Monday, October 28, 2013

Loving life in Lushnjë

Good things are happening here in Lushnjë!


Investigators: Our sweet investigator Majlinda is no longer on a baptismal date. The member we brought with us was really concerned about her being baptized being pregnant and suggested that she wait till after the baby is born in December. So her baptism is on hold for now but she still wants to be baptized she just wants to be careful (her first child died shortly after being born so it’s understandable that she wants to be extra careful). She came to church and brought Meri, her co-worker that we met this week. Their other co-worker that the Elders are working with was also at church. We almost had the whole bakery in church! Meri had to leave early but Majlinda stayed the whole time. I think she made some good friends. Our other investigator Ilirjana was also in church! She really loved it. She was there last week but had to leave early. She has the most adorable little girl! She is still on for her baptism in November. She is stellar. Usually we call people to meet with them, she calls us! Its funny, we met her in English course on our last day. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and she asked if she could have one (of course!). We met with her briefly after to talk about what it was. We read the final paragraphs in the introduction and Motra Guri straight up asks her if she is ready for the 2nd coming of Christ. She was like yeah, I have a lot of faith. Motra Guri just looks at her with slightly raised eye brows in this "really?" looking face and asks if she has been baptized. I thought Motra Guri was going to scare her off before we even got to teach her! Albanians are blunt. But lo and behold, she is preparing for baptism and is so excited. I'm learning lots from Motra Guri.


Motra Guri: What I love about Motra Guri. She loves to sing. Especially hymns. She does not however, know the tunes to any of the hymns. So what she does is sing the words to her own tune. Sometimes I'll sing them with her so we sing the right tune, but sometimes I like to just listen to her variations. She especially loves Joseph Smith's First Prayer. Another thing I love about her is how she extends baptismal commitments. In the MTC we learn the invitation that is in Preach My Gospel about following the example of Jesus Christ and being baptized by someone with the Priesthood Authority. We memorize it in Albanian and practice saying it. Sometimes I forget that Motra Guri didn't go to the MTC (she is already such a good missionary!). After talking about baptism and before asking if they even want to be baptized she's like "We have a surprise for you! We have a date for your baptism!" So far everyone has accepted...maybe its a better way to go! Haha. Another thing is her cooking. The other day we were at a lesson and they gave us this delicious rice pudding dessert thing. I loved it! Another house gave us baklava which was also good. I was telling Motra Guri that I liked the baklava but that I really liked the rice pudding. She was so surprised because the baklava is such a special treat and rice pudding is common. "It’s so easy, sister, I will make it for you tomorrow." And she did. And she makes a delicious pasta, her rice is excellent and she makes byrek. Its a good thing she won't be here the whole transfer or I would probably gain a million pounds.


Life: The weather is beautiful. Some days more hot, some days more cold.


We sister missionaries taught the temple lessons to those who went to the temple and the last lesson is one you give after they have gone to the temple. It was such a neat experience to meet with all those members who have just been to the temple to talk about their experience. It reminds me how much I love the temple and how grateful I am for the opportunity I have to go back several times to do work for other people. Many of these people will only ever get to go once to do their own work. These people are amazing.


There is a magical bakery here in Lushnjë (I've already talked about it briefly). It is not magical because of its bread and pastries (although, they are delicious!) but because of the people there. A member here referred her boyfriend/fiancé and the elders started teaching him. He invited his co-worker to church and she came and wanted to be taught as well. Then one night we were walking by and stopped to talk to her in the bakery and ended up talking to her other co-worker who also came to church on Sunday with her and asked for a Book of Mormon. We stopped by another night on our way somewhere else and she had a friend that was there talking to her. Her friend was actually walking to same direction as us and so we taught her as we walked and will meet with her later this week. It’s a magical bakery.


We haven't had Primary since I've been here because we haven't had any kids. But yesterday we had 2 kids show up for church and so I got to teach. It was way fun. They are quiet but really smart (brother and sister that live above the church -literally, not figuratively). We sang songs, read some stories together, drew pictures and played a game. I forgot how much I love Primary.


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!


Ju dua! Mirupafshim!

Motra Curtis


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