Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 24, 2014: Canyon Lakes Area: Sometimes I Run, Sometimes I Cry

Hola Hola Hola

    OK FIRST OFF! BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUTS!!! I am really sorry if I get these wrong or I forget someone please forgive... I am on a mission hahah SO FIRST! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMACITA CLEGG!! I LOVE YOU!! and it's also Elder Langinbelik's birthday!
As I promised I have a poem for my little new niece!!! 
I hope you like it Natty and My Brotha The Docta!


    My little Wynn Lizzie! Welcome to this world of fun!
       You are going to have a life full of sun!
    You're mommy is the craziest lady,
        She is tiny and fun and cute as a daisy.
    I look forward for the day we meet,
        Our first little hug will be so sweet!
    I promise you will be loved,
        kissed a little too much and hugged!
    We'll dance together as soon as I'm home!
        You can be my partner in crime even though you'll only be as big as a gnome.
    You're so precious and pure, sent from up above,
         I'm sure you fit perfect in your new little body glove.
    But what's most important is what's inside,
         Your mom will teach you that there are gifts from God you should never hide.
    You were just holding God's loving hand,
         And He sent you for a reason to this Koch-Gessel clan.
    You came to this earth pre-ordained with a map,
         though it might start in the beginning with nap after nap.
    You will soon do great things like run, walk and sing
         and then one day you will recieve a ring!
    You are destined to be a queen up above
         a mother full of glory and love.
    But for now we will talk about the small and simply things,
         all the wonderful times with your mommy filling your dreams.
    For now, hay que aprender de ella
                       Aunt Bop
SORRY THAT WAS SOOOO LONG!! haha anyways! This week was suuuuper awesome!! We had an awesome lesson with Yesenia and she has a baptismal date for the 5th of April!! We are so excited! I just love her!

    This week was wonderful!! Our miracle is so sweet and simple! We were going over to a referral we had recieved from the english sisters. It was later at night and we just decided that it needed to be done! So we went over by prompting and as we got out of the car to walk up to their house a man rode past us on his bike and we said hello and he said hola! So I said hola como esta? and he stopped and got off his bike to talk to us. Come to find out that he had just moved here from Cuba one month prior and we told him what we do as missionaries and about church and about english classes!! He told us that he was for sure coming to church the next day and that he wanted to attend the english class! The next day in church he didn't show up in sacrament so we were a little bit bummed! We went to principios del evangelio class and a few minutes later the Bishop opened the door and lead a man to sit right behind us... IT WAS DAVID!! He is so cool and serious about this! He wants us to come teach his family to have faith in Jesus Christ! He is the coolest. It was such an amazing experience and it really taught me to have faith, rely on the spirit! ALWAYS CONTACT REFERRALS AND NEVER GIVE UP FOR THE NIGHT! WORK UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!! It was an awesome experience and it was really cool to be with Hermana Jensen because it helped me realize that after being on your mission for a little while it is easy to get.. Whats the word.. disanimo in spanish I think.. if thats even a word ahha but it's really easy to stop appreciating the miracles!!! HAY QUE PERSERVERAR CON GRATITUD!
    I love being a missionary! I might have already shared this, but Mosiah 23:21. God chastens His children so that they can grow stonger! I know that everyone is going through trials right now, as am I. That is part of life, one of our purposes here on this earth is not only to feel joy, but to learn and progress, we can't do that unless we have opposition in all things! I love this Gospel and everyday it gets better and better, it is something real. It isn't something that we choose to do when we are older, or in time, we need to act now. It is the only way to have true happiness. Like President Eyring says, the hardest, as well as the easiest time can be a blessing. We just need to open our eyes and see life the way God does :) I love you all and I hope everyone knows that I am praying for them!!! I had a dream about coming home last night and it was the WEIRDEST! AY YAY YAY. Hermana Crandall's old companion wrote on her calender the dates until she goes home poor thing. hahaha but because of it, now I know that I only have like 35 more weeks!!! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhh sad day. Love you all!!
Hermana Koch

Friday, March 21, 2014

March 17, 2014: Canyon Lakes Area: God has been good to me!

