Culture Shocks of the Week:
1. When Albanians go our for ANYTHING-for example, out to pizza for a member's birthday, they get SO DOLLED UP! It's impressive actually. You wonder why their weddings have got to be so decked out. You saw a little glimpse of that with me when I had a little makeover in Kosovo....
2. I'm getting SO EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS! It's not much of a thing here but I started to decorate our apartment and put up some Christmas lights my mom had sent me in the MTC. Let's just say, that the voltage doesn't match. After about 10 minutes they all blew out haha I was wondering why the lights were abnormally bright...No explosions, all is well-ha! :)
3. Just an update on the weather: It is rainy and cold. It has been raining a ton this week and it gets super dark here. It's beautiful here though!!
So I have got to tell you about the miracle grandson of one of our investigators. First off-we have another baptism THIS Saturday with this woman and her grandson. I need to tell you some stories of these incredible people. The woman we meet with her at her cafe and after fasting this last Sunday, she has not smoked SINCE! She smoked A TON before meeting us but through reading the Book of Mormon, and fasting to have more strength from the Savior, she gave it up! It is so sweet to see her grandson be like, "Grandma! You're not smoking anymore!" She then proceeds to share, "I don't do that anymore." She is incredible. So now her grandson is going to join her. They read together everyday from the Book of Mormon and in one week he's about finished the children's explanation of the Book of Mormon (he's little) He's already sharing his desire to go on a mission! Oh my goodness-the influence of a child is INCREDIBLE. They are so innocent and are so in tune with the Spirit. The woman invites literally everyone who comes to her cafe to church and kicks people out whenever she meets with us. She's always like, "I've got some business to do!" haha She also immediately when learning about the Sabbath Day was like, "I'm closing down my shop on Sundays and will be with my family." Her faith is absolutely incredible and I just learn from her each and everyday. I honestly love these people so much.
I want to share a tender experience I had. We were in a difficult situation and I came across this scripture that just impacted me.
3 Nephi 9:22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.
I have seen how important it is for us to humble ourselves like a child. I have seen it that children get it! They don't overthink, they truly are so close to God. We had an experience asking a little boy, "Do you want to be with your father forever?" and with an immediate "Yes!" The Spirit just filled the room! It was a feeling of sweet peace :) I have seen with that other little boy getting baptized this week, he immediately read the Book of Mormon, he immediately acted, and truly was so humble to do what the Lord asks. We have another woman we are teaching and her little boy randomly in the middle of the lessons yells out "Everyone quiet! I need to pray!" When I look at this, I think how submissive am I? How immediate am I in being obedient and would drop down to my knees to pray whenever? I have seen that I have been learning so much doing the little things and it truly strengthens us. It is when we kneel down in humble prayer, accepting the will of God, that we can become as a child and have the power of Christ's Atonement in our lives. I can testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you all! Hug your little children and hold them for me because I can't for some time :) LOVE YOU!!!!!
What a cute family :) We had it at the local hotel pool.
Me and a member from Korcë! I love her :)
The first memebr I met when I entered into the field in Korcë!! I got to see her again :)
Me and my girl :)
Mirupafshim! Të dua!
Adriatic South Mission
Sister Natalie Olsen
Bulevardi "Gjergj Fishta"
Qendra "Alpas", Shkalla #5, Apt #14
(If you can't send it with the POB box number, you can just send it without it. I'll still get it)
And for a bonus..... :)