Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 13, 2015

Hola Familia/Amigos

Well, I don't even know where to begin, except with the fact it has
been an insanely good week! As you all know it was Mother's Day, so to
be honest I don't really know what to say, due to the fact that, I think
I told my family everything so I don't want to rewrite what I already
told them all! Ha ha jk, because the entire Skype call was about me
going home!

I have to admit that was super hard, because with so little of time I
have left, and wanting to finish as strong as possible, Skyping didn't
help but make me more trunky! However I have been praying a lot about
it all, and I know that I will be able to finish the way that the Lord
wants me to.

Monday was a wonderful day, with a few small things that happened.
Things that might set me back in life a few steps, however definitely
will not allow it to affect the Lord’s missionary work! Monday was
P-Day and with the new missionaries, and Elders here in the Zone we
went to the Woodland community center to play basketball, now remember
this is after the fact that I had played a full on tennis match that
morning. I happened to have an issue come up where I had to put my
shoulder back into place. Wasn't the funnest thing to do, however it
needed to be done.

That evening Elder Jeske and I had a super wonderful evening! We had a
super good dinner! It was a ton of fun, and I was trying my best to
open up to the sisters who are serving here in the branch! After dinner
is where the fun really began though, we had a family home evening
with the Luna Family in the home of the Rodriguez's! It was awesome!
Everything went super well, even though we had to leave early, to head to another
lesson. However we actually found out they didn't leave until 10 o’clock!
Ha ha they get along super well! Also another miracle that we
saw is that the boyfriend of Hermana Luna's daughter who is 18 came to
live with the Luna family so he could get a job, and save some money
up. He plans to marry their daughter, and he also told us tonight he
wants to be baptized into the same church as the Luna family! So we
set a Baptismal date for the last Saturday of my mission! Please pray
for Victor Correa that he will be able to make it for that baptismal
date, and that all will go well!

We also had a super good lesson, with a less active 21 year old, who
we have been becoming super good friends with! Her name is Cesi and
she is awesome! We are like best friends with her! We have
seen a complete 100% change in her the last few weeks! It's awesome!
She is starting to really figure things out and see the bigger
picture. She wants to go to BYU-Idaho, and also has the desire to
figure out where God wants her in her life right now. Whether it be to serve a
mission or maybe to be the missionary of her family, in helping the rest
of them come back to activity in the church! It's amazing to see how
so much depends on your relationship with less actives, and
investigators that changes so much! It's amazing! I am so happy to see
the work and such that we are doing here, and the changes she is
making in her life to be a better follower of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday was super nice and laid back due to fact that we didn't have
a district meeting because we had Zone conference which happened to be
my last one on Friday! It was super fun, however I definitely got hit
with a reality check when they told me I would be sharing my departing
testimony! It was super good though. I kept it short, and testified
about how much my mission had changed me!

Thursday was a ton of fun, we had the opportunity to go back out to
the ranch where we went last time, and we did the same service! The
weather was a sure lot better his time though, or maybe we were just a
lot better prepared for the sun, and so we didn't get burned as bad as
last time! Elder Choffin and I had a super good time rolling the
tracks, after the rocks had been picked up, and making sure they were
completely ready for races, and such.

Friday was super interesting, we had to drive all the way to
Vacaville, and we're able to have a wonderful Zone conference. As I
mentioned before I had to give my departing testimony but also we had
to go to Vacaville because people from Salt Lake City were
coming to install a device called TIWI. This little device is attached
to the computer in the vehicle and can radar all of our movements as
missionaries! It's super annoying because it will talk to us to, and
let us know if we are speeding, or if we get on the RPMs too much, or
brake too hard! It's absolutely ridiculous! I do not like it at all. We
also have a card we have to scan that is attached to our name, and
keeps record of everything that we do. Also sends notifications to
President Alba, as well as Salt Lake about everything we do wrong!

Saturday was a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time doing
service. From setting up to have our branches Mother's Day party, as well
 as helping set up for Daylin Souza's, birthday party! It was a lot
of fun. Our Mother's Day activity had a pretty good turn out. We
cooked up and ate about 100lbs of Carne Asada. It was super good! We
also had the chance to go and help organize and sort food donations
that came in from the mail trucks, that people were leaving by their
mailboxes. It was amazing to see how much food was donated. The city
of Woodland does that once a week as well.

As you all know Sunday was Mother's Day! It was a ton of fun, and
I was so happy to see my family!

Love you all!

