hand-knitted outfit made by her mom <3 these people know how to do sweaters
all of my favorites in one little pic: babies, fruit, Albanian knitted clothes.... / this member is amazing <3 Motra B
Hej! Miremengjesi dhe ju pershendes nga Lushnja, ALBANIA <3 (Good morning and greetings from Lushnje)
Hope you all are passing well....
The work here in Lushnje continues to be moving forward at an accelerated pace and I'm just livin the dream here!! This past week.. where to start.
Lots of awesome lessons. 3 of our baptismal dates are now officially progressing! Besides baptisms and confirmations, I'd have to say my happiest moments as a missionary are sitting in sacrament meeting with investigators who finallyyy came to church and love it and feel the spirit and are eager to come take the sacrament for the rest of their lives. I do want to mention though that a big focus for us this upcoming week will be helping the branch to help itself... aka encouraging our members to fulfill (and magnify!) their callings so the auxiliaries don't crumble once we missionaries get transferred every few months. I have to admit I love being asked to fill in and teach primary or YW or Relief Society on the spot and doing a big part to help the church experience to be a great one, but 2 problems- am I helping or hindering because they take the easy way out and don't stretch and grow, and also, I (nor Motra Peters) can't be everywhere at once, teaching everyone's 2nd hour class and making sure everyone feels welcome and loved and chaperoning relief society and investigators so noone gets offended or causes a scene, and allowing our leaders to take charge and organize things themselves. And trying to make everyone happy with conflicting opinions and needs can be a little draining, but all in all, our branch really is amazing and growing, which is so wonderful, and I love all our members and investigators and street vendor friends and my companion Sister Piterz, she's super awesome and we get along really well.
I'll write more later, have some cool stories to share. JU DUAA <3
Motra Rajlli :)
this cutie L is the awesome and smart girl who was taught by elders years ago and is getting baptized this time around!
had lots of on-the-spot (which often means, roadside) lessons. For example, we taught a lady selling popcorn on the street, two girls sitting in their stairwell, and a super nice besimtare younger nene on the sidewalk where she was selling sunflower seeds with her mom (an older nene.. like the one on the Christmas card ha.) One reason why this place is so amazing is the laid-back, extremely friendly feel, which generally means that when we stop to talk to people they are receptive and respectful. While waiting to meet a member for a lesson, we sat down on a bench next to a nene to chat (testify) with her and she pulled an extra piece of cardboard out of her bag for us to sit on.
Also, Mission Leadership Conference was great, I always love those meetings and leave a little more excited about missionary work, and Zone Training! I love giving trainings (STL still, with Motra Peters) and they are never boring/typical that's forsure haha. Gotta spice it up a little ya know? Also we always bring a little diçka për të ngrënë (something to eat). For example this time we introduced the discussion on unity with some trust falls followed by the Weidmanns' story of how they met/ first date (super cute btw.. childhood friends) since they're def. a unified companionship :) We have a huge Zone (including Berat, Vlore, Fier, Elbasan, Durres) so there are a bunch of greenies and we had them all participate with reading scriptures etc. and got a little more serious talking about forgiveness and how we must overlook flaws and forgive our companions, investigators, members, even if we feel justified in our offenses and esp. to encourage our members to forgive one another as we all try to grow and endure to the end the best we know how.
"Spirit is willing but flesh is weak" is applicable to our work lately since we both just want to go and do everything we possibly can and teach everyone etc. but when we take a second to sit down/eat just realize how exhausted we are .. my body's betraying me. I'll sleep when I'm dead.. double meaning with missionary vocab ha. Also we're on winter schedule aka up at 5:30am and sleep by 9:30pm. I love it! Even though it's the same amount of time it feels more productive. Plus everyone's cooped up for the night by 6pm so it works well.
I want to end by challenging whoever is reading this to join me and my mission and the Lushnje branch as we read the Book of Mormon from cover-to-cover within a month- by February 7th. I've been doing English for personal study, Shqip during language and Deutsch other down times i.e. lunch. Every time I read from the Book of Mormon, frymezohem shume dhe ju keshilloj ta lexoni perdite pa perjashtime... jane fjalet e Zotit! (I am more inspired and I advise you to read on a daily basis without exceptions ... it's the word of God!) I know that The Book of Mormon is true and guides me and gives me insights and hope and I'm so grateful that I can just crack it open whenever I need a pick-me-up. If you know anyone who doesn't have this opportunity, please make sure they get a copy. :)
Love you, thanks for love and support and prayers and wonderful faithful examples for me.