Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013 the WEEKS FLYYYY!!! Gulfbank

Hermana Burnham, Hermana Koch and Hermana Parry

Hiiiii :)))))
       SOOOO this week was great. I feel like it was just Monday though! The days go by like weeks but the weeks go by like days!!! This week was so great!!! Not as fast paced as last time!! UMMm I have two stories to tell.... and then AN AMAZING DAY OF MIRACLES!!! but I'll have to send a picture of my journal entry next week because I dont have my journal but the day is way too long to write about ahha but I can probably do a brief sum up. 
        Ok so I am still absolutely loving it :) I am having a hard time with energy, when I eat Gluten it really sucks the energy out of me and I was having an awful time sleeping as well. I did great the first while, I would just sleep like a rock. But then Satan got to me.... Everynight I would go to sleep I would lay in my bed so terrified. It wasn't even logical, it was just awful feelings Satan created and put in my head. I would jump at every single noise I heard, I would see things, it was awful, no matter how hard I tried to go to bed, my heart would just pound and by the time I fell asleep I would keep waking up throughout the night. I'd wake up in the morning just as tired as I went to bed and it was horrible. We don't exactly live in a safe area, and scarey things have happened at our apartment haha and ya. But I knew I needed to do something about it because when I was that tired I would fall asleep during my studies and I was tired when I was teaching. It was awful. Anyways, I decided that I needed a blessing. In the blessing it said some cool things :) Elder Cobabe, in my district, was happy to give it and told me to never be afraid to ask for one because the priesthood is under used and its offensive to the Lord if we don't ask. So he gave me a blessing of paz :) Then the night came and I was still terrified, but I did much much better. The next night Hermana Parry is an angel and switched me spots so I am in the corner far away from the door and I now sleep like a baby. most of the time :) anyways I am rambling and you probably dont care about it hahaha. anyways.... ok so I chose 2 experiences I want to tell you about :)

       1. I dont think I told you but last week we taught a woman who had cancer. We found her because a few weeks earlier my comps had tracted into her husband! so they came back and she was really rude to them and then we came back again last week! and she let us in, there house was really dark and just felt sad. We had a lesson about the Book of Mormon with her and her sister and they argued a little and talked about the bible and I was impressed to say to her, how can you say and know it is fake if you dont read it? So she said we were right and long story short we invited her and her sister to read some passages I can't remember which. This woman is fiesty! She softened though when she told us about her daughter because she said he daughter doesn't know what to do with her life and just other stuff and gave us her number. She also told us that her husband doesn't believe in God or really anything mainly I think because of her cancer. She has had breast cancer for five years now. Well we set a return appointment for the next week, or the one we just had, but we tried to stop by and see her daughter throughout the week but she wasn't ever there and there was a lot of miscommunication, so we stopped by the same time we had seen Juana the week before because thats when her appointment was. We knocked on the door and a tiny girl opened and it was her daughter Christina who is 21. We asked how she was and talked to her and within seconds we found out her mom, the woman we had talked to a week earlier, died 4 days after we taught her. My heart broke. My eyes filled up with tears as we offered her our condolences. I was seriously heart broken I felt so sad and wanted to comfort her and then leave so that she could cope.

However, we knew we needed to teach her. So we went in and sat at her table. It was so much cleaner. The room was so much lighter. It was amazing how peaceful it felt. It was solemn, but so peaceful, hermana Parry said she could feel Juana's peaceful presence. Christina sat down and then her dad, who they first tracted, came in and we breifly talked to him, we asked him if he wanted to listen and he said no because he was working, he just needed to work. We asked him if there was ANYTHING we could do for him and he said no, he just needed to work, he looked into our eyes and held his heart and said I have a strong heart. But as he said it his eyes filled up with tears and he choked up and then went out the door to do his work. My heart broke. I almost started sobbing right then. That was one of the hardest things to hear. That was the jist of what he said, it was in spanish and I didn't understand some of it. It hurt so bad to watch him be in so much pain while trying to be strong, he loves his wife so much. We wanted to hug him so badly.
We then turned and talked to Christina, she told us a lot of what was going on and she told us a little bit about her work, the table was clean and on it was an envelope where she pulled out a program to show us, and then the El Libro de Mormon. This was the most AMAZING miracle. We told her we wanted to read a message of comfort with her in the book that was lying on the table, she lifted it up and told us that her mom had given it to her. We found out that Juana had taken the book of mormon with her to the hospital. That when Christina came to be with her as she was lying in the hospital, her mom told her that she had given us her number, and initially she was like what?? why?? you cant just be giving people my number! and her mom gave her the Book of Mormon. And said, this is your book now. How amazing. I just gasped and felt the spirit so strong when I heard that. Juana a non-member, who faught with us about the Book of Mormon, took it with her to the hospital and was reading for the last 4 days that she lived and gave it to her daughter on her death bed as her gift to her. 

