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...

My Future Job: Professional Mud Wrestler

October 12, 2015

Hola todos!! Ok, so maybe I don't really want to be a professional mud wrestler but with the mud I have been wrestling with this week I think I just might could be a great one. :) Needless to say, we went from 100 degrees to rainy, cold, and, OH, so MUDDY to the point that I destroyed some close to destroyed boots! Check that one off the mission bucket-list! 

But really this week was crazy but great. I had some downs but the ups were SO much better that they outweighed the downs. Interviews with Pte. LaPierre were a HUGE up and answer to prayers. Fasting and receiving an answer to what I lack to progress further. HUGE UP. Having an investigator come to church and accept a fecha for baptism and really seem to want to progress. The GREATEST UP. We also had some tender mercies of being able to have great lessons with our progressing investigators. Really the Lord is so aware and is always there. 

Mi amiga, Krystal
My ponderizier for the week is Alma 56:46. I LOVE the attitude of the stripling warriors and it is one that I want to adapt in my own life. It is not the whole verse just the response that they give. 

Fun facts....we were given a half kilo of ice cream after visiting a new investigator. She is defintiely golden and we may be visiting her more. ;) Really just know that I know this church is true, that repentance is SO real (especially for the missionaries), and that the atonement is infinite and eternal and as we come close to our savior we are able to love all of those around us more truly and fully. 

Love you all, hermana albach

P.S. From my chat with Kate this week...
"My week was a huge blessing. Had interviews with presidente which was
Ivanna, me, Juanna,
& Hrma. Bowen
At English class
an answer to my struggles I have been having. Learned I am just learning how to balance my life between missionary and mission nurse, and he just said I was doing great and that it is a struggle we all have to face and I will be facing the rest of my life. He helped me be okay with the feeling to go to med school. Monica we had such a SPIRITUAL lesson and then... she didn't come to church. Juanna is great and wants so bad to do what she can. But miracle this week: we have a girl named Liz and her mom, Suni, that we are teaching and Liz came to church it was AWESOME! We are heading out there tonight to do a FHE with them. I am happy. Life is good. Nothing new or cool. Just new people. That is awesome about the weather. It is fall-like here, as well. Super crazy weather lately. Love you.

Aren't we in SOUTH America??

Brrrrrr! (And scary!)

Happy Breakfast face

Tony!!! You made it to Paraguay!


October 5, 2015

Hola todos!!! 

This week was trying but possible. I was refreshed as I am sure were many at the conferencia general and have many goals to improve. My ponderizer for the week is D&C 93:49. The reason behind it being because we truly have a place with God and Jesus Christ all the time. We are there ready to watch and to follow what they do. We have a seat open next to us that is for the Holy Ghost, but if we aren't praying every day, all the time, then that seat gets occupied by Satan. And instead of having the binoculars to see our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
more clearly than the Holy Ghost gives us, we get given a kaleidoscope from satan. It looks like binoculars but when we put it up to see more clearly, we are all confused and switching from side to side. That is why we must pray always so that we can always have those binoculars to see clearly the plan and actions that we must follow. I invite you all to share your ponderizer of the week with me. I would love it!

Something I also learned and loved from the talk of Elder Ballard was that we are all given passports to enter on the "Ol' Ship Zion" when we are baptized but then we have to fill our passports with stamps to get to the ultimate destination. How do we fill that? By continuing to make and keep covenants in the temple and every week during the sacrament. 

I am doing well. Normal ups and downs. Our area is starting to get up and off the ground a little bit more. I am excited to see what can happen. Monica (old investigator) came back out of nowhere and then came to the conferencia after having a dream where she was reading the Book of Mormon! We are excited for her. We have the family we found that three have a baptismal dates but they have to come to church. They are great and are really trying to do what we ask. It is refreshing to have people want to hear what we have to share and then to progress. I love this work. I love the Lord. I know that Presidente Monson is the prophet of God on the Earth today and that we will never not be led by a prophet until our Savior comes. 

Have a great week and remember to repasar sobre <brush up on> all your notes from conference. 


Hermana Albach

P.S. From my chat with Kate: 
"It was so weird to be in the conference and look around and realize I was the "oldest" missionary there in age and time in the mission and that was my last conferenica general in the mission. Bittersweet. But I made cinnamon rolls in honor of you, mom. Even with raisins. :)"

"Gots to go now. Our investigators are good. Honestly, mom, we don't have many so that question kind of stings. But I saw Carla and she is doing great. All of 'my' (the Lord's) converts are. Also Monica came and she is our most progressing investigator and we will be visiting her tonight. She is awesome. Then Juanna, Ivanna, and Ramon, and Belen. They are all so great and they are making baby steps. Tina and Maricela have great potential but we will see where it all goes. Love you!! till next week." Please pray for them.

