Family and Friends!
Well, this week is going to be short because I'm struggling with this keyboard...
First, let me tell you about the women in this branch her in Durres. They are incredible. As I was sitting in Relief Society yesterday I was looking around at them. The church has only been here for 20 years so pretty much everyone is converts. Many of their husbands are not members but they faithfully come every week. Also, they are a hoot. They always make me laugh. I don't really understand all that they are saying but I know they are funny. I just love them an awful lot. I also love the youth, they make me so happy! Actually I just love all the members here. But I might be biased.
Also, I love the missionaries that are serving here in Durres. We have 2 senior couples that are fantastic! We have 2 sets elders and then us sisters. We are actually getting 2 more elders here to work with retention work and Melchizedek priesthood holders I think. It was fun, I wrote a rap for the Durres District (I've been working on it for a couple weeks) and finally finished it and shared it with them today. I might still edit it a bit though. I based it kinda on the missionary rap that we wrote back home for the missionaries that served in our branch. Well, I'll have to add the 2 new elders that come here anyways. But yeah, it was fun. We have a pretty fun district.
But I also love just everyone here in general. These are such a great people, I feel honored to be among them. We have been focusing on finding a lot and just talking to everyone. When I first got here I would really try to talk to people on the bus but have somehow gotten out of the habit. But have resolved to do better. Its still hard because I don't always understand what they are saying or how to talk but sometimes you just have to open your mouth. I sat on the bus directly across from a woman. We started talking and she said that she was really busy right now but she would have more time in September. I left her with a pamphlet with our number and told her to call us (a pretty soft commitment I know - baby steps!) But we continued to chat. I won't lie. I didn't understand everything but enough to keep the conversation going. When they came around to collect bus fare she paid for me and my companion! People are so great here! Why does it seem scary sometimes to talk to them?! It's in my head. I know. I just want to understand them. But I can tell a difference in my language ability from the times when I just do my best to talk to everyone from the times that I just rationalize that they wouldn't understand me anyways. The Lords blesses you when you are trying.
Well, since this e-mail has just turned into talking about everything I love, I might as well talk about the food too! I love our bryek lady who makes the best bryek. We even special ordered some that with apple, cinnamon and sugar and it tasted like apple pie (we ate it on July 4th). I love the pizza especially this place that puts garlic oil on it, delicious! I love that tomatoes and peaches are everywhere. I could eat them everyday and never get sick of them. In fact I put tomatoes in almost everything I eat at the house...in grilled cheese, rice, plain...I love it all. But seriously, put a tomato in your next grilled cheese. Its great. We got together and ate french toast as a district this morning. Amazing. I love the bread here. Ok, lets just be honest here, I love food.
We have been doing more finding this week. We actually met this cute couple that want to learn English that we have been teaching (ok -just once so far). They ask a lot of questions but its good because they want to learn. We are meeting with her again tonight. They are great people. We'll see where they go!
I know I said I wasn't going to write a bunch at the beginning but then I did. Just know that I love Durres and I love Albania. I love being a missionary and sharing the happiness! This gospel is a happy thing! OH! I almost forgot! I gave my first talk on Sunday! We were meeting with the branch president on Friday (all us junior missionaries) and he said something and they all pointed at me (I have a hard time understanding him -well everyone is but especially him) so I didn't know what he said but then he said my name and the elders were giving me fist pumps before they told me that I had a talk on Sunday. He told me I could talk about whatever I wanted, so I talked about Faith, Hope and Charity. I don't think I could count the number of grammar mistakes I probably made but everyone thanked me for my talk. They told me they understood it so either they know cave man speech or they are just being nice. But either way it was a good experience. Like I said, people here are so nice. The gospel is true!