Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 28, 2014: Conroe area: Ella se va. Me quedo con bendito Conroe

Jose Alfredo!

Hna Buno and I are so unified we even accidently matched when we were away 
from each other on exchanges.

Hola Hola Hows it going everybody!!! 

Ok I have to say.... I LOVED ALLLL THE PICTURES FROM THE LAKE HOUSE!!!!!!! but.......... I knew what was coming when I heard that the boys were dancing and I clicked on that picture so hopeful... and there he was in the back! SIR THOMAS SMITH WHIPPIN OUT MY FAVORITE DANCE MOVE OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even tell you how much I miss that!!!! hehehe I busted up in laughter just so happy to see Tommy's classic move. love it. I love him. 

JOSE GOT BAPTIZED WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WHAT WHAT. So happy such an incredible MIRACLE!!! It was so like last minute and it worked out just beautifully. Our ward is so wonderful and supportive :) Sorry this week I don't have hard core details about every day! I don't have a ton of time! But this week was mainly weeding and such :) We went to the temple and had specialized training that was awesome! We also had exchanges! :)

So this week we did a lot of finding! A little less teaching because we were contacting a lot and trying to find the prepared!! :) Exchanges were fun, I love hermana Carter :) She is darling! She goes home next transfer and goes to BYU so she will start school again the semester before me :) We found some new people! One woman named Vilma let us in and she is darling! We asked her if she knew of anyone who would like to hear a message and she said her neighbor downstairs! SOOO we went to her and she said to come back the next day! We had a beautiful lesson with her about the restoration and she shared a lot with us about her hard life! She really wants to know if this is true! If we have a living prophet! :) She is so sweet and her name is Laydi and she is from El Salvador!!! I don't know what it is but everyone we find and I am drawn to are from El Salvador! I love that country! Well the people from there. 

The temple was beautiful as usual and I want to go back. It's so tough because I keep getting early morning sessions and so I can't go and do baptisms for all my peeps that need to be baptized! The training was just incredible and we learned so much about being obedient and taking the lead in things. The president said some things that I really needed to hear in the interview :) He is just wonderful! :) He is really inspiring. 

Ok so the baptism! :) 

We didn't know if it was going to happen! Things had been a little bit iffy so we hadn't secured the day with the church! WELLLL JOSE PASSED HIS INTERVIEW AND HE WAS READY! So we had to figure everything out like...... 2 days before the baptism hahah luckily we have a wonderful, wonderful ward. And everyone is so dedicated!! It helps that like over half of them or even 3 quarters are converts to the church so they are so pumped and supportive!! Our miracle was really that we got a spot in the calender! We found out that the bishop from another ward had booked the whole Saturday until late at night and we could do the baptism and so the only time we could was Sunday after church so Jose would have to wait until like the next Sunday to recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost! and that is noooooooooo bueno. So we just kept trying for earlier so we said Friday and they said that was booked too... and so then we were trying for Thursday and then they called us and by miracle we got Friday!! :) Jose was baptized and it was so beautiful. The talks were sweet and simple and 3 people shared their testimonies :) One of them being me... hehe and it was just really awesome! Hermana Buno and Kayliegh and I sang Lead Kindly Light and it was just I don't even know! The spirit was so strong :) Then afterwards the ward had prepared a whole meal!! Like almost a feast! for Jose! It was so awesome :) I asked him how he felt and he said he felt like the spirit touched him inside and he felt so good! The next day we came to visit him and he offered the most beautiful prayer thanking Heavenly Father for accepting him :) AHHHHH IT WAS SOOO SWEET!!! Sunday he was confirmed by Elvin Romero, Kayleigh's husband and he is officially a member!!! 

OH! ALSO!!! The Toro's like one of my favorite families on the planet who are from the Canyon Lakes ward, Laura's brother and two nieces showed up at our ward this Sunday as a surprise to say hi to me!! That was so sweet! I love them! :) 


I love my mission. It is so wonderful. I know the Lord loves us because He gives us the privilege to help one another and grow from it!! Everyday I grow more and more :) And it is so rewarding to see God's children grow as you help them understand the principles of the gospel!!! Not just by teaching but by being an example! :) Reach out to everyone!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!!!! <33333

Beautiful trees outside temple.

Hermana Buno y yo.

Surprise visit! Nick, Iley and Inessa!


We all signed this banner like Moroni.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 21, 2014: A WEEK IN CONROE

I got this hello kitty ring from Hales in the mail forever ago!!! haha but on it's way here from Japan it broke!! I FINALLY SUPER GLUED IT BACK TOGETHER!!!! LOVE YOU HALES!!! 



