Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Week 10 - Kosovo

 here's some food hahaha yay fresh produce here is so good and dark-choco. bananas lol of course 

 and here's a cool vew of Prishtine from a taxi 

dirty language, clean eating

(haha the subject to this email is cheesy srry... but gonna pull an Isaac and just send pics of food bc it's fun buying my own groceries and cooking for myself again, but I promise I'll send some of me and the city etc. next week... I don't look that different lol)

First of all, I get to learn Gheg now, which is actually a lot different than the Tosk dialect of Albanian we learned in the MTC (spoken in Tirana etc.)... that's what I get for being overconfident at speaking Shqip ;) nah it's not that bad, it's actually easier in a lot of ways i.e. just use past participles instead of conjugating...there are some nifty shortcuts. But still ha, thank goodness my comp's been out longer (she reported in April, like Eliza) and can translate when necessary :)

I still can't believe I am in Pristina right now... I'll just stop and look around and remind myself that I am in Kosovo... crazy that less than a year ago I didn't even know this place exists, and now I live here. 

It's definitely hard, but that's okay because I wasn't expecting coming out on a mission to be a little vacation or study-abroad. The biggest thing to get used to I think, is the fact that EVERYONE is Muslim. As a missionary, of course, that's our #1 obstacle... I'm more used to the bible-belt culture; people refuse to accept that Mormons are Christians, and have some crazy rumors about us, but they have usually at least heard of us, and I'm used to finding common ground with other Christians, who read the bible, as we do etc. But hardly anyone we talk to here believes in Christ as the savior of the world. I guess in a way it's easier to have a blank slate to work with; not as many misconceptions about our church, but it's difficult sustaining a conversation about religion when the second the name "Jesus Christ" is mentioned, any interest is lost. BUT I have had some good convos while street contacting, with practicing Muslims, about prayer and reading scriptures and how these things are so helpful and essential in our lives. We hear the 5-a-day prayer calls when we're out in the city.

I loved meeting the branch here yesterday. so small, but STRONG. I'm so impressed by these members, esp. considering just how difficult it is for them to be members here; a lot of them can't even tell their family they belong to this church. I thought they would call me up to share my testimony since I was brand new, but they didn't.. I still went up though :) It was scary but I insisted on attempting in Shqip ha and I'm glad I did. 

Oh! I have a neat story to share. At street contacting Saturday night I talked to a man for longer than usual (usual="sorry, I'm Muslim...have a nice night!") because he had lots of questions, i.e. "does Jesus Christ live today?" ("yes, he does..resurrection etc."), gave him a 'Gospel of Jesus Christ' pamphlet which I told him to read that night, and that any questions about it would be answered by me, or someone else, the next day at Church. He agreed and said he would come to church. Both my companion and I were surprised when he walked into church the next morning, because it's not often that people actually keep their word when it comes to stuff like that, it seems, esp. when we just chat/meet briefly on the street. But he came, and stayed for both hours, talked to a lot of the members, and I introduced him to the Elders, who had a lesson with him after church and said he is awesome: seems genuinely interested but it was a lot to take in with testimony meeting and the sacrament and everything but he accepted a "soft" baptismal commitment ("could you see yourself being baptized in this church in the future?" etc.) so I was def. happy I had stopped him on the street and talked to him and invited him to church! 

Yep, it's really cold here, but good thing I like an excuse to buy winter clothes, and the snow is beautiful. And shyqyr (thankfully) the heater in our bedroom works, and we have a solid 3 min. of hot water to shower. 

Isaac, have fun back at school & keep me updated with everything ;)
Eliza, keep up the good work in Belgium!! <3
Rachel (can't believe you're turning 17.. weird.. hey congrats, me & Eliza won't celebrate our birthdays on your bday weekend this year) & Josh pac fat me shkolle edhe urime me shume mire grades, and go to the beach for me..!
Prinderit (mom & dad), love you and thanks for everything! Let me know if ya get a letter I tried sending! 

Don't worry about me, I am doing great and learning lots that's forsure, and most importantly helping others come unto Christ :)
Ju Dua!! 
Madi :) 

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