Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Last Week in CDE

February 23, 2015

Hey all, 

Going to miss this woman!!!
So I just found out the results of cambios <transfers>. I am going to Encarnacion (in Paraguay just across the river from Posadas, Argentina) and will be with Hermana Moreno from Ecuador. I am so excited. It is crazy how fast the time flies. I am going to miss the people and my companion here but I know I will learn so much more in my new area. I have absolutely no time so here is the quick update!! Last Monday it took all day melting my freezer. How awesome! Crazy Paraguayan stuff!! We had a NDH con Perla y Gabriel and played Don't Eat Pete. It was a hit like always. They really liked it. We shared a thought and
The hermanas in our ward
ate bread and chocolate milk. We had a funeral for the missionaries that are dying <going home> and I made an awesome cake. We even had the grim reaper. Perla and the gang came to noche de barrio <neighborhood night>. It was AWESOME!!! But then they left because the activity wasn't great. We are going to see them today so we will see what happens. 

We were able to meet with Gladys and Noelia this week and it was so great. They are so sweet and I am so sad that I won't be here to see them progress further but I know that Hermana Dance will do an incredible job and help them progress and get closer to the steps of baptism. They are so prime.

Really I just love this gospel. I have been reading in D&C lately and secciones <sections> 15, 23, and 29 have been some of my favorites. 15 talks about la obra misional <missionary work> and is just a great pump up chapter for me. 23 is all about being able to pray to know our standing before God. It is so awesome. I love that. And 29 talks about how the commandments are not temporal laws but spiritual laws. They were founded before the world was and we followed them before. We are just learning to re-follow them again. Well that is all the time I have. I will update you more on my new area next week!!  Remember who you are and more importantly whose you are!! 
Carmen Alvarez, her daughter
and granddaughter
(She always gives us lunch)
Lauri Vera and little Ale

Love you,

Hermana Albach
And, lastly, a little taste of home :)


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rain, Rain, and No Botas

February 16, 2015

Hola mis querida familia!!!!
<Hello my dear family>

This email is going to be a bit short because this weeks emailing has been a bit crazy because we weren't able to print beforehand. Equals a lot of time taken to read and not much time to write all y'all beautiful people. This week went by SO FAST!! I cannot believe that it is the last week of the transfer. Who knows what will happen?? 

With Hermana Sleight
Spiritual- NOELIA!!! This woman is amazing.We got her as a referencia from our ward mission leader. She is so prime. We contacted her on divisiones when I was with Hermana Sleight. We weren't going to contact her because there were a ton of borrachos <drunks> outside and at the gomeria <tire store> where she lives. Then I just got some courage and approached the nice looking group of ladies and ask if they knew a Noelia. She was there and I started talking about Fulgencio, our ward mission leader, and suddenly she was like pasen <ready to go>. So we were in. She had so many great questions and is so prepared. She just wants to feel clean and worthy again so we taught her the evangelio de jesu cristo <Gospel of Jesus Christ>. It was incredible. I literally did an Irish heel click in my dress when we left the lesson. It was amazing. 

The best part was that she is a powerful ejemplo <example> of the power of referencias <references>. I challenge each of you to take the opportunity to pray to know or have someone brought to your mind that you could go with the missionaries to visit and share this beautiful message with. It is ok if they don't accept it, all you are doing is opening the door and bringing some exposure to those dear ones around you. I know that if you pray the Lord will bring someone to your mind and place someone in your path. This is his work and he will let you be a part if you just ask. I know that referencias <references> as missionaries are the MOST effective form of the work and they are when we find our PRIME investigators. Almost all of our investigator pool right now is from referencias <references> from the ward. You all have a part and a privilege in this work and are such a help to the missionaries!!! Ready...set....go!!!

Oh, we also had entrevistas con <interviews with> Presidente LaPierre this week and they were so great for me. Something that I took away was how to know if I have been truly forgiven of my Father in Heaven. Those who are still spiritually tainted cannot progress. If one is progressing spiritually and moving forward and onward then forgiveness has been had. Incredible and a great way for me to have a measure! Talking with president was so great I had so many great things brought to light and was able to feel better about myself and the work. He is an incredible example and man!!!

Baking Kate: Apple Crisp for Pte. LaPierre and his wife. President said the only thing missing was the whip cream and that is was a taste of home. Hermana LaPierre wanted me to send her the recipe. President also knew there was brown sugar in it. How funny. He is great and it felt good to be able to give them something when they give us so much. 

Cinnamon Rolls- It made 30!!!! What the??? It was an adventure ending with having to wake up early to bake them in the church electric stove because we ran out of gas.....sad day. But I was able to share them with a whole ton of families!!! Hurray! 

