This week we were walking with the Elders to a less active appointment and this little man seemingly pops out of nowhere, and starts asking us if we are the Mormons in fairly good English. It was a little strange-not many people know us by the name 'Mormons' or speak English that well. It continued to get stranger as he told that he had met the 3 immortals-yes the 3 Nephites. And that wasn't even the best part, he had met them in the White House. I was trying hard so hard not laugh, well the Elders did better at listening to his story. Crazy people here in Albania always make for the best weeks.
This week we had an exchange in Durres and we were standing outside street contacting when the cutest little kid comes up and asked me for a pass-along card. He didn't have any shoes, looked like he hadn't showered in a couple days, and his clothes looked too small and a little worn down. I gave him one. Then he asked for another. And another. I ended up giving him 10 cards! Then he walked around and proceeded to hand them out, just like we did as missionaries. It was so cute.
I talked to him for a little bit, he was only about 5 years old and he told me that he didn't have a home and that his family lived on the street. He couldn't even really remember how old he really was.
We got lunch shortly after contacting and I was just overwhelmed a little bit of how blessed I am in my life. I couldn't stop thinking about that little kid on the street, and when was the last time he got to eat any food.
Sometimes as we street contact, it gets hard because people are rude and they reject you, but after talking to that little boy, I realized I had nothing in my life I could ever complain about.
I can't even explain or express how much my Heavenly Father has blessed me. The simple fact that I was born into the gospel is the greatest blessing of all, but the fact that I live in America, that I don't have to have an arranged marriage (happens all the time here), the fact that I can go to school, that I have a family who loves me, that I have an opportunity to get a job, that my life is pretty wonderful.
I've spent 19 wonderful years, struggling here and there but I don't think I ever can comprehend what is like to live here and to struggle here. Wondering everyday what to eat, wondering how to pay for the medical bills, where to find the next job. Sure, missionary work is really hard but for us everything is paid for- we live in a nice house, and we have the occasional extra change to get an ice cream. Those stresses never cross our mind.
After contacting that one boy, I wondered for long time why God would bless me so much, because sometimes I felt like I had been so ungrateful. Why some amazing people that I met here have to struggle, and I get to go back home to America to my wonderful family.
I am still not sure the answer to that question but I know God has a plan for everyone and that I can try to my small part to help relieve some of those burdens here. I read this a talk by Holland this week (and it's especially good because Mother Teresa is Albanian!)
"A journalist once questioned Mother Teresa of Calcutta about her hopeless task of rescuing the destitute in that city. He said that, statistically speaking, she was accomplishing absolutely nothing. This remarkable little woman shot back that her work was about love, not statistics. Notwithstanding the staggering number beyond her reach, she said she could keep the commandment to love God and her neighbor by serving those within her reach with whatever resources she had. “What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean,” she would say on another occasion. “But if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less [than it is].”
God has blessed me so much and I am little overwhelmed by it, especially living here in Albania. I know that I will never to be able to repay him, that I am 'indebted' to him always as King Benjamin said. But I know at least I can do my very best in the vineyard here, to help people have the one blessing that is the greatest in my life and that is the gospel.
I love you and don't forget how much the Lord blesses us.
P.S. For everyone who was wondering, Jueda got confirmed! (Big sigh of relief)