Saturday, July 20, 2013

How To Remove Ink Stains

Jed's official mssionary name tag in Albanian.

*Jed answered a few of the questions we had from last week.  I was under the impression that his Zone Leader had been on his mission for 1 year and 3 months, but I was mistaken.  He's been a member of the church for that length of time.  We asked what his schedule was like each day, and how he was getting along with companions. Everything seems to be going great so far.  We received a handwritten letter this week from Jed and signed by all the missionaries in his district.  I mailed a toaster and lots of Great Harvest bread to them so they wouldn't starve since dinner is served at 4pm.  They were all extremely happy about the Cinnamon Burst Bread:) But who wouldn't! Also anyone have suggestions on how to remove ink stains in a perfectly lovely, new white shirt?   I sent a bottle of hairspray, but I may just be sending another white shirt:(

Dear Familje!!
I am happy to hear that Aitor and Asier were fun to have over! I remember them from a while ago I think. So yeah don't send a fry pan or anything cuz we have no stove that works. The blanket is perfect!! It's light and purple.  I ran into Jake Dymock today at the MTC and my good friend Chad Larson!! It was awesome. Emma knows who Chad is. All the other Elders in my district are fun and we try not to goof off to much. My teachers are so awesome! Oh and when i was talking about my zone leaders, one of them has been a member of the church for 1 year and 3 months. But they've been in the MTC for 6 weeks and they are going to Hungary. I'm in the same zone as Milly Tullis' boyfriend SWINKY! It's nice to have him in here. And Elder Nate Hall from High School who's going to Lithuania. So after my ridiculously early dinner, we have class, or a devotional. Tuesday I sang in the choir for the devotional which I might do every single week from now on. (thanks for the tip Papa Jimmy).

We don't have a Cafeteria, we eat in like a pool house. I'll just leave that alone cuz I'm trying to be positive and nothing positive comes from that topic. I have two districts, E and F, and I'm in F with my companion and three other sets. The other district has two companionships of elders and the sisters. We are all getting along quite well.

Elder Clawson and the rest of his district.  Jed's companion is the second from the left.  Elder L. 
My branch president is a nice guy. He gets to know all of us and remembers who we are. His second counselor reminds me a ton of Grandpa Garner. I'll get a pic next time i see him. I miss all of you guys and whenever i see the second counselor I realize how much i miss Grandpa!! Tell him hello for me and let him know that i love him. We're all being safe and somewhat healthy. One of my teachers, Vellai McGlothin, is a personal trainer and he writes workout plans for MMA fighters and trains them, but he is writing up workout plans for all the elders if they want one. He promised me that if I commit, I will be in my best shape for mountain biking when i come home. I miss that so much! Thats one of the pics i would like you to send is the one we took for my last instagram.
Last week a nice man gave these boys $100 to pay for their
burgers and Jamba Juices this week.  They love P-days!

That's awesome to hear about Eric!! (One of Jed's friends who received his mission call this week to Guadalajara Mexico.) Me and my companion share the apartment with three Elders going to Mexico City and they are studly. When he leaves I'll be gone for 6 months! I hope he remembers spanish cuz i keep throwing in spanish words with my albanian and its annoying. Thanks for the letters and the packages. It's just like Christmas. But to be honest, the best days are Sundays and Thursdays. Sunday's you just can study and they split up the meetings throughout the day so you just have one hour segments every here and there and it's just calming and relaxed. Thursdays are just fun cuz it's PDAY! I got a haircut today and I look the same as when Dad shaved me with the dog clippers. But I'm not trying to impress anyone so I'm totally fine with it. P-Day Eve is also really fun.

 I'm enjoying the atmosphere and it's so spiritual here which is nice since it counteracts the stress. Tell Emma, Jake, and Seth Pershendetje! Tell Emma to keep my friends under control, and thank her for the letter in my suitcase. Tell Seth thanks a ton for the MOOLA!! and for the nice note. Sorry i opened it up before i was supposed to.  Tell Jane that her diaper needs changing. Say hello to my fellow bakers for me and thank sweet, sweet Angie for her kind note. And give her a high five and a hug for me.
Elder Klason
aka Elder Clawson

Mama Lisa,
A pen leaked all over one of my white shirts the other day and I've put a ton of stain remover on it, so if you have any advice for cleaning shirts and what not, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for the Dear Elders. They are awesome and I'm sorry the mail here is so slow. Those danishes were to die for, and i ate them all myself. I hope you're doing well and I love you.
Papa Jimmy,
I am definitely getting a stronger testimony while i'm here! Its crazy how much I've learned in such a short time! The language is ludicrously hard but I'm trying my best which i know will be enough. Thanks for the support Dad.
I love ya.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Baby Alby

