Monday, December 30, 2013

Gulfbank: Dec 30, 2013: MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR...I'M OUT!




Hola!!! Soy la Hermana Koch y soy una misionera.

     And I am getting transferred! CRAZYYY!! We got the call last night and then I leave tomorrow early in the morning!! I am so sad to leave the people I have met and love here but I'm not worried about it because I know I'll be back!! soooo mostly I'M JUST STOKED OUT OF MY MIND!!! woohoo :) I am excited for this change. I needed it and it's going to be so great and I am going to do exactly what the Lord wants me to do wherever I am being sent :) It's going to be so so fun I love it. sooo...

     WE TOTALLY GOT TO SEE EACHOTHER'S FACES THAT WAS SOOO COOL!! 

I was so so happy to see everyone! What a special gift from the Lord that we get to talk with our families! How great is that?! Pretty great! This week was fantastic and sick haha. Christmas Eve was so great, in our ward most of the families celebrated on Christmas Eve! so that was super fun! :) We ate at the Leyva's then the Antonio's :) We spent our Christmas fun with the Antonio's which made me so happy. They are so so special to me, I love them with my whole heart! They gave us little presents and they fed us and we took pictures and played a wild game of Jenga!!! :) haha it was so fun!! Then the next day... was Christmas and we TALKED! WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!! It was so nice to see you all and I just loved it so so much :) Everyone looked so happy and so fun and so lively and so the same it was nice haha. :) The rest of the week was a little bit off... I've been sick again :/ so that was laaAAAME. haha but don't worry it'll pass!!
Katy went missing :/ so we couldn't find her and it was kind of really scarey and the cops came again and it felt like CSI and I just kept thinking... holy Hannah I am only 19! This is not a normal thing to be apart of at 19!! Let me be young and ignorant! haha jk don't want that :) So we tried to figure out what we could do and it seemed pretty fishey anyway. Maria her  cute lady that cleans her house and takes her to get groceries and stuff found out that she was at the hospital...which seems like a bad thing but let me tell you it is a relief!! She was not granny napped and that is what we were worried about. That was probably the night that I really got sick. I was up like all night I couldn't fall asleep and then it's gone down hill from there but now I'm just gonna kick this in the pants. I'm done bein sick so I'm just going to pretend I'm not :) problem solved ;) haha anyway, This week was wonderful :) I just love serving and I love being here. Being a missionary is the biggest blessing in the world :) I love it!! I love you all and I hope that everything is well!!!

ooo ooo I have a little invitation for you all!! ok soooo New Years resolution!/ Birthday present for me!

Ok so my birthday is on April 23rd right? So I decided I wanted to finish the Book of Mormon before my birthday, so I am starting from the beginning and reading 2 chapters a day and then 3 for the last 13 days. So everyone my invitation to you is to do this with me for my birthday present!!! aand then at the end you can write me your testimony or something if you want!!! It's just an invitation :) ahha I want you to all do this with me if you can!! and then for whoever is so kind and reading this as well to do it with me!!! Please! It will be so wonderful and spiritual and educational :) Anyway that's my little tid bit! Maria is going to do it with me so I have one person keeping me going :)

ANYWAY I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!!! I CANT BELIEVE ASHLEEE GOT MARRIED!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE!! 

I am so so so happy for her and she looked so happy and so Ashlee and that was the most important part!! ahhhh I love eternal families!! 
Families are eternal if sealed by the power and authority of God!!!

love you,
Hermana Liz Koch

Pictures:

#1 with Emmett's present :)
#2 our zone at the zone Christmas breakfast :)
#3 trying to put on natalies scarve haha
#4 getting Amanda's late Christmas present.. pure excitement!







#5 the pillow case
#6 caroling with the narias!
#7 Christmas with the Antonio's :)
#8 creepy selfie with the gift from the Antonio's :) a little butterfly pendant <3









Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gulfbank: 12/21/13: FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!






hola hola hola hola!!

  FELIZ NAVIDAD! no puedo esperar para hablar juntos!!!! woot woot! La semana pasada fue muy bien! 
It was such a pleasant surprise to get so many Christmas greetings! Thank you for everyone who thought of me! and if you have sent me a letter or something, I am just going to say I am SOOO SORRY right now, because it is soooo hard to find time to write back! ay! But I looooove you all and trust me the letters and things are so needed!!! and they do not go unnoticed! They really really do make a difference!! SO THANKYOOOOOOO!!!! 
I got a Christmas card from the Parry's and I called Hermana Parry and just like died haha. I was like ahhhhh your parents sent me a Christmas card how sweet I'm so happy they thought of meeee! haha and Mookie and Tommy haha you two just need to stop. You are too attractive it really isn't fair. Hermana Knappen and I just looked at your card and just said, Stop. haha I look at it with all my Christmas cards on the wall and smile. <3

