sufflaqe in Tirane! EVERYONE talks about them so I tried one, but pa (without) meat and kos (yogurt sauce).... so kinda not a real one but it was pretty good! it's like a doner w/ fries on it. (I miss your good food mom! but kinda fun trying weird stuff here )
long walk to a lesson=photo opps
sweet view right? worth walking an hr and a half each way (plus it was such a nice day)
Prishtine, Qyteti i bukur! (the beautiful city)
oh this is old from in Gjakove
on the way to germia park (p-day) deserted outdoor pool, TENNIS COURTS
Ç'a më bo
Qysh jeni, si kini qenë? A jeni mirë, krejt rahat?
Hey! This past week was amazing. I think I just fell in love with Kosovo... this beautiful city, nice weather (mënëfund!) and most of all the kind, loving, great people that make up this place, members and nonmembers alike.
Tuesday was Kosovo's independence day and the shesh (boulevard) was a big party. Lots of booths selling flags and balloons and cotton candy and t-shirts and traditional clothing, and lots of music and dancing and roma boys singing and playing drums, I was totally kenaqen. Plus it was so crowded and more people=more potential investigators am I right?
I love teaching kurs Anglisht over here (soo different from my kindergarten classes in Voronezh tho) and one day our class was full of little Çuns who everyone just sees as troublemakers and kicks out of the church the second they walk in but motra Z and I taught them and we were firm but loving and they ended up being so cute and honestly they just wanted some attention/ someone to listen to them recite their English alphabets and little phrases, amazing what a little love (& discipline) can do! And another day at English class we had the usual college and school aged girls and a new student: an older lawyer who was a total beginner, never too late in life to learn!
We had been trying to get a lesson with one of our members, D (fun fact my Shqiptare friend Alma from byui lived with her here in Prishtine for a little while), who is awesome but goes to the village on the weekends to help her sickly parents, so we decided to go visit her... she works as a nanny for the branch pres.' fam so we walked to their house to visit with her... we knew their house was pretty far but we didn't realize it would take over 3 hrs round trip (a lot of hills..) haha... it was so fun, and such a nice day out and we saw some sweet views, def. worth it :) We shared a RS message so we like to say that we were the first visiting teachers in Kosovo, ever?
Really, this past week especially I met/ got to know better some awesome Kosovars, and just realizing that this transfer is over halfway done made me realize just how lucky I am to be in this upbeat, unique place, so rich in history and culture.
Nënë Z and I were both even more motivated to give our all to this punë misionare after having interviews with Presidenti Vajdman, and our hard work didn't go unrewarded! (I have to admit, I have felt like that at times.) Last night, after a mtg, we went back to the apt. for an hour of lang. study before planning/ bed etc. I had thrown on some PJs when Motra Z told me we needed to go back out and street contact. It was raining and not many people are on the streets on a Sunday night, and I had just changed, so I wasn't as eager as I should've been to go back outside. We went down to the boulevard, where we met a couple girls who we chatted with but they were not interested, and besides them there were only a few groups of Çuns and xhaxhis (boys and old men). I felt like we should head to the nearby hotel to finish up our finding, and about 2 min. after we got there, we met our new Investigator! N, she is amazing: a friendly, eager-to-learn, CHRISTIAN (catholic) Sociology student, who was able to come with us to the church and watch videos of Christ (#becauseofhim & #heisthegift...go watch them again*, aren't they great?) and have a lesson with her, and she is eager to learn more. It was a really powerful experience for us; Pres. promised us that if we truly make our goals the desires of our hearts they will indeed happen, and we both couldn't stop smiling afterwards.
Yeah, there's a lot of non-Christians here who are not at all interested in talking about Jesus Christ, let alone Joseph Smith/Thomas S. Monson, but there are also plenty of people who are so ready to hear our message, and it's exciting/humbling to be one of the people to share it.
AND we are working with a lady, F, who is getting baptized in March. :)
Also, lately I've been having so many doctrinal questions, and our Stake Pres. Mema from Shqipnia said missionaries have tons of Qs because they study so much. It's true... the more I learn, the more I realize how much I really don't know.
Oh & we taught institute the other day.. go read/discuss D&C 101:8&16 and watch mormonmessage "hope of God's light" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w49_1a9X0Q) and translate it all into Albanian, and you'll feel like you were there :) (Learning to not care about the approval of others as I attempt to speak & teach në Shqip, me shumë gabime gjithëmonë por skagjë sepse po perpicem!)
Ju dua! Kalofsit bukur, fare. <3
Me Dashuni, Motra Madi Rajlli :)
ps things are totally safe and fine here, i forget we even had protests! no worries, seriously
the other week I was reading "how to be a consecrated missionary" by elder callister and felt like it was written specifically for me because everything mentioned was something on my mind recently. our RS usually has 3 women plus us.. a lot less nerve wracking when we're asked to teach last-minute :)
I asked about mass migrations from Kosovo: yes it is crazy, seems like everyone is trying to leave..! but sounds like it is so hard for them, their visas only allow them to go to albania/maqedoni/montenegro I guess?? they all want to go to
aka lotsa marriage offers for me.... and of course they want to go to
Deutschland b/c it is amazing there! We know :) USA
<3 madi xoxoxo
"it's like a symphony..." name that song (hint: I shook his hand at the mtc)
& sweet view right? it's so beautiful here