Saturday, November 29, 2014

Week 4 - MTC photos

haha I loove these pictures SHQIPERIA <3 and that's my Albanian nametag if ya couldn't tell 
here's some pre-temple walk B&W tryna pose like Europeans with my Shoq
! love these sisars/noverek/odes/motrat! 
most of the sisters in our zone last Sunday, right before the Huns left
the whole zone!! before the Huns left. And probz missing a couple ppl but still. Aw love these missionaries!
my zone again<3

and the inside of my closet door, I spy turkeys from the Asmus kids! ;) 

my shoes in case you're interested lol and holiday-themed cards by my bed for decor! have a little room left for christmas cards hehe hint;)  

isn't this cute? Motra Chesh's fam sent her this little tree, and my festive cards are hanging by my bed. Too bad we only spend maybe 5min a day in our residence haha 

Week 4 - Gëzuar Ditë Falëminderëve!!!

Gëzuar Ditë Falëminderëve!!! 

(oops think I spelled Happy Thanksgiving wrong but all good bc not even an Albanian holiday lol.) 

Alright, highlights from this week??
Ooh on Tuesday for devo we had Dallin H. Oaks, and his cute 2nd wife (I want to look like her when I’m that age haha). I was esp. excited to hear him speak since he was a supreme court justice in his pre-apostle life (thx to your nifty apostle song mom lol!). He just said some really great reminders about our missionary service and used an analogy of his pen to rep. our position of tools in the Lord’s hands. Sang in the choir (broadcast to international MTCs if ya wanna find me on the big screen haha), Nearer, my God, to thee, which reminded me of our little fam. musical number the other month. (And an insider told me we will hear from Elder Bednar today, two in one week, woo!)

Well, I still love the Shqip language and learning/studying/attempting to speak it, but the grammar is definitely trickyy! Not impossible, but def. makes ya think, aka def makes my head hurt after a few hours of dissecting sentences.  I still love the MTC! I’m sure I’ll be so ready to go in a month, but for the time being I really like the structure (not to mention safety/comfort/ease) and great devotionals and so many cool (& international!) fellow missionaries I get to meet.

Oh did y’all watch Pres. Eyring’s talk on marriage at the Vatican at a recent religious conference on marriage? If not, go watch it, thought of you parents bc you will love it! And so many great mormon messages out there too, Rach & Josh esp. you should check those out bc half of them I didn’t even know were out there but are really sweet/ make ya think.  (

Oh fun fact, Rachel=Reçel = jam në Shqip lol. 

Our lessons are still going surprisingly well! I really, really enjoy teaching/discussing. Motra Çeshër and I have a pretty solid system down...plan beforehand key points we want to get across, in English, and then look up vocab/translate/re-phrase in our own words, so we aren’t just reciting little grammatically-perfect phrases from the book but maybe not knowing exactly what we’re saying or being unable to answer questions. This way, we can really discuss what we are teaching and follow our investigators’ leads, using our limited vocab and a little creativity. And a lot of study/practice and a lot of Holy Ghost.

Oh I now know the 1st vision në Shqip (memorizoni), I’ll recite it to you when we Skype in half a yr on mother’s day lol. 

I love you!!! Haha more letters on the way, be excited. We (distrikt) love the missionary comics hehe, keep em comin, pleasee.

Thanks for the sweet decor/thoughtful letters...always brightens my dayy. xoxoxox Ju Dua!!! Shumë Faleminderit për ÇDO GJA. Jam mirënjohës për JU. xoxoxoxo

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 3 - gjalpë kikiriku

 pic kinda looks like us right?! gonna take a better one where we're straight matchingg

Përshëndetje, fam! 
haha gjalpë kikiriku = peanut butter btw. Fun word right? Albanian is sure a crazy language. Learned lotsa grammatik this week which is way complicated and most of it seems unnecessary, but still qejf (fun) and bukur and I just love me some Shqip ;)

Alright I jotted down some weekly highlights during lunch so I don't just ramble w/o proofreading, so here we go! 
Almost have the whole 1st vision memorized në Shqip, and my fave Albanian hymn is "Lutje a e the" (did you think to pray) which I also have memorized since I sing it all the time... actually our whole district knows it well by now, and when we have a minute to spare we jam out using our resources; books and water bottles on our desks as drumsets or clicking/clapping/ watevs while walking... sounds maybe irreverent but no worries it's not! ;) Haha it actually sounds pretty good and we love to "perform" for the Finns/Huns in our zone. We want to get a quality recording to send home!

Speaking of the Huns, the old group leaves real soon, and we just got about 15 new ones. One of them I was very excited about, because he is a native German, which means I get to practice my Deutsch all the time! It all comes back to me when I go to speak with a native which is such a relief b/c my once-conversational Russian is now pretty rough when I try to speak with natives since Albanian words keep popping out, so glad German seems to be ingrained in my mind. Thanks for forcing me to go to Deutsche Schule mom and dad, even though I hated it at first !

