Saturday, April 29, 2017

Greta Can Ride A Bike!
Image result for bicycle images clip artGreta Cela's Profile Photo, Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup
This weekend we rented  bicycles with two of my girls who have never ridden a bike before!  This was our NEW summer goal.  
Greta learned at the football field on Friday.   She had all but given up when Elder Winegar held the seat ran along with her and then ran ahead of her to show her that she was riding all by herself. Her surprised look was PRICELESS!!!!!!!    Greta is 24, her brother has a bicycle, but she herself has never learned.  We have been talking about this with her since February.  So we made it part of our Personal Progress to get these two girls able to ride a bike!   Next week!  Rea! Rea is very close but we just didn't quite get there with the peddling this weekend.  
That was Friday for young women's  then on Saturday we played football (soccer) in the morning with our ward for an activitet .  I personally scored two goals.....However, when I was guarding the goal..... I accidentally let 4 goals for the other team go through..... so I guess that  wasn't the greatest game ever played on my part.  Perfect weather!  Over cast not too hot , not too cold and then just as we made it back to the church.... Rain!  Ha!  We are always being watched over. 

The young men had a bike ride to the Macedonian border and then met us at the football field.  A fun and much needed stress reliever for the branch.  


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Now is that in the Accusative?  Genitive, Dative? Ablative?   Wait!  That's a direct object!  or    Could I put that in a command form and make it easier?  Hum....  By the time I figure it out,  the conversation is long gone and the subject has changed completely. 
S'ka gje S'ka gje  S'ka gje !   That's Ok That's OK That's OK!  
Avash Avash!!!!!!!!  All those in the scriptures with people who were struck dumb and couldn't talk-----I can relate!  
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Friday, April 28, 2017

The Big Switch!!!

Yesterday our New Mission President and His Wife sent out this on Facebook:

We are sorry to say that President Rawson and I will not be serving in this mission. Yesterday we got a request to now serve in the St. Petersburg Russia mission. We have enjoyed trying to learn as much Albanian as we can, but now must switch to Russian! We have prayed for you all and were so excited to serve with you. I know the Lord will continue to bless us all as His work will continue to roll forth. Mirupafshim 

WHAT?!!!!   We have 7 of the best missionaries going home in June.   No Senior couples coming in.  The only other senior couple is ill and cannot come now.   No Sisters coming to Albania, only one going to Macedonia (another language completely)   We are going to have to close 3 cities already and now a change of Presidents!  WOW!!!   This will be exciting!  I almost wonder if they will call someone within the country who already knows the culture and language......  Never a dull moment here in Shqiperia!!!!---Little increase of the anxiety level today!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Happy Birthday XHOANA!11
We love our 14 year old!  

We decorated Xhoana's door for her birthday for April 28th!  Xhoana lives on the 9th floor of a building.  I must be getting in better shape because climbing those stairs this time just wasn't as hard as usual.  I wasn't out of breath at all.  Or maybe with women we climb half the rate as when with the long legged Elder Anderson!!!  As soon as we arrived we were caught because Sweet Jeta was on her balcony and saw us.  She waved us up  .  We  are not very sneaky!  We made flowers for Xhoana, posted them on her door and the tape made so much noise and Monica kept telling us we are too noisy!  Ha! it was such fun to be with my girls.... then we took a nice walk along the beach and met about 20 of Greta's family.. I think she is related to 1/2 of Pogradec.  Her parents came from 7 or 8 siblings in both families.  No wonder Greta is always saying.... I got to come late cuz I have to help with my cousins!!!!  


Sunday, April 23, 2017


This week we had three baptisms and confirmations
Below is Rea with her brother Rei  They are two of the sweetest people in Pogradec.  What am I saying all these people I love!  Rea is 17 soon to be 18 June 9 her whole life ahead of her.  A lovely addition to the Kishes (church)  So brave to get baptized in the lake.  Her determination was so fun to watch.  She had been sick and I was worried that she would get pneumonia but the day after baptism the was doing great not sick at all!  A baptism blessing!

Below is Saimir--A 15 year old who lives in the village above Pogradec  He is a very good son, a good student, his English is getting better all the time and well He acts and kind of looks like Kenton and He has my heart.  I have a fierce sense of protection for him.  He hangs around a lot with Klevis  (22) and well. .... Klevis is too old for him.  I want so much to protect him and keep his innocence and benevolence that is so natural to him.  He cut his hair just before baptism but his last haircut was just like Kenton's.

  Klevis Lorin Saimir

Clirim (chlirim) , Elder Riepel, Elder Percival, Klevis, Saimir, Rei, Emmanuel, Franki, Admirim, Elder Winegar

Elder and Motra Winegar, Mailinda, Elder Percival, Rei, Elder Riepel, Clirim

Elder Winegar Elder Riepel, Admirim Elder Percival

Our lovely Miss Rea

Antonella is below Baptized the week before with the Korce Sisters.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Sunday!
We actually had difficult intense hardships just before Easter. The week before Easter  some of our members had some really hard things to work out and  My heart was very heavy !  We love our members so very much.  We were able to place our Christ pictures up in the church in time for Easter.  We wanted them to have a memorable Easter and to talk about the Resurrection and Sacrifice of the Savior.  Our Young Women sang Tender Mercies of the Lord it was wonderful, but we were sadly missing our Greta who came later and our Xhoana!  This was Xhoana's song and we needed her beautiful voice!  Hopefully we will prepare another that she can join in with us.