I just can't even believe it. We left a message with Christina Alma 40:11, Sarah ( the Bishops daughter who came out with us) gave the closing prayer and then we left. We walked quietly back to the car and drove back to the apartment before our meal with the Bishop. Hermana B and I cried for a while ha. But we all talked about how amazing that was Hermana Parry was saying how amazing it is that we can feel and know that Juana is accepting the gospel in the spirit world. It broke my heart that we have such a beautiful message of peace and consolation to share with her husband but he is so closed off and hurt. I don't think that I could live with one of my family members passing and not having the knowledge that I have, and not knowing the Plan of Salvation. I know that we can live with our families forever, that only through fulfilling God's plan is this possible. I know that one of the greatest gifts God gave me is my family. I know that everyone can live with their family forever in God's presence if we follow his plan. I know this because of the feeling I have felt and knowledge I have gained as I have felt the Holy Spirit testify of the Plan of Salvation. 

2. We met a woman named Ana Ruiz!! She is amazing and so is her little boy Eddenilson!! We met them because we kept trying to meet with her husband Jose but he was never home and finally she was just like well does he have to be here? Oh my gosh of course not!! We can teach you!! haha so we taught her and Eddenilson about eternal families and just followed the spririt and then at the end Hermana B helped Eddenilson say the closing prayer. It was darling and I felt the spirit SO strong. We gave them a childrens Book of Mormon and as we were leaving Eddenilson was like I'm gonna teach you! to his mom haha. So we came back later in the week, on  Saturday and she was the only one home so we taught her about the Book of Mormon and read 3 Nephi 11 about Christ coming to the America's. We gave her the Book of Mormon with out the pictures and stuff, not like the kid one haha. She was so sweet and has the sweetest countenance about her. She told us that Eddenilson reads the book every night and the other night he told her that he wants to be just like us. Mormon. Best part is.... GUESS HOW OLD HE IS!?!! 8! he can get baptized :) Anyway we said the closing prayer and as she got up to get us water I said to Hna P I kept feeling like I needed to ask her to be baptized and she was like ahhhh me too! I'm sure hna B felt the same but she was on the other side of me ahha. Anyways when she came back and hna Parry asked her what she wanted from our lessons and she said she loves to learn and wants to know more and then all the sudden I got so nervous and was like AHHHH I NEED TO ASK HER!!! so i just did it. I said if you know these things are true, will you follow the example of Christ and be baptized and she paused... and I wanted to break eye contact but i didnt! and then she said si! ahhhhh I about died I was so happy!! and then we left :)
So anyways all is well in the Gulfbank ghetto! Im lovin' life! already gettin chubs. Eatin tons, sweating more. Just lovin it :) missing you all is the worst but life goes on! peace and blessings <3 

Hermana Koch

A little blurb I pulled out of Hermana Parry's email she sent to her mom....her mom passed it on to me because we have a mutual friend...Liz Lattin...who also sent it on to me...

"Our baby was due on Thursday and her name is Hermana Koch. She is from Laguna and is SO cute. Seriously, so adorable and funny. We are always laughing! But don’t worry we are extremely focused.  You just have to have fun while doing the work. We are working bien duro aqui."

Lizzie's bishop is Bishop Marin. The girls were over at the bishop's house on Sunday and he sent a few pictures to each of their parents. It sounds like they are close to the bishops family. He has a daughter Sarah who I guess she has done some splits with them and is close to them.

Miss you baby bop!

Pictures from the Houston TX mission blog

I found and stole some picture from her Mission blog to add to her blog for her future reference.

 Hermana Burnham, Hermana Koch and Hermana Parry

 They had to be on a bus by 4:30 am. I'm sure they were super tired.
Houston 5th Ward people.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Big Email!!! FIRST Week in HOUSTON!!!! Gulfbank

Watch out Texas, she's hit the ground running!

Before I add the official email. I thought I would add some of the things she shared before she wrote the "big email" as we caught her online.

