Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Hi mum!

I'm trying to be better with timeframes (I haven't been as obedient as I wished I had), did my study and exercise - yoga - and then had a lil sleep! hahaha. Went and got haircuts as well, I did my companions sideburns and they look stud as! Same as my hair, I think. You would like it, its really sharp and tidy.
(Mini) Transfers were today, but my companion and I are still together in Tirana, which is normal because I'm still being trained, which is cool.  

Nevahs hair is glorious! Hahaha. Thanks for the photos, they're beautiful:) Im going to print them, have you got one of all of you together? I have found thinking about you on a consistent basis helps and motivates me to be obedient (for some missionaries it makes them trunky, tsk tsk!), so I'm gonna tape it on my wardrobe where I can see it every day.

Over the past few days I feel like I've been tapping into the gift of tongues. I've been communicating and understanding a lot better. A lot of things I don't understand of course, I'm still new.  But learning this language is a beautiful process and I feel the spirit working with me.  I love it.
I haven't received any letters at all!  Maybe they are at the mission office, I haven't checked in a week! 
I am so stoked for Tawhiao.  He's gonna be an awesome missionary. Here is my advice for him (if you ever get a chance to talk to him). He is a special kid, his resolve to be obedient will be greater than a lot of the missionaries he will serve with, don't let that stop him from being obedient at all!  They may even become offended from his obedience (for example, they hate that we won't talk into the early hours of the morning, or turns the light on straight away in the morning), Don't let anything stop you from being obedient, be bold, For therein, miracles await. 
It can be so easy to fall into disobedient habits.  There's this awesome story that really motivated me about this. It's about Parley P Pratt and how he had served over 25 years of his life as a missionary. On returning home he thought he would get to relax for a lil, but then President Young called him to another mission and this is a small part of what he said:
"And when the Spirit of God is upon me, I think it matters but very little what I suffer, what I sacrificed–whether I secure the honor or dishonor of men, or where I die, if it so be that I can keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish my course with joy. I have all eternity before me, in which to enjoy myself.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. xxv.)
I love that, to the honor or dishonor of men, it doesn't matter. Your exactly right our accountability is to God.

I love you so much. Thank you for emailing :) It inspires me to be better. Love to all our family, May you rest well, and may you be happy.  Love you Raya!  You are all my heroes. 

Time to start proselyting and we have a meeting with an investigator. (Potentially, he might not show... it seems to be the trend here sometimes)..

Elder Waters

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Week.... ah who's counting!

Hey mum! How are things?  I think I am finally adjusting to the demands of missionary life, taking things as they come and getting into the swing of all of it. Still loving it.

This week was tough! Not a heck of a lot in particular happened this week, we had planned a few lessons with people (which is awesome) but a lot of them fell through and we didn't end up teaching much at all! It seems to be the trend lately. It can be discouraging at times but you know, push forward in faith and look for the opportunity inside the trial! 

This week the highlight for me was probably our 'half way through the transfer' training which was pretty awesome.  One, because the training was awesome, but two, because I got my new badges! "ELDER VATËRS"!!  Albanian doesn't have a W in their language, so instead of bask in confusion for the whole of my mission, I changed it to a V! Attacking those german roots of mine (Not actually sure if I got german in my blood but you know, haha). Its said exactly how it looks, Vaters!! I'm gonna send a photo to Ezzie, I'm sure he would love it. But yeah, Now when I introduce myself, I've gotta say Elder Vatërs! It's interesting..

Also Another thing was I played this guy in chess (Albanians are pretty big on their chess) and my companion had been going on about how good he was since I arrived and guess what... I totally Sassed him!! Hahaha. Nah I'm just kidding, I did win but it was a super intense, close game. Love it. Im the first missionary to have beaten him. Oh it was glorious when he told me, when those words flowed from his own mouth, haha splendor! 

Today for P day we went to this chill as artificial lake, it was really nice and super peaceful, we had a picnic with the missionaries in our district and I think the most fun part was playing dominoes with the xhaxhi's!! Okay. So in Albania, all around there are just tables set out for old people (xhaxhi's = old guys) and today some of us had the courage to go up and ask if we could play! And they were super nice, so we had a few games. It was so fun! Playing games in Albanian is super interesting, too much albanian going on, my mind was blown haha. But man it was so much fun! Afterwards I asked if I could receive a photo and they got so upset! They were like NO. They have this interesting fear of facebook/the internet which was kinda funny. One xhaxhi was awesome tho and let me take a photo with him. Note we are sitting on tree stumps and cardboard! Thats how a lot of them are, oh the culture is so fun, haha.

When I say this was the toughest week, I truly meant it. I really felt the pressures and stress of missionary life a few times this week, and I let it get to me. I LET IT get to me (mostly through my pride). A good friend of mine has this quote she absolutely loves "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent (Eleanor Roosevelt)". I used to disagree passionately with this statement, I thought that the emotions, or feelings, we experience are instinctual and we have no control over them whatsoever, but I was wrong. I thought we had control only over the way we react to situations, which we do, but it's much more than that. We Can control our emotions! The way I have learnt to do this is through the attitude we possess towards life, and who/what we center our self worth and integrity in. We teach and learn as missionaries that God loves us, so why not center our self worth in that? Often times I measure my self worth and value based on what I think of myself, but there is something even MORE powerful than my own self respect and love, its the Saviors respect and love for us, for me. His love is unchanging, it is eternally strong. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13)" ) He has indeed laid down his life for us and his love is unconquerable. If you haven't already, center your self worth and value in Him, truly seek to know Him and you will rise to a state of mind you have never experienced before, you will find peace and blessings if you do this, I promise you. 

