February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day! Hello all you patriotic people who hopefully have the day off from work and school to celebrate all those Presidents in our lives.
I have the long waited results of transfer calls......I'm headed off to the other side of Tirana to spend my last transfer. I will be serving with Motra Hoxsie, the newest sister that just got here in January. I kinda have a fun, interesting role I guess because I am what we would call her "step-trainer" since she is still new, but I also am preparing her to be a trainer herself in just another six weeks. I think that will keep me busy so I can't get too trunky. It was pretty weird for Motra Yourstone and I to get our last transfer call though. Oddly enough when we got home Saturday night we just wanted to go straight to bed at like 8:30pm instead of waiting up for the long awaited call from President because we were so pooped. Man we are just getting to be such old farts!

We did have a super awesome last week together though. It is so funny to have the best week of the transfer happen at the very end and find tons of awesome new investigators and people to teach, just as I'm leaving. I just have to laugh. At least I'll be close though, so Motra Yourstone will keep me posted on their progress. As for the girl I mentioned last week:

(A piece of Motra Yourstone's email....cause I'm getting old and lazy to write myself):
"So guess what! This is the exciting news for us this week. Bela has a baptismal date for March 12th!!! She is really excited about it. She said that she feels so happy about all the things that she is learning. She said that she wants us to do a lesson with her on patience because she can't wait for her baptism! There was another baptism this week for a 66 year old lady from Shkoder. They came to Tirana to use the font. Bela was going to come, but she showed up 1/2 hour late so she missed the ordinance. We were a little disappointed about that, but she is still doing great. She came to church on Sunday and seemed to enjoy it. We love teaching her so much.
I will tell you a little about her. She is a 30 yr old girl that looks like she is about 20. We found out this week that she is engaged to a Muslim American who is from Quincy Illinois! She is trying to get a visa to go there. that would be awesome if she moved to Illinois! she met him cause she was helping him learn Albanian while he was here for a few months. Now she lives at home with her super controlling mom and little brother."

Okay back to me! So I actually have something that I have been holding out on all of you my entire mission here in Albania. It is a major cultural thing that is done here, but I don't like it so I never talk about it. This is it....in Albania anytime two people greet each other they KISS! I hope you all are enjoying your mental pictures of me being kissed constantly all day and hating my life. Actually it isn't that bad because it actually is just like kisses on both cheeks (like French people), and with most people it is more like bumping cheeks and just making that horrid kissing noise. Also, it isn't so bad because as missionaries we only kiss our same gender.

Also I got to meet this week the infamous Nene Hava. She is a super old woman who has been a member of the church for about 10 years and lives in Elbasan but moved down here to Tirana with her daughter cause she can't live alone anymore. When I was first here at the beginning of me mission I got to meet one of her granddaughters and then after I left she was baptized. Sadly though, she never told her grandmother about her baptism because the family was afraid that she would have a heart attack from the intense joy that it would cause her. So the whole time we were there Nene Hava was just talking about how she knew that Ines would one day be baptized, etc. She also recounted to us countless Bible and Book of Mormon stories as if she had been right their as a front line witness. I have never heard someone talk about the Prophets of the Book of Mormon like she did. It was as if she had a personal relationship with each of them and they were like facebook buddies or something. So awesome and such an amazing woman. She is now knitting booties for my future babies. So cute!

Well, anyways I guess that is all I have for this week! Love and miss you all tons and hope you have a rocking week!

Love Always,
Motra Hall