Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 28 - Kosovo

(left photo)  this is sis Kokle who used to serve i Albania, she's awesome! and goes to BYU so tell her hi Isaac!
 celebrated Mother's day with a picnic lunch after church (we love jogging at this park in the mornings) and a SKYPE CALL yay so great seeing everyone, y'all look great, and mom and dad you look younger wow
 more picnic pics snapped by my comp

 Here is S! Our wheelchair-bound Kerkuese. Went over Fjala e Urtesise as she was sipping her kafe in a kafe
oh and we were wheeling her to an appointment and it was raining and she was screaming profanities in English ha we encouraged her not to but she sure hates the rain lol! she is soo nice though aw never a dull moment with her either :)

Gezuar dita e neneve!

Miredita! Qysh po kaloni??
Soo good skyping home! You all look great and happy and esp. fun to line up the times to see Eliza <3, I mean Zuster Riley, and Isaac+Russian roomies~ congrats on the job at the MTC, btw!
I was just catching up in my journal this morning and re-living some crazy and amazing things that happened this past week so lemme share a few. :)

One of our investigators, L, who we met through English class, has been opening up to us so much and accepting and loving so many of our teachings (esp. chastity and fasting and of course prayer, and the holy ghost and LOVES the idea of a temple marriage), and she's fluent in Spanish so she and Motra Ariza talk and talk and testify and it's awesome (and if I don't understand an Albanian word she says, she tells Motra Ariza in Spanish who then tells me in English, kinda complicated so good thing it's only happened like twice), and she's read a lot from the book of Mormon (she also LOVES our fave chapter 2Nefi 4) but this girl is so closed off to faith in Jesus Christ. She's made amazing progress, and she's even told us she loves Christ and we explained thoroughly the NEED for a savior because he satisfied the laws of justice and mercy, but accepting Jesus Christ as the redeemer of the world just goes against her Muslim teachings too much. She even asked me if someone could be Christian without believing in Christ.. hmm I think the definition of a Christian answers that one!

We had Zone Conference, with President Weidmann, he's awesome. We talked a lot about talking to EVERYONE; always handing out pass-along cards and introducing ourselves and why we're here (me ndarre nji mesazh shume i bukur) and I loved that training because I'm all about that.. as Eliza pointed out, with our nametags and being foreigners etc. we stick out like a sore thumb anyways so we might as well use it to our advantage right?

That evening we had two AMAZING lessons with D, a very faithful catholic nursing student who we also met through English course (we've been talking about the Restoration for our spiritual thoughts in there and she always shared the greatest comments so of course we couldn't wait to have a lesson with her and discuss, plus it is SO refreshing to meet friends who share such a strong love for the Savior). We had two lessons with her because our first one got interrupted by a (very Muslim, as we soon found out) friend of ours who just came in and sat down and we didn't kick her out because we thought she was just listening in but she started commenting and then bashing on Christianity and the discussion escalated to a full-blown argument so Motra Ariza (who worked as a Peacebuilder for her government) broke them up and we ended because we had English class, and then after class we picked up where we left off. She had a catholic guy friend who we had no idea was her brother, and we wanted to teach him because he seemed interested, but after the unexpected visitor in our previous lesson we were hesitant to invite someone new (plus we can't teach only guys) so we told him to talk to the Elders and meet with them so now the Elders want to teach them together because they're siblings and D is eager to show her mom the Book of Mormon we gave her so let's get this whole family in church!

Had some more adventures with S, the one in the wheelchair, who cracks us up and is also so sweet and an amazing missionary for us! When she introduces us to her friends she basically teaches the first lesson. We're gonna make her a name tag of her own. :) She's still on baptismal date, which will have to be pushed back because there are a few commandments we have to go over with her again. She introduced us to some friends of hers here - NGOs and groups working with disabled people here in Kosovo and we are eager to help out and serve and be a part of this great community.

Yesterday afternoon was a miracle~ we were at the park reading scriptures when the Elders called us and said to meet them at the church, where they introduced us to our amazing new investigators, V and Gj. They are two single sisters who live together here in Prishtina and are journalists and were introduced to the church a couple years ago by a friend in Tirana, and have been reading and researching and based off of what they know and the mormons they know, they said they discussed and decided they want to become members of this church. So they got the number of missionaries in Prishtine - the Elders and then met us. Amazing! Talk about finding prepared people, wow. So we all taught Restoration together, and we'll be working with them every day (hopefully) up until their baptism in a couple weeks! Pray for them to keep their strong faith and desires to convert, because they are amazing.
Also had a powerful lesson with our faithful recent-convert couple who we work with, and Cifti Hydrick (I translated for them, so fun and great language practice) were really able to help them and give them hope and strength that they need amidst some hefty trials they're going through, so it was humbling to be a part of that.
Oh and N! Our amazing investigator who is 15 and so smart, studying Math and Physics at a charter school, so our long conversations about science and the Plan of Salvation are pretty mind-blowing.

There are so many amazing people here. Some are more interested than others in the Gospel, but really, these Kosovars are so nice and friendly and thoughtful and generous and cool and I am so impressed by them all the time. I love the wonderful people I get to meet and become friends with here, I feel so lucky to be doing this great work and focusing on what matters over here in Prishtina. <3

I love the Book of Mormon a lot, keep finding more verses that I LOVE and seem to have passed over the first couple times I've read through it. Alma 34 is so great right? Because that is a CLASSIC question of the soul.. what is the purpose of life?? Verse 32 can help with that one!

Wow this is so long! But I guess that's pretty accurate because this week's been packed with some amazing lessons and people and experiences.

I had way more pics I was excited to send.. from last week, but they're on my trainee's camera, which is not in this internet cafe! (the camera is missing not the trainee #sightandsound lol)

JU DUA SHUME kaloni bukur, Zoti ju bekofte. Hajt shimi, flasim javen tjeter! S'po di nese Perkthimi i googlit punon pra pac fat nen!

<3 <3 <3 <3
Motra Rajlli :)
from last wk again!

with the Weidmanns!

"our first hug!" haha thought you might like these from 6wks ago

love our little branch <3 (this was from our activity last wk.. Relief society prepping food together, just like in any other ward!)

this is our ward mission leader he's awesome haha (and he might go to BYU.. hang out w him Isaac!) / and some elders.. if they're gonna take selfies on my camera put them on the blog hah

Motra Ariza made her first cake EVER (two branch members had birthdays on Saturday)

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