Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's Beginning to feel a lot like...Utah!

March 30, 2015

Hola familia y amigos!!! 

So another week has flown by and I am frantically trying to organize my thoughts to write you. Haha. You would think I would have it down by now...but no. Every week is an adventure. This week was crazy with the weather and some nutziness that happened. So this week I am going to talk about the people. 

Let the rains begin...
Carolina: This was really sad. She passed her entrevista <interview> Monday night after I emailed you all. We were getting ready, planning everything, I had a super cute list of all the to-do's when we got a phone call. She was in the hospital. We found out the next day when we visited her that she had lost the baby. She was really torn up about it and really sad and alone. We were able to share with her about the atonement and it was really cool to see the opportunity I had to use both my nursing and missionary skills in this moment. I was able to reassure her that it was not her fault. I felt the spirit so strongly in this moment. We have visted her since and she still wants to be baptized and still knows it is true. Just needs time. We are going to continue visiting and praying for her. 

Loordah- She is a gem that we found. She has been through so much in her life but she is so open to us. We challenged her to baptism and she had one question for us. Why? if she had already been baptized in the Catholic church. I was able to answer but not as well as I would have liked. The next day in my personal study I had the impression to study out of a mission book we have with all the rules. So I did, and to my surprise found a list of scriptrues and questions that perfectly helped me in finding a better answer for her. The Lord is so great! 

We also found Theresa and Veronica during contacting and they have great potential. We will be returning this week to see if it goes anywhere. Sad news -- we are going to drop Jazmin. She has been canceling appointments and not been available and is not progressing. it is super sad because she has so much potential and really she knows it is true. 

So some awesome experiences I had this week. I have been praying every day before we leave to be able to do all that the Lord would have me do that day and that I can have an opportunity to serve someone around me. So we were visiting Carolina watching the Restoration when an Hermana Gimenez that leaves next door was shuffling by to get to the community bathroom. She has a lot of health problems. I saw her and almost didn't leave to help her. But then I did and it was amazing because she really needed the help and probably would have fallen. Poor thing. I know that the Lord puts us in places and if we are looking and searching and willing to have courage, he will give us opportunities to be his hands. Which is an incredible experience!!! 

Funny stuff. I had to wear my rain boots all the days because of so much mud. It is like its own form of exercise because the boots are a lot heavier. I also had a vacation in Posadas. Bueno. That is what I am calling it. I went over with Hermana Dance and we had the most delicious empanadas for lunch. Had some Mike and Ikes from Hermana Dance's package and a Reese's heart. Delicious and just got to talk with president and work on a small nursing project. Thus, it has now been named my vacation. We came back that night and got back into real life. Easier than real life vacations, I think. 

As for the food. I owe a lot of people brownies. Brownies are like gold here. Everyone wants them, so I am going to be making them a bunch. Found a churro filled with dulce de leche. Incredible. Don't worry folks, despite all this I am actually losing weight! hahaha. 

If you haven't yet seen I urge you all to go and watch Because He Lives!! It is the video of the season! Share it with all your friends, and help others to truly see and understand more fully what the Atonement of Jesus Christ enables us to do and to have!! 

Hope you all have a great week! Love you!!

Hermana Albach

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Conference, Carolina, and Katy Perry

March 23, 2015

Hola mi queridos,

Another week has come and gone and I can hardly believe it. A lot of crazy things happened this week. Thus the title. I, for real, don't have a lot of time this week. Not just an excuse to have a crappy email, but for reals. So here we go...

Ah, back with Hermana Dance for a few days!
We had zone conference on Friday and that was a blast. We were spiritually fed and we also got to have some Easter fun decorating our egg and having a scripture easter egg hunt! It was also great because my old comp Hermana Dance was there. She had actually been with us since Wednesday afternoon, but due to some passport issues couldn't cross that Wednesday to Posadas and was with us. It was awesome. We got to teach together again and catch up! Man have I missed that girl. She is seriously like another sister to me!! LOVE YOU MADI AND RACH...no worries! 

The lesson we taught together was to Carolina (alli esta) to see if she was really ready to be baptized this upcoming Saturday of this week. Long story short at noche de rama <Branch night> her and her boyfriend had been telling everybody that they would be getting married and baptized this upcoming Saturday. So obviously all the members were asking us....so we went to check. I did not have a lot of faith in this, but when we talked with her and asked the questions I was completely thrown and humbled. She may not know everything but she wants it and knows it is the right thing to do. She will be having her interview tonight, so we will see what happens!! 

So the other big thing that happened was that I gave my first talk on my mission in church in Spanish....YIKES! I was so nervous!! But I think it went alright...who knows. My comp said she could understand me, but she always says that even if she can't because she loves me!! LOVE HER! 