    This week was great! It was hard but sooo great! It was a little bit slower this week. haha The mission always has unexpected curve balls, haha especially when you are teaching people who have just moved here from other countries and randomly move or get a new phone and then your stress level shoots up and your sleep level decreases.  haha  I can only imagine what it is like for them! 
Well mom has asked for some updates on certain people and I will do that!  As well as, because it takes me soooooo long to type up everything that happened during the week.... I decided to just write it down each night on a piece of paper each night and then send yall a picture and you can read it off there if you'ld like haha :) SO BEFORE I GET TOOO CARRIED AWAY...

KATE AND IAN!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY 7TH ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe you have been married since I was.... 13? or just turned 14? I don't know haha anyway! crazy!! and IANNNNNN HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOODAYYYYYYYYYY! I LOVE YOU! YOU'RE AMAZING.

Ok so this week! I didn't get to finish on the paper!

Sunday: Jenni came to church! and we had a good lesson with Jose!
Fransisca: texted us and told us that she is going to go with her aunt to her church.
Pablo: haven't seen him all week but he's still super awesome. He is so kind to us and always tells us what good we are doing for other people!
Elena: Loves us! But thinks that the Lord wants her in the church that she was born into
Flor: moved... haven't heard from her.
Will: looking for a place to live and sleeping on someone's couch.. but we have off and on communication on the telefano.
Jose: getting baptized!!! maybe on thursday??
Paula and Mauricio: didn't come to church and I want to cry because we know that Paula wants to but she can't do anything about it.... we are thinking of just visiitng her during the day and having the elders give it a try teaching him. 

THIS WEEK WAS WONDERFUL!!! I love studying PMG TOGETHER!! You all inspire me sooo much! This week of emails was soo inspiring :) You all sent me the discussion and I loved it and then Haley du sent me an email about her health going on and about submitting to the Lord and it was wonderful. I am so so so happy and blessed. I can see the Lord spiritually strengthening all of us. Preparing His children no matter where they are in life! I learned a lot from what we studied but I don't have much time to write it all, but the quote by Brigham Young really hit me this time.

" No hay hombre o mujer en esta iglesia que no cumpla una mision......" we all will complete a mission. There isn't one of us who wont! It doesn't matter if we are a misionero de tiempo completo or if we are a member missionary or if we are a mom a dad a friend a brother or sister!!! WE WERE ALL SENT HERE to bless someone else. Christ came here to bless us. He gave His life for us. Not just physically on the cross, but also His WHOLE life. Not a minute of it did He spend not serving one of His brothers and sisters. We need to follow that example. SERVE SOMEONE THIS WEEK!! I love you all!!! Have a great week! <3
Con mucho amor,
Hermanita Koch


The necklace our Relief Society president gave to me!!! I get to look all stylin for church :) 

Our response to Fransisca's text... haha Kayleigh in the back. 
But we were really sad. haha seriously. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014: Conroe area: A WEEK LLENA DE MILAGROS

Morning run! Repin' my El Salvador jersey that I bought at fiesta hahaha

Hola Hola Queridos mios <3

    How is life?!! HERE IT IS FABULOUS AND HOT!!! We had a crazy and amazing week! SO full of miracles I can't believe how fast time is moving! The Lord truly blessed us here in Conroe and I can't wait to tell you about it as fast as I can!! Because we are going to Kayleigh's and watching some church movies haha!
First I have to start off by saying this whole week we made it a goal to contact 25 people everyday! Which is always a goal... but we wanted to be 100% the whole week. We didn't quite make it but we were SUUUUUUUPER CLOSE! and because we were trying to accomplish our righteous desires, the Lord gave us miracle after miracle! So I am going to point out the most exciting thing of each day!


   We were on our way back to our car to head to a different area/ go home because we weren't having any success and it was about time to return. Well on our way back to the car we saw in our main stairway, that we are always teaching people, a girl we had contacted that lives in the same apartment as all of our other investigators! haha Her name is Flor! She is so darling and from El Salvador! Well she looked sad so we decided to go cheer her up by telling her that God loves her! Looooong story short we taught her in the stairwell and people gathered haha so we ended up teaching a lesson to 3 people in the stairwell all of us just sitting there, it was awesome! Afterwards one of the guys that listened to us, who is a minster said that if we can prove to him that everything is in the bible he will convert. haha He is 27 and so we have been teaching him throughout the week! He has some different beliefs! He is so kind and supportive of our missionary efforts. And then of course because it was like the end of the night we ran into Will!!! and we taught him the Word of Wisdom! He loves the pamphlets so we give them to him and then he reads! He told us that he was going to read the Plan of Salvation one and then 2 pages in the Book of Mormon each day after that. He is a rock star I love him.

