Hellooo from lovely Berat! It is beautiful here, the city is strung with so many lights and decorations. It's very interesting though because if you were to ask someone they'd say that all of the decorations are for New Years and not Christmas; It's not a widely celebrated holiday here. The few Christians that ARE here don't do any of the traditions that we Americans do since they are Christians of only about 20 years after the communist era. Also to make my subject line a little clearer "xhami" is mosque in Albanian.
Anyway... this was, unsurprising-ling, one of the busiest weeks for us as missionaries! We planned a lot of fun activities. Thursday we organized a Christmas party at the church and made "ginger" bread houses (they were really just wafer houses because molasses can't be found here). Then Motra Suckow and I hit the streets hard all week and went up and down the boulevard, trying to talk to everyone with our "Light the World" passalong cards. We also blocked out time for knocking on doors and it was pretty cool, on all the three days we did this (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) the FIRST doors we knocked on let us in to share our Christmas message! We felt like we were truly led to the doors that needed to learn more about the true meaning of Christmas.
Two other highlights from this week were Christmas Eve when we went out as a district Christmas caroling. We got in the car and drove all around Berat, singing to people and giving them cookies. It was really cool because at one point we drove to a little fshat (village) that was in the middle of NOWHERE. When we got out of the car the sky was huge and beautiful, completely full of stars! It really was an unforgettable Christmas Eve. The other highlight was when I got to Skype the family yesterday, of course! :)
Thought: This scripture stood out to me the other day,it's in Matt 7:11: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? ". December is a month all about gifts, gifts, gifts! But the best, everlasting gift of all was given to us over 2000 years ago in a little stable. This was a gift from our Heavenly Father who loves us without end. Right now we can't understand the magnitude of this gift, but someday we will. I'm forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving us his only Begotten. I hope that we will be able to remember and treasure His gift, Jesus Christ, not only now but throughout the whole year.
I love you all and hope that you have a great ending to 2016!!
|Christmas lunch! We didn't have any forks so we ate the salad with spoons|
|I was pretty happy with how these guys turned out.|
|Wafer houses at the Christmas partay!|
|Shoutout to my bff Maddie THANK YOU!!|
|We could see the ocean from the top!|
|Our branch president is the man on the right. Coolest guy ever!|
|Christmas selfies with the bestie!!!|
|We hiked a big one today..... we had to burn off some Christmas calories ya know|
|Awesome present from Aunt Jayme! SHE MADE THIS GAME PEOPLE.|