Happy Valentine's Day yesterday! It just felt like another day (every holiday feels like that as a missionary). But I do want to say that I love you all!
Anyways, Shkoder is a beautiful city. It is super dominated by the Catholics. They swept in here and settled after the fall of Communism. I can't tell you how many times I hear, "We have a bible, and we don't need any more!" It surprises me that no one seems to want more scripture from God. It takes a lot of self control to not get on a soap box and start reading, 2 Nephi 29: 10-11
" 10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written."
But don't worry, I don't do that because I want to avoid being tarred and feathered.
The best part about Shkoder is the fact that everyone rides bikes-even the nuns. I love seeing a 60+ toothless nun cruising down the boulevard, with her coif flapping in the wind, pockets stuffed with candles and the Holy Bible, and as she passes the giant Catholic church she bows her head and does the cross. It doesn't get more Catholic than that.
But I am enjoying my time here so far. There is a lot of potential here. I love changing areas and just going to a new place and meeting the members there. I am always so surprised at the strength of members here. Especially here in Shkoder, we only had 5 of them but they are so solid.
I really have a testimony that people are waiting out there for us. After seeing the members in Shkoder, it makes me realize people are just waiting for the gospel, they just don't know where to find it. True, there is a lot of rejection and pain along the way, but I would suffer a whole lot for those 5 members to find them and give them the gospel.
We are already teaching some cool people, all of them are Catholic and trying to teach priesthood authority has been an adventure. One day I just pray they will understand. Because of Communism in the past, Albanians have a hard time accepting the idea that just one religion is right. Everyone was a loser in Communism, so now that they are no longer under oppression they just want everyone to be winners. I try to explain everyone can be winners in the Church of Jesus Christ.
Well, you all are awesome. I love being a missionary. I say that every week, but it is true. There is nothing better.