Hna Crandall, Pedderson and Jensen!!! 
Waiting for the other hermanas to exchange!

Hola hola!!
     How's it going?! life is so good in Houston and the weather is decent! We have had lots of good stuff and miracles this week! Thank you so much for all the lovin! The letters and packages! my first letter from Wynnlizzie and a super cute postcard from Mookie! An awesome uplifting letter from daddy! ADORBALE PICTURES AND SUPPORT FROM MOMMY and a letter from LOEYYYY!!! now that i write that out that makes me feel really good inside, thanks guys!! <333 OH AND MCKAYLA'S WEDDING INVITATION!!!! no mind that she never told me about it herself ahha....thats ok though i underSTAND!!! she met her ETERNAL COMPANION. wow. anyways.... so so many great things happened! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. 

First, we to knock on the door of what we thought was a member of our ward! but it wasnt! so, we were going to leave but decided to knock the door right next to it, this man opened and we ended up having a little lesson with him on his porch! He by MIRACLE was home at that time because he never is! coincidence? i thinknot!!! (the incredibles). And he was super amazing and he asked if we had anything for him to read and then we set up an appointment to come back!! there was a lot more to the story that makes it an even bigger miracle but thats what i got for ya sorry ahha. But he is so cool and sincere and has such a desire to love God and do what he can for Him. He is going to read the intro to the BoM!

Second, we sang dearest children god is with you (in spanish) one morning for comp study and i dont know what but it just filled my heart with love! you should just read the words they are so tender! 

Third, the other night we had a little bit of time before we needed to go home and all of our appoinments feel through! we didnt know what to do! And we started drivign and passed a woman's house that we usually go to in the afternoons and both felt like we needed to turn around and try her! Recently, well for a long time since hermana Rowe and I haha we hadnt been able to get in with her and see her and so we tried that night and she was home!!! WE HAD A BEAUTIFUL lesson with her and are going back tomorrow!!

Forth, we had the worlds longest door aproach! We knocked on a woman's house and she came out and we ended up talking to her on her porch for 3 hours!!! She just kept telling us life story after life story after life story! It was incredible!!!! SHE HAS DONE SO MANYTHINGS AND HAD SO MANY MIRACLES IN HER LIFE!!! i seriously learned at LEAST 13 life lessons by the end of it! Hermana Jensen and I were just shoot out one after the other to each other up till like 13 and then we had to discuss other things! It was amazing though! some of the lessons consisted of, 1. your mom knows if the person you are marrying is right or not. 2. get an education and leave your work at work when you go home 3. how to potty train your child in 24 hours 4. how to keep your kids quiet in church.... and there are so many more but i have to move on! 
FIFTH! Haha every week it has been about the woman I told you about last weeik, lets call her yesy. but I am just obsessed with her! The Lord is blessing me so much through her :) This week she came to church with her mother again! and this time they were 15 minutes early! earlier than a lot of the ward members! We got so excited we ran up and hugged them and sat down. we talked to them and members started coming up introducing themselves and some of them asked if they were members or meeting the church and they said meeting the church and then all the sudden yesenia turns to us and says, how do you become a member of the church? and so we told her through baptism and what it means to be baptized and she just kept saying que bonito! and then after we finished that she asked us what does someone do in order to get baptized! and we told her and then she said que bonito! and so i asked her if it is something that she would like and she said yes very much!! It was so great! We sat next to her in sacrament and explained to her what it meant to eat the bread and water and she just kept say que bonito and asking about different things it was so awesome. At the end her and her mom said that they will keep coming! 

