Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 74 - Ai është ngritur ♪♪

heartbreaking saying goodbye to these awesome kids... (handed them over to the elders) 

so cute, he made his own nametag! future elder!! 

this lady is so sweet, her son and his fiancee are members and her husband was a strong member of our branch before passing away a year ago, it's heartbreaking to hear about every time we go over  

 somehow this always happens every time she puts on a scarf ;)

Alesio :) 
he's so cute 

I love this woman 


bought a lollipop at a nënë neighbor's little garage dyqan  

Hejj Mirëmengjesi :) Gëzuar Pashket! <3

Today my comp. sister Pitërz is dying (in mission lingo: finishing her mission and going home) so we're headed to Tirana in a few to pick up her mom (!!) from the airport, and then she'll come back to Lushnjë with us and serve as a mini-missionary this afternoon and evening, so that'll be fun. 

Tomorrow I get my new comp, sis Maxfield- one of the Macedonian sisters! They get little "breaks" from Skopje and I'm super excited to have her here, and teach her Shqip in a short amount of time.. also Elder Medveczsky from my mtc group will be coming here as well- your penpal mom, remember? :) the one elder with us 6 sisters.....good times. Also, for the first time since training I won't be STL. Really I am soo happy to be staying here in Lushnjë! I love this place so much. <3

This past week was AMAZING. Two incredible baptisms- both sweet, smart, super strong (faith) 16-yo girls. L, and J. L is the one who was taught by elders 6 years ago but her baptism wasn't able to happen back then so she kinda disappeared from church/ got busy with school etc. plus no family support but right before new year's the elders tracted into her and then we met her and have been teaching her (reviewing lessons, really..she remembered everything) and her brother said she wasn't allowed to be baptized so we all thought she was gonna have to wait til she was 18 but then her mom agreed that she could go ahead and get baptized as long as the brother didn't find out etc... anyways it is a miracle but she made it! 

And J is the awesome girl who we met at her mom's shop and was just so prepared and golden. Her mom is learning and progressing as well, and should be joining her daughter (as in, baptism) this upcoming month! So keep L (the mom) in your prayers, because there are a couple obstacles to overcome. 

Have another awesome new friend, K, who is 17. Basically the young woman program here is skyrocketing. This girl and her mom own a shop with wedding dresses near our house so they saw us walk past daily and just this past week they called us over so we went and talked and had a little lesson etc. and invited K to come to L and J's baptism and she was super excited to come because she'd always wanted to see a baptism but didn't know what to expect, and anyways she came and told us that she'd read from the Book of Mormon and had just planned to read a tiny bit from the beginning, to keep her word to us, but it really intrigued her so she read a ton and her mom's not super supportive but we'll work on her. 

Also, another young woman, B, I had never met before but is a member, met her on the street while tabling on St. Patrick's day, and we met with her and she's so cute and sweet and awesome, and she came to church too! 

Yesterday, our sacrament hall was packed (51).. it helped that it was both Easter and Branch Conference, aka the big guys from Tirana came and spoke/ presided. 

The other day in personal study I really enjoyed reading Our Heritage, I recommend it, especially alongside Doctrine and Covenants. So powerful to read about the early days of the church- sacrifice and challenges and sufferings and to see what it's blossomed into today.. or to see right in front of me here that some of these early stages are still going on, but cool to know what blessings are just around the corner. So grateful for the strength and faith of our pioneer ancestors..

So grateful for this restored gospel, especially around Easter time, I am humbled every time I think of Christ's suffering on the cross, and uplifted at the knowledge that through him, the bands of death were broken.  
Motra Rajlli :)

joined the xhaxhis for a little picnic in the park.. no dominoes for us tho
me and sister peters got yarn for daysss yay for homemade scarves and sweaters from our nënës :) :)

driving to Tirana with the cute Vlore sisters  /  <3<3 the ones that aren't dying quite yet ;)

Motrat e Misionit të Adriatikut të Jugut  

last time all together, 1/2 of us go home s00n </3 

and my new comp., sister Maxfield! 


these boys are brothers (sons of D) and one of the elders is getting transferred and the bigger one was soo sad, crying etc. aw  

this lady, D is so sweet (and sister Peters' long skirts look great on her!)

<3 <3  

this nënë is so great, definition of "momma bear" 

HAHA check out sister Peters' new shirt they gave her.. they love her, "xhesi!!"

Sis. Peters got her dog-therapy

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 73 - gëzuar ditën e shen Patrikut

tabling, 1st time ever actually, definitely worthwhile. met a member I'd never seen before and had lots of intriguing (and brief) conversations about Christ and his resurrection 

these guys are so great. we'll hand them over to the elders since they're the only ones in their huge family that come to church, but they're actually working towards baptism in April, and reading tons every day 

and some great members :)

Elbasan, and çerm 

Elbasan, these girls are amazing! <3 <3 

those are his shades  
these people are so great. Did some service out in their fields, and we were rewarded- they came to church!  

Albanians don't celebrate St. Patrick's day but shoutout to the Irish ancestors ;) wore and ate green and handed out pass-along cards for the easter initiative to celebrate. :)  Last Monday I was in Elbasan for an exchange (w/ sister White from my mtc group, she's so great). They're known for their summer day celebrations and ballakuma (cookies with everything I hate lol- fresh eggs, tons of butter, white sugar, white flour). In the evening, one of our lessons wasn't answering so we climbed up on the wall surrounding the person's house and called out the lady's name but turns out it was her next-door neighbor, who was super friendly and invited us in so we had a cool lesson with her and her family. My stomach was a little upset..  I was up all night throwing up ew but luckily I felt fine the next day. It's the worst, feeling sick on a mission because you feel soo lazy and wasting time if you rest to get better etc. anyways speaking of not 100% health I got this suuper bad cough too the past week so I sounded like an 80-year old xhaxhi who smoked duhan his whole life but luckily that's going away as well. Good thing there are plenty of herbel remedies and teas the nënës promise will do the trick! Sorry, I've been in Albania too long, complaining about health problems.. moving on to the good stuff, aka punë misionare :)...

Amazing Sunday yesterday. Lots of friends coming to church, and even bringing their friends. Two amazing girls getting baptized this week!!!!! Both were super prepared for their interviews, and they'll actually be getting baptized together, on Friday! L got parental permission, to be baptized as well as to not mention it to the disapproving older brother, and J, who I sent the pics with last week! They are both super sweet and smart and golden! We've also had a bunch of former friends pop back up, and that is def. a perk of staying in an area for a while, seeing people come back when the time is right and they're ready this time around... 

Also it's been great with this Easter initiative to just cut to the chase and discuss Christ with everyone we see. We played futbol with some of our zone today which was so fun and it looks like I'm wearing purple tights from bruises on my knees/shins haha. But nothin like a little p-day  physical activity to prepare for a week of preachin the gospel. 

I am so grateful to be serving here, at this time, so blessed and especially this past week with the incredible friends we've been meeting with who are so willing to keep commitments and just soak up the messages of the restored gospel. I know these things I'm testifying to strangers about on the streets every day are true.. let's be honest, if I wasn't convinced of their truthfulness I wouldn't be out here right now. D&C 28:16, and 29:4
Ju dua shumë <33
Motra Rajlli :)

Motra Peters is down to her last week!