Albania ♥

Albania ♥

Monday, September 28, 2015

I'll go where you want me to go..

     On Saturday Sister Bennett and I waited anxiously to find out our next adventure. President called us and told me that I am leaving Tirana, but not only leaving Tirana, I'm leaving Albania! Yes... I'm headed to Kosovo for this next transfer. I will be with another one of the Sisters that I was in the MTC with, Sister Fuller. I am beyond excited and cant wait to get out there. I hear it's a different world up there, but all will be well. It's where Heavenly Father needs me right now so I'm ready to go. 
     It was sad saying goodbye to first ward though. I didn't think there was any more room in my heart to love the people there after fourth ward, but boy was I wrong. Church was bitter sweet and I am going to miss the people in First ward A LOT. I was worried that I hadn't really made a huge dent in the work there for only being there for three months, but before we left church on Sunday the Bishop pulled me and Sister Bennett into his room to thank me for the work I did there and for the example I was setting for his daughter and his family as a missionary. Sister Bennett and I were both almost in tears. It was just a sweet moment. 
     Speaking of the work here though, this week was really awesome. On Tuesday we had a district meeting and one of the Elders was talking about how he was talking to Elder Charles (of the 70) last week about how he could have more success in his area and in the work. Elder Charles had told him that one thing that would bless him would be to talk in Albanian ALWAYS.  When you are outside of the house and to only talk about Church related things so Sister Bennett and I both wanted to try it. So that's how we started this week. and we immediately saw blessings from it... 
     Per shembull: We were doing some street contacting this week. Sister Bennett and I had an hour and a half planned out to do street contacting outside of our center so that we could pull people in for lessons again. We said a prayer before and were feeling very confident that we would be able to find someone. 45 minutes into talking to every person that passed, a 17 year old girl walked by me.  Her name is Sil.  We started talking and I invited her to have a lesson right then and she accepted. She then told us that she had been having a rough couple of weeks and that people at school had been giving her a rough time. She also said that right when she was feeling the most sad, I stopped her and talked to her. "It was perfect!" she said. We had an awesome first lesson and invited her to be baptized. She accepted and is on a baptismal date right now for next month! After our lesson she told us that she felt so much happier and excited to meet again! 
     That same day we had a lesson planned with a referral from other missionaries with a 61 year old woman named Lej. She had received a flyer the other week inviting her to our Stake Conference and SHE WENT! She said she didn't really know what it was for, but that it looked interesting and she loves Jesus Christ so why not haha She ended up loving it and afterwards someone got her number and later found out she was in our area and sent her to us.  This woman is AMAZING. The spirit was so strong as we were teaching her and we could tell she has real intent and really loved the church. She even ended up coming to church this Sunday and loved it. I love hearing stories of how such amazing people came in contact with the church because it's just proof that God prepares his children and leads them to where they need to be. Somehow everyone will find their way:) 
     We also had an awesome experience at the hospital this week. We went to go visit a member there who was having some health problems. The whole family was talking a lot about the Plan of Salvation, Temples and the Gospel.  One of the family members turned to another lady in the same room that was a patient there waiting to get surgery the next day and explained who we were because I guess the lady gave her a funny look when she heard American accents. haha We ended up saying a prayer all together and then afterwards we encouraged her that Heavenly Father would take care of everything. She told us she felt a lot better and we left her with our number and told her to call us so that we could receive news as to how her surgery went. She told us thank you a billion times with tears in her eyes and I could tell that she really felt the Spirit, because we did also.  It was really an awesome experience and a tender mercy for all of us. 
     There's been a lot of experiences this week that have strengthened my testimony of the Plan of Salvation. While helping members prepare for the temple and do work for their family members that have passed away, I have felt the Spirit testify to me so strongly that their loved ones are waiting so patiently and excitedly to have their work done. Tears filled my eyes when I heard a member talk about how she was going to baptize her father and her brother because I know that they were so happy and I could feel it. 
     Heavenly Fathers plan is so perfect and really is the plan of happiness. I'm thankful for the knowledge I have that I will be able to live with my family forever and that we will all be able to see our loved ones again. I know that there is life after death and I know that Heavenly Father loves all of us. 
    I love you and hope you have a fantastic week. 
Lots of Love from Albania (and soon to be Kosovo!)

