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