Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 45 - u takova me kusherinjt dje

RS pres. and England RM!  


love these RS sistas  
this cool nene gave me some recipes i.e. fasule (hardly a recipe but, popullore ha) and stuffed eggplant!


these girls are soo sweet, from Elbasan but students here






English course is so great here because our few but committed students make solid investigators 


fam reunion in Durres! ;) 
they said I look just like you etc. and want to take us out to dinner so hopefully I get to see them again! 
This is my 2nd cousin and his daughter. He and I were in the BYU dorms at the same time, and he was also Lyrad's home teaching companion in a BYU ward. He speaks German and Albanian so I was excited for Madi to meet him!  
The 2 men in the back and the woman 2nd from the right are my 2nd cousins, who traveled to Albania with their daughters to work with a humanitarian organization founded by my 2nd cousin (the one in the back right) who was one of the first missionaries to serve in Albania, 20+ years ago.  I told Madi to keep an eye out for them! I'm so glad they found her.
For more info or to help:  http://albanianfaithfoundation.org/ To provide humanitarian service and aid to disadvantaged groups in Albania and the surrounding region




incredible view from a 15-floor glass elevator detour on the walk home 


"come follow me" fishers of men?? 


tennis courts! <3 tried to play last p-day.. no luck
 Villa Zogu and Durres @ night #gotdrite?


found almond milk (!?) and our fridge is weird so made ice cream kinda (shaved ice?)


Hej!
 If you pick up any Arabic, please send me your notes so I can impress my Muslim friends :) 
Mom, Christmas came early when I was in Tirane the other day and got a big stack of mail from you! Ah thanks soo much I love it and treasure every little note and DearElder :)  no 1/2 bday package but that's alright bc soo many dearelders I was super happy thankyouuu :) And the maps! Yess thanks so much I study them while I brush my teeth hahah.  <3

Isaac (&Sandra..) a po kaloni mire? Oder soll ich sagen... geht's euch gut? Rachel and Josh, I hope seminary (aka mish-prep!) and high school are going well? 

Durres is incredible, I really love this place and am constantly impressed by the faithful, righteous people I get to meet here, both in our ward and out on the street aka new investigators. The work has been really picking up here lately and I love the days that we seem to have too many appointments to fit in our schedule. 

So cool, yesterday got to meet our relatives (my 2nd or 3rd cousins? same Great-grandparents through G'pa Burk), including former-Elder Wirthlin who opened up Albania for missionary work 20 years ago, so cool he gets to come back and see this prospering stake with so many strong members... that's kindof my dream for Kosovo one day. :) 

We had a zone mtg. in Lushnje and gave our training on 1 John 4:20-21 and had great discussions (thanks to other missionaries' inspired comments) about loving your brother (or, companion!/members/investigators); people need love the most when they deserve it the least etc. and I'll give an fhe on it for you guys one day so stay tuned :) 

I am really grateful for the gospel and for missionary work so we can spread this message to the world, and I am especially grateful to have seen some of the fruits of our efforts this past week as investigators read from the Book of Mormon and came to church (endured all 3 hrs yeah!) and accepted baptismal dates. (A, an amazing lady who is unable to come to church right now fasted with us and had a wonderful spiritual experience with that so that was neat to be a part of). I loved when I stumbled across Alma 5:60 the other morning, so clear and such a comfort to remember that us "sheep" always have our Good Shepherd to guide us, even when those "ravenous wolves" are doing everything they can to get us. 

Also, showed The Touch of the Master's Hand to our English class (I wanted my violin-playing comp. to see it) and was reminded how much I love that church video, such a touching message. Watch it as soon as you can because it will make you think twice about how you look at and treat others. We all get a little "battered and scarred" out here (thanks Satan) and lose sight of our worth but with a touch of the Master's hand everything's put into perspective and we're reminded of the incredible potential we all have, and really, only He who created us knows just how much we have to offer. 
JU dua! KLM, jave te mbare :)
<3 Madi  
Here's the 12-minute video of "Touch of the Master's Hand"

aw love her  
looved our p-day spent with these awesome sisters in our ward  








this girl just served a mission in England! and hung out w her and her sis today so you'll see lots of her haha  
(closest thing I have to an Albanian flag) 
this girl just served a mission in England! and hung out w her and her sis today so you'll see lots of her haha  






Rovena made us qep e domato byrek! na bofte mire;) 
 


hey sis daves! ask her if she's sunburnt;) jk.. EVERY Albanian comments that she's white, or red/ not brown etc. 
sneak-peek into Motra Rajlli's kitchen: just pullin an Isaac hah 


didn't have a can-opener so got creative / 3-generations of Albanian women waving us goodnight  

To Mom- hahah yay I'm glad you love the pics! sometimes I feel like I take sooo many but hearing that you love them encourages me to keep sendin ya lots ;) and I'm usually not in p-day clothes btw! i just like doing active stuff on pdays lol like sports/ hiking

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