      Ok so this week was bien llena de Milagros!!! We had tons of stuff happening! The biggest miracle I shall share is Omar! I don't know if you remember Omar but he is the brother of Alex and he is super awesome! We taught Alex a long time ago and became friends with Omar and he came to church a couple of times and even a baptism! (that just happened to be insanely long like 3 hours poor thing) Anyway we never really taught him but gave him a Book of Mormon because he didn't really have an interest in making changes, but he has the SWEETEST spirit so he knows that everything is right he just wasn't ready for anything really, but we told the AP's anyways because he is a young single. They tried to stop by a few times but they never really could talk to him. ANYWAY! Hermana Knappen had a prompting to go to there house while we were on our way to something and so we turned around and showed up! We ended up talking to Omar and seeing how he was doing and he asked us what we were about to do and we told him, to go and teach people about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and he was like oh ya, whats that? We were like well is there a time we could teach you? and he said I'm free right now!!! So we taught him about the restoration and at the end we asked him to pray to know if Joseph Smith was called to be the prophet and he said I already know it's true.... and I was just gobsmacked(SHOUT OUT TO JEFF18)! and then we said well will you pray to know if the book of Mormon is true and he said I already know it's true, of course it is.  He told us about when he had a HORRRIBLE dream one night, like really crazy demon stuff :/ and he woke up at like 3 in the morning and he said I popped into his head from a long time ago saying, when I get scared or sad, I read the Book of Mormon, so he said he went right over and started reading it!! He is so cool. And he knows the right steps, he knows he needs to be baptized, but he is just scared and wants to take it little by little! It'll all work out :) He is so awesome, he is the lead singer of a band called,  What lies behind, and its scream-o haha and he's just such a personality I love it. He wants to travel and be a force for good in the world and I know he could do it! He just needs to believe in God and believe in himself.

     Last night was sooo sweet!!! The YSA in our ward made just the missionaries in our ward, so us and the two companionships of elders, dinner and they appreciated us and then gave us Christmas stockings full of lovin! We just shed some tears no big deal. It was so nice to be appreciated from your ward. It was so so sweet and they were really kind and complemented us on our work and it was really just so great. I was so grateful for them. mehhhhh no tengo las palabras.

   I AM SOOOO EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! I HAVE LOVED IT SO MUCH THIS YEAR!! It has been so much more about His life and not just His birth this time and I have adored that. I feel as though He was really with me this time and I really have loved that. I know He lives, and I know He feels it when we love and respect Him and worship Him and I know He also feels it the other way around. I really hope that we all make sure to focus on Him this Christmas season and especially the gift that Elder Ballard invited us to give to Him, reach out to someone you love. I loved what Elder Holland said, if you share an invitation with love and from the heart it can't be offensive. The gospel is the greatest gift you can give to them, "Will you rob them of their salvation?"- Hermano Glock. love you all sooooo so so much!!!! HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!! Miss you all. Know that I love you and I am sorry I couldn't get anyone gifts :(

ALLL OF MY LOVE! EVERY SINGLE DROP OF IT!

Hermana Koch
PS: OBSESSED with the bible videos on LDS.org, I cry in like  all of them, I love Jesus



Thursday, December 19, 2013

EL BAUTISMO DE LA HERMANA MARIA!


Hola :) Como estan? 

I'm pretty good seeing as Maria got baptized on saturday at 5 and it was the most amazing experience of my life!!! SO CRAZY SPIRITUAL!! AHHHHHH. It was so beautiful and amazing and I can't wait to replay it haha. um also side note I have less than a year left? gross. Let's not talk about it, that it's too little time!!!! We also did an amazing service project at the food bank! and it was SOOO FUNN!!! I LOVE SERVING!!! IT'S THE BEST! (nacho voice). I just love being a missionary all around. Super hard but so  great it's insane! 

This week HENSEL CAME TO CHURCH!!!!! Also I'm pretty positive that's not how you spell his name. oh well haha anyway he came to church!!! Which made us so so happy and he is going to start coming back, coming back and he said he started thinking about a mission and I just about had a heart attack as I jumped up and down encouraging him ahha let's just say he knows where I stand on missions haha. It was awesome and he came without anyone in his family, he just went. and then later his younger siblings showed up, he is going to be such a great example. I love it. 

Um we also had an awesome lesson with Carmen! She said that if the Lord answered her prayers and told her what to do she would obviously follow it. So that's great news so she is praying about if this is the only true church, which it is, so she will get an answer I am positive :) 

Also our chirstmas party was this week!!! the ward one!! it was so so fun :) we all did acts.
It was a talent show! and we did one haha and I taped it so you can see it when you get my SD card sometime. haha but what we did was, we had a table that had table cloth on it and then we had big sweaters and Elder Blad, Elder Quezada and I were Alvin, Simon, and Theodor ( yes kati will die that we were the chipmunks haha) and the music came on we danced, but we were on the table with the big sweaters and we had our hands in the shoes on the table and then our companions behind us in the sleeves of our shirts.... I'm not explaining very well anyway.... we danced to the song and then Elder Blad yelled the equivalent to "bring us some figgy pudding" in spanish and they brought out gerbers baby food and started feeding us and it was distgusting and all over me! So that was exciting ahha and then I went running at all the little primary kids with it on my face and they all freaked out ahaha it was pretty funny. anyway ya! and Maria participated in the singles performance and it was super fun and she was so cute with them and they are all friends so it just makes me happy! and we made the ginger bread cookies for the thing! it was awesome :) 

