Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 39: Kitty & BFF E


This week was great as usual! 

Crazy story:

One day Motra Holt and I were teaching a lesson in our friend, S's little clothing shop. Then one of S's friends comes in the shop from the street... holding a little kitten in a grocery bag! The kitten was just laying at the bottom of the bag and I thought she was dead. As soon as the lady saw us she pleaded that we take the kitten, or else she would just leave her on the road. Motra Holt looked over at me with puppy dog eyes... and we couldn't resist we took the kitten spur of the moment. Then we went outside and had to decide what we were going to do with the cat because it is against mission rules for us to have animals. We jogged for a good 30 min with this tiny meowing kitten in our arms untill we got to a pet shop. They didn't want to take her because she still needed milk and she'd be too high maintenance. But after a good 15 minutes talking with them they took her for us! Hand of the Lord moment that day.

Amazing story:

We met with a lady named E this week. She's a journalist and she just wanted information about our church so she could write an article about it. We met her at a local cafe and gave her a lot of information about our services and everything. She asked a ton of questions and she was really interested. By the end we were having a really spiritual discussion! We've had two more lessons with her since and now she's on a baptismal date and she wants her family to meet us, too. It's really cool because she came into all of this with a completely different intent, just on information! It's cool how the Lord puts people into our paths!

Have a great week & HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Motra Fulop
I got home made nene socks from a member in the ward and they're soooo comfy!

Kitty and I! Couldn't get a good pic she kept moving

We celebrated M's 8th birthday this week! Son of an awesome recent convert

Week 38: Climbing Mountains!


Sooo I don't know how many of you still read these but if you do I hope you're able to get something out of them! :) This week has been great as usual. There's a lot I could share about this week but I would just like to share one stand-out experience that really strengthened my testimony:

I went on an exchange on Wednesday and we visited with a less active member named E. She had Schizophrenia and I'd never met someone with this mental illness before so I didn't know what to expect. During the whole lesson half the time she was talking to us and half the time she was unfocused and talking to someone else that she thought was in the room. She said that she could barely read the Book of Mormon because she couldn't focus; other thoughts would always flood in and it was seemingly impossible for her to read. E was very frustrated with her life, her friends, family, the economy... the world. As she was entrusting us with all of her problems and disappointments and concerns a scripture popped into my head, clear as a bell: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. - John 14:27. No scripture has ever popped into my head as distinctly as this one had to me at the time.

I'd like to testify that there are no coincidences in God's timetable that we are in. I know that I needed to be with E at that moment - He was aware of that situation and brought that scripture to my remembrance! I've unfortunately met a lot of broken people here on my mission but I know that with the scriptures, knowledge, and hope we have of our Savior we can all be healed.

Kalofsh shume bukur kete jave!

Motra Fulop

P.S. I hit my half-way mark this week, I only have 9 more months left on my mission!
Yeah I brought a pear and it was really messy. Not a good gondola snack

One of my favorite members, J! We went to her her village this week

J and M.. faves

The long anticipated gondola ride

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 37: Freaky Saturday...Voodoo & An Earthquake


It's been a great week here in sunny Tirana! Motra Holt and I had a lot of great finding experiences and first lessons with people. There are a few people that I have a really good feeling about. Hopefully we'll have some new, solid friends to teach this coming week!

One standout experience was when we met our new friend L yesterday. We had found her street contacting a couple weeks ago, and yesterday we had a first lesson with her after church. At the end of the lesson she said that she almost hadn't come to the lesson because she was running so late with other errands and her daughters told her she should just not bother going but she really felt like she needed to come. L said she knew why she felt so prompted to come to the lesson; it was because what we were teaching her was true! I felt the spirit so strongly in that moment. She's golden!

Onto the subject line... Saturday was a really bizarre day. First off we went on splits, meaning that Motra Holt and I split from each other and paired up with other church members so that we could get more lessons done. I was with a member named Jona at the time and we went to a lady's home for a first lesson. We were sitting there just getting to know each other and then the lady started telling us about how she could do magic where she put her hand over our eyes and if the sun was in the right position we'd be able to see our families and God in a vision. Then she started doing some crazy chanting. Jona said that she was really freaked out so we got out of there pretty quickly.

Then that night Motra Holt and I were writing in our journals chillin on our beds at around 10 pm when our beds started rocking back and forth! I was super confused and then I looked up and the ceiling light was swinging. Turned out there was an earthquake in Greece and we felt the effects from it!

Luckily yesterday everything was back to normal. I don't think I've mentioned this but we're in charge of two wards now! So Motra Holt and I go to 5 hours of church every week... pretty long. But yesterday was super cool, an Area Seventy from England came to the ward, Elder Charles! It was a really nice surprise. Then last night we went to a family's home for dinner in the American Embassy. It was an interesting, we went through pretty tight security but once we got through it was literally a little patch of America with tennis courts, trampolines, and actual GRASS! Then we went to the member's home and had tacos... it felt so nice to be back in America for an evening :).

Something spiritual... I've been studying about charity this week. This is my favorite scripture in connection with charity: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." (1 Corinthians 13:1). If we speak without charity in our hearts then our words have no worth in the sight of God. Let's continually try everyday to speak kind words to others. We'll become more Christlike every time we strive to do so!

Have a great week! Ju dua shumee Zoti qofte me ju!

Motra Fulop xoxo

We got a special delivery of Swiss chocolates :)

Pretty accurate. We collapse every time we get back into the house.

​Cutest pup I've ever seen. He's in a little pet shop right down the street from us... it makes my day every day seeing my buddy <333

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 36: When Pinterest Fails Hit Albania

Mirë dita!! Si jeni?!

