Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Week 36 - Transfer 3 (of 5) - Durres, Albania

baby sophie for Josh? :) haha 
check out the guy in the background 
(note: Both Madi and her twin sister Eliza emailed photos of themselves with bunnies this week. 
Cool twin-coincidence!)

po kenaq <33
Hej! Wow Durres is absolutely incredible. I am livin' the dream. We have amazing, solid members who eagerly help us with lessons, and a strong, thriving ward.. feels like a whole different mission these days. Also it is HOT whew and I love this big city & BEACH. <3 There's something about nice weather and scenery that makes strangers more likely to show interest in learning more about the Book of Mormon? 

White-washing is def. an adventure, but we got solid investigators the second we arrived so can't complain! Our oven (also washing machine) is broken so good thing there are markets (and palm trees) on every corner.. had so many watermelons/nectarines/fresh cherries since I been here, life is good. :) I LOVE the cheap fresh fruit that is so accessible here ah this is my kinda place. Haha enough about the place, more about the people: our ward is huge which means my role as a missionary is different.. I can't help but compare everything to Kosovo and it is pretty dang opposite. This place is very ripe for missionary work, I have been so impressed with the friendly, interested, intelligent people I've met and taught since getting here. I guess I talk like a katundare/ malok (equivalent of a redneck? thx gegnisht) but I'd rather have a Kosovo accent than an American one? ;) I'll always be partial to those Northern dialects. <3 And Sister Dejves is amazing! Love serving with her, so smart (aka perfect-clean-Shqip) and on-top-of-things and sweet/ fun. Also we have a car to use for exchanges, but shyqyr we both insist on walking everywhere here.. perfect opp. to meet people while walking to appointments, plus exercisee. 

Oh, Urime Feste 4. Korrik, domethene, Gezuar Ditelindjen SHBA! edhe 100? ;) (I don't think I was quite as festive as Rachel with her leggings, but I did make sure to wear some red/white/blue that day hah #patriotic). We celebrated the best way-attending a baptism! For a girl the Elders taught who just graduated high school and is absolutely incredible, I really look up to so many people I've met out here on the mish.. sacrifices and unwavering faith... very impressive and inspiring. 

Speaking of strong faith, recently began the great Book of Mormon again (also making my way through it in Shqip.. I figure I've been out long enough, time to read cover-to-cover in the mission lang...) and I'm reminded of Nephi's unquestioning obedience. Definitely something to aspire to... and got me thinking about how many times in my life I've been more of a "Laman /Lemuel"; going through the motions with a horrible attitude, but patting myself on the back because I "obeyed"/ did what I was supposed to. But there are plenty of scriptures that remind us that our actions are meaningless if our heart's not in the right place. Good to keep in mind and also kind of a slap in the face because so often I give in to the natural man (woman lol) and complain/ doubt, when of course that is only detrimental to progression. Also every time I read through the Nephi stories I feel kinda bad for Sam, who was also obedient but doesn't get much credit, but this time around I was thinking about him in relation to the brother of the Prodigal son (see Luke 15) and it got me thinking about how silly it is to care about recognition for righteousness because of course God knows, and that is enough!

 I could go on and on about some lessons I've had and people I've learned from since I've been here but don't wanna bore you. (Let me know if you're interested in specifics though and I'll jot down some notes!) Sorry about the pic overload last week hah... SO MANY... but again I'm sure ya don't mind too much mom :)  Love you guys! Thanks for raising me with such a solid understanding of the scriptures and their teachings... although often I feel like I hardly know anything about this Gospel but then I'm reminded that we were sent to this earth to learn and to grow! Aka, to re-discover truths that were so familiar to us in our pre-mortal lives.  Ju duam!!!!  thanks again for everything, love you!! 
<3 Madi :) 
aka, Motra Rajlli..
ps~dad I loved your dry-council talk on Joseph Smith, thanks for sending! Also loved your pro-family statement. preachh.  
​Wow Isaac, gratuliere!! Eine Deutsche Fraeulein? ;) more pics please!? (
Eliza <3 your pics are so fun and cute and I wanna meet both of your comps who look so awesome, and I wanna eat all those Surinamese veggies you cook lol....and hahahah SO FUNNY that lady thought I was your daughter what the heck??! lolol that's a new one.... 
Rachel- ILP China is kinda on my to-do-list too... let's go together next year!? ;) Also tell Nauvoo hi for me! Remember camping there a couple years ago....? #swamp #skeeters #thunderstorm #tentcollapsed (hah are hashtags still a thing?)
J-dawg, awesome costume, you are so cool, and a little ladies' man always I see? Following in Isaac's footsteps? ;) can't keep up with you two jk. But really, Scarlet Pimpernel, such a classic.  
you guys are awesome, thanks for mail/ anything really, means so much! (Rachel write mee!) 
Kalofsit bukur kete jave, secili prej jush!

hah some more of me in Durres, walk this street at least 5x a day, and this is p-day obvi

Motra Dejves  /  this girl is basically our 3rd companion #trio 

graffiti by the YSA center....

 sneaky crowded bus pic   /  E from Elbasan is so awesome/helps us with so many lessons 

full moon!

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