Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A month in Albania?!!

Well, it's been a month here in Albania! I can't believe it! I feel like I just got here last week! But its going good. The Lord's work is hastening and miracles are happening. 

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but while in the D.C. Airport before leaving the country I got a referral. A group had gone in to use the bathroom and I was standing outside watching the bags with a couple others. There was a lady who was standing near us, a member of the church, and we were talking to her. She obviously knew that we were missionaries and asked where we were going. We told her we were going to Albanian and crazy enough, she knew someone who lives there (how does that happen??) She said she wanted to send them a Book of Mormon and I told her we could probably make that happen. I got the address (in Durres) and her name before we had to leave. We knew one of us were going to be trained in Durres but we didn't know who it was, but I figured I could give it to whoever went.

Well with all the excitement of the week I forgot about the referral. But soon enough, I remembered and realized that I had been given the referral, and I was the one in Durres. We looked on the map and couldn't find the street! I wished I would have gotten the lady's e-mail address but I hadn't. I continued to ask around and see if anyone knew of the road but no one did. About a week ago we were going to a lesson with one of the senior couples in our area. Elder Andrus is good with roads and knew the names of many so I asked him about it. He didn't know where it was. BUT, 2 days later they had a story for me. They had been looking for an orphanage and looked it up online. They didn't end up finding it but it was on the road I had been looking for. I was impressed that he even remembered the name of the road. Albanian names are the easiest things to remember. But we found the road! That was a happy day! 

Something that you should know about Albania is that addresses don't really exist. Streets can change halfway through, that is, if they are even named. Apartment buildings aren't usually numbered. And rarely do you find numbered apartments. Well, here I am with an address and a name. We set out to find it with plenty of time, prepared to maybe have to tract the entire building. Well, we find the numbered building which was great! We start at the top because that's where you start when you tract a building. Well, the apartments ARE numbered. We find the door! We find them!!! Unfortunately it was only the son and his brother at home. They don't have a phone so we told them we would stop by again. We did, but they were about to leave. So, we'll come back!  I know that was kinda a long story. But it was an exciting thing! I loved the way things just seemed to work out. This is the Lord's work.

Another funny happening, remember Bujar who we happened to meet the other day. Well, we were looking for someone we had found in the Area book and ran into him again! We set up a time and place to meet with him at a local (coffee shop type thing). Most of the people we have done that with this week never showed up so we weren't even sure if he would show. But he did! We got ice cream and taught the restoration, it went pretty good. We'll see what happens. About the ice cream, we had already gotten 2 scoops in a cone earlier that day, and another lesson we taught had given us ice cream as well. At the local they brought us these huge bowls of 5 ice cream scoops with syrup. It tasted great but 9 scoops of ice cream in one day is kinda a lot! We thought we would be ice creamed out for a couple days but...we got more the next day haha. 

They definitely do the whole, shaking your head for the answer "yes" which even after a month, STILL throws me off sometimes. They will just sit there shaking their head as I'm talking and I want to ask what they don't agree with before I remember that they ARE agreeing. But more and more I find myself shaking my head to other people as well! It's an Albania thing haha. 

I remember before I left on my mission watching this commercial/test drive video about a car with only 3 wheels. At first I thought it was a joke and that they were just making fun of it or something, but guess what! They have 3 wheeled cars AND 3 wheeled trucks as well! They use them here! I kept meaning to get a picture but haven't yet. It's great. 

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan and I'll follow Him in faith. I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right. I'll follow His light. His truth I will proclaim. His truth I will proclaim!

Motra Curtis

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