Thursday, December 17, 2015

Gracias a El

November 30, 2015 

Hola todos! So....this week was a bit rough with health but yesterday was an INCREDIBLE day.
Surprise delivery from home!

We left to go and bring a possible investigator to church when I had the impression to go to another house of an investigator who is NEVER home on Sundays and we have passed by multiple weeks in a row without any success. We went with the feeling and SHE WAS THERE and was able to accompany us to church. She is only 13 but has incredible fe <faith>. We are going to continue working to see if she can make church attendance a solid habit. 
Quite the bday party!

Such a miracle, but only the first of many this day. We went out with a member during the tarde <afternoon> and through no success ended up just contacting a señora to ask about another house. Had a good visit and are excited to get to know her more. Then we headed to help with a birthday party of a menos activo for a little bit where we found out about a crisis that was happening in a member family with their daughter. We were able to pass by and offer some words of comfort that come from some personal experience and the scriptures. Then I felt clearly in my mind the next person we should visit and she let us in. Then as we were with this person, I felt sure of the next person. And they were there. And then the next. It was an incredible night and such a testimony builder of the power of the Holy Ghost and a testament that this is NOT my work and that if I truly ask, listen,and then follow the spirit will lead us to those that the Lord is preparing. 

We are really excited for this next week and there is not a day that goes by that I am not extremely grateful for Hermana Lopez as my companion. She is a delight and a joy. SO much so that I had a nightmare about having cambios and finding out I would be training and not with her anymore. I have learned and am learning so much, and not just Spanish. Really, I just have reflected this last couple of days and felt the urgency of the time I have left and the need and desire to give even more then I have and to run hard to the tape and not look back, because I do not want to have regrets! My ponderizer for the week is Isaiah 28:10 about the rock which is Christ. It talks about it being tested. He has been tried again and again and HE NEVER FAILS and GRACIAS A ÊL we can also get back up and have the reassurance that if we build upon his rock we will NEVER FALL! Incredible! Hope you had a wonderful dìa de gracias!! 

Hermana Albach
My bonnet :)
Our little tree

P.S. We bought a fake little christmas tree and lights. Should be wondrous!! Oh...and I caved a bought a bonnet after getting SUPER sunburned this week and HATING using umbrellas. Pictures to come..... 

The Deets

December 7, 2015

Hola familia (if you are receiving this email you are considered family)!!!

H. Lopez and K80
 Hope all is well and looking like a winter wonderland where you are at and if it doesn't that you are making a winter wonderland in your heart. This week was spent with a lot of members and a lot of service. A girl in our rama had a panic attack and had to go to the hospital and we were able to visit her there and then check in with her every day after she was released to be at home. She has felt very alone but we try every day to have a little bit of contact with her to help her remember she is never alone or forgotten. It was a neat (hard) experience for me. I felt for many days that a part of my heart was being squeezed really hard. I was a bit emotional and it hit me how much I love these people and this country and my mission. I truly was called to serve among these people and it is easier now for me to understand how the sons of Mosiah could stay and live with the Lamanites for 14 years. (Don't worry, mom. I won't do hope. ;)) But you truly are so filled with love. You forget about your own life and fill your life with the worries, disappointments, successes, and concerns of others. Their lives are your lives and their struggles are your struggles. It is something I still don't understand it fully but I know the Lord loves these people because I LOVE Them.

We are now teaching Richard and Carin who were able to come to church yesterday. They are so cute and have SO much potential. We are hoping that they will progress towards that nasty green water that should be clear before the new year. We will see how it goes.

H. Lopez and I are doing great. We do our Christmas devotionals every ability to be google translate is about as reliable as the real google translate is....which is NOT reliable. ;) But we have fun with it. I know that the Lord helps us to change and become better.

I also know that we are stronger than the elders...want to know why? We sandpapered three walls to the one wall the elders were able to do in the same amount of time. Good times. Love 'em all the same. This week was great and I truly know that the sacrament is SO IMPORTANT, putting goals is how we take advantage of this gift of the sacrament, and as we truly let the Lord make us His we will become sanctified and a better person each and every single day!!!

Love you!!!

Remember the reason for the season!

Hermana Albach

It's SUMMER! So hot!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Dragon

November 24, 2015

Hola mis queridos! 

