I had an amazing week this week...just putting that out there first thing.
Tuesday was a good day. As we were walking up the street to a meeting, we heard someone yelling “I love you” out of a car and then we realized that it was Sister Ariza! We walked the rest of the way and then we hugged when she got out of the taxi, it was so amazing to see her again. I also got to see Sister Pierce and everyone else! It was a good meeting, the AP's did a lot of training things. Afterwards, we went to get ice cream with Sister Ariza and Sister Riley on the way to their bus stop. We taught the advanced English class with Elder Guymon because we didn't have anyone in our class to teach. We also went to Kombinat and taught a couple recent convert lessons. That night it rained really hard.
Thursday was a great day. We had District meeting in the morning and it was really good. Then Sister Z and I, and Elders Verushi and Guymon went to a member's house for lunch. It was super great. She made fasule and pilaf which I love...it's just beans and rice, but it's super good. When she walked away for a minute Verushi leaned over to me and whispered pacfat (good luck)...I really needed it. If you don't eat all the food they will get really offended so you have to eat everything they give you. They give us so much food here though. I could barely eat it all and then she made us eat cake too. We taught English that night which was good as always. Then we spent forever trying to find a certain scripture for our lesson we were going to have with Sonia that night. We pretty much called the whole mission for help finding the reference. We called Sister Kelli in Shkoder first, and she asked all the elders up there, and then I called Sister Jackson in Elbasan, and she asked all the elders there, and then we called the AP's, and then we asked Verushi and Guymon and Acheson and Greener, and then we called the Smiths and the Whites, and then we finally found it.
Friday I was on exchange with Sister Dunn. We taught our investigator and did contacting by ourselves. I had Verushi help us with some phone calls. It's so obnoxious when you hand him the phone because you don't understand, and he starts with: "The sisters are American and don't understand Albanian very well, I'm sorry. But I am Albanian and I will help them understand. My name is Elder Verushi." and I'm just like...thanks Elder Verushi for telling them that I can't speak Albanian. We taught a lot of lessons out in Kombinat, they went well.
Saturday we played soccer in the morning. I also saw Elder Roemer from Alamo, NV again.
Sunday was super good. I love Sundays. No one knows that I play the piano, except Verushi caught me playing the piano a few days ago. During sacrament meeting the bishopric thought that one of the speakers wasn’t going to show up so they asked us to share our testimonies. I was nervous to speak in front of the whole congregation in Albanian, but they never asked us to speak. Alice didn't come to church and neither did our investigator...so that was sad, but it turns out that Alice came to church just at the wrong time. We did a lesson with her after church. President Mema (the stake president) spoke and Brother and Sister Gibbons spoke and we sang as a missionary choir at the leadership meeting in Durres. Elder Acheson and I were arguing over Utilitarianism on the ride back to Tirana. No one will argue with me except Anthony and Acheson. Everyone else just went silent and listened as we started discussing deep philosophy. I think a healthy debate just helps us get to a better objective truth.
Monday (P-day) was really good, even though we didn't go see the beach because it was raining. Sister Z and I went out walking and went to the Orthodox church. Then we called Anthony and Sonia. She didn't want to leave their house because it was raining, so we rode the bus to Kombinat where they live. We all went to get something to eat. We got sweets first (don't ask me why...I wasn't in charge of making choices). Then we got qofte, it was super enjoyable spending time with them.
The people here are super sweet. I'm loving every day of my mission. Even though some times are hard and discouraging, I know that I have a family here. We are all connected and I don't feel far from home when I have people for whom I am willing to do anything, and I know they would return the favor and have. I don't necessarily have a new family, the family I already had has grown exponentially and continues to grow every day I'm out here. I can't imagine where I would be right now if I hadn't made the decision to be here.
I love you all to Gallifrey and back!!