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! I testify of the cleaning and healing power of the sacrament. I know it is the MOST IMPORTANT reason we come to church. A few members said yesterday in church that when they go and miss the sacrament its like they missed church that week. I know that it has such great power and that with out it we cannot of the spirit with us all the time. BUT if we renew those covenants each week we have His promise to have His spirit. I love this gospel and I love my Savior. Next time you take the sacrament please read and ponder about what the prayer says. Really think about what it means and ask Him for help to do better that coming week. I know that He lives and is with us. That He suffered so that He could succor us. Like a child. He is there and can only help us but we have to reach out to him Matt 11:28-30. The way to reach out to Him is to pray and to read of Him! of His life and of His miracles. I know that Miracles are real. That they are all around us. That God protects us with His angels, with our angels. I love this gospel. It real. Its true. its not just a fad or a your choice of religion, its a way of life. Its not just A way of life but its THE way of life. The path to return to our Father in Heaven. Thats where I want to be, with my family forever. Its possible, and worth it. 

Love you all!
Hermana Koch 

Waiting for hermana Jensen... I'm so tired.

 Hna Crandall, Pedderson and Jensen!!! 
Waiting for the other hermanas to exchange!


I love my Hermana Hill 

the dino disolving egg oatmeal

wongo bongo time

Papaya milk and sugar = best thing ever!

 Homemade corn tortillas by me!

Proof that I now like Emergency! 
I feel like that was a stupid picture to send every body hahaa

Drawings from the hermano who was teachings principios del evangelio

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10,2014: Canyon Lakes Area: What a life

 Elisabeth Maria Margaretha above my bed!
(She found a family member on Family Search and is now doing her work)

This week was wonderful! We had lots of miracles :) 
AHHHHH WELCOME WYNN ELIZABETH GESSEL TO THE WORLD!!! I will have to write her an ode this week and send it in my next email! haha :) That is so exciting! She is so beautiful! Congratulations Natalie and Andrew :) She is so cute! and I bet she is already dancing.
Remember how I told you about the super adorable woman last week where she just invited us in and wanted us to come back the next night! So Monday night after Pday we went over to her house! Right after I had written that email! We took a member with us and we taught her the restoration. It was awesome, she thought it was beautiful and at the end we were testifying of the Book of Mormon, in the middle of it she looked at her phone, and she is really polite but she was in a panic to answer this call because it was from where she is from and usually it is something wrong with her brother she said. So she was on the phone for quite a while and she got off and told us that her brother was in a situation that people were pursuing him to kill him and that they didn't know where he was or if he was ok, she was crying and immediately asked that we offer a prayer. We hugged her and sat down to pray and had a very fervent prayer that her brother would listen to the spirit and be safe and that she would have peace and know that everything is in the Lord's hands. When we finished the prayer, we had the chance to testify of the comforting power of the Lord through the Book of Mormon! She said she was going to read it after we leave and was so thankful that we had one to give her! The member was so sweet and comforting her and just a few minutes after the prayer right after we had finished testifying of the Book of Mormon she got a call! It was her brother telling her that he was safe! And that he was ok and that he was coming to her. It was an amazing experience and she was crying and thanking us and telling us that she new God sent us there to be with her in that moment and we talked about how there are no coincidences with God and it was just a beautiful experience! She and her mom came to church on Sunday and before we could talk to them about it she asked US if we were coming over the next night (tonight) to teach them. They are such a beautiful sweet family and we are so thankful to the Lord that we get to be a part of their lives and get to be tools to help them come closer to God. :) it was really amazing! I love the mission!! So many wonderful happenings :) I'm sorry I don't share much about actual people and things its just that I don't feel comfortable especially over the internet! I would never want to give too much information of someones life :/
ALSOOO on Tuesday night! It was super fun! They asked us missionaries! To help them teach fe en dios! Translating faith in God. Which is probably like achievement days? or maybe it's it's own thing and I'm super lame and have no idea so lets just move on hahha 

