Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life in Albania - Week 21

Hello family. I have never appreciated English so much in my entire life haha. I am overwhelmed with stress right now but hey, stress makes things fun? Okay not really ha but let's just pretend it does. Well I will start out with some questions from your emails.

1. So – what is it like to have an Albanian companion?

Ha. Well, it has its ups and downs. I hope that I will get a lot better at the language. It's really hard though, like ever since I have been with him I have been understood less by people. Like when he talks people understand him, and then I will talk and people just give me blank stares and then ask him what I said. It was never like that before. Like before, I think because I was with an American and we both had American accents people found a way to understand us but now they hear him speak Albanian with a good accent and then I speak and they don't understand a thing. It is frustrating, because even though I am speaking better than I ever have, nobody takes the time to understand me now. One nice thing is that I have been able to understand a lot better lately. I am able to understand the things people say very easily but I have a harder time communicating back to them. Elder Merepeza is a good cook though! He cooks great traditional Albanian foods and loves cooking. So I have eaten well for the past week. We speak Albanian all day except for from 9pm to 10pm because part of his progression program requires him to speak English 1 hour a day. It's hard. I think I am going to die haha. I feel bad for him that he has to be my companion and suffer because I stink at Albanian. So yeah. Just keep in mind that as you are living it up in America speaking the beautiful English language, that I am in Albania attempting to speak this crazy language ALL day while my brain is on the verge of exploding. haha

2. Does your Albanian Companion even know English?

He is okay at English. A lot of times when I ask questions about the language in English I have to end up trying to explain what I'm asking In Albanian.

3. What will happen when you go to teach your English Classes in March – will your Companion be able to help?

Yeah, he will be able to help for the most part. He speaks broken English pretty well haha. Like you would be able to know what he's saying even though he wouldn't be saying it 100 percent correctly. In fact, English starts tomorrow! :) yayyyy

4. Do you speak any English in your apartment now?

ha Nope. Just one hour at night for planning session.

5. How many Albanian missionaries are there in your mission?

One full time (my comp.) and then there is one mini missionary who is serving a 3 month mission with my old comp haha. People do mini missions when the mission needs an extra missionary.

6. How long has your companion been out on his mission?

One month less than me

7. What about your last companion – how long has he been out?

He goes home next transfer

8. Did the other girl from that family end up getting baptized yet?

Nope, her baptism is scheduled for Saturday but I think it is going to get changed yet again. Not because of her, it's because of our Branch President. haha

9. The family that said they couldn’t be baptized because they are Muslim – do you just not teach them anymore, or could an Albanian companion maybe help them think differently?

That family is actually in the other elders area. I was there on an exchange with Elder Johnson there. So I'm not really sure if they will continue to teach them or not.

10. Does President Neil let parents come pick up their missionaries? I know some Mission Presidents do not encourage that – in fact they discourage it. I know he won’t be your Mission President when it is time for you to go home – but I was just curious if any other families have come to pick up their missionary since he has been in charge there.

President Neil does allow it. When I first got here there was a family here with one of the missionaries who had just finished his mission when I got here. I hope the new one allows it too! His name is President Ford


Okay, so this week was really hard haha but it was good for me. I'm getting my bum kicked out here. I'm learning a lot of good lessons though. I must not have had very good patience before my mission because I think God is trying to teach me a lesson right now haha. Yesterday I think I was the most nervous I have ever been in my life haha. So at church, we had 5 investigators yesterday and so I was worrying about making their experiences good and then they called up the people who were baptized last week to receive the Holy Ghost, and so we went up there to do it and then I find out on the stand that the other missionaries hadn't asked their investigators who they wanted to do their confirmations. So each one chose who they wanted to do it when they got on the stand haha. Well sure enough, Denisa asked me to do hers. I was so scared haha. I have never done a confirmation before, let alone in Albanian! But fortunately, it went really well. I could see God giving me the words to say even though I had not thought of any words I would say before hand. So that was a pretty cool experience for me.

We met with Rimi this week (the boy who didn't accept the law of chastity well). We had a really cool lesson with him about the authority of our church and the spirit was strong. He committed to come to church this past week and sounded excited to get going again with us. So we planned a lesson for the next day with him and gave him Alma 32 to read. The next day we had a lesson with Marinela at 4 oClock and she accepted baptism and is getting baptized on March 27th after church! While we were in the lesson with her at the Center where we have lessons, two girls walked in and said hello we are Rimi's friends and we want to learn. So haha I asked them to wait in the other room (it was kinda funny cause it was like we have so many people waiting to get baptized that we had to put some people in the "waiting room"). We finished the lesson with Marinela and then had a lesson with the 2 girls and we called Rimi to come join us. We talked about the promise in the Book of Mormon and it seemed to go really well. Then on Saturday we were on our way back from a baptism in Tirana because Elder Merepeza had to give a talk at the baptism. We got a text from those two girls asking us if they could come to church! It was awesome! It turns out that Rimi didn't come to church but his two friends did. We have a lesson set up with them this week because they said they have some questions about the Book of Mormon. How awesome is that? So maybe Rimi wasn't ready but his two friends are! Very cool stuff. I have seen God placing the Elect in our path. Those girls just showed up that day! God seriously sends those who are ready to us. Church yesterday was really good. President Neil came and gave a talk about unleashing the power of the members! I think it is really going to pick up the work of the members here. I'm excited.

Lori hasn't been able to meet with us. She is no longer on our list of investigators because she can't meet with us anymore. We still have a teaching record for her and so hopefully someday missionaries will go back to her. Plus Jola the girl who's friend it is is very active and will let us know if Lori can meet again.

Mom hahaha that story about the Health teacher was HILARIOUS! hahaha Mrs. Drews Loved me. That was the class I had with Evan though. So I guess you could say Evan and I were a bit immature in a health class together haha. What do you expect?! It's me and Evan! That is really funny though. I also remember a day when Sister Thacker was a substitute for my sophomore history class and we were taking a test and I had to go to the bathroom really really bad and I asked the student teacher if I could go to the bathroom but she said not until after I finished my test and I had just started the test and couldn't focus cause I had to pee! haha So Sister Thacker came up to me and told me I could go cause she knew I wouldn't cheat! It was awesome. Love you mom! Thanks for being the best motha eva!

Alexis- CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK! haha I'm pumped for you. But also very jealous I won’t be there for your freshman year like Ashley was there for me. But hey oh well. You are a cougar and that's what matters. Actually what matters even most is you are a Cougar that is actually a Buckeye. That is where it's at. Love you lil sista. Keep on keepin on. School doesn't matter anymore! Show Perrysburg who is boss by not doing your homework now. That's what I did :)

Ashley- Of course you can come to Albania! haha I assumed the whole family would come! Love you Ashley. SHOCKWAVEEEEEE! :)

Kendy- haha I feel really bad Kend. I just got like 4 letters from you at once! It's gonna take YEARS for me to write all of them back haha. Sorry! I will try to catch up on those quickly! Thank you for the valentines package from your fam! That balloon thing was sweet! You da

Dad- yes the iPod thing worked great! we have been listening to Christmas music a ton haha cause I'm still not sick of it cause it doesn't even feel like Christmas happened yet! I love you pops. Thanks for being the best dad ever. Seriously.

Well I gotta go. I'm outta time. I love you guys so much. Keep praying for me.

No comments: