Sunday, June 30, 2013

Half Way done with the MTC

Hey everybody! I am Sister Albright's favorite sister and will be updating her blog for you! If you post any comments, I will pass them on to our sweet missionary!! I might add a few of my thoughts into her letters, but if I do I'll keep them in parenthesis, so you'll know its me!

So this week has been great and weird, as all weeks are haha. The broadcast was amazing of course!   Click here for link to broadcast.. can you see Heidi?  I hope it inspired you to be the member missionaries that you are! Elder Nelson and Elder Holland waved to us missionaries and we all waved back so that was fun. It was such a cool experience to be in the choir. You won't see me in the video, but when I get home I'll pause the screen on a shot of the crowd and point out where I was haha. But it was so inspirational.  Just being in the same room as the apostles was amazing. I know that they have been called of God and that they talk to Him everyday.  What a blessing it is to live in this day and age! 

I Love devotionals they are so great!  We also had Sister Janice Kapp Perry come on Tuesday, she's the lady that wrote all the best primary songs. (Primary is the program that we have in the church for kids ages 3-11)  She and her husband were so cute! But it was amazing to be able to sing her songs with her as well, and then we sang the new version of The Sisters in Zion/Helaman's Army. Oh man we all felt the Spirit so strong! Have you heard the new version yet?

Sad news, I have no idea where the pillow room is.  (We are all wondering, what is the pillow room?? Anybody know what she is talking about??) I'm thinking of recruiting Scott to try to find it haha. (Scott works in the MTC, and we are all red with envy that he gets to see Heidi every week!)  But also, for all you Elders out there that know what I'm talking about, Sisters don't have Narnia Holes!!!  (Can anybody tell us that one?!) I think that was the saddest moment for me when I found that out hahaha but we definitely still have fun together in our halls and give each other little gifts all the time so it's all good.

The weeks feel like days and the days feel like weeks. It's so weird.  But we are now the oldest district in our zone! We are already great-grandparents! Can you believe that? I'm going to be "like the crypt keeper" by the time I leave here haha! We just got two new districts on Wednesday, of sixteen Elders! So we are officially off balance again, with more Elders than Sisters. But in our district, we just lost another Elder to Columbia so now there's more sisters than Elders for us! So weird.  It's crazy being the oldest because I still feel like I don't know anything. And one district underneath us in the intermediate Spanish class, so they definitely know more Spanish than we do! But it's coming. The gift of tongues is real for sure! There is no way we would be able to know half of the words that we do without it.

I am now the second Sister Training Leader, so hopefully someone else gets called to computers soon! Because it's crazy town.

Visa News! Hermana McChesney's mom said that we should be able to get our visas by august! So we'll probably be reassigned. And we are probably definitely sticking with the Neuquen Mission! Woot Woot! That's all I know though.  But a couple people in my zone have been reassigned right next to or in their home town...How hard would that be?
I'm loving my "investigators." It's so crazy how real it seems sometimes. (In the MTC volunteers, who are members, come in and pretend to be people investigating the church.  The missionaries are able to practice teaching them the lessons.)   And it's going to be ten times more intense when we get out there! It's so weird to think that we are already halfway done! The time has just FLOWN by! Ah! 

Well I hope all is well with you all! And that you are all able to recognize the love of God and His hand in your lives! I know that He lives, and I know that He loves us. Sometimes it's hard to recognize all the blessings in our lives, but every time I take the time to notice mine I am amazed.  We are all so blessed! I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I know that he speaks God's words. I know that Joseph was a true prophet. I am so grateful for all that he went through so that we could have the restored Gospel on the Earth.  And to think, he was only 14 when he prayed! I know that we can all achieve greatness when the Lord is on our side, and when we are on the Lord's side! We are children of God, and have infinite potential.  I hope you realize that. Love you all!

A Dios! Hermana Albright

Friday, June 21, 2013

 Heidi and her companion matching, she says this was totally unplanned, but as they are companions, I have to wonder about this!
Heidi, (Hermana Albright) and her entire District matching, which, according to Heidi, totally WAS her idea!! Nice to see she still has her same sense of fun! Love her!
Heidi's entire zone! Heidi, Hermana Albright, is on the right kind of behind her companion who is wearing a yellow sweater. Heidi herself is in mauve.

