Sunday, April 10, 2011

Life in Albania - Week 25

Hello there family! How the heck are ya'll!? I will start out with the questions!

1. You mentioned that nine missionaries are coming pretty soon. That is a lot – do you have 9 leaving or are you going to have more missionaries than you have had in the past?

Actually only 1 is leaving this transfer and so yeah we will be able to open a few more areas this transfer. But next transfer 14 missionaries are leaving! We find out about transfers this Saturday! I hope I stay really bad. I love Elbasan!

2. Do Albanians celebrate Easter? I’m guessing not since there are so many Muslims.

Eh.. Not really. And by not really, I mean no haha.

3. How is Arjeta’s Mom doing with her lessons? Is she still planning on getting baptized?

We actually just had a lesson with her about 3 hours ago. She is doing awesome. Her baptismal date is now for the 23rd of april. We are so excited for her! The lesson today was awesome.

4. How are Jona/Oli doing?

They are doing well. They didn't come to church this week either but they are progressing and continue to have great questions for the concepts which we teach.

5. When you got the package from Baker’s – were there pictures in the package of when all of you were really young?

There were only a few pictures. I was only in 1 of them but there was one of Ash and Colin when they were young. Good stuff though! ha

6. Oh – I can’t forget the big question – how is the language coming? Have you learned any new phrases, words, etc.?

Of course! I learn new words and phrases every day and from what I hear, my language accent is getting better. I have progressed a lot this transfer.

7. Did you do a Family Home Evening yet for the branch?

Yep! We have done one every week for the past 3 weeks. In fact, we just finished one an hour or 2 ago. It was awesome! Besides the fact that I busted my hand and my knee open, it was a blast! haha. I guess that's what happens when you try to play kick the can as if you are in gym clothes when wearing a suit haha.

8. Are their 4 missionaries in your branch?

Yep! But we think another area might be opened here this transfer. Elder Merepeza and I are leading the mission right now in numbers every week and Elbasan is the strongest branch right now. President will probably take advantage of this time and throw some more missionaries here.

9. How is Olsi doing?

He's doing good. He came to a branch activity we had on Saturday night and I think he really enjoyed himself. His dad isn't too up for the idea of him coming to church yet but hopefully things will change.

10. Do you know where your new Mission President that will be coming in July is from?


11. Will you get to watch General Conference next weekend?

We get to watch it online from what I hear. I'm not sure


Okay. This week was way awesome.

I will start with the fun stuff!

On Wednesday, we had a training in Tirana. President told us to wear t shirts and jeans. We were all a little confused but none the less we followed the orders haha. So we get to Tirana and have the training which was awesome. I have come to find that I am way better at the language than I thought. And we learned a ton about how we can be better teachers. We were still confused as to why we wore these clothes. At the end, President said: "Okay Elders, this may sound weird, but I had an Idea in the shower the other day that we should go bowling" hahahaha I love President Neil. He is so awesome. So bowling we went! And then he treated us to lunch. It was awesome. But then we made it back to Elbasan to do our English class. It was a nice stress reliever though!

Today we took our district trip to Pogradec again! I love that place. I can't wait till missionaries get to go there! I hope I can serve there! I got some awesome pictures but I don't have time to send them now. I am gonna make a CD of all my pictures and send them to Kendy and she can shoot them over to you all!

Now for some bad news... So for the last week and a half we haven't been able to get in contact with Marinela (the perfect investigator). We got a little worried and so we went to her house. We knocked on the door and saw that someone came up and looked into the peep hole and then walked away. We left and then called one of the members in our branch who is really good friends with her. We came to find out that Marinela's father freaked out that she was getting baptized and won't allow her to come to church, get baptized, or even hang out with her 2 best friends who are members of the church. Lame.. Pray for her. I'm hoping that someday when she is old enough to make her own decisions, she will still be in a position to accept the Gospel.

We had an amazing turn out for our branch activity on Saturday. Man.. I can't even tell you how fast this branch is growing. Actually, yesterday the other Elders had 2 baptism's. President says that he puts his hardest working missionaries in Elbasan. That was a really nice compliment to hear.

Tonight we taught the second part of the plan of salvation to Motra Braha (Arjeta's mom) and she is so awesome. She has so much faith in the church. Some of these members hang on to the church like it is all they have in the world. That is how it should be. It's amazing to see Motra Braha put her faith in the Book of Mormon and just allow faith to fill the gaps of her questions and confusion.

This past week the Zone Leaders came from Durres to do an exchange with us here in Elbasan. I was with Elder Roney. His dad owns Nuskin! He is a way awesome missionary and It was really nice to be with him because since I wasn't with an Albanian people understood me so so so much better and it just helped my self confidence a ton. He told me my accent was really good for how young I am in the mission. I guess I have Elder Merepeza and Heavenly Father to thank for that ha. But Yeah, I really enjoyed my exchange with Elder Roney and people are saying that he is probably going to come to Elbasan which means that I might get to be his companion!

So I hear the world is coming to end these days? Ha well if that's the case, I can't ever say I love you enough eh? I love you all. I mean even if the world "ends" I have faith that we will all be fine and together but still it's nice to say I love you ha. Alexis, I did love that story you told about Sophie! That's awesome that she stuck up for our church. Sophie. You rock haha. Anyways, I hope that all is well with you all but I need to get going. Elder Merepeza and I still have some work to do tonight. I am sorry for these short emails but I know the work we are doing here is more important. Okay wait haha you are all more important but It's not like I didn't email you at all! ha

Kendy, I am sorry but my letter to you today is SUPER short. Shpresoj qe nuk u merzite shume! S'kisha kohe fare.

I love you all! Keep on Keepin on. Evan Baker, You are my lover. :) Steve Sobanski. I want to hear from you man! Hook me up with your address and I'll send you a letter! Brandon Sharkey- I sent you a letter.

aiofjweoifjaweoifweaj I always leave the internet cafe without saying something that I wanted to say and then I realize it once we are back home. So I'm sorry! ha I will start writing down things I want to say. Mom and Dad, I love you! You rockkkkkk!

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