This week was super great with a couple of hiccups but if there weren't hiccups then it wouldn't be the mission. We were able to do divisions this week and my comp is a beast. She found so many new people and was able to have a lot of success with the others we had planned for. I was able to get to know the hilarious H. Quispe better who makes me laugh all the days. She is from Peru and she is just great. We found some menos activos that we hadn't know before and then I had to do some nursing. It was super great. Then we were babysitters at noche de rama on Wednesday where I ended up teaching piano and those that know me know that I don't really play. Exciting stuff. 

Then the "dragon" hit really bad and strong on Thursday night. (This is what the missionaries call food poisoning.) But luckily I was still able to work and we were able to go to lunch on Saturday and be with Vanessa. She was really struggling this day with the cravings to smoke again but we were able to call the elders and they came and were able to give her a Priesthood blessing. I am SO GRATEFUL for the priesthood and the blessing it is in our lives to bless and help us at any given moment. That is why those who possess it have to live worthy to exercise it siempre <everyday>

I had a presentation I had to prepare to give in the zone conference we had yesterday. Worked out pretty well and I was also able to sing "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" with Elder Umbides (Elder Hutchison at the piano) and it was awesome. I couldn't think too much about the words or I just started crying. It is so true what they say. "Chasten my soul till I shall be, in harmony with thee. Make me more worthy of thy love and fit me for the life above." Truly when things are hard are we BECOMING...are we CHANGING...because as Brad R. Wilcox said in his talk about grace...."have we been saved by grace? YES! But the real question is have we been CHANGED by the grace of god? That is what we are after. That is what we are seeking!"

Also I read today in Ether about after 344 days the first thing the people did when they stepped on land after being in a closed boat without natural light and with lots of livestock was not to run around and yell, "I'm free" or "LAND!!!!" (like I would do). They dropped to their knees and thanked the Lord for their safety and arrival to the promised land and the companionship of the Lord siempre. We all must strive to search more to be like this pueblo <town/group> and look for and always be first to give this thanks to our Father in Heaven for what He gives us. Trials and all. 

Love you and remember you are all loved by the greatest creator of all the worlds,

Hermana Albach

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Love to See the Temple...I'll Never Go Inside in Paraguay

 November 16, 2015
Hey all! 
Sorry if the title is a little bitter. We were able to go to the temple this last week and I couldn't go inside! Sad day. I mean, I have a cool missionary tag that should get me all the special deals right? ;) But as for the rest of the week it wasn't anything too crazy exciting.

We had some (a lot) of surprises that limited our ability to be able to work as we would have liked too but we were able to show a bunch of our investigators the Restoration video because we are now allowed to take our portable dvd players to lessons. It was a hit! The spirit was so strong and it was made so much clearer each and every time that Joseph Smith and what he did is so vital, not just for the church, but for each and every one of us. He showed us that we can truly go to our Father in Heaven and receive an answer and then he showed us what we have to avoid and what we must do after we receive an answer. Stay strong! Follow it! And keep the faith and trust that you have in your Father in Heaven. Truly we have living prophets and apostles leading and guiding this church today, but we can always confirm for ourselves what they say through our personal prayer and desires to understand the will of God.
Beautiful fountains at the Asuncion Temple

I love this gospel. I know it is what makes us happy. I had the joy and privilege to give a talk on ayuno <fasting> this week in sacrament and as I was giving my testimony I just felt it confirmed to me so strongly that the Lord loves us and truly is trying to help us and answer us in each and every moment. you all so very much! Remember who you are and more importantly whose you are!

P.S: Funny moment was when the elder in our branch made brownies with wine that he thought was vainilla. It wasn't. And then he gave them to all the members. My comp was like, "this tastes like wine or something alcoholic." Good times. Later he fessed up and we about died laughing. 

Hermana Albach
Hermana Gonzales - she's been home for
4 months but happened to be at the temple
the same day we were. So good to see her!

At the temple with Elders Smith and Graves
and Hermanas Cannon, Watts, Hartley, &

H. Lopez -- she LOVES her chocolate!
(on the bus ride that lasted forever!)

H. Lopez is the BEST! I haven't had toast
in FOREVER! and she made it with
smiley faces :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tegucigalpa or bust!!