I am currently sitting in a hammock :) livin the life. Hey ill tell you this before i send my mass mail! I am in THE MOST GHETTO AREA IN THE MISSION. I absolutely love it :) I am not kidding. like dead serious when i say this, i am literally in mexico. its awesome :) I love it haha first meal i ate, tell dad, was tamales!
oh and im in a 3 sums and i am just obsessed with these girls!!! Hermana Burnham and Hermana parry. I love my new companions. Matches made in heaven. en serio.
I'm in the ghetto :) my apartment is a little safer pero my mailbox is a little box and it isn't safe to leave it out in the open ahha and we are right next to the office so it is ok, when i get transferred it might be different.
oh mom I forgot to tell you!! The bishop randomly when he got up to say the rest of sacrament meeting said that I was saying the closing prayer... yep that was exciting! I love you!

(I believe she is in the hammock in the living room of the bishop of the ward while they are doing their laundry and writing their emails.)

Hola Mi Familia y loved ones!
       As you all know this is my first week in texas!!!! I AM OBSESSED. I HAVE BEEN SINCE I GOT OFF THE PLANE!!!! I love the field!! I was so ready to be out and about "preachin' the good word!"- Elder Riddle. I honestly love missionary work more than I thought possible! I am so tired and yet God gives me the desire to keep goin' hard! Work hard Play hard haha I seriously LOVE THE humidity. It seriously feels so good. I love it so much more than dry skin Utah ahhaa. It is so green and I love it. The first day was Great! after I talked to you on the phone at the airport I got on the plane!! I ended up talking to a man who was sitting right next to me and it was amazing. I know the Lord had us sitting next to each other for a reason. My Mission Pres told me that too that night when he was giving a fireside :) Anyways so ya. I ended up talking to him and we started talking and I could relate to what he was saying because he works 28 days and then is home for 14 so I related to how he is away from his family and his son and I told him about being away from you for 18 months and he told me about his life and he has some really hard things going on. LIKE REALLY hard. He is having a hard time with his wife and his mom has cancer, so long story short we ended up talking the whole time about familes, a little bit of word of wisdom, a little bit of book of Mormon, and I think other things I cant remember. I got to bare my testimony about how important family is and that we will be with our families for eternity and how my parents are so happy because we have the gospel and I gave him a card so he can read all about families and then he gave me his information so that the missionaries can come stop at his house :) I have never been so happy to share our message of life changing beautiful truth. I know that he needed the truths of this gospel and so I wasn't afraid of him rejecting what I have to say. My favorite quote from my MTC teacher was when he said, "Will you rob them of their opportunity to repent and be baptized?" he was a recent convert and then went on a mission got home in march and he was the most amazing teacher and that just hit me to the core. Will we rob them of the single most important thing they will have in their life? simply because we are afraid to open our mouths? We are representatives of Jesus Christ the Savior of the World and our redeemer. If they reject our message, his message, they are rejecting Him, not us, be devastated but not offended. I hope you all can think about that while being a member missionary, if we truly love those around us, we will share with them the doctrine of the only true church on the earth and allow them to feast upon the words of Christ's doctrine.
         So we got off the plane and President and Sister Pingree were waiting at the gate!!! Honestly it felt like seeing my parents waiting for me. Not the same obviously but definitely home away from home :) I loved it!!! They are so amazing. I feel a little closer to Christ when I stand with them. Pres Pingree is just like dad in the sense where he worries about the important things, is VERY guided by the spirit, but then is just easy going and laughs and has fun and is SO LOVING. Sister Pingree is just like mom because she is just one of those moms who has genuine love in her eyes when she looks at you and wants you to ask her for any help we need but over everything her family comes first. She is SO LOVING just like you mom :) They are awesome! We went to the church, ate some snacks and then we had an awesome fireside, President Pingree interviewed all of us to get to know him and then we were off to sleep! I woke up the next morning and you are going to DIE when you find out what I did..... at 630 in the morning.... I WENT ON A RUN!!! it was the most beautiful run I have ever been on!!! it was dewy and humid and cool and the sun was barely up so it was kind of that dawn/ dusky look and we ran around a pound!!! it was amazing :) I loved it and it felt so good! this is the day that we met our companions!!! It was taking so long as he called up each one and they explained their area and then he would call up the newby and they would hug and it was awesome ahha Spanish was at the end and I was 2nd to last to find out mine..... Well all the sudden two bubbly giggling girls raced up to the stage!! and I was like yes......... and then they started talking about gulfbank..... The MOST GHETTO area in the mission, they said how they get chased by dogs and its just so fun and then all this stuff I don't remember and then he said ok, SISTER KOCH!! and we all squealed and I ran up and we all hugged!! YES I AM IN A TRI COMPANIONSHIP!!! it is SO fun..... we hugged and jumped up and down and it was awesome. when they talked about Gulfbank I was like yes, that's me I know it. It has been so amazing. amazing miracles everyday :) I absolutely love the people, it is literally mexico where I am at :) I'm serious haha its amazing these people feed you so much food and they have so little. I have officially experienced the meals where you think you are going to throw up because you had to eat everything on your plate and you are so full if a little kidd ran over and punched you in the stomach youd throw up everywhere. Its joyous. But I am literally, as usual Mexican food it my favorite so im in love. Our first meal was tomalleys dad!! so yummy haha. ummmm sooo let me think about