Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Protests, Posadas, and Packages!!!

January 26, 2015

Hola!!!! Another week has come and gone and it was a bit of an exciting one!! I had to go to Posadas Argentina this week for traemitas. Once I arrived in Posadas after a LONG night in a bus and crazy train ride across the river I was informed I just had to cross into Argentina. That was the only reason I had taken a six hour bus ride in the middle of the night. Hey! but at the end of all of that I finally received my christmas package from my parents!! I was so happy!!!! Hurray! I may or may not have almost completely consumed all 30 of the Hot Tamales that were chilling at the bottom of the envelope. I have MISSED spicy things!! 

We headed back that same day to CDE. We got on a bus after eating at an amazing Brazilian restaurant that reminded me of America. About two hours after our bus got going it stopped for 3 hours. For the first hour I thought it was broken. Then two hours later when the elders finally woke up we found out it was because there was a protest going on that was blocking the entire road and that there were cars stopped for 10km behind us and more. We were at the front of the line. About 4 hours in total of waiting and we were finally able to start off again and finally arrived back home in CDE at around midnight. Crazy adventures for sure! 

The rest of the week was a bit of everything. I was sick for most of Thursday, Friday was just a hard day, then Saturday we mended some broken bridges because of offenses taken without our knowledge. Made some birthday cookies for our favorite Lauri Vera and sang Happy Birthday to her in English. It was great! We contacted into some great new people that we will be seeing this week. 

But the kicker for the week happened yesterday evening. It was raining and all our plans had fallen through. We were walking to an area to just go and contact when on the way we both had the thought to visit an investigator we hadn't seen in a while. The reason being her husband is a real creep and makes it very uncomfortable for me. So we stopped and prayed in the street that her marido <husband> would not be home. We headed there and after what felt like forever of clapping she answered the door. Even in the crazy rain. We caught up with her, and asked about her mom who died 9 months ago. She began to cry. We were able to share some scriptures with her. While we were doing this I was overwhelmed with the feeling and prompting that I needed to ask if she would be baptized. I was terrified. I kept trying to rationalize that my companion would do it and that she was probably feeling the same thing. But at the same time not really knowing and understanding deep within that, if my companion wasn't receiving the same impression and I left that lesson without inviting her to be baptized, I would regret it big time. So when the opening for me to share came I DID IT! I invited her to be baptized after asking her if she knew what she had read in the LDM <Libre de Mormon: Book of Mormon> to be true. She said yes to both. It was the best feeling in the world. She said she needs some more time to be absolutely sure of everything and know more but she has that as her goal. 

There is no way to describe the joy I felt after that lesson. It is moments like this that make all the hard parts of the week worth it. I feel that after some serious prayer the Lord has been lifting me up and showing me that I can in fact do this work. I can be truly led by the Spirit in the lessons to know what to say and do. This was my miracle this week. I love the feeling of knowing someone is close to accepting a plan that will bring them more happiness than they have ever known. 

Side note: Hna. Dance was going to invite her to be baptized at the end of the lesson so if I hadn't invited she would have. But it is so much greater knowing that I was an active contributor and the spirt was guiding me as well as our companionship. This gospel is so true and the spirit does testify of truth. I know that you can all share this gospel with others if you pray for experiences! Also give the missionaries references if you have them!! This work is truly done through that. Pray to know of someone that could benefit from this great message!!  

Love you all!! Be safe and remember who you represent!!

Hermana Albach

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Milagros... All Around Us

January 12, 2015

Milagros <Miracles>... All Around Us

Hermana K80 at Saltos del Monday
(last week in Presidente Franco District)
Hello all! I am back again and have some great news! I am staying with Hermana Dance for another transfer!! Hurray! Such a relief to me. We are going to get down to business and help bring people to those waters of baptism. We now officially have a progressing investigator. My very first one since I got to the field (not for lack of trying). Her name is Andrea and she is a sweetheart. We went and were able to teach her last night and she remembered a LOT of what we had taught her and expressed that she loved the way we prayed more. She said it allowed her to be more personal and truly talk to her father in heaven. Golden. We are excited. 

