Its so crazy to think that this transfer is coming to an end. In just a couple weeks I will finish the training program! I'm not quite where I thought I would be at this point. But from talking to other missionaries a lot of them have said that it was during their second transfer that a lot of things just clicked. Also, I know it will come in the Lord's timing, patience is just not always an easy thing.
A very exciting thing happened this week. My companion and I have been working with a young woman in the branch who is preparing to go on a mission. She has been so helpful to us as we have involved her in our work. It has been exciting for us to see her go through all the steps and finally the anticipation of the call (which arrived this week.) We gathered together and her family came (none of them are members.) She got called to the Adriatic South Mission!! We have 2 elders (one serving and one under call) who are Albanians serving in this mission. She will report to the MTC in England on Oct. 31 2013. Unfortunately at this point her father is not allowing her to go (he would only allow it if she went to America.) But I know that this call came from God and that just like in 1 Nephi 3:7 (her favorite scripture) the Lord will provide a way. He always does. I am excited for her and I know she will be an excellent missionary! This is the Lord's work and it will go on!
Another exciting thing happened this week. Back when I was in the MTC I remember my very first TRC (which is where volunteers come and you teach them in the language you are called to teach in) we had a girl come. She was from Albania and was going to school at BYU. She was way fun and we loved teaching her. We met with her again during that time and saw her throughout when other companionships taught her and once more at the very end. She was the first one we taught and the last. THEN, my very first week in Albania (Durrës to be exact) we teach a family none other than hers! That was cool and it was neat because I got to Skype with her for a moment! I had actually e-mailed her earlier that day. THEN this week she came back to visit between semesters and I got to see her at church! She is way fun! THEN she even came with us to an appointment that night. So fun!
Also, my companion had her birthday this week! It was on Wednesday but I feel like we celebrated it all week long. We had cake and a get together with the other missionaries on Monday. On Tuesday a senior couple that she worked with a lot in her last area was in town and we went to see them really quick and they had some things for her (one of them was a sweet waffle iron that makes some delicious waffles!). Then on Wednesday we went out to eat and ate some cake that we saved from Monday. I got her this awesome cane (because she is sooo old, she turned 22 -but its a joke). Fun stuff.
Don't forget weddings! A couple went and got sealed in the temple a couple months ago (which is a BIG deal in Albania!) and they had their Albanian wedding party this weekend. (there are SO many weddings happening right now). They made a branch activity out of some of it on Friday. Can I just say that I love Albanian dancing and I love that we are allowed to dance. There was this sweet lady that I met and she was so patient in trying to teach me. But for some reason I just couldn't get it, it was kinda off beat and she was wearing a long dress so it was hard to see how she was moving her legs. But she was patient with me. I initially went to talk to her because she didn't look familiar but I thought she was a member. Turns out, her baptism is this week! She is way cool. Her brother is actually on a mission right now. Durrës is great.
Less exciting: We had 2 senior couples in Durrës (we're a little spoiled) but with 2 couples leaving the mission and other places needing them more...one moved to Fier and the other is leaving to Vlorë. I'll miss them! But Durrës is a strong branch and doesn't need them as badly as other places. But they will be missed. They are great examples to the people here.
I tried this cantaloupe soda this week...and I really liked it. I actually don't drink soda that much because I'm not a huge fan of carbonation, but I like it. Sounds a little weird. But it was good.
Last exciting thing (in this e-mail): We found 2 new investigators these past couple weeks that are continuing to meet with us! It seems like of all the people we talk to only a few give us a phone number. Of those few even fewer meet with us. Of those few even fewer continue to meet with us. It is especially hard right now because people leave on vacation or are super busy because its summer. But there are people that are prepared! You may not find them till the end of the transfer but they are here!
Lots happened this week and I'm grateful for each of these exciting things. I am also grateful for the tender mercies that happen throughout the day! Because they do happen everyday and as you acknowledge them and think about them you find more! The Lord loves us! Of this I testify!
Have lots of joy and happiness this week!