Monday, December 2, 2013


        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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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 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

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