Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Week 71 - hidhe këmbën, gju me gju

Vlore sisters are awesomee and so fun/diligent/enthusiastic

&I spy the water! 

not photosphopped I swear.. good thing sis. Peters loves horses so she didn't hit it  

Hejj! Urime feste.... teacher appreciation day today, international women's day nesër.. hope you're all celebrating accordingly.

This past week I was in a different city every day. Lots of uplifting and inspired meetings.. Leadership Conference in Tiranë, Zone Training in Fier, exchange in Vlorë, Stake conference in Durrës.. and the usual lessons in villages. We did have one day with no makin travel which was nice, and surprisingly rare.

Our cute family (families.. a bunch of cousins) we're teaching in Grabjanë (distant fshat) are doing well with their reading and comprehension, keeping commitments i.e. sweet family prayers and reading scriptures aloud to each-other since 3/4 of them can't read... but still having a hard time coming to church. What's new! Anyone have great insights/ tips on encouraging friends to come to church and helping them understand that not only will it bless them but it's a commandment etc?...if you do, send them my way please :) They are soo sweet though, all the kids gathered wildflowers and made us beautiful bouquets and gave us cute notes and even gifts! Earrings/ bracelet. So generous and thoughtful.<3

We're working with more people here inside the city which is such a blessing. A new friend, J, is amazing and really progressing and working towards her baptism set for the end of this month. Teaching such a prepared girl makes me realize that while we want to see the potential in everyone, there definitely is a spectrum and some need more time to learn/change/develop a testimony, while others are just waiting to be taught because they're so close already. Anyways, J is amazing and I am loving teaching her. Also she and her mom (who we also teach) are originally from KOSOVO yay represent.

While I was in Vlorë I had a really cool experience.. we were at the church before English kurs, doing a little lang. study with a member (I always have a million Q's about Albanian to double-check with natives), when a group of people rushed in the door (it was raining hard). A man in a thick German accent asked if this was a church of Jesus Christ where this local Albanian family he was visiting could find a warm welcome.. I told him he came to exactly the right place and mentioned,  "ich kann eigentlich ein bisschen Deutsch..." we ended up having an incredible discussion/lesson all in German, and this guy is a pentacost pastor who had met this family from Vlorë when they were back home in Deutschland and anyways I mentioned to him that I was usually in a different city and what were the chances that I'd be in Vlorë the evening when they stumble into our church..he was like, "this is definitely the hand of the Lord, guiding us to meet you so you could speak to us and communicate" and I was like, ya my thoughts exactly, but then I mentioned the Book of Mormon and he got a little less excited ("you understand the German mentality right? How long did you live there? Okay good, so I can just tell you straight up..we made a mistake and actually we believe in different things so this isn't the church we thought it was) but we continued to have a great discussion/ brief summary of who we are and what we stand for and he ended up asking for materials to give them to research a little and agreed that we/ this family must pray to know what's true (this church) and where they feel comfortable etc. and also I summed up in Shqip to the fam what we were talking about and it was just really cool, 1. because I was able to use German, all the way down in Vlorë, to testify and clear up a lot of misconceptions, and also to go straight to Shqip/ back and forth, I really enjoyed the linguistic workout in addition to the cool spiritual experience and testimony-builder of being in the right place at the right time and also respectfully defending sacred truths...so no worries we gave this fam pamphlets and got their # so I'm looking forward to hearing what happens with them.

Also this afternoon, my comp. was buying some fabric at a shop and I was chatting to a nice lady there, about our families as usual, and she started crying when she found out how far we are form home etc. because her children are away in Greece and they call daily but she still misses them so much. So shout-out to all the missionary moms out there, esp. mine! <3 thanks for all your prayers/support, mail..<3 <3  

I love my mission! It hit me yesterday during stake conference just how incredible this all is. Not just my mission, but the gospel, and growth of the church here in the Adriatic South...

Also we just finished reading through the Book of Mormon in the past month and once again it was a wonderful, spiritually edifying experience. I'm so grateful for the restored eternal truths in that book.
<3 Madi/ Motra Rajlli

Relief Society activity 

fancy catered relief society activity for 8.Mars.. branch president insisted we go and we didn't object!.. also lots of popullore dancing with the nënës yay. wouldn't want to celebrate international women's day any other way ;) it was great to see the women enjoying themselves and getting along.. (hopefully that unified spirit will carry over to 2nd hour on Sundays, even without fun music and free food) 

creepin from my balcony but this park is packed with xhaxhis and nënës every day, rain or shine  

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