It's been The Amazing Race 24/7 for Motra Holt and I this week. There was much sprinting and sweating involved but I swear I haven't killed my daughter just yet. We had three mission-related conferences Wed Thurs and Fri, then General Conference Saturday and Sunday. Other than the conferences we had a lot of great opportunities to teach this week! We've been getting to know all of the members and they're so ready and willing to help with our lessons. It makes the work a lot more fun!

Pinterest fails this week.... as I've mentioned before our oven doesn't work but we were asked to make cookies for a conference so I was like hey no problem we can just make no bakes on the stove! Well we didn't have a recipe... so I was like hey no prob I think I can remember how to make them and we'll just throw everything on the pan and it'll work out. Nope. They turned out like oaty, gross things and someone said they tasted like pepper. Elders proceeded to chuck them at each other's cars like snowballs. Then our Relief Society President, Megi told us one night that she was going around heart-attacking people's doors. So we thought we'd be cute and heart attack her door as she was gone so that when she'd get back SURPRISE. We covered her door that night but then days passed and she didn't say anything about it. Turns out we heart attacked the wrong door in the building over from her... woops.

Spiritual thought: General conference was streamed to us this weekend (it's a week late because they have to translate it into Albanian) but it was SO good, as always! Of course a standout is listening to the prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson truly is our prophet in these latter days. In 1 Nephi 10: 18 it reads, "For He (God) is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him." I love that! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; so why would He only have had prophets in ancient times? It only makes sense that He would have a prophet on the Earth at all times! I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's mouthpiece for us. I'm thankful for the modern-day revelation and guidance that we can receive from God through him.

Have a great week! Ju dua shumë!

Motra Fulop :)
Lunch Part 2... I ate 6 crepes this week woops

Today we took Motra Gjonca to the mission office - she's headed off to the Switzerland temple for endowments!

Sad to say it but... The Door of Regrets

Lunch Part 1

Us and Megi!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Week 35: Frozen Pizzas and Sardines and I GOTTA BABY

Ç'kemi! Si jeni??

It's been another great week! It really flew by because we have been so busy. I LOVE the work that we have here in Tirana - there is never a dull moment! Our progressing investigator, F, came to church all three hours yesterday and she loved all of it. Our lessons with her in her fruit stand have been so spiritually uplifting - they're the highlight of my week. She's literally my Albanian mom. We were also tracting last Monday and I started talking to a girl named E. She came for a lesson the next night and then Wednesday night she came again and asked if she could get baptized - before we even got the chance to ask! Talk about prepared people ready for our message!

Frozen Pizzas - I moved yet again into a new apartment and our oven is broken but we bought these beautiful looking frozen pizzas sooo we did the next logical thing and stuffed them in the microwave. The cheese was still rock hard by the end but we ate them and... they were edible I'll just leave it at that.

Sardines - We use the buses here a lot in the city and sometimes they are CRAZY packed - we are packed like sardines and it's pretty uncomfortable. I think I need to repent after getting out of the bus I'm squished between so many people. And the other day I was pushed right where the door was closing and it shut close right on my bag strap so my bag was hanging out the door and I was completely smashed against the door. Fun times.

I GOTTA BABY -  I got a new companion this week. Motra Holt! She's from Sandy, Utah, and she's the coolest daughter I could have ever asked for. She's considered my "daughter" because she's my first trainee fresh from America. We're having a lot of fun together and God has really been blessing us with great experiences and opportunities to teach - I think It's been a great kick-off for Motra Holt at the beginning of her mission! The greenie fire in our companionship is working miracles!

Lastly, I gotta say the gift of tongues is real! I was really worried about training because I didn't think my Albanian would be good enough to lead everything, but it's proven to be okay. My mission president promised me the Lord would bless me with understanding for everything I need to understand - I can't deny it he was completely right when he promised that.

Spiritual thought: One of my favorite scriptures, Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

Ju dua! Have a great week as always.

Motra Fulop :)


View from my new apartment - I'll never get tired of seeing the mountains
Motra Lyng and Gjonca were sent back up to Kosovo :)

​We went bowling today so naturally I had to get an awk pic

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Week 34: Transfer Madness!

Ç'kemi!! Si jeni?!

It's been another fun week in Tirana! We got a call from president on Friday night and I've been called to stay here. I'll be training a "fringo fare" aka new greenie missionary from America. It'll definitely be an adventure especially because she won't know much Albanian but I'm pretty confident we'll be able to get around just fine. I'm sooo excited for some new "green blood" because there is so much work to be done here! The past week Motra Lyng has been showing me around the area and I've been able to meet the members,and holy cow, the members here are amazing. I'm soooo happy to be staying here with these people!

Something marvelous: We've been continuing to teach our friend F at her fruit stand. She's the sweetest. Her biggest roadblock since the beginning has been for her to come to church because she needs someone at her fruit stand all the time. But her faith has been growing every time we meet with her; the spirit is stronger than I've felt in many other lessons. Then yesterday morning I called her asking if we could come pick her up for church. She said she really wanted to come so she got her daughter to man the fruit stand and she walked to church with us. I was so thankful for her sacrifice to come to church! It's so cool to see the gospel soften and change hearts.

I went on another exchange this week and a missionary shared this quote with me - I love it! "The Lord works from the inside out. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.... yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world." -Ezra Taft Benson

Ju dua shume keni nje jave shume e bukur! Zoti qofte me ju!

Motra Fulop 
Thanks for the package madre!!! I loved the Megpie :)

Yup we had to.

Almost...JUST almost as good as my favorite Cali Pizza Kitchen barbecue chicken pizza.

CHOW CHOW I'm gonna die.