*Just a quick disclaimer.  Actually confession.  Yesterday morning we received the first letters home from Jed.  In all it totalled 6 emails and 2 handwritten letters.  One big letter, and a lot of little responses to questions we had sent him.  I was starting to think Jed was a slacker, and didn't like us.  Mainly due to thinking his P-day (preparation day) was on Mon.  Well it's on Thurs. thank goodness, and he didn't forget us.  I had sent a hasty blast to my oldest son to tell him what a dirty rotten son of a gun he was and sent a little reminder of his home address.  Thurs. morning I ate some humble pie.  I sent 2 packages to make up for my mean spirited letters, and I hope Jed will forgive me.  So here's the best first letter ever:)

Dear Family!

Well I can't get pics so i had to imagine them. (I sent a few pictures from the week, but he can't get them in the MTC)  I'm kept busy all day every day. I wake up at 6:15 cuz breakfast is at 6:45 and I have to eat to survive. The food honestly is horrible. Box cereal for breakfast, Cobb salad for lunch, and ham and peas for dinner. AND THATS EVERY DAY! But it's fun being with all the Elders and gossiping like little old women. I've sent you a couple letters so I don't know why nothing has come to you guys.  My mission won't have access to the Facebook or iPads until about two months after we come home because no one has a computer and technology will get stolen in a heartbeat.

The days here are full of stuff. After breakfast we have two blocks of class time which are three hours each. Then  we have lunch and study time and then we have dinner at 4. So since dinner is so early we hide leftover box cereal and salads into our clothes and drop them off at the apartment for REAL dinner time. I'm teaching an investigator and he only speaks Albanian so it is super hard but super fun. He has to use his hands a lot but I guess everyone in Albania does that. He's funny and seems to get what we teach him and Elder L and I are going to ask him if he wants to be baptized tonight. Hope he says PO!

The language is coming along fine. I do think I'm the kid that knows the least though. It's definitely not as hard as Finnish though. Speaking of the Finland mission, they're in my zone and guess what? It's composed of 18 sisters and 4 elders. And all the sisters call me the Baby Alby cuz I'm the youngest missionary here so far.

My companion and I went to the main campus this week.  As I waited I just talked with the secretary and some missionaries going to Cambodia in a couple weeks. They were excited. While we were up there I ran into Elder Devries. (Elder Devries is the son of Lisa's favorite childhood friend.  He just left for Mexico.) He had no clue who i was and I'm sure he was freaking out when I told him his first name was Hunter. I thought he would remember our childhood days. 

Our mission has 12 elders and 2 sisters or motra. 10 out of the 12 Elders have girlfriends writing them and we always read our letters out loud. We share the contents of the packages we get which is nice too cuz Elder R's lady must really like him cuz she sent a TON of candy that we ate in two seconds. Dave (James' brother) sent me a dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts that were gone in a blink of an eye. Tell him thanks a ton for those.

Sister Horger (a sister in our home ward who served her mission in Albania 20 years ago.  She's shared a lot with Jed about the country before he left.)  and her primary class sent me a package with candy and some crayon drawings that we hung up in our classroom. Vellai McGlothin asked if I drew them. I'm staying healthy and having a productie time. The spirit is very strong here and its awesome being with all these guys that share the same standards as me and are so anxious to get out and go. All of our District just wants to get to the country. My zone has the Albanians, the Fins, The Estonians, and the Hungarians. My favorite is the Hungarian group. My zone leader is Elder Depallens who played in the NCAA tournament for San Diego and he is a convert and just hit his year mark 3 months ago. His companion Elder Waldvogel is also a ZL and he's way fun cuz he's just as tall  as me and what not. Everyone here is huge. Give Jane a kiss and a hug for me. Love everyone!
Jed the Slayer

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reporting To The MTC

July 3, 2013.  Elder Clawson reported to the Provo MTC West campus.  What a great place to be!!  It was the most horrible day of my life, but then on the other hand it was the best day of my life.  It's a proud moment for a mom to see a kind, gentle, hard working son report to the MTC.  MTC stands for Missionary Training Center.  Elder Clawson will spend the next 10 weeks learning the Albanian language, learning how to teach the gospel in Albanian, and to be taught at the feet of apostles and prophets.  What a great experience.  Most young men and women who have been called to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints spend anywhere from 2-10 weeks in the MTC depending on the language they will be learning.

Jed has so many friends who are serving right now, but not one is with him in the Provo MTC.  Some are going to the MTC in Provo, Barcelona, New Zealand!  It's crazy how these young kids are going to the four corners of the earth!!  IT'S AWESOME!!!