     Awesome lesson with Paula! She is so strong! We read her chapters 2-4 in the Book of Mormon because she didn't want us to stop! Then we taught her the restoration again and she said she knows it's true!! We went over the baptismal interview questions with Jose and he agrees with everything and loves the church! We just aren't sure he really understands it... so we will see.


    Ok I don't even know how to explain this day... I might have to take a picture of my journal and send it home because we saw sooo many miracles!!! Early in the day we met a woman named Elena who told us to come over to her house at like 5 and teach her. Then we met a woman named Francisca (also from El Savlador!!! I love the El Salvadorenians) and she was in so much pain and told us to come in! We immediately taught her about the priesthood and about how the hermanos could come give her a healing blessing and she excepted immediately! She told us to come back at 7. We then went to Paula's and picked up Kayliegh and we had an awesome lesson with her and then Mauricio came home! yayyy!!! He loved Kayleigh and it was awesome. Then we went back to Elena's! Where we had the most beautiful restoration lesson! We told her about the first vision and told her the words of Joseph Smith and asked her to close her eyes and imagine God and Jesus Christ coming to her. We then asked her how she felt and she just started crying!!!! and said that she felt something touched the top of her head! It was incredible! and we are going to visit her tonight! Then we went to Francisca's and she got a blessing and in it it said to be obedient to what the missionaries teach you and later we taught her and her daughter named Sandra the Restoration! Sandra said the prayer at the end after we taught her and she burst into tears!!! It was so sweet and special and we explained the spirit to her <3 We then went and talked with Pablo! He believes in Paul's ministry and that it is different than Christ's ministry. We talked and told him our purpose as missionaries and he decided he wants to study The Book of Mormon. It was a WONDERFUL NIGHT!!!!! The amount of new people we had to teach totaled up that night was 10!!!!!!!!! And obviously numbers don't matter but these numbers have faces and lives and families and I just felt an enormous amount of love that God has enough confidence in us to allow us to teach that many more of His children!!


     We did weekly planning and taught Flor about the Plan of Salvation and talked to Pablo some more!


     We got to see Will! We went over the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the things we have to do in this life to live with God again! It was awesome! He had an incredible spiritual experience while reading the pamphlets and he asked for more :) He is so spritually in tune! I hope someday he would be able to go on a mission! Then we had exchanges and Hermana Mcleary came to me and Hermana Buno went to the Woodlands area.


     We taught 3 fairly new people that we are teaching and they were sweet lessons. Kayleigh came with us! :) It was awesome to see the difference in the lessons we teach... becuase no matter how many times you teach the restoration during the day, I can promise you that every lesson will be different if you are teaching by the spirit! It's WONDERFUL!!!!! :) I got hna Buno back! We are really nervous about exchanges... my stress level went up like a thousand realizing that I won't be with hna Buno and I will soon be going home. Not going to talk about it.


    No one came to church even though they all told us they would. Jose came, we found him a ride but no one else did. I am really happy he did! He is so awesome. But we are going to have the elders start teaching him because we feel a little bit uncomfortable even though he is awesome. Anyway, ya but no one came and I just cried hahah. Which is funny because I've had my whole mission with majority of the time no one comes... but I cried. I really feel like I have given everything I have emotionally and spiritually to the people we are teaching here! I think about them ALLL THE TIME, and just want them to be happy. So clearly when they didn't come to church to get the blessings the Lord had sitting there waiting for them, I cried. Pleaded with the Lord a bit and came to the conclusion that it hurts so bad, and we sometimes get a little glimps of what Jesus went through. Even now when we all know what He did for us, we deny Him in lot's of different ways. Clearly I don't know the amount of pain and never will, but I understood a little bit more that I am a representative of Jesus Christ, and loving someone so much that it hurts is an honor.

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!! I READ AN AMAZING TALK THIS MORNING CALLED THE TONGUE OF ANGELS!!! Everyone read it. It will be good for you. It's my Elder Holland!!! Have a wonderful week!!!
Hermanita Koch

 Paula's ring!! It has her and Mauricios names on it <3333


My motivational picture wall!! Pictures sent from home and ones from the mission! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014: Conroe area: The Mortensens Have Arrived!!!!!!

The Mortensens Have Arrived!!!!!!


Hola Hola HOLA!!! 

