Hello My Family!
Now it is time for me to tell you more about what it is like here at the MTC. Its so strange for me to think that I really have been here at the MTC for exactly a month, here in a couple of hours and that my halfway point is Friday. I can't believe how time has flown by- the days are long but the weeks are short. I love feeling the Spirit all of the time, I love learning about the gospel, and I love teaching. I think that is one of the biggest things that I have learned about myself while here at the MTC...I love teaching! Although I struggle to adequately express myself in Shqip (Albanian in Albanian) I am getting to the point where it is easier to express myself in their language. It is a beautiful language, more opened minded in the way you can speak the thoughts and feelings of your heart- it's almost like poetry. For example, to say the word smile it is buzeqesh which translates into "laughter of the lips" and another interesting thing...the phrase endure to the end is translated as durimit deri ne fund where deri means through, so it is saying endure through the end instead of just to the end. I think that is so much better- you need to endure through the end, not just to it. The language has been a bit of a struggle, just because it is so different but my biggest trial right now is my companion. I don't want to complain too much but I just want to let you know that it has been hard for me. She came from a very rich family, has the type of personality that is extremely annoying to me (just think Brittany Christensen with a lot of money...and yes crazy makeup and all but minus the immodest clothing). She is very nice, no complaints there, it has just been hard for me to teach myself not to judge others by how they look- and more importantly see others not as they are but as they can become.
Everyday, we teach one of our investigators in Shqip (we have three now- Aldo, Mihal and Linda) as well as we get to be investigators and act like them. That has been a huge learning experience for me to try and image how it feels to be an investigator and feel what it is like to learn from the missionaries. (We also get to pick everything about what kind of investigator we are) My name is Sarah and I am 25- I grew up in a very active family, but after moving away from home I lost my testimony and have been drifting for a while. I know that something is missing in my life but I feel that the answer is definitely not the LDS church. I was a referred to the missionaries by my older brother who was concerned about me. Now I feel I am bitter toward the church and don't really want to hear their message. It's been hard for me to try and think that way but it has made me think a lot about what I truly know and what my testimony is right now.
Another great opportunity I had this last week was to stay with my other companion Sisar Clifford (a sister going to Finland) while she was sick. As hard as it was missing class, being able to talk with her and comfort me taught me a lot about charity and the love and concern our Father in Heaven feels for us. I almost can't believe how much more compassion and love I have for others now that I have become a missionary. Just this morning we said good bye to her, because now she is healthy enough to go and be a missionary. It was sad, but it was good! She taught me a lot about enduring to the end and having faith that everything will work out in the end. She was sick, literally the entire time she has been here at the MTC. She even had to go home for a week and half to have surgery and get her tonsils out. She hated it, but she was able to help a lot of people and if nothing else I learned a lot from her.
Now I want to share some really random but cool things that have happened here: I have fallen in love with running and during gym I can go for miles ( I also use that time to learn new vocab while speaking to my companion in Shqip- so it's a win-win situation), I have been working hard and can now do 8 pull-ups (pretty sure I want to set the record for the Sister with the most pull-ups in the gym since there is no record for the Sisters), I have fallen in love with eating Cream O' Wheat with chocolate chips- its is basically the best thing I have ever eaten, there are more Sisters than Elders in my Branch (which is crazy considering at one point my old comp Sisar Cliffor was the only Sister in the branch), I love speaking Albanian, everyone thinks I am 21 because I act so mature (and they all are very aware that my companion is only 19...it's makes me feel good that I am not acting as immature at the rest of the 19 year old missionaries), I never have enough time to do what I want but it all works out in the end.
Well, that's about all I can think of right now. It's great hearing from all of you. I still haven't heard from the little boys, Danielle or Aaron yet so some word from them would be nice. Again, I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again. If I didn't answer some of your questions I apologize, I will try next week. Feel free to ask again.
P.S. Pictures are near impossible to send from here so you might have to wait until I get out to receive any. Me vijn keq shume. I am so sorry!