Key Lime Cheesecake: Made this for an investigator at her hosue so that she would know how. It was a great opportunity to serve her and to get closer to her. We will be visiting her today to see how things are going. 

Frosting: Did an object lesson at a menos activos <less active> family's house about spreading the gospel just like you spread frosting on cookies. They had NEVER had frosting and had no idea what it was. How fun!! They loved it!! We read about the fruit of hte tree of life and wanting to share it once they had tasted it. Great lesson!

Funny stories: Well, it is time to explain the title. It rained awful this week and the one day that it got real bad I didn't wear my coat, boots, or anything because it was only sprinkling when we left and is pretty normal. Ended up with me walking for almost 2 hours in pouring rain and being pretty miserable until we bought pepas <seeds>. hahaha. 

Flew into the back of a bus this week when I was trying to go to the front and pay our fare. The boys in the back were laughing so hard and I was meanwhile muttering to myself in English and because of that I am pretty sure the whole bus was laughing at me. (There weren't that many people on it...) After about five minutes off the bus I thought it was pretty funny too!!! hahah

Oh and I hit my 5 months mark this last week and celebrated with Sprite Zero and added some vanilla to it!! Was so great! 6 months here I come!! 

Great quote: "Much like medicine, prayer works only when we use it as directed." Elder J. Cornish

"To those within the sound of my voice who are struggling with challenges and difficulties large and small, prayer is the provider of spiritual strength -- it is the passport to peace. Prayer is the means by which we approach our Father in Heaven, who loves us. Speak to him in prayer and then listen for the answer. Miracles are wrought through prayer." - President Thomas S. Monson (Link to his whole talk)

Love you all, hope you are all safe and well! Remember the challenge!! Peace and blessings. Peace and blessings. 

Hermana Albach

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Divisiones, Divisiones, Divisiones

February 9, 2015

My Guarani badge - It is the native language
of many Paraguayans
Hola todos!!! Como esta?? Mba'eicha pa!?! <Hi everyone!!! How is it going?? Little guarani for ya! Espero que todo esta bien en sus vidas ahora! Este semana fue muy loco! <Hope all is well in your life! This week was crazy!> I don´t have a ton of time so this email is going to be a bit short but I will give you the highlights. 

We were only able to work in our area together two days this entire week. We did divisions after divisions after divisions. Hermana Dance was in Posadas from Sunday until Tuesday night. I received a call on Tuesday from President LaPierre asking me to come down to Posadas to talk to him. So I hopped on a colectivo <mini bus> and headed six hours on down. I was there just for un ratito <a little while> and then came on back. I met an Austrian on our colectivo <mini bus> back to CDE. Fun stuff. Lots of sleeping occurred on the bus. 

I missed her a LOT this week!
Something I learned after I talked with President was that we may not always love the work or what we are asked to do in this gospel but like President said, "I don't think Christ loved being nailed to the cross, but he did it because he loves his Father in Heaven and he loves us." I had asked President how I could love the work more and have more animo <courage>. This was his response. Truly we just have to love our Father in Heaven and our fellow men which are the first two commandments. As we do this we are then able to have this desire and love for others and truly feel Christ-like love and charity. It is incredible! Changed my way of looking at not only the work of the mission but at everything. Truly all we do is based on love and if we truly love our Father in heaven enough we will do the things that are necessary to be eligible to return to him. Incredible.  

Unbelievable sunrise
Cooking Kate: This is a new section of my emails. I have found that cooking and baking are a huge stress relief that I never realized before. So this week I made Key Lime Cheesecake and Oatmeal Raisin cookies. It was good that we had so many divisions and visitors so I was able to share all of it with other people. But I was pretty impressed I managed it here in Paraguay. 

Cockroach Story: Was in the bathroom and I looked down and a HUGE COCKROACH was crawling in my pants. I quickly flicked it down into the toilet. Tried to flush it. Didn't work. Ran and grabbed the Raid and killed it and then was able to flush it. Don't know where it came from. I think it hopped up from the toilet into my pants. The worst!! But I survived and have a great story to tell now. 

Loving the sunrises here

The People: We met some new investigators this week that quickly labeled themselves the Adulterers. They let us right in when they saw us holding our Book of Mormon in our hands. (A new strategy we are trying). Then before we really even said anything else she told us that she was an adulterer and that she was sinning against God and that she couldn't be forgiven. Actually, really sad in reality. We are working more with her to find peace, forgiveness, and the love that comes from repentance and the use of the atonement of Christ. 

