April 11, 2011

Hey everyone! So great to hear from everyone this week. I love spending more time reading emails than writing....talk about a lucky missionary!
Obviously I have to wish a huge congrats to the new Miss Rodeo Arizona.
I've been trying to brag about how I'm the sister of Miss Rodeo Arizona, but I'm afraid no Albanian has any clue what that is. And my pitiful attempt to explain it just leaves everyone shocked and wondering why we don't use our cows and sheep for our own personal drinking milk.

So, nothing nearly exciting happening on this side of the world. We got all the dead missionaries off this week and got a huge big group of like 9 missionaries in. I'm feeling pretty cool though, since I'm one of the only people I know who have survived "death day," ie: the last day of the mission where you have a farewell party and do other dying stuff.

So on Tuesday I just hung out all day with Yourstone, Peatross, and Swenson and we had the official "reporting of our mission" at the Monument of the Heroes (where we started our missions), luggage weighing and rearranging (which was quite entertaining to watch, and I was grateful to not have to mess with it), a farewell party with the members, and some other relaxing activities. It's a little lonely around here with my second half (Yourstone) gone, but she has reported and is doing well over in the corn fields of

On a more positive missionary note, we finally got some new investigators. After weeks of tracting and street contacting, a little 12 year old boy just walked up to us while we were standing outside the Mission Home. He asked for a pamphlet and then I struck up a conversation with him for like the next half hour. He asked if we'd come to his house and then gave me some SUPER vague directions. The next night after asking lots random people for directions, we finally found the little shack where he lives. He still wasn't home from work, but we found his 3 year old brother and his deaf mother at home. We started a "conversation" with her once we finally communicated who we were and did some sign language for about 30 minutes till the 12 year old boy, his 16 year old sister, and his 18 year old brother all got home from work. Yep, they all have dropped out of school and just work full time. The little boy makes 50 cents a day helping a guy who sells fish on the side of the road, the sister works at like a shoe fixing place, and the older brother works at a car wash. They are all super nice though, and very respectful and pretty educated for not having school, and for having an abusive father. Ronaldo,the 12 year old that we met in the beginning just loves us and everytime we visit he says that we need to come even earlier the next day. It's just the beginning with them, but it was just cool how willing they were to start learning.

That is all I have for today. I will copy below now Motra Yourstone and my "Dying Messages." It is kinda a mission tradition that we have and it gets posted in the mission newsletter here. We worked on ours together if you can't tell. I don't have Elder Swenson's or Peatross's but in summary they just loved their missions and will be going back to BYU. As for ours maybe you won't think they are too funny cause they are a lot of inside jokes, but oh well:

The Mission:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The best of times for me and the worst of times for Satan. Truly my mission has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was blessed to serve in the most amazing areas and with the most wonderful companions. I was able to work with the most fabulous members and teach the most incredible investigators. I have truly learned so much from each person I have associated with during my time here, and Albania has left a permanent imprint on my heart that can't be erased nor surgically removed for that matter.

Post-Mission Plans:
Return to
Ferrville, AZ to reclaim my first name. Go climb some mountains, travel, and go water skiing. Spend a year doing people's taxes and playing in Provo, then continue on to a legit school (not BYU) to get my MBA, which I will eventually be able to use as kitchen decoration when I'm the CEO of a huge household of kids. Avoid commitment as long as possible, and then elope to some temple with Motra Yourstone's brother, Scott. Raise our large posterity on a corn farm in Iowa, then spend our dying days as temple workers in the Tirana Albania Temple.

Mission statement:
I started at the shore of Vlore and finished at the Lana of Tirana. At 3 months I had 2 fractures and a cast - shyyyqyr that's in the past. At 6 months I trained my cupa and learned her all I could teach. Three transfers later she returned like a leach. Joke! At 9 months I was surprised to get transfered to 2/4, serving with a Motra whose name rhmynes with Tetris once more. Twelve months out of the MTC and Motra Hall finally came to me. Adventures in Thethi to toasting buns in Gjinar, this has been my best year and a half so far. Seeing a life change or hearing a first prayer, is where I have found my mission's vlere. The mission has been an adventure everyday and I wouldn't trade it or give a second of it away.

Live up the summer by hitting the racquetball courts, reclaiming my possessions from my sisters, camping, and making some money. Have a blast rooming with Motra Hall and SteckNover at BYU and finishing my last year in Biotech. Do a masters, get married, move into Hall's and Scott's neighboring corn farm, and live life to the fullest through raising a family in the church!

Translations (in yellow): Ferr - Hell, Lana - the river of Tirana, Shyyyyqyr - thank goodness, cupa - daughter, vlere - value.

Love you all and hope you have a fabulous week.

Motra Hall