Albania ♥

Albania ♥

Monday, April 27, 2015

I love serving here in Tirana... I love my mission and I love the people I get to meet. I love the miracles I see daily and the experiences I get to have here while serving.  I wouldn't trade my
time here for anything else.

This week, like all the others was full of miracles, but I'm going to talk about one in particular which haschanged my life.

It starts with an investigator that I am really close to.  She was one of my very first investigators and teaching her has changed me.  From the first day I met her, I felt like I was supposed to teach her. I felt that she was very very special and she needed my..or more importantly, Heavenly Fathers help. I have been teaching her since my first weeks here in Albania and teaching her has been a wildride. We've cried together, laughed together, and felt the spirit together. She found us missionaries when she was pretty lost and wanted to gain a relationship with God like she once had. Luckily,
we had all the answers of how she could do that and she has been learning ever since. She had a baptismal date that had to get pushed back. There has been struggles while teaching and times I thought she might not even want to keep meeting. With lots of prayers for this girl and lots of faith she was touched by the spirit and we were able to set another date of baptism for May 2nd (next week).  Everyone tells you that once someone has a baptismal date Satan is going to try VERYhard to make sure that they are not ready by that time or maybe even ever. That is so true. We had a very important lesson coming up this week on Wednesday so Sister White and I decided to do a fast before her lesson, during, and until the next day. We were sure the lesson was going to go perfectly... and it didn't. Or so we thought it didn't... We talked about the qualifications for baptism and she was still having trouble with a couple different things that she said she wasn't going to be able to change. We testified throughout that whole lesson about the blessings she would receive, the help she would get, and the importance of baptism and she was still stuck on them. We invited her to pray and ponder what she really wanted in life and then she left...At that moment I felt as though there was no reason to keep fasting because she wasn't going to change her mind. There was no way I thought. The next day an hour before we broke our fast, we received a call from her... I answered and she said
"Hi Sister Cheshire... so I have been thinking about what you were talking about yesterday and
what I really want, and I prayed just like you said to do and I know that this is what I need to do. I will change the things I need to so that I can be baptized next week"  I was actually speechless.. I sat
there for a couple seconds in silence and finally found the words to respond. We rescheduled her baptismal interview for that next day and SHE PASSED and is getting baptized next week on May 2nd. (funny side note: we had to teach priesthood again because she asked if I could
baptize her haha  Although I felt very privileged, I'm just giving a talk at the baptism instead)   The person I met that first week here in Albania is not the same person I know and love today. Although, shes the same little fire cracker shes always been, shes now closer to Heavenly Father. It really truly was a miracle and Ill never deny that. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father is mindful of all of His children. He is Almighty and powerful above everything else and He CAN perform miracles. He knows best. We don't always understand why things happen, but that's just because we don't see the whole picture like he does.

I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week. Thank you for your support and your kind words. Me SHUME Dashuri, - Motra Cesher

"My new favorite shirt :) The two places that own my heart♥"

"Albanian fried chicken...hahaha"

"hahaha we found this crazy man with an ax who told us he would take us to some cool
places so we hiked up a mountain and when we got to the top, he chopped down the tree and
told us to take a picture with it.  It was hilarious!!  I guess you had to be there but...

"The beautiful Tirana ♥"

"Exploring some tunnels today :) call me Dora the Explorer!"

"Found some turtles on our adventure :)"

"More of the beautiful Tirana♥"

Monday, April 20, 2015

This week was amazing:) A lot of awesome things happened and I'm so glad to be a missionary. It is so much fun! haha
This week Sister White and I had A LOT of success. We reached a lot of our weekly goals and were blessed with a lot of great lessons with a lot of great people.  Five of whom are on baptismal dates so we are super excited to watch them continue to progress and make that sacred covenant with our Heavenly Father. Some big things are happening in Tirana 4th Ward and I love it:)
An awesome perk about serving in Tirana (Albania's capital and where Mission home is located)  is that you get in on all the cool things going on and you get to do cool things because were so close:) This week the assistants called us and asked if we could go to Durres and help out with the Albanians that are preparing to serve missions, take them out street contacting, to lessons and fun stuff like that!  So of course we were super excited for it!  When we went, there were only a few of them that speak English and I was kind of nervous to get someone who didn't because I didn't think i would
be able to speak to them completely.  But I ended up getting two that didn't speak hardly any English and it turned out to be super awesome!  We had conversations and we taught lessons and we talked to people on the street in Albanian and it was super awesome:) The girls that were with me were sharing their conversion stories and why they want to go on missions.   I was getting pretty emotional because it made me reflect back on the awesome thing I'm doing here in Albania. I'll be honest..
sometimes I forget how lucky I really am and how big of an impact I can have on someones life here in Albania, but hearing these sisters talk about the missionaries that found them and how grateful they are for the Gospel was amazing to me and it touched my heart. That was super special for me.
We also had a cool lesson last night with a potential investigator.  The lesson was going pretty good but she was asking some pretty difficult questions and she was really intimidating.. Towards the end
of our lesson I knew/felt that we needed to invite her to be baptized, but I was kind of scared because she got kind of defensive in a few parts of our lesson. I didn't know what she would say and I
started to make excuses in my head for reasons we shouldn't ask in the first lesson but I felt really strongly that we needed to. I kind of lead into it and looked at Sister White... she didn't say anything
and it was silent for a few seconds and then i asked her if she wants to be baptized and she said
"ya... i do" it was so awesome! I know Satan was trying to make me scared and doubt myself because he knew how important it was for me to ask her!
Those were just a few of the wonderful things that happened this week! I love you all, I hope you all have an amazing week. Me dashuri - your Motra
"Sister White and I found a stray puppy and we couldn't resist...
Don't worry we washed our hands right after :)"

