Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5th

Ç'kemi Familja! Ju dua!
So to start out thank you so much for the package! My friends laughed pretty hard at your "best day ever" note. I have so much food, I'm honestly not sure if we can all eat it fast enough. 
Second off I still haven't seen Elder Martin yet. It's so weird because I've seen so many people I know but somehow still not Adam. But I'm sure that I'll still run into him sometime. I have run into Elder Wride a few times though which has been fun.
Unfortunately because today is Labor Day the temple is closed. But that does mean we have extra time for email today so I'll be back on later if there are any other questions. 
That sounds like such a fun trip though. And those are some pretty good pictures, make sure to keep sending me those. I can't wait to get to Albania and go on some trips of my own!
Also thank you so much for sending me my friend's emails, it's fun to hear those throughout the week. Quick question, what is going on with Nate Mather? I thought he was in Texas? Is he still in Texas just teaching Burmese people? I would be very grateful for any clarification but it all sounds so cool.
Now on to what's been happening here. So last night we had a devotional where Chad Lewis, the one who played football for BYU and in the NFL, spoke to us. It was so cool! He talked about "jumping over people" where when he was playing football he was constantly thinking about that and constantly working to be able to do it, so when the time came and the opportunity arose it was just natural to do it. Then he related that to us where we constantly have to be thinking and desiring to serve and when our time comes we'll be ready. He also talked a lot about the people he baptized on his mission and how much joy his mission brought him even to this day. I'm still loving it here but I'm so excited to get into the field!
We also watched a video about the life of Joseph Smith for movie time last night and that was so awesome! It really makes me wonder how much I'd be willing to sacrifice for this church because he literally sacrificed everything. Those early saints went through so much but I'm so glad that they did it all for us. We are so blessed for their hard work and for the persecutions and trials they went through. And now I'm so excited to be able to bring this gospel that they sacrificed so much for to the rest of the world.
So by now we've learned pretty much 99 percent of Shqip grammar which means that now we're just working on understanding and applying it all. It's really hard work but it's coming, day by day, piece by piece. The gift of tongues is so real and I'm so glad that we have that as missionaries because there is absolutely no way that we could do this without it. Just to give a small example of why this language is so hard to anyone who's interested, Albanian doesn't have a word for "the". For example, if you want to say the book it's libri, if you want to say a book though it's libër, but there are also different forms of the word like librat which is plural, and librit, and librin, and librave which all have completely different context. And that is just one of the reasons I'm in here for 9 weeks. 
I've been doing really well here but I did get a huge migraine on Friday night. It was actually the worst one I've gotten in years which really sucked because it made us miss TRC again. But I ended up taking a nap back at the room and I was feeling ok enough to go back to the last half hour of class. So now this week our schedule changes a little bit so now we have TRC Wednesday mornings which means it's time to start skyping real Shqiptar(Albanians)!
So this week was also our third week as Zone Leaders, so we got released. It was so much fun serving in that position but I'm glad to have the extra time for study now. The new Zone Leaders are Elder Draper and Elder Nielsen and they are so awesome and they're going to do so well. They are in the other Albanian district, which is awesome because we all get along so well. We make sure to keep things under control but we all have a lot of fun together. 
I can't really think of anything else to say right now but I'm sure that I'll be back on later.

Also just a random additional thing that was really funny this week. So one day we were just sitting in class when they told all the sisters that there was a random mandatory meeting that they all had to go to in like an hour. So they kept announcing it so we got super interested. So after they went they came back and were just busting up laughing. And so what had happened is they called them all to a meeting and started with an opening prayer like usual, then the MTC president got up and said "so as you all know, it's bat season". So turns out 17m which is the building where all the sister missionaries (used to) live is completely infested with bats. There are a lot of crazy stories about it, but I'm not sure how many of them are true. So they have professional bat catchers working on it now but they had to evacuate floors 2-4 and move them to a different building. It's pretty much become the new running joke of our district. So yeah, that's been fun.

I have done the unthinkable, I've started running for exercise time. It actually makes me feel better after doing it and I've dropped like two minutes off my mile time, which isn't saying much. I think that might have contributed to my headache but I'm being extra careful now and it's been fine since then.

Info on the pictures, the left one is us with the Turks. From right to left it's Elder Mazzei, Elder Natress, shoku im(my companion), me, Elder Morrell, and Elder Allen. Then we just have us at the temple and then our room. It's just the four of us in our room and we have an extra set of beds for our stuff plus two extra closets which is great with all the food y'all have sent me. The room's still a little small but we're still loving it and getting along great!

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