We had TRC last week and have it again tonight, and it is really just fun! We meet with Albanian speakers and just chat/share a little stress-free lesson with some BYU students/Shqiperia RM's, I really enjoy it. Yesterday we got to skype with natives for the first time, also really fun, and guess whose face popped up on my computer screen... my friend Alma Osmeni! (her native Albanian friend from BYU-I) So fun.

On Tuesday Linda K. Burton, RS general prez, spoke to us for devo and I liked how she read from Ether ch.6 and compared the Jaredites venturing into the unknown to us missionaries faithfully heading off on our mission journeys... 3 wks down, 6 to go, swappin' out Provo, UT for the Adriatic South woo! Btw I hear new years is CRAZY over there. 1st impression haha yay. These past two devotionals we were supposed to have some apostles come speak to us but they cancelled, but even if our speakers aren't as well-known as Holland or Uchtdorf, I have yet to be disappointed!

Any fun plans for Thanksgiving?? Staying in FL right? I'm excited to celebrate here, I'm sure they'll do our best to make us feel at home, and as usual, we will be spiritually fed as well ~ now that's what I call a feast ;) 

Yes, the days here are longgg but when I stop for a second and look back I am amazed at how quickly they fly by. I'm sure that's how the whole mission will be (and let's be honest, that's kinda how LIFE is too really) and there is just no room/ time for regrets... gotta make every second count!!

What are y'all's fave scriptures regarding gratitude? I'd love to make personal scripture study festive haha.

Don't be fooled if my pics make it look like I am having too much fun/ slackin' off... 98% of the time I'm in the classroom learning new fjala dhe grammatik ose mesimi me kerkuesit :)

Life here at the MTC is hard work but fun and rewarding and already worth it, and my favorite part so far is teaching/having great discussions with our sweet investigators (role-playing maybs, but a real experience, that's forsure). My shoqen and I have gotten much better and finding a balance when teaching, and really I just lucked out getting her as a companion because she is just really great and we work very hard together and keep each other on task, but still manage to have fun and laugh lots.

Thanks for all the mail (esp. photobooks/cards mom ah thanks!) and love, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING <3 <3 I am thankful for youuuuuu. :) xoxoxoxoxo

Ju dua, Familja dashur! Unë e di se, kjo bukur Ungjillin është i veërtetë, dhe falëminderit shumë për çdo gja. Mirë u Pafshim!! 

Motra Rajlli <3 

Week 3 - MTC photos

 more comp pics!
 haha cool flag right ;) and fun sign right? like my ALBANIAN hat? ;) 


 haha it was really coldddd 

 it was really cold this day too haha      --      LOVE decorating with your stuff (motra C does the same!)

 motraS AND the whole district yay <3 
motra hoover! (we have a selfie on her phone maybe she posted to the mission fb page! haha wait what's facebook...) our whole class was matching w light pink etc. but everyone else left for lunch. love all our teachers, they're so great <3
 haha motra c said i purse my lips/make this face when i look in the mirror. looove her she is so great and just a wonderful shoqen :) 
  motra white, my basketball buddy! so fun haha and we're both pretty competitive and always block aka fowl eachother.. wholesome recreational activities here at the mtc ;) burned 5 holes in my sweats from the gym floor and she has some pretty bad bruises hahah didn't know if you could see in the pic!) but we have so much fun and gonna miss our Hungarian zone leaders (not medveczsky) who we always play ball with! 
with some of the German sisters! meine nachbaren, und bathroom buddies haha. hab' diese nette schwestern liebbb!
 hehe here's some oldies from my shoqen's cam! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 2 - Buzëqeshje!

Përshendetje, familje im! Kay whew, just spent half my email time sending 327893542 pics home (most of them mirror selfies with my comp wearing Albania t-shirts case you forgot what I look like these past two weeks haha) BUT still have some time for a little weekly update!

On Tuesday we had a great general authority devotional (Sunday also!) and I sang Praise to the Man with the choir, and enjoyed hearing church history stories about the origin of the song at practice. The devo was about patterns of righteousness but honestly even greater than the talk itself was our district discussion afterwards... each comment really resonated with me and was either something on my mind, or something that I realized should be on my mind. Our branch Pres. Hutchings emphasized focusing not so much on what was said but how we felt.

In our classes and discussions we‘ve been talking a lot about the importance of letting the Holy Ghost be the teacher (yes, we set the mood and of course present the message, but really, our investigators have to feel for themselves the importance of our message for it to have any meaning whatsoever) so it was even more special when we got to experience that with our new investigator, Bujar! (Just a sidenote, I love to practice the Albanian I'm studying/learning, and probably my favorite part of my MTC experience so far is having discussions with the investigators... sure, I make too many grammatical errors to count, but the fact that I can often get my point across is thrilling. And to see the understanding in their faces? It's a great feeling.)

