Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I cross the line today:

Standing in line for school books with one of our members who really didn't want to stand in line and wait.  I cross the line and became that MOTHER who was making her son get in line until you die getting those books because you need to get your homework done!!!!

 Suddenly I jumped the line from helper and assistant to BOSSY MOMMY FACE!  I was thrown back dealing with my own 16 year old boys that would roll their eyes when they didn't want to do anything to help themselves !!!!

I crossed the line--- Lost my patience and I keep asking myself How does my love for this kid turn into a frustrated missionary?

There must have been something in the air because we all seem to be dealing nervously about the changes.  Summer ending, school starting, we just started our English courses again, we also have more missionaries and movement at the church.

Change is good but also it is hard to have the energy to get going.

Our Pogradec really had a nice summer.  Lots of sun and play and freedom
I am having a hard time with the changes --Our young adults and youth must surely be feeling the tug-of-war of emotions that come with change of schools, change of teachers, life changes, the unknown future.

Where can we turn for PEACE?

Ask for Forgiveness, Love Others and ourselves as Christ would Love,--- Choose to be Grateful.
 This brings Peace and Happiness.

Today in English class we learned of a young man who was selfless.  His selfless behavior made him a hero to others.
Today we also learned that it takes effort  and action to behave selflessly.  Some may ask why must I always be selfless when others are not?

The answer is:  Because Greater Wisdom and Understanding come from selfless behavior and forgiveness.
In the end...... That which is of greater worth belongs to those with great Patience.

Can I just thank my children today who are ever forgiving of their BOSSY FACE MOTHER and who rarely if ever fought or raised their voices.  

I think the most heartbreaking times here have been when my loved ones in our branch are angry with each other.  They can be mad at the world, with work, with school,   but when they raise their voices in anger to each other..... It wounds me!  I become heartbroken.  

God has given me a heart that can forgive..... for this I am deeply grateful
I want this for everyone!  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Have you eaten your "Mana" before it Softens and goes bad??

There is a green grape/plum like fruit that comes off the tree.  We watched as the owner was only picking the fruit for just the night meal.  We talked about about what a unique fruit it was and how we enjoyed eating this green plum grape shape fruit that was surprisingly sweet.

They told the elders that you have to pick it every day that within the day it turns bad.  Wow ok we will make sure to eat it within a few hours.   "What is the name of this fruit?"  Oh, it's name is an ancient name..... "Manna"................  We smiled and said....... "we will eat just a little bit everyday"......
Thanked them, Said good night to them and good bye to them in about 4 different ways as is custom. Then, ate our blessed "Mana" before the time period was up.

Reading Scriptures has definitely become our "Manna" during this mission.  A day without it and our spirits go soft and then turn negative.    Manna will always be a literal, physical fruit of the spirit forever more.

There are those here who are living just day to day not really knowing where the next job or payment will be sometimes and quite often relying on family members to help them.  They somehow have the mental  block that working for a little is better than not working at all. Some here feel helpless so they do nothing!   We try and try to help them have the blessings of paying a tithe.  The one commandment that you can fulfill perfectly and has a given promise for the Lord..... They have never experienced that blessing so they cannot see or trust..... Oh how we want them to see it work in their lives and given them Godly Power beyond their own.  How do we teach this....Yes it is hard, but they need only to test it and see for themselves.....

For me paying Tithing is such a privilege because I am so very aware that "IT IS ALL HIS ANYWAY!"

Saturday, August 5, 2017

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I had just about all the PIZZA  I can eat for awhile.   Lorin wanted to eat out and I like to just cook for us in (basically not pizza or sulfate.. again).... And I have had some intestinal trouble here since February when we ate the goat brain soup...

So enough with the pizza.  I had Lorin take us to a nicer white linen cloth restaurant that didn’t have Pizza on the menu.

Here it is:  Never complain because--- maybe just maybe pizza is a better idea:
What would you choose?  Bon Appetite!  YUMMY!  You can also get goat brains if you order in advance!  Keep that on you memory for you next meal!
I think Lorin was going for the veal entail glands. Let’s just say, I ordered greasy rice and a greek salad AGAIN!

When we eat in other cities the food is SOOOO GOOD!!!!  But here—they have a funky kind of Greasy menu going.
Lorin had a good laugh by my choice of a better restaurant! The Stuffed spleen was tempting!


Combined Seminary in Korce!

We love our Seminary Students!  We are studying the book of Mormon, getting ready for FSY and having a combined TREASURE HUNT together!  Pizza and Watermelon the staples of life around here.  Those are our Elder Samuel Carr and Farnworth in the background.  Elder Sami goes to home to England in a few weeks.... we will really miss him!!! 

Frenki, Manol, Costa, Alexa, Linda Rei me and Rea.


Saimir, Manol, Costa, Linda, Alexa

Check out the boat on the beach. first motorboat I've seen,  but the trailer is submerged in the lake still.  Sure would like to know the whole story on the boat.  Did they try to pull the trailer without an automobile?  Whatever, it happened in the night.  next day there was a boat on the beach.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thoughts for the Day...........................................
This past few weeks I have spoken to at least 5 PEOPLE who have gone to the United States or Germany to pursue what they thought would be the dream of their lives.  They would get jobs and get lots of money and be happier!

