March 7, 2011

Greetings! It's another lovely P-Day in Tirana, so I thought I should drop you a line and update you on a rather normal, but splendid week here.
Motra Hoxsie and I are just doing fabulous working hard and talking. I thought maybe I'd get more done once I left Motra Yourstone and our constant talking, but I talk almost as much with Motra Hoxsie too. Missionary life is so much better when you have a great companion and get along, something I've been blessed with m
y whole mission. Anyway, we discovered some of our other commonalities besides just being Aggies: tennis, the flute, and being loud and kinda crazy. The cool thing is we kinda cancel each other out with the last one, so we are quite a calm companionship now. Weird I know. As for tennis, she played down at Snow College and pretty much made me feel pretty bad about myself last Monday when we played. I am anxiously awaiting our rematch!
Anyway, moving on to exciting missionary stuff...This week we did quite a bit of finding which actually went amazingly well. Both when we went street contacting and tracting we were able to find reall
y interested people. Actually when we went street contacting it was kinda cool/funny because a girl kinda came right up and contacted us. I was so caught off guard because I'm used to people pulling out their cell phones as they walk by and starting a fake conversation just to avoid talking to us. Anyway, I was so caught off guard that I said some stupid pick-up line (about the Gospel of course) and then when she answered it sounded like she was speaking Italian and I was like "do you speak Albanian?" I'm sure that is actually what she was wondering about me, and of course she speaks Albanian--duh Motra Hall! Anyway, after I looked completely stupid she happily gave us her number and took some stuff to read. It was basically a freebie, which I was grateful for.
I'm so glad that we are having success finding, even though it honestly isn't my specialty, because then Motra Hoxsie can see how successful it can be and she will be more confident doing it on her own once I'm gone. As for tracting, my favorite excuse that we heard was "I don't take part in religion, I go to the orthodox church. I was born orthodox and I'll die orthodox." I wanted to give him a little news flash like, "hey buddy, the or
thodox church is religion too!" But of course I just smiled and wished him a good day.

Genti and Enea with I and Elder Warburton- they came from Vlore for a YSA activity

Despite all our time spent finding this week, we still made some time to visit one of the less-actives in the branch that missionaries have been working with for years. On this visit, after the usual complaints, she told us that we were going to make a dessert with nuts and bring it to her the next day because she really wanted it. I told her that she was out of luck, because Motra Halabuk (the one I just swapped places with) was the cook and Motra Hoxsie and I don't cook, in fact we still hadn't even touched the stove or oven after being together for almost 2 weeks. She told me I was a liar, and said, "you are like 20-something, don't tell me you can't cook." Of course Motra Hoxsie is just kinda sitting there out of the whole conversation, so this lady tells me to translate her "order" to Motra Hoxsie. I translated for her and I didn't say anything, but I had that look on my face like, "you can say yes, but I already said no." Of course Motra Hoxsie is a new, innocent, Christlike, sucker and she just gave in and agreed.
I was going to make Motra Hoxie bake the brownies all by herself that night, but I quickly realized as she tried to pick out huge egg shells from the mix, that she is possibly even more incapable in the kitchen than I am. So being the kind senior companion that I am, I stood over her shoulder in the kitchen and laughed at her while I washed some of the dishes. Apparently I didn't keep a close enough eye on her though, because when we came back in 45 minutes later to check the progress of the brownies in the oven, we still had batter sitting in the pan. She had turned the temperature knob of the oven, but didn't actually turn the "on" knob to the oven, so it was still completely cold. So yeah, we didn't get too much cooking done that night. On the bright side, we now know how to use the
stove top and oven.
This Sunday we (our district of 6 missionaries) gave a presentation in the 1st branch on member
missionary work. It went really well, and I think we got the members kinda pumped to start helping us out. That is if they didn't get too offended after the Assistants explained to them how we are the teachers and so when we invite them to lessons it doesn't mean that they should take over and do a half hour lecture on some crazy deep doctrine during the first visit with a new investigator. Oh well, it had to be just happens like that soo much here!
I had another interesting reflection moment on Sunday as well. I recalled a quote I read or heard once from a General Authority that said, "I've never been in a boring church meeting." I guess I was reflecting on this as I looked around and noticed how "into" church all the newer members seemed to be, whereas many of the older members of the branch were the ones just constantly looking at their watches and appearing kinda zoned out. I decided I never want to be in another boring church meeting again, and that the only person who can control that is me. Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.
I hope you all have a fabulous week and enjoy my absence, cause it's not going to be lasting too much longer!

Choose the Right!

Love, Motra Hall