this is who I talked about in my email
RS activity and my little primary class (the member I was on a split w took the pic no worries)
Hej! Wow every single day was packed with all sorts of things i.e. one day we had 3 equally amazing but completely different lessons with great investigators, then rushed to a relief society activity: making byrek together, it was us and 3 awesome recent converts, then went out to a former investigator's farm (the super cute and sweet lady L who can't get baptized b/c of her bros in Greece) and worked in the fields for an hour for some service, fun and nice to mix it up and therapeutic to shovel aty te toka haha and then great lessons with members in their cozy homes out in that same village. And yesterday in church (sacrament hall has been pretty full these past weeks btw! Hello Lushnje ward soon? kismet..) sister Eliason and I conquered our fears and sang solos in sac mtg. (a verse each and then together with parts) because we'd made a deal at the beg. of this transfer that we would, so check "sing a solo in public" off my list! ;) And it was Lutjen a e the, my favee. Just ask anyone in my mtc group. ;)
Anyways what I really wanna tell you about is an INCREDIBLE experience that happened... actually, is still happening and it is amazing to be a part of. Btw I'm sharing this in hopes of inspiring/ encouraging anyone reading this that miracles are out there and not to brag with a cool success story. Alma 26:36!
This is the story of A (17 yrs), and how her excitement about the gospel spread to her entire neighborhood. To start at the beginning.. we met A on the street in front of the church one morning two weeks ago, with her little brother, O. We invited her up to our church to check it out and had a quick lesson about prayer and hope etc. and she was interested to meet again so we got general directions to her house and a phone #. That's pretty usual for us here, but then this past week, on an exchange with sis. Henderson, we ventured out to try and find this girl with her fam (a solid 20-min drive, plus some wrong turns) and when we met up with her, she'd brought along her brothers and a bunch of their friends to meet us. We sat down in the grass right there since their house was still a 15-min walk and a bunch of neighborhood kids and teens on their ways home from school hopped off their bikes and joined us. It was amazing, teaching the restoration and testifying powerfully... and even though we had over 10 kids, it was silent b/c A's older brother glared at anyone who started whispering ha.
Then we went back a couple days later, with sis. Eliason this time, and we felt like celebrities.. as we drove up all the kids ran up to greet us and when we got out they all hugged us/ shook our hands and this lesson was a little more hectic since there were about thirty of them!!! All gathered around us, we sat on the grass out in a tiny village here in Albania, surrounded by fields and mandarin trees etc. It was more crowd- control this time since they were eager to participate, and just so many of them. Just amazing, gave them each a card w/ pic of Christ as we explained the significance of his atonement and we sang "a Child's prayer" ne Shqip to them at the end, and it was just unreal, out there, surrounded by these children and teens so eager to learn more about Heavenly father, and our savior Jesus Christ, and the significance of his sacrifice and everything that means for them/ us... it was our little Albanian "sermon on the mount" te fshati. So we definitely have our work cut out for us these upcoming weeks! Get to everyone's houses and meet their families.... still trying to process what just happened ha. Btw they were soo eager to come to church and it was pouring rain yesterday but apparently like 15 of them were all dressed up and ready to go but they just couldn't find a fergon/ bus so they went back home wet and disappointed. :( So we'll def. make sure a fergon driver knows to swing by there Sunday morning.
Speaking of rides to church... E, that mom who just got baptized WALKED (pouring rain, remember?) over an hr to church, along the freeway (Albanian drivers, enough said), with her little 6-yr old son! No money for a bus ride but determined to obey the commandments no matter what. Don't ever think you're too tired/busy/poor/far to make it to sacrament meeting, and if you do, think of E yesterday morning.
Wow there's actually so much more but I think it's enough to end with my testimony that the gospel is for everybody! Regardless of concerns/doubts/backgrounds/biases... I know this is true because the people we teach are incredibly different (not to mention all the faithful members in different parts of the world) but the gospel is the same wonderful message of hope and joy and peace which every one of us is searching for (whether we're aware that we are or not) and need, no matter where we come from.
So grateful for the knowledge and comfort and hope and reassurance I receive through the message of the restored gospel of our savior Jesus Christ, and especially around this time of year...I just feel especially thankful for my wonderful family and kind friends/ relatives etc. and I just wanna say that I love you all, thank you soo so much for your faithful, strong, down-to-earth, prioritizing examples, and I wish you all a happy thanksgiving! Eat some sweet potatoes (yams?) for me (so you can have twins! jk) since I haven't seen them here! Ndihem shuume mirenjohese fare dhe ju dua shume ju te gjithe dhe ju falenderoj per cdo gje qe me keni mesuar. Love youu
me dashuri nga Motra Rajlli <3
!!!! Berat, kinda the Prizren of Albania?