Monday, March 14, 2011

Life in Albania - Week 23

What up everyone!

Okie dokie. I will start with the questions. This email is gonna be super short :( Sorry. We don't have much time. We were in Tirana today cause Elder Merepeza had to go to the Hospital)

1. How about the obvious – your favorite question - how is the language going? J

haha it's not too bad this week. I am feeling a little better with it. I mean don't get me wrong. It still stresses me out more than anything else in my life, but the stress has gone down a little bit.

2. Have your English classes grown in numbers?

A couple more people came. It's not too bad though.

3. How is Marinela doing?

I think she is doing good but I'm getting worried cause it has been 2 weeks in a row that she didn't come to church. Last week's excuse was legit but I haven't heard this weeks excuse yet ha. But we have almost finished all of the lessons with her and she is doing great. I am really excited for her!

4. How about Rimi and his friends?

Rimi is so gosh dang confusing! Someday this kid will join the church. SOMEDAY! haha. Maybe not while I'm here but oh well. He is doing good on everything except the most important part--coming to church.

5. How is the weather there? When does it start to get warm? Are your seasons the same as ours?

It's starting to get warm here. In fact today is called "The first day of Summer" it's a HUGE festival. People are outside partying EVERYWHERE. There was a massive concert last night on the main street with all of the famous Albanian musicians and it went until like 5 in the morning haha. It was hard to sleep.

6. How is the family doing with the parents and two sons? Did you get to teach them last week?

We have gone to their house a few times this past week but they either weren't there or were super busy when we stopped by. I hope we can continue to do lessons with them!

7. Do all people live in apartment buildings there or do any people live in houses?

It's mostly apartment buildings but there are some private houses. They are rare though.

8. Can you believe you have almost been gone for 8 months? Does it feel like it has been that long, longer or what?

It is both. The days go by really slow. Weeks even go slow sometimes, but the months kinda fly by!


So yes. It is true. This week was much better for my stress levels haha. I think/hope that I have passed the lowest point of my mission ha.

I really don't have much time to write to you today but I will try to do a quick little overview of the week.

We started doing Family Home Evenings again for the whole branch instead of with individual families. I guess for a while they were doing them with everyone together (trying to build the habit) and then they tried to push it to having FHE in the homes of the members. It didn't go very well and so we decided it was more important that it at least happened and people were actually doing it than just simply not doing it at all. Not that many people came last week but we are hoping tonight we will have a nice big turnout! I'm excited! If you have any cool FHE ideas let me know! We already did one about the holy ghost and I am going to do the Iron rod one one of these weeks!

I went on an exchange with Elder Carver this week. He is the new missionary here. It was really cool because I was able to talk to so many people and he looked to me to know what I was doing and guess what?! I was actually making sense and people were understanding me! It was great haha. It really helped me feel like I have accomplished something.

I gave a talk yesterday at church on Charity. It went pretty well. A lot of people came up to me and told me it was good and that my Albanian has come a long way! Pretty cool that Dad and I talked in church on the same day huh?! There was 62 people at church on Sunday. Pretty dang good turn out. We have actually created a Branch Mission plan and if things go as planned (they will) we will have over 110 people in sacrament meetings in 6 months.

This past week I went to Tirana on Wednesday because Elder Merepeza had a training he had to go to because he is the District Leader. I was put with my old MTC companion Elder Anderson! It was awesome! He is actually an Office Elder right now. The only problem with me being with him that day was that there is a tradition. This tradition is that whoever goes to the office for the training exchange (this time it was me) is normally the one who gets put in the office for real! haha oh well. I guess I could handle being an office elder. Maybe I would actually learn how to be organized. It would just be so stinking hard to be an office elder for 6 months straight and only getting 2 hours of missionary work a day! Oh well. We will see what happens.

As far as our investigators go, things are going well.... all except for coming to church. All of them seem to be keeping reading and praying commitments but coming to church for them is super hard.

Kendra Louuuu- I take back what I said about Davies. Hopefully he is getting back on track.

Daddio- haha I'm glad you have been getting that longboard out again. I look forward to some more good stories from that. Don't hurt yourself though haha. It's good to hear that Ohio State is still the best at everything. haha Elder Merepeza and I celebrated your birthday yesterday with some Albanian birthday treats. It was pretty good stuff. Sorry you didn't get any of it! haha.

Mommmm- I did hear about the earthquake. It was pretty wild. I'm glad all of the missionaries are safe there! I have some friends serving in Japan right now! And Scott Cook is there! You know the Cooks from Columbus right? I am pretty jealous that I missed that amazing dinner that you made for Dad. Oh well. Hopefully I can get some of that before I go back to school next summer :)

Alrighty, that's all I can do for today. I'm sorry! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week. You guys ROCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!

-Elder Eckel

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