SOOOOO BAPTISM!!! Wow it was so so amazing. Maria was a little nervous before but this day she was just beaming :) She was just smiling and looked sooo peaceful and happy. This was her day and no one was going to take it from her. Her cousin came! Which was really good for her to have some support. Also President Huntsman (he's in our mission presidency) came as well :) He was the one that gave Maria her baptismal interview and he came with his wife and two youngest kids to support her! It was so so awesome :) He works all over the world so it was just a blessing that he could make it. The baptism was so beautiful and so spiritual! Elder Quezada baptized her and Hermana Knappen and I also got to share our testimonies and sing a special musical number for her "Divina Luz" and I just cried through sharing my testimony ahha I just love her so much and I am so so happy for her. Before the end President Huntsman got to go up and welcome her along with the other leaders in the ward, and it was such a wonderful spiritual experience. He spoke in spanish which was super cool, he served his mission in Spain. He was soo kind and just admired her and told her what amazing step she took and how he is so honored to know her and how she is so special and he was so impressed with her when they had their interview, how he is so honored to be in the same church as a TRUE LATTER-DAY SAINT. He told her that we will forever be her missionaries, her hermanas and that we will be her family forever and will always share this experience and that someday we will be happy in heaven together and other stuff like that and I just cried and felt bad that I was crying so much haha Maria was like "lizzie..." and wiped my tears and I felt bad haha I was like ehhh sorrrrry. She's always like, "you guys have turned me into this, I am so weepy! I didn't used to be like this!" haha. President Huntsman testified with such power to her and then he made her such a beautiful promise, he promised her that if she stayed faithful and stuck to what she has learned and relied on her Savior and was an example to her family, that they would change their hearts and some of the members of her family would be baptized. JAW DROPPED. I just cried because I lOVE her family. We are so close to them but they don't agree and support. The spirit was so strong and it was just an amazing experience. When it was over we all talked and Maria was so so happy :) Sister Huntsman was so kind and told me that she has such a sweet spirit and you can tell she is meant to do a lot of work. It is so true Maria is just one of the most amazing people I know. It was fun to talk to her because she is the daughter of Elder Ballard and is just like so sweet it was awesome. Maria was just so happy and she is so incredible! The next day, yesterday she received the Holy Ghost in sacrament and it said some beautiful things that she really needed to hear and she is the newest member of our ward! She is so awesome and totally on fire. She is so cool. We hopefully christmas week are going to go do baptisms with her at the temple! that will be so happy :) I am so proud of her and the person that she is. I am so grateful to know her and be a part of her life. 

I know that what changes everything is the Book of Mormon, I was talking to Hermana Villanueva who is about to leave to go home!! We were on transfers and I asked her what her favorite experience has been, or what she has loved the most? I don't know some question haha anyway, her response was to see the change in people. I talked to her a little bit more and I thought about it and told her that what I have learned and loved so far the most is the change that the Book of Mormon makes in peoples lives. That it all weighs on the Book of Mormon and nothing gets someone to change and feel the love of God more than that beautiful gift He gave us. I know it is the word of God and that no one can get closer to Him than through reading the Book of Mormon. It is so real. It is so real and it changes hearts. It all lies on the Book of Mormon and if you don't really believe it you are missing a chunk of the love of God, the truth of God! I just love the Book of Mormon so much and it has been such a blessing to be here and gain my own testimony of it. I love this church and I lOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!!! I feel so at home when I feel lonely and I read it. I feel at home. I love you all!!! talk to ya next week!

Love,
Hermana Koch






Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Missing my girl more than words can say today!

Sometimes I miss her so much it hurts my heart! Wishing I can hold her when she is sick!

WHAT A WEEK! MARIA IS GETTING BAPTIZED!





HOOOOOOOOOOOLAAAAAAAAAAAA
      Buenas tardes, this week has been awesome and also a roller coaster haha. LOVE MISSION LIFE!!! I really do... as in I love being a missionary SOOOO MUCH!!!! the blessings and the happiness never stop coming. its like a constant waterfall of happy spiritual hydration! SOOOOO MARIA is really getting baptized on the 14th!! She had her interview on sunday and she said she was happy and excited! I am so proud of her :) and so happy for her, I know that this baptism will be so powerful. She is so incredible and President Huntsman interviewed her and they both came out and he said that we have an amazing saint here and he is proud to be in the same church as her! SHE IS SOOO AMAZING!!! and then he said she talked very highly of us which was like music to my ears ahha that was a little tender mercy for us! SHE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!! we were praying and fasting so hard that she would feel comfortable and happy in her interview and prayers are answered my friends! She is so happy :) and therefor so are weeee. I cant wait for this baptism. I know she is doing the right thing and I am so happy for her. She is so strong and such an example to me of doing what is right and trusting in God to provide when you don't have the support of those you love. She is amazing and knows who she is and where she came from and where she is going. I love her so much! and I love this gospel so much. I know it changes lives and if your life isn't happy it is because The Church of Jesus Christ is not a big enough part in your life. "If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest, as well as the easiest of times in life can be a blessing." - President Eyring

This week was really good we had an amazing lesson with Maria on Monday and she really opened up to us and she is so sweet. I know that the atonement is real. I know it covers each of us no matter where we come from, what our past is and what mistakes we will make in the future. He knows us and He loves us and he suffered in the garden of gethsemane so that He could succor us (Alma 7:11-13). It is real. He is real. I know that if you cant explain your pain you can simply open your prayer and cry, just open up your heart and He will fill it. I love my Savior, I love Him so much. Before my mission I loved who He was and what I knew He did and I thought I loved Him. But it wasn't until now that I have been studying the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that I can truly say I LOVE my brother, Jesus Christ. I love Him more everyday as I take the time to learn of Him. I know that if we put in the time, the results and blessings will come.

WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE and it was GORGEOUS!!! it was so incredibly beautiful as usual and I felt so much peace and like I was at home being there. The rest of the week was great but I however got the flu and then some extra stuff at the tail end of it as well as my stomach problems you know about and so the weekend has really consisted of me having to sleep it off at the Bishop's house while Hermana Knappen helped get them ready for their amazing Nativity party! which Im sorry I didn't get pictures mom :( I just was sic and stuff. I have just felt like a bum and a crumby missionary who now has a cough and for some reason cant fall asleep so every morning wakes up a little better in some ways and a little worse in others.

