Welp, it looks like another week dun come and went! And it was a good one!
On mother's day Janice Kapp Perry came and spoke to us. I LOVE Janice Kapp Perry. Let me give you a quick background. When I was 16-17 for a family Christmas gift we got the missionary 2-disc album of hers. I loved it so much I just kind of adopted it and listened to it all the time. I love love LOVE those songs. I've also heard some of her other ones. Plus she wrote some of my favorite primary songs too. I just love her and was thrilled beyond measure when she came. She talked with us and told stories and OF COURSE she shared songs. It is amazing how much music brings the spirit, I love it. We sang a medley of Child's prayer, Love is Spoken Here, I Belong to the Church, I love to see the temple, and the Army of Helaman. Those are all some of my favorites! I never really thought of I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ...song as a missionary song, but now its my new favorite missionary song (now that I'm on a mission "I hope they call me on a mission" isn’t as current anymore). It was all super great! But my FAVORITE part was the very last song we sang. She just finished it so its fairly new. I think we were one of the firsts to sing it. It’s called "The Sisters in
". It’s the same tune as "As
Sisters in Zion "
but is has different lyrics. They are so good! As first I was just going to try
to write them all down but after the first line I decided to instead be a part
of the moment and I'm so glad I did. There was power in that room. We were all
singing and crying and feeling the spirit. I don't really remember the lyrics.
It talked about being the army of Helaman, thanking God for a prophet and just
about being a sister missionary I guess. The overall feeling I got was just
that this thing, this work, is so much bigger than myself. I am so grateful I
get to be a part of it. This is God's work and I'm grateful He trusts me to
teach His children. I just love Him! Zion
Another treat was that Elder Russel M. Nelson came to speak to us on Tuesday for our devotional. I love that powerful spirit that comes when the Apostles walk it. You know they are called of God. No doubt. He loves missionary work and I love it too! Remember that talk he gave when he spoke from the pulpit and told the world to "ask the missionaries"? Well I can't remember his exact words but he reminded us that he told the world that and we better make that promise good...or something like unto that (that's what I got out of that). An apostle of the Lord is counting on me to make that promise good and so you better bet that I'm gonna do my very best! I love how much he used the scriptures when he spoke. You know he loves them. He recommended we study about Christ. He said that there are 18 topics under Jesus Christ (there are 18 months in my mission....) and he suggested we study them. You bet I will! You are also invited to study them too :). Always. I love that man.
This week one of our friends needed to go home to work some things out. He is a dear friend to all of us and it was hard to see him go. We were 12 Albanians and now there are only 11. It literally feels like we are missing a member of our family because you get so close to those that you struggle and stretch and just grow with on such a daily basis. But it strengthens my testimony of the Atonement and my understanding of God's love. I can't wait to see the people he will teach and the conviction with which he will be able to testify. There are people in
that need him. He left us with a powerful testimony and such an example of
faith and humility. He is a remarkable elder and we're all so proud of him.
It’s a hard thing to do, but we know he can do it. Albania
The language is coming slowly but surely. I appreciate any and all the prayers said on my behalf. The other day one of our teachers was walking us through what our first couple of days were gonna be like in the field. Suddenly it hit me how real it was and that I REALLY am going to
(shocker, I know - you would have thought learning Albanian would have clued me
in, right?). But instead of feeling nervous about the language and teaching I
just got so excited to be going there. To teach real people (don't worry I
still love our "investigators" -one's on a baptismal date and the
other one will be as well soon) but to be there among them! I'm super excited!
BUT I still like that I have a few more weeks to get the language down. I
really need them. Albania
Guess who I ran into the other day? Karli King! My 2nd cousin? But she is basically my cousin! I was worried I wouldn't get to see her because she is only here for a couple weeks. But I saw her a couple times, it was great! She is gonna do so great in
I had this funny realization the other day. I remember when I went to BYU I thought I was soo smart. I was top in my class and school was easy. Let’s just say that was a very humbling experience. THEN before coming to the MTC, I thought I was soo excited to be a missionary, but you know what’s funny? So is everyone else! Another humbling experience. I think that's one of my favorite things about being a missionary. I get these 18 months to learn how to really focus on other people and not on myself. Being a college student is selfish time. You are finding out what you want to do and living on your own with no one else depending on you. Being a missionary is completely the opposite. Nothing is about you. Everything is about other people. It’s about your investigators. It’s about the people you meet. It’s about the members in your area. It’s about your companion. You can't even get up and leave to go to the bathroom without thinking of your companion and whether they are at good stopping point so that they can come wait outside the door. But seriously, I am so grateful for all these learning opportunities that I wouldn't have gotten any other way. Missions are seriously the best. My companion and I were talking about that while we ate breakfast after going to the temple. There is nothing we would rather be doing right now than being missionaries. Even though it’s hard and you're constantly uncomfortable… but then when you get comfortable, you stretch a little more, so you’re uncomfortable again. Man, it just hurts so good. Its the hardest best thing I've ever done.
Another thing! We met an elder from
other day! He is from Durrës and will be serving in Salt Lake South. He is so
cool! We took a picture with him in front of the flag. Funny how we found him.
Some of the elders walked by him on our SYL (speak your language) day and he
heard them and chased them down. They gave him our classroom number and so he
came and saw us later! He speaks English great. In fact, he would speak shqip,
and then if we didn't understand, he would tell us in English. He thought we
were so funny. I'm not sure if it was because of the fact that we knew Albanian
or that we were saying things funny. Probably both. I remember people in Albania laughing
at my Chinese too. Oh well. It was way fun. I can't wait to be in China ! You
don't meet real live Albanians very often in the MTC (or Albania for that matter), but when
you do, it’s awesome! America
More randoms: they have pictures along all the hallways in all the buildings of missionaries from years past all over the wall. I love them. Despite the fact that I have been here for 5 weeks, I'm still seeing pictures I've never seen before! The MTC is a pretty miraculous place! I still love the fact that it is spring and there are flowers all over the place! I just love spring! A couple of weeks ago, I found the tree that smells like cream soda....for real! But word on the street (well, sidewalk to be more specific) is that they are going to be cutting it down soon. Sad day!
I love you! I love the gospel! I know it’s true! Be good this week!
Paqe dhe bekimet!
P.S. I thought of this my very first week, but I always forgot about it in my e-mail time but my companion reminds me of a mix of Xandra Fuimono, Rachel Benson and Emmaline Neubert. Probably mostly Xandra. The funny thing is I know these people from way different places so I don't expect anyone to know all three of them. Xandra is from my home stake in
Missouri, Rachel is from my freshman year at BYU and
Emmaline was a fellow teacher in . But I love them all and I
love my companion! China
P.S.S. I hope Mother's day was great!
Picture 1: The sisters in my district
Picture 2: The albanian sisters
Picture 3: Elders from our zone
Picture 4: Me with some elders from our zone...bahahaha! The back of yo head looks ridiculous!