Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 57: Call Me Megli


Our work has been on the up-and-up in Berat! We've started meeting with a new pool of friends that we found street contacting and tracting. Yesterday we were at our friend X's home and she said that our names were too hard to pronounce so she asked us for alternative nicknames and she decided to call me"Megli"! Motra Godfrey and I couldn't stop laughing at that one. A lot of people here don't have teeth so they can't pronounce "Fulop"; instead they say "Polo". I think I like Megli better.

Cool story from the week - We had english course as usual on Tuesday and Thursday and at the end of every class we share a spiritual thought for five minutes. On Thursday we were planning what we were going to teach for the spiritual thought and we wanted it to be different and special because we don't want our students to "zone out" for the last five minutes when we talk about Christ - that's what it seemed like the past couple classes - even though they're really awesome students. We decided to pray about it and afterwards I had the idea that we could bring down the TV and watch a Mormon message. Motra Godfrey liked the idea of a video and suggested we watch an "I'm a Mormon" video - so we found one about Elaine Bradley, the drummer of Neon Trees, which was translated into Albanian. Our class loved it and wanted us to write down the name of the church website so that they could watch more. One student and her dad came up at the end and said that they were interested in the Gospel and that they would be in church on Sunday!

Reflecting on that experience I know that it was because Motra Godfrey and I had asked for divine assistance to help our students we were guided to the exact thing that would touch their hearts. There are no coincidences. It's really neat to see the small miracles of the Lord everyday in the work. We just need to take a step back, realize the small things, and thank Him!

Ju dua, jave të mbarë!

Motra Follëp

Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Italian chocolate waffle. So Pinterest

This chocolate cafe in Tirana and was probably the fanciest place I've been in Albania.

The time when you elbow lunch into your purse.

​​Motra Godfrey cut my hair with kitchen scissors today. That's a lotta comp trust

Here's some of the Berat primary <3 I always help teach third hour

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 56: Lamb Brains Yummy Yummy


My stomach is still churning from lunch... we went to a traditional restaurant and the elders ordered us a big plate of "the best chicken in Berat" but after the first bite Motra Godfrey and I could tell it definitely wasn't your average chicken.. after prodding the elders a bit they confessed that it was lamb brains. Yuck!

As for this week.. we were out on the streets trying to find more people to teach. Tender mercy the weather has been around 60 so I can't complain. On Saturday we didn't have any lessons so that morning we planned to walk from one side of Berat to the other and made the goal to talk to EVERY woman we passed. For every woman we didn't greet we had to do a push up for them that night. I was pretty sore after that night... just kidding we did well with our goal!

We have a member named A who has a son named P. He will turn eight in June and wants to be baptized but since there isn't a set Primary class to prepare him for it we have started going over to their house to start preparing him. We had our first lesson with him last week and gave him his own Book of Mormon. A few days later A told us that P never let go of the book! He found a little satchel and brought the BOM with him to school and everywhere he went. I love that kid!

Food for thought: Last week Maddie sent me a quote from Mother Teresa that I really love. "I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." Whatever we are given in life is for our own good; he entrusts us with hardships, challenges, etc. because He knows that we will be made stronger through them. So, as my mom has always said.... "Let Go and Let God."

Keni një javë te bukur ju dua!

Motra Follëp :)
Here's what you'll find in any public restroom... a Turkish toilet. This is the cleanest one I've ever seen. You're welcome

We had to go on an impromptu road trip to Tirana. We caught the policia tag teaming it!

We made these little chocolate guys with a note for our English class: "...I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." - Moroni 8:16

Usual hiking shenanigans

For branch activity we went hiking!

Today we went exploring in Osumi canyons, more pictures to come. The guy in the middle is Flamur (translation "Flag"), our super cool taxi driver!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 55: Scripture Power


I'm going to keep this one short today! This week Motra Godfrey and I hit the streets hard trying to find more people ready for the Gospel. There were couple cool experiences that we had when we were contacting. Once we were talking to a lady on a little cobblestone pathway when another girl turned the corner, saw us, and sprinted over! She immediately asked us about the blue books we were holding and said she wanted to read anything to do with Christ. Her name is S and she is awesome, we've now met with her for lessons! I wish it were always that easy! Then on another occasion we were tracting and a lady answered the door and after talking a bit she said she just had a death in the family. She asked us if resurrection was real. We opened the Book of Mormon and read two verses in Alma 11 that directly answered her question. She was so happy with the answer she received and asked us how much she had to pay for a Book of Mormon (they're always free).

This weekend was special; our mission president came for interviews and a fireside. Yesterday we had a nice lunch together. Then today we played zone soccer which is always a good time!

I'm reading in Acts right now and it is so inspiring - Peter and Paul are my favorites. They make me want to work harder. I'm so thankful for the scriptures. I know that they are the word of God. Because of the scriptures I want to be a better person and inspire others to do the same.

Have a great week ju dua shumë!

Motra Follëp

Yours truly... the angels of Berat!

Gotta catch 'em all

View from our new apartment

This is my fave junk food. Don't worry I didn't eat it all at once..

Kitchen/study area

Our new apartment is SO NICE.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Week 54: We Are the Clay


I got a new companion this week, Motra Godfrey, from Mesa, AZ. One of the assistants to the mission president told us we were put together because I quote we're "the most basic sisters in the mission." I'm not sure if that's a good thing. Whatever.. we fan girled about One Direction for a solid hour - I think we make a great team. For P-day today we moved across town - it took us a good six hours but it's worth it because now we're in a brand spankin new apartment!

This week was a good one! The highlight was S's baptism on Saturday. We held the service on the riverside and it was beautiful! I'm so excited for S to have this fresh, new start in her life as the newest member of the Berat branch.

We also had a few great lessons with our friend M and currently we've been teaching her the commandments and every time she accepts to keep them with no questions asked. She is so prepared and willing to follow the commandments so that she can live a healthier, fuller life! It has been a real testimony builder for me to witness M change so many aspects of her life for the sake of the Gospel!

One of our friends from church also brought us to a family's home one evening and we've been teaching them ever since! The mom's name is A and she loves Christ so much. We brought the Restoration video over to their home the other night and they loved it.

We've been meeting with a less-active member family every week since I've been here and they'd never made it to church (apparently they hadn't been for four months)- until yesterday when the mom came! I was so excited to see her come into the door in sacrament meeting. I learned an important lesson that I should never "give up" on our friends but keep showing them love and serving them.

Throughout my mission but especially this week I've been privileged to witness people change for better. I know that if we let Christ into our lives, we will be molded into the people that He needs us to be. We are our best selves when we live the principles of the Gospel. I love the words in Isaiah 64:8 - "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

Kalofsh shumë bukur!

Motra Follëp
I received enough chocolate to hold me the rest of my mission - THANK YOU Vialla Fam!

It was a little dirty.

This is our investigator M and her adorable granddaughter N who thought she was at the beach she started making sand castles.

The water was FREEZING but so clear!

Motra Godfrey, S, and I!