Thursday, 15 May 2014

Halfway through transfer #1

Hey y'all, 
Well it was SO good to talk to Mom and Dad yesterday. It was just like another boost to keep me going. Honestly, before I started the skype call I was nervous because I didn't want to cry because I knew it would make it harder on Mom.. but as I skyped and I saw the house and saw you all at home.. I just got an overwhelming feeling of comfort and I just knew in my mind and in my heart that as much as I miss you all and as nice as it would be to be in my own bed again.. This is exactly where I'm supposed to be. It was really cool to have that affirmation. 
So this past week has been really great actually, Ledi and Lina (investigators that I talked about last e-mail) are still doing really well and progressing. Ledi gets baptized this Friday! I'm so excited, she's awesome. The other day we were walking together and I asked her a question about another church and she was explaining and at the end she said, "it's nothing like our Church." When she said that I literally just got butterflies. I don't know why but knowing that she knows that she belongs in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and just hearing her say it made me so happy!! I'm so proud of her, I seriously watch her just grow and grow in her testimony and I'm in awe of her understanding. She is truly spectacular. She's so amazing. We also have 2 more investigators on baptismal dates, their names are Ela & Ina. They are sisters and they're a friend of a member in the ward.. Anyway they're 18 and 15 and they're good.. I think they still have a lot of growing to do though. They came to church on Sunday and enjoyed it I think. It was so great though, this week someone asked them who they wanted to physically baptize them and both Ina and Ela asked if I would do it. Hahaha, needless to say they still need to be taught about the priesthood a little more.. But it was so great, I was humbled :) 
Also this week I went on an exchange with one of my Sister Training Leaders. Her name is Motra Forte, it's sweet because before I came out to Albania I read her blog all the time..But okay you guys, she's AMAZING. She's seriously like the most perfect person ever. I went up and stayed with her for a night in Fier. But it was such a blessing. Working with her really helped open my eyes and enlighten my understanding on a few things. She was genuinely so impressed with my language and she would just be like "Seriously.. you're amazing." And honestly that was something I really needed. Obviously Sister Smith tells me that I'm doing well and stuff, but when you hear it from other people you're like.. oh wait.. Maybe I am doing okay. But mostly, I just watched how well she cares and connects with the people and as I watched her I became very much aware of what I need/ want to do to be more like that. I seriously learned so much and just felt so much more in tune with this work here in Albania. Also, it was really great when I came back to Vlore. Sister Smith said that everyone was like "Where is Barbie?! When is she coming back!!?" And when I walked into the church the next day all the girls like ran up to me and one of them was like, "don't ever leave again, ever!" It was just so nice.. It's such a testament to the fact that although I can't communicate as I would normally, I can still reach these people in some way or another. 
I'm really doing great. I love this gospel so much. I've been out on my mission for 3 months and I already feel so different. Not in that my personality has changed, but my priorities have. I just feel like I have so many things that I know that I need in my life and so many habits that I want to continue even when I'm not on my mission. As I've said, the people have it so difficult here. They really just want to come to America because they swear all of their problems would be fixed. I wish I could change their situations, I would love to find them all jobs and proper homes and fix all of their problems for them.. But I'm very quickly realizing that although I can't provide them with those temporal things.. I'm providing them with something that will sustain them forever, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being a member of this church, or having a testimony of the gospel doesn't mean that life is easy or that trials don't exist. But what it does mean is that you will ALWAYS have the strength to overcome and the strength to endure. If there's one thing that I can promise, it's that when we rely fully upon the Lord all things are possible. I testify of that. There's nothing too great for us to overcome. We simply just need to give our burdens over to the Lord. He has already taken them and suffered for them so that we don't have too. I pray that we can all find it within ourselves to find the humility to realize that we don't have to encounter these things alone and turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer and seek for His help. I promise that we will receive it. 
Until next week! :) 
Much love,
Motra Vermunt 

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