Oh my goodness, everyone all over the world just had so much news for me today. But the BEST is about my new baby niece! How exciting! :) Congrats Caitlin and Jordan!
So, I feel like I have a lot to say today so I'm excited to share it with y'all. So, I LOVE BEING IN TORONTO. Seriously, not gonna lie.. Eastern Canada, not my fave. But, Toronto is awesome. We take the subways, buses and streetcars everywhere and I literally feel like I'm lost... all the time. But that's okay. The city has so much character and I'm just like absolutely in love with all the cool things we see.. and the diversity of culture here, (more on that later.)
Let me just tell you... my second day in the area, we go to Albion's for lunch. Albion.. is ALBANIAN. So, we walk in and I see his wife and I spoke to her in English at first and then I started speaking in Albanian and she was just like.. what?! She's from Korca. Anyway, so then I talked to Albion and stuff and he's like.. Where are you from in Albania?! And I was like, oh no.. I' m Canadian but I lived in Albania for like 10 months and he was like, "how have you learned Albanian so well?!?" So, that was nice because he thought I was actually Albanian. Seriously everyone.. I wanted to like.. cry as I was speaking to them. I LOVE THEM. I can't even express my joy to you.
|The house President Monson lived in when he was mission president here :)|
There is also a woman in our ward who is Albanian, her name is Motra Gallani. So I called her and spoke to her in Albanian and she was just like "Whaaaaaat". She's a less active because she works on Sunday's but on Sunday morning we were in ward council and she called us and asked if I would be at the church. When she came I was just basically in heaven. So, we started talking in Albanian and she just over and over kept saying that she couldn't believe it. She was like, I can't believe they sent me a missionary that speaks my language and it was just the cutest thing ever. She was like, "you were sent here to baptize more of us!" She cried! Guys.. she cried. I wanted to cry too, it was just the best. She was like, you're coming over and I'll make you Albanian food, and she was like.. I want you to surprise my husband by speaking Albanian. And she was baptized in 4th ward, where I served so she knows all the people I know and I just.. I'm like freaking out as I type this to you because I'm just so dang happy.
Other best thing.. on my first day, we were riding on the streetcar and something caught my eye and I look up and I see a restaurant called "The Eagle Twins" and it has 2 shqiponja's (eagles on the Albanian flag) on the sign. I JUST ABOUT DIED. It's literally like 5 minutes away from our apartment. So, I went in there and she was like.. wait, how are you Canadian but know how to speak Albanian?? She was like, come in here and I'll make you food from our country! AH! She's great, her name is Mirella.. She's not religious.. yet ;) Haha, and also the Elders were tracting and found another house with the shqiponja, so we're going to go there and I've also kind of stalked the phonebook and found Albanian names.. I'm pretty much in heaven over here.
|Stuart! He's from China and he just got the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday|
But, seriously.. I thought that I needed the gift of tongues in Albania.. But, nope.. I need it HERE. I don't think there is a Canadian in our ward. Haha, just kidding there are. But EVERYONE is from someone else. Like, one of the guys that was just baptized is from Egypt. Last night, some members had us over and we had German food.. and like 50% of our members are Filipino. I LOVE IT. It's so cool, I'm just learning so much about these different cultures and I honestly kind of forget that I'm even in Canada.
|My cute little gingerbread church :) I love it|
I'm pretty sure I mention this a lot.. But, a lot of my mission has been difficult in one way or another, and I'm SO grateful that it has. Neal A Maxwell once said, “The greater our sorrow is, the greater our capacity is to feel joy" I know this to be true. Leaving Albania, and those people was so heartbreaking to me.. But as I'm here and as I've met with some Albanians and I feel my love for not only them, but for all the people that I meet here I am so grateful that the Lord allowed me to experience that difficulty so that I could understand the depth of this joy. I know that this church is true, and that this is the work of the Lord. He lives!
I love you all.. Enjoy Alberta while I continue to freeze in this eastern arctic land.
Me dashuri te plote,