February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! Greetings everyone, I hope you are all enjoying an exciting, special lovers day over there! You can be sure we are spreading our fair share of love over here....the Love of Christ that is!

Anyway, on to my super awesome, random, adventurous week of sharing the gospel. We started off this past week with some unexpected opportunities to give a little service at little old Vera's house. I doubt you all remember Vera, but she is the cute old women that taught us how to make pizza on my very first night in Albania with Motra Bentley. Love that woman! Anyway, we swung by to give her a little visit because she hadn't made it to church in a couple weeks and she told us that she had been praying that the Motras would come visit her and could help her because she was so tired from taking care of everyone else (her 90 something mother, brain damaged 30 something daughter, and jerk husband) that she had no energy to finish scrubbing down her stove. But scrubbing her stove wasn't the only thing she let us do.

She also pulled out some blood pressure tester thing (the one that you wrap around your arm and pump up) and asked if we knew how to do it. We said no, but she said, "that's okay, we can learn together. Check my Blood Pressure." So I got all official and I put the stethoscope in my ears and wrapped the thing around her arm and she kinda explained how her husband did it and how you just read the little meter. I'm pretty sure her "reading" was completely wrong, but she was satisfied that her blood pressure was way too high and she blames it on her three problems (the three people I mentioned above). After pretending to test Yourstone;s blood pressure ( I say pretend because we couldn't find her heartbeat, but Vera wanted us to still test her, so I just made something up), we got our next assignment.
"Do you know how to cut hair?" Vera asked us. "Well, I've sheared my fair share of sheep, " I replied. That apparently satisfied her, and asked me to give it a try cutting her daughters hair. It was hilarious! First they gave me some dull office scissors, but they weren't cutting so instead I hacked her hair off with a little pair of scissors from a manicure kit. It seemed to take forever, and I was just grabbing pieces and hacking away basically. And the daughter kept spraying hair spray on while I was cutting.....I guess she thought that would help. As I was finishing her daughter told me that I was even better than the beauty salon. So I guess I know that if I can't find a job when I get home, I can always come back and open a hair salon here!

Also, exciting news from that same day as the above incidents...Motra Bentley finally got engaged! It's great being on the other side of the world, but still basically getting instant updates on what is going on over there in UT from all the our Albanian friends who live on Facebook. We had at least three people call us or tell us in their lessons that they had seen on Facebook that she finally got The Rock. It was awesome....totally made our day, although with the hair cutting and blood pressure tests of course. Anyway, Shume Urime Evette....we'll talk dates later!

On another awesome note this week, we started teaching a super awesome, prepared girl. She is from the English class that we started a few weeks ago, and she is just a doll. After a lesson that we did at the end of one of their English classes about growing our faith and finding truth, she came up to me and asked what more she could do to feel closer to God. We scheduled a time to meet and then when we finally met with her this week she told us about how she had joined some baptist church about 13 years ago, and was active for about ten years, but in the last few years has not attended anymore and now she just feels empty inside like something is missing and wants to know how she can feel like she is okay with God again and change the person that she is becoming. We had an amazing lesson with her, and she told us about how she felt exactly like Joseph Smith. In our next lesson with her the next day we came her a Book of Mormon, and she acted like she won the lottery or something. She was so grateful! Anyway, we are super excited to keep meeting with her and help her find her fill that empty void that she has. It is just sooooo awesome to meet such prepared people, who really are wondering and searching for truth in their life!

My week was also topped off with an awesome weekend visit from Genti, Enea, and Eris --- the Vlore boys! They all came up Saturday night for a YSA Dance here in Tirana. As soon as they got here Genti called to see if I would be around the church that night to see him. Of course we were there for some other lessons, so we got to talk for a bit. Then they all spent the night with some friends, and came to our branch the next Sunday morning. I was able to go to Sunday School with Genti and he totally rocked in the lesson with tons of input, comments, and participation. It was sooo awesome to see how much he has grown and what an awesome member he has become. He was telling me that he has already been talking with President Smith and that he's working to get the Melchizedek Priesthood in October (which will be his one year anniversary as a member). Anyway, it was just so great to see him! Love that kid....in a strictly missionary way of course!

Oh, and awesome cooking moment of the week......all the glory has to go to Yourstone on this one. A member taught her how to make popcorn from just kernels and on the stove, since we don't have a microwave. I had already learned this handy trick a year ago from Motra Bentley, but Yourstone wanted to give it a try. As it was starting to get popping, I told her to shake it a little so they wouldn't burn to the bottom. She shook it all right! She shook the lid right off the pot and there was popcorn popping right out of the pot everywhere-so what did she do? She threw the pot down and ran away from the stove...hiding for cover from the flying popcorns. We had popcorn everywhere after that, and I was just laying on the ground paralyzed laughing!

Anywho, I guess that is enough from me this week! I love and miss you all and hope you have a fabulous week. If you are all counting, then you will know that this week we will be getting transfer calls, so next week you'll know where I am going and with whom for my final transfer. I'm pretty sure I'm headed out, so I better start packing now!

Motra Hall