Thursday, August 29, 2013

Maybe One Day I'll Be Big Enough To Go To Macedonia:)

This is Jed's Zone.  It included all 14 Elders going to Albania as well as Elders going to Hungary, and Finland.
So Jed and his fellow missionaries will be flying out to Albania on Tues. morning.  This is his last letter from the MTC and he sounds really excited to "move on" and start being a real missionary, meeting real people, and sharing the gospel with real investigators!  I asked him what they would be doing their last P-day in America.  It included a haircut, hamburger, and a Peach Mango Jamba Juice:)


So yes we did get to go to the temple one last time for 22 months. Right after we ate breakfast from the cafeteria we went outside and ended our Consecration Week. (Consecration Week has been the last 7 days of speaking nothing but Albanian.) I think the Rome Temple will be done when I can come home. But anyways, WOW is the only word I can think of to describe Consecration Week. We only had English substitutes for 1 day and that was fine because it gave us an opportunity to translate and really listen to what each other was saying. The hardest is when you'd get asked a question by some new english speaking missionary, and you can't talk in English to them so they get all frustrated and

start freaking out. We had that happen a lot. This week has helped my language so much. I can't express everything that I would like to, but I can do  a pretty decent job at teaching, testifying, praying, and keeping a fairly mediocre conversation with someone. It's gonna be great next week!! We are all so excited to get the hecky outta this joint! It's been fun but we have had a huge influx of new missionaries these past couple of weeks and it's really started to get crowded. It was nice at first because it was just the Albanians, Hungarians, Finnish, Estonians, and a few Spanish and English missionaries thrown in and it was probably like 300 missionaries. (At the Provo MTC West Campus) But now we have just as many missionaries as the main campus. 

So my travel plans are as follows: 
We take the bus at 4:30 tuesday morning and our flight out of Salt Lake leaves at 8:40. I won't have a lot of
time to talk so I'll probably be calling from Washington, DC from Dulles. We get to DC at 2:47ish and we are there for 3 hours. Then we head out to Munich, Germany and we have a layover there for about 2 hours. Then we head to Tirana at 11:15 AM on Wednesday and we get to Albania!! SO EXCITED!! 

As freaked out as I am, I'm incredibly excited to get there and actually get into the work instead of just working with fake investigators.  Oh and I'll probably not be going to Macedonia, they don't speak a whole lot of Albanian and they generally don't like the missionaries there so they send really big Elders over there so no one will mess with them. Maybe one day I'll be big enough to go to Macedonia... But I would love to go to Kosovo but I want to stay in Albania cuz my language would get super sloppy and dirty in Kosovo or Shkoder. Thats where they speak Geg. 

So for my plaque I would like either: Mosiah 4:16 I think but I don't know if thats the one for sure. Just get one that talks about charity for other's cuz thats more my purpose instead of everyone's regular missionary scriptures. Sorry I'm lame. So in this next package, I would appreciate 3 things of my hair product, (AXE Whatever, is what it's called) And if you could put 200 bucks on my card I'd greatly appreciate it. I have to pay 100 for my baggage on the plane and another 100 for emergencies. A couple more pairs of socks would be sweet too! I burn through those things. I think thats about it. I don't have to mail anything home. I'm good on weight and I'm all ready!
Thanks for the story you shared about church the other day too. I wish I coulda seen it. 

I love you all and can't wait to talk to you!!


Dear Mom, 
I would love some peaches. Sorry I have to call you so late in the day, but they told us it would be better to call from DC. I hope all is well with you and the garden. What year is Grandpas Corvette? Well I love you so much and I'm excited to talk to ya. 
Love, Jed

P.S. Elder Holland came to our class the other day. I'm awesome I know. Unfortunately we couldn't take pics. 


So I answered a lot of your questions in the last email. But I've been going into a lot of the New Testament and I have fallen in love with Mark 12 where Christ is telling about the Greatest Commandment. I love how the language is in the verses and how Christ tells the guy that he isn't far from the Kingdom of God.

Well I love you!!

Love, Jed

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Consecration Week

Hello Everyone!

Well I'm glad you all had a good time at Park City. Jake and Dad totally shoulda gone to the Canyons. That was honestly the funnest time I've ever had on a bike besides riding at the Redbull Rampage Site. Tell Jake to not be nervous going to South Cache. If he isn't over it already I'm sure he'll get over it way soon. Tell Seth that everything will be fine. Life goes on if you make a mistake. And tell Emma to treat my car with kindness. Let it get dirty so people know you love it. That's why I didn't clean it ever. 

