Culture Shocks of the Week:
1. First off: My face. I'll tell you why haha Gjakova is the place for weddings. People travel from ALL over: Switzerland, Germany, Albania, and all over Kosovo to Gjakova to have their weddings (or Dasmas) So there are always a line of cars with ribbons honking through the streets with people hanging out of the windows. There are beauty salons on EVERY corner to prepare all the brides and the nights are just blasting with music. It's super fun to be here during wedding season! So my companion and I needed to experience a little bit of the culture....we went into a beauty salon today and said, "Make us a bride" (Më bën një nuse) The girls LOVED it and let's just say I'm in shock. you can tell how huge the weddings are based off of my makeup.....so fun!
2. The kids in the streets here play night games! It is so fun to be heading home at night and seeing all of these kids running through the streets playing their games.
3. We have been doing a LOT of tracting here and what I love about Gjakova that I haven't really seen in Albania is neighborhoods!! It's in the newer part of Gjakova built after the war.
So our days usually consist of appointments falling through and we end up going out and talking with everyone whether that be through tracting (house to house) or street contacting. I honestly have come to love it so much. We went out contacting yesterday and the people here are just incredible and I love talking with so many people but also sharing with them our Heavenly Father's love for them! It truly has been a special experience! Other than that, our little branch is super close with each other because we have about 7 active members. It has been such a blessing getting to know them and growing closer to them. We have been having little activities like playing volleyball and reading the Book of Mormon together and honestly these people here are my family!
I just wanted to share something with you that become real for me this past week. As I've been going and talking with so many people, there are a lot of Muslims here and they don't know a lot about Christ. As I have been developing a relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ, I desire others to have that too! My entire life I have felt a connection to my Father in Heaven as I have treasured prayer. We pray to our Heavenly Father in Christ's name but I didn't feel as connected to Christ until my Senior Year. I then realized that that is how the people are here. They have a strong belief in God! Understanding more about God helps us understand why Christ was sent and why He sacrificed for us! God is our literal Father in Heaven. The means: He created us! We are His children. He is the Father of our Spirits but we are sent to earth to have the blessing of receiving a body as He has. He resides in Heaven and watches over us and does all that He can to bless us and to care for us because He is our Father! To know that I am a daughter of God is a way that I realize my worth and even if the world tells me otherwise. You are a child of God! He love YOU so much SO THAT He sent His Son, Jesus Christ so we have a light and a way in this life to grow, to experience joy, and to become like Him! All He wants is to bless us and give us all that He has just like any other parent or parental figure would. Sharing with the people here who God truly is has helped me come to know more of who I am, and who I truly am. We are children of God. We have a way to happiness and that hope is tangible because Christ's love is real. All that Christ does is according to the Father's will. Therefore, if we come to know Christ through becoming like Him and following His example, we come to know God, our Father in Heaven who loves us with all that He is.
John 3:16 For God so loved the worl
Tell yourself in the mirror everyday that you are a Child of God because you are of worth. You are divine! Come to know Christ and you will come to know your Heavenly Father. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
The sign for this meat shop is not big enough... :)
The church here in Gjakova.
Your typical wedding car.
Loving the sun here in Gjakova :)
MY GIRLS! These are some members in the branch.
Tracting in the neighborhoods :) No I am not wearing white shoes.
AFTER! This is honestly how an Albanian bride looks like!
Me and my companion :)
The sweet girls that did our makeup.
Yes we look like dolls....I'm pretty afraid myself hahaha
There was a fan and everything for the effects :)
Sister Natalie Olsen
Bulevardi "Gjergj Fishta"
Qendra "Alpas", Shkalla #5, Apt #14