Have a wonderful week!
Love Elder Albertson

May 12, 2015

Dear Family,
   We did not get an email from Parker this week since he had the opportunity on Tuesday the 12th to go one last time to the Sacramento temple with his District.  We as a family knew this would be the case since we got to Face Time with him on Sunday for Mother's day.
    Our visit with him on Sunday was wonderful!  How could it not be? Right?  The time flew by and felt like only a couple of minutes when it was all said and done.  Elder Albertson is doing fantastic!  He is happy and healthy and loving every minute he has spent serving the people in the California Santa Rosa mission.  We spoke to him about each area he had the opportunity to serve in and he had nothing but positive things to say.  There were people, both investigators and members that have touched his heart in every area.   These "Special" people have left their mark on Parker's life forever.  How fortunate he is to be able to someday go back and see and visit the people there that he has grown to love so much.
    Some of our conversation included what his plans and goals are for when he gets home.  I could sense some apprehension in his voice as well as the expression on his face that he isn't really sure how he feels about getting thrown into the life of adulthood.  He has a lot of big decisions to make in the near future and although he is apprehensive, he also knows that he will be guided in the decision making process, the same as he has been guided by the Holy Ghost, while on his mission.
    It was so fun to hear Parker and Abe speak back and forth to each other in Spanish.  I am still so amazed at how these young men learn these languages and can speak so fluently in such a short time.  We are so grateful that Parker got to experience the Lord's hand in helping him to become the missionary he needed to be to do the work necessary.
    One thing that people ask me a lot is if we are nervous to see him again because of how he might have changed.  Will he be weird and awkward for awhile?  I can honestly say with confidence that Parker is still our Parker.  He still acts the same and jokes the same and uses the same innuendo's that he has always used.  What is noticeably different is how his face has changed.  He doesn't look like a little boy anymore and has taken on a more grown up, non baby face, chiseled appearance.  I don't have a little boy anymore!!  I am officially the mother of a "Man" Ugh!
    Parker has also changed spiritually.  We could see that in his expressions when he spoke about the people who have influenced him the most on his mission.  You could see his sadness and concern when talking about his dear friend that he baptized in Santa Rosa who is struggling in the gospel right now.   Those moments for a Mother are priceless and nothing can compare.  You realize all at once that your child finally "gets" it.  All on his own he understands the gift that the Gospel truly can bring to us all and his desire to share that becomes of utmost importance to them.
    Our family cannot wait to see this young man again.  We are literally counting down the days before we can wrap him up in our arms and welcome him home.  His return will bring a much needed "positive" experience and distraction to us all.  We can hardly stand how excited we all are.
    Below are some pictures that were sent to me by Sister Souza.   We had the privilege to meet her and these two darling little boys that have taken such a liking to Parker.   The little guy was permanently attached to Parker 85% of the time we were Face timing with him.

 Parker's little buddies!

 Attached to the hip during our call!  We LOVED it!

Last Family photo through the Computer!!

May 4, 2015

Hola Familia/Amigos

    Wow! It’s been a week of nothing but time flying by! Looking back right
now is making me super nervous for my last 5 weeks as a missionary!
I have this feeling that the time is going to go so fast that
I'm not going to know where it even went, or anything! All I know is that
the time is coming to an end quickly, and that I need to work as hard
as I can these last few weeks so I can say at the end that I gave it
my all!

    This past week wasn't nearly as exciting or crazy
as the last one, with all the bike stuff! However, we are still
trying to get ourselves out of the apartment we are currently in
due to the fact that they still might know where we live, so we just
feel it would be better for us to move out either way!

   We had a pretty successful week though! Sacrament attendance was a
lot higher this past Sunday than the weeks before! Yesterday we
actually made it into the 80’s in sacrament meeting! Super awesome!
The past few weeks we have been in the high 40’s or low 50s!

     Yesterday was awesome! I had the opportunity yesterday, to
participate in a babies blessing! It was a super cool experience to
be able to have a member ask me as a missionary to be a part of their
babies blessing! I can’t even imagine how amazing and great of an
experience that will be, when I have the chance to bless one of my own

     This week we found a new family to teach. We are super excited to work
with them. Hopefully this is the family being prepared to be
baptized before I come home.

      With transfers being this past week, we had a great time. While
everyone was at transfers, Elder Choffin, Jeske and I had a great time
going over to the Souza families, to do some service. It was a ton of fun.
 I love that family. They are so amazing. And so much fun!
Brother Souza is hilarious, he is non stop joking around, and acts and
thinks he is still young, even though he is quite an "Old Man" ha ha!

     We had a great time being able to cook for the homeless here is Woodland.
We cooked spaghetti, for between 200 and 300 homeless people here In the city of
Woodland! It is awesome. I had a great experience.

