May 16, 2011

Quite the fun and eventful final week around here. Highlights included starting all three English classes throughout Tirana. I was able to go to all the different opening courses this week in the three different areas, and it was amazing. Obviously our main goal in giving free English classes is to find new people that are interested in the gospel....and they think we just like teaching the painstaking English...haha. They got fooled! Of course we love providing services, but ulterior intentions....the life of a missionary.
So there was just a bunch of awesome people who showed up to
the course and I'm so excited for the missionaries here because they are going to have some great golden people to start teaching now. In one branch a girl came up afterward and asked how she could get "that" book, ie: The Book of Mormon, then she came tonight to a baptism and loved it. In another English class yesterday I was over in my old 2/4 area on an exchange with Motra Reynolds (she just got here in April and is super awesome) and after English a teenage girl came up and was like "I want to get baptized, can I give you my number?" COOL! She also came to the baptism tonight and told the Branch President there that she was going to be getting baptized super soon, and she still hasn't even had her first lesson. Anyway, it is kinda bummering (i know that isn't a word) to see all this awesome success happening just as I leave, but it also is awesome to see that the work will just continue and that even though missionaries are replaceable, the Gospel is not.

So other excitement on my exchange with Motra Reynolds included rediscovering how small a world it really is. She has some cousins in Yuma (Larry and Valerie Hall with three kids) and also apparently is good college friends at BYU with Quincy Savage. I felt kinda stupid cause I was like yeah I know Quincy, but I was confused that she was at BYU cause I just figured no time has passed and all those girls are still little and in Yuma Young Womens. Dang I'm old! But it was fun chatting about the same peeps we know.
I wrapped up this last week with a final P-day District Trip to Pocradec, a gorgeous city in the Southeast of Albania. It was actually pretty sweet because the Elders in my District and President Neil had apparently been planning this special trip, but nobody told us because it was kinda a surprise. We woke up here this morning and it was raining, so we debated waiting till Saturday, but then everyone took-one for not the team, but me and decided to just go for it.

It ended up being a gorgeous day and we made s
uch good time that we were even able to continue on to Korca, another neat city. The highlight of the day was probably eating Koran (yeah, the Muslims sacred book! haha) No, actually it is said to be an endangered species and endemic specimen found only in Ohrid Lake in Pogradec. Yes it is a fish, yet I still tried it. Actually I had a plate of spaghetti while everyone else had fish a t this seaside restaurant, but Motra Hoxsie gave me a pea size sample of her fish. I really only ate it so I could check the box on my bucket list, "ate an endangered species."

Ohrid Lake in Pogradec

And yes the mountains in the background are Macedonia. COOL!

Thanks for everything and I will see everyone soon!

Love, Motra Hall