I love you all!!!!! MARIA IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!! I am so happy and I love it here. I AM SOOOOO HAPPY ALL WENT WELL WITH KATI!!! yayyyy and I am especially happy that he is named miles!! ahhh I cant wait to meet him he looks so so darling. just soak up your time with him because you all know I am going to be the favorite once he meets me ;) I am writing him a little poem and its super rough so don't make fun I don't have a ton of time because I have to go to the lab!!! crazy stuff out here in Houston. they think I might have the next cure for cancer! woo.


MY DEAREST DEAREST MILES,
WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY!
I'm sure you've discovered that no one here is very manly,
I know you were received with such love and care,
what a wonderful season to be born with Christmas in the air.
I cant wait to meet you my new little friend!!
know that all the loves and kisses are for you in the letters that I send!
I know that in the pre- existence you were a valiant servant of the Lord,
and that just before you came you were right at my side knocking door to door.
I love you I love you I love you I do,
my little little munchkin that I know I knew.
Before that is, con nuestro Padre Celestial,
and because I know this I know forever we will be best pals.
Just a little warning you have the craziest cool brother,
who has such a burning love for you mother,
so remember always to share her with him,
because there are two of you and she is quite slim.
Can't wait to meet you in less than a year!
Missing you grow is definitely a fear!
But I know I am doing what is right and true,
and that hopefully I will be an example for Emmett, baby girl gessel and you.
Love you more than a million sunflowers and more,
I send my prayers and blessings galore.

Love,
Aunt Bop


Love you all sorry for the cheesy poem!!! and the random Spanish I hit a road block!!! youre all the best and I cant wait to talk to you next week after Maria is baptized!! AHHHH!!!!

Love,
Hermana Koch













Monday, December 2, 2013

Gulfbank Dec 2, 2012: A NEW SOUL AND A FOUND SOUL...YANDREA GOT BAPTIZED!!




HOLA HOLA :)
        This week was literally the best week..... I am going to apologize to Ian in advance because there is about to be a whole lot of upper case and exclamation points....

YANDREA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
WOWWWWWWWW IT WAS SO AMAZING!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR HER!!!! 
SHE IS SOOO DARLING!.... 

The Lord's first baptism that I was able to be a part of! wow... It was such a beautiful experience and I am sooo proud of her!!! she is so incredible and so pure, she wants so badly to do what is right and she is so cute. Her whole family came to the baptism and a ton of family friends and then a few families from our ward! so it was packed!!! which is really always a worry at baptisms here because it is realllllly hard to get people to come!!! any way Hermana Knappen and I got to the church at like 5 to get everything ready and start the font to fill up because it is reaaaaaaaaaaaaallly slow! (pictures #1, 2, 3)  everything was set and ready to go!!! then Yandrea and her parents got there! and we took some pictures! (picture #4). Elder Hamelau and Elder Valdez came and they explained to Yandrea how it will all works. Yandrea had chosen Elder Hamelau to baptized her (picture #5) and Elder Valdez to give her the gift of the holy ghost! They are so awesome and we were so happy that she felt comfortable enough with them to ask them to be apart of it! :) Later everyone came and we started the service! Edu her brother who is coming back to church gave a BEAUTIFUL talk on baptism... like it was SO GOOD. I could never have given it like he did haha it was really beautiful with scriptures and very straight forward doctrine! then Hermana Knappen, Hna Miller y yo (and I) sang Cuando me Bautice as a special musical number :) its the one that I think is called Whenever I am baptized? or something or other its the one that has the earth right after rain part... Then everyone followed her in and she got baptized :) it was so sweet and we got to wait for her and hold out her towel! I hugged her and got all wet haha but it was so totally worth it...it was so peaceful and so happy we kept asking her how she felt and she kept just saying soooo AWESOME!! haha it was so darling haha.... as she was changing we had everyone write her notes and we are going to put it in a book with some pictures for her! Then normally if you are baptized after the age 8 you are given the gift of the Holy Ghost in church but her mom didn't know that and we over heard her saying hurry because you have to be dry so you can go receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! and we were like oooooohhh nooooo!! so Bishop and I talked to her and she didn't know and looked soo sad because she had work on sunday but she played it off and was fine... but then the Bishop changed it! And her mom was so happy she looked over at us and SMILED SOOO BIG!!! Sarah gave a beautfil talk with wonderful examples about the Spirit and then Yandrea received the most beautiful blessing! it was so wonderful. it was so wonderful.
I know that having the real true authority of God seals our ordinances in Heaven and in earth! it was so wonderful! she was welcomed and then we all went and had some refreshments!! Cookies and pizza! and soda.... which I don't really like soda... but I LOVE PEACH CRUSH SODA!!!! its sooo good and I didn't even know it existed.... It was so cute right after the closing prayer Yandrea came running up to us and said right when they gave me that blessing I felt something sooo warm right in here (and had her hand on her chest) it was so sweet!!! we said, that is so awesome! do you know what that is?! and she got a little bit bashful and then said the Holy Ghost? and then smiled so big! (picture #6) She knows... ahhh. I am so proud of her... I am so so so happy, she is such a sweet spirit and will do so much good for the church and her family :) she is such a light! I just love and ADORE HER!!!! I love when the Bishop says you are officially the newest member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints! It is so sweet :) I know Heavenly Father is so happy with her decision. It was so amazing and I just really can't describe it! haha  