the experiences ahah there little has been so many small yet profound miracles that I cant think to write any right now. Well.... we have two investigators that we are working with that both are struggling on being baptized, Erika's daughter got baptized, like 2 weeks ago with the Hermanas, but her mom is Erika and she knows its right and that she needs to be baptized but she knows it is life changing and a HUGE commitment so she is having a hard time because she isn't ready to make a complete change we don't think yet. She is amazing but I think she realizes that she is making a covenant with God. We I think are going to read her comforting words in Roman 8:38-39 and my favorite scripture Phillipians 4:13 to help her realize the atonement is there always, Christ is always by her side and repentance is a miracle and a daily process, not a scary thing we have to do when we get in trouble, it is a blessing. I am so excited to teach her tonight. The atonement is real. Por medio jesucristo podemos llegar a ser limpio. No estamos solo. Jesucristo ofrece nosotros consuelo siempre y nos ama mucho. Yo se este y yo se que por medio la expiacion cada cosa es posible. Yo amo mi Salvador. Yo se que El es mi amigo y mi hermano. (Through Jesus Christ we can become clean. We are not alone. Jesus Christ offers us comfort always and loves us very much. I know this and I know htat through the atonement every thing is possible. I love my savior. I know that he is my friend and brother----- sorry I thought I would translate after I realized that not every one will understand that and I would be so annoyed if I read something I couldn't understand haha, the other day I forgot the word atonement in English, I was like..... how do I say expiacion in English!!..... that is a miracle that that happened because my Spanish is terrible)
         This week I invited Marta to be baptized, she said no and it is really hard because she knows it is true and says she doesn't have anything that is stopping her, but I can tell she is just saying that and deep down there is something that she needs help with. She is the cutest little old lady with long grey braids :) We keep praying for her and hope that she will have the desire to progress with her relationship with her father in heaven. It is really cool because I felt like I needed to say that it is between her and god and she said she knows and she knows its just between them and that gives me comfort :)
         What I am really really excited about is Octavio and his family!! we stopped by there house and we hadn't ever taught them, the hermanas had just bumped into him before, so we got to teach him and his wife with their little girls running around! and we sat down and taught them about the book of Mormon! we invited them to church, they didn't end up coming but that's ok, they are really genuinely interested I think! they asked if our church had marriage councilors :( sad..... and alcoholic counsilors :(  so sad that they are having problems, but the Lord is preparing them :) they need the help the church can give :) I am pretty sure they are starting the alcoholics anonymous in Spanish I think so that's so great :)
      Anyways I love you all!! I want you to know, this is kind of obvious, but I know this is the true church. I know most importantly that God prepares His children, that everywhere around the world God is giving his children opportunities to have what we have and to lead them closer to Him. Something very personal to me that has touched my heart so deeply is that Heavenly Father misses His children. Just like Dad missing hearing my voice and talking to me, He misses hearing His children. What a blessing and gift it is for us to open our mouths and allow the spirit to touch someones heart and get them to open their mouth and talk to their Father in Heaven. How greatful He must feel to hear their voice for the first time and however many years. He loves us with everything He has and He has given us everything he has. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the plan of salvation/ happiness, what a tender and sacred doctrine. If you haven't recently studied and prayed to know if it is true I invite you to do so. I have such a deep love for this plan that Heavenly Father has created for us, the knowledge that I can live with Him again with my family for eternity brings be such comfort. We had the opportunity to teach an investigator who's Father just died of cancer this past week or so and we explained to him this beautiful plan and I felt the spirit bare witness to me that what I was sharing and testifying of was SO true. I feel so blessed to be here in Houston, I know I am exactly where God wants me to be at this EXACT moment. I love that about my mission, it is so incredible for once in my life to be exactly where God wants me. I know that He is mindful of us and our wants and needs, I know that if we submit our will to Him that we will be happier than we could ever imagine. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God,  I know that it is the most correct book on this earth and I know that with the Bible and Book of Mormon we can read and find any answer we need through prayer and revelation. I testify that God answers our prayers, and as we start our simple prayer, "Heavenly Father" He is waiting anxiously for us to talk to Him about our days and our needs just like our Father's on earth. I can feel Him next to me as I pray to Him. I know He is there, I know that Christ holds my hand as I walk and press forward and is ready for me to lean on Him and come nearer to him. I love my savior and I know that He lives, I know that "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me"(filipians 4:13) I know the things that I have shared are true because of the deep comfort and burning I have felt from the Holy Ghost, the third member of the God head. I have never been so grateful for his sacrifice of waiting to receive a body, so that I can have a constantly companion leading me and guiding me, I am so grateful for receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost after being baptized. I love you all and I love this church! My one word of advice is to open your mouth and talk to everyone! God will fill it with the words that He needs His children to hear, don't rob them of their opportunity to come unto Him. Plant a seed :) "acting on even a twig of faith allows God to grow it." pres. Erying (my fav quote :)) Te amo!!
Hermana Koch

