Paper letter written Oct. 31 and received Nov. 2:
Written on the back of the envelope: love the fresh fruit (pineapple + melons errdayy!) salad bar here
Love you guys! Love it here! (had a feeling I would) Feels a lot like BYUI TBH, and even more like EFY!
I love the Halloween/October décor…and so do my roomies/fellow motras!!
Today, we (my companion Motra Cheshire and I) are teaching a lesson in Albanian. I’m super excited actually. We just jotted down simple truths in English, then translated word-for-word using our dictionaries (so probs very grammatically incorrect) and also sharing a PMG quote (ne Shqip) and my fave BOM verse and then I am offering a short but sincere prayer na Shqip! I’m so glad we jump right in and our teachers only speak to us na Shqip (in Albanian) and after only one lesson (5 ½ hr long lesson…) I’ve improved a lot!! I loooove this bukur (beautiful) language so much already and it is so exhilarating to keep learning new words so I can put together words and phrases. And English classes where we taught investigators I learned a lot (what NOT to say LOL…let your investigator talk instead of rattling off the entire restoration story in one breath before making any introductions) and already I have learned SO much. Can’t imagine after 9 weeks!!
Alright. Just got done with hours of studying. Whew, a little exhausting (but not even overwhelming!) But amazing because we are learning sooo much. Even now, I can see and correct little errors in my Albanian attempts on the front side of this letter from this morning. I love our other teacher, Motra Hoover! (RM from our mission—look for her blog!!!) She is so pretty and kind and from what I can tell, has perfect pronunciation and oh my goodnesss, we learned lots of useful missionary vocab! How to bear our testimony, how to pray, etc. SO NIFTY. And taught our first lesson! It was very planned out (personally I think more conversational, less recited lessons are way more effective but we’re just not to that level in Albanian yet LOL) and I got to put comprehension to use…we managed to explain to her in a nutshell what prayer is (if I only would have known the word for “speak/talk” haha) and our investigator (role-playing but real experience and real SPIRIT nonetheless) Alma seems interested and I could tell she was surprised when she talked quickly in Albanian and I asked her to repeat and picked out words so I could respond as best I could (lots of room for improvement but hey, day 3) and basically I can’t believe how lucky I am to have great teachers and resources and get to study this fascinating language for hours each day! (we’ll see how I feel after we delve into grammar tmrw lol…) and of course being surrounded by these incredibly spiritual/knowledgeable leaders, and fellow missionaries, each with their own inspiring testimony, is an experience I will cherish for life and really I am just feeling very lucky to be in such a place for two months, a place that shapes me into who I want to become. (hehe that last part was poetic or nah??)
I love you Mom! And errbody else. Feel free to put this letter on my blog if ya want bc pretty solid update (but you would hafta type it so idk) But love you! Thx fur everything, vne tedua! Love Madi
Couldn’t fit everything on that other 2-sided letter, so real quick:
Thx for the mail! Love the mission advice and dearelders, so did my comp. Please write to her! Motra C, very sweet, and c/o 2014 so first time away from home (
) so very homesick, I’m suree.
And PLEASE write to Elder Nedveczky! He is our district leader (only/solo
elder) and a native Hungarian (the Huns in our zone love it) who is learning
English and now difficult (but great) ole SHQIP (Albanian) and he lost his
scriptures the first day. Layton,
And also in my district (my room/residence-mates) are Motras Olsen, Fuller, Peters, and White. We def have a variety of personality types but all get along great and they are so nice! My whole zone is pretty cool too and I will be seeing lots more of them (with the Huns and Finns). I got a bunch mail today, so fun and a couple motras got one dearelder but you should write them all hehe bc I don’t want them to dislike me (jealousy) since I already love learning Albanian and some of them are stressed with the difficulty etc.
And I’ve run into Meadow and friends from BYU-I and meet awesome ppl here on the daily but haven’t gotten pics with em and sister Hassell came up and was like, “You’re Sister Riley?!” She’s so nice and met her cousin too LOL, and a teacher my first day had Geology with Eliza and thought I was her. HAHAHAHA It was so funny. Try and find blogs of my fellow motras bc lotsa pics of me on their cams. My P-Day is Thursday. Love you! Love Madi Motra Riley Shqip Bukur, shume bukur. No time bc Gym now but Albanian letter soon.
p.s. Food 4 thought? With God’s grace, our burdens don’t become lighter but we become stronger.
Send me Halloween costume pics, Ray and Jay!!!