Sorry, we didn't get a chance to email last week because we were in Macedonia. But we stayed in good ole' Gjakova today and enjoyed the sunshine.
These past couple of weeks have kind of been a whirlwind of things. Some fun things that have happened the last couple of weeks...
-Did an exchange in Macedonia and understood absolutely nothing
-Got locked out of our house and tried to break in using credit cards with the Elders
-Preparing our little family for baptism and having them finally understanding we are not Catholic
-Talking to a girl for one hour about aliens....
-Starting playing Christmas music in our apartment
Anyways, the work keeps going forward. But the last couple of weeks have been filled with a lot of contemplation for me. The thing that I love most about a mission is the fact that for a year and a half I get to think about only the gospel. Heaven knows how distracted I get at home with my music, books, and movies and everything in-between but I've been thinking a lot about change and how to become a better person.
There have been plenty of times on my mission where I have felt discouraged, that I am maybe too weak for the task that has been placed a head of me. And I've always heard that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, those burdens can be lightened. I use to think that meant He would take the burdens away, but now I understand that He just makes us stronger so that we can face them with His help.
Of all the places that my mind wanders on my mission, one that I find myself continually drawn back to is the path that Christ walked on the way to Golgotha. When He carried His cross alone. I think when I was there, I didn't understand how much that path would later mean to me. Because now I realize, He walked that path alone so that we never have to.
8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.
9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
10 And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.
I read this yesterday actually with the Smith Family. We talked about the Atonement and as I was testifying of it to them, the Spirit settled in the room and testified to me (perhaps more to me than them) that Jesus Christ lives and His grace and power are available to everyone. There was a moment with them last night, where we were all still because the Spirit was testifying so strongly that it was true. I don't think you can ever forget moments like that.
Wow, I love being a missionary more than anything else in the world. I love sharing that message with the people.
I love you!
|This giant cross stands on top of a hill in Macedonia.|
|At night on the bridge.|
|Last night with some of the Elders.|
|Ahh! Beautiful Sunsets!|
|Our gift of oranges to our neighbors because we burned our brownies!|