Saturday, December 12, 2015

Week 58 - GEZUAR Krishtlindjen :)

 T's adorable grandkids who helped us street contact and sang with us while we caroled for a few.. I had a couple extra nametags 

shqiponja w gloves before zone conf   /  drive back to Lushnja

drivin around a bunch of Albanians :) they're so awesome 
  and some sisters in our zone

hiked to an awesome restoration lesson 

this amazing new investigator! i'll tell you her story in the email because we stumbled across her and her fam and they are soo hospitable and kind and ready for the gospel!! 

made snickerdoodles and read the nativity at cute M's house with her cuute parents 

awesome member T

Hey! Ah so much cool stuff has happened, so much fun stuff planned.. let's just say my comp. and I love an excuse to get festive and we're goin all out for our first-and only- Christmas here in Shqiperi as full-time missionaries. Plus the ppl here don't do much for Christmas.. they have some decorations shyqyr but generally they're for new year's.. so we make up what they lack? Ha 

For example, our training at Zone training was having our whole zone act out the nativity! I suggested it as a joke "let's get them in the Christmas spirit: and sis. E was like "hey. good idea!" so we brought a huge bag of my sweaters and scarves and a couple other props, we read from Luke and Matthew chapters 2 and it was so fun(ny) and everyone seemed a little more enthusiastic after (since we brought cookies and mandarins too, typical us ha) soo success? 

Exactly a week ago today we had an amazing lesson.. we'd met this cool girl, A, in Lushnje and she invited us to her house so of course we got her digits and address and went over...literally in the middle of nowhere and it's a miracle we even found it! Up sketchy dirt roads with huge mud puddles and steep hills with vague directions.. pitch black out in some tiny fshat.. but we made it to her cozy house, filled with 6 new investigators! Her sweet, awesome parents and some uncles and cousins who had just gotten back from Greece and Italy (typical) and they fed us a huuge dinner and we had a nice lesson and then when we went back, A had read the restoration pamphlet thoroughly and recognized Joseph Smith's story as we taught. We're excited to follow up on that. 

It was a little disappointing/frustrating when noone from Gungas came to church.. excuses and complaints but lacking the effort and drive from within. Oh also I guess all the grandparents and neighbors say we're isis? That's a new one. L, the dad of that awesome family who got baptized a month ago, got the aaronic priesthood on Sunday and will baptize the (11-yo! looks younger) daughter, S, Sunday morning. It's amazing. Also caroled at the city (town) center yesterday and it was amazing, took along the grandkids of a recent convert and the elders joined us (one belted out bass while the other handed out cards) and it was awesome! I'm so grateful to be serving here at this special time! And check out the cool website:!! 

Here's the "pride-ception" epiphany I mentioned last week haha: (And there's a little graph/diagram that goes with it but no way to put on here so picture one ha)
When we compare ourselves to others, we fall into the trap of becoming stagnant; under the false impression that we are doing better than we actually are. Then we settle for less because as we look down at those who are living at lower performance levels we notice our own relative height, when we should be looking up in order to recognize our full dependency on God in his infinite glory. A healthy recognition of divine potential paired with a humble acknowledgement of mortal imperfection is the only way to progress. (Those are the effect-eternal perspective- and cause-need for repentance- of Christ's atonement.) Not only understanding, but applying our Savior's great sacrifice is key because it is the only way we are able to press forward with hope. Our eternal nature yearns to improve. The Adversary is aware of this and so he whispers to us that we're alright because compared to nothing we are something, but something is so much less than everything we were created to be. Essentially, we are battling our own pride as we fight to remain aware of our constant need for improvement while the natural man pats himself on the back and insists that he is doing just fine. 
(That was my version.. we kinda discussed and jotted down in our own words.. hope it makes sense to youu! It's a little wordy..I can tell I've been reading conference talks lately..)

Motra Rajlli :)

haha back with the mtc group ;)

one of our investigators J got us these cute mugs

recognize the dress haha?

 sending you pics from my comp's camera this transfer... so these are from October actually :)

we took this one night when we wanted to see if we looked as tired as we felt ha 

gezuar with A and her fam! The family we found.. way out there.. and btw the little white glasses have raki, they still have to be taught Fjala e Urtesise 

Lushnje (snapped from the car window, not a tourist no worries)

haha berat p-day panorama

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