Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 15: May showers bring June flowers...?


How is everyone?? I swear it's rained every. day. here in Prishtina. Gloomy and wet but whatareyagonnado. The work continues. This week was full of last minute, unplanned things!

Tuesday we got a text that we needed to be in Tirana the next morning for a conference. It's a four hour drive for us so we scratched everything we had planned for the next day and headed down. President Weidmann held a meeting for all of us greenies and our trainers. I felt so empowered after the meeting that day! Ever since that day Motra Henderson and I have been a lot more bold. From the moment we leave our door we'll talk, or at least say hello, to everyone we pass. It felt like a funny social experiment when we first started doing this. People are so caught off guard and stare us down. At first it was really uncomfortable, but you know what they say... what's bold today won't be bold tomorrow. The mission is stretching me hardcore. 

Friday didn't go nearly as planned, either. One of our members Y, passed. Our second counselor told us that the night before he had a really vivid dream of his deceased mom saying to him, "your friend is with me now." He awoke to a phone call at 3am from our branch president that Y, a dear friend to him, just passed.

Y was 80 years old and a devout member of the church. What I think really distinguishes his character and faith is that he would walk about 5 miles through the mountains to catch the closest bus to Prishtina every week for church. The total commute for him to get to church was 4 hours. So I never knew Y personally; he started getting sick right before I got here. But he lives on as a strong example to me of perseverance and faith. He was the only member of the church in his family. He sacrificed so much time and energy for the Lord.

So Thursday night Y's struggle with lung cancer finally ended and Friday we drove to his little fshat (village) for the funeral. I was unprepared with my favorite Sunday flats - we got dropped of in the fshat and had to hike quite a ways to get ontop of a hill where he was buried. I'd honestly never been to a funeral before and I thought a Kosovar funeral might be especially different but it was beautiful. The sun came out for the day. We sang hymns. Barely anyone cried; they knew they'd see him again. 

"...Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." - 2 Nephi 31:20

Dashuri nga Kosovë,

Motra Fulop xoxo
MTC fam reunion in Tiranë!!!

MOTRA LYNG. My Norwegian bff. The Elsa to my Anna. 6 weeks was too long.

I think these are the funniest looking cars zipping around. 3 - wheelers!

Jamming out with Motra Henderson and taking in the views on our way to Tiranë. The Balkans are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l

View from the funeral. We were surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills, super nice to get out of the city

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