Hey everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend and enjoyed conference as much as I did!
This week has been great but really long. I think it was long because Sister Monnie and I were unfortunate enough to get food poisoning. It was rough and we literally stayed inside all day Thursday and wished for death haha. Seriously.. my stomach can just not catch a break. But, we survived and we're better now.
|Sister Monnie's version of a decorated egg.|
Okay.. so before I talk about conference I wanted to share with you my FAVOURITE part of this week. So, on Saturday night we had planned to go over for dinner with Motra Gallani.. (the Albanian member in our ward) and I was just so excited obviously.. and she had told me that she wanted me to surprise her husband and that she wasn't going to tell him that I spoke Albanian. So, we get to their apartment and we're just talking in English and I told Brother Gallani my name and everything and then I started talking in Albanian and his eyes just got HUGE and I showed him my Albanian tag and he just.. was like BEAMING. They've been in Canada since 20087 but, it's been pretty difficult for Brother Gallani to learn English..
So, the whole night the Gallani's just spoke Albanian and I translated for Sister Monnie and they just loved it. But more than that.. I loved it. I seriously think I was the happiest person on the planet. It was incredible, they told us their conversion story and everything and the whole night Brother Gallani just talked about how happy he was that there was a missionary that could speak his language. Apparently when Sister Gallani told him to be home that night because the sisters were coming over he was like, "why do I have to be home? I don't really understand them that well anyway" and stuff like that. AH! He was so happy and I love them SO much.
Unfortunately, Brother Gallani hasn't been able to come to church for several months.. and I wasn't really sure if he was super strong in the church or anything like that.. So, I was trying to ask questions to see where his faith was at and stuff. But we were talking about Tirana 4th ward and I asked him who was branch president when they lived there. And seriously, he so humbly looked at me and responded "I was." He then continued to tell me how important it was to have that calling and how he was called only 1 year after being a member. He talked about how he thinks he can maybe get work off on Sunday's soon and he wants to come and partake of the sacrament even if he can't understand that well.
ALSO, it was my first time having a legit Albanian meal in too long. IT WAS THE BEST. Everything was exactly like it is in Albania.. from the soup to the bowl of oranges at the end of the meal. Seriously. I was in heaven. Anyway.. our message for them was about the prophet and how this weekend was general conference.. and as we were talking about it the clearest thought came to me, and it was that I might be able to get them the sessions of conference translated into Albanian. Seriously, I wish I could have taken a picture of their faces when I said that because it has been 8 years since they've been able to listen to general conference in their own tongue that they could fully and clearly understand.
I love the Albanian people more than I can even begin to express. They are so humble, loving and so generous. I know that being able to hear general conference and to be able to have a missionary speak in their own tongue is an answer to this faithful couple's prayers. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here and to help the people that I love. Another blessing is that Brother Gallani said, "oh yeah, our apartment building is full of Albanians. The owner is even Albanian." So.. guess who's going tracting? :)
Conference was great! All the Elders were like.. "sweet, only another year until any of those talks apply to me..." Haha, there was definitely a theme of marriage and family. But it was great! I too, loved Elder Holland's talk and was SO grateful because I had an investigator at that session with us and I was stoked that he was able to hear and feel the powerful testimony of Elder Holland.
I think one of the talks that most impacted me was Elder Bednar's address an the difference between fear, and godly fear. In our world today we have many things that surround us that can cause us to fear and worry but if we look to the Savior and build our foundation upon we have no reason to be afraid of the future or anything that will come. I'm so grateful for our apostles and prophet that lead us in these latter days. We are so blessed!
Also, April 1st 2014 was the day that I arrived in Albania. As I look back at this year, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have expected any of what has happened. It has been a trying experience, but absolutely the most rewarding. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that guides our paths and uses us as instruments in His hands. He knows us and He is with us in every aspect of our mortal journeys. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. If there is one thing that I have gained in this past year it is the knowledge of the reality and divinity of the Savior and in His love for all mankind.
I love you all! Have a great week!