Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 13 - Kosovo

We received our first letter mailed from Albania!  Very exciting. Now we are waiting to see if her letter mailed in Kosovo will arrive...

hehe love these sister missionary cards thx mom and rach (old but found them while looking for my camera charger which, btw I FOUND yay so brace yourself for the usual 500 pics every week..I feel like I haven't taken many here, too busy WORKIN srry) 

interesting power lines
(got the idea for these pics from Cectra Wedekind tbh)...  "don't jump!" 
KOSOVO is always in style ;)

Hey guys, 
this past week was pretty typical for the most part: Lots of studying and hours of street contacting and meeting all kinds of people and having some really interesting conversations and setting up lessons that get cancelled and being so exhausted every single night and then getting up at 6:30am and doing it all over again the next day. 
But there were some out-of-the-ordinary events too! 

We had a baptism Saturday evening! It was beautiful! I couldn't stop smiling ha. We don't have a font but we do have a big tub that we use! Pretty cool. I gave a talk (again)! I think it went really well. (I also I think I have a super strong American accent that I can't wait to get rid of..)

There's been a little political unrest over here... have y'all heard anything about what's going on here? ... Obviously we were instructed to keep a low profile so we spent most of the weekend inside the church! I wrote y'all again, actually :) perks of being "grounded" all weekend ha. Also now I can play more hymns yay. But don't worry because we are fine and luckily people tend to love Americans here but if not, I've been told I look pretty Albanian/Kosovar! Thx Italian ancestors. But yeah, stay tuned for any crazy news about the situation here... hopefully it's not Ukraine all over again. So yeah that's probz the most exciting news of the week!! 

I really do love it here and already I've met so many incredible people over here. It's been rough not having any progressing investigators, but my comp. and I feel really good about this upcoming week, and I'm sure our hard work will pay off. 
JU DUA <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 

Motra Rajlli ;) 

creepy? I spy Elders

hah just goofin off with these mustache post-its (I always make sure to snap some pics before heading out the door on P-day...) 
we figured out how to get rid of all the creeps: facial hairrr

the "Wild & Ferocious" sign is for MTC branch President Hutchings! 

day-trip to Pisa (jk)

this is our branch meetinghouse here in Prishtine! Jk, it's obvs a cathedral, there was a cool art exhibit; sketches of Albania by an Austrian photographer! The bell tower was locked :/ (P-day)
tribute to Nene Tereza! (& hi zone leaders)  /  here's an action shot for the blog haha!  (a member of the branch took this photo of Madi at church, plus the 3 photos below of crowds gathering downtown)

for service we baked 23845907823 cookies for members here   /   my compp <3  

super fancy nice restaurant for lunch but not even expen$ive woo :)

Oh great, another one... (can't wait to watch the 1st one again after the mish and understand the Albanian!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Week12 - Kosovo

  these 2 are from my first day here, in case I didn't send em earlier.  


 my trainer loves me ;) haha this pic says it all. she has lots of pics of my face on her camera.... (hey check out my vegetarian but not vegan bakery breakfast)
 we play futbol (evropa, jo amerikan) with some members and other missionaries and investigators 
 some people actually like Bill Clinton, wait what?

haha here's a selfie from the phone of one of our member friends here 
so happyy;)

Hey! Feels like ages since I've emailed/heard from anyone hahah. Was neww?! Oh btw that's so cool that y'all got to meet Elder Andersen. 
The highlight of my week was forsure a lesson we had last night... because it was in GERMAN. Ha so random but so convenient because the couple we met and taught on-the-spot is awesome. M is German and her husband B is Kosovar but learned German so he could talk to his wife. So we talked/taught a little in Shqip for him, but mostly Deutsch since then they could both understand. Not only was it so fun and cool for me to get to teach/pray/testify auf Deutsch, but it was also soo refreshing and exciting to finally meet with some people who were kind and respectful and didn't attack us with questions and rumors, but thanked us for the beautiful and inspiring things we taught and actually discussing and learning from our investigators who seemed very open to learn and share their thoughts. It was a great boost to end my week. Wish I had brought along some copies of Das Buch Mormon with me to Kosovo!

