Monday, May 27, 2013

Letter #19: Friends & Family!!!

Family and friends!
Aweeee.. you little stinkers! Seeing your beautiful pictures in Powell is making me so jealous! It looks like you are having such a blast! Live it up and take a wake board run for me will ya? haha. 
DOMI IS GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL NEXT WEEK!!!!! bahh.. My little baby sissy is growing up so fast!

Sister Forte's first train experience pictures!!!
A little update with me..Its a beautiful May Day in Kosovo today! It has been a little bit chilly the past couple days, but today is blue skies and is warming up! I love sunshine. :) We took the train to Pejë today and it was so awesome! It is the first time I have ever been on a real train other than trax and I am in Kosovo! haha. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself and remind myself, "Man, I am serving a mission in Kosovo right now!" haha. The train ride was so fun and we went through a few tunnels making the entire train completly pitch black! It was so fun. We made it here to Pejë and are now writing home before we head over to a beauitful gorge up in the mountains! I am so excited to go check it out!
Wow, so much has happened this week! Where do I even begin?

Sister Forte's first train experience pictures!!!
We started teaching this adorable girl named Genta who happens to be 2 of our members, Dona and Donika's, roommate! She came to one of our activities and said that she loved what was being taught. We have taught her the Restoration and also watched the Restoration Film with her. The Spirit was so strong in both meetings and I know that she was feeling it and she will continue to grow. It is such a beautiful thing to find someone that will come to a lesson to learn and believes what you say the first time you say it, versus arguing with you about why something is the way it is! So many people we meet with are just brain-washed really. They claim to be Muslim but don't pray in the Mosques ever and they are literally stuck in the traditions of their fathers. They need to have their hearts softened and come to a knowledge of their Savior. That's where we step in as missionaries! The Lord is preparing the hearts of those that we need to find right now, we just have to keep searching until we find those that are ready!
Sister Forte's first train experience pictures!!!

We are still teaching this great man named Agim and he is such a great guy! He is 48 and has a family with 4 children. The fun fact is, no one in his family, including his wife, know that he is meeting with us and taking the lessons! SKETCHY.. He needs to tell his family, but he says, "When they are ready, I will tell them! I do not want to disturb the peace in the family and have religion get in the way of our relationships, because they all are Muslim and have different ideas!" Funny thing though, because his daughter came home with one of our English Flyers and told her dad she was going to go to this "church" and learn English! I am sure his stomach just dropped! haha. Turns out his daughter will be learned a little bit of faith at the end of our English courses together with her father after all! haha. Funny how that works out!

New Born Mall sign in Prishtina! :)
On friday it was Sister Hoover's birthday and I did the best I could to make it the best birthday for her out here on the mission! I decorated a little post it sign for her and made her french toast in the morning! We went tracting that day at a pallat out on the north side of town, and boy.. let me just tell you, I officially had my first door slammed in my face, and 100% of the entire building was Muslim. We were able to give out 2 pamphlets, but everyone else would not even touch the pamphlet with Jesus Christ on the cover. One door we went to had this man that was living by himself and we told him that we had something that could bring him more happiness in his life. He quickly said, "I am Muslim and I have enough happiness, thank you." haha. Sheesh. These people are so hard headed! in Albanian we say, "kokefortë".. haha. Later that day we went out and had an awesome lunch at this restaurant I found called Gagi Cafe! It is so awesome and they have the greatest food. I told our waiter that is was Motra Hoover's birthday and I asked for the best dessert they had. He was so excited that it was her birthday and returned with 2 tres leches and two candles burning with the happy birthday song playing in English for the entire restaurant!!! hahaha. After she blew out the candles everyone clapped and it was so awesome!! It made her birthday fantastic.
As the summer is starting, many people are getting married and it is so fun to see the funny things that these people do for weddings. Basically, everyone gets all dolled up in their fanciest clothing, have some sort of marriage, then they take thousands of pictures with straight faces.. NO ONE SMILES! haha. Its so funny. Afterwards everyone hops in their car and drives around the city, following eachother in a train of cars, continuously honking for hours! haha. Its so fascinating. Lets just say I have not been able to effectively study very well on the days of the dasëms!

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your support!
Thanks for being the best Cheering Section any missionary could ask for!!!

Love Sister Shauntel Louise Forte