Some of the first things they found is that people afar are much different!  That school and work was very hard .   That once they became aware of how much everything cost:  Insurance, living expenses and especially food that all their hard work didn't go as far as they thought.  Also, they were STARVING once again with the INCOME of their dreams because....... NOW THEY WANTED EVEN MORE!  Cars, cell phones, expensive shoes and clothing.

Moreover,  the temptation to do something illegal became ever and increasing enticing.  Why, because there just are not that many RULES in Albania as there are in the States or Germany.   Every time they got ahead there was a ticket to pay or a cost for doing it "the Albanian" way.
One of the men I talked to got kicked out of Germany never able to return because he just could not conform within the laws.  They just didn't make sense to him.

Often I have talked about this with my English class as they would say "take me with you back to America".  I always respond...." be careful what you wish for."... What truly is  most important and precious to you?  Money or Family?  They always agree that it is family .  To leave is to leave your family and all the celebrations, the dinners, the jokes and the comfort of living and loving family brings IS HAPPINESS!
To speak a foreign language is really fun and exciting!  However,  when you are sick or scared it is so comforting to have someone speak and take care of you in your native language.
Love Is Patient Love Is Kind Print / Love Never Fails Sign / 1 Corinthians 13 / Wedding Gift Print / Gift for Newlyweds / Bible Verse Print This
Those who leave often come back tattooed and with morals that are not becoming.  So is that better?  I do not think so.

These people in Pogradec are very sweet and  always kind.  They are gracious and willing to help others. This beautiful town has fresh food, beautiful flowers growing everywhere, plenty of places to stop and have a cold soda with a friend.   Also living in a small town anywhere in the world, you get to know and love your Bread man, or the lady that sews up your husbands pants, or the family that you get your copies printed. The man that you buy your fruits and vegetables knows you by name.   You love them and they are happy to see you.  There is a friendship that exists.  In bigger cities there is not that camaraderie.
The people I talked to also mentioned that going away from home has created a more selfish attitude. They look at their home as if they are above it-- more special.  They have become well, how should I say it, RUDE and Arrogant  toward their own family and friends.

Are they changed?  Yes... For the better?..... I do not think so.

Everyday someone here tells me.. Oh I have a son or a daughter or an uncle in the United States, England or Germany--I say, Oh are they happier?  They respond, "Oh, they have lots of money, or they live in a Palace,  but then I say to them, "Are they happier?"
  Usually the response is ..... They miss their family or they came to visit and cried when they had to leave.


Family, Church, Friends, and confidence that .... you are right with God is HAPPINESS AND LOVE.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sister Power--Monika's Mother was baptized!  Just wonderful!

These are some wonderful people. Brother Salami, Elder Samuel, Elder Farni, Arian

Can Someone out there help me make one of these for Lorin?!  A three wheeled motorcycle that has rain protection and a basket with mirrors!  Padded interior for Cush and a light for when it gets dark.  
Peace on the Plazh

Our last Sacrament Meeting was a beautiful experience.  There was a spirit of peace and learning that I was so very happy to be apart of it all.
Sadly not all our members were there and I wished they could have been. We shared together a bond that spoke "We are here together to Pray together, to uplift and support one another, and to be at peace because we know that God is watching us.  We feel protected by our obedience and allow ourselves to trust in Christ's Atonement.  He has already Paid our entrance.  If we will accept His gift and simply obey his commandments, pray to him, read his map of instructions we can return home.
He asks us all to be fishers of men.... To simply share what we know with others.
The Plan of Salvation is something that when taught--- People will recognize like they always knew it , they just hadn't heard it.
This week we truly had Peace on the Plazh.....
National Park July 10--Galicica and Lake Ohrid--

We have driven past this area right off the Lake in Macedonia.  It is a museum of ancient way of life where they show how people used to live and survive off the lake. Apparently there are many foxes even bear in the area and opossum squirrel and of course Fishing season is year round.  Most National Parks in Macedonia are closed to the public on Monday our P-day but this particular Monday.... It was open!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Evening Baptism at the Lake:

Gjergi's Baptism:

Elder Winegar and Elder Weidman having too much fun with the Wheelchairs!  The are testing them out!  