Best part of our week. Lauri Vera CAME TO CHURCH!! She is a member but has not come for about two months. We have been visiting her a lot and trying to get her back and finally she came. It was the best feeling in the entire world to see her there and then be able to sit by her in sacrament. The day before we had a lesson with her and she completely opened up to us about her life. It is incredible the hardships she has faced and conquered and is still facing. Because of this she was also able to receive a blessing right after church and stated that she felt much more at peace. It was so great. I love her so much and know that when I leave this area I am going to miss her and her sweet daughter, Ale, SO MUCH. It is incredible the love you develop for the people here. It is definitely of my Heavenly Father. There is no other way to describe it. It just fills you up and you  just want them to know how important they are to Him and to their Savior.  

Really this week was madness but I loved it. I know that this church is true and I know that we can do hard things. This is a quote I found this week on divisiones that I really liked. I am not sure who it is by but it is powerful and true for each and every one of you. 

"You are here now because you are DIVINELY ELECTED to be here now. The simple fact and plain truth is that Mary and Eve and countless other glorious women as well as countless magnificent men were NOT assigned to this dispensation. WE WERE! It is HUMBLING and a little scary. But do you think God would have left the last days to chance by sending men and women he couldn't depend on?? There is NO CHANCE He would have been that cavalier or careless. The cumulative verdict of patriarchal blessings in our time is that we were sent now because some of the MOST TRUSTWORTHY of our Father's children would be needed in the final decisive battle of righteousness. That is who we are and it is who we have always been!!"

Les quiero mucho!!!!! 
<I love you very much!>

Hermana Albach

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gatitos, Divisiones, La Restauracion

February 2, 2015

Hola familia y amigos!!!! 

This week was a little exciting. Hermana Dance se fue a Asuncion por tramites <she went to Asuncion for procedures>. Entonces <Then>.... I was in a trio with two other hermanas. Hermana Sleight and Hermana Torres. Hermana Torres is from Guatemala and is sassy and fun. Hermana Sleight is a sweetheart and loves
Hermana Dance, Ana Paradera, Hermana K8
me because she calls me all the time for nursing being allergic to water and the like. :) So we had a pretty great morning. We were able to teach two great lessons on the Plan de Salvacion but as we were heading back to our lunch appointment we passed a park where we heard meowing. I usually just ignore this and feel bad that they are probably going to die. But my companions hurried on over to help the poor, helpless, disease-ridden creatures. There were six of these gatitos <kittens>. EWW! For anyone that knows me, I just don't really like cats. They are fine and all but I just am a dog person. Anyways... Suffice it to say that we had the cats the entire rest of the day and spent a good part of our time trying to find them a home. It was more than a little bit ridiculous. My biggest complaint is that when the hermana went to give them some of my leche <milk> she didn't just give them a tiny bit to see if they would like it. She gave them almost my ENTIRE box. Sad day. Fun fact: It is harder to find six cute kittens homes then it is to have a charla <chat> or share the gospel with others. Who knew??? 
El gatitos drinking MY milk

Another funny story: I tried to make gluten free cookies for Hermana Dance this week with corn flour but I actually bought cornstarch....(labels in Spanish) and the cookies were the weirdest things of our lives! They still tasted ok but were tan raro entonces <very rare>.....they were all Hermana Dance's. :)

So this week, we focused on sharing more about the restoration and helping our investigators to go back to the basics and really gain a testimony of our unique and powerful message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in these last days. We decided to use some media tools and showed a lot of our investigators (that had a DVD player) the movie the "Restoration". Man! Watch it. I never ceased to be amazed at the power of this message and the way the spirit manifests the truthfulness of it to me more and more fuerte cada vez <loudly>

Also this week, I have been doing the read the Book of Mormon in a month challenge by reading 18 pages a day. It is great and so much easier to accomplish on the mission because you have an hour just set apart to do that. So great. I have been learning so much. Some cool tidbits from today were in Alma 37:11.  Even the prophet of God had mysteries of the gospel that he had to be patient and have revealed with time. It is ok that we don't understand everything right now as long as we are trying to have a testimony of the things we do understand. We must solidify our testimony of the gospel of Christ before we can ever hope to gain more knowledge. Also I love Alma it in family home evening or for yourself if you ever doubt that the Lord hears your prayers. No matter where you are, outside, in your car, at school, in bed, etc. The Lord does hear your prayers and will answer them. I know this to be true. I know that prayer is the way a person can come closer and know there heavenly father better. Prayer is the message of the restoration. Because a young boy prayed, we now can know that personal revelation is real and powerful and should be an active part of our lives!! 

Love you all! I will have more stories and updates on our investigators next week. 

Remember who you are and more importantly WHOSE you are!!!

Chao! Chao!!!

Hermana Albach