"Run, Forrest, Run!!"

September 28, 2015

One big river in the background
Mbaé'chepa!! Hey everybody! Are you all so excited for conference this next week?? I sure am! I cannot even wait!!! It is going to be so great! Well quick summary of my week. It was great. Hard, fast, slow, awesome. Just like any good week in the field. This week was full of small and tender mercies that always came at the points where I was ready to give up but kept going instead and prayed. One was when we had contacted all day long with NO success. Usually people at least let us in and then tell us they don't want to progress because they are Catholic and will never change religions. This day, we weren't even let in to the houses. It was crazy. I finally got to the point at about 6 or 7 when all our other appointments had fallen through that I stopped in the street and we prayed.
El Libro de Mormon
My comp felt prompted to walk over to a house pretty close that we had contacted before. The señora wasn´t there but the house right next door ended up inviting us in without us clapping. The lady has a sister and grandpa that are members and she used to attend our church for awhile. 
We ended up teaching her whole family and some of her neighbors ending up in 7 new. It was great! The next day, her three kids came to noche de rama <Ward Family Home Evening> to learn English and Friday when we came back to teach they all wanted their own copy of the LDM and really were excited to find out if it was true. There are two of them that show real and genuine interest and the rest are at least excited. I know the Lord pushes us to our limits and there gives us what we need. It has happened so much but I love it. So we are excited to see where they end up but it has a lot of potential. We will be seeing what happens tonight when we have a noche de hogar <Family Home Evening> with them. 

Playing the Memory Game - They LOVED it!
Also. The game memory is a rare novelty here. No one has played it apparently. Brought it out to entertain a little girl during noche de rama and the children just flocked to me like pigeons do to bread pieces. Hashtag: missionary version of Mary Poppins... I am just feeding the children not the birds and with the gospel. Even better. Next big music hit...or maybe not. ;) 

Elders in our area
This week we received elders to our area which means we were glorified tour guides but it was a great experience helping them out. And now onto my awesome title. So we were out with the elders at the house de Presidente Sanchez which is super far out. It was getting close to us needing to be back in our pension and with walking there was no way we were going to make it. It was the new elder Gosh's first day in the field. And what do we do? What any good missionary does...we started running. Don't worry. We beat the elders. It's all about pacing, and we didn't even die from a sprained ankle on all the crazy rocks. (Thus, the title of today's post.)

Other great moments. Met with H. Benitez for lunch and she is making so much progress and at peace. Happy times. I had the greatest night last night with a family where we had family singing time. I felt like I was at home. There was even an hermana that sang the alto part. It was great. Secret: I might have shed exactly two and half tears. It was such a great feeling and tender mercy from the Lord. Also realized a great answer and strength to my testimony this week when we were talking to a member and she said that when she thinks back on the disaster her life was before her mission she would never go back. Many of us have never seen or lived the other side of before the mission but she had and her testimony fortified mine of being so grateful for this wonderful and amazing gospel we have that blesses our lives. 

Also studied Hebrews 11-12 this week. It is awesome. Read it and prepared to be amazed about all the things that we can truly do through faith and why we are sometimes tried!!!

Love you all,

Hermana Albach
After a long day... ahhh

Soy Abuela

September 21, 2015

<I am a grandmother>
Hola y chao!! Jajaja. No chistes. 
<hello and good-bye!! hahaha. No jokes.>

Our beautiful church building
Rama 2 (2nd Ward/Branch)
Bueno this week was a lot of learning for me. It was hard, to be honest but vale la pena <worth it>! I truly learned for myself that God loves me and I felt it. I know that as we talk and allow the spirit to guide we are able to grow and learn personally and with others and how we work together. I was able to remember that truly the spirit of competition is the fostering ground for pride. And that truly it is not a race against anyone but ourselves, and as we forget ourselves and look around at the other participants we will find people to pick up and carry or to walk with for a little bit, or those that will help us when we are down. 

This is in the entry way of the church
Now on for some fun facts of the mission. First. Flour tower is a VERY dangerous game that teaches Helaman 5:12 great but I lost in this game. Hard. I was stuck in the corner and they were officially done playing the organized game and we had a flour fight and by we, I mean everyone else, just preyed on poor little me in the corner stuck. Harina por dias <flour for days>!!! 

