Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Letter #69 And then there were threee.

C'kemi familja ime!!!
Can you believe we are somehow all the way down to 3 weeks left? I seriously cannot.. I am trying to remain as calm and focused as I can, but I am also trying to do all of the things that I haven't had time to do so I can feel fulfilled when I get home! I deserve a pat on the back for calmness, if I do say so myself ;) ITS NOT REAL.
So the greatest thing happened this week! We had an exchange with the wonderful sisters serving in Kosovo and it was the greatest thing ever! :) We not only got to spend a day with our MTC companions (yes, Sister Kokol with Sister Curtis, and me with Sister Hawkins-ironic or what?) but it was the best exchange ever. It felt so good to be back in Prishtina where I got to see all of my old friends, and also to see how the work has grown there. It obviously is still really small but it is growing! :)
We are still teaching Lavdosh's parents and they are learning and growing little by little. They really want to be baptized in the sea, so we are going to make it happen. Absolutely. I couldn't leave my mission without seeing a baptism in the Adriatic Sea, right?
I have learned so much throughout this spiritual sojourn, but one thing that is a fact is that people's hearts are changing here. People are coming unto Christ. People are understanding and learning and growing! Skender and Rronje grew up in the generation where religion was nonexistent. During the time of Communism all of the churches were completely destroyed and the people were thrown in jail if they even spoke a word about God. Enver Hoxha made them believe that they must worship Albania as their religion. He cut God completely out of the picture. Now that the church has been here for 20 years it has built up a strong foundation and is changing the lives of many. The older generations are usually the hardest to convince because of their traditions and their sad past, but Skender and Rronje are different. They are so humble and so willingly to learn more about their God. It is the most beautiful thing to see these people come from absolutely no belief in God, to developing a personal relationship with Him through the Book of Mormon and Prayer. 
They were unable to come to church yesterday because they had a funeral of a family member to attend to, but they promised they would be there next week!
Other than that, all is good in the hood! ;) Everything is about the same but we are still working hard to find those that the Lord has prepared for us.
This week we are trying to focus on being fully commited to the Lord and helping our people we are working with to do the same. In Alma 23:5-6 we read about the Anti-Nephi-Lehites conversion to the faith and how they were so converted to the Lord, that they never did fall away!

5 And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, yea, thousands were brought to believe in the traditions of the Nephites; and they were taught the records and prophecies which were handed down even to the present time.

 6 And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.

Wow. This is the exact faith and conversion that we all must develop in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must be truly converted. We know that He will never fail us or forsake us, so why would be ever do the same to Him. We can all develop this conversion in the Lord if we just trust in Him and make His will ours. THATS ALL WE HAVE TO DO! 

Yeah, basically I just want to you know how much I love being missionary and coming to understand the ways of the Lord. There really is nothing else better. Ahhhhh, I love you guys so much and pray for you alwayyyyys.
Keep praying for us too! :)
Love your girl,
Sister Forte<3

ps. I forgot my camera today but next week the pictures will be coming your way ;) loves loves loves