Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life in Albania - Week 5

Why hello family and friends! How ya'll doing?! haha yeah I said ya'll.

I'll start with the questions:

1. How is the weather? Is it getting cooler?

It's getting a little cooler. It is still really nice. I guess it will start to rain more coming up but "winter" here is like nice fall weather in Ohio. I love it.

2. Did the one girl get baptized yet or is that this weekend?

She has a baptismal date for the end of November. (Denisa)

3. Have you found any other people to teach?

We met a woman on the street who gave us her phone number and she said she wanted to come to church and we called her a bunch and she said she was coming so we went to the spot where we were going to meet her and she never showed up. We had a good first lesson this week but we haven't been able to contact them again yet.

4. About how many contacts do you make in a week – where you get to at least talk to someone?

hm.. It is different every week. Actually we wanted to count how many people we talked to in the street on wednesday and we talked to 43 people. So that is quite a few people. It's hard to go tracting on our side of the city because there are a ton of empty apartments in a every apartment building. It's a "newer" part of Vlore.

5. Do you mostly tract or do street contacting?

Woops, I guess I just kind of answered that. We do a little of both but doing street tables has been pretty effective. But I guess the MOST effective way of finding investigators is English Course. Our district has quite a few investigators from english course.

6. Are you still doing the English Classes 2-3x a week? Do you have any English teachers you would like for me to tell that you are teaching English to Albanians? J They might find that kind of funny!

haha Yeah we do them twice a week. You can go ahead and tell House or whoever else you come in contact with ha. it may even be funnier to find my spanish teachers and tell them I am teaching people how to speak english from a foreign language. They would think you are a liar.

7. Do you play the piano at all on Sundays?

A little bit. I get a little every week. I don't play like during church if that's what you are asking. Sister Hall (a missionary here) is way way good at piano. So yeah. I get to play a little though.

8. How are things going with your companion?

It's going awesome! I love elder warburton a ton! We get a long very well together and we teach well together. he allows me to be involved in our lessons.

9. Do you do splits or go with different elders very often?

We are supposed to be with the district leader twice a transfer so in our districts case, I go with him (hickson) twice and elder nollz twice. Although this week I got sent on a surprise transfer to a different city called Fier. It was pretty cool. I was with Elder Askuith and it was a lot different but I liked it a lot. The church is so new here! It's crazy to see how small the branches here are. I thought Vlore had a small branch. Fier has 15 people come every week.

10. Have you had a Zone Conference yet since you have been there?

Not yet. Although President Neil came to our branch this sunday which means that we had interviews. Interviews are cool. Basically President just checks up on us making sure we are doing okay and stuff. I really love President Neil. It will be sad when he leaves. But it's all good.


Okay! So yeah, It's been a good week here in Vlore. I got a letter from the bakers again! It was good to hear from them again and to hear how my 2nd family is doing haha.

This week we finally ended all of our housing troubles that we have been having. Our landlord that we currently have is AWFUL! so we have been doing some annoying things to get rid of that problem and finally it is over with which means more missionary work! Thank goodness. I'm glad that junk is over with haha. So yeah, we found a new apartment with a landlord that is AWESOME. President approved everything and now the Office elders are coming to Vlore tomorrow to sign the contract with the new Land Lord. Sweet :) I'm almost done in the Book of Mormon. It's interesting how much I LOVE this book. I hate reading any other book haha. But I can't put down the Book of Mormon. It is so amazing. I feel so good when I read it too. I can't even imagine my life without the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Warburton and I were talking about how the Bible is way awesome and stuff but how The Book of Mormon is just like so much more spiritually charged and interesting. I mean not taking anything away from the Bible because the Bible is way incredible but it isn't as pure of a translation as the Book of Mormon. And the Book of Mormon is so much easier to understand. Anyways, We also have been listening to Conference talks during lunch and stuff and the talks this session were so amazing. Every time I hear the same talk more than once I learn more from it than before (Just like the scriptures).

We went to Rinalds baptism on saturday which was so cool! He was baptized in the Adriatic Sea. It was so beautiful and amazing. Rinald is an awesome kid and will help the youth of the church here a lot. A lot of the branch came to his baptism too which was good. There were probably 25 people there! Awesome huh?

Elder Warburton and I are going to find some sweet Investigators this week. We were fasting yesterday and I just have a good feeling about this week. We will find people searching for the Gospel. Oh and I don't remember if I told you about the girl from last week how her dad wasn't allowing her to come to church anymore? Well she came to church yesterday! She is going to be an amazing addition to the youth as well! Please continue to pray for us. We have been working super hard to find people and we know as long as we keep trying, we will find someone.

Thanks for doing the iPod thing for me pops! I appreciate it a ton! I'm sorry it was time consuming and frustrating. I didn't want it to be a pain. I was thinking about Christmas as well and I think the food items that would be cool would be peanut butter, starbursts, sour candies, (they don't have any sour candy here! what the heck?!), and beef jerkey! haha Random I know. Thanks!

Uncle Mike's Seminary Class:

I think it is SO awesome that you are reading my weekly emails! I hope all of you are doing what you need to do to prepare for Missions (girls or guys). It is the most amazing thing you could ever do. Make the decision now that you are going to serve Heavenly father and realize that it is only a tithe of your life by the time you are 20. It is 2 years. And it is, from what I can tell already, going to be the most amazing two years that anyone could ever go through. I have grown so much closer to Heavenly Father and my testimony has been strengthened every day. I know how hard it can be to keep the standards of the Church in the world today, but I know that if you ask Heavenly Father for help, He WILL help you. One thing that I think you should all do, especially the boys, is to start reading Preach My Gospel. Take notes in the margins. Read the scripture refrences that are in it. It is a big book but it's incredible. I wish I would have taken advantage more fully of the things in that book. I think that by reading Preach My Gospel every day for 10 minutes and reading scripture references from it, you will be that much better of a Missionary by the time you are called to serve. Thank you all for your prayers. Have a good week! Be nice to my Uncle. He has guns and stuff!

Alexis- You got a 26 on the ACT? You are such a BALLER! You are totally going to get into BYU. I'm sad I won't get to be with you for your freshman year. Ashley is spoiled that she got to be there for mine and then she will be there for yours. I'm jealous. Have a good week kiddo! Sorry I can' write more. I'm glad you are holding the Ohio is great tradition. Call Kendy and talk to her about how awesome Ohio is okay? haha. She would love that.

Ash- HAHAHA I still can't get over the fact that you are a cub scout leader. It kills me. You two are perfect for that. I'm praying for you that you will pass this expensive test ha. Best of luck. I would take it for you but let's be honest. a) i'm in albania, and b) I'm Austin Eckel. So what good would that be for me to take your test haha.

Okay, Well I love you all! It's going to be a good week. Live it up!

Elder Eckel - Go Buckeyes!

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