Second. I gave shots to members in there traseros <rears>. Awkward. But hey...we got a free member lunch this week! Win!! Necessary sacrifice.

Still raining!
Third. There is hail in Paraguay and it is VERY LOUD on our metal roof. Equaling. No sleep. Rough but almost worth it. 

Fourth. The song about all you need is love is wrong, at least in my comps case. All you need is food! That truly is what makes her world go round. She even prays about how much she loves food. Have I told you all how much I love her? 

Oh and now for the reason for the title. Transfers have come again. I will be staying with my favorite food lover in Rama 2. But my other cute little daughter Hermana Bernal will be finishing training in Argentina! I am going to be a step grandma!! Oh the funniness (and strangeness) of the mission. 

Love you all and remember that we all must help those around us because we ALL want to get back to heaven. 


hermana albach
No more wondering
why my shoes are
wearing out so fast!
Building roads in

One Year Older and Wiser Too...Happy One Year to Who?? To Me!?

September 14, 2015

Feliz Cumpleanos Mamacita
So this week was a good week. My mom turned 29 again. I turned 1 year old in the mission and it really made me look back over the last year of my life and how I have changed. It is fun to read my journal from a year ago and to see how I have changed and what I still have left to improve and change. 

Love this Hermana Bowen!
Something I realized this week is that the ability to love is a powerful gift and something that truly only comes from our Father in Heaven. I was able to learn more about it reading 4 Nephi and truly what brought these people together and kept them so happy and productive was having the love of Christ and having the ability to give others a chance and some slack. None of us wants to be judged or thought bad of. So why are we so prone to do it with others? We just need to take a step back. Take a deep breath. And give others a break and some slack. We don't know why they did what they did but we know that our Father in Heaven does and he STILL loves them. Just as much as He loves us. We are equal in the eyes of God. We must pray to see others as he sees them and from there we will be able to love them as he does. It was something I realized I still need to change and make better, including with myself. God loves me and he lvoes each and every one of you for where you are RIGHT now and not just for that but for who you have the potential to become. All we can do is to try to inspire others around us through our examples but to continue loving them as they are! 

Nummy leftover treats from a Catholic neighbor
who just had their baby baptized. 
I just love my mission for what it is helping me to learn, become, and change. I love the all encompassing and enabling power of the Atonement. I love knowing that we have each and every companion and area for a reason. I love this gospel with all my heart and I know that it is true. I know because I know the spirit I feel each and every time I bear testimony of it or think of the sacred covenants I have made with my Savior and Father in Heaven. I truly love this gospel and all it has brought me and shown me and will continue to do so!!
Hope you all have a great week and advise you to read 4 Nephi and find things that you can change to make your families or selves just as happy as this people was. 


Hermana Albach

P.S. We went to the ZOO!

And she turned into a ............ tree!

September 7, 2015

Bueno. Hola mis queridos. Some of you may know that back in the good ol' days that I was in a musical ("Once on this Island") and I turned into a tree in the end. Hashtag: the worst ending in all musicals. Rough. But this week I had a flashback to this moment when I came home from a long day and suddenly in the middle of our street had grown a TREE! Like magic. It was crazy. Random Paraguayan moment that has proven to be full of funny moments to watch cars have to change there entire route to go around things. Good times.
Also we had zone conference that was wonderful. Lots of crazy times in the rain and making a lot of visits with members. We have a lot of potentials due to our visit with members this week and are really excited to be seeing how it goes. 
Sad news. All of our people that we are working with are doing things for the wrong reasons and I think we will be dropping them for a while until they can learn or show us the desire that they need for themselves. 

Volunteering at a
Great news. The church is true. I have received a lot of help and guidance this week and I LOVE my mission. Also the Lord puts us in places and shows us just how blessed we really are from our experiences. We had the pleasure to have lunch with a member and she proceeded to share her whole life story. It is so sad and so pain-filled but what I love is that she says that from the moment she was baptized her life changed and became "WOW". Loved it. Today we had the privilege to walk a former missionary and his wife to her house and to see the reception, the love, the excitement, and the tears. Made me realize that it is so worth it and will all be worth it in the end. I am here for a purpose and I am so grateful for this gospel in my life and the chance I have to share it with others. In D&C it talks about how his people must be tried to inherit the kingdom of heaven and all the blessings he has to give. I challenge you all to find this part. It is clsoe to the end and really apply it in your lives. Be grateful for your trials because they are going to change you and make you a better person. 

Love you,
Hermana Albach
Ahhh... I love this life!

Monday, October 26, 2015

How to Train Your Hija: My Hija is actually Astrid!