Thursday, July 27, 2017



I mentioned before that we are teaching Seminary in two different cities with our Maliq and Korce group at 10:00am and Pogradec in the evenings at 6pm

Yes the groups are very different from each other.  Maybe it is the time of day or that we have many more women in the first group and more men in the second.  However. we are learning.  and teaching the Book of Mormon.  Also Pogragec has Book of Mormon reading twice a week.  Lorin and I spend many hours and prayer preparing over what we can teach in just 1 1/2 hours.  There is so much for them to learn and we want them to have a better foundation than what the missionaries started with them.   Those who read their manual before they get to class with the questions filled out already get so much more than those who just come and sit and listen.   However,  we are all learning.   My hope is that they will understand more than just what they are reading, but WHY  and how  it all pertains to them PERSONALLY in THEIR LIVES!  Oh if I could only teach in my own language, I feel that they would get sooo much more in a lot less time.  However, look at these pictures..... Can you not just help to love them and want them to have all the blessing they deserve!  Oh how I love them!
New Hope--Youth of the Church

Recently we went to Elbasan with our Young Single Adults---  We had been working on this for months to find a way and budget to get a few cities together to meet and enjoy each others company.  The coordination of it all took many hours of diligently coordinating and pushing our leaders to allow this to happen. Once approved,  it involved food, activities and an appropriate sleepover.  We were dealing with Adult members and quite frankly I didn't really know what to expect.  We were getting transportation between Korce , Maliq,  Pogradec and Elbasan --It was difficult.  We had to change many dates because of people working, or other mission assignments, baptisms that were going on in different cities and the Elbasan Church was getting painted and the lawn was getting sprayed for insects.

  Everyday I would get a new call that would put a halt to our plans--even up to the night before I was working with changing problems.  Moreover, we had two baptisms that we were involved with the Friday morning before we left in Ohrid Macedonia  and the Saturday night in Pogradec when we would return.  It just seemed like it would be impossible.

 However, Lorin and I just felt strongly that our Young Single Adult could do this.  If they took charge and helped out with the coordination it would work.  Prays were certainly said and answered.  Truly everything except an air conditioning problem in the activity room of the church and a fergon (bus) small problem getting our people home everything went according to plan.

 It went well because of the Beautiful Young Single Adults of Pogradec, Korce, Maliq, and Elbasan!  It was because everyone was agreeable, gentle and kind with one another!  No one was uncontrollable or unruly, angry or upsetting.  It was hot that day and night and it didn't matter.  They slept on the floor, or on couches or on couch pillows--the didn't put up a fuss.  OH HOW I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!

I have new hope for the church in Albania (Shqiperia) because our lovely Pogradec and Elbasan , and Korce Young Single adults!  They were very accommodating and even when everything was new and different to them,  they adapted and involved themselves.  When there was an issue with an all night party that we were not going to allow--they responded agreeably and didn't create any contention at all!

I was so very impressed!  Our cute Rea was once again helpful with the language and made friends. Greta danced and enjoyed herself.   Our Elbasan Young Singles went out of their way to help organize, clean up, escort us back and forth to the teaching center and church house.  All I saw were agreeable Young Single Adults.    Our elders also helped out to get pizzas ordered and to check up on us to see if we needed help.


Let me add more to this.......
Our Youth in Pogradec are also impressive to me!  They come to church to pass the Sacrament in White shirts reflexing respect for the Priestood they have and the sacred sacrament ordinance they will perform.  They have been to members for just a few months and they will give talks and testimonies at church.....and let me just say.... they are impressive talks!

Yes in Pogradec, we have some reverence issues and they need to come to church on time and to not talk while in church and let others give their speech with reverence and respect for others,  but they are such capable and forgivable people.   They are learning at a phenomenal speed for new members. I want to protect them from the outside influences like not observing the Sabath day, or video game  or Facebook  addictions, smoking, drinking or the plethora of outside temptations that are theirs daily.  I have to keep reminding myself that they do not have family or cousins that reinforce going to church, service, sacrifice, tithing blessing, and getting ready for temple attendance.  They come because they made baptismal covenants to be at church to participate and to learn more.  


One last note:   there was a fire that broke out next to our church on the hill.  We were just about to eat our pizza, fruit and drinks.... Those young adults could see the fire was getting out of control.  They all got together to bless the food and more than one stated.... We need to pray for that fire to be quickly contained....without hesitation or even a second thought.... they prayed  immediately to stop the fire from moving.  After the prayer a fire truck swiftly swooped down the street and the fire was contained.  No one seemed to have another thought about it.  But I did... Their prayers were immediately answered and BRAVO for them to even know that they could pray over a fire breakout and that it would expedite the control of the elements or people who could extinguish it.
These youth have learned FAITH in the POWER OF PRAYER!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Something has happen to the Dog!
There are two dogs outside who have barked every night for the past six months and wake up the roosters about 1am nightly.... I am sitting here with NO sound.. None at all.....Just quiet....

The dog that cries helplessly and whines throughout the entire night has not barked  moped or yelp his helpless yell for an entire week..... Where is the dog?  What happened to it?  Did it finally bite through his rope that kept him captive?  Is he feeling freedom for the very first time!!!!

Run Rover Run and never come back!   Sh sh sh.... Listen..... No sound.... :)   good night!!! :)
Lunch in Ohrid near the Fortress looking over the Gladiator Arena
We sat out on a skinny balcony looking over the lake toward Pogradec.  This beautiful part of the city is historic and charming.  I love coming here.  We now have a lovely investigator who will be baptized July 21.  We are thrilled for her and she is our little but bold Ohrid Pioneer!  

This looks out over an ancient theater.