Hello there! I really enjoyed your email's! Thanks for writing me :)
1. So – your birthday is in about a month. What things would you like for us to send you? We probably need to do it soon since it has been taking you quite a while to get your boxes. Tell us some things you would like to have in the box as well as anything you might need.
I'm really not so sure ha. I don't really have a need for much right now. If you wanted to send some more pictures of me from school or something that would be cool? Maybe just have Alexis go through my facebook and pick some pictures off of there. People here LOVE looking at picture a TON. They love seeing America and for some reason care more about my life back home than I feel like they should haha. Oh, also if you could get some pictures of me playing soccer. They love soccer here haha.
2. Were you able to get your ATM card to work?
I haven't given it a try yet but I will try it today and make sure it works. Thanks for doing that :)
3. How is the language coming? Do you feel like your vocabulary has gotten any better this past week?
I really don't want to talk about the language right now but I guess I have gotten a little better.
4. I would think that with living with an Albanian companion and listening to him speak so much – that you would start talking more like him. Does that happen?
You would think that would happen ha. Maybe it hasn't happened just cause I've been with him for only a week or 2 but I don't know.
5. Where is your companion from? (What part of Albania?) How long has he been a member of the church? Does he have family that are church members?
He is from Tirana and has been a member for 3 years. He found the Church through doing English class. He is the only member in his family and is probably one of the most righteous people I know haha. It's pretty cool. I wish I could get to know him better but It's hard. I really do like him a lot and we have had a lot of success together. He speaks enough English that I COULD talk to him in English but he doesn't let us speak English until 9pm every day.
6. What kind of training did your companion get before his mission? You were in the MTC for 11 weeks mainly to learn the language. Since he doesn’t have to learn the language but needs to learn how to be a missionary, did he go to an MTC – if so where and how long was he there?
He went to England for a month and was taught in the MTC there.
7. How is Marinela doing?
Marinela is doing great. She accepted a baptism date! Originally it was planned for the 27th of March but she has changed it because she wants Elder Vance to baptize her and he couldn't come that day. We will see what day it actually happens. We are having 2 or 3 lessons with her a week. It's great.
8. How are Rimi’s friends doing? Were you able to teach them this week?
Rimi and his friends are doing good. Rimi actually started meeting with us again and he said he has a feeling that he can't truly receive blessings from God until he starts going to church, reading his scriptures, and praying and of course, getting baptized! So we think we are going to get a baptism date with him this week! Also, his friends are doing well. We met with them a few times this week. They don't fully understand the importance of the church yet but we are working with them. Little by little.
9. How did your English Class go? How many people came?
hahaha well we passed out thousands and thousands of fliers and were expecting at least 50 or 60 people to come so we set up TONS of chairs. Turns out that 3 people came haha. 1 was a member, 1 was Marinela, and the other was a random boy. So yeah haha. Not such a HUGE success but then for the Saturday class, 4 people came that didn't come on Wednesday.
1. Does your mission have a study / certification program?
We have something called the Missionary Progression Program and it has different tasks that we are expected to complete by certain transfers and we have to do certain things like memorize scriptures, scripture references, and teaching the lessons in Albanian to your companion. I have memorized a few scriptures (in albanian of course). There are different tasks for everything.
2. Would you like me to send the packs of magic cards?
That would be cool! I don't know if I will be able to do them anymore but I'll give it a shot! haha
Okay, so this week was pretty good. Very stressful but good. I have learned quite a bit but still feel completely worthless when it comes to the language haha. It's pretty crazy how many ups and downs there are on the mission. Not even just like good day and bad day but good hour and bad hour good minute and bad minute haha.
This week one thing that really hit me is all of the opportunities that God gives us in this work. Every time one of our lessons or appointments fell through, something amazing happened that wouldn't have happened if our lesson had worked out. For example, we were waiting to meet with a boy who we met in the road and he didn't end up coming so we were out in the street just talking to people and we ended up getting TONS of peoples phone numbers and so yeah. Things always work out for the better.
We also were supposed to have a lesson with Jona and Oli (rimi's friends) and they weren't able to come so we decided to go tracting. We weren't having much success but it was a 11 story building so we kept going down. When we got to floor 8, to make a long story short, Elder Merepeza accidentally flipped a switch that made all of the power go out in the whole building. haha When he tried to turn it back on, nothing happened. So we were going to leave. BUT right when we got to the bottom of the stairs, the lights came back on! We decided it would be good to go back up and keep tracting! Turns out that we met one couple who asked us to come back and they were REALLY interested. And then, the next floor down, We knocked on the door and a woman opens the door. I told her our short door approach and she asked us to come in. They had just moved here from Greece and were moving in. We asked if we could help them with anything but they said no. They had us sit down and we had a Zero lesson with them. The spirit was really strong and the mom was crying by the end of the closing prayer. It was a beautiful lesson and that family says they want to come to church and continue to meet with us. So, we are going to go back this week! They have a Mom, Dad and 2 sons. One of the sons doesn't believe in God but the rest were great.
I really don't have much else to say from this week. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They help me a lot.
JD- thanks for your email. It really touched me. You the best big bro evaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Ash- haha thanks for the pictures! and it sounds like you are getting OLD! You are so freaking OLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. Remember the days when we would play Mummy Time on the trampoline?! haha wow. Time flies.
Alexis- tell everyone at school that BYU is legit. And just cause we have the honor code doesn't mean we are crazy. It just means we have class haha. Not gonna lie, I never liked that Davies guy to begin with. Kendy told me that she didn't like him or something. And so yeah haha. It's a good enough reason for me to not like him. Maybe it wasn't her. I don't remember. Someone said they knew him in high school and didn't like him. Serves him right!
Kend- okay haha so Ashley sent me a picture of you and her at the Vincents house and when it was loading on the computer it loaded from the top of the picture to the bottom. So at first I could only see your faces and then it kept going lower and I was expecting to see your green sweatshirt sweater thing with purple jeans and blue shoes haha but NO! You looked like you were wearing clothes Ashley or Alexis would wear haha. I was so surprised! haha I liked it. Not that I didn't like your purple jeans and green hoody haha cause I did, but it was just funny. But then I remembered the last time you were going to meet my Aunt and I remember you made me take you back to your dorm so that you could change your clothes hahahaha. So you probably took hours to pick out that outfit for that night. You are crazy.
Dad- thanks for figuring out the whole debit card thing for me. You ROCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK. I'm excited for spring to come so I can hear more longboarding stories from you haha.
Mom- Your emails always scare me when you talk about you driving! Not that I don't trust your driving but.... quite frankly, I don't! Be careful! You already got in one bad accident since I have been on my mission. Don't get in anymore okay?!
I gotta go! My Albanian comp doesn't like email time! haha SO yeah. Later gators! GO BUCKEYES!