Her companions and some of the area where she lives I believe

Just a few pictures that we sent her while we were on line again with her.
Missing you at the Lake House in Lake Almanor!

Here we are sporting our new Texas Pendant Necklaces in support. 


So this week we caught Hermana Koch on line for the first time so we actually spent most of our time emailing silly things and pictures back and forth so her time was up before she could write a real email. It was worth it though. It feels like she is right there and not so far away.


I love this map! So glad she got to go up to the MTC for a picture.

Ok this is the big email!! haha sorry I'm getting ready to head out on wednesday!! I cant believe I am leaving already!! I am so excited!! this week was full of tons of spiritual stuff! I wish I had time to write!!! 
I miss you all and I hope all is well!!

Seeing friends at the MTC and the Marriott Center
Elder Kendall Vance
Elder Travis Bloomfield
Elder Zane 

 And...saying goodbye to besties is so hard!
Love you Sister Christensen, see you in 16 1/2 months.

 and now for  a few of the pictures that we sent for fun...

 Celebrating Amanda's bday with a tea party brunch
 Missed you at the 4th of July Oakley Rodeo! Check out the photo bombers in the back.
Funny Grandma!
 Lizzie wanted an updated picture of her sisters new baby on the way!

Daddy gave me beautiful flowers for our 29th Wedding anniversary July 11. 
Sunflowers are Lizzie's favorites. She ends her letters to me with 
"Love you more than a millions Sun Flowers"
and this one from Lizzie to Kati as a funny reminder or Taylor Lark when he went on his mission with a missing front tooth too.

Monday, July 22, 2013

MTC July 4th

Ok SOOOOO my week was crazy!! It was full of so many experiences that I dont know if I am going to have time to share!!! But first cool thing! Martin (new person she is teaching) committed to baptism for this month!!! I can't believe it :) he was all well I don't think I'll be ready and we were all well that's what we are here for!! haha he's awesome :) 
ummm ok so this is the really cool part.... So the other day we went to TRC where you teach people from the outside world, and they are members... however, when we went down to teach them, the teacher in charge came out and told our district and teacher, I just want you all to know that one of the members brought a real investigator with them.... and 
I was like uh uh no way... hahaha and so my teacher was like well I am not going to pick, is there anyone who wants to volunteer? and Elder Riddle and Dutson said they would and they were all amped and freaked out haha so we all departed.... and they went into room A in one building and then we went in A in the other one and we all dispersed into our lessons.... 
Well I'm sure you've already guessed what happened.. haha well we accidentally got the INVESTIGATOR!!! we walked in and it was a man and a woman and we were just chatting and talking to see how they were doing and somehow it came out that she was catholic... and for some reason it didn't occur to me that there had been a mix up. I was just like oh that's cool!! and we started the lesson and it was the most amazing experience EVER. The second we started teaching I had this feeling to open to 2 Nephi 32: 3 and it was perfect! We read it and bore our testimonies and had a whole lesson on feeling the spirit and getting answers to your prayers through the Book of Mormon and it was so spiritual.... that was the first time that I had an actual PROMPTING during my testimony. I always feel the spirit but this time I KNEW that I needed to say that this is the ONLY true church on the earth. It was an amazing experience, the spirit was like nobody's business. It was different than anything I have ever felt, I could truly feel how much god loves his children and how he won't let a missionary ruin their chances of coming unto christ. 
In the beginning they had said that she was going to start reading the Book of Mormon when she gets home to panama, and for some reason I just went with it... haha but in my comps head she was like... why not now? hahha so she committed to start reading and praying every night starting that night!! It went so well and her comments back were that she wants to get inspiration from the spirit and she now will read the mormon book. Seriously SO cool. When we came out I looked up at my teacher and he was like..... lo siento!! hahah he found out half way through our lesson! hahaha anyways, he says nothing happens on accident. And I know that is true, especially because without knowing the other one was doing it Hermana Spendlove and I both were praying the night before for specific things and both of us had great experiences and I got my answer to my prayer DURING the lesson and got to tell them about that... anyways I have to go but I love you all and that was seriously so exciting!! I cant WAIT until I to get to go out into the field!! It's like a week and a half!! ahhh o my or less!! I am so happy!! this is the lords true work and he loves all his children!!! Dios nos ama!!! I love you all!!! peace and blessins
hermana koch!
Friends in the MTC