Thanksgiving was so awesome!! Thank you for all the notes!! That was so wonderful! I was so full of lovin'! We had 3 different dinners! Lunch with la familia Ramirez... I LOVE THEM! they are so great haha and then we ate with the MARIN'S!!!! I love them sooo much as well!!!! they are so great!!! then we had correlation just like we do every Thursday night and so as usual we ate with the Antonios! who are also my favorite! so it was just a wonderful wonderful day full of some of my favorite families! Of course I missed you all but I was so happy because I knew that this was one of the only times I would ever have a thanksgiving with these people and I love them all so much they will always be a part of me :) I am so thankful for all of my many many blessings but at this time especially for the opportunity I have to be a representative of Jesus Christ and wear His name on my tag. What a blessing. How great is my CALLING?! You will also be receiving a photo copy of my really long journal entry that tells you how thankful I am :) haha

Maria! Is doing so great! I love and adore her as usual!! Keep her in your prayers :) She is the strongest person I know, she is so independent and wonderful and knows what she needs to do to have happiness and be with her family forever! I am praying so hard for her because I know she isn't getting the greatest amount of family support right now, quite the contrary, so I am determined to make sure she knows she is supported!!!! BECAUSE SHE IS!!!! AND SHE IS SO AMAZING!!! ahhh I just love her. She came to Yandrea's baptism and it was so awesome to have her there, she loves Yandrea and Yandrea loves her! She is so incredible, I am so impressed with her and her faith, and because of it, she gets answers to her prayers, she always does! Just like we all can if we ask in Faith.

Sunday was an awesome day, it was fast Sunday and it was all just wonderful, Maria came and so did Yandrea and her dad!! He wants to come back to the church  and he has been there for it all! We are so proud of him.. He is so cool. Anyway, relief society was amazing we talked about how much of an importance it is to be an example and simply smile and make people happy around us because you never know what they are going through, I went up and shared my testimony and shared the quote that mom always says,

"live your life in such a way, that people who don't know Christ will want to know Him because they know you"...

It was a little rough translating it into Spanish haha but oh well. its true! We need to love. I know it. We all can be more LOVING. This world has enough people who won't look at anyone they pass on the street or let people cut in front of them in a line of cars, or say thank you to the people who ring them up at the cash register or talk to the people they are with in the elevator, WE NEED SOME LOVE PEOPLE!! we need some love. just do it, because that's who the Savior is and that's what He would do. You never know how much a smile or a have a good day will change someone's out look on their life. Sometimes in our minds we are sad about something totally irrational that all it takes is a friendly face or a kind tone of voice to snap you out of it. We all could use a little more love, and I know its possible, if someone denies it, that's on them, and I guarantee they will feel bad about it and maybe spread your love to someone else! who knows! I know we have the capacity to love, I know it because it's a gift that God gave us, we all have the ability to do it! It might take some practice but it's there! It's something that we all need no matter what we think.
The day was really great, we found two new investigators who seem so so nice it's a mom and a daughter and they are so kind! normally people walk away from us when we say hi but they came up to us! we talked about families and how our church is centered on Christ and families and they are interested :) The moment that I really want to talk about is the lesson we had around 6ish.

Last Sunday night we went over to the house of a family in our ward. I love them so much they are so funny. Hermana is a member and is faithful to the church and comes as much as she can, her husband isn't a member and her three kids are. The oldest Hensel is I think my age, in his first year of college so maybe a little bit younger.... and then Isabel is a freshman and Hansel is in middle school :) they are awesome but don't come to church very much. Anyway we visited them and started the Plan of Salvation but not far into it we ended up having an indepth discussion with Hensel, he has fallen away from the church, he grew up going and having soooo much faith! He wanted to go every Sunday and made sure they did, it was his favorite thing to do. He wanted to go to BYU and he wanted to go on a mission and everything...but then something happened, when he got to 12 he started having doubts... he questioned things. Basically ended up saying that he didn't know what to believe anymore and decided it was easier to just not believe in anything. He hasn't had a desire to pray because he just thinks, what's the point... He has so many doubts in his mind. We left and I just felt so sad deep inside. We set an appointment for the next Sunday (so yesterday). I just wanted to cry, I felt such deep sadness for him that he had given into those doubts, I could relate to him and I know what that feels like. I know that Satan attacks the hardest in these times with such strong spirit in our minds. He wracks our brains with doubts and negative thinking and it is a plague that is so deadly that the only way to get rid of it is through counter acting it and moving forward in faith and desire to read the scriptures. it's the littlest things that protect us with the armor of God. I prayed so hard all during last week to help me know how to help Hensel, because I have had the same plague, but I some how have been able to fight it and it broke my heart so deeply and I didn't understand for the longest time why I had to be a victim why I was having these doubts in the back of my mind while praying, ON MY MISSION. why did I feel like no one was there when I logically knew that He was. I suddenly was starting to feel as I was praying that week that there was a reason I had gone through and go through this trial of a doubting mind. There was a reason why I related so well to Hensel. So we went back yesterday and were prompted to bring Priscila :) We went over there and asked everyone if they read and prayed and they did but didn't feel much, we started to keep going with the lesson but then stopped again and went into a huge lesson with Hensel. I really don't know how to explain it. I just know that before we went in I had been fasting and I had been praying in my head that we would know what to say because I hadn't gotten any answers about how to help him. It was really the most amazing lesson I have ever been in. I have never felt the spirit that strong for that long, we ended up staying there until the end of the night. He just asked us questions and we followed the spirit as best we could. I was able to share with him the same experiences I had as him and we were able to testify that God plans every moment and that there are no such thing as coincidences, that there was a reason for everything and for us being there. We talked about how Satan attacks the mind, how he has been miserable and having nightmares like something else, not normal ones and how I had been having those in the beginning of my mission and I had to put forward my faith and get a blessing and then it all went away. He decided he wanted a blessing and President Leyva came over and he ended up following the spirit as well and we got into a discussion about how he can give him a blessing but if he isn't going to act and if he is just looking for a cure that it isn't going to do anything.... and anyway this is a really unsuccessful way of explaining this...but you could really see the true desire come.