Also yesterday, I spoke in church! I had a couple days notice and was told to speak for fifteen minutes but luckily since we have quite a few US Army and embassy guys, having another missionary translate into English kills a lot of time. I actually really enjoyed it and think it went well! And the Kosovars said they totally understood everything I said, shyqyr ;) Also, my comp. and I taught relief society. It was cool because in addition to the two women who made up our class (both recent converts whose homes we've taught in multiple times), we had the wife of an investigator who was visiting and said our closing prayer. 

We've met with some other really interesting people, both on the street and in lessons. I'm working on not being creeped out by everyone/everything haha.  

I love my trainer, she is a sweetheart and we make street contacting fun and distract ourselves from frostbite by laughing. I am so glad she is motivated and on-top-of-things b/c we are both ready to workkk and while we still have plenty of rejection and disappointment, each week has been an improvement in terms of lessons and new investigators, and we plan to keep it this way! Gonna be a good transfer. It already is :) 

Being out here (as a MISSIONARY, not a tourist or exchange student) is definitely a slap of reality and forced maturity, but it is so wonderful to be building and strengthening the gospel of Jesus Christ in Prishtine, Kosovo. I have to say, my favorite part of missionary work so far is meeting all kinds of people. I love that every single day we have conversations with complete strangers about the things closest to our hearts; our beliefs, motives, views.... it really is an incredible and unique position to be in and I just feel so lucky to have this chance because I am learning things every day that I don't think I could learn any other way.

I love the Albanian language, which is good, b/c I def. have plenty of opportunities to speak it every single day. :) Hope everything's going good back in Florida! (Btw, any news on if you're moving before I get home? If so, let me knowww... )

I challenge whoever is reading this to talk about the gospel with a nonmember friend (casual/discussing, nothing big) and write me about it this week. :) (Or if you're not mormon, check out mormon.org for some basics on what we believe). And share the #becuaseofhim vid with errbody! (http://easter.mormon.org/)  So what if it's a year old, it's still so good of course, and we've been doing a lot with the translated version over here. 
I love you!!!
Madi :) 

Oh I forgot to mention! Escaped Prishtina today and explored some cool caves with the elders and a member friend, fun to mix it up and go somewhere new and wear pants! (P-day) 
 Madi took these 2 pics in the caves
we saw some sweet caves today. Idk the name of the name of the place, but we had lunch in Lipjen on the way back! the guy who worked there told us lotsa fun facts.. i.e.in the 1st pic the rocks look like a soaring eagle (eagle ~Albanian flag) and the hole to the right is the shape of Kosovo 

pic taken by Madi's comp in the caves

pics of Marble Caves from the internet

From the internet: Village Gadime lays among the road Prishtinë – Ferizaj, around 20 km away from Prishtina. Village Gadime falls into jurisdiction of Lipjan municipality. The cave in Gadime is one of the most visited attractions in Kosovo.
The cave has been discovered recently, in 1969 when one of the habitant families ran into the channel leading to the cave, while trying to build the foundation for their new house. Five years after its discovery, it became open for visitors. Stalagmites, Stalactites and Aragonites are rare characteristics of the cave. Around 1500 m have been investigated so far, while 800 m of its space may be visited.

After seeing that Eliza was on Belgian t.v.:  http://www.ldsliving.com/story/77803-sister-missionaries-share-faith-on-national-belgian-news-station, Madi wrote about a cool “Twin Coincidence”:
aw soo cool, cute! oh get this, last week while finding on the boulevard a reporter asked if he could interview us for TV the next day... approved by Pres. Vajdman but haven't heard back from the reporter guy so maybz not happening. But it was funny because it was a day or two after seeing Eliza's pics of being on Belgian TV, and I was thinking how great it was that she did that, and how I would love to have that chance too...LATER, when I'm fluent in the language hah..... but ya idk we'll see! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week 11 - Photos from Kosovo

 the zuster riley pose is my fave  
 like my touristy kosovo shall (scarf) ? ;)

 these might be weird haha just snapped some pics on my way out the door one day!
haha here's me bundled up for some kontakt ne rruge

 new year's tree... NOT a Christmas tree 

snooooow! *******

more snow*****
 I love my trainer :) made her take pics w/ me since we don't have many! (y'all read her blog right?) 
more w/ my comp <3

idk if you can tell but we got deformed kiwis, like 3 or 4 morphed together haha they tasted good! aw they just look like potatoes hahah.. but they're not 

 aaand when we're not working as hard as we possibly can, my comp. is a singing potato ;)