I'm guessing it was Haley's PDay
 Sister Montana Brian: Seattle Washington Mission

Fireworks from the Stadium of Fire on the 4th of July!

MTC June 27, 2013

Silly Girl didn't want or have time to write everything she wanted to so she took pictures of her journal and sent them. 

       My week was a roller coaster of emotions as usual but SOOOO GREAT!!! :) I am going to start with the most important part of my week which was one of my lessons with Guillermo... but I am going to straight up just type it up from my journal haha. Oh also!!! THE TUESDAY DEVO SPEAKER WAS JANICE KAPP PERRY!!! MADE. MY. LIFE. I love that women.... and her husband... he totally smooched her on stage like twice and I was like this has gotta be the greatest thing I've seen. Old love... gotta love it. If I have time I'll write more about that haha. OH! alsooooo I get to volleyball everyday in gym and it is the greatest thing of my life!!! Though its really more like just hit it over the net somehow and not follow any rules because no one knows how to play hahaha but recently we got more people who know how... but heavenly father has defs blessed me... like mysteriously out of no where I developed this killer serve. No joke I'm not even going to be humble. I'm pretty sure it's because He wants me to be able to let out some steam and stress through getting to hit the ball and let me tell ya there is nothing more amazing than that.... besides you know helping others come unto Christ.... ummmm ALSO I SAT RIGHT NEXT TO RILEY AT THE MASSIVE WORLD WIDE BROADCAST!!! I just love her guts she's such a good sight to see. ummm also shout out to HALEY DU!!! I just met a sister going to Finland who I absolutely adore because she kills it in volleyball... well I mean that's not why I adore her but I do adore that ABOUT her... let's be honest that gives her brownie points.... but she went to Olympus! and I was like SAY WHAT?! Do you know my cousin Haley Hilton and she's like OOOO MY GOSHH I absolutely love her! She is the cutest thing ever. And I am like well yep we are talking about the same person because I totally would describe her in the same way hahaha. anyways hay her name is Victoria Vincent. :) also the past two weeks I have gotten to host! (meaning she gets to welcome the new missionaries into the MTC when they are dropped off) so I get to bring the new sisters in and hug them and take them to their rooms and it's a high light for sure :) I love it :) they are all so cute! and my same age so I don't know why I am talking about them like they are 10 haha sorry.  UMMM IAN!!! guess what!! I found someone with two arm creases!!!! an elder in my district. He is the coolest kid!! I'll tell you about his inspirational story later :) just thought you'd like to know you aren't the only alien God created ;) ok so the big stuff... my lesson con Guillermo!
"I came into my bedroom and remembered that I had forgotten to read my note/letter from my family..." wait this is going to take to long I'll send you a picture of it in my journal hahha.

So in addition to those pictures/ my journal entry which I hope you can read... it was an AMAZING experience.... I have never wanted to go out into the field so bad before, I love my purpose and there is nothing more amazing than feeling like I have helped in drawing people closer to christ :) I love this work and I cannot wait to get out into the field!! I know the gift of tongues is real and I know my purpose :) I love you all!!! Have a great week!!!