Tues. night July 2, 2013 Jed said his last goodbye's to his friends, and little girlfriend and then we headed over to the Stake Center for Jed to receive a blessing, and to be set apart as a missionary.  What an awesome experience!!!  Our Stake President, President Acevedo met us there, and had one last worthiness interview with Jed, and then James (Jed's dad) was actually able to set him apart as a missionary.  A stake president has the keys and authority to set these missionaries apart as Elders, and special witnesses of Christ to share His gospel through the world.  It was so great to witness that blessing.  It was a good moment as a parent.

The next morning the Clawson clan loaded into the truck and made our way to Provo.  On our way down we made a few stops to say some final farewells.  James' mom had not been able to attend Jed's farewell.  She has not been doing very well and was in the hospital.  We stopped at the hospital to tell Grandma Clawson goodbye and to hear her little words of encouragement.  She was slurry, and not able to talk well, but you could feel what was in her heart.  She was a proud grandma, and loved Elder Clawson!  From there we headed to Grandma Roberts home to give her one last hug!  Grandma Roberts is actually Jed's great grandma, but has always been a huge part of our lives.  We were able to sit and visit with her for a few minutes and also set her iPad up so she could be connected to Jed's progress through the blog:)

From Granny's house we headed out.  We had a fun time in the car laughing, and talking and just enjoying our last minutes with Jed, before we let him go.  As we approached the MTC the car was pretty quite.  As the Provo MTC West campus approached there were a few other cars pulling in as well.  It was nowhere near the rush and push of the other MTC.  We didn't feel rushed, and had plenty of time to say our goodbyes before Jed headed out.  The Host's were awesome!!!  Sweet as could be, and totally encouraging.  The young elders were enthusiastic and told Jed how lucky he was to be there.  Two cute sisters met me as I got out of the car.  I looked at them as they asked me a question and just smiled and tried to gain a little composure.  One of the sisters burst into tears with me, and I could tell this whole dropping off at the MTC thing hit a little close to home for her:)

We were able to hug, and take pictures, but the whole experience was short and sweet.  Jed was so great!  He got a little teary, but he was strong, and so excited to start.  It was so fun to hear that many of the other missionaries who were there were going to the Adriatic South Mission as well.  Jed wouldn't be alone:)

The ride home was lonely, and there's a child missing from my nest!  But we will be blessed by being able to be a part of Elder Clawson's mission.  The best 2 years everyone says!!

The Farewell

June 30, 2013.  The official date of The Farewell.  Elder Jedediah James Clawson had his farewell at the Paradise 1st Ward sacrament service last Sunday.  It was the most beautiful June morning.  Extremely hot, but beautiful still.  It was so amazing to see all the friends, and family members, who attended.  My heart as a mom was full to overflowing with the outpouring of love directed at my son!  Friends old and new came from all over!  It was such a great day.  Jed loved it!  He was exhausted at the end of the day, but also encouraged.

Jed was assigned to speak on the talk given by Elder Holland in General Conference April 2013.  It was entitled, Lord I Believe.  Amazing talk in conference, and a perfect topic for a young 18 year old boy heading out into the world to share what he believes.  The Holy Ghost was in that meeting Sunday.  Hearts were touched, and testimonies were shared.  Our oldest daughter Emma was also assigned to speak as the Youth Speaker for the week.  She was a little nervous about keeping it together, and not crying her eyes out, but she did a great job.  A simple testimony was shared about being obedient.  She was assigned the talk given by Elder Perry in April 2013 conference as well.  Obedience To  Law Is Liberty.  She did a great job!

Elder Clawson had one request for music.  He loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  It is a Clawson Family tradition to be awaken by Grandpa Clawson from our family camp out on the 3rd of July with that song blaring as loud as can be and firecrackers bursting on the morning of the 4th of July.  Jed loves that song.  Of course Called To Serve was sung as a rest hymn , and I'm afraid to say I didn't get through much of that song.  It always makes me cry.

After the sacrament service we had a little get together at our home for friends and family who had travelled.  And I will admit that the entire Priests Quorum were there as well:)  We fed a lot of people.  Lots of happy sounds, and well wishes.  Hugs, and slaps on the back.  Good luck Elder!  was the most common words shared.  Elder Clawson was given a glimpse of what Heaven will be like I believe.  So many people were there just for him, with high hopes, and prayers in there hearts for a cute little 18 year old kid heading to Albania of all places.  I was touched and humbled by the outpouring of love shown to my son.  Good Luck Elder Clawson!