ANYWAY! It was really fun. When the girls got there they gave them little slips with their  name on it and boxes #1-8 and they had little booths with games set up all around the gym! Their leaders did a bunch of fun different games at the booth and then they asked us missionaries to do 3 booths! OH! btw. (when I say us missionaries it usually means the missionaries in our ward... which are me and Hermana Jensen, Elder Barney and Elder Langinbelik... pretty much the coolest people ever. Elder Langinbelik is from Hawaii and the best so I will definitely be paying him a visit when I get home because now I know someone who lives in Hawaii! How cool am I?) haha sorry off topic. but oh ya really fast dad's gonna love this... HE KNEW IZ. yes he did. yep that's how cool I'm talkin) 

Anyway so we all had a booth and it was really fun. Ours had to be something that had a spiritual message! Hermana Jensen had a gospel footprints game, Elder Barney had another gospel game called ricky ticky tacky and then I was doing the be- attitudes! haha for every be attitude we got to paint one nail! haha representing coloring our spirits with goodness and then adding a little bit of sparkle to it! haha I didn't think it was going to be a big hit but then I started getting backed up so while I painted nails Elder Langinbelik explained the BE attitudes and then put some sparkles on their nails haha it was fun :) Anyways so the point of all of this was that, in the end we explained the Plan of Salvation to them with a map and then when we got to the 3 kingdoms of glory, the hermana came out and separated them into 3 groups one groups was the girls who chose to do all 3 spiritual booths, then the next 2 and then the next 1! Then they took them into 3 different rooms. She explained that the activities were their life on earth being tried and tested! So they took them to the 3 rooms of glory all decorated accordingly and that was your judgement! It was nuts! super cool. Loved it :) and I love little girls they are so sweet :)
Last few side notes... I TRANSLATED ON SUNDAY!! Meaning... their are some people in the ward who's families speak spanish but they don't! So our ward has head sets that they pass out and then someone sits on the stand and translates into a head set microphone Spanish to English. So Elder Barney and I did that and that was quite the adventure! Luckily I only accidently said 2 words in spanish ahahah. It's really hard to translate Jesucristo to Jesus Christ I'm just saying. Pretty sure that the only reason that I was able to do it was because those people probably really needed to hear the talk so God definitely helped me out :) 
Alsooo I had a really funny dream and I spoke spanish in it and I don't remember much but I remember I was home from my mission and I was with another girl and we were in this square like (Time Square) and I ran into Derek and we were talking and talked for a while I have no idea about what anyway... so I go walking away up the stairs and Derek comes running at me and tackle/pushes me over and goes! I forgot!!!! HABLAS ESPANOL!!! hahah and I said..... NOOO NO HABLO ESPANOL! and it was really funny in my mind and now that I'm typing it it sounds dumb but I thought it was funny and a totally normal mine and Derek relationship moment but you kinda had to be there. Anyway. oh! and we had a family history open house on Saturday and I found 22 more people!!
YA! this week was amazing and I just love being a missionary!  The church is so true. I know that the more we come closer and surround ourselves in Christ's light we will never want to go back and stay in the lesser light or darkness. And if we do, we will never be as happy as we were. John 8:12. He is the light of the world. Every day can be happier! brighter! and more yellow! If we try to come closer to Him :) He is ready to bless us! I love my savior. I love you all, I know that the family is the most sacred and God-like unity we have on the earth to do, and because of that, we have a responsibility to grow closer to each other and help one another draw closer to our Master :) 
Love you!
Hermana Lizzie Koch  

Brother Dixon and I !!!!

Car Fun

Ice on trees!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014: Canyon Lake Area: Stark Contrast

Hola HOLA!! 
    Hello my lovely family! How is everything going? Obviously Heavenly! 
Such great things happening with the Koch Kingdom!!! I am so happy that everything is going so well. 

