So.. Good news.. I've officially made it one month in Albania. Go me. It definitely feels like I've been here SO much longer. But, I just keep looking forward. It's so great to hear from all of you, thank you for writing me! And wow.. Looks like everyone is just travelling to exotic places. It sounds wonderful.
So, this week has seemed to be a little longer for whatever reason. We're still teaching Ledi and preparing her for her baptism on May 16th. She's doing great and really has a lot of faith. I love teaching her, I think one of the best moments from this past week was when we walked into the church and she jumped up and said, "MY SISTERS!!" When she said that it just brought so much happiness and love to my heart. I just feel so blessed to be able to help her understand how loved she is by her Heavenly Father and what she has to do to be able to return to live with Him. On the investigators front we have a few others that we're hoping will start progressing further in the next few weeks. One is Lina Rrapo, her husband and daughter are members but she has a fear of water.. She thinks that if she goes under when she's baptized she won't be able to breathe when she comes back up.. Teaching her has been really inspiring though because we've taught her a lot about how faith and fear cannot coexist. All of us have fear and doubt from time to time but we have to take steps forward in full faith and trust that the Lord will bless us and help us overcome everything. I really want her to be baptized. There's nothing better than seeing a full Albanian family walk into the chapel on Sunday. It's incredible. Hopefully we can help bring that to the Rrapo's.
A lot of people have been asking me if I feel safe and things like that. I've never felt like super scared or anything.. But it is VERY different. I'm still kinda oblvious and careless when it comes to walking home at night but my companion is a lot more cautious. Haha, I'm just like "it's quicker this way...let's go this way." But Sister Smith is like no.. There could be a group of men back there. And I'm like.. UGH FINE. Haha. We really do have to be careful. Today I was nearly hit by a car. Haha, it was ridiculous. The roads can be quite narrow sometimes and they just don't care, they go wherever there is room. But it's all good. I wasn't hit, and quite honestly.. These experiences are kind of funny because you're just like.. Really?! I'm SHOCKED that I haven't seen a car accident yet. Haha, it's crazy!
I still struggle from time to time as I try to get accustomed with mission life in Albania. I get really frustrated with the language and I get overwhelmed.. When my trainer talks and knows words I'm like.. there's no way I'm ever going to know and retain all of these random words. Like, what. But in the past week.. my prayers have been so much different. Rather than just yearning for the Lord to bless me with the ability to speak and to understand and asking for His help to ease that burden, I've just felt so inclined to move forward and accept His will. These are His children, and as I sit in their homes and I listen to them share their sincere testimonies and their struggles, I feel the Savior's love for them and I know that He is aware of them. As I feel these things I realize that this is His work. It's not about me. It's not about where I think I should be in the language or where I feel comfortable. This is not my work. I'm merely working in PLACE of the Lord, I am His servant. As I said my prayers have been so much more of giving my heart and my mind to Him, to align my will with His. I've felt so much lighter and so much happier with this. And it doesn't mean that the language is all of a sudden better, it's not. There are some times where I sit in lessons and the people are just talking a mile a minute and I'm like.. Yep.. Didn't catch any of that. But it doesn't weigh on me and I feel less inclined to be hard on myself. I study, and I speak as much as I can and as well as I can. But, I have great trust that the Lord will qualify me as I push forward in this sacred work.
I love you all and I'm grateful for the support that I receive. Please, remember how blessed we are to live where we do. There are days where I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for the way that we live. I am surrounded by people who work 10 hours a day to make what we would make in like 1 hour, and yet they still move forward with a smile on their face and with cheerful hearts. I admire them so much for the ways in which they endure. Albanian's truly are a wonderfully humble people and they have made me feel so loved.
I'm sorry that it snowed this week, that's ridiculous! It's been raining A TON here. But that's okay. I'm still so nervous for the hot summer.. Yikes.