Monday, May 20, 2013

Letter #18: I'm Walking On Sunshine

How are my favorite people doing?! I am still on my little cloud from Skype and nothing can bring me down from it! haha. Ever since, things have just been going so well, and I don't know if this is just coincidental, but it has been a beautiful sunny day ever since! 
Here is a pic i forgot to send last week!
This wicked awesome lion statue at the fountain!
So I wanted to tell ya a little more fun facts about this crazy place! So throughout the day, the water in my Apartment turns off 2 times, first at 12pm-4pm then at 10-6am the next morning! It is such a pain sometimes because I will go to wash my hands and the water is off! haha. But I can't be complaining now that I heard Ky in Nicaragua has to shower with a bucket everyday! THAT IS SO FREAKING NUTS!!!! 
Ya..Things are going just great here in the beautiful land of Kosovo! This really is such a special little place in this big world and I am so happy to be here doing the Lord's work! This week we had more people actually follow through and show up to their lessons and it was so much better!! It is always a little let down when people don't show up to their lessons because I know how important this knowledge is for them and for their lives! Not to mention their salvation! IF ONLY THEY KNEW!!! 
Thats the key I think.. We have to break the tradition of their fathers and helping them see a better way! Once we are given the opportunity to meet with someone, we have to let them know how much happiness the Gospel will bring to their lives, or they won't have any incentive to change. The blessings that come from the Gospel are indescribable! It brings such a great joy to my life and I know how much joy it will bring to the lives of these Kosovars!

Valmira went to prom and looked so beautiful! :)
We had two baptism dates with my two favorites, Dardania and Arberesha, and in our last lesson with Arberesha we had the greatest discussion about the Gospel. She has had all of the discussions and she knows everything. She says she knows it is all true! She believes it. She just has to decide! So we told her we are always here for her, and we will just be anxiously waiting for her until she decides she is ready! I know that she will get baptized.. One bright day!!!! That beautiful girl will know that this is what she has to do although it will be hard to go against the cultures of Kosovo and the Catholic tradition of her fathers! She mentioned that her whole life she has been fighting for Christ and the Catholic religion, so to completely change will be hard, but she will still be fighting for Christ! She knows everything! and she knows it is true! So all we can do now is wait! PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!

As for Dardania, we are still working with her and we are going to continue preparing her until she tells us whether she is ready or not! She is in a slightly different boat than Arberesha, because she is still having problems believing in Christ. I have never realized how grateful I am for the blessing of simply just believing! It has never been an issue for me. My whole I just believed, and I just knew. It has been quite the struggle helping Dardania develop faith in her Savior. I have learned so much about the importance of faith as we have taught her! In our lesson last night with Dardania, we watched Elder Holland's beautiful talk about "Believing" from the April Conference, and it went absolutely PERFECT! We asked her if she has a desire and a hope for Him to be her Savior. She said, "Yes, yes! Absolutely!" Than we said, "That Dardania, tells us that you do have faith!" It caught her off guard a bit, but I think it was really good to help her realize that she does have faith! Hopefully it helped her to see it from a different point of view!

This is a picture with a few of the members and the
soldiers stationed at Bondsteel! They are all from utah!
Yesterday was the bomb dot com! So these crazy little children are always hanging out on the road around the corner from the church, and they have been coming to the church to play ping pong! We let them play one time... BIG MISTAKE.. Its like feeding a stray cat (haha, Alta.) IT NEVER GOES AWAY! haha. They have been coming back everyday to see if they can play and finally we told them that they couldn't, but we could teach them a lesson! Three of them were all over that idea and I was truly amazed at how open and willing they were to listen. The little girls were sisters named Laura, 9, and Ardonita, 11, and the little boy's name was Denis, 8 years old! Cutest right? The oldest little girl, 11-years-old, just kept saying, "I just want to know what church is the most correct!" umm.. OKAY! That does not just come out of every 11-year-old's mouth! This little girl is prepared. We taught them all to pray and the oldest prayed for us and gave the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard. She said, "Heavenly Father, we pray to you to thank you for everything we have and to ask you to help us know which church is the most correct, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." It blew me away! Plus all of them are all eligible for baptism! We invited them to come to church the next day and to wear their best clothes they had. They were all so excited and said they would come! Sure enough, the next day all 3 of them, dressed in their best clothes they had, plus 2 other little boys showed up! How awesome it that? It was such an amazing experience to watch all of them try and be reverent and take the sacrament for the first time! ahhhh. This work is the best! On top of that, Ermia, Arberesha, and Dardania all came to church too!!! 8 INVESTIGATORS IN CHURCH BABY! Yeah, that never happens!
We are still working on finding more of the elect! Little by little, the Lord will make His mysteries known unto us!

Anyways, sorry for the novel, but I love you all so much and I hope you know that!
Sister Shauntel Louise Forte xoxo