My (Literal) 15 Minutes of Fame

WildKat Formation

Last weekend may have been the most bizarre, surreal, exhilarating 48 hours of my life.

Giving my speech, "Becoming A Citizen of the World" Giving my speech, “Becoming A Citizen of the World”

TEDx Tirana was an incredible experience thanks to lots of hard work by all the terrific speakers and staff. Earlier that week, I had started to get really nervous about my speech–and by “got nervous” I mean I experienced a series of minor mental breakdowns–but after a comfortable rehearsal on Friday afternoon, I was on cloud nine. Giving the speech itself was a lot of fun and people had really nice things to say afterward. I also had the opportunity to meet some really impressive people, both my fellow speakers (including the former first Lady of Albania, architects, artists, CEOs, doctors, fellow expats, etc.) and those who attended the event. However, it wouldn’t’ve been the same if I hadn’t had some awesome friends attend with me…

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Welcome to my last area

Elder SnowHey! You won’t believe where I am… I am in an area called Calvario! RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO CUCHUMATANES! Right next door to where I started my mission! I am neither ZL DL or Trainer… I am with a good buddy of mine Elder Rodriguez from Mexico. I met him when I went to Momos for the first time. It is an honor to have him kill me. =)

I am actually opening up this area… Elder Rodriguez and I (somehow) were specially assigned here! I heard rumors that it was an assignment from Elder Clarke… but who knows. It’s challenging opening up an area! But it’s possible. We are doing a great job! We share the area ( >=(  ) with the Zone Leaders.

I can finally just focus on my area, without having to worry about other missionaries or taking dats. It is WONDERFUL! It is such a blessing being in the area right next to where I was born.

The best part is being able to see the fruits of my labors in Cuchu at the same time.

I see soo many Cuchu members all the time and they all FREAK OUT when they see me. It is a lot of fun =). It’s fun to see what influence I had there. There is this hermana that washed our clothes there, and she was like my mom in the mission at that point, and always fed us etc., and I came back and she was inactive! BUT I visited her, and she freaked out as well, and came to church this Sunday and said she loved it. I bought her some flowers to help her feel better (for the reason as to why she went inactive, hopefully that helps).

Our house is awesome though! It has a huge backyard… and there are chickens who give us free eggs!

I have finally learned how to set goals… Elder Rodriguez and I, despite opening an area, want to have 2 baptisms before I go. He is a good guy, and has been a friend of mine my whole mission. He says he wants to give me a baptism before I go =). That would be awesome.

Here is another landscape of Huehue... from the Calvario perspective

Here is another landscape of Huehue… from the Calvario perspective

Here is a photo of Elder Brito and our new flooded house =) We got there and EVERYTHING was soaked. We spent the whole day, (the ZLs too, awesome of them) cleaning and drying.

Here is a photo of Elder Brito and our new flooded house =) We got there and EVERYTHING was soaked. We spent the whole day, (the ZLs too, awesome of them) cleaning and drying.

Mopping up

Mopping up

Here is the chicken who officially has laid 22 eggs for us!!

Here is the chicken who officially has laid 22 eggs for us!!

 

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Transfers are coming again

Elder SnowTanner Comes home next week, then I’m pretty sure I’m next! Oh my dear Barbara.

Until then, we are busy. Elder Clarke from the Church’s Missionary Department is visiting and that has kept us busy. Apart from being in the choir, I will be in charge of passing microphones around to people who want to participate! Hahaha!! So it should be fun!

This week, I have changes–one more transfer and I still have changes. That came out of nowhere… but I don’t care… lets just get this over with. I just want to work, and not deal with Zone Leader drama. Who knows where I am going.

I am so pooped. IDK why, but I am. I think it might be zone leader stuff. I s’pose I’ll tell you all what happened to me next week, but right now I am just kind of in the air. Oh well.

Have a good week. Wish me luck with the Elder Clarke conference.

-Elder Snow

SO after choir practice we went to the museum in Xela Centro, and i took this picture of central park.

SO after choir practice we went to the museum in Xela Centro, and I took this picture of central park.

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You Should Go To Macedonia

WildKat Formation

If I’m being honest, I never would have chosen to visit any country in eastern Europe if I hadn’t been assigned to Peace Corps Albania. Like most Americans, when I used to think of eastern Europe my mind conjured up black-and-white images of communist soldiers marching with eerie precision, graffiti scribbled on the walls of crumbling buildings, and–as a friend put it–“poverty and tears.” Never would I ever have expected to find so much BEAUTY in this part of the world, from the nature to the history to the culture. So now that I’m here, I’ve made it a goal to visit as many of the Balkan countries as I can: Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Greece, because there truly is some amazing stuff to be seen.

