Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016

Ç'kemi familja!! Ju dua shumë!

Well it's finally here, my last P-Day in the MTC. I've had a great time here at the MTC but I'm excited beyond words to get out into the field! I still need to finish packing (big surprise), and I'm finishing laundry right now but other than that I'm ready!

This week at the MTC has been both crazy and amazing! So last week we spoke only Albanian from Monday to Saturday, and that was really hard. But at the same time it was so amazing. I feel like I understand the language a lot better now because of that so hopefully that'll help me in the field. Yesterday was our last Sunday here and it was so good. We said goodbye to our branch presidency and got interviewed to make sure we're ready. I've loved our branch presidency so much, they've been such amazing examples and leaders for us here. After church we had our departure devotional and on Thursday we had In-field orientation, and after those I definitely feel a lot more prepared to get into the field. They really focused on working with the wards (or in our case branches) and that when we do that we'll be so much more effective. We also had our last Sunday devotional yesterday which was a lot of fun and then we got to watch church videos again. We watched "Character of Christ" again yesterday which is an MTC talk by Elder Bednar. It focuses a lot on always working to turn out and focus on others instead of ourselves. That was really inspiring for us especially with us leaving tomorrow. In order to have a successful mission I can't be focusing on myself, it doesn't matter at all what I want, I'm here to serve others. I'm so excited to go and take that to Albania with me!

So General Conference is next Sunday which is so awesome! I'm not sure if we get it next Sunday or the one after that in Albania(because translating) but either way I can't wait to watch it. It'll be so hard to understand because it'll be in Albanian but I'll do my best. But just in case, make sure to send me some notes when you watch it!
That's so exciting that Max is so close to leaving now, he's going to love it!
I can't wait to call you all tomorrow, that's going to be so much fun! be sure to be ready, I should call right at 6! Then we should be arriving at about 12:00, Utah Time, in Chicago and I'll probably call from there too but I'm not 100% sure on the time for that.
It's so crazy thinking that Elder Schneider and I are only going to be companions for 2 more days! I'm so glad we've gotten along so well and we have worked so well together! He's so funny but at the same time he has the spirit so strong with him. I'll definitely miss him but hopefully we'll see each other around in the field! All the Elders heading out with us are so amazing so hopefully I get to be companions with at least one of them in the field!

Also I found my new favorite scripture, it's Ether 12:4. That whole chapter is so amazing and it talks all about faith. I recommend everyone to read that because it's so true. If we have faith then we really have so much hope and the world becomes a better place. There are so many amazing things we have to look forward to both in this life and in the next and we get all of those through faith. When we have faith we have the power of God with us, it's through faith that God works miracles. Faith has been my biggest focus here at the MTC and I've definitely gained a lot more here. I know with all my heart that if we have faith God will bless us in every part of our life. Things may not always go the way we think or the way we want but if we just have faith that it'll turn out ok I know we'll end up better than we started.

Just one last thought for now, we sang the EFY medley yesterday in church as our goodbye musical number(Sisters in Zion/Army of Helaman). That was so cool and I love the part in the song where it normally says "and we will be the Lord's missionaries" but we sang "and we are now the Lord's missionaries". I'm so excited to really get out there! Just 16 more hours until we leave for the airport!

Love Elder Gardiner

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