So the news I've been hearin through the grape vine is that TODAY is March 3.. in exactly 9 months I will be coming home on a plane. haha This week has quite possibly been the worst week ever! BUT ALSO THE MOST AMAZING ONE!!! I feel like Satan has just been blasting me! I am SO TIRED. SO EMPTY. and still goin :D It was definitely a shock when I thought about how long I've been out. And that it's half way gone... FYI to missionaries... don't even do that... it induces a sudden panic attack that really helps nothing but Satan. Satan is my brother and so I love him, but I do not have to like him! and that is what I have to say about that!
Just a side note I took a break right here to go eat at Chic-fil-a. We and a couple other missionaries went to Chic-fil-a and they held the door for this woman and I said to her, I love your hair! and she said oh my hair? and was pointing up with her ice cream cone (hardly eaten) and it dropped... on the cold hard ground.(accidental Taylor Swift reference) and we all saw her face and I immediately said. CAN I BUY YOU A NEW ONE! and she yes. So I bought it for her and as I was buying it she talked to Elder Barney and she sat down with us and had a lesson! She was super cool... and then we got here :) 

Now for the miracles this week! There were so many but I just want to share like 2!
1. We are just over here swimming in the Canyon Lakes of miracles! There were so many beautiful experiences this week! So the day after zone conference Hermana Jensen and I were on the computer because Hermana Jensen was doing some 12 week training. So we decided that it would be a good time since we had the opening to check out familysearch.org.  Well my story with family history is that I have never wanted to really do it, or rather I have but I didn't know how, and I for some weird reason had been under the impression that all of my families had been done! So I decided to go on and start clicking and going as far back on my tree to see where I came from, and all of these people had their work done, and when I would get pretty far back into the tree I would accidently close out and get frustrated because I had no idea where I got there! So on the last try I started going back! and I clicked on a man at pretty much the very end of that branch and it said that He needed to still be sealed to his spouse!! And I was ecstatic! I thought wow! That's great my parents could do that! I'll let them know!! SO I clicked on his wife, Elisabeth Maria Margaretha Schuritz and saw that NONE of her work had been done! And I got sooo jittery and ecstatic and I caught the spirit of Elijah! It was incredible. I felt like the veil was so thin and that Elisabeth had been waiting for me to find her. I later found that her children need their work as well and us missionaries are going to do it :) I am so happy. I feel so much power from the other side of the veil and I know that there are people waiting! I felt such a tender spirit and so happy especially because she and I have the same first two names, just spelled a tiny bit different ;) I am so happy and I want other people to feel this joy and happiness! I can't wait to help people do this!
Something cool mom is that the family history brother at the church was talking to me and he said the name thing might not be a coincidence, that that very well could have been her trying to impress you so that I could find her :) 

2. LAST NIGHT! So yesterday I just felt funky it was weird, and I just felt like Satan was just throwing me off BUT I wasn't letting him stop me. I was doing what I needed to do because I knew the best way to fight him is by doing what you are supposed to, fighting him with the tools God gives us. We were at the end of the night and we didnt have any set appointments so I said Hermana Jensen I am mixed. I am feeling pulled in so many different directions. She says I am feeling really strongly that we need to go talk to.... And so I said OK! I turned the car around and we went. So this family is very sweet. A couple of weeks ago we knocked on their door and talked to the kids and they said their mom wasn't home and that she would be interested. Well we kept going back and kept missing her! So we went back last night! We knocked on the door and she opened it and said immediately to us, "come in!" in spanish of course haha. We sat down and started talking with her and had a lesson! She told us that she texted last night a preacher that she knows to ask when his church was and where because she felt like she needed to go to church and he didn't text her back! So she showed me the text to prove she wasnt lying and then she said God sent you two to me! I am going to go to your church! It was aamzing and we are teaching her family the restoration tonight :)
I love this work it's amazing! EVERYONE needs it! D&C 18:10 God wants all His children to come home. Spread the word. Hermano Pina de la Setenta came to visit our Stake's Conference and it was amazing! All about sharing with those you love! and we had zone conference on family history work! It was amazing! do your family history work! It is incredible and it allows you to feel the spirit so strong!
Hermana Koch

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Feb 24, 2014: Canyon Lakes Area: HOLA HOLA ALMOST HALF WAY THIS STINKS