November 11, 2015

Meet Hermana Lopez
Hey all! So this is going to be sweet, short, and spiritually super! :) I am now with the Hermana Lopez and I am SO happy! I was happy before and I am sure I will be happy after but it is nice to be with another Latina and to see the world through new eyes!! She is so incredible. Funny, sweet, really patient, and a hard worker. It is shaping up to be a GREAT transfer. 
New Scripture Cases
 We are now waking up an hour earlier so we can do an hour and a half of exercises. It is pretty awesome. Love her! This week was a lot of getting to know the area, each other, and others. We have been working a lot of find new people to teach and helping those we are teaching to progress. We actually got to go to Asuncion all day yesterday, and I got to go again because I have been in Paraguay so long. Reunited with some of the elders that came with me, and went to the temple to take pictures outside. (I'll send those next week.) It was super great. Other than that my ponderizer for the week is psalms 62:6-8. It is so true that as we truly put our trust in the Lord we cannot fail. I love this gospel. I love that as I continue to question and pray that I continue to receive answers and that the Lord truly is at the head of this work. The lord loves each of us and blesses all who strive to do it. I know this is the work of the lord and that I am SO BLESSED to be a part of it and to be continually learning more each and every day!! Love you all and hope you have a great semana <week>!!

Hermana Albach 

P.S.: Got Tim Tams from mom and dad so H. Bowen and I HAD to do a Tim Tam Slam :)

So long, my friend

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!!

November 2, 2015
Happy Day!

Hola. Feliz dia de Halloween!! I am sure you all had fun celebrating in one way or another. I decided that day I would dress up like an hermana missionary and have a baptism. We were able to see Liz enter the waters of baptism Saturday afternoon and it was awesome. This baptism had more problems then any I have been a part of before, to the point where she had to be baptized twice. 

Not because she didn't go all
the way under the disgusting green water, but because the hermano said the prayer wrong. {see below for the clean-up process} Poor thing. She got in to the bathroom to change before we figured it out. She was a champ to go back in and go under again. It smelled something fierce, but hey, at least she is now "clean" spiritually. :)  
She was radiating when she smiled as she came out and all the stresses of earlier from dirty water, breaking the baptism doors open, to this and that were wiped away in her happiness. I truly love seeing the miracles of the Lord. He is a miracle worker. The greatest part is that we fasted for the ability as a zone to complete our goal for 9 bautismos for this traslado. We had 5 throughout our whole zone on the 31st. They don't count for October but we got 8/9 of our goal. It was awesome. Fasting works. Makes change
happen, and gives us the ability to go forward with greater faith. Other than that we spent a lot of the week trying to find others to teach and help progress and helping Liz to be ready.

Another miracle was when her brother who has not wanted to meet with us at all came for a "tour" after her baptism and only wanted to see the baptismal font which I was a bit reluctant to show him because...well.. the water was disgusting and we tell
them that they will leave clean....;) but when he saw the font he got this look and just kept staring and then told us he wants to be baptized and feel clean again and asked us what he needed to do to have this happen. Say what? That never happens. So we explained to him about gaining a testimony, asistencia a la iglesia, and taking the lecciones. He should hopefully be at our noche de hogar tonight and we will see how it goes. It was crazy the desire that we saw in his eyes. Funny story from before. One of the hermanas came up to us as we were distributing the cake and told us that hte brother of Liz wanted to be baptized. Without thinking I said with a very confused look on my face, ¨"why?" Hermana bowen being very witty and sharp shot right back....."because its the truth". Made us all laugh!! Great point. Why not should have been my question...haha. Well I hope you are all doing great. For those of you who don´t know I will be staying here in Rama 2 and I have never been happier. I love this place and thses people. But unfortunately my invigorating journey
with h. bowen has come to an end for now until we reunite in about a year or so. :) She will be heading to help and bless the lives of the people in San Vincente Argentina. I will be joined in this epic battle between good and evil by the Hermana Lopez de Honduras. She seems to be really sweet and I am excited to see what we can get done! Love you all and your support. Have a great week and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. And remember EVERY MEMBER a missionary!! 

Hermana Albach
p.s. apparently i walk funnily because everyone was talking about how they love how I walk with purpose and power....weird. but I knew it was true when everyone chipped in there support.....good times. 

Grandma Lybbert's Texas Sheet Cake! Num
**Preparing the font:
It had water left in it from the previous baptism in September (before Kaitlyn and H. Bowen arrived) Bleck! The drain wasn't working correctly, so they had to take it out (spiders, mosquitos and all) one bucket at a time. They scrubbed and cleaned it and then tried filling it again. Still gross so they started the process over. Finally, they filled the 3rd time and, knowing it was clean, left the water. I will never take clean water for granted again!!! 

Best Text Message EVER!

October 26, 2015

Hola mis queridos!!