You are probably all wondering where Katy Perry fits into this...well when I arrived at church Hermano Delgado when he saw me asked if he could get a picture with Katy Perry all day. Pretty funny! 

This week was great. I learned a lot and am still learning. Our talks were about the obra misional <missionary work>. Surprise!! I loved studying for it though. Truly to share this gospel is a commandment of God, not just for full time missionaries but for everyone, and yes, that means you random citizen reading this! :) Let us be like Nephi and say, "Ire y hare lo que el Senor ha mandado porque se que el nunca da mandamientos a los hijos de los hombres sin preparles la via para que cumplan lo que les ha mandado." (1 Ne 3:15) Sorry don't remember it all in English! He truly will provide a way! Pray to know your part, and if in doubt, live your life as an example and pray to recognize your opportunity!! 

Love you,

Hermana Albach

Se bautizo!!!!!!!

March 16, 2015

Valle la pena!!!
w/ Carla and Hermana Moreno
Well the biggest news of the week is that Carla made the most important decision of her life! She entered the waters of baptism and now is on the path to return to her Father in Heaven. It was great. Only a couple of small crazy things that happened. The best part is that so many people came, including one of our investigators, Jazmin. She was able to meet and talk with one of the members that has only been a member for a couple of years. She was really touched by her conversion story and then tambian <moreover> by the testimonies after the baptism. Overall it was a great day! The joy on her face was incredible, she was glowing. Man, the best part was even though I was not the missionary that found and taught her, I had the opportunity to be a part of it and really see the joy that comes from making this decision. She told our investigator "valle la pena!" (It is all worth it!). Truest words spoken. This woman had so many challenges thrown in her path leading up to her baptism but when it came down to it, she went forward with faith and was blessed. This is an eternal principle. As we walk forward through challenges, darkness, and doubts following our Savior in faith, we will be blessed. We will find the way! He will not leave us alone!  
The tears say it all.

We are currently refocusing from preparing Carla to finding new people to teach which means a LOT of contacting. We have a lot of goals for this week! I am excited to get out, get to work, and feel the love the Savior and my Heavenly Father for these incredible people in my area! 
Hrma Moreno, Carla

I am especially excited to keep working with Hermana Jazmin. She is a gem and she has so much potential. We will see what happens! Sorry this email is so short. Most of our week was spent preparing Carla and planning a huge activity for the area to help them get excited to read the Libro de Mormon. 

Crazy thing: It takes 5 hours for the baptismal font to fill here and luckily we had to come last night to do nursing stuff and we checked and it had been turned on and was filling. Almost overflowed and would have made the church a pool. The Lord is so aware and good to us. 

Remember when you feel like you are drowning, 
your lifeguard walks on water!!

D&C 121-122 for any who are struggling and feeling alone and unloved.

Hermana Albach
With our sweet friend :)

Love this girl! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monito en mis manos!!!!

<Monkey in my hands!!!>
March 9, 2015

Baby monkeys are so cute!!
Hola familia y amigos!!! Well another week has come and gone and I have officially been on the mission for 6 months!! Can you believe that? I sure can't. Time is so weird. Anyways, onto our awesome week. There were so many great moments this week and special spiritual experiences with investigators, menos activos, active members. Really everybody. I LOVE my area! 

Jazmin: She is an investigator. Her boyfriend is a member but is VERY inactive, they are living together with her son. She wants her boyfriend to return to church. Before I arrived she wasn't super interested for herself, but very kind and welcoming. We have met with them three times now since I arrived and boy have changes been happening. The second time we met with her was incredible. She started off by saying she had read everything and understood it and loved it. All from the LDM. We taught her about the Plan de Salvacion and afterward bore testimony. When it was my turn to bear testimony I just felt the spirit so strong and said a lot of things that I hadn't even thought to say but rang true as I said them. One of which was that she was a daughter of God and that truly her Father in Heaven was so proud of her and wanted her to follow his son. When we left Hermana Moreno told me that it definitely wasn't me talking in that moment. It was the spirit. (She would know, she has to suffer as I try to speak Spanish to her.) Jazmin said she would come to church. She ended up not being able to but her boyfriend and son came!! Hurray for small victories. We are going to visit her today, and have a noche de hogar (FHE) with them this Jueves! She is incredible. 

Our view from Paraguay across the river
to Posadas, Argentina
Hermana Goray: She is a member that works in Posadas caring for a lady and so is unable to come on Sundays to church. She lives really far from us and from the church. We were teaching her and I again had thoughts and ideas that I said and you could see the change in the atmosphere and in her face. It wasn't me. It was the spirit. My companion had it too and we were able to make a plan to have her read every day and then we are going to fast with her and her whole family. She is a sweetheart with a lot of things on her plate right now. I am always so humbled that I have the privilege to love others and to truly try and be the mouthpiece to help them feel peace.