I’ve been to Kosovo only once, on a hitch-hiking journey with a friend up to the Tropojë region of…

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City life

Elder SnowI am two weeks into my new area, with a new companion. Elder Rodas was born in Guatemala, but moved to Honduras when he was 12. He is a great teacher, and is extremely obedient… thank goodness. We are good pals already! We get along really well. He’s hilarious.

He told me that the first week that I was there in Central, we worked harder in that one week than he had the whole month of March. This area is awesome! Rich, food giving members who give references! Its pretty awesome!

The hardest part is telling people that I will end my mission here. That being the case, I am the best missionary I have ever been. More obedient than ever, more hard working… and I have such short time to do so. 2 changes left. That’s nothing!! I’ve gotta get to work!We catch a lot of attention because we are in the same group. Especially since our missions are coming to a close. We officially have 22 months. Ridiculous… The good thing is that we have found some new families who want to be baptized, so our goal is leaving this area having baptized a family. We can do it! We are excited!

Thank you for everything. Have a great week!

So here is the funny story of the week about htis area. We had lunch with a member this week, and once we got there he said that he had to go, and couldn't prepare us lunch, so he just gave Elder Rodas and I a Q100 bill, and said just buy whatever you want. Q100!!! That was crazy go nuts! So we went to McDonalds and got ourselves an American lunch. I couldn't believe what happened, but it was pretty cool.

So here is the funny story of the week about this area. We had lunch with a member this week, and once we got there he said that he had to go, and couldn’t prepare us lunch, so he just gave Elder Rodas and I a Q100 bill, and said just buy whatever you want. Q100!!! That was crazy go nuts! So we went to McDonalds and got ourselves an American lunch. I couldn’t believe what happened, but it was pretty cool.

Another good thing about being in Xela centro is that we are fairly close to the Temple. We brought about 10 investigators there last week at night-time, and I took this pic. Its super tight... I heart the temple.

Another good thing about being in Xela centro is that we are fairly close to the Temple. We brought about 10 investigators there last week at night-time, and I took this pic. Its super tight… I heart the temple.

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It’s The Little Things

WildKat Formation

The most exciting–and sometimes intimidating–thing about my life in Albania is the fact that I wake up every morning not knowing what each day will bring. I can’t ever be sure of when I’ll come home, how I’ll feel, or what I will have accomplished (or not accomplished) from the time I leave the door. Most of the time, each day passes easily on to the next, but with little heartwarming or devastating or strange stories sprinkled throughout. It’s the little things, really, that make my life what it is here.

My first walk to school. My first walk to school.

I have at least one ritual that I can rely on: the walk to school in the morning. I take the same route every day, pass the same buildings, see the same people, and dodge the same cars. It’s oddly comforting when everything else is so uncertain. So I’d like to share this, because…

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Last week in Momos

I went on Divisions to a place called Pancà, where the largest waterfall is in Momos and I took pics there with Elder Hurtado from Peru, and Jackson, the dog that followed us along the whole way, and protected us from the other meaner dogs.

I went on Divisions to a place called Pancà, where the largest waterfall is in Momos and I took pics there with Elder Hurtado from Peru, and Jackson, the dog that followed us along the whole way, and protected us from the other meaner dogs.

To get back to Momos we had to get in the back of a pick-up at 5am, and drive for about an hour or so back to Momos. It was a successful division though. We found 3 new investigators.

To get back to Momos we had to get in the back of a pick-up at 5am, and drive for about an hour or so back to Momos. It was a successful division though. We found 3 new investigators.

 i almost forgot about the baptism that we had... Remember how we went to Nimsitùj for that training and we found that lady that was not a member? Well, she got baptized on Saturday. I have never met a more sincere woman. And despite the fact that she can't read, and cannot speak Spanish, she still had great desires, was completely sincere, and understood the language of the Spirit. She is actually quite faithful. Smarter than I thought! She understood the lessons perfectly well. Oh my goodness, that sounded awful... I cannot express myself in English anymore. All you need to know is that she is really awesome/pilas.

I almost forgot about the baptism that we had… Remember how we went to Nimsitùj for that training and we found that lady that was not a member? Well, she got baptized on Saturday. I have never met a more sincere woman. And despite the fact that she can’t read, and cannot speak Spanish, she still had great desires, was completely sincere, and understood the language of the Spirit. She is actually quite faithful. Smarter than I thought! She understood the lessons perfectly well.
Oh my goodness, that sounded awful… I cannot express myself in English anymore. All you need to know is that she is really awesome/pilas.

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