had been in up to this point. It was like a mile or two away. Long walk when you don’t know where you are going, but now it seems pretty close. Then we visited a less active member, Alcides. He lives in a very poor part of our area and when we visited him it was super hot but worth it. As we were visiting with him, something I had studied in personal study the day before came back to my mind and I felt that I needed to share it. So I did. It was totally in broken Spanish but it was what I felt needed to be said. No one tells you how scary it is at times to follow the promptings of the spirit -especially on the mission- but I do know and want all to know that they are worth it. Did it bring him to tears and change his life, probably not, but each time I take courage and follow the promptings the Lord, he gains more and more trust that I will follow and answer when he calls. Oh, they also had a well right in their front yard. That was pretty crazy and new for me. This was also the night I had my first taste of granola cereal. Amazing and took me back to the tastes of America. Good way to end my day.
Cuidad del Estes roads
Granola: Taste of Home

Wednesday - Oh this was a good day! We were able to visit Fatima again — I wrote about her last week. At the end of our lesson last week she said that when she returned she would give us our BOM back. Then this lesson happened. First off, we showed up and she was there. That never happens here! Like ever. Usually you have a great lesson and go back and they are never there or won´t open the door again. Not only was she there but she read the passage we gave her. Not only that, she read the passage and had questions about it. It was awesome! She is the sweetest girl. She has a 2 year old daughter that lives with her mom and she works her. It is super sad here in Paraguay that you are considered weird if you haven't had a baby by the time you are like 16. She is really put together though and has great questions. I felt the spirit so strong teaching here. 
Tracting with chanchos

Then we went and visited Lorena down kind of near Alcides. It was so sad to see how in poverty she is and how she treats her children. I am so blessed. So. So. Blessed. Anyways, this visit was crazy but cool because she told us this story about how she was a card reader and had seen a demon in her closet, and then she was super poor and this lady had come up to her and asked if she would read her cards for 100 mil which is like 20 dollarsish. She said no and then the lady told her if she didn´t that she would be blessed and then we showed up that afternoon. So cool. We are trying to get her to come to church so that she can feel the difference and finally stick to a baptismal date. It was at her house that I actually saw the chancho (pig) and I couldn't help but think...¨Chancho....can I borrow some sweats....¨  So great. Needless to say I had to take a picture. They have wild life running all over here. We also went with some members to visit a possible contact and I was so humbled by this because their car door is broken, windshield shattered, and they popped a tire taking us back. The members here give everything they have and I am so grateful and blessed to see such Christlike service. Oh and cool thing, the zone leaders called that night and were talking with my companion and asked if I had been in the intermediate class at the MTC because my Spanish was so good. Ego booster for sure, even though I know it is nothing close to that good. I'll take what I can get though. 
Cold enough for a sweatshirt?

Ciudad del Estes - after a storm
Thursday- It got cold here. We were walking back from an appointment and suddenly I felt cold air. It was crazy. I had not felt cold air (minus A/C) since I had arrived. It was a crazy storm that day. Nothing we planned worked and everything fell through that day, but at least we had a delicious lunch with a member family. They had this pink rice that I was scared of with vegetables but it ended up being pretty good. 

Typical yard in CDE
Friday- Happy Halloween!! It did not feel like it at all but Hna. Chandler and I made pancakes and american syrup to celebrate. Yay!! We saw Fatima again this day and she was leaving somewhere so she told us to come back later. We were worried she wouldn’t be there later but she was. It was awesome. We had another lesson with her and found out that she had read the next passage we gave her right after we left last time because she couldn't wait. But at the end of the lesson she said she couldn't commit to what we were teaching but that we could still teach. We know she felt the spirit but we think because her parents are catholic ministers and her boyfriend is JW that it is just too scary. We have hopes so keep her in your prayers please!! She is so ready if she will just open her heart to accept it. We passed the old men that always say, ¨¨Que guapas¨ (what beauties)...I heard frogs this night and it was crazy the high pitched croak they have. I did my laundry for the first time in a bucket. All grown up and saving china now...knowing how to do my laundry by hand. The find of the day was real american pringles...soo good. Oh and the funny story of the day was we were walking back from an appt and talking and these guys kept saying ¨hoy hoy hoy¨ and here that means "today" so I was really confused until my feet stuck into some cement. We totally ruined their sidewalk and awkwardly walked away not knowing what to do. But now the sister missionaries have left their mark 'literally' here in CDE. Hahahaha. I was dying and Hna. Chandler was SOO embarrassed! Good times. 
Hna Chandler

Saturday- We made french toast. Tasted great. I´m the champ for sure. We had extra syrup we had to get rid of. Or at least that was my excuse... :) At lunch with the Olivera´s I actually understood most of what was being said. It was a good feeling. Then that afternoon we went with the Lugen's to visit a hermana that just had surgery. I sat in the back of the car with their son Matias who is 8. It is so humbling to realize that the little kids speak better than I do and that I can hardly understand them. He was super sweet though and we had fun talking. At the hermana's house we visited, we saw her tumor they had removed in a tupperware container of formaldehyde. Oh, the things we see here! It is crazy....and gross at times. While we were talking to her a chicken just started walking in her room..I think it came in from the outside. I am SO BLESSED. Then we were walking back from the members house after she drove us back and we ran into President and Sister LaPierre. It was kind of cool to see him and let him know I am doing alright. 

Monkey business
Sunday- I SAW A MONKEY!!! We may or may not have taught the girl a lesson so that we would feel ok about asking for a picture of the monkey. She didn't seem very interested but hey it paid off. Kind of. I mean everyone needs to hear the gospel and we planted a seed for sure for later. In sacrament there was a member of the Seventy. He bore a beautiful testimony of the Savior along with his wife. I only understood about half of it, but the half I understood was great. :) We had a lot of great lessons and just had a good time tracting and getting to know each other better. My two new favorite scriptures from this weeks studies are D&C 34:11 and 1 Peter 5:7. They bring me strength and comfort. Read them! They are great. 

Oh and today. We went to Centro so that I could send some letters which is surprisingly expensive but necessary for birthdays and such that are coming up. Then we had Burger King and I bought a smaller bag for 11 dollars. It is a crazy busy shopping place and reminded me of the place in Ensenada but with less English speakers. As in none. :)

Other random things I did:
-Cut my hair....whoops. At least it will grow back, right?
Haircut :)
-Member said I should talk more...awkward
-Had my first nasty meal...corn mash

Last but not least is my list of random things they do here that I thought would be interesting to share.
-It is so hot here. All the time. I am never not sweating. Except for this week.
-I pull a string to flush the toilet. Weird.
-I am whistled at everyday by men or blatantly stared at. No such thing as respect for woman here. 
-We only have A/C in one room; thus, we do everything in there. 
-There are not bed bugs. HURRAY!!
-The milk is actually good. Raisin Bran (brain) every day
-Push-ups and planks are hard on tile when you get sweaty. Slip and slide.
-The hawaiian pizza is good here.

Well that is all for the week. More to come next week. I love you all and am so grateful for all the love and support. Keep serving your Savior and remember to follow his promptings because you just might be his answer to someone else´s prayer. This gospel is true, the book is blue, and I am going to make it through and through. 

Love you all, 
Hermana Albach

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