Another miracle we saw this week was yesterday during church. We had 15 of our menos activos <less actives> that we have been working with and 2 investigators in church. It was the greatest feeling in the world to look around me and see so many familiar faces that we have been teaching and striving to bring closer to their Savior. This gospel is true and it is full of miracles. At times we have to be patient and even then it may take time and may not all come at once. This was such a good day to feel and see the fruits of our transfer. I know it can only get better. Yesterday I was also able to start and conduct one of our lessons all by myself. In Spanish!?!?! Can you believe that? I can't. Scary. I definitely have a lot of things to work on and improve but overall it was great. This entire week though was a lesson to me because leading up to Sunday was SO ROUGH. We had to go to the doctor a LOT this week because of a sick hermana that I had to help coordinate things for. I received a lot of calls from President LaPierre and the mission doctor regarding this hermana and it was just a bit stressful. During all this we still had to try and fit some missionary work in. It was hard and to be honest we werent able to do a whole lot. The work we did was a lot of eliminating people and striving to find new. 

We also worked with our favorite less active family. Familia Vera. They are breaking my heart though. Their mom who left to Spain 7 years ago just came back finally about 2 weeks ago. This week we found out that she is probably going to leave again. Lauri Vera is heartbroken because she thought she was going to stay forever. She is 19 and has her own little adorable girl, Alejandra(Ale). We love her. Then we found out that her sister Elli who we were also focusing on bringing back is possibly pregnant and has really just given it all up for this boy who is bad news. The saddest part is that she is a returned missionary and that she used to be the stalwart member in the family. It just showed me that we are never truly safe in this gospel. 

We have to every day be striving to strengthen our relationship not only with our Father in Heaven, but with our Savior Jesus Christ. We need to come to know him. To love him and to see him as our brother and friend. Also we need to do the small and simple things because in the long run THESE make the difference. Also we need to remember who we REALLY are. We are all SONS and DAUGHTERS of a KING! We have the potential to become like him. We must not sell our inheritance and birthright for a mess of pottage. When you are tempted to make a wrong choice, remember this and ask yourself, "Is this really worth my divine destiny? Is this going to bring me closer to my Savior and Father in Heaven or take me away?" I need to do this as well but I know that as we do we can come so much closer and arm ourselves spiritually every day against the attacks of the adversary. I love you all so very much. I hope this finds you well. I appreciate all that you are doing for me and for my family! I keep forgetting my sticky notes with the list of things I need to talk about so next email I will just make a summary of them all. Oh. I remember one. I hit 4 months this week!! Crazy! Such great months and so many more great ones to come!!

Love you all,

Hermana Albach

More pics below from the Monday Falls (Saltos del Monday)

Friday, January 9, 2015

La Bombas, Borrachos, and, oh yeah...the New Year!

January 5, 2015

Hola!! I have been sitting at the computer for a while trying to decide what to write. This week seems to have flown by but with nothing super memorable happening. We had a half p-day on Monday. Just long enough to write our families. Then we were able to go and do some service and paint a less active families house yellow. Yes. Yellow. It was a bit rough at first because the current color was blue but it turned out alright in the end. 

My companion was sick for about two days and so we just stayed close to the pension and I went all Nurse Albach on her. Poor thing! 

Then New Years Eve there were SO MANY BOMBAS!! It was so loud all night. Then on New Years we had our real p-day in which we just took it easy and ordered a pizza, tried and failed to visit people because they weren't home. Ran ladders and z-drill on the basketball court behind our church. (About died...I'm out of shape). Bought picole....amazing Brazilian otter pops. It was so good!! Then we cleaned like champs and called it a happy new year!! 

The rest of the week seemed to fly by. I made brownies from scratch as well as my frying pan cookies and we took them with us to share with our menos activos <less active> families. It was awesome. I love the people in my area so much. They are my family and even though I can't always communicate with them very well, I still love them. It is incredible to me. We had to be careful this week and not stay out as late because there were a lot of crazy borrachos <drunks> everywhere. The work is a bit slow in our area but we are seeing progress through the attendance again of our menos activos <less actives> and gaining friendships in the ward. 

