Monday, February 24, 2014

Opposition in all things

Without the hard weeks you wouldn't appreciate the good weeks. Last week was a hard week. Lots of good things happened. But lesson/investigator wise it was a pretty rough week. But that just made this week all the sweeter.

One of our investigators, Ana, was on a baptismal date but wasn't really keeping commitments. We went to have a heart to heart kind of lesson. We explained the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and how it would bless her life. We tried to be a clear and direct as we could. She said she would (she had said she would in the past as well). We came back the next lesson. Something was different. We asked about her reading, she then went on to explain in great detail the first 15 chapters of 1st Nephi. It was neat to see how excited she was about it as she talked about it. 
We also had a woman show up at church and wanted to meet. (When does that ever happen???) She seems really neat and her daughter is awesome. We are really excited to be teaching them. 

Our golden family we found tracking was finally able to meet with us. They think they are too old to learn (they can't be older than mid-forties) we watched the restoration and testified of the Book of Mormon. We are praying that they read it and sincerely ask. They are such a neat family! Next lesson, we are planning to bring an older member that's a convert (well, lets be honest, every member here is a convert). Hope they let us come back!

I have trained twice and now both of my daughters are in my district. So we took a family pictures last district meeting. 

Lushnje sunsets are the best.

Sometimes my companion thinks I'm creepy because I take pictures of door mats. I submit that I am not.

I love being a missionary. I love teaching people about Christ's church. I love seeing the joy that people have as they read the scriptures and come to church. I love the joy I get from reading the scriptures and coming to church. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of my favorite blessings!

Peace and blessings!
Motra Curtis

P.s. I love my companion. Sometimes, when she peels an orange, she gives me half.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Albania has been approved..​.First Stake in Albania!!

First things first. We got some exciting news. This past week we received a text at 6:15am from Tea (our member friend). She told us to call her. Which we did at 6:30 when we woke up. The Albania Tirana Stake has been approved!!! It will be made official at our March conference!! Can't wait! This is huge! I can't wait for these people to have the opportunity to receive patriarchal blessings.

Saturday we went running in the morning with Tea. It was really fun. It reminded me of all the mornings my sister and I would wake up early to go running with the sister missionaries in our branch. It also provided good motivation to get out and go running.

Valentines day was great. We got flowers from the cutest little girl named Ersa. We also got to teach the Law of Chasity, which, lets be honest, is the highlight to any missionary's Valentines day. My companion even secretly made a Mexican dinner because sometimes I still miss Mexican food. 

We wanted to find a new place that hadn't been tracked (Lushnje's pretty small...that can be hard sometimes) so we went up on this road we have never been. It was BEATIFUL. We felt like we had just walked into another world (like, Narnia).It was right at sunset on a nice warm day and people were out in their yards. We talked to people. Knocked on doors. Didn't get in anywhere, but not giving up hope. 

Last week everything seem to go just right. Lessons worked out, people wanted to learn. Everything just really seemed to work out. This week seemed to be quite the opposite. Lessons just seemed to fall through all over the place. Solid lessons couldn't even meet. 

The last day of the week. The last hour we were out we decided to track this building close to ours. We started at the top and didn't have any luck until the last door. They wanted to learn but were busy at the moment but asked if we could come back later. YES. We are praying so hard that they are the family we have been praying to teach.

Another day when all our lessons went through we called just about everyone on our phone. One of the less active members that usually doesn't answer, did! She agreed to meet later. We were waiting for them to come and we were about to call them when Tea (who was with us - like all weekend!) suggested that we say a prayer before we call them. We did. Waited a few minutes. They came. God answers prayers! Fact.

I love the Gospel. I love my Heavenly Father. I love Jesus Christ. I love this opportunity I have to be serving right here right now! The church is true!

Ju dua!
Motra Curtis

My companion secretly made me Mexican food on Valentines day because she knows how much I miss it!
We found our first fergon ever with seat belts! Did we wear them? Yes
Jumping pictures.


Monday, February 10, 2014

So little time...

The Elders in Lushnje decided to SYL (Speak your language) for a week and we felt so inspired by their dedication we decided to SYL for a day (we have been really bad about SYL and every time we start we always seem to forget.) So to help us remember we decided that every time we forgot and spoke English we would have to do a push-up (to be done the next morning). It was by far the most effective SYL day we have every had. I may or may not have done more than 27 1/2 push ups the next morning...not in a row.

In Lushnje we don't actually have a ward missionary leader. But, one of the members, Motra Mati was called as a ward missionary. She has a son on a mission in Italy right now and she is so on fire about missionary work. We saw her Saturday night and she wouldn't tell us her calling (only that she was getting one) or the topic of her talk (missionary work) but called all her friends (less actives) to come to church (they did!) and a friend of hers that we had taught before. It is so exciting to see her excitement. Members are so key!! 

The church is true. God answers prayers. 

Ju dua shume!
Motra Curtis

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Over here in Lushnje...

Motra Berhamaj came to church yesterday!! It was so exciting and unexpected. I wish I could say it was because after months of us visiting her and going to her apartment before church she decided to come. But no. Motra Mati one of our 'top fare' members went to her apartment and didn't take no for an answer and pulled her out of bed and to church. The power of members ya'll. Do work.

Another fun story about Motra Berhamaj. We had brought her cookies because she wasn't feeling well and she said she wanted to make them with us. I described how to make them and she was essentially like, "scratch that, I'm going to make them without your help and then you're going to make them and well see whose are better. When are you coming? I'll make dinner." So we got dinner and a cookie competition on Wednesday. I'm stoked.

Also, its always a happy day in the life of a missionary when they get a package. I wasn't expecting it so it made it all the sweeter (which is impressive because it was pretty sweet by itself-literally FULL of candy and fun stuff). Seriously so grateful!

Motra Boettinger felt a little ill these past couple days so we were inside for some time. I made some great progress on Jesus the Christ. That is an amazing book. I also watched some mormon messages and saw one of my friends in this chastity one. Super great. 

I received some sad news today. One of my dear friends from back home recently died in a car accident. She was almost done with her papers to serve a mission. I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation. It doesn't mean that we won't be sad or that it won't be hard, because it is and it will be. But it gives us a hope that can not be given in any other way. She would have been a remarkable missionary in this life but she will be an even better missionary on the other side. Of this I am sure.

I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life. It gives me peace and happiness that does not come in any other way. 

Rejoicing in the good news of the gospel,
Motra Curtis