MTC Week 1: June 13, 2013

Man this was the longest week of my life waiting for the first e-mail. Her p-day is on Thurs. so we didn't get anything for 8 days. Tooo long for me. 
We did get a handwritten letter by Monday so that was awesome and I heard from a friend Colton Farnsworth who is teaching at the MTC and he saw her. She told him to tell us that she is doing fantastic and loves it. He said she is doing great and is helping her companion.

A favorite picture that I got this week while we were on our trip to Bora Bora. 
Sent by Colton with a text message when he saw Lizzie during her service hours at the MTC. Made our day!

So on to the first email. Funny girl, real, raw emotions. Love it!

MOOMMMMYYY!!! and family :)
      How's it going everyone?! First off to mom I want to say I loved reading your emails! And too everyone else I will be reading them shortly but I have to send my big email first haha this is very stressful. So all I have to say is thank you SO much for thinking of me and emailing me and even though it is SO EXCITING that I can email, if it isn't simple questions then it would just be so much better if you could dear elder it to me and then I can write you back :/ I just don't have enough time to read everything and then reply! I am so sorry! And second of all THANK YOU ALL for your dear elders! I will write them back today! (Thursday) because it's my Pday! :) so fun. But yes fill free to send me dear elders when ever because I get them that day and they literally make all the difference whenever I get them I seem to always need them! They always cheer me up and lift my spirits which is really helpful because already there is down days and up days! Sometimes it's the language and sometimes it is me being hard on myself or frustated with myself or just you know waking up on the wrong side of the bed ;)
Ok sooooo MOM thank you for the packages they make me so happy!!! I am wearing the new not see through blouse today! I seriously love it and have already gotten compliments on it and I have been thinking about you all day :) I have the best mom!! I haven't worn the happy skirt yet! But I am so excited too! But I can't because of feminine reasons ;) Thank you so much for the packages with all my things I love your little notes with the packages in side :) haha "contents in package" you crack me up your the cutest. You read my mind with the ring!! I have felt so naked without it!! Haley lost hers :/ but Tan and Trav still have their's and I think everyone else too, I dont know! haha 

HOLY HANNAH IT WAS CRAZY THE FIRST DAY!! I know you got my letter about it so I dont need much detail but I seriously was instantly like o my goodness gracious I already know what it is like having ups and downs!! This is insane! Haha meeting my companion Hermana Spendlove was so great :) she is literally an angel. I don't think she has ever done something wrong! I have never met someone who is more focused and more insanely on task than her! SHES LIKE MOM ON STERIODS! I love it :) It didn't take us long to figure out that we are a match made in Heaven! We've discussed this, our teacher also says so haha, she says that she wishes she could enjoy life more and you know me I could always enjoy life a little less ;) so we are a perfect balance! She keeps me on task when she can! haha And I help her not stress and realize that everything will be ok and it is ok to smile and enjoy the good times! She seriously is such a tender heart... NO JOKE. SHE WOULD  NOT HURT A FLY. 

So the first day was quite the fiesta! I saw Colton which was just like great and also awful because I was so happy to see a face I knew and such a sweet one! But then I started crying haha apparently I was holding it in still after I said bye to mom and dad :) Then everything in the week blurs together besides our lessons!! Everyday has been studying studying studying! And then having good times with our district, I love them all, were just one big family! O MY I WAS SO EXCITED!! One of the Elders in my districts last name is Riddle!! I was like please tell me your first name is Tom!!! its not..... it's Joe.... Joe shmo oh well it was exciting while it lasted... HOWEVER! since technically his first name is actually Elder (ha elder wand! so many harry potter references!) I can still pretend it is Tom because that would be so cool. Voldemort gone GOOD. oh wow would that be powerful. Sorry I don't know why I am going on about this! haha My time is running out!! (there's a muse reference for Todders and Jakey) 

