Dear Family and Friends!
This week might have been one of my favorites. We got this new investigator this week named Angela and she has been both a Muslim and a Jevohah's Witness. We took this one girl over who was thinking about baptism but she is having a hard time making a decision. Anyways, Angela just stands up and kind of yells her testimony (Albanians yell when they talk about important things or are really excited) and says "I have read the Korean and I used to wear the whole Muslim get-up. I had every part of my body covered except for my eyes. I joined the Jovhah's Witness group and done everything they have asked. And did I feel the Spirit when I did any of those things? No. But when I started reading the Book of Mormon, I have felt the Spirit in my life. This church is true and I am getting baptized." (On only the 2nd lesson!) She is really really awesome. She is only 18 and just got married because her family is too poor to take care of her. It is kind of a sad situation. But, she is really awesome and so ready for the Gospel. I just love it when people bear their testimonies here!
We also had another awesome 1st lesson where the lady just professed her desire to be baptized. Elbasan is the land of milk and honey. People are just ready here! But while we were sitting there teaching a lesson, there was this giant spider on the table.I was just kind of staring it so the lady just brushed it off the table with her hand. So I was trying not to think about where that spider went the whole lesson until I felt it crawling up my leg about 10 minutes later. Oh man, I have no idea why I didn't scream because it was giant and hairy and everything I fear in life, but yes, in case you were wondering, they have spiders in Albania too.
Also, when we were in Tirana this week, we ran into the Jovahah Witnesses. It was so interesting. They told us how we were wrong because we have a living prophet and no one needs those anymore. They tried to argue with the scriptures and tell us how we have no need for further revelation. All we could do was bear our testimonies to them and walk away. It is hard because you just wish they could understand how much we truly do need a prophet to lead us and guide us. And honestly some of the scriptures they read us, were talking exactly about the need for a prophet, they just had not read them correctly. Those are frustrating moments but I also think they strengthen our testimonies more than diminish them because now I am so much more certain that Thomas S. Monson is a living Prophet and he speaks with God.
We also went to Tirana this last week for a missionary conference. We had a training from President Weidmann and he is just amazing. He just talked about the importance of sharing the Gospel. There is this quote I have thought a lot about from Preach My Gospel, "As your understanding of the Atonement increases, your desire to share the Gospel will also increase."
When I first got here, sometimes I was hesitant to talk to everyone. Like in the elevator, I didn't really want to bug people and give them a pass along card. But every day, I think I understand more the weight of our message. That when someone steps in the elevator, I am not bugging her with something trivial but it is actually a matter of ETERNAL SALVATION. So although my companion and I wish we could convert the whole city of Elbasan, we just try to talk to everyone we meet. I have realized more and more how important sharing the Gospel is.
I also was reading after Jesus was Resurrected he comes back to tell his Apostles to continue to do missionary work and that is what they do for the rest of their lives. I think I am finally starting to understand how we really have to be missionaries our whole lives because we have a message that everyone has to hear!
Thank you for all your love and support!
Love, Motra J