This is also my zone! By Tuesday, they'll all have left and we'll be the oldies! Ah so crazy! next week i'll have a picture of all the new districts it's gonna be awesome and ginormous!  And in my district picture the elders are from left to right, E. McIntire, E. Keetch, E. Pugmire, E. Gonzalves, E. Palmer, and E. Bleazard.  Elder Bleazard is now in the Columbia MTC! We miss him. Then the sisters are H. Stanley, H. Albright, H. McChesney H. Roper, H. Peterson, and H. Haven.  I love my district!
Hello hello!
All right, I´ll start off answering questions so I make sure that I hit them all. 
First off, Sundays! Sundays are amazing.  We have personal study for an hour, then the sisters get to all go to Music and the Spoken Word, which is awesome! Then we have combined relief society, with super amazing speakers every week.  Then we have lunch and some leadership meetings and then at two our zone has sacrament meeting together.  Everyone prepares a talk in Spanish about a certain topic, and the speakers are announced right then and there! Kinda scary the first week, but it´s good.  Then more leadership meetings, temple walk, and dinner, followed by choir practice! I love being in the choir. Then we have a devotional by yet another great speaker, and then after that you can either go back to your classroom and study or watch a nice Sunday film.  We like to watch the Sunday films.  Haha enjoy them while we can! Somewhere in there is a district testimony meeting too. The speakers are so amazing though and they always say exactly what I personally need to hear.  This past Sunday was a little different because we got a new Branch President, President Lindahl.  I LOVED President Peer so I was sad at first, but now that I´ve met President Lindahl it´s all good because he is just as inpired as President Peer, and is exactly what the new missionaries in our zone need.  He´s so great.  Well anyways, what with that and Father´s Day and a super strong Spirit coming through all the talks and everything, I was pretty much crying the entire day haha. Hopefully that won´t happen every Sunday
This coming Sunday is also different than normal! (as if I know what normal is yet haha) Because we're having the world wide missionary broadcast! Whoohoo! So we get to go the Marriot Center, and because I'm in the choir I get to sing in a choir of two thousand five hundred missionaries and members for the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles! I'm so stoked! So if you can, try to find out where and when it's being broadcasted in your area, and go watch it! It's going to be amazing! I'm so excited to hear the Apostles of God live! And they're going to be here all week so I might 'accidentally' bump into one of them sometime.  But ya, go watch it! And wave to me!
So as an online coordinator, I am in charge of making sure everyone knows the rules of the computers.  I also get to help the new district out with the computers and make sure they understand all the different programs that we use. And I help out anyone whenever their account or computer isn't working.  It's so great to have an extra opportunity to serve others.  But I also love it because then I get to go to the new district meetings and hear all their testimonies and get to know them all. It's great! I love it!  For my first week with it, my companion and I did have to go on exchanges for it, so I went with the Sister Training Leader and my companion went with the Sister Training Leader's companion.  But now my companion is the new Sister Training Leader, so it works out perfectly! 
When we came in, we were the largest group ever.  There were over 900 new missionaries on June 5th! So much fun! But they expect that in the middle of July our record will be beat out, so we'll have to see! It's so exciting how many people are giving their all to the Lord.
So on a typical day, we teach one of our "progressing investigators" aka one of our teachers.  That's super stressful but definitely needed.  We have either one or two class "periods" that last for three hours.  We have gym time...going outside is THE BEST! We can take our shoes off for beach volleyball or run around or stretch in the grass, it's awesome.  Tuesday's we have a service assingment, which for our zone is cleaning bathrooms.  That sounds terrible but it's actually quite hilarious if we get there in time to do the showers.  Because you get suited up (I'll send a pic next week we're so goofy looking) and then get to spray the showers down. It's like a water fight and soap war with the walls hahaha and they definitely fight back! We usually get pretty wet. I love it it's so fun.  Tuesdays we also have another devotional, which is also just as amazing as the Sunday ones.  And the choir gets to sings for those every time.  On Thursdays we have TRC, where we teach Spanish speaking members.  They're so nice and uplifting I love it! I met one brother who served in the Las Vegas Centennial Hills ward, and knew Brother Edwards! Holla! So shout out to Brother Edwards, he said to say hello! But I only know that his first name is Spencer...sorry. Then Fridays are P-days woot woot!
I have seen Scott!! I hang out with him in the laundry room every Friday.  It's kind of my favorite part of P-days haha. It's so great to see him! I just got a pic with him, so I'll send that next week as well.
The food is good.  It's exactly the same as the Cannon Center at BYU.  Sometimes the processed foods get a little old and then you have cereal or a wrap and it's all good again!
The affirmations came from Grandpa, when he served as a mission president in Florida.  He said he had his missionaries read them every day and now I know why!
Haven't heard anything about my visas yet sorry.  But pretty much all of the older district that was going to Peru just got reassigned to the states.  We'll see what happens there!
One thing that I've especially learned here is the power of prayer.  Holy cow is it a powerful thing! I know that every time we prayer, Heavenly Father is listening to what we are saying and how we feel, and I know that He will always answer our prayers.  I've grown so much closer to my Father in Heaven as I have poured my heart out to Him continually.  Every time I need extra help or to feel His love a little more, He guides the people in my life to say exactly what I need to hear and I know that He will do the same for all of you as well. What a tender mercy prayer is. Through it, we can talk to and receive help from the most powerful being in the universe, and we have the privilege to call Him Father. I hope you all know how important you are to Him and how much He wants to hear from you and bless you. Because He does. He loves you, His child, and wants the best for you.
I hope you all have a great week!
A Dios,
Hermana Albright