I love Paraguay and my area. Currently, I am on divisions in Presidente Franco because Hermana
Presidente Franco Falls - "Monday Falls"
Dance has consejo <conferences> in Posadas with all the lideres <lideres>. It is way fun to be in a different area and we were able to go and see these incredible cataractas <waterfalls> today. Not Iguazu Falls but totally incredible. I am in such a beautiful and wonderful place with some warm and loving people. This mission is an incredible opportunity for me to forget myself and strive to be more like my Savior each day. I just know this church is true. I know our Savior is there and loves and understands each of us. I know that every person I have met on my mission is for a reason. I am growing and striving to come closer unto my Father in Heaven every single day. I am learning to like wearing skirts in this SUPER BLAZING hot weather. I got super sunburned the other day. Don't worry Mom, I am wearing sunscreen now. I just forgot that day. Sorry this email is all over the place but I forgot to take notes out of my journal so this is what I can remember from this week. 

Funny Nursing Call:  Funny story just to make you smile and remember that my job is sometimes a fun thing. I got a call from an hermana asking if she was allergic to water because she had a rash on her arms. She said she didn't get it when she showered but only when it rained. I think it was just from stress, but I emailed the doctor to assuage her fears anyway. When I called her back and let her know that the doctor knew for a fact she wasn't allergic to water she cheered for joy. Made me smile. What a sweetheart!! So if you are ever wondering if you could be allergic to water, it is actually not possible.* Good times!!! 

Love you all. Happy New Year! Come unto Christ!

Hermana Albach

Drops, Drops, and More Drops

December 22, 2014
(Sorry for the delay...)

Did you know that no one was knows the song,
"Feliz Navidad" done here? Bummer!
Feliz Navidad everyone!! Or almost!! This week was quite different for a number of different reasons. It was kind a rough week as far as numbers and visits go. Sorry my mind is all aflutter today. We only have time to email because they switched our pday to Thursday (Christmas). No se por que. So here are some highlights. I got conjuctivitis in my eye. Big word for I had an infection. I had to go to the doctor and he prescribed 200 dollar eye drops. I bought the kind that were only like 2 dollars. They worked just as well. Thank goodness for pharmacies that don't require a prescription. ;) 

We had the christmas devotional Thursday night and it was SO MUCH FUN! We had a cookie decorating station, games station, and bowling. Then Pres and Hna. LaPierre and the assistants dressed up as Santa and the elves and handed out handmade stockings with a journal and candies inside. It was so fun. Actually made it feel like christmas. Which was good and bad at the same time. There are a ton of pictures that I will send from this on Thursday. 
President & Sister LaPierre

The highlight really of the week for me was Friday night. The barrio <neighborhood> had there fin de ano <year end> party and almost all of our menos activos <less actives> were there. It was such a great moment to see that although we may not have very many investigators, we are still making a difference and helping others to come back to the gospel. 

Other than that, I sweated buckets of drops because it was SO HOT. Hermana Dance got heat exhaustion. Good thing I know a nurse. Then it rained buckets and I was stoked. The weather has been all over the place. We taught some people, but most of our lessons fell through, or just didn't happen. That is ok though. The Lord knows our efforts and he knows our hearts. As we continue on in faith and hope we will see and feel His love and find those that he would have us find.

Something interesting I learned in my studies of Jesus the Christ this week was that during the three temptations the only real temptation was for the Savior to deny who he was or to doubt. This is a great tactic that the adversary employs. When we don't know or forget who we are and our infinite and eternal worth, we tend to do things that are not of infinite or eternal value. We must remember who we are and where we came from. We must remember what we must do in order to return and that is to take advantage of THE GIFT of this season. His Son. The Savior of the World. He is the key to unlocking all of our potential and greatest dreams. We must turn to him!!

Sorry for the short email! Love you all! Thanks for the support! You can all email me again for Thursday if you would like. No complaints here! Merry Christmas!!!

Hermana Albach