     This week was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just feel like the little kid from the incredibles where He is just staring... and Mr. Incredible is just like what are you waiting for and he's like I DON'T KNOW! SOMETHING AMAZING I GUESS!!! haha this week was seriously SO awesome. Too much to write, so I'll just tell you some things and then someday later I'll share with you the journals entries! haha


Goodbye to the Pingrees :( We got a sweet email from them, it made me so sad! They just signed it with their names, not president and sister! ahhh. but it's ok because they will always be in my heart :)

We had a noche de hogar (FHE) with Jenni and with a family in the ward and it was super awesome! We used Alma 50 and talked about the things we can do to build up weapons to defend our cities! Or in this case our families!! And Jenni was the one who answered!! She said all of them! She was like read together, pray together, do noche de hogar, go to church, get baptized haha we were just baffled it was awesome! and then she went to church on Sunday! She is basically a member! I love her so much!!


It was a good day :) Lots of things didn't work out but it's ok because it was great anyways! We got to visit lots of members and get close to them! We have been making quotes with them for our activity and using Proverbs 16:24 :) I love kind words! We had dinner with the relief society president and she is just the sweetest thing ever! :)

HERMANA BUNO HIT HER 6 MONTHS MARK!! and the Barrera's smashed cream in her face... and then I got hit as well... hahah lovely.


We got to participate in our youth's activity that night! It was a WATER BALLOON FIGHT!!!!! The youth poured pitchers of water on me. haha It was the most wet I've been for over a year!!!! I WAS SO HAPPY!!! haha it was really fun. I love working with the youth here. They need a lot of support and we have been building up relationships with them.


We got to visit one of our cute youth :) She is doing so much better and is so happy! I love their family! We did some language study with Kayleigh earlier it was so fun :) ahha she is such a crack up. Sometimes we get really distracted, but we are getting better. hahah


What I emailed to President Mortensen for my miracle!: (M) We saw SO MANY miracles this week! It was just wonderful. I don't even know which one to pick. But I think the one that was most apparent to me was that of making goals. We had a wonderful weekend and it was all because the Lord was inspiring us and guiding us the whole time. On Friday after our conference we reminded ourselves the whole day of our goal of talking to 25 people and it was amazing to see who the Lord put in our path as we were exactly obedient and put forth our full effort! Even down to being personally obedient. I personally have some tough allergies so I can't eat a lot of things, so we had to grab something to eat and instead of just eating the things I can't we decided to go to the only place where we could grab something quick that was healthy for me! So we went and there the Lord placed a family of 6 or 8 (ish) that had just moved into the area and wanted to find a church centered on families! We got their information and we are going to teach them this coming week! Throughout the day we contacted more and more people! Just acting on the first thought of where we should go and the spirit guided us to an investigator that we hadn't been able to contact in a while and he wants to get baptized! And then every person we talked to that day and the next accepted our message and wants us to come back! It was a MIRACLE! I personally had been praying and pleading with the Lord to help us find the prepared people and this weekend with action on our part, He answered my prayers. We even found a father and son who had been investigating in El Salvador and were about to get baptized but had to leave quickly and couldn't find the church here! 5 years later the father is allowing the son to choose which church to join but he still hasn't picked because SOMETHING has been stopping him. It is just incredible the miracles we see when we keep the Lord in our hearts and minds and always tell Him the goals we are trying to reach. He is blessing us and continues to bless us as we work harder and harder. He enlightens our minds and allows us to see the areas where we can improve and become even more obedient! I love this work and my Father in Heaven. I have truly felt the Savior walking beside me as we fulfill our missionary purpose.


SPECIALIZED TRAINING WITH THE MORTENSENS!!! Wow it was sooo fun to meet the Mortensens!! They are just sooo awesome!!! I love them so much! Sister Mortensen has such a tender spirit and so does President Mortensen!! He is SO BOLD. I LOVE IT! They told us all about their family and a lot of that part was about marriage ahha it was interesting! and awesome and adorable and cute and then President Mortensen was like, all things are done in ORDER. haha :) We had an amazing training and went home and made goals on how we can improve as a companionship and then applied them! Our whole energy and work ethic changed! We were on fire!! THE LORD BLESSED US WITH SO MY OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE MIRACLES! WE FOUND SO MANY NEW PEOPLE. There truly are prepared people everywhere we go. But sometimes they don't seem to be prepared until you as a Latter-Day Saint are doing what you are supposed to so that you are prepared to meet them! We ran into "W" and he is kind of hard to get a hold of! We were knocking on someone's door and he saw us!!!!! HE IS SO PREPARED! INSTEAD OF WALKING AWAY.... He stopped! We told him one second, finished our door approach and then went and talked to him! He was going somewhere but instead he invited us to go talk to him! WE had a beautiful lesson and really got to know who he is and what situation he is coming from! By the end of it he had thanked us because a lot of the things he shared he needed to get off of his chest and he told us that he knows he has found the truth and that we changed his life! Because he has found spiritual peace! AHHHH IT WAS SO AWESOME!! and so many more awesome things happened :) we Just found so many prepared people in the next two days as we reached our goals that the Lord had set for us! Saturday night we played volleyball and soccer as a ward and met some new people and invited them to church and spent time with the ward! It was amazing! Sunday was awesome we had like a 2 hour meeting from someone in our stake presidency who was in my last ward and it was awesome to see him! He recognized me it was so awesome! I really feel like we have become close with the ward as some of them openly talked about how they have really seen us help the ward and the Bishop keeps giving us people to visit! Its so awesome! I love it! I love this ward its amazing!!