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Heidi and her gramma and grampa Albright, and her dad, on the night she got set apart.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hola! The MTC has been so amazing this week! We've had so many spiritual experiences.  Sunday devotionals were super awesome, and then we had another amazing devotional on Tuesday! And that was in the Marriot Center for the first time ever!!! How crazy is that? It was so weird to be in the Marriot worlds collided! Especially because I was sitting by Sister Gabrielle Cruz and Sister Carley Porter, friends from college. So crazy! But so great!! The Spanish is definitely coming along now! We have a saying here in the MTC (or CCM in espanol) which is Speak Your Language! So we try to speak our language all day every day, which is how we can learn it faster.
So a couple funny stories about this week: Our investigator Carlos was having problems remembering to pray, so my companion and I gave him a prayer rock to put by his bed and remind him to pray! Hahaha it was so great! I love prayer rocks! But then the next day, he was our teacher!!!! And he definitely had a good laugh with us about the rock.  He said it's now on display in his apartment haha. But it's so great because we can have immediate feedback now as we teach him about what we need to improve on.  He's definitely going to push us to be way better. But anyway...PRAYER IS SUPER IMPORTANT! Let me know if any of you want a prayer rock, because prayer is definitely the best thing that you can do to receive help with anthing.
About Monday and Tuesday was when our minds stopped working.  No one in my district could speak in either English OR Spanish well hahaha it was basically a train wreck. But we got through it and now both languages are doing great again!
Sorry about the no names on the picture last week! So Hermana Albright (me! haha) is on the far right, with her companion Hermana Stanley.  Hermana McChesney (Brown hair) and her companion Hermana Hafen (blonde hair) are in the middle (if I'm remembering correctly...I can't see the picture right now haha whoops. They both have super long hair though if I'm wrong about where they are in the picture).  They are both going to Argentina Neuquen too! And Hermana McChesney was one of the girls that I was able to meet before. And then Hermana Roper (blonde) and Hermana Peterson (brown) are both going to Peru.  They were supposed to go to the MTC there but they haven't gotten their visas yet.  I love them all so much! They're all super nice, super funny, and super spiritual.  It's awesome.
We got a new district in our zone this week, so I am now a parent! Haha it's crazy how fast everything comes here! But it's great.  And I was called as the Online Coordinater, so I have been able to spend a lot of time with this new district.  They're all super awesome and going to be amazing missionaries.  All the sisters are going to Guatemala and the Elders are going to Mexico City West! So Elder LeFevre is going to be getting a small army in a couple of weeks! They're amazing.
Oh and something really weird happened...our teacher is now our new investigator! He has been our spiritual giant this whole time, the one that helps us to always have the Spirit and reminds us of the importance of our work, and now we have to help him overcome problems. :/ As we say in espanol, que raro! We teach both our investigators again on Monday so I'll let you know how that goes!
One thing that is really cool in our zone is that we have a motto "Obedience brings blessings.  But EXACT obedience brings miracles."  I have definitely found that to be true so far! As we are all obedient to the standards that we have been given, we have been able to have the Spirit guide us in our lessons and have been able to learn Spanish super well.  It's awesome! And it applies to real life as well :D because who doesn't need a little miracle or two in their life? Living by the standards is such a blessing and will help us be able to feel closer to the Savior and be happy.
A Dios!
Hermana Albright