    We are really enjoying our time here in Woodland! Thank you all so
much for your support! Prayers are wonderful. I truly can feel them as
a missionary!

Love you all!
Elder Albertson

Ps: Can't wait to speak to you all next week! :)

 Being fed Pizza by Sister Souza for all our hard work!
 Service over at the Souza's 
 Yes!  This swimming pool is sooo Tempting!

Elder Jeske and I after doing our "Chores"

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 27, 2015

Hola Familia/ Amigos

Well this has been quite the week! From seeing miracles in
missionary’s, to transfer doctrine, to having to
deal with some thugs on the streets of Woodland, it’s been a great week.
 So let me give y'all the low down on the entire week. It will probably be a
long email due to the fact I need to include all the details so I
won't ever forget this week on my mission!

So I'm just going to start by telling the entire story about having to
deal with these Cholos/Gangsters that live here in the city of
Woodland! It all began with last Sunday night (4-19-15) when
two bikes were stolen from our patio! We woke up the next morning
wondering what happened to our bikes when I had to let Elder Jeske and
Elder Blaylock know that their bikes had been stolen. You can all
imagine how upset we were that their dang bikes had been taken. So, we
immediately called the police, had an officer come over to the
apartment and we filed a police report. We were missing a $300 Fuji
Mtn. Bike, as well as a $750 GT 29er.

We immediately decided that we would just keep our eyes open, and try
to find these bikes if we could.

Wednesday morning after waking up to a pounding on our front door, I
opened it to an old man standing at the front door, telling us that
his bikes had been stolen from his upstairs balcony that night as
well. We also were made aware that our neighbor’s car and truck
were broken into, and that they stole everything. We then knew that our
apartment complex was "Under Attack"! This really frustrated us, and
made us upset.

Later that day, as we were on our way home from doing some service, we
felt inspired to go home a certain way. As we were driving home
through some pretty sketchy areas, we kept our eyes peeled and
looking for any signs of the bikes. As we drove past the real ghetto
we both looked to the left at the same time. Elder Jeske and I saw
a Blue and Black Fuji. Exactly the same kinds of features and details
that elder Blaylocks bike had. Immediately I knew it was his bike. We
got out and approached the front door to knock and see if anyone was
home. We could hear people inside so we knocked even louder.
Eventually some crack and meth addicts opened the door, and we very
politely asked them if they knew where the bike came from. They all
tried to tell us that they bought the bike in Davis like 2 or 3 months
ago. Immediately I explained to them that they were lying and that it
came from my back patio 3 nights ago. I then explained to them we
could do things the simple and easy way, or we could do it the hard
way! Which would have included us calling the police, and getting the
law enforcement involved. Right when I said the words police, and law
enforcement this scruffy looking guy came out from the back, where he
had a welding shop, and told us that if its stolen he didn't want it
anywhere near where he was. He told us we could just grab the bike and
go! He than asked for the details of the other bike, and said he would
keep his eyes open, and help us find it.

So then after having Scruffy John on our side, we were getting text
messages all week about different bikes that were showing up, and how
we needed to come over and check them out to see if it was the GT we
were looking for. It was super cool to know that he was willing to
help us all out.

We also got some details from John that he knew who had stolen our
bikes, and that we should confront them about it! So Thursday evening
we get a call from John, that the little crony who we thought stole our
bike, was at the house. We were just walking in the apartment, so we changed
our clothes into regulars and got back into the car, all 4 of us, and
headed over to the house. As we were almost arriving at the house we
noticed these 2 cronies were chilling on the side of the curb smoking
some dope. As I pulled up to the curb I threw the car into park, and
all four of us jumped out real quick, I have never seen two homies get
up, and be ready to fight faster in my life. As I introduced myself to
the both of them, I asked this kid Alec, "Where the
fetch is my bike?" He then got really scared, and timid to say
anything, as I continued to get a response from him, his friend
Dillon began to become quite the loud mouth. I couldn't even get
anything answered because the fact they were on drugs and couldn’t sit
still and do anything. They wanted to fight us so bad, it's a good
thing we were all missionaries, and our mission has changed us,
otherwise I'm pretty sure those boys would have gotten a whooping!
After realizing that we weren't going to get anywhere, and that
calling the police wasn't going to help either due to the fact that
we had no proof they stole the bike, we took off back to the
apartment. Had a wonderful night of sleep, with dreams of getting the
other GT bike back.