      Well this week was awesome! It really was... We saw sooo many miracles!!! AND BEST PART WAS... it was because of OBEDIENCE! So the miracle I want to share is, during the week one of the mornings the alarm when off and something happened, we didn't hear it, it turned off we weren't really sure, but as a result, we woke up at 7:30 with a jult! I immediately got onto my knees after freaking out for a minute and prayed fervently asking Heavenly Father to please help me to feel Godly sorrow for being disobedient and a bad example to my companion and so that I can learn the importance of obedience. So I felt really bad throughout the morning, but I could feel the spirit and we had to work! So we went out! That day was REALLY HARD. It was really hard. I had somewhat at that point not really correlated the fact that it was because we got up late. But NO ONE was interested in our message! We talked to A LOT of people and they all would talk to us about religion and we'd share with them the message that we had and NO ONE was interested. It was like they could feel the spirit, BUT they just weren't interested. It was super duper hard. I remember getting on my knees that night and praying so hard, telling Heavenly Father that I felt like I wasn't doing anything, I was praying that my new missionary wasn't feeling discouraged and that she somehow didn't notice what was going on haha, and asking Heavenly Father with all of my heart what I was doing here. I remember feeling like I wasn't making any difference in the ward, that if I hadn't been there or even gone on my mission another missionary who works harder could be there and could make a difference. I remember saying to Him in closing, Am I even making a difference, and then I went to bed. 
The next morning we SPRUNG out of bed on time! We were exactly obedient back on track without event thinking about the day before! That day was AMAZING!! It was fantastic! We saw so many miracles! That night specifically though is what I want to share, we went to our last appointment for that night, it was a family in our ward who isn't all active and is so incredible though! We had a normal lesson, it was awesome and we felt the spirit! We invited them to read the family proclamation to the world and handed it to the Hermana and as we handed it to her she burst into tears thanking us. She said that all she could say was thank you. That even though we have only been visiting them for a couple of weeks, we have made a HUGE difference in their lives. She told us that we are angels sent from God and that we are making such a difference and that she feels so much unity in her family now, that they are slowly having more time together and that they are happy. She said a lot of different things and then we promised her that God would never forget her or leave her, that He knows her and sent us to their family. We ended with a hymn and then Hermana asked if she could say the closing prayer, it was such a beautiful prayer that made me cry as I sat and listened to her thank God with such sincerity and asked Him to bless us and the watch over us. It was amazing and we left their house so full of love. That night I remember praying to Heavenly Father and crying to Him and thanking Him for how quickly and directly He answered my prayers, and as I talked with Him He revealed to me several other instances in which He immediately answered my prayers. I know He is there and I know that He is always listening. I know that this area is really picking up and that He has given us miracle after miracle this whole weekend because He loves us! He loves them! And He showed me the importance of obedience.

I love this work!! We saw sooo many incredible miracles this week but I don't really have time to share much more!!! ACCEPT!! WE FOUND THESE AMAZING NEW INVESTIGATORS AND I LOVE THEM SOOO MUCH!! WE ARE PRAYING REALLY HARD FOR THEM AND CANT WAIT TO TEACH THEM AGAIN!!

sooooo lessons learned this week... so many

1. there are no coincidences... when you want to take the fish tank out that the elders randomly have in their apartment wait until it feels just right and then the Lord will put someone in your path that just happens to be sitting on the back of their truck smoking and being super awesome and wants it and then asks if they can go to our church because they are looking for one
2. never doubt how cool life is. Hermana Jensen definitely knows the cat came back song and I taught her the hand motions and it was the greatest moment of my life!
3. homemade woopie cushons do not work. they are more like a booster seat
4. don't judge a book by its cover
5. listen to the spirit and have faith that you have something special that someone around you needs to hear!!



Hermana Koch

ps: parents have you ever heard of the temple patron contribution fund? ;) just heard about it and yep that's all I want to say..