December 1, 2014

Oh man! So much to say, so little time! 
This last week was just awesome. Thanksgiving was amazing. Definitely one of the best Thanksgivings I've ever had. We had a special mission training (basically a conference just called a different name haha). We planned how we're going to use the He is the Gift initiative in our missionary work. I am so excited that I get to be a missionary at this time. It's incredible. Being able to testify of Christ and how He is the true meaning of Christmas and a true manifest of God's love for us is just amazing. It brings a different spirit. A stronger spirit. It's truly incredible and has already strengthened me so much. Christ truly was the first gift.
Afterwards, we had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner made by the senior couples in the mission. I was so grateful for their service to us! They did so much and I felt their love for us so strong. They spent so much time making turkey and mashed potatoes and homemade rolls, etc... so that we would all have a good Thanksgiving. It was such an act of love that I was so grateful for. 
Then we had a talent show! And wow, did I laugh or what! Every district had a talent for the show. Most of the districts did funny skits and some of them were just hilarious. Our district did a skit making fun of how we get ready in the morning. Exercise, getting ready for the day and breakfast. Sister Boettinger and I did the breakfast part. One of the elders in our district was giving instructions as a short of narrator because he's super funny and was telling us how to make a disgusting breakfast... then he said we needed to add protein ... ?? ... and walked up behind us... and dropped a RAW GOAT HEAD into the bowl!!!! Eyeballs and everything! I screamed and ran away, this was definitely not planned in our skit. Apparently it was really funny, I don't remember, I was in the corner trying not to throw up haha
We also did district pictures of everyone and I had the awesome privilege to be able to take all the pictures of everyone! It was just... so nice haha... I miss photo a lot. And I actually really liked doing group photos at weddings. So it was a great experience for me! Everyone had a lot of fun, too :) President said I have to fly out and do it again next Thanksgiving he he, done ;)
Speaking of taking photos, I told him I wanted them to look nice and edited.... soooo... he let me come over to his house this morning and edit all the pictures on his imac! Oh man... talk about a shot of happiness, it's been over a year! I was so happy to have a good photo edit session. And not only that, it was in the company of my mission President and his wife. Um, amazing. Can I have that always? I was especially happy that I got to use one of my talents, that was a blessing for sure. 
So yes, Thanksgiving was so wonderful. And so full of love. I am so grateful that I get to be out in Albania serving as a missionary. I have never felt more fulfilled or happy in my entire life. It's been an absolute miracle. And I am so blessed.

The next day was Albania's Independence day, that was pretty cool. Definitely different from America... I wore my red dress on accident, I was basically a walking Albanian flag. But in all seriousness, I kept hearing people commenting on how I looked like a flag haha

I also got a wonderful text from the sisters in 2nd ward that a sister that Sister Z and I had worked with was getting baptized and wanted me to speak at her baptism! I was soooo happy!! It was such an honor and I felt so blessed. I was so happy that she was finally able to get baptized. It has been such a gift to still be in Tirana and still be able to see those I love. 

On that same note, it's been an interesting experience still being in Tirana but serving in a different ward. Last transfer Sister Z and I worked our tails off and not much that we were able to witness happened. Sometimes it was hard to not let it get to me when we were being so obedient and so many others were having success and we didn't feel like we were making much of a difference... I then heard a quote that really changed my perspective. I don't remember the exact quote or who even said it, but the gist of it was... Don't be so faithless that you have to see the fruit of your labors... 
That really impacted me. I knew I was following the spirit and doing what the Lord wanted me to do and just because we weren't seeing the fruit of our labors, didn't mean that the Lord's work wasn't being accomplished. The amazing part is that I'm still in Tirana and even though I'm not working with the same people, I have the opportunity to see from a distance the fruit of our labors after the trial of our faith. Three families have been brought into Christ's loving arms through the covenant of baptism from the work that Sister Z and I were privileged enough to be able to participate in. It has been such a testimony builder to me that sometimes God asks us to do things and have no idea why... and when we do them, we still may have no idea why... but there's always a purpose. God's hand is in our lives, He cares for His children, this is His work and it will progress. 

Don't forget to share the message of the true meaning of Christmas with those around you! You never know who it will bless! Much love!

Thanksgiving, Dita e Flamurit, the mom we worked with on her baptism day. 

Matchy matchy in her Albnaian colored dress. Didn't think of that when we made it.

Chocolate...my worst enemy that I love so much.

Another beautiful sunset

The used market where you can buy cheap stuff

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