November 14, 2013

C'kemi! (that's supposed to be a c with a little tail on the bottom but I don't know how to do that on a keyboard haha oh! and it's mean hi/what's up pronounced ch-kem-ee)

First off, let me just announce to the world how THRILLED I am that my brother is going to be in the MTC WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! x's100 I am so STOKED!!! Seriously, I could die I'm so excited :) I got the letter saying where he was going and when he was coming into the MTC and I was jumping up and down and telling everyone in my zone how excited I was :D Getting that letter was the best day ever! Yay Aaron!! I Loved you SO MUCH!

Second off, Shauna, I don't have your email and it's your birthday :) I remember no one's birthday except my family and you, so happy birthday my lovely love!

Third off, I survived another week! Woot woot!! And it was way better than the first week so that's been a blessing. I am actually starting to enjoy being on a mission, go me :)

The two Albanian districts are assigned to do service by taking down all the chairs after devotional tuesday and sunday night. We usually go and change in our regular clothes so we don't get our skirts all gross and stuff. There are a ton of other missionaries assigned too and everyone usually changes but sometimes people stay in their missionary attire. I was talking to some peeps in my district and a missionary in dress clothes walked by and for a brief instant I thought, hey! A missionary! Awesome! hahaha.... oops. Wearing jeans sure throws me off.

The elders in my district are slowly ... uh... "borrowing" some photos of the apostles and first presidency from a classroom down the hall and then put them in the lost and found box for one of the sisters in my district to find. haha, oh boy, it's kind of a joke. she gets excited and tapes it up on our wall. So now we have a very ghetto wall gallery of painters tape and stolen, laminated apostle photos. 

So, back to how this week is better. 
The first week was awful. I was frustrated and discouraged and I kept thinking, do I really want to be here? Yuck. I don't even want to think about it. As one of the sisters in my zone (who actually helped me a lot) says, "we don't speak of that week". 
After a whole lot of prayer and a whole lot humbling experiences, it finally started to get better and this last week wasn't all that bad. there are still hard times, but I'm starting to like being here and I'm really starting to get to know my zone and have a good time as well and not be such a perfectionist about the language. 
Elder Perry came for devotional this last Tuesday and it was broadcast to all the MTC's in the world which was pretty cool. I had the great opportunity to sing in the choir with all the sisters in my zone. We had practice right before and they have us stay until the devotional starts unless we really need to leave. Well, my district leader told me that I had a package waiting to be picked up after practice so duh I had to leave! (and I'm glad I did, it was a package from the chocolate, best day ever!) As we were leaving the gym, there were employees at the door. They asked us, do you really have to leave? I said, uh, yes. And they said, okay, good luck. And I thought... good luck? weird. They open the door and I kid you not, it was like black friday on steroids.... for missionaries. There was a sea of people packed so tight against the door that sis defriez and I could barely get out and it lasted forever! Like a tsunami of missionaries! It was nuts!!
Elder Perry's message was great, he talked about companions and their importance. The thing that really stuck out to me the most though was something that had nothing to do with the talk's subject, he quoted a scripture that really touched me. Moses 6:31-32... Enoch is called of God to be a prophet and he's basically freaking out about it and totally questioning his ability. 

"And when Enoch had heard these words, he abowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying:bWhy is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people chate me; for I am dslow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
 32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy amouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands..."
It really struck a chord for me. Especially since I've been struggling so much with the language. It's such a process learning to completely trust the Lord (or at least it's a process for me! haha) and trusting that He called me to Albania to speak Albanian for a reason can be difficult. But if I follow His command and do as He asks, my mouth will be filled and I will be watched over and protected. It was a blessing to again be reassured of how much the Lord loves me and that if I let Him, He'll make sure that I'll be able to accomplish the work that He's asked me to do as long as I do my best. It's so easy to get caught up in fear, whether it be of change or going out of our comfort zone. But I know that if we trust God, He will take care of us. 
Well, I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Mirupafshim!! (Goodbye, mee-roo-paw-f-sheem)
Motra Russell
 Missy and Motra DeFriez (MTC companion)

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