President Leyva talked about how what we are here for is to help him gain a testimony because that is what he needs and that is the only thing that is going to cure him, is actually putting forth the effort and believing. It was really really beautiful and the spirit was SO strong. He ended up saying that he didn't want the blessing with the saddest face ever and we talked even longer and then by the end he said he wanted to know and that he was going to try and he was going to pray that night and ask and read his scripture and try to keep reading them and then he ended up getting a blessing of comfort and then we sang Abide with me tis even tide and he said it was a perfect song. It was just an experience I WILL NEVER FORGET. it broke my heart to see how hard Satan is working with this family because of how amazing they are. I know the Lord needs Hensel on a mission and I know he is going to change peoples lives and I know Satan knows his enemy. I know that if he prays with true intent he will get an answer. As we left that lesson I felt the same lift off my shoulders of when we left Marisol's and I knew I had been sent here for her. I know I was sent here for this family, I know the Lord knows His children and it was such an amazing feeling to feel like I have a purpose here. I needed that amazing experience and I am so thankful for my trials. I know we all have something that can contribute to helping someone else. I know I was sent here to be able to help Hensel, just like I'm sure everyone else in his life, but I just feel like what a blessing it was for me to be a part of that and him tell us that we answered his questions. I know that fasting is real. I know that it brings miracles and that if we REALLY sacrifice we will see the blessings.

I know this is Christ's church. I know that God has His hand in all of our lives and sends us to specific people. I know we go through trials to build us stronger and I know that we can over come every single one of them through the help of our Savior. It is impossible without Him. If we don't take His hand we will fall. But if we do, He is ALWAYS be there to lift us back up. We are NEVER too far gone to come back. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel if you turn away from the dark. I love my savior and this church with my whole heart. I don't ever want to stop being a missionary. It has been the greatest blessing and I am so happy I still have a year left!

I love you all. Study your scriptures its the only way out :)

Hermana Koch





Elder Hamelau



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gulfbank Nov. 25, 2013: "I don't have any doubts like I don't doubt anything"

Lizzie showing me she got my package with her new glasses in it.


Hola mi familia!!! Como estan??! Pues I decided that it is REALLLLY HARD TO REMEMBER WHAT TO WRITE!!!! THERE IS JUST SOOO MUCH!!! So I decided this week I will go day by day with a few events of each day! If you are not excited about this just scroll through and skim it and look for the bold writing because it is bound to be in there.... then again I already used some ahha.

anyway...... BEFORE I START I JUST HAVE TO SAY
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS THE BEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!!!! THERE IS NOOOO GREATER JOY!!!!!!! (haha I feel like Hales with all these exclamation points, she uses at least one after each sentence in her emails home ahha so cute) but seriously. I love it sooo much. It just came out of no where! I mean I have always loved it... I really have but this week I don't know its just... well before it was really hard all the time. Because you love it sooo much... but you are still really missing home, or just having a hard time with the language, or just I don't know I don't know I loved it haha I just don't know how to explain! But this week I'M JUST EXPLODING WITH LOVE!!!! I MEAN AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF LIZZIE LOVE!!!!!!!! I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING and  EVERYONE. I never want to leave, I love these people and I love this work. It is seriously amazing. I love it more than anything and I feel so deeply happy. Not temporary happy but real true deep happy. I am deeply in love with missionary work.

SO THIS WEEK WAS AMAZING!!! BIEN LLENA DE EXITO!

MONDAY- Pdiddle day day! We went to eat breakfast with our whole district at a members house! The Ramirez's are like my favorite people in the entire WORLD!!! Hermana es de El Salvador y Hermano es de Guatemala! The food was SOOOO YUM, and they also brought out huge pieces of bread and were all devouring it and they of course set it right in front of me and I couldn't eat it (Gluten). How lovely and depressing...  We had a normal day of laundry and email and then went and ate like lunch/dinner with Maria!!! I love her to death. She is the coolest. We ate wings because she has been wanting to take us to Wing Stop forever so we finally went :) It was sooo yummy ahha she is so cute she was like thank you guys so much for going out with me, I hope you aren't embarrassed to be with me. I'm like say what??? haha us be embarrassed to be with you? We are the ones who look all fancy in a world full of normal clothes ahha she is the greatest, and ya that was super yummy! We went over to Ana and Eddie's to see how they were doing and had a little lesson!

