Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 57 - paska lindur nje shpetimtar (dhe binjaket Rajlli? haha)

vajza juaj ne shqiperi

we had our own dita e falenderimeve on tues. since we had more time then.. guess which plate is mine? :) 

Hej! Gezuar Krishtlindjen! Madison Christmas;) 
Check out krishtlindja.mormon.org  (https://www.mormon.org/sqi/krishtlindja) #NjeShpetimtarKaLindur

Wow, this week was amazing. Livin the dream here. As if serving here in Lushnje wasn't goin great enough, we got a little early Christmas present from President Weidmann.. a new car, which we use almost daily since 98% of our investigators live in different villages and we go on exchanges in Durres/Berat/Vlore plus meetings in Tirana etc.. good thing so many Christmas carols are hymns right? ;) (they can listen to hymns while driving)

Working with the children out in Gungas is still an incredible experience and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.. sweet eager kids and teens so ready for the gospel, and who have already started to change noticeably with the light and purpose of having the gospel in their lives. Actually, most of them showed up to church yesterday! I almost teared up when I saw them all gathered by the door, waiting for us before they went upstairs.. even the older boys were out there, smoking in front of the church.. but they still came!

A and M, ages 17 and 10, respectively, are amazing and thirsty to learn more.. they both have read a ton from the Book of Mormon and loved church and love everything they learn. A was telling us how she's met other "missionaries" (volunteers with a non-profit, sounds like) from America/ Italy who were nice but just came and sang/ danced and then left, and she loves how we teach them lessons about the gospel. We brought along E (that faithful lady who was baptized about a month ago with her sweet family) and it was incredible to see how she hit it off with these families we visited. A lot of the kids/teens we are teaching live with their grandparents while their parents have either passed away or are divorced and remarried in Germany/Switzerland/Italy, or working over there. We'd had a feeling that we'd meet someone who E would really be able to help us with.. didn't realize it would be an entire village! In a couple of the lessons, after her powerful testimony of faith and the power of the holy ghost; "I am dirt poor and have two kids and we have absolutely no food in the house today but we have each other and we have God and we went to church because we know that's where we needed to be" some of our investigators cheered and clapped. It's amazing to see what a strong member she is, influencing and inspiring so many others to bring them the hope and peace she's found. Incredible.

Also thanksgiving was fun! Our district's skit was "highlights" of the rivendosja (restoration) film aka parts that have nothing to do with the actual story but then ended singing "Joseph Smith's 1st prayer" because we have some Elders who like to harmonize. Funny + spiritual? Check. Idk if the other skits were actually funny or I've just been out on my mission too long but I laughed a lot that day.

I planned to send you a theory/epiphany/insight came up with the other day with Motra Eliason, talking after an emotionally and spiritually exhausting lesson (one investigator dropped herself the day before her scheduled baptism). Never before in my mission (before this transfer, that is) have I had so many people who are progressing and ready and come so far but then something comes up and they don't take the plunge (no pun intended) and get baptized. It is sad.. so close yet far.. but also I feel good that they're at least that much closer than they were before and at least they are aware of the truth that's out there. But I will definitely send you my thoughts from the other night in next weeks's email because it was kinda the breakthrough of my mission haha. 
I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support and examples and I am so grateful, especially this time of year, for the birth (and atonement) of our Savior. 
**Luke 4:18

Me shume dashuri nga Qyteti i Lushnjes,
Motra Rajlli <3  

whipped up a little somethin for the dessert contest.. improvised bc no food processor 


Pictures of mission conference, from Motra Cheshire (Madi's MTC comp)


From Madi's comp's update:

Happy Thanksgiving! Motra Rajlli and I made our thanksgiving meal 2 days before the holiday and we went all out! We started in the morning and prepped everything then cooked it all at our lunch time: stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans with fried onions, and Trader Joe's scones. It was sooo good! We didn't do the turkey cause we weren't about to buy one of those live turkeys on the side of the road and kill it in our kitchen... as great of a story as that would be, we opted out haha 

Then for real Thanksgiving, all the missionaries went to Tirana for a Conference and we all ate foods and performed our skits. Ours went really well! We acted out all the random parts of the Restoration video we've all seen a million times in Albanian. Everyone has it memorized haha I was the tree that falls over and the sheep that baahs. It was really fun to make and practice with our district.

The day after Thanksgiving we decorated the house with a tree that was left in our apartment and decorations from home. We listened to Christmas music and made hot cocoa. Motra Rajlli and I definitely know how to entertain ourselves haha we find the fun in very simple things all day. We both get excited over a soup we'll make later that day or the fact that we're missionaries in Albania and can communicate in another language. She's so awesome :D

We're going out to the fshat a lot to meet all of the kids' parents. All the kids want to come to all the lessons which is slightly unfortunate because there's a bajillion of them. And they came to church! We had 50 in Sacrament Meeting yesterday! That's a record for Lushnje in awhile. Miracles are happening! And we had a spontaneous dance party to cultural music before one of our lessons which was super fun haha 

We bring E to the kids in the fshat and they all love her! A lot of their parents have left Albania to Switzerland or Germany and so they love having "another mom" here. She has such a powerful testimony. She really doesn't have a lot. Her house is 2 rooms and she barely has enough food to eat, but she is SO strong. She has walked to church for 2 hours in the pouring rain because she doesn't have enough money for a fergon (organized hitchhiking vans). E is so amazing and is such an awesome example for all of them. 

No comments:

Post a Comment