"Sisters conference :)))) pictures with my 'Mother' and my 'Daughter'"

"Our generations picture"

"MTC group (Minus Elder Medv.).  Reunited again ♥"

"Cool Albania"

"Lots of Love"

"My cute buddy Franklin :).  I'm going to miss this Goofball♥"

"Saying goodbye to the Keqja fam ♥"

"Learning how to make Byrek with the help from the Kapja fam ♥"

"Then they made us a DELICIOUS LUNCH ♥ Mmmmm"

"Pday adventures:)"

"Sisters Conference♥"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When Faith Endures..

"I will not doubt, I will not fear;
God's love and strength are always near.
His promised gift helps me to find
an inner strength and peace of mind. 
I give the Father willingly
My trust, my prayers, humility,
His Spirit guides; his love assures
that fear departs when faith endures"
We found two new investigators (or  "friends" as our Mission President calls them) this week or I guess you could say that Heavenly Father gave us two new friends. We had a member call us this week and tell us that he had someone interested in learning about the Gospel.   The next day we went over to have a lesson with her. To our excitement, there were actually two girls interested.  X and L and they are awesome! When we invited them to be baptized, they both said with confidence "PO! kur?" (Yes! when?) We set a date and they are super excited. They had both planned on coming to church on Sunday with the member family, but only the dad came and he told us that their car was not working and he had to ride his bike there. SO we'll make sure they are there next Sunday, but it was a huge blessing that we are able to teach them.  We have a lot of faith that they will continue to take lessons and be baptized.
Also, our investigator Za finally came to church! It has been a couple weeks since we started teaching her and this was her first time partaking of the sacrament. Luckily she has a member friend that grabbed her in the morning and walked with her to church. She left after church because she cant leave her mom at home for very long by herself, (she's in her 80's and cant move around by herself) but we were able to talk to her for a little bit after sacrament and she had had a great experience and loved it. Of course she did because Elder Charles (a member of the Quorum of the 70) spoke and it was amazing!  In his talk he had said that someone asked him when he was on his mission if he was having fun and he answered "No. Missions aren't just fun. But I'm having the most amazing experience of my life and I'm the happiest I've ever been" (now don't quote me on that because it wasn't exactly word for word, but it was to that sense).  I can testify also that this is the most amazing thing I've ever done and the best decision I've ever made, to serve a mission.
I love my mission even more with every day that passes. The more I learn and the closer that I get to my Heavenly Father, the happier I am.
This is God's work and I see his hand in every aspect of every day. I am thankful that I get to serve Him and that I have the privilege of knowing that I am a child of God and that He loves me. 
"Sweet Vera gave me flowers for my 20th Bday :)"

"Albania is cool"

"We did service for Motra Muriza and helped her clean her rugs. hahaha
She kept telling us we were doing it wrong...oops.  But she was grateful
that we were trying ;) "Shume Mire Motra, Shume mire""

"We got this pic from our service project in Shkoder...way back when :)"