Tuesday- well it started off sad because we went over to Josefina's and we felt strongly that we needed to move on and not continue teaching them. We love them so much though and they know that, but they just didn't really have a desire to take action and weren't really progressing, they just liked having us there but aren't really interested. They are so sweet and amazing though so we are going to continue going over to their house occasionally to share some love and sing a song or something!! But then the day got really good.... like REALLY GOOD. Like an amazing day!!! haha I think that Heavenly Father was blessing us to boost our spirits and let us know that we are doing what we need to do. We later had an AMAZING lesson with Yandrea!! She is sooo darling! Her brother Edu came out (he is a member, but her whole family is inactive) and had an awesome commandments lesson! Hermana Knappen and I made a go-fish card game with the commandments and then others with pictures of it and then played a bunch of times!! We gave it to her ahha she loves it and always wants to play when we come over! The lesson was awesome and ya. She is so ready to be baptized its insane! ummm we then had an amazing lesson with Ana y Eddie! We finished our map of the plan of salvation and Ana talked all about how she wants to be in the celestial kingdom and that this life is to prepare to get there and they need to act now and can't wait to be baptized and WOW did that pretty much blow my brains out my ears! I WAS SHOCKED!!! Like two lessons before she was so like uhhh we will try we will try step by step! and now they are like we need to go to church! So we can be baptized! and all this stuff and they are like we are getting baptized on the 14th of December and its just awesome :) so we were just floating on a cloud and then we got home and went to start planning and Maria texted us saying that she was praying and didn't get the answer she was hoping for... we got mini heart attacks and called her! She is so awesome and is trying so hard to receive answers and really wants to know, she said she had had a really bad day and we asked her if she had read the Book of Mormon and she said no and we testified of the power it has and talked about the voice of the spirit and how it is soft and read 3 Nefi 11:3 with her and that really spoke to her and then Hermana Knappen talked some and asked her if she would be baptized on December 14th and she said YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO MARIA IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!! ahhhh I am SOOOO HAPPY FOR HER!!!!!!! WOW... I just am dying and bubbling with excitement! se que este es lo que ella necesita y que va a darla muchos bendiciones y va a sentir el amor de Dios mas que toda su vida ay!!!! estoy MUY ANIMADA!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH

WOW EMAIL EVERYDAY WAS A HORRIBLE IDEA!!!!!.... but like Ian says I am passionate and finish what I started ahha so here goes WEDNESDAY!!!

WEDNESDAYWednesday was sooo awesome! We did service outside the temple :) it was so nice to be in such a sacred calm place! Maria met us there and we walked around the temple grounds and talked about it and what goes on and how after baptism she can be baptized for her ancestors that didn't have the chance to be baptized. She is so amazing, she wants that and she wants to be sealed to her family forever in the temple. She is so incredible ahha I just want to be her. Later that night we ate dinner with the Juarez family!! I absolutely love them!!! They are so amazing. Hermano Juarez found out that I am Gluten intolerant and went crazy telling everyone haha he is so amazing and caring! He feels so awful because his son had it for a little bit and it was so hard for him because he is little so he didn't understand why everyone could eat things but he couldn't so it like broke his heart and he like cried telling me about it (MEANWHILE WRITING THIS I FEEL SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED THAT I CAN TELL YOU ALL OF THIS BECAUSE EVERY CONVERSATION I AM REPEATING ABOUT THIS FAMILY IS IN SPANISH.... WHY DOES THE LORD LOVE ME SO MUCH AND ALLOW ME TO UNDERSTAND? I HAVE NO CLUE.... JUST KIDDING I DO ITS BECAUSE I AM HIS DAUGHTER) so…. he makes me write down everyone in the ward who I eat with so he can call them and inform them of my problem and this is all on Sunday and then they invited us over to eat!! So they fed us a delicious meal with no gluten and then brought us out desert!! Hermano had gone to the store and bought me a gluten free pie and gluten free carot cake muffins and Hermana Knappen her own stuff!!! THEY ARE SO KIND AND AMAZING!! AND I CANT EVEN THANK THEM ENOUGH!! ugh I was so full of gratitude and still am!!! We later had an awesome lesson with Ana and Eddie about repentance and then later one with Yandrea and then went over baptismal questions and stuff and she is so ready!!!!

Thursday- was awesome!! we planned basically the whole day because we have so much to plan for this week and we got to plan for yandrea's baptism because it is THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....... DEAD. DYING. DEAD. SO HAPPY SO EXCITED THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIIIIIIIIIFE- awkward Get Smart quote haha and then later that night was correlation where all of us missionaries in our district eat dinner at the ward mission leaders house and he invited Maria to come with us!! So we drove together in her car and we got there and had a lesson about el evangelio (the gospel) and the pasos(steps) fe,arrepentimiento, bautismo, el don del espiritu santo, y perserverar hasta el fin!!! It was awesome! We played the game where you have one person holding the world and another holding the celestial kingdom and they are across from each other and you tell them to go to them but they cant touch anything!!!! and they can't do it. so we use the steps :) Its awesome! Anyway then we ate dinner and it was great!

Friday- was great! We had district meeting and then were at Katy's and it was sad but all is well with her, as well as it can be.


AHHHHHHHHHHHHH I AM OUT OF TIME I GOTTA GO!!!

Saturday- was the Thanksgiving party and we made cupcakes with Maria!!! so cute. We talked a lot about the plan of happiness and it's just so incredible! We asked her how she was feeling about her baptism and she said that she feels more than ready to be baptized and cant wait. She talked about how she wants to be baptized for her grandma and we was just soo happy!!!! She is so incredible, we asked her if she had anymore questions because she is sooo full of questions and just wants to know everything and I love that about her!!! She was like ya... but I don't have any doubts, like I don't doubt anything... I JUST DIED!!! I JUST WANT TO BE HER!!!!!!!!! HER FAITH IS INCREDIBLE! she just believes. I wish we could all be more like her. Just un-doubting and so faithful!!! She's incredible.