This Easter was bitter/sweet
Our Elder Anderson received a transfer call the night before --He gave a beautiful heart felt speech of Christ and Monica Spoke also. We so missed our Jeta and Xhoana.  Gladly, Xhonaton came and helped with the sacrament.  What a wonderful young man to serve and fulfill his priesthood duties.  He was ready with a white shirt and tie.  

Below are some of the goodbye pictures for Elder Andersoni:

Our Elder Andersoni
Saimir                         Rea
For Family Home Evening we Drew cards about the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.
Even Klevis was somewhat subdued during this discussion.  
Anyone that wanted to say their farewells to Elder Anderson shared their feelings and it was beautiful.  Later that evening we visited with Jeta and her family.  We love them so and Jeta is having heart issues.  Perparim was there in time before he had to rush back to Tirana to watch over his Daughter who just had a baby.

Bittersweet was our Pogradec Easter.  Just as the original Easter..... A memory for us!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Left Saturday before Easter to Korce on my own.  I was picking up our pictures of the Savior to get ready for the baptisms and Easter
The morning was beautiful, the Sisters and Elders were very Helpful
What a beautiful Morning!

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

P-day in LIN April 10, 2017

This is LIN 

So far my favorite day on my mission was spent in LIN!  We headed to Lin a village just outside Pogradec along Lake Ohrid toward the Northern Macedonian border  --only about a 18 minutes makim ride.  We have always looked down at this village and said we are going to go check it out!  
Above are boats called VARKS --on our arrival to this picturesque village we drove up a narrow herringbone  brick laid road to Patricks house.  Patrick is a congenial old fellow who introduced us to the blind Nena next door and her married hardworking daughter who lived kitty-corner under the massive rock cliff holding up the winding alley road above.  This area feels very much like Greece. Small roads along the cliffs to beautiful clear blue green water below.  Lorin wanted to know who owned that Vark/boat!  Patrick made arrangements for Anastazi his nephew to come and take us on a boat ride.  No questions asked, we jumped into the boat and took a hand pumped ore driven boat ride around the unpopulated side of the cliff where the people had carved gardens into the the side of the mountain.  Lorin of course made sure he was the rower.  The beauty and the peacefulness of not only the place but its people is ----well---without words... They all speak in kind unobtrusive voices , meek and forgiving and generous.  That's right!  We found our very own Albanian "BRIGADOON "  or something quite like it.  These people have lived here for generations! They plan very carefully where their next generation will live and often have 3 generations living closely in the same house or houses created out of the cliff next to each other.  
We ate greek salad and roasted vegetables harvested that day on the deck of the only restaurant in town. As we sat we studied Ship while we watched the Lake with a few fisherman coming in from their early morning fishing trip.   They fish every day starting at 4 am to keep on the Albanian side of the lake to fish.  Macedonia police patrols the lake not to let any Albanians fish on their side of the Lake!!

Actually, we have two beautiful young women that have come to my Personal Progress once that go to school in Pogradec living in Lin.   They are bused in to go to school and good friends with Monica our newest member.  So we called Monica and told them we were in their village and they came out to meet us and took us to the most beautiful sights. Pictures below.  

Silvia and Mikenna below sweetest girls!

Under a church there on top of the hill just above the lake they unearthed flooring like that in Greece of beautiful tapestry 
We lingered as long as we could!  Neither of us wanting to go!
But we had family home evening to put on for the members in Pogradec and we would have no Elders because they were in Tirana for President  Interviews.
Below are pictures looking from outside of Lin toward Lin

Back to Pogradec.......

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On the Road! 
  Elbasan, Korce and Ohrid and of course our Pogradec!
 Zone Conference, Singing in Ohrid, Pictures from Korce
English Classes and Book of Mormon Reading in Pogradec and Self Reliance Class  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Before a girl gets married she MUST  learn how to make these doilies!   They are beautiful and take many hours.  Below is a gift I will treasure forever!  Made by the loveliest girl named Greta

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Perparim means progress!  
Perparim turned 65 this week and received the Melchizedek Priesthood on the same day.  We had a little birthday party for him after.  Very Special Day.  Unfortunately for Pogradec.... Perparim and his wife Neggie are leaving their life here in July to live with their daughter in Denver Colorado.  Perparim is a pharmacist Veterinarian and Neggie is a Psychologist.  They are both planning on retiring in July.   They will be so missed. We hope to see them in Colorado on our return.  Neither of them speak English.  This will be a very big transition in their lives.
We love them!