Miredita Familje?! Kush jeni? Une jam mire dhe Prishtina eshte shume e bukur. Une e dua Prishtina dhe une jam shume lumter me sherby ketu! Une ju dua dhe une lutem per ju cdo dite!
DISCLAIMER: The following message may include very poor English, so forgive me :)
Motra Forte and the Kosovo Flag! SO SWEET!!!
How are my lovely family and friends?! I hope all is well in the U.S.A. and that Obama hasn't let it burn to the ground already! haha. So all is well here in Prishtina and I have learned so much this week. It is unreal to recognize the hand of the Lord in your life when you are obedient and doing the things you are supposed to. I have had to rely on the Lord a lot this week as things have been pretty tough with my understanding and teaching ability and what not. I have really come to know that My Heavenly Father is always there and listens to every single prayer. He answers my prayers and I know that if I continue to have faith in Him, I will be able to conquer any obstacle that comes my way here in the mission field!
This is the view from our window!
It snowed this week on Monday!
It's finally starting to warm up a little bit though!
Its so funny because all of the Missionaries here in Kosovo (there are 6 of us) call this area of our mission "The Promised Land"! haha. This is because all of the members here are so incredible and have such great faith. I am so impressed at these people's great faith as many of them are going against their families and the cultural norms and doing something that they have come to believe is true. Everyone here has some crazy war story to tell and their families have been heavily impacted by the war. The Elders have this awesome investigator named Kristnik from Gjakova which is 1.5 hour away. He started telling me about how his house was completely destroyed in the war, and then he proceeds to pull up his sleeve and expose these bullet wounds on his arm! These people have literally been through the wringer and they so desperately need the Gospel in their lives to heal those wounds.
The people here love America!
There is a statue here of Bill Clinton because he helped
to end the war here in Kosovo.
I'm super shiny in this pic, but this is the Serbian Orthodox
church that is completely vacant and is not in use,
but the Kosovars cannot knock it down or the Serbs
will attack and there will be serious conflicts!
Kosovo is a 95% Muslim Country so pretty much everyone we teach here is Muslim. The Prayer Call sounds 5 times a day from each Mosque here in Prishtina and it is so crazy. The culture is so different here, but it is so beautiful. Most of the people here don't even believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God or the Savior of the World. It is such a privelage for me to be able to tell these people for the first time that they have a Savior and Redeemer that made is possible for them to return to live with God again! And although a lot of people reject our message, I don't get discouraged one bit because I know that this is the truth. If anything I am strengthened by people rejecting it and it gives me more incentive to work harder to share this message with as many people as possible here. So many people here are ready to hear and to receive the Gospel and it is so amazing when we find people that are willing to listen and have been searching for the truth. The Lord definitely prepares these souls to receive us and I have no doubt that he is directing this work here in Prishtina. So many crazy occurrences have happened that are almost "too good to be true"! Like, crazy things that could not be possible without the help of the Lord. This Tuesday, one of our lessons didn't show up, (which is a common occurrence here in Kosovo! Everyone is so flakey!) so we moved our schedule around and decided to go study at the church. Five minutes after arrived, 2 different investigators randomly showed up for a lesson! We weren't planning on teaching them, but we whipped out a spontaneous lesson of the Restoration, committed them to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and they both accepted and committed to a date! Ummm.. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!! The Lord put these people in our path and they were ready for the invitation!
Me and some man.. haha.
I have no idea who it is or why he is important..
but I took a picture with him anyways!
So a little bit more about Prishtina. It is pretty much a college town and everyone is always go, go going! EVERYONE smokes, so I always smell like smoke. I hope I don't get lung cancer from all of the second hand smoke!! haha. I need to wear a mask or something.. haha. There is pretty much a Mosque on every corner and there are so many Muslims here. You would DIE. The other day we were handing out flyers for Easter Sunday and some people would read the invitation in disgust, crumple up the invite and throw it on the ground. There are quite a few die hards here, but a lot of people claim to be Muslim because their families are, but they don't practice it. It makes teaching hard because so many people are set in their ways, but little by little we are bringing Christianity back to this country.
I am so happy to be a part of this work and to be able to learn so much from the wonderful people here. There is such a great Spirit here and I can feel the Lord hastening His work! I love this Gospel and I know that it really is the word of God. It makes me so happy to be able to bring this happiness to others and to see their perspectives change on life! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ and I am so happy to have celebrated Easter yesterday to remember His ressurrection! I know that we will be resurrected again to live with our families forever! I am so grateful for this knowledge and I love all of you so dearly!
Sorry for the novel! I feel like I have so much to say every week!
Love you to pieces,
Love, Sister Shauntel Louise Forte