Monday, September 14, 2015


First of all I cant thank my Heavenly Father enough for the blessings in my life and for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. 
    The past couple of weeks have been pretty slow here as far as investigators go.  We have a mission goal that we will all pray with faith and work to find a new investigator every week. Our District leader Elder Schramm said to us "Pray like it all depends on the Lord and ACT like it all depends on you".  So we did just that. In every prayer we prayed for the Spirit to guide us to these people, and for the strength to do what needed to be done. We spent hours tracting, street contacting, and working through members to find this new investigator. We tried our best to listen to the Spirit to let Heavenly Father guide us. We would feel certain that we needed to go to a certain place and nothing. Not a single person would let us in, but I've learned now on my mission, that the blessings don't always come when we expect them to or when we want them to.   I know more than ever that everything is in God's hands which means its in HIS timing. 
    It was getting close to the end of the week and we still hadn't found an investigator. Our Zone Leaders called us and they said that they wanted to go street contacting with us so we could work together to find some new investigators. Since we cant teach men and they cant teach women we agreed that if they talked to a female we would give the lesson and if it was a male we would let them. We went close to our center that we use for lessons and stood outside on the street and literally just invited people to have a 10 minute lesson with us. We agreed that we were going to stay out and contact until we had at least one lesson. Within ten minutes of contacting Elder Anderson, our Zone leader, waved us down and introduced us to a man  and his wife.  We had an AMAZING first lesson with them and set a date for us to meet again. They both were very interested and asked for a Book of Mormon before we had offered it.  As we walked outside we stopped another girl (M) and asked her if she had a couple minutes for a lesson and she accepted without hesitation. We had a short first lesson with her also and she said she wanted to meet this week.  At the end of our contacting we exchanged numbers with the Elders of people who were interested but didn't have time to meet right then. We called those numbers that night and had another lesson set up for the following morning with a 20 year old girl (A).  Our lesson was really awesome. She asked lots of questions and we were able to answer them by listening to the Spirit and paying close attention to what she needed to hear. So in the last two days of the week we were able to find 4 new investigators. They didn't come when we thought they would, but we trusted in Heavenly Father knowing for ourselves that if we did our part we would be blessed. AND WE WERE! Like Russell M. Ballard said "You can never do more for the Lord than He can do for you" 
     We also were blessed with a really good lesson with our other investigator Z. We have invited her to be baptized about 4 times now and every time she just says that shes not ready, but the more we meet with her (and we try to meet with her everyday haha) the more she opens up to us and the more comfortable she feels telling us her doubts. The last lesson we had with her we were able to listen/ follow the Spirit and discern her needs. She still didn't accept a date but she was able to open up to us and tell us the real reason why was because her husband was against it. After the lesson Sister Bennett and I walked out the door and hugged each other because we were so excited!  We had finally found the real reason and we had felt the Spirit so strong.  We knew that she had to. Ya, maybe she didn't accept a date, but everything doesn't have to go the way we want it to for it to be right. (A lesson I'm learning)
    "Sweet is the work, my God, My King, 
     To Praise thy name, give thanks and sing,
     To Show thy love by morning light,
     And talk of all thy truths at night" 

Sweet is the work here in Albania and I'm a thousand times grateful that I get to be a part of it. I cant say it enough.

"Some inspirational graffiti :)"

"Saw some old friends from T4 ♥ Cloud 9"


"It has been a YEAR since I had any type of American food...YUM!"

"I went all out.... hahahaha"

Monday, September 7, 2015


I'm just going to hop right into our cool experiences:) 
"Mimika hunting" 
So there is this less active member that Sister Bennett and I have been trying to track down for... about three months now (basically since I got here).  We have tried calling her, we've tried going over to her house many many times, we've tried taking members with us and we've tried having members call her but nothing. She never answers her phone and she is never home.  We have been so determined to find her. Last time we went to her house she wasn't there once again. We were about to leave and catch the bus but I had an idea pop into my head that we needed to walk and we would find her. It was a little late so it was starting to get darker and it was harder to see peoples faces from far away. I told Sister Bennett the feeling I had and we both had a feeling we needed to walk on a certain side of the road so we did. She looked on the other side of the road to make sure we didn't miss her and I looked straight ahead. I had no doubt that we were going to find her, we just didn't know when so we needed to be ready haha. Ten minutes into our walk guess who was walking right towards us on the same side of the road?! I think we kind of surprised her by the expression on her face but she said she wanted to meet. We knew that we needed to set up an appointment right then or she wouldn't answer her phone.  We said we would come the next day at a specific time, she accepted and we were able to meet with her. It was so awesome to see the Lord just place her in our path or I guess he places US in her path, but I know it was the spirit that told me we needed to walk.

