Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Letter # 10 - Where the Streets Have No Name - April 13, 2015

Dear Family and Friends-
So I learned that there are no addresses here in Albania, hence the name of my email! Our area book is literally little hand drawn maps to show where the people live because no one really has an address. Plus I heard that song this week by U2 so I thought it would be a good title. 
It was another amazing week in Elbasan. It is pretty magical here. There is this big bouvelard in the middle of the city with cobblestone streets, right next to the castle and at night they stop the cars from coming down and it lights all up. Everyone comes out from their houses and walks around, and we always go street contacting there at night. With the castle and this giant pink clock tower, it almost feels like Disneyworld! But it really is though, because we are sharing the message of happiness.
I learned something really important in the MTC and it is when people reject you, they aren't rejecting you but they are rejecting the message of the gospel. It is supposed to make you feel less rejected when people say they don't have time etc. Being rejected as a person is one thing though, but rejecting the message of the gospel is harder for me I feel because people don't realize how the message we carry really can change  their lives. It is such a precious truth and I feel this constant need to share it with everyone I see-to give them the oppertunity now to hear something that has changed my life. 
Anyways, it was another good week here! We taught a lot of lessons and also had a lot of "fiks" which means they just don't show up. We got to watch Conference and we tried to get a lot of people to come, but by the last Sunday session only one person showed up hahah. It was really draining for me to watch it because it was all in Albanian and I had to concentrate sooooo hard to get about 20% of the context. I spent a while trying to read the people's lips as well hahha. But I think it strengthened my testimony even more because you could feel the Spirit even though I couldn't understand half of what they are saying. 
We have 3 little families we are teaching. And they are all so amazing. We love teaching anyone the gospel, but teaching families is so much more powerful. I think my favorite part this week was just watching how the gospel changes these families lives. Every time we meet, we ask them to do a kneeling prayer and the Spirit that comes when we kneel with those families is incredible! 
My companion taught me this little saying that she says is really her mission motto and I love it: Pray for miracles, work hard for miracles, then expect MIRACLES. And that has already happened in my 2 weeks here. I know that the Lord is part of this work and this is the greatest work I could ever be a part of. 
My favorite scripture this week is Mosiah 4:10 where King Benjamin says *and now if you believe all these things see that you do them*. It is really simple, but I think it is the essence of the gospel. I know what I need to do, and now I just need to do them. And in missionary work that just means going out and talking to everyone, and despite my very limited Albanian skills, I still just need to go and DO THEM because I know they are true. 
I think my other favorite thing about being here is the sacrifice of the memebers. One girl my age, who lives with her grandparents said they wouldn't talk to her for 2 whole months for joining the church. And another woman has been a member for the last 10 years! She was one of the very first members in Elbasan. They give up so much because they know the Church is true. It is really quite amazing. 
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else then here in Elbasan right now, telling people that Christ lives and that through Him they can be saved. Missionary work is so amazing!
Thank you for all your love and support! 
Love, Motra Xhaksen
Cheese in Albania

We went to a fruit market!

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