Monday, September 2, 2013

Letter #33: Goodbye Kosovo, Hello Albania

Holy smokes. 
Extreme Pizza with Dafina and Aferdita
The time has come. The change is set. My bags are packed. This is crazy people! I am finally leaving Kosovo! :(
Transfer calls were last night and my stomach was seriously full of butterflies all day long! I knew that I was definitely leaving Kosovo, but I had no idea where..
That night we were tabling on the Boulevard, and started teaching this man we had met from Macedonia on a bench nearby. The lesson was going so well and his heart and mind were so open. I felt impressed to invite him to baptism, and in so doing, we received our transfer calls from President Ford and we couldn't pick up! haha. I think he was very pleased when he called again later and we told him that we were in the middle of inviting someone to baptism! ;) bonus points! haha. Then, the time came when President Ford finally said the words in his awesome British accent, "Sister Forte, you will be serving in Tirana, Albania in branches one and three!" I was so excited! I seriously wanted to go to Tirana and that is exactly where I am going! My new apartment is literally 2 minutes away from the mission home, and the church is so much more established in Tirana! It is going to be such a great experience to serve in two branches that have over 20 people in them! (compared to Kosovo! haha) :) ahhhhh, its going to blow my mind. I cannot wait to see the product of an established church here in the Balkans! Look out Tirana, here I come!

My last sunday with the girls :)
I am so full of bitter-sweet emotions right now. It doesn't even really feel real that I am leaving this wonderful country.. I am sad to leave the wonderful branch here, my beautiful Shtufi family, and all of my fabulous investigators. They have all changed my life in one way or another. I will never forget the great faith and strength of the people here! I hope that when I return there will be double the amount of members and a new church building! I can feel this almost tangible flow of energy that is building and building and it is about to burst! The work is moving forward here! The Lord has prepared these people here and there are people ready for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

I am so excited for my upcoming adventures in Albania! I know that is where the Lord needs me to be at this time and I cannot wait to find His elect children that have been waiting to meet me as His servant with His divine message :)

On the other side of the coin though, I am pretty nervous about my language.. I know I am going to have some serious issues adjusting to this clean Albania! The dialect here in Kosovo is diirrrrrrrrrrrrrty geg. And I would say I have about mastered it! haha. In Tirana, they speak sqeaky clean Albanian! 
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?! haha. Albanians make fun of the people that speak Geg, and call them "katunars" which means like an unlearned villager! haha. They are going to think I am one of them!
Well, good thing I am up for the challenge. I am going to learn this clean Albanian so well that everyone is going to think I am Albanian! I will show them.. ;)
Me and my girllllll, Aferdita. I am sure gonna miss this girl!
This week I really felt so much love from the branch and from many of our investigators and english class! Everyone has expressed how sad they are that I am leaving and that they want to make me stay! Aferdita is so angry that I am leaving that she wants to have a good talking to President Ford! haha. My Shtufi's are pretty sad being so newly converted, but I know that this is all for their good! They are converted to the gospel and not to me. this Sunday Ardi, one of our members, got up and bore a beautiful testimony and then thanked me in front of everyone for my service. He made me feel so good by expressing his thanks for my testimony and for all of the work I have done here. Then, he took the initiative, and said, "Now we would all like to hear a final testimony from Sister Forte." Now if that wasn't putting me on the spot I don't know what is! haha. I got up, shared my testimony and couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of pleasure to see my beautiful Shtufi family smiling right back at me. Because I am more like my mom than I thought I was, the tears started-a-flowin! haha. I love these people with my whole heart. they have all changed my life. I am so grateful for them and for their strong testimonies that have strengthed mine :) I feel so lucky to have had this experience to serve in Kosovo and the people here will always have a special place in my heart. This will always be my home!  

I am so stoked that Camo rockin it in his football game! I am so happy that my family is scoring points back home, and I am scoring points for the Lord. haha.
Dom, good luck in the good ol' 808 baby girl! I am so excited for you and I know that you will absolutely LOVE it!
I hope you all have the greatest week! Count your many blessings this week.. The Lord is blessing us in many more ways than we realize.

kisses and hugs, kisses and hugs, kisses and hugs... (here is Kosovo they kiss you and hug you three times.. ;) )

love Motra Forte