Thursday, August 27, 2015

Week 43 - Durres

po mundohem, po kenaqem

I should get a scholarship for these pics (my shirt: "I <3 byui")

this place is amazingg

hiked through thorns but worth it 
amaazing Skenderbeu castle. With some Tirana missionaries aka I got to see Nene Z! and sister White!

and hunger games? 

Hej! Happy 23rd anniversary mom and dad! To celebrate, you should throw yourselves an Albanian dasem (wedding party).

As usual, my pics make it look like I'm on vacation, but lemme tell ya, 6.5 out of 7 days of the week it does not feel like it. Still hot, still lots of finding aka rejection, but somehow we managed to get 9 new investigators this past week! Granted, 4 of them dropped us after a couple days, but it's a cool story how we found them. Our first p-day here, we found the beach as you saw, and a nice mom w/ her kids showed us where to go and later we ran into the 13-yo daughter again and she was interested in meeting or kurs but never answered the phone. Then, exactly a week ago, we'd just finished up email and were tracting (right before we started we were praying pretty sincerely, "please help us to find people we can help and teach.. we know they're out there, guide us/ place us in their path..") when we went to a new neighborhood and the bldg. we stopped at the 4th floor because from there up it was pitch black. the 1st door we knocked on was the home of this family! The next day we had a great restoration lesson with their bestfriends/ neighbors. The girl seemed especially interested and eager to read but we aren't teaching them anymore because her older sister is about to start attending a special Muslim school and wear the headscarf so the mom made it clear that her family won't be switching religions. But we know there's a reason we ran into them again, and I'm pretty sure it's for this girl, who now has a Book of Mormon.

Also, Lo (I don't use people\s names for privacy but just so it doesn't get confusing I'll use the 1st two letters b/c I also wanna mention "Le" haha) is doing amazing! A sweet 17-yo from kurs (free English classes the missionaries teach) who we spotted potential in and has been showing amazing interest and faith lately.. just a little trouble with her traditionally-Muslim family who don't support (or allow..) her getting baptism. 

Also Le, this awesome, super- prepared 18-yo guy we started teaching at kurs and then handed to the elders b/c he's a guy, is so strong in his testimony already.. he went to fsy (efy) this past week and shared such a sincere testimony at church yesterday, it's amazing to see him not only accept but flourish with the gospel.. in kurs he basically teaches our spiritual thought for us, and he decided to move to durres for school instead of staying with his family in their village so he can come to church here. Future stake president, calling it. 

Also E, 18-ish and her mom, are so sweet and amazing.. Muslim, also found through kurs, but we have had some of the best discussions with them because these two are so loving and eager to learn, and compare with their faith/ background but never in an argumentative way.

Also Xh was MIA for a couple weeks but luckily we met with her again and she's still solid and should be getting baptized next month once her schedule changes so she can attend church. A, a sweet older woman, referral actually, is amazing and we had one of the best first-lessons I've ever had, a couple days ago with her. Well, hope you enjoyed the progress record. ;)

I have a long quote about not being the source of light but reflecting it, and that's enough etc. but no time to type it out ha so I'll leave you with the words of the always great (and Albanian!) Nene Tereza: "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." 
Ju dua! Jave te mbare! 
(Also, Eliza, soo cool you get to come full-circle and finish where you were trained! Ah cool. Miss youu! <3)
<3 Love, Madi :) 

i wanna come to your seminary class haha Are you super tired these days though haha? what time do you get up? I think 6:30 is hard enough haha!  don't take it personally if Rachel says it's boring, she said stonehenge was boring.

got to see Enide! in her hometown
exchange w motra ranta in Elbasan, she's halfway through training and super sweet 

got to see Motra Peters!

Lori came to church!!!!! 

haha a dying Elder's planner.. sneaky 

there's a lot of funny stories behind this drawing.. (by Motra Davis) a dropped investigator of the elders who is Jewish/ lived in Israel for a while and shared an entertaining testimony in sacrament (youth were sharing efy experiences and he had some thoughts to share too so he got up and the bishop stopped him so he just walked up in front of the podium instead)

sorry I take so many pics haha, everything's just so cool here (also after having a camera stolen I'm a little paranoid of losing them all again ha)

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