Monday, July 11, 2011

Life in Albania - Week 36

Okay, I will start by answering Dad's question about where I am on Google Maps. This should be some helpful information. If you can find the "Bashkia" (town hall) in Shkoder, You will see a building right next to/across from it with a food place called "Idromeno". That is where our apartment is. If you travel north east on the road at TV Rozafa and Idromeno and the Bashkia, You will get to Sheshi Nene Tereza which is near Posta Shqiptare, Alb Telecom, and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank. That little circle is where we normally street contact. It is also right by Xhamia e Madhe (the big Mosque). so now you know!

ASHLEY! I'm so happy that you got that job! I have been praying my guts out for you. You are da Seriously.

1. How was church this Sunday?

Church was alright. We had 3 people there. Zef (the 70 year old man member) Prenda (the 80 year old woman who has lost her mind) and Rudolf (our awesome 20 year old Investigator). Everything went okay. Prenda gave the closing prayer for sacrament meeting and when she stood up at the pulpit and we were all ready to pray she said "Good morning, Glad that you all came" and then began to pray hahahaha. It was hilarious. I taught Sunday School on having faith in Jesus Christ.

2. Do Albanians celebrate Father’s Day?

Nope ha. I'm not going to lie. I didn't even know it was Father's day. I lose track of the date these days.

3. How is it going with people you are teaching?

It is going alright. We haven't been able to meet with Rudolf much this past week but he did come to church which was nice. As for Noj and Kristjana, Kristjana is doing really well but Noj was being really weird last time we met with him. We think that kids are making fun of him for meeting with us because he told us he can't meet at his house anymore because the neighbors are all gossiping about us and stuff. He said he was going to come to Church but he didn't end up coming. So I'm kinda worried about him. And because he didn't come to church, his sister didn't come either. So yeah.

4. How is your English Class going? Can your companion help with that at all? Does he speak any English?

Our English class just ended and it went okay. It is the first English class I have done that we didn't get an Investigator from. But no, Genti didn't know any English. He can say "yeah cool" "what's up" and stuff like that.

5. When does your new Mission President come? Do they overlap and will President Neil spend some time with him?

Our new Mission President should be coming within the next two weeks I think. I think President Neil will eat lunch with him once and then him and Sister Neil will be back off to America!

6. Do you know when you will get to meet your new Mission President?

I think we all have interviews with him pretty quickly when he gets here. I also think there is a mission conference right off the start where he does a training and introduces himself and stuff.

7. Where are you in the Book of Mormon?

I just finished Jacob 5. I haven't been able to focus much on my personal reading this week in the Book of Mormon because I was studying for lessons and stuff which I suppose is a good thing!


So that is basically most of my week. On Thursday, we had a training in Tirana which was really cool. I love President Neil so much. I am going to miss him so much but I'm sure that President Ford will be great too. We tried something different this week in terms of finding. We tried doing something called "Teancum Tracting" We go to the buildings that we are going to tract 2 days ahead of time and drop off a little flyer at every door that asks the "Questions of the Soul" (Where did we come from? Why are we here on earth? What's the purpose of this life? Where do we go when we die?) Also it asks How can you strengthen your family? Then it says, " In two days, 2 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will be coming by to help you answer these questions. It is kinda a cool idea because it get's rid of the awkwardness of people not knowing why you are there when you knock on their door and people already know why you are there. Unfortunately we didn't have very much success. Well actually we didn't get any people to have lessons with us from it. But I know that it was pretty effective in Tirana. I guess it just depends on the area you do it. I have noticed that different finding techniques are better than others depending on the area you live.

Alexis, I love Blizzard.

Ha anyways. She will understand why I put that. I don't have a ton else to say about my week but I will share a quick story. Yesterday, Elder Roney wasn't feeling very good so we stopped back at the house to get a drink and sit down for a minute. He looked awful. His face was pale white and he looked really really sick. After sitting for a few minutes he said that he wanted to go back out and work. We still had about an hour until we were supposed to come back in. So even though he was sick, we went out and did some street contacting. Elder Roney and Elder Platt did street contacting on one side of the street and I walked to the other sidewalk on the other side of the road. I stopped a man and started talking to him about the Book of Mormon and a girl who was walking by stopped and listened in. (that never happens haha) the man ended up not being interested but I started talking to the girl and she was in a hurry but she really wanted to know about the Book of Mormon and so SHE asked ME if she could give us her number so we can meet and talk more about it. haha normally we have to BEG them for their numbers and she asked us. Pretty cool. I have a feeling she will really enjoy our message and be very accepting of it.

So Daddio. Fathers day happened! So I just wanted to thank you for being such an amazing father and friend to me. You have always been such an incredible example to me in everything that you do. You have taught me pretty much everything I know about how I'm supposed to act and be. I have always looked up to you and have always wanted to follow in your footsteps. I have been so blessed to have you and mom for my parents. I love how you are always so willing to serve others and fulfill your callings in the church. You live a consecrated life and have taught me a great deal about how I should live. Even when Ohio State is playing Iowa or Penn State or Wisconsin during Priesthood Session of conference. I love you!

hahaha Kend, I will talk to Elder Roney for ya. We will see what he says. Thanks for texting my cousin about that stuff. you da besttttttttttttttttttttt. 2.4. I.F.

Speaking of Elder Roney, Lex, you need to date him! You just gotta get to know him. He is so awesome.

Something I have really come to understand is that there is NOTHING more important than fulfilling our duties as members of the church and especially our duties of the Priesthood. Serving a Mission is such a blessing. I have learned so so so so so much stuff. It is hard. It's painful. And it is stressful. But I can't imagine not being here.

Well that's all I got for now!

Elder Austin Eckel


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