I sent this to our mission president about our area!!

Our area is starting to pick up and progress! It seemed as though the training was just for us this past week! We are finding the need to really help people understand the commitments they need to keep and if not we are going to have to lovingly let them understand that we can't keep coming back! The people here are absolutely wonderful! In our area it seems like the Lord is having our focus be in young single adults! Everyone we have been finding lately have been YSA and that is really what our ward needs right now. Strong young adults! As well as young new families! I love Conroe so much. I have learned sooo much from the people here as the Lord has helped us get to know their spiritual needs!


I love this work with all my heart and I feel it break a little every time I think about being released as a servant of the Lord. It is truly an honor to feel the spirit guide you to help those in need. I cannot express the love I feel for my Savior and Father in Heaven for the wonderful experiences they have allowed me to have in my process of conversion. I know that as we dedicate ourselves to serving others the Lord makes us into the person we need to be. I testify that Christ lives. I know that He loves every single one of us the same for the differences that we have. He suffered for us so that we could have the ability to better ourselves and increase our talents. I know that He is aware of every one of us and that He is STILL on God's errand. And if I know that Christ is aware of me, how much stronger my faith grows and my knowledge is that I as well know that GOD IS AWARE OF ME. The almighty is aware of me. He loves me and He loves you! He blesses you as you support me and blesses me as I support you :) As we consecrate ourselves to help His church grow and bring others too it, we get the opportunity to know Him better.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!! :) <3 read the Book of Mormon everyday!!!!!!!!!! It's more important that we do so than we can comprehend!!!

Hermana Koch

Darling sister missionaries and future Mortensen sister missionaries. How sweet.

June 30, 2014: President and Sister Pingree go home!

I asked Lizzie how she felt about having her mission President and wife leave and getting a new one. Here is her response:

Well.... Pingrees going home... I feel... SOOO SAD. But so happy at the same time... because I know that I have a close enough relationship with them that I will see them a lot. :) I cried and hugged Sister Pingree for the last time and she hugged me and grabbed my face and said we are going to take trips down to Southern California! :)

I AM SO EXCITED TO MEET THE NEW ONES!!!! :) I AM SO THRILLED. I know that God provides a way and he chooses very specifically and for a reason! So I know that them coming in, means more hastening to the work! :) So exciting :) I think the world of them! That's what I think! already! I don't even know them haha but they are my mission parents and I am so excited to meet them and help them feel welcomed!! :)

President and Sister Mortensen

Dear Sisters and Elders –

Please find below a short biography from the Church News of President and Sister Mortensen who will be presiding over the Texas Houston Mission beginning July 1, 2014. They are spiritual, bright, capable people. Most importantly, I know that the Lord has called them to serve in this capacity and that the Lord will be able to advance the work through them during their service. If you are not already doing so, please include President and Sister Mortensen, and their children, in your prayers as they prepare for this new assignment. They will love serving with you, and I'm sure you will love serving with them.

With much love and respect,

President Pingree

Mark Alan Mortensen, 45, and Kristina Marie Borgquist Mortensen, six children, Northwood Ward, Irvine California Stake: Texas Houston Mission, succeeding President John C. Pingree and Sister Anne P. Pingree. Brother Mortensen serves as a counselor in a stake presidency and is a former counselor in a bishopric, elders quorum president, ward mission leader, seminary teacher and missionary in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission. CEO, Salus Homecare. Born in Bountiful, Utah, to H. Boyd Mortensen and Lucille Farthing Mortensen.

Sister Mortensen serves as a gospel doctrine teacher and is a former counselor in a ward Primary presidency, ward Young Women adviser and ward Primary teacher. Born in Huntington Beach, California, to D. Thomas Borgquist and Leslie Bleak Borgquist.