rainy temple walk, I enjoyed talking to Brother Leifson (branch presidency) on the way up, who is in his 80s and served in Finland back before the MTC or language training existed so as you can imagine he had some cool stories
I love Motra Hoover! (mom you probz feel like you know her bc her blog ha), & Motra Hoopes! Fun fact they were comps for Motra Hoopes's last and Motra Hoover's first transfer
hahah isn't Elder Medveczky entertaining for pics? You should see the one where he wrapped himself in the Albanian flag like a babushka scarf
wouldn't be Christmas without a stocking! ;) thx mom #crafty
E-mails received on Christmas Eve:
Krishtlindjen është...NESËR.. do të thot koha të festoni ?!
Përshëndetje fam çkemi and talk to you tomorrow!!! Fun surprise right? I guess this is the first time missionaries in the MTC get to call home on Christmas, yay technology. <3 And hey how many missionaries can say they get to call home on their Birthday? ;)
Well, this is my last email home from the MTC, I believe! Woo goin to SHQIPERIA so soon and as you can imagine I am starting to get so excited! (Don't think it will fully hit me 'til I'm on the plane..)
Of course I miss all the fun family times/ traditions i.e. homemade gnocchis on Christmas eve & doorbell-ditching w/ treatplates & caroling & playing "brass band" at rest homes & acting out/ reading the nativity story & sleeping out by the tree & our long newsletter & all the sibs' choir/band concerts & looking at lights etc. etc. and celebrating my (our) birthday w/ Eliza in the afternoon at 4:40 & 4:46 haha. But honestly, I am excited to experience the holidays here at the MTC because I have heard quite a few times how great & magical it is spending Christmas here so I don't think I'll be disappointed. :)
THANKYOU soo so much to everyone who thought of me/ sent cards/letters/notes/pics/stories this past week, and especially for remembering my birthday (& Christmas!) at this hectic time of year!... I def. hit the jackpot when it came to getting mail this week, and what better way to end my (longgg) stay at the MTC? So kind and thoughtful & very much appreciated. <3 <3 (I will do my best to reply to errbody no worries! But in case it takes a little bit, just wanted to say THANKS so much. <3)
To end on a spiritual note, (since I am a missionary!) ....
It's a pretty popular chapter, but if you haven't read it recently, I recommend you to go read/study/take to heart
ch. 32. The whole
chapter (not only verse 21!) is full of really helpful definitions of Faith...
we read it in Albanian as a class and I really appreciated it because sometimes
I wonder how strong my faith is when I don't fully understand every single
doctrine, or am bothered by really insignificant (insignificant to the Gospel
of Jesus Christ) things... but as we are clearly told; faith is not to have a
perfect knowledge, but to hope and believe and learn and grow and feel.... and
thank goodness that's the way it is, because we don't need to make the idea of
faith any harder or seemingly more unattainable than it actually is, because
really, faith is such a fundamental principle that while it is one of the most
important, it's also arguably the easiest. Christ is ready to receive us and
help us out, but it's up to us to believe in him just enough to reach up/ cry
out for help when we need it. Alma
I am truly grateful for Christ's humble birth, so many years ago. And while we remember this beautiful nativity story around this time of year, let's also remember that this little baby born in a manger, our savior and redeemer Jesus Christ, is very real and he lives today and is there to encourage and guide us every day of our lives if we just let him.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, GËZUAR KRISHTLINDJEN!!!! I love you!
<3 Motra Rajlli (Madi) :)
ps~ mom thanks for spending Christmas in the hospital 20 years ago so I could be born :) (& Mary Elizabeth... HBD btw, Zuster!)
pps~ send me more of Isaac's mission updates if you get a chance, please?! Unless you're burnt out from the photo book hahah. And mission updates from dad back in the day are always greatly appreciated!
haha aw joshhhh y'all gonna be home tmrw afternoon/evening? i forsure wanna say hi to the sibs too, please make rachel do dishes or something if she doesn't talk to me:) hahah.
aw hey fam merry christmas, eat some gnocchis for me:( thanks for all the mail!!!! my journal is looking pretty awesome with all the fun clippings you send <3
cool I met zuster castro (Eliza's current companion in Belgium) in the mtc, she recognized me from Eliza's blog lol
we thought my comp. had pneumonia so I had to walk her to the hospital (in the snow and freezing air ha) but she's fine. love you talk to you soon!! <3