Anyways... Ok so our first lesson with Guillermo was great! We were so nervous because we have to speak completely in spanish he doesn't understand english! But we prayed and studied so hard and the spirit was so strong that we were were having impressions the entire lesson! It was amazing how much the spirit can speak through you if you have faith and listen! So I felt impressed at the end to ask him if he knew God loves him and he said "no se" which means I dont know and I was impressed to invite him to pray and ask God, and he said yes! It was amazing just in the whole aspect that I was able to feel the spirit talk to me and I don't know if I have ever been so confident that it was the spirit talking to me!! The next to lessons I got really down, they didn't go as well, he didn't pray, we didn't feel the spirit as much and it was really hard, I was so frustrated with myself because I KNEW I was doing something wrong, there is no reason the spirit would just leave me out in the dark! It was really hard and after the third lesson I just went into the bathroom and cried and prayed so hard saying why am I having such a difficult time, what am I do wrong, I am not cut out for this I am not strong enough I cannot even feel the spirit, they aren't kidding that the misison has the lowest of lows I mean I was a mess!! I was just crying to myself thinking you are such a baby! And then I went into is my testimony strong enough for this am I ever going to learn spanish! haha Not one of my proudest moments :) The language barrier was the hardest thing and one of the main reasons I was crying because it is so frustrating not being able to communicate with someone and especially when you don't know where the spirit wants you to go because you are frustrated!! 
When I came out one of my elder friends in the zone saw my puffey eyes and was so sweet and asked me if I was ok and talked to me and calmed me down and helped me feel better, we seriously have angels in our whole zone it is awesome. Then they sent down the hall Elder Toala? can't spell it haha but he is so awesome and came and read a scripture to a couple of us that kind of lifted my spirits. SO finally we had a break of teaching him on Tuesday because it's a special day where we do service and then later go to a devotional and boy was that day FULL OF BLESSINGS! Seriously though like this just changed everything for me! I was getting clostrophobic not ever being able to be alone which is not my companions fault at all it just is weird and dificult because I like to be alone sometimes haha and not have anyone too close to me. 
So Tuesday we did serious, which really gets your mind in the right place and it felt really good to clean and work and focus on something else for a while. But then later that day we headed over ealry to the devotional because basically everyone in our zone was doing to choir! So we were singing for the devotional! So we get there and all practicing and so I was looking for Haley, Travis and Tana and I didn't see any of them! But then all of the sudden these girls behind me pointed Trav out to me and I saw him and waved! and then We were heading up the stairs because Hermana Spendlove has a twin and her branch president came over to west campus just to tell her to meet her twin sister at 6;30 at the northwest corner of the Mariott! So on our way up the stairs I saw Hales!! I almost DIED I was so happy but we had to keep going so then the twinsies met up and it was SO SWEET! We all were almost in tears. So we asked for a split so she sat with her and then I go walking back and I ran into Travis! shook his hand for like a second then had to go! 
SO the devotional was amazing just what I needed to hear! It was all about... well actually tons of stuff.... But what really helped me was that he said we lived with Heavenly Father for thousands of ages and he knows us and we know him, we spent time with him and we love eachother. It made me think of when we see Him will we recognize him? He also said when you pray and don't feel like you are being answered remember to count your blessings and I felt so selfish and realized that I need to realize that I am fighting his battle and he will never leave me! After the talk I saw Trav and Hales and got to take pictures with them!! This changed my outlook and then I will leave you hanging for a little bit with the out come of our last lesson!!! LOVE  YOU ALL!!!
Hermana Koch
OK On to my first week!!

Sister Haley Christensen: Japan
Sister Aly Davis: San Antonio
Elder Travis Bloomfield: Japan Mission
Marriott Center for the Tuesday devotional and choir practice

OK!!! so here is the last part!! I was so happy from seeing all of them and our class was so awesome we learned about how to ask people to be baptized but we were bumbed because we didn't think that he (Guillermo) would even know what that was because he hadn't really been progressing! BUT we went in with no notes, feeling the spirit ready to read Alma 32 with him!!! It was AMAZING!!! we felt the spirit so strong and had so many impressions and verse 28 hit him really hard and he just sat there thinking and asked me how he could get faith and I told him through reading the Book of Mormon and praying and then I felt impressed to say to him, when you know these things are true will you follow Christ's example and be baptized.... he sat there and thought for what seemed like 10 minutes and then he looked up and said, si. And the spirit was so strong! I bore my testimony and started crying and then we asked him to say the prayer and it was so sweet and kind of like I don't know how to do this and then he ended and Hermana Spendlove said, God is so happy right now :) or something like that and we left!! It was AMAZING!!! I LOVED IT :) I love teaching through the spirit. 
Sorry this is really really undetailed but I don't have time :/ I love you all so much!!! Some one sent me a carmel apple and I don't know who and I'm scared to eat it because it might be poisonous!! however you spell that!! I will share my testimony next time I have to go!!
love hermana koch

 Lizzie proving to me that she is taking her vitamins. She cracks me up!
And this must be her district!