Carla: Man is she the greatest!! I came into this transfer with the knowledge that she would be getting baptized. At first I felt like, well she doesn't really count because I didn't find her. So false. We have had so many great lessons with her and I know that I was needed to be here to help in the process. We had a great lesson where we committed her to completely rid herself of all the cigarettes in her pension. She had a lot. She did it!! She hasn't smoked since this lesson and will be getting baptized this Saturday!! She is so ready and so incredibly prepared for this! She is having many trials but she is turning to her Savior to overcome them. It is incredible to see!!! 
With Hermana Moreno

Highlights: I HELD A BABY MONKEY IN MY HANDS!!! It sucked on my finger just like a baby. Coolest thing ever!! 
I got SO sunburnt! Whoops!! But now I am just tann-ish/reddish. 

Thoughts: Appreciate the temple. I am so humbled as people ask me how close the temples are to me and how often I went. I realized how truly blessed we are to have temples so very close and so very accessible. Look around you. Appreciate the incredible blessings we have been given and GO to the temple. You are giving someone the chance to access the eternities as you do so!!

Love you all, 

Hermana Albach

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Encarnacio-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-hon Encarnacion *Diduliduliluli!* Encarnacio-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-hon

March 2, 2015

Encarnacion countryside
More cows!!!
Well as the title states and as you probably all already know, I am now in Encarnacion Paraguay. It is right across the river from Posadas. It is like all an island of its own pretty much and I LOVE it! My area is right in the main part of Encarnacion called Centro. So a LOT of my area is city but unlike CDE where it was super loud and stressful all the time. It is super tranquilo <quiet> here and great. We also have some parts of our area that are campo <field> and they are beautiful tambien <also>. I have been told the beach is also in our area and that our next P-day we may just have to pay a visit!! 

Hermana Moreno from Ecuador
My companion is from Ecuador and she is going to be a chef when she gets back. Uh-oh! :) I have noticed a dramatic increase in my understanding and speaking just from the week we have been together. It is pretty amazing and an incredible gift from my Father in Heaven. She had her birthday this Saturday which I made apple crisp for her. She really liked the flavor.

I am now in a Rama <branch> of 30 or so members. We had 27 at church on Sunday. I am officially the piano player because no one else can. The lucky thing is they think I am incredible because they don't know how to play and they don't really know the difference. Blessing. Because...I am not very good at it, but hey I am sure going to learn!!!

Well onto the important stuff: Our work. We have Carla who will be getting baptized si o si <maybe> this month. We are just working on helping her to stop smoking. I don't know her that well yet but in our lessons I have been able to share and bear testimony and feel so guided as to what to say. I have felt the spirit so strong and know that she is such a special spirit of our Father in Heaven just as we all are. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to aid in teaching her and preparing for her baptism. I may not have found her but I know that I am here at this point in her process for a reason. The Lord is so great in putting people where they need to be when they need to be there. We also are working with a lot of menos activos <less active members> and trying to really strengthen the Branch. It needs a lot of healing and love. We are going to kill them with love and service for sure.

My pic from Mariela
We taught the primary of 7 ninos <children> and then they had an Hermana called to be the president. So that was the first and last time for me. Phew......little kid Spanish is so much harder to understand. But a cute little girl named Mariela drew me a picture and gave it to me. It was great.

One fact. Being with a native is tiring. I have been the most tired I have been my entire mission and so I asked another hermana if that was normal. They assured me that I am definitely normal it is just a part of being in Spanish ALL the time. It just wears my little english brain out. But I am starting to think in Spanish and that is great!! Really I have been so blessed with my companion, my area, and my zone. I know I am going to grow and learn so much in these next 6 weeks. 

Ale - cutest little thing!
Familia Vera. I am going to miss them so MUCH!
I definitely may have cried saying good-bye
 and bearing my testimony to them
Before I forget, here are some fun facts. Ate liver for the first time this week the day I left CDE. Hermana Dance couldn't finish hers because she found a fly swimming in it. EWW... she just shoveled her left over food onto my plate to make it look like less. Hashtag: Number one companion right here!!!

Ana and her mom (where we ate liver)
Ana will be a great missionary!

Well, I love you all so much and am so grateful for your support!!! Interesting thing I learned this week as I studied humility and diligence more. Humility is truly being willing to give our will to Lord and diligence is loving the Lord enough to do all that he asks to the best of our abilities. He doesn´t require more. Just that, and really all we need to do both is to truly develop and have love for our Savior and our Heavenly Father and the other things with work and focus begin to naturally fall into place!! Love you all and will send all my awesome photos next week!!

Chau. Chau.

Hermana Albach