Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 41 - Durres

I swear our view just gets prettier everyday! Heavenly Father is the best artist ;) 

these kids were so cute and kept begging to take more pics, also gave us roses and grapes for the road! 

haha these people got animals for dayzz they had a couple cows chillen in the front yard just around the corner 

I may have bought this canteloupe soda just to take a pic.. stop rolling your eyes Rachel ;) 

haha Elders left this giant shalqi on our doorstep.. they gave me suuch a hard time when I brought watermelon as dessert for a district lunch the other week

love these Vlore missionaries! ice-cream (fruit sorbet haha! there's a difference)... the workers here know us too well 
sis Bezus (we are sure we've met before but can't figure out where/ when hahah).. love these awesome sisters! 
sis Barch (my mtc buddy- Macedonian tho!!)
aty te fshati
hejj si kaluat? a keni vap?
what's up fam, so this past week definitely felt like we're white-washing, even though we've been here over a month now.. funny how it seems that when investigators and lessons are concerned it's either extreme.. either too many to pack into one day (a wonderful problem to have!), or not enough/ difficult to get people to meet and listen (very common). But, we're out here doing the most important work and so even on days when we have a lot of finding ahead of us, we manage to meet awesome people and often have great impromptu lessons, or at least testimony- bearing opps. 

And never a dull moment while tracting, i.e. a guy in a speedo with a pet lion (okay, maybe it was a dog) answered the door but luckily wasn't too interested in our message, and rode in a pitch black, rickety old elevator up to the 11th floor (I always rather take the stairs!), and some nice but uninterested older women let us in and were so chatty just gossiping with eachother- kindof reminded me of geese squawking haha (but so cute because they'd been best friends and neighbors for over 60 years, gonna be me and Eliza 75 years from now?) but we were determined to have a lesson with them and we finally were able to squeeze some words (as in, scriptures and prayers)in edgewise

A highlight of my week was my exchange in Lushnje (w/ sis. Coleman who is awesome and so enthusiastic and also fit aka we got up early and worked out hard and ate this delicious veggie stew stuff). Anyways besides the fact that they have an amazing apartment there haha,it was soo cool because we did work out in the villages nearby, and whew lemme tell ya, it is a different life over there! God's beautiful creations all around, and so..calm/ peaceful! Dad I thought of you helping out the missionaries over in Defuniak while I was doing work in these little farm communities.. Lushnje is to Albania what the deep south is to the rest of the US. (Domethene, redneckss? jk) Simple, generous, hard-working, God-fearing people.. polar opposites of the typical well-dressed, educated/ ambitious Kosovars I ran into everday back in Prishtine. Also very different from the wealthier Albanians here in Durres with their fancy beachfront condos... the nicer the house, the less receptive to the gospel.. there is def. a correlation there. 

Anyways I was so touched by the members and investigators over there, who have so little but are willing to sacrifice to much to come to church/ study their scriptures etc. Our Durres members (and members worldwide!) are awesome too, even if they don't have to spend their week's earnings on a bus ride to church on Sunday.. it was just especially impressive to me (and also a slap in the face.. how many times have I dragged my feet or walked in late to sacrament mtg. because I wanted to sleep in etc.? Spending a little time here in Albania has given me perspective, among other things!).

We had zone conference and I liked an acronym Sister Weidmann used in her training; PUSH- Pray Until Something Happens. I'm sure every missionary- whether member or full-time- can attest to the importance of this! Oh and sis. Davis and I sang Lutja e Femijeve/ A Child's Prayer for a musical #.. trading off with Shqip and English at the same time and then violin interlude and then duet part in Shqip.. I didn't think it'd be scary since we belt it out alll the time aka walking to appointments or in our apartment but man I still got so nervous haha that's why I like making myself do that kinda stuff because best way to conquer your fears is to face them apo jo? :)

Also last night Motra Davis brought her violin down te Volga and played hymns while I passed out cards/ testified of the BoM/ got phone #s. Mixin' it up for street contacting, and we sang hymns for a couple interested listeners so I hope they liked it as much as we did haha.

It is HOT here and we're kindof in a rut with not too many investigators at the moments but good thing Prishtina trained me well for that hah, and I am still shocked at how-unique/ exotic/ quirky/ vibrant/ fantastic this little country is. Soo culture- rich I love it, and I feel like I'm back in Florida working in Destin when I talk to cool tourists from all over.

3 Nephi 22:10 is an amazing and clear/ uplifting verse, I'd like to end with it. <3
"For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not be removed from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."

I love you all!! Thanks so much to everyone for any kindof note/message/words of encouragement and support, you have no idea how much they mean to me and give me just the boost I need when it feels like noone here is too appreciative of my efforts haha! <3
Motra Rajlli

oh also I forgot to mention, the Weidmann's daughter Cassie was visiting and it was so fun chatting with her auf Deutsch. (Even though she speaks perfect English haha b/c served on temple square a while back).
also, mom, we had zone conf and our mail was lost.. someone picked it up, the office couple told me, but they don't know who? so for the first time I got nothing and was super sad haha but I know my dearelders and little 1/2 bday padded envelope are out there somewhere </3 hahah nah I think it will end up to me. I was honestly surprised at how disappointed I was when it was nowhere to be found but I know you write ;)

this RC was so awesome haha and also has a sweet doll collection. 

sweet view and pink walls.. I wanna live here (and work with the cool and strong branch ha)

This is from my mish prez and I liked the story so thought I'd share it w/ y'all.. you can use it for fhe tonight ;)

“JST Luke 12:57 But he that knew not his Lord’s will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom the Lord has committed much, of him will men ask the more.”

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained, that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun ·up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out feeling that his whole day has been spent in vain. Since the man was showing signs of discouragement the adversary decide to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man's weary mind: "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it." Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
"Why kill yourself over this?” he thought. I will just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be enough." And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
"Lord" he said, I've labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You've asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven't even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What's wrong? Why am I failing?"
"MY friend, when I asked you to serve Me – you accepted.
I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength - which you've done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me - with your strength spent, thinking that you've failed. But is that really so?"
"Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands a callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you've grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know, that it’s still God who moves the mountains.

P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens!

When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. - When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. - When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. - When the people just don’t understand you, just - P.U.S.H.

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