"A member gave us some parmesan cheese from Parmesan Italy. 

"We got to go to Durres this week and go on splits with the Albanian members
preparing to  serve missions.  It was so fun and the church is so beautiful there
too.  It looks a lot like the one in Elbasan :)"

"Motra White and I ♥"

"Went a little crazy with the lips momma sent me haha"

"Got to ride the gondola up to this really pretty mountain today for Pday:)"

"I think Albania is beautiful!"

"Riding the gondola with some of my peeps ;)"

"Some mirror selfies...because you can't go without those ;)"

"Companion photo shoot ;)"

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thank you for your prayers... I really felt them this week and I received a lot of strength and success because of them so thank you...really. Im so grateful to have such amazing people that care about my

PRA... I just want to say that if you try your hardest you will see success and you will receive blessings. It may not be in the way you expect or want, but you WILL receive them.  An example... we got a referral from our Elders this week and called her right away to meet with her. On the phone she sounded pretty interested and wanted to meet the next day.  We met up with her and were able to have an AWESOME lesson on the restoration.  The whole lesson she was super excited and receptive and talked about a couple spiritual experiences she has had in her life and how she has been to a couple other churches but she just didnt feel right. The Spirit was so strong as we testified of Christ, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the truthfulness of this church. At the end of the lesson we invited her to be baptized and she said "Yes I want to and I want my whole family to also. This would be really good for all of us" She also said that she wanted to thank the Elder who talked to her on the street and gave her number to us because this is exactly what she has been looking for.

We had another cool experience with another investigator who is so close to baptism but has just a few things holding her back, She gets closer and closer every time we meet and we just want to help her the best we can, but all we can do is invite and testify. We invited her to conference this weekend (We had it a week later because we had to wait for it to be translated to Albanian) and she showed up for two sessions and in the Sunday afternoon session i knew that the leaders of the Church said exactly what she needed to hear.  I know that they receive revelation from God and God is fully aware of what each of His children need to hear. Afterwards she turns to me and said "That last
talk was exactly what you have been teaching and talking to me about"  She said she loved the talks also and shes been praying for strength to get over the things holding her back because she wants to be baptized.

This week we also continued to invite people to see the "Sepse Ai Jeton" (Because He lives video) We did a group contacting activity this week but we did it separately from our companions (yes that means alone) Contacting is probably the thing that is the  hardest for me to do.  For those of you who know me, know that I am kind of shy when it comes to talking to random strangers on the street or anything else. Then you add on the fact that I am not fluent in the language yet and you get a pretty nervous Sister Cheshire but as we did this activity I felt strength from Heavenly Father.  Although it appeared and seemed as though I was alone... I wasn't.  I had my brother Jesus Christ as my companion.  He knows it was uncomfortable for me, but he also knew I wanted to try and as I did I actually was able to understand everything that people were saying to me and I was able to communicate and it was probably the most successful contacting I have ever done.  I received a lot of numbers from people who actually seemed super interested and tonight we are meeting with one of the ladies and i'm super excited about it.  I do know that it wasnt my strength that got me through it. I owe it all to my Heavenly Father.

Although my week was awesome and I witnessed a TON of miracles and blessings, missionary work is not always the easiest thing.  Yesterday one of our investigators that has been taking the lessons for a long time sent us a text and said "I dont want to meet anymore unless its just to catch up on life. I think it would be useless to talk about the Book of Mormon anymore because I know its not true. Im sorry because I know this is what you believe, but its not true" That was really hard for me to see and it made me  wonder if I did enough or if Im a good enough teacher.  After talking to one of the senior missionaries he reminded me that people still have their agency after you do all that you can, its up to them to make the final decision.

