Monday, 14 April 2014

Week Two in Albania

Si jeni! 
So, it's my second week in Albania.. But it feels like I've been here for at least 5 months. It's kind of a sick joke, haha. Also, before I forget.. Mom & Dad, can you start replying to my e-mails, cause I don't get DearElders out here.. So, I was kinda sad when I saw that I didn't get to hear from you guys this week. 

I hope everyone at home is doing well! Albania is wonderful. It's been pretty cold this past week, which is rough because it literally is that cold that you're like.. chilled to the bone. Haha, but just wait.. In a month or so I'll be complaining about how unbearably hot it is. 
Vlore is beautiful! On Saturdays we go and play soccer on the beach with the members, and I'm just like.. whoa. I'm on a beach. This is so awesome! Haha. So, I'm still just working real hard to try to understand/speak this language. It's really discouraging sometimes, but other times I receive glimpses of hope and progression so that's nice. 
I love the Albanian people. They are seriously so generous. The members we visit, or even the people we talk to on the street. They just have a lot of love. Every home that we go to, they give us a drink or some food or something. Even when you know they struggle and don't have very much, they're so willing to give. They are also very kind. As I struggle to convey my ideas, they all tell me how well I'm doing. (People pleasers..) But it's very nice. 
One thing that I'm still struggling to get used to is that everyone turns and stares at us. 2 Americans walking down the street is like.. What.. In church yesterday the lady in front of me would turn around and just look at me for like 15 seconds and then turn back around. Haha, I'm sure when I come home I'm gonna be like "um, excuse me? Why aren't you all turning to stare when I walk into the room?" Hahaha, I'm living the life over here. 
Next thing.. THE FOOD. Oh my goodness, I don't even know what fruit we eat over there in North America, but.. I seriously want to die it is so good here. Like the kiwi's.. Divine!!! And it's like 30 cents for 6 of them. It's just wonderful. And the bakeries here.. Yeah, okay. Best thing ever. Fresh bread. Ah. Wonderful. 
The work is going pretty good. The companionship of Sisters before us just went ahead and baptized like 20 people. So, we're kinda starting from the ground up. We visit a lot of recent converts and things. We have one progressing investigator. His name is Mark and he has a baptismal date for May 3rd! He goes to the University here in Vlore. He's awesome. He's really timid and so nice and I just love him for his faith. I'm hoping that things continue to go well with him. 
Hmm.. What else. OH! Yeah, Steph, Cait & Meg.. remember how you used to like.. covet my hair? Well.. guess what.. I don't know WHAT happened.. But I woke up one day and it was like COMPLETELY fried. Seriously, so tragic. I've been working on conditioning it this past week, and it's getting better finally, but seriously SO sad. But, I got this deep conditioning treatment thing so.. I hope that works out. But yeah, it's some kind of a sick joke. But apparently with everyone something bad happens to them their first transfer. My companion dyed her first laundry load of whites blue.. So, ya know.. I guess this is just my initiation.
I'll be honest, starting out in a new country, not knowing the language, or the people and knowing that the day is going to feel like its 40 hours long can kinda weigh on you from time to time. But, if nothing else.. It just turns me to prayer so much more. Sometimes when we're walking to our next appointment, I just pray and ask Heavenly Father to comfort me and help me to endure with hope. We all want patience, but we want it right now. But it doesn't work like that. It's something that comes after long periods of time of diligently working and trying. Brigham Young once said that we have to pray for patience until we can understand. Not until the trial is over, or we've received what we want.. But until we can understand the Lord's plan for us, or what we need to learn from the hardships that we encounter. If there's one thing I'm learning right now.. It is that I truly need to turn to the Lord in every thought. I promise that this is beyond my capacity. But, with faith and diligence I know that I will be able to do whatever He requires of me. Who the Lord calls, he qualifies. 
I hope all is well at home. I love you and miss you all. Be grateful for everything you have. Especially drying machines. I miss those heavenly things.

We played cards on Sunday, with pass along cards. We're nailing this mission thing! haha

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