Dear Family and Friends,
Përshëndetje! Si jeni? (Hi, how are you?) Thank you so much for the letters. It is really exciting when I get a letter. It's a little bit of news from the outside world. I have no idea what has been going on in the past month! I've been too busy studying the Gospel and Albanian! It is a weird feeling, but it is also really nice to just focus on one thing and not be bombarded with tons of other stuff. We had testimony meeting this last Sunday. It is like testimony meeting at home, except EVERYONE wants to give their testimony! This last testimony meeting felt a little different though. In our "zone" we have missionaries going to Albania, Hungary, and Finland, and it was the Hungarian's and the Albanian's last testimony meeting together, so it was pretty busy! OH! Albania has some exciting news!, the first stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be officially organized! All of us Albanians and our teachers are really excited!
It's so exciting that Debi Pinke is getting baptized! When I read that letter, I said, "Oh, sa mirë!" (oh, how good!) out loud. Tell her congratulations, and send her my love. Kate had her baby?? Tell Kate and Matt congratulations from me! That is wonderful!
My branch presidency got reorganized a couple weeks ago. It was strange, because I had only known them for about two weeks, but it was hard to say goodbye. I had truly gained a love for them! My old branch president (President Anderson) was amazing, and my new branch president (President Hutchings) is amazing too! They have two very different personalities, but they both have a strong love of the Gospel and they have a strong love for each one of us. President Hutchings drives us to keep improving, to never be complacent. He does so in a very loving way and he has inspired me to be the best missionary that I could possibly be! But I do miss President Anderson.
Elder Bangerter and I set the goal to speak only Albanian after March 1st, and we have been doing it. But it is so hard! Then on top of this difficult goal, I became senior companion in our companionship. So now I have more responsibility to make sure Elder Bangerter and I are progressing and preparing for our investigators. And then Elder Bangerter and I had an interview with Brother Garr, a member of the branch presidency. It was our half-way interview and he was asking us about how we got along and how things were going. Then he told us to teach him the Joseph Smith story in about 4 minutes. Teaching in English is super easy! Brother Garr said we did exceptionally well, and then he called Elder Bangerter and me to be the new Zone Leaders. So let's recap: I have spoken nearly all Albanian for the past 5 days, I have more responsibility and leadership in our companionship, and then I was given a large responsibility over 30 some missionaries... I enjoy reading from the Book of Enos. Most of the strong spiritual experiences I have had in life have been through prayer! I can definitely feel the power of prayer in my life, especially now that I'm on my mission. I prayed to ask the Lord to help me. Now I feel more confident in my language abilities. I feel peace and comfort, and I know that God will help me. He has called me to go to Albania and He will help me to understand Albanian and He will help me to fulfill all of my responsibilities. I am grateful for the trust that the Lord has in me, and I need to return that trust as well. Just like Nephi said, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7). I know that God has given me this commandment to preach His Gospel, and I know that He will help me do it.
Thank you so much for the love and support!