August 31, 2015

Mis queridos,

Another week has flown by and man was it full of challenges, craziness, and the
Rocio Areco
realization that I am literally training Astrid. So now I am trying to make up more obstacle courses and we have battle training every morning and night. We will beat the bad guys. We will bring people unto Christ. We got this. 

Cristhian's baptism
But really this week was full of a lot of learning about my Savior and coming to understand him more. I realized during a personal study that I truly do not have to fear anything. Not cambios, not contacting, not coming home. Nothing. Because if I truly have faith in my Savior and my Father in Heaven and am willing to listen and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost it will all work out. Will it be easy? Probably not. But will I be happy knowing that I am in the right place at the right time? Definitely!! So if you aren't happy, are struggling, or just feel scared of the future, get on your knees. Talk to your Father in Heaven and start studying that Book of Mormon to get to know that amazing man and Lord we call our Savior Jesus Christ. 

Paganino Family
I know this week that the Lord was with us. We had so many upsets and craziness that happened but we always managed to have great lessons in the little time we had. Was that just because we are super awesome?? ......y no. Jaja. It is because it is not our work. It is the work of the Lord and if we are willing He will guide, direct, and make all things possible. 

So spiritual highlight of the week was the area conference we had Sunday where Elder Cook, Hermana Marriott, Elder Hales, and Elder Gonzalez spoke to us. They spoke about dia de reposo, templos y la familia, and la obra misional <Sabbath, temples and family, and missionary work>. During these talks it hit me so hard that I am so glad to be here as a missionary. I love this gospel so much. I know that I am right where I belong doing just what the Lord would have me do. Well, I am out of time but I love you all and remember to use those praying knees of yours!! You got this!


Hermana Albach 
Just for smiles! She loves my glasses.

Sandwiching It!

August 10, 2015

Hola todo!!

Meet Sister Bowen
Well this week had some firsts...and not even for just my hija. For me too! First being it is the first time in my life that I have gone to eat a lunch with a family after having confirmed it and they were not there. Usually that isn't too much of a problem because it is not super far away from our pension. This time, we were super far from our house and so what did we do? We pulled an "hermana missionary" and ate our snacks of oranges, crackers, sweet potatoes, and pepas in the nearby park. Good times. I was able to get to know the Hermana Bowen a bit better. 
Hermana Bernal - I'll
miss her!

Other things: The Lord loves and guides us. I had a couple of moments that were very special with my Father in heaven and Savior this week. I was able to truly see, feel, and understand the love they have for me personally, for my area, for my comp, and for all the members. That love is capable of overcoming any problem or hard time. It is pure. It is true and there is always enough of it to go around. 

Mi casa (Pension) It's HUGE!
Transferred to Rama 2
I was able to try something new this week of every night taking time to think of things that I needed to do to improve and needed to repent of for the day. Then I was able to have mejor prayers at night and wake up the next day ready to be a better person. I was so excited to partake of the sacrament this week and realize that I never have to be the same Hermana Albach that I was last week, and that this changing power is not just for me but for the members, my comp, our investigators. It is for everything and everyone. The Lord led us to be with people in moments that we both needed and share with people things that were very special to us. One of which is an incredible member,

Lili. She is a bit menos activo but she is so loved of the Lord and has so much potential. As well as with Monica. We had some great moments this week and we are developing the criteria for me to know if someone is cool enough to be my friend. Involves winks, hot chocolate mugs, and mud fights!! 

Well I sure love you all and appreciate all you do for me and how much love and support I feel from all of you wherever you are! Know that you are so very important and that if you don´t like who you are today. That is ok. Give it to your Savior and let him change you to be a better you tomorrow. 

Hermana Albach

Notes from our chat:

Hermana Bowen and me
"TRANSFERS!! I met the newbie (Sister Krystal Bowen), Mom. I am training. As in I will be her first companion in the mission field that is not the MTC. It should be great.  It is a good, good area. Just dangerous at times...and lots of gossip and it is ginormous! We are "whitewashing" the area... me and a newbie! Whitewashing is when you go into an area and there has not been a missionary that has been there before. It will be new for both me and my comp."  

When asked if she thinks she'll ever serve in Argentina: "I have my Paraguay visa and have since I got here. Still just waiting on my Argentina one but who knows if I will ever get it. No, I have not ever been there before (the new area). Once to pick up stuff from an hermana that was staying there but no more than that." 

"Hermana Newell is going to be with an hermana I know very well and is staying in Argentina. But I talked with her and we joked about our families being in the same ward."