I should be getting all my travel info later today or tomorrow morning but I'll let you know as soon as I possibly can. We'll be in transit for 36 hours though. Our teachers told us that was the common time for all Albanian bound missionaries. Speaking of my teachers, yesterday was the last day that we would see Vellai Eckel until we get home. He quit teaching cuz school starts soon and he doesn't have enough time to take off three hour shifts everyday. It was sad but cool to think that we get to have our missionary reunions with him afterwards. 

So this week has been pretty interesting for the MTC. We have tons more kids now but we Albanians are officially the oldest in the West Campus now since the Finnish Sisters left with the Estonians this last Monday. 

Anyways, Vellai Vance decided to go to Montana for a week and Vellai McGlothin has been sick (from us, no doubt) and so for all this week we've had teachers that don't speak Albanian. We've had Armenian, Georgian, Finnish, Estonian, Greek, Malay, and Malagasi teachers come teach us gospel principles and what not, but it's been hard not having any language classes for so long. The Greek teacher, Brother Okazaki, and the Georgian teacher, Brother Allen, have both taught us some awesome lessons on revelatory prayer and Bible and BOM history that have really enlightened us and given us some awesome insight. 

Today we started our Consecration Week. We went to the temple speaking English but once we left the Celestial Room, it was all Albanian. No English till we go to the temple next week and no translating for any of the other elders. Just a whole lot of repetition and hand motions till then. But so far it's been super fun. People have no idea what we're saying and it's so crazy. Just another reason why it would've been nice to have some language class this week. 

I've gotten a load of packages this week! I got one from Roger and Colette, Janet, Kirsten, and one from her mom. They were all super awesome! Roger, Colette, and Aleisha all wrote me nice letters and everyone gave me Funyuns and Janet loaded me up with Pop-Tarts. IT's a good thing cuz me and Elder Linderman finished all the Funyuns and Pop-Tarts from before. And don't apologize for the Mac and Cheese comment. Kirstens Mom sent me some Macaroni and Cheese that I can make. We have a microwave to use at the creamery next to our apartment. I'm super excited for this new package to come though! One very last thing that I would like you to put in it is my Genki Sudo Tattoo Shirt. I really like that one. 

Yesterday me and Elder L. woke up and found a HUGE wetspot in our living room. The apartment above us had the AC on too low and it flooded into our room over night and it was freak nasty. Then Elder L. took a shower and left the curtain on the outside of the tub so our whole bathroom was basically underwater. (He's learning something!)

Well I've had a good and productive week for the most part and thanks a ton for all the prayers! They are definitely helping me. 
Love you all so much!

Elder Jed Clawson

Dear Mother,
Thanks for telling what's going on. I hope everything is starting to kinda settle down for the most part now that school is back in. Ask Emma if any of the teachers asked about me. Tell her to go to Mr. Litizzette and tell him that I miss being in his class. And also Mrs. Crosbie the computer teacher. How's the garden doing? How's Jane coming along with her talking? I hope you have a great time at the TOP of UTAH 1/2! I love you tons and miss you.
Love, Jed

Dear Dad,
Thanks for giving me those scriptures. I enjoy learning from them in my personal study. I'm gonna start sending you things that I start to learn from now on in other emails. So I heard Emma got a bike? Tell her congrats. And did grandpa really get a corvette? If he did, I'm expecting the 2014 Stingray. Love ya tons. Miss ya too. P.S. have you gone riding with Clint yet? Tell me how it was if ya did. 

Love, Jed

Friday, August 16, 2013

Charity Week

This is Jed's district made up of 4 companionships.  There is another district going to Albania as well
made up of 4 more elders and 2 sisters.  Jed is the top right hand kid with his eyes open:) His companion
is just to the left of him in the picture.  

So we got to go to the temple this morning and we watched the new movie and guess what? Me and Scott Adair have climbed at the Rock Haus with Satan. He lives in Southern Utah and is really good friends with Allie Adair and when he came up, Scott invited me to go climbing with them. So I got to tell the Elders that I've climbed with the Devil.

