I have been transferred to Vlore. It sometimes smells like California when the breeze blows because it is on the Adriatic Sea. I hope soon, I can see what the sea by Vlore looks like. My new area is AWESOME!! And my new companion is AMAZING!! She is Sister Bezus from Idaho. Our district is us and 4 elders, one of them is Elder Clemens from the MTC. Now I've served with all of my elders from the MTC. I don't know how big my zone is, but our mission is super small. We only have 62 missionaries total and that's including the Macedonians that we never see. The city of Vlore is smaller than Shkoder, but it seems really big. Sister Jackson is still in Elbasan, but I see her every so often.
We teach so many lessons here. We don't even have time to go street contacting, or do language study. The ward loves us, they are always so willing to help us, I love this ward so much. We have seen so many miracles this week and I am so happy. It's like I have a whole new life. I can't believe it. We have an amazing investigator. We have to hike up a mountain to get to her house. She has committed to be baptized on the 25th of September. One of our recent converts is coming to church on Sunday because it’s her birthday and her dad’s going to let her come to church, I haven’t met her yet.
On my 2nd day here I met a member who had served a mission in England and we asked him to tell us a few experiences from his mission and he literally went day by day from his handbook “so at 6:30 you wake up, you exercise, first you do stairs….etc, then at 7:30 you have breakfast etc. The best day he described was preparation day. “You wash all the shirts…etc.” It was really funny. He keeps asking us what he can do for us, so we called him and asked him to meet us to teach a lesson.
There are 3 members in our ward that share a phone and we never know which one of the 3 of them will answer it. Some of the expressions they use in Albanian are so dramatic, so loving such as “oh how precious”, “oh my heart” and in America we’re like “hey what’s up”. We went with one of the members today to appointments, and we have to be good missionaries. She thinks missionaries are always happy and positive and good examples. But after she left us we could be ourselves and the “natural man” came out and we were complaining because it was sooooo hot! It took us an hour and a half to walk home. We were really overwhelmed with the heat. I literally felt like I walked up a mountain (because we did yesterday) and now I need to ice my ankle because I partially sprained it again last week. They keep saying in mid-September it will start to cool down.
Friday afternoon we get to go to Durres and go on exchanges with the STL’s (sister training leaders) and stay overnight, then on Saturday we go to stake conference. Sunday we will go to Tirana and sing in the choir. I’m super excited!
We went to the store because needed batteries and juice. Then we ended up getting a ton of things. We were standing there with our arms loaded with stuff and we couldn’t find the muesli so we asked one of the store clerks where it was. But we mispronounced it so he said they didn’t have any, then we saw it and he said that’s not muesli (moos-lee) that’s muesli (moo-es-lee). Just then one of the yogurts we were holding fell, and burst onto the floor. They all looked at us like it was the end of the world. We apologized and told them we would pay for it. It reminded us of a scene from a soap opera that everyone watches here. It is a super dramatic Indian soap opera. It seems everyone watches it in Tirana and Shkoder. But we haven’t seen it here in Vlore, until yesterday when we hiked up this mountain to get to an investigators house. When we got there and sat down the soap opera was playing on the tv. The show is so ridiculously dramatic that it’s funny. We made comments about it and the member that was with us asked, “do you watch this show?” We were afraid we would appear kotë (vain or pointless) and appear to be bad missionaries. We told her no, no we don’t watch it. When we get to someone’s house it just seems it’s always on.
It’s going to be a good week next week, there’s something exciting happening every day like finding, testifying, hugging a grizzly bear statue, and eating Durres ice cream.
I am doing so good here. I honestly just LOVE IT!! I love you all to Gallifrey and back!!