Peace and Love

Elder Waters

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sleep is a beautiful thing....

 Sleep mum sleep! Oh man sleep is such a beautiful thing.  We were gonna go to the zoo today, but I sat down on my bed.. one thing led to another and soon I found myself tucked under the warm cozy blankets - OUT! - Needless to say there was no zoo trip haha. I was far too cozy, and it was a well needed nap! (Plus it was totally OK because its P day). I have been super good with taking my medication and stuff, it has been well instilled into my brain! .. Not sure if you got my photos last week about rock climbing, but we are going again today! Its super fun. And I'm getting macho as because of it. All my group is getting ready to go home (ie. They are setting goals to eat better and workout and stuff) but heck! I just got into country, I'm ready to eat 10 suflaqe's a day, 15 snickers bars and as much biscolatta as I can! hahaha. OH, can you tell Nivs that they have snickers here and its really good, its like home. Tell him my companion and I eat the religiously! Like heeeeeeeaps. Its so good haha. Tell Nivs that they're only 50 cents each!!!! HAHAHAHA. That'll make him spew. Oh food is so good. 

Its been getting super wet here lately, other areas (not ours, thank goodness) of Albania have had some severe flooding. Its supposed to get super cold soon! Like -4 Degrees tomorrow morning cold -  UGH I thoroughly dislike the cold haha. So that'll be interesting! Its super funny here, people do NOT like the rain at all! So much that it effects the work, that it effects how many people show up to church. We called someone yesterday (a potential investigator), and asked if we could meet and he was like "are you kidding me, its raining, call me when its not raining" HAHAHA! Thats so funny. I found it funny anyway. I love the people here, they are so loving. Do you remember how Elder Preston said that they have this special type of love, kind of like maori people have their 'aroha' ? Its so true. It is a beautiful thing to witness. I love it! I wanna get amongst it haha. 

I'll talk to you next week! Please get rested, Love your precious bodies! They are beautiful gifts.

Love you. Still Praying,

Elder Waters

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gratitude brings happiness:)

How are our missionaries going?

I totally introduced myself in Maori to my district the other week, I did my mihi and everything, told them about the pounamu and bone carving I have... about that, President advised me not to wear it so I’m not wearing it outside the flat anymore :) Its sweet tho. Ahh RHADYN!!!! (Rhadyn leaves for Idaho on his mission next week) say hi to them all! Big cuddles from me when they're at our house. Send them my love! Thats so cool they're still visiting, I love that haha.
Martin on the day of his Baptism
Oh man the baptism was awesome! He had a pretty freezing font tho, coz the water wasn't heated and have you seen the temperatures here lately? It is just cold. I feel for him, but he still went through with it and because of it, he will be blessed forever! He has so graciously accepted the gospel in his life, and changed so much already. Watching people feel the spirit, repent, come unto Christ and make life changes is in no doubt one of the most satisfying thing I have ever witnessed. Oh and he is just so awesome! Love him.

That's another thing I learnt this week, the Love I have had for this people is a God-given gift. Not everyone can have it but I believe its a special gift given through His spirit.  It really is the essence of all we stand for as missionaries. We won't achieve anything if we don't have a love for the people! They feel it, they definitely feel it. I am blessed to have this gift given to me so quickly. 

My very organized pink room (least its not on the floor)
Did I tell you I bought a guitar from one of the missionary's? Well technically you bought a guitar for me because I needed to use personal funds so... thank you mum and dad! you shouldn't have :') hahaha. It has brought me so much joy, a song I really love to sing in shqip (albanian) is Come come ye saints. It is such a beautiful song, that has really grown on me since I've been back on my mission. It is definitely my favourite at the moment, the lyrics are beautiful. The second verse of the song is my favourite. Listen Listen!!

We are going rock climbing today. I'm not sure if I sent some photos last time I went but I'll take my camera this time, its super small but hecka fun. 

How is everything back home? How's me puppy dog Rocky. How is his albanian? Probably no better than mine huh... hahaha! Oh hey, my shok and I are rotating the phone days, so every other day I have the phone and that means if an albanian calls, or we need to call an albanian - thats all me! - talk about the deep end. Its so fun tho, nothing breeds success like success, so when I crack a phrase or two without stuttering, I celebrate. 
Albania is so fun. I love it here, that is all I can say really!

Mum Im really proud of you for what you did with Eugene, super happy. I've had a lot of those moments myself actually (not taking people in and feeding them and stuff, thats a no no for missionaries), having overwhelming feelings of gratitude for the blessings I have received. The blessing of health is such an underrated privilege. I am so thankful for being healthy, being able to come to Albania. Perhaps that's what I needed to learn, how to be grateful for what I have! The things that you generally don't notice because they come so naturally. Maybe that's why I stayed home because also, with that comes the health of my family. I'm grateful for you mum. That your still with us, I don't like to think how things would have been if Heavenly Father have different plans for our little family, but I thank the Lord everyday for You, Dad, Tani Raya and Nivs. Merely being alive and functioning is a miracle. 

Gratitude brings an incredible happiness to our lives, so If you find yourself lacking - count your blessings and share them with our Heavenly Father through prayer, you will find your stroke once more. 

Peace and Love

Elder Waters