"Hello Sisters :-) How are you? I wanted to let
you know I DO want to be baptized the 31st! :-)"
Hope you all had a great week because I know I sure did. You know a
week is good when it is suddenly Pday again and you don't even know
how. You have a baptism the following week, and you get to wear your
rain boots because it won't stop raining. 

Well as for the title. We received the best text message ever this week during our studies Thursday afternoon. It went something like this. "Hey hermanas I just wanted to let you know that I DO want to be baptized Octubre 31st." We were so SURPRISED because we were fully planning to move the date back a week and give Liz a little bit more time to recognize the Lord's hand in her life and be ready. Then, we received the text. Needless to say we thanked our Heavenly Father for such a great blessing and being put in a position to be able to teach her. It was incredible. We went out and visited her the next days to go over the preguntas bautismales <baptismal questions> and she just knows. She said that she was praying to know what she should do and if the 31st was the right time and she found a scripture that talks about not delaying your repentance. When she read that she just knew there was no reason to wait an delay the chance to have the Holy Ghost and be clean again. She came for the evening and Sunday session of District Conference and passed her interview with flying colors. Our district leader was like, "wow, great job with her she is so
Fun w/ Rama 2 at a bday party
prepared and so well taught." H. Bowen and I looked at each other and
said, "it wasn't us. She came prepared. We were just blessed to give her the resources and ability to know more." So we will be having the happiest of halloweens this Saturday with the baptism of Liz. Keep her in your prayers because the week before the baptism is always full of challenges from that meany, Satan. 

Other than that I received my package! Joy!! Also was able to do some divisiones with our hermana leader and her comp. Learned a lot. Was able to direct the youth choir the district conference which is like stake conference but with branches instead of wards. I was terrified. You know you have been on the mission awhile when you are directing the hymns and the choir. We were also to visit a lot with Monica who is also coming along really well. She just needs to pray to know what we both know she already knows.

In other news I hit one full year in Paraguay this week!! Say what? It is such a
testament to me that the Lord knew where I needed to serve and it was in this part of Paraguay and with my mission president, I just remember thinking I would never serve in Paraguay. Jokes!

Other than that my ponderizer for the week is D&C 122;7-9. It is a bit long but I am striving to be more positive and hope filled every day and I know that whatever trials come will be for my benefit and good and that as I turn to my savior he will help me through them because he has been through worse and is always there to lift me! I love the scriptures, I love this gospel, and I love that we have the opportunity and privilege to pray each and every day. I challenge you all to pray to know how you can best share this wondrous gospel with those around you. Maybe it is reading the Book of Mormon at work in front of nonmember co workers, maybe it is writing your testimony in the libro de mormon and giving it to the missionaries, maybe it is inviting over the missionaries and nonmember or less active members over for dinner. But I know there is a part that we all must play with our without the tag. So get to it! The joy you will feel and find is the most fulfilling in this world!


hermana albach

More pics from the party: 
This hermano makes these kites for fun!

It's HUGE!

Never ride without a helmet! hahaha

Me and Bowen

So sweet!

And then it rained...
Rain water for days...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pineapples, Paints and Ponies

October 19, 2015

District Choir - I get to lead!
Hola todos! Another week has come and gone and not just gone but flown by! We had some great lessons this week and some great experiences, as well. We were able to keep visiting with Liz. She is going through a really hard time so it may be a little more time for her to get all her ducks in a row but we are teaching her igual no mas <anyway>

This week we started a game of "you know you are in Paraguay when..." and it has been a blast. One I would like to share is, "you know you are in Paraguay when there is no more room in the bus so you are hanging out in the first three steps." Panoramic view, no? But the miracle of the week was when Monica showed up to church. She got into a motor accident and hasn't been coming even without problems. But, we had a powerful lesson with her about obedience and the commandments. The spirit was so strong and then she came!! Happy day! I know this church is so true. 

Also, I have been studying a lot about hope this week and I have found that first comes faith and then comes hope, and then as we have those both we are able to develop charity but we must be patient and wait for the GIFT of hope to be given to us by the spirit THROUGH our faith! Pretty cool right? 

Well my ponderizer for the week is Alma 29:9. My mission scripture that has only become more and MORE true as I have been a missionary. I am so privileged to wear the mission placa <badge> every day and you all can be wearing the name of christ on your hearts as a placa as you strive to observe, serve, and love those around you each and every day!

Love, hermana albach

You know you're in Paraguay when you eat an orange like this: 

Or when you can watch baby pineapples and ponies grow on your walk to church...