Friday is when John began to realize he thought he found our bike. He
was sending us emails, and had pictures of bikes. Friday we also went
to pass by the house, and noticed as we drove by, that another Hispanic
gangster came running out after us with a Golf club. I have no idea
what his plans were, because we were in a vehicle. I looked at Elder
Jeske though and asked him if we should drive by again, and let the
guy hit our car with the golf club, because then we could call the
police and get him locked up. It was tempting but Elder Jeske
talked me outta it!

We also found a house that had been locked down where a bunch of
homeless people had been hanging out. When we found the house all
boarded up but decided that it was free game, to make
entry and find our bike in the back. After grabbing a huge piece of
plywood and some 2X4’s that I threw to the side. We made entry. Walking
around and kicking down a few doors to truck campers to make sure
there was no sign of our bike. We decided to get out. Ha ha it was a
good experience, though cause we new immediately that we should be
checking there for the bike as well.

Saturday during the day we decided we were going to go check it out
once more. When we drove by the same guy started swearing at us and
telling us to get the “bleep” outta here. We noticed though that one of the
older gentles bike was there. As the Hispanic came out with a metal
rod this time, we drove off, and went back with the older gentle so we
could get his bike. It happened to be gone. At the time though we
noticed that they had started to build a fence, so that we could see
what kind of bikes they were hiding in the back. It was getting
suspicious at this point.

So here is Sunday the day that we should probably be worried about the
most. It's crazy because the day we didn't think we would find the
bike the most, God happened to put it right into our hands. As we were
driving home from my Sunday night meeting as a District Leader, we
were about to cross Main St. when 2 guys on bikes came around the
corner, and right when they did, we knew it was Elder Jeskes bike! We
flipped a quick U-Turn, began to follow as well as call the Police. As
we were on the phone with the police, they kept telling us that it was
going to be 15 or 20 minutes before they showed up, and that we should
quite following them. Can you believe that? We had a baseball bat in
the back seat of our car, and we were so close to dealing with the
entire situation by ourselves, but the Spirit made sure and told us
not to.

The man on the bike happened to get away however, his buddy who was
on a beach cruiser, we were able to keep up with! We finally gave up
after he chased us with what we thought was a gun in his hand, but we
aren't positive.

We went back to where it all began and met with a police officer. We gave
him all the details and let him know where we last saw it! He said he
would keep his eye open, and try and look for it for a while. When
we were driving away I looked back after the officer had given us
advice to drive through the area one last time to try and find the
bike or see it, so we could let him know. Believe it or not the officer just drove the
opposite way. I was so ticked. Cops don't do anything when it comes to
stolen bikes. I thought it was so disrespectful.

While driving back through the area, we were approached by a very large
Black man, and a Hispanic man who was his friend. They began to
get quite mouthy with us, and I got mouthy with them right back. We
told him straight up that his friend was riding our stolen bike! We
showed him a picture and he immediately gained respect for us. He told
us his buddy bought the bike from a Black man who had stolen it,
for a $100. I told the guy we would give him the $100 dollars back if
we got the bike. We walked to this man's apartment, and 30 seconds
later came Elder Jeskes bike around the corner! I told the huge
Hispanic we didn't have the money, but to give us the bike, and we would
be back later with the cash! We didn’t really intend to give him money for a
bike he had stolen from us!

He began to call and text us and threatened us that we didn't know who
we were messing with and a ton of other stuff! He also mentioned tons
of times that he knew where we lived, so we felt it was necessary to
sleep at some other missionaries apartment! Most importantly
is the fact that we got the bike back, took it out to the Souza
families home! Where it is nice and safe!

This past week has made me realize and be so upset that I got
transferred from Rio Vista. I am now 3 for 4 when it comes to finding
stolen bikes! The only one that I haven't found is my own Cannondale.
I am so upset about that. However I can’t do very much at this point!

Well there you go! There is the entire story about losing and finding
the bikes here in Woodland! Other than all of that we had a decent
week. However, that definitely took the majority of my weekly email
because the fact that I will always need to remember my days of when I
began to realize that being a cop is the best fitting job for me! Ha ha

Other than all of this crazy stuff that happened, we had a pretty good
week! Friday we got transfer doctrine and I found out that I am going
to be finishing my mission here in the city of woodland! I am so
excited! This is a great city, and a wonderful group of people.

I am very excited to find that last person or family that God has kept
me here in the city for me to find teach, and hopefully baptize. It is so
crazy for me, to think sometimes, that my time is coming to an end.
However, I hope that I will be able to keep my focus and finish strong!
I love you all. Please keep me in your prayers, that we will be able
to have safety but also work hard and finish strong!

Also if you could all keep my loving older sister in your prayers as
well that would be great! Love you all!

Elder Albertson