Sunday- Sunday was beautiful I love church. It's amazing always!! Maria looked gorgeous! and I know planning is inspired!! They talked about everything we are planning on talking about and just talked to Maria about. She is so amazing and so faithful always coming to church, she told everyone that she is getting baptized on the 14th and they announced it and she just smiled. ahhh I am so happy for her she is going to be so happy. YANDREA WAS THERE AND GOT HER BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW!!!!!! SHE IS READY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE IS GETTING BAPTIZEDTHIS SATURDAY!!!!!!! WE ARE SOOOO HAPPPY AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YAYAYAYYAY!!! AND HER DAD AND EDU CAME TO CHURCH TOOO!!!!


Anyway I really have to goooo but I love you ALLLLL YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!!! I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! I KNOW THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH PICTURES ON THEIR WAY LATER I HAVE TO GO FOR RIGHT NOW!!!

Todo de mi amor
Hermana Koch

Thanksgiving party at the Gulfbank ward 


Bishop Maren's family Thanksgiving dinner with the Hermana's
Such wonderful people to treat them so so good.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nov. 18, 2013: 4th Transfer!!! Gulfbank OTRA VEZ!

Having a little fun with Sarah Maren the Bishops's daughter after decorating their home with hundreds of nativities for openhouse display!


SOoooooo I don't have a ton of time I am sorry!!!

This week was awesome!!! WE TAUGHT YANDREA!!!! she is so darling I just love her and she and her brother came to church!!

Maria came to church as well :) and to the Relief Society activity!! It was so fun :) She is so amazing and is so active and involved. ahha She is so fun and I know I will be friends with her forever!! It was really sad because I thought I was being transfered and we were at her house and we were all eating and her mom is just the kindest and told me that her house is my house and just all this stuff. I just love them. I never want to leave here!!! ahhhhhh haha 

This week was good. I was sick so I feel like I didn't do as much as I should have so that was lame of me but who knows, I'll get better soon!

I love being a missionary. I am sooooo glad that Savvy (Savannah Henshaw who was in the Philpines Typhoon) is alive and I want to say well, but I am sure that it is still really hard. I am praying for her. Her story was so amazing and I just cried. She is the strongest girl. I want to be her! What a wonderful missionary. 

I am so blessed and am so aware of it right now and decided that means there is no reason I can't be better! So this week I'm going to be a better person all around. 

Love you all, Pray hard, it's the right thing to do and it's good for you!

Love
Hermana Koch

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gulfbank Nov 11, 2013: The HARDER you work the FASTER it seems to go!!!


Showing us her new costume jewelry state of Texas necklace. 


Hola hola!
      How is everything!! I hope well :) I am sure it is! I am so sad to hear about the Philippines(i dont know how to spell) that is really so sad but I am so happy that Savvy is ok. I am praying for all of the missionaries as well as the people there! I can't imagine what Sav is probably feeling for her investigators and her ward! wow. so so sad :( 

That's... kind of a sad note and I feel bad being happy after that, but I will share some happy news.

So really all there is to talk about this week is Maria and Yandrea!!! They are both sooo awesome!!!

Maria
Well we went over to teach her the restoration, she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying and has felt a difference. She has the most beautiful little girl and we just LOVE her. I just cried sitting there I don't know why but I was feeling the spirit so strong that she has totally made this 360 turn and that she is coming to chruch and that she wants Olive to grow up knowing God because she was never taught to know God how we do and we are teaching her and she just keeps telling us how thankful she is. She is so darling and I just feel so close to her, I know that we will be life long friends, plus it helps that we are pretty much almost the same age. She came to church on sunday and it was so awesome! She loves it and said several things confirming that she is going to keep coming back. She believes everything and doesn't question it! :) She asked how she could become a member of the church? And we were like baptism!! haha She is so incrdible and I am just so happy I have never seen the gospel change someones life so dramatically and rapidly and I feel so close to her and I have never been so happy at the thought of someone accepting it. 

Yandrea!!
We had an amazing lesson with her. AMAZING all about the Holy Ghost and how much God loves her and He blessed her with her family and she just loves her family soooo much and it reminded me of how much I love mine!!! She knows so strongly... quien es el espiritu santo y she felt answers to her prayers about the Book of Mormon and we asked her to be baptized on the30th of November and she said YESSSS!!! We talked about how she felt the Holy Ghost when we asked her so she knows that when ever she feels the Holy Ghost she can't deny whatever He told her. I love it. I love her, she is soooo excited and we are too!!!! 

PRAY for los dos!!!!!!

This week it really has come to my attention that it is not about me. That when we are having problems or feeling bad or think that someone is being mean to you, realizing it is not about you. We need to remember that everyone is going through something different. And if we look outside ourselves and our feelings that there might just be something that the Lord wants you to share with Him. Because that's one of the covenants we make at baptism. I love that. I love the Lord and I love that this life is all about helping others. As we help others we help grow the kingdom of God and we get to be a part of it. So when you are having a hard day, think about someone else whose might be harder and try to lift their spirits, because in all honesty it's our choice.  Everything is our choice, and I strongly believe that it is our choice whether or not to allow something that someone else does to effect our happiness. It's between us and God :) I love that. I love my Savior and I know He loves me because I have asked Him. I want nothing more than to be in His presence someday! 

Love 
Hermana Koch

  Temple lovin. Zone picture :) 
our lovely district... 



What happens when Hermana Koch gets a hold of the Bishops phone!