Anyways, suffice it to say that I really enjoy these lessons/discussions, and just TALKING with our investigators.  I just feel that the MTC is the place to learn from mistakes, rather than out in the field!  It's easy to focus on how much we have yet to learn, rather than how far we've come. But anyways, in this lesson last night, we planned to teach Bujar about the restoration, but ended up completely ditching that and discussing the significance of Christ's life and example; the meaning of salvation; and the reason we consider the Book of Mormon to be a cure to most of life's ills. For some reason, even though I sure stumbled over words and had to use less-efficient explanations, really just relying on the (limited) vocab I have, I still felt afterwards that this was maybe our best lesson yet. (Another sidenote: these questions he had would be tricky for me to answer properly in ENGLISH haha. Talk about feeling drained after! But in a good way, as in feeling PURPOSE.) Maybe because when I was telling Bujar about the change I've noticed in myself since sincerely reading the Book of Mormon he teared up a little, or testifying of Christ's perfect example and my contrasting numerous IMperfections, was so REAL, or hearing myself testify of things that I know deep down but don't always say out loud, and re-iterating to myself what I really do believe, idk, it was just really. neat.

Yeah, it is frustrating to have so many things to say and still a limited language ability, but really, I was able to see for myself that it's not about the "enticing words of man", but the power of God, to help others see from this Christlike perspective! Speaking perfect Albanian wouldn't do a thing for me in one of these lessons if I didn't have the spirit. Well, as you know, email time is always extremely rushed so probz didn't explain that too well! But in case I did, I will just send it anyways so happy reading. :)

This week there were some downs as well as ups, as in less-enthusiastic and a little more negative missionaries getting frustrated with their own incapabilities and taking it out on those around them (aka, me) BUT ranted in my journal so I'm over it haha (obviously I'm over it if I mention it in my email and really, our district gets along beautifully considering how every single one of our personalities is so drastically different. But I love them all, and glad it's a mutual feeling (until one of them gets jealous/competitive lol... these life lessons doe!) 
Aw man I'm outta time so I guess I'll have to skip the funny Elder Medveczsky stories!
Lemme wrap up with my Dëshmi, në ShqipË
Unë e di se, kjo Ungjillin është shumë bukur dhë shumë çmuar she rendësishëm. Unë e di si, Jeyu Krishtit është vellaj, dhe SHELBUESI im. Ne emër të Jeyu Krishtit, amen.
yep outta time, like I said. Shkurtër Dëshmi!

Mirë U Pafshim!! Ju dua!! 
Motra Rajlli 

ps been playing b-ball at gym sometimes w Motra White (so fun and surprisingly suuch a workout) so basically gonna pull an Elder Riley and com home a baller! ;) 

Ju dua!!!!! I love you all!!! Thanks for the mail mom and errbody :)

love y'all! Keep having dreams about getting kidnapped, don't be freaked out. prolly just subconscious...

Madi xoxox

also saw wade and dallin haha ask isaac! 
Isaac's roommate from CA (Wade) and Isaac's friend from Texas (Dallin) met through Isaac. Both served missions in the Philippines and are now rooming together at BYU. They saw Madi on her Sunday temple walk and sent Isaac this photo!

 love running into cectra wedekind (friend from Germany days, above) and sister call (friend from Austin, TX, below) all the time!! 

 Hermana Zaugg (from DeutschKlasse @ BYUI) 

and the sweet new Estonian sisters in our zone (Tallin has a special place in my <3) 
love my awesome zone! the hungarians (besides medvecszky!) leave soon, crazy! here's most of us 

Week 2 - MTC photos

hahahaha some more companion pics! i love motra c she is so sweet and agreed that we really balance each other out well!! and learn from/teach eachother lots i.e. I  encourage her to talk in lessons and she makes sure we're 5 min. early everywhere and exactly obedient 

 (got pics by ourselves...  we have soo many together lol) 

 Sisars <3 
 with the Finns in our zone, love them! Check that Zuster Riley pose! 
 p IS FOR PARTY!  We love p day!!! temple in the morning (sealings for the 1st time! a daughter) and picnic lunch and first snow of the season!! and w/ a hungary-bound sis. training leader, not-smiling bc Europeans don't for pics 
 my pics are not exactly an accurate portrayal bc usually studying and learning but the pics=GOOFY 
(but I guess still pretty accurate since we like to have funnnn)
also wow so rushed during this 1 hr, I can see why so many mish updates are filled with typos bc no time to double-check lol!  
 hahaa are you sick of all the pics yet?! we always snap TONS right before email time on pday ;) 
 there may be lotsa repeats but jus tryna send em allll
 snow!!! remember a year ago when I did this, except at college instead of the MTC and w roomies instead of my district? 
 hahaha i feel so much like eliza with these digital camera missionary selfies!! 

 b4 class

 b4 service: on saturday aka "cat"erday as motra fuller calls it 
  get it bc cheshire cat? the other motras have lotsa pics too if you can somehow find them haha 
 motra f is silly and fun haha and we all love matching in our shqiperia shirts!! 
couple more, love my shoqen! 
haha wow may have almost as many pics as last time! don't worry gonna send an update later. using my comp's memory card reader rinnow!