My studies this week have been awesome as well. I just finished Alma, and got done with all the war chapters. Teancum was crazy, Moroni was such a man, and the Stripling Warriors were so awesome! It's crazy all the hidden spiritual thoughts that are in those stories. We had Charity Week this last week and it's been really good for me to not be so nit picky about everything all the time. The language is starting to click together a little bit more and I'm grateful for that.

On Tuesday we had Richard G. Scott talk to us. It was awesome! He talked about how Sister missionaries are so important and how a mission will help them be better wives and mothers and then told the Elders that we were the strongest young men he's ever seen. He talked a lot on prayer and the importance of how we need to pray with a sincere desire and we need to realize that we are talking to the most highly exalted being to have ever existed. That really made me think about how I need to stop  with my vain repetitions. After that he gave a blessing with Apostolic Authority on every missionary learning a new language, that if we studied with faith, we would become fluent as to the desires of our heart in our new language. So I've been really cranking out the studying this week. Consecration Week starts next Wednesday and I'm super stoked to start that. (I believe Consecration Week is the week the missionaries speak only Albanian in preparation to leave for Albania a week or two later.) I really enjoy being able to speak my language.

Well I'm sorry this isn't super long but my email time got cut down due to the temple, so hopefully I get more time next week. I love you all!


Dear Mother,
Thanks for sending these emails, they really mean a lot. I hope everything is going well in the garden and the house is okay. Dear Elders are awesome to get at night but it's really up to you if you want to take the time to write them. Tell the Kureks that I miss them and love them.  Bread would be awesome in the package. I love you guys so much.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We Will Find You, and We Will Convert You!

Dearest Family.
Bear Lake sounds like it was quite enjoyable this year!  So to answer your questions I get to go to the temple for the first time next P-Day I think. We've heard all about the new movie and we are super excited. Speaking of movies, we watch movies every Sunday night and we recently watched Legacy. It's like the only time we can quote movies and not be frowned upon here. All the Elders in my district love the Joseph Smith in that movie because he's so swaggy. He's the most hardcore Joseph Smith I've ever seen and he has some gnarly hair. And David Walker in that movie is cool too. His hair is awesome. 

We were expecting some new Elders yesterday in our apartment but no one came so me and Elder L are just lounging it up by ourselves. It's nice cuz we don't have to worry about someone elses mess making us get a bad review on our room check. But we miss the Mexican elders a ton. 

SO we are always with the other district. We eat together and go places together but we just aren't taught together. One of their teachers is Motra Atkin, and she is the one that lives next to Andy and Kristy.  (She is the neighbor or James' brothers family.) We can walk to the strip mall with the Great Harvest in it. It's right next to where we get burgers and Jamba juice which is a regular P-Day tradition. 

Thats awesome that Jane and Seth are turning into water monsters! Tell Seth he can't be better than me when I get home. I hope Jane is being safe in the water and having fun! It was awesome to hear about Lake Powell and all the fish around her!
So this week has basically been the same as usual with some cool additions. The cafeteria opened with real food on Monday and we are in HEAVEN!! It's so much better than a packaged Cobb Salad for lunch every day and bagels and milk for breakfast. Secondly, Elder L has been having some personal struggles this week and the other day he asked me if I could give him a Priesthood Blessing. I told him I would and that was the first blessing that I've ever given in my life. I wrote you a letter that should be coming soon that goes into a lot more detail. And last night Elder R who actually was really good friends with Brady D in Ogden when they were little.) asked me and Elder G to give him a blessing because he has been feeling way sick this week. So in one week I gave my first two blessings and it has been so awesome!

Other than that it's been a solid week. I translated a lesson for Vëllai McGlothin from Albanian to English and that went well and really helped me with the language. It's all starting to make a little more sense now but I'm definitely not the best I can be. But I'm trying. I also got two packages this week!! I got one from Kirsten that had a bunch of awesome pictures and two packages of Sunny D popsicles which were to die for! Me, R, J, and A are in love with them! We had twenty but now we have none. The other was from Kirstens sister, Megan, and it had loads of awesome candy and drawings and a buncha goodies. It was awesome.  My lessons have been good and to answer Emmas question about the investigators, (Emma asked who the people are that Jed's been teaching?  Were they REAL investigators, or were they just teachers acting a part.) Shpëtim and Bujar are two brothers that have been released from prison recently and they found the gospel after seeing a Book of