My testimony grows stronger and stronger with every lesson that I have with the people of Albania, whether they except the message or deny it, I still feel the spirit as I testify of my brother and Savior
Jesus Christ. THAT is why I am on a mission.  My mission is not perfect, but its worth it and I will never ever regret this decision I made. I love you all, I hope you all look for and feel Heavenly Fathers love everyday of your lives.  He's there. He's waiting. With open arms to
comfort you. Me dashuri - your Motra Cesher

"This is the Beleshi family :) The Bishop! THEY ARE SO AWESOME!"

Monday, April 6, 2015

"Easter celfie!"

"Cool places in Tirana"

Ahhhh I have so much to say! haha My new companion, Motra White and I had a crazy awesome/busy week. We were always going and going and we witnessed so many miracles because of it. First of all one of our first nights together we couldn't seem to get any lessons in at night. Because of our crazy schedules and other things we had to do at the mission office, we ended up doing a TON of street contacting. It was getting late and almost time for us to head back to our apartment. We only had a couple minutes left until we had to go inside. We were both so tired and ready haha but we stayed out of course. Some guys came up and were talking to us and not being very receptive of our message but we testified anyways. They walked away and then the second they did, a young boy about 13 came up to us with his mother and asked us if he could meet with us sometime and learn more about the life of Jesus. WE SAID YES OF COURSE and got his number and now we are meeting him tonight. I'm so glad we stayed out the last couple of minutes to witness that miracle. I have a lot of faith that it will work out and even if it doesn't , I know that God was at least showing us that He saw our efforts. Another awesome miracle we witnessed was yesterday during Easter. Holidays and Sundays are the best days to do tracting and find families at home so Motra White and I decided to go tracting and share an Easter video with people.. I'm sure you have all seen it by now. Its called "Because He Lives", and if you haven't seen it, I would advise you to do so because it's beautiful! Anyways, so as we were doing this we came across this man who opened the door. We asked if we could show him an Easter video and share a small message with him and his family. He told us he had to ask his wife (smart man haha) and get her permission. He came back and told us to come in and when we walked in his wife had THE BIGGEST smile on her face. We shared the video which brings the spirit so well and we testified a lot about the atonement and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The dad was super nice but said he's not a believer but we asked the wife and she said she is a HUGE believer, especially now. She went on to tell us that her and her family were driving earlier that day and it was raining and they almost got in a car accident but she prayed to God that he would save them and he did and then the same night we show up at her door. She said it was a miracle! That's why she had such a big smile on her face the second we walked in! She wants us to meet with her again this week so we planned another day and we are super excited to teach her more about Heavenly Father's love for her. Heavenly Father lead us to her house at exactly the right time and I'm sure of it. It wasn't a coincidence that she had that experience the same day that we decided to visit her house and knock on her door. I'm 100% sure that Heavenly Father was preparing her and I'm so lucky that he trusted me and Motra White enough to be the ones to teach her. Another awesome thing that I got to do this week was going on splits with the new sisters that just came into our mission. THEY ARE ALL SO AWESOME! I was super nervous at first, to be honest, because when we take them out it's their first experience of real missionary life. SO AWESOME:) But when we took them out they were so sweet and excited to be a missionary and I had a little flashback to when I had just came into the country and I realized how far I have actually come. I was having conversations with Albanians on the streets and was able to do a whole lesson. I am so excited to serve with these awesome sisters and I know that they have been called here for a reason and we are SO BLESSED to have them here. OK, one more awesome thing (sorry, there was so much that happened this week haha) We had an Easter activity with our ward and we invited all of our investigators and a ton of people. Ernesta (one of our investigators) asked if she could bring a couple of friends and of course we were super excited (thinking she would bring one or two) but SHE BROUGHT 5! We were so happy and so excited that she wanted to bring them and they seemed to have so much fun with the rest of the ward and one even said she wanted to come to church. Ok... i lied...I have one more awesome thing haha There is this recent convert that we have been trying to meet with for the past 3 months and she wouldn't meet with us. We went to her house this week and she still didn't seem to want to talk, but the night before the Easter activity I just decided to text her and at least invite her and put forth the effort even if she didn't seem interested and guess who showed up?? SHE DID and she was so happy and hung out with the ward and wanted to take pictures with us and then she came to church for the first time in three months!!! As I have been typing up this message I have realized even more how blessed we were this week. Wow, Heavenly Father is so amazing. I know that this email was kind of all over the place and not well written due to lack of time, but I hope you were able to get the jist of the amazing miracles I have witnessed this week and read how much Heavenly Father loves his children. Every. Single. One. of them. I know he loves me too and I have felt his love especially this week. I hope you all have too and if not, I encourage you to reflect back on your week because I promise you will be able to see Gods hand in your life everyday, because he is there and HE CARES. Have a good week. I love you. I pray for you. Me dashuri, your friend and Motra
"This was at the Easter activity with my ward. :)  It was so fun!!"