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hello!!! Life has been pretty great these last couple of days. It's weird, I already feel like I've been here forever! The Spirit is always so strong here, it's amazing! But you know how everyone says that you have so much TIME to study for everything??? Well they lied.  We're constantly in classes and lectures that are super beneficial and awesome, but we never feel like we have enough time to study for teaching our lessons! Hopefully it'll get better. More on that later.
So the first day was definitely all sorts of craziness! I saw Sister Gabby Cruz, Sister Carly Porter, Sister Chrisiana Davis (a girl from my el ed major classes), Elder Alec Johnson, and a ton of people from my freshman ward! Whoo!!! Two of them are going to Las Vegas West mission, so keep a look out in a couple of months for some great sisters from BYU! We had some awesome lessons/firesides, where we learned that you have to totally focus on the Spirit and the investigators in your lessons.  My companion is Sister Camille Stanley, one of the girls that I already met and LOVE!!!! Ah don't you love the blessings of the Lord? She's great!
Yesterday we went to our normal study class (we have the same classroom for pretty much everything all day long) and our teacher informed us that we would be teaching our first investigator in Spanish that night!!! AH!!!! So Hermana Stanley and I had three hours to prepare a lesson and translate it into Spanish, because we were the last companions to meet with the investigator. And we had no teacher at this time, besides the Holy Ghost.  As we were sitting outside waiting for our turn, one of the sisters from the older district in our zone challenged us to do the lessons completely by the Spirit...meaning no notes, no dictionaries, nada! Just our scriptures and our Preach my Gospels.  So we did! And it was crazy! We definitely were led by the Spirit to go in a completely different direction than the one we had planned, which would have been great if we had known the vocabulary for it! Haha but it went okay I think, and he agreed to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon! Hooray! We've yet to find out if we're teaching him again tonight or not, so I'll let you know how that goes!
The Spanish is coming fast, mostly because it's necessary haha. We said our first prayers in Spanish yesterday (my first one was DURING the lesson with the investigator--woah!) and we have been working hard to get all the vocab we need. Conjugations are kinda on the backburner for now though haha. Also, it's getting harder to talk in English! The few words that I do know in Spanish just come out! So that's cool.  OH! And one of the girls in our district had a Spanish dream last night.  It was really funny because she was talking in Spanish in her sleep, and refused to believe it in the morning, but we all heard her! It's awesome though because she's the one that has been stressing out about the language the most, so we know that she can do it now!
We met our Branch President last night and his councilors and they are all AMAZING!!! He is one super inspired man.  Apparently, he quotes your patriarchal blessings to you in interviews--that's how deep into your soul he can see. It's so crazy! I definitely have come to know the miracles that the Spirit can bring already!  
Funny story about the Branch President: when I shook hands with him he said: Wow! You are so short! I didn't notice before...probably because of your dynamite personality." hahaha I keep forgetting how short I am sometimes, it just seems so normal to me now!
Well anyways, I hope you all are having a great week! Thanks mom and dad for the letter! It was great to hear from you! I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for your constant, amazing examples to me! And I'm also grateful for all that you have taught me, it's definitely super useful here! I love you and I miss you so much!
I'll send a picture of the girls in my district/my roommates. They're all so great and super spiritual.
A Dios,
Hermana Albright