My beautiful people..
I wanted to begin with our beautiful day today.. We visited this absolutely gorgeous place up Valbona Canyon, close to Theth, as it is said to be one of the most beautiful locations in all of Albania! It was about a 2-3 hour drive, but it was so worth it.. God's creations are absolutely incredible. Driving up a took close to 500 pictures of the majestic snow-capped mountains, and the little villages up in the middle of these isolated mountains.. and I just couldn't get enough of it! I know... I have quite a bit of Kimmy Forte in me.. haha. I love you mommy.
There was this gorgeous river the ran from the canyon to the valley
and the water was SO BLUE! Like carribean blue.. so gorgeous!
This week was a wild one.. Sheesh.. I am still getting the ropes down from switching from a train-EE to a train-ER!!! It has been a whole new experience having to completely carry the weight by myself until my cute Sister Robertson gets the ropes down of mission life herself. I am so lucky to have been placed with her as we are learning so much from eachother, but I wont lie.. It has been pretty tough.. Sister Robertson is such a great missionary already, but as expected, her language is struggling which means.. I carry all of the weight in the language! It has been quite a challenge, but the Lord is blessing me with an incredible amount of understanding and comprehension. It is so amazing to see as we rely on the Lord, he directs our paths and blesses us with abilities beyond our own capacity. I have such a testimony of this. There is no way I could be training ALREADY after 3 short months without the divine help of the Lord. I am so grateful to Him for helping me and carrying me and helping me along when I have no more strength.
Driving up to Theth we found this war hero statue that we thought was pretty rad!
This week has been pretty tough to find those that are willing to listen. Street contacting, its just the same thing everytime..
"We have incredible knowledge from this Book, called the Book of Mormon, that will bring you so much happiness and direction in your life."
(looks down at "Jezu Krishtit")
"I'm not interested. I am Muslim."
EVERYONE IS MUSLIM HERE. People. Listen to me. You have a Savior that loves you very much and paid for your sins so you can return to live with your Heavenly Father again.
HE IS THE ONLY WAY.
Sometimes I just wish I could climb to the top of a tall building and shout His glad message from the rooftops! Then maybe, just maybe, those that are prepared and ready to receive it will come running to the truth and light!
Too much beauty in one photo!!!
I cannot handle it!
I am living in a postcard people..
We have been meeting with this great girl named Gjulie for the past two weeks and she is very Muslim. She prays 5 times a day and is very set on her religion. There was a little twinkle in her eye and spark inside her that I could see when we taught her about the Restoration. She seemed to really enjoy our visits, but on Saturday, we met at the park and had a lesson with her and her other very Muslim roommate. She told us that she really enjoys being our friend and talking with us, but she isn't interested in religon. This normally would have made me devastated, but now I see things in a different light. The Lord is blessing us by helping us to better use our time on those that are prepared and ready! I have a favorite little segment in Preach My Gospel that explains, your can't force an egg to hatch before its due time! This has helped me so much since I have been out. The Lord has prepared certain individuals that are ready for the Gospel. It may take some time to weed out the ones that aren't, but the Lord will either direct us to them, or them to us...
This leads me into my next story.
Today Arberesha, my favorite little Albi worker, called me up and told me that there was a lady with her baby looking for the missionaries. She said that she wanted to meet with us to know how she could be baptized! UMM.. HELLO PEOPLE. This is an absolute miracle. We are meeting her in 2 hours to find out what this girl is all about, but to say the least.. I am very excited. I know that the Lord is hastening His work. He will direct those that are ready to us that know not where to find the truth!
Some more exciting news.. yesterday we had 2 new members receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. Ardi and Nazim, and boy.. let me tell you. They both were absolutely beaming! This is such a beautiful Gospel. To see the Lord entrust His worthy men to carry his Power and authority is the most beautiful blessing. The church is growing in Prishtina! :)
These mountains are incredible..
I HAVE TO SEND THIS IN TO NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC!!!
Last story.. yesterday we had a lesson with some of our members, Gjon, Ardi, and Valmira, along with Arberesha and Dardania in the park. I had each of them share their conversion stories and the blessings they have recieved from the Gospel. The Spirit was so strong and I really feel like having Dardania nd Arberesha hear their powerful testimonies helped to strengthen their faith. We shared with them Abraham 3:22-23 and explained to them that each of them are among the noble and great ones. The Lord chose them to help build up the church here in Kosovo because of their incredible faith and strength. Each of them are so strong and have strengthened my faith beyond measure. To see the hardships they go through. To see the strength of being the only member among their friends and family. To see them stand up for Christ among those that deny Him. This is what missionary work is. This is what makes it all worth it. I am so grateful for this beautiful opportunity I have to serve among the Kosovar people and to share with them the great light of the Gospel that I have in my life.
I love being a missionary and I have such a strong testimony of this Gospel. I want everyone to know about it and to feel of the great love the Savior has for them! This Gospel is for all of His children.. Not just a few.. just like D&C 18:10 says.. "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God." The Lord wants all of His children to return not just a few.. So its up to us to go get em' baby! :)
Have such a fabulous week! Enjoy your lovely summer days!!!
Love your missionary,
Sister Shauntel Louise Forte <3
ps. I am sorry for the novel.. so much to say!!!