Monday, July 1, 2013

Letter #24: The first day of July :)

Its July 1st!!! 
one year older and wiser too, happy birthday to you!

Also Happy birthday Auntie Jillie!!! :) Today is a day full of celebration! Guess who else's birthday it is today? My companion, Sister Robertson's!!!! Crazy right?

This is in the spot where the Dedicatory Prayer was offered by
Elder Russell M. Nelson. It was my first time being back from my first week
in Kosovo! So gorgeous there :)
We went up to Gremia Park today and visited the spot where Elder Nelson dedicated the land of Kosovo for missionary Service and we read the dedicatory prayer as well! It really has a special feeling up there and the blessings that Elder Nelson bestows upon the Kosovar people are absolutely beautiful. Lately this week, we have been discussing a lot the "Gathering of Israel". Here in Kosovo there is a lot of the blood Israel here and our job is to get out and find them!
What a beautiful responsibility. Its kinda all hitting me how great my mission is. I feel so honored that the Lord is entrusting me with this little patch of His vineyard.

We had a baby shower for one of our members Arberesha this week
who is just about ready to pop! She is massive.. hahaha.
It was so much fun because they don't celebrate baby showers here!
Me and Sister Robertson made her a diaper cake and she loved it!
At least some of my random skills are coming in handy!
haha. Arberesha was so excited and appreciative! 
This week I have been a little under the weather.. I had a little sore throat that turned into a terrible sore throat that kept me up through the night. I went to the American Hospital, which is basically just a fancy clinic (by Albanian standards) ran by all Kosovars. I got a swab test for strep and still haven't heard back. haha. So pointless. Luckily Dr. Swenson, the doctor over Adriatic South Mission in Germany, prescribed me some antibiotic and I am getting better! Then over the past few days I have had fever, achey chills, on top of a head cold. SUCKS. Let's just say missionary work is very hard to do when you aren't all there. It is very difficult to serve with your heart, might, mind, and strength when you can't think straight and your head is so stuffed up you feel like it just might explode.. Sheesh. But the Lord has for sure blessed us this week regardless!

Here is a blurry pic of the group!
We had so much fun and tied blankets for Arberesha to keep!
I  love all of my Kosovar beauties :)
At the beginning of the week, a miracle happened. As I told you last week, Arberesha, my favorite investigator/dry member, contacted this girl who was waiting at the church looking for the missionaries and wondering how she could be baptized. We met with her that night and it was such a fabulous lesson. Not only was the Spirit so strong, Arberesha taught about half the lesson and testified about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. HALLELUJAH!!!!!! I cannot even express to you how incredibly happy I was. I couldn't hold back my smile and Arberesha knew it. She was incredible. I think she may have even surprised herself to how amazing her testimony was as well. Afterwards she was beaming. The light of Christ was just exuding from her eyes and she just seemed so happy helping this woman understand the truthfullness of this Gospel! Ahhh. that was such a proud moment for me. 

Then, that night, another miracle happened. Dardania  our other eternal dry member taught Family Home Evening and it was such a great lesson on Friendship and how Jesus Christ should be our best friend. She bore a beautiful testimony in the end .. (here comes the good part).. and closed in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!!!!!! AHHHH TALK ABOUT A MIRACLE. Dardania met the Elders 8 months ago and has refused to ever close any prayers in the name of Jesus Christ because she didn't have enough faith in Him as her Savior. After her lesson, I congratulated her on her lesson and said to her.. "Dardania.. That was the most beautiful thing!! You closed your testimony in the name of Jesus Christ! How did that feel?" 
Me and my cute Sister Robertson :)
She paused for a second.. Looked down at her feet, got a HUGE smile on her face, looked up at me again and said, "Amazing!"
 This is at this gorgeous look out over Prishtina
at the top of Gremia! Perfect day.
AHHHH. Lets just say that was the proudest day of my mission so far. It couldn't have been any better! My two favorite girls, Dardania and Arberesha proved to me, and their Heavenly Father, that they have faith in Christ and Faith in this Gospel. ALL THEY NEED IS TO BE BAPTIZED AND MAKE THE JUMP!!!! I am really praying to have the Lord help me to have patience and have faith in His timing, but THEY ARE READY!!!! I pray that the Lord with open up an opportunity for me to invite them both to baptism.. again! 

Let's just say, although I haven't been able to do much finding this week, there was no need because the people came and found us!
two nights ago, this adorable Catholic girl came in to ask if she could borrow our phone to call her sister. She had to wait for her sister to come meet her at the church, so in the mean time, we took advantage of the situation and taught her about the Book of Mormon! Her sister came shortly after and we talked to both of them about how together with the Bible, we have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Both of them were completely awe-struck! Both of them were very devout and knew a lot about the bible and at first were a little hesitant in even the consideration of another book along with the Bible. Sister Robertson being completely inspired started discussing how the Christ speaks about the Book of Mormon in the Bible and she shared John 10:16 and cross referenced it to 3 Nephi 15: 21-24! It was the most powerful thing. Both of these girls were amazing and asked, "Why haven't we ever heard of this book before? Where has this book been?"
We answered back, "The Church has only been in Kosovo for a 2 years, but now God has blessed you with this opportunity to learn about this book!" They both took a copy and told us they would read it! 

Opening my package from Mom and Dad!!!
Ahhhh. It made my whole month! :)
That experience in and of itself, is a witness to me that the Lord is moving His work forward. Although I have been sick all week and haven't had much strength to find people, it was no matter because the Lord led His prepared children right to us! Right to the church! I am so grateful to be a tool in the Lord's hands. No matter the circumstances, the work will go forward and His word will go forth! I have such a strong testimony of the Savior. I am so grateful for how much I have been able to get to know Him and ultimately strengthen my relationship with Him! 

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your love and support week after week!
I hope the summer weather is treating you nice! Lay out and get some sun for me will ya?
Love you forever,

Sister Forte :)