The Gift of Tongues
We had an exchange this week with our sister training leaders.  I got the privilege of going back to my "hometown" Tirana fourth ward with Sister White. We had some really awesome lessons and it was fun to serve with her again in T4. That night we were leaving a lesson and heading to another when we passed this woman that  we said Hi to. Sister White had a feeling we needed to go back and so we headed back. We were both a little nervous to talk to her again because we made an awkward turn around. (kind of like when you re at school and you realize you re headed the wrong way and have to make an awkward spin nonchalantly haha)   We were headed straight towards her. We awkwardly said hello again and she luckily replied with a friendly smile. We had an awesome conversation with her about missionary work and our beliefs. Her sister in law came over after that and we were able to talk to her a little bit too. They didn't seem interested in lessons but they said that they would be in the same place the next couple of days and they would be interested in having a Book of Mormon. After that we were walking away when two older men stopped us and we had another awesome conversation with them. We left them with pass along cards. We left them and then all of a sudden a guy stopped us and started speaking to us in Italian. We asked him if he spoke English and by the look on his face when we said "DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?" was enough to tell us he didn't. We basically communicated with him by playing charades, pointing, and talking really really slow. Surprisingly we were able to find out that he is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is a missionary for his church and he has been in Albania for 3 months. His name is Marcos, and he speaks Italian, Portuguese, and a little Spanish. We tried teaching him about the Book of Mormon by using the five works we knew in Spanish and English/Albanian. We told him we could get him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he gave us his contact information.   I'm sure it was the funniest/ most interesting thing to watch but as we walked away we realized that a conversation just took place with someone who spoke no English or Albanian and two Americans who spoke no Portuguese and we were still able to spread the Gospel. It was a huge Gift of Tongues moment. Gods work will go forward no matter what! :) 
Lets just go for it
After a lesson one night Sister Bennett had a feeling that we needed to go try to find our recent converts house. She hadn't answered our phone calls in two weeks.  We didn't know what else to do because she had never wanted us to come over to her house so we didn't know where it was. As soon as she suggested the idea we both got chills and knew that it was Heavenly Father telling us that is what we needed to do. So we went without hesitation. The crazy part was that a map was written for her house but basically only told us the part of town she lived at, so we were basically going into this blind. We decided that we would go to that part of town and ask people if they knew her and where she lived like someone had suggested we do. We got to where the map lead us and we asked and asked and everyone just said "this town is huge, How am I supposed to know her?" but we still knew that this was where Heavenly Father wanted us. We prayed again for guidance and felt to walk a certain way on the road.   We tried texting Sister Peters (my last companion) who had been to her house once and in the mean time, we prayed some more and we finally came to the conclusion that we needed to do some tracting. Standing on the side of the road asking wasn't getting us anywhere. We started tracting and then we got a phone call from Sister Peters who desperately tried to remember and explained to us where she lived.  Finally we found what fit the description she was telling us. We were so excited we had found it and walked speedily up 7 flights of stairs. We got to her door and knocked and knocked and knocked and knocked and no answer. We went to all of her neighbors on her floor and still nothing. We called her and still no answer so we left a card so she would know that we had stopped by. Even though we weren't able to talk to her or find her we still both left knowing/feeling that we had done what Heavenly Father had wanted us to do. 

As you can see it was an awesome week full of cool experiences by being led by the Spirit. Sometimes we saw the immediate effect of our efforts and sometimes we didn't and that's life, but I know that everything happens for a reason and that when we give it all we have, Heavenly Father will do the rest. He will lead us, he will guide us, and he will comfort us in all aspects of our lives. I'm thankful for His guidance and His spirit I felt so strongly this week. ALL IS WELL. ♥♥ Motra Cheshire

" My excitement when I got my birthday package!! :)"

"First of all...I LOVED MY PACKAGE!!!  Seriously, I have the best parents in the world.
It was perfect and so CUTE! haha  Sister Bennett was dying and I couldn't stop smiling.  I had to
change into my pajamas right then and take a picture! :) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!  best
birthday present EVER!" Yay!! This makes ME (her Momma)  happy! ♥

"I got to go serve in Tirana 4th ward for a day and see these cuties ♥♥
I have missed them tons.  Good ol T4."

"We did service by cleaning up trash by a river that goes down through all of Tirana.
The river is known for having an extremely unpleasant odor and the hobos are always chilling there. haha
We also didn't have gloves, so it made it so much funner! ;)  I was holding the garbage bag and
an Elder picks up this nasty garbage sack that had brown stuff all over it.  I thought it was mud until
he gagged and put it in my bag and I got a whiff of it.  I had to set the bag down and walk away because
I was dry heaving. haha I'm pretty sure it was hobo poop!  So ya the
service project was a hoot and a half ;)" 

"Sister Bennett and I were feeling fancy one night. (Apricot juice.  YUMM!)"

"My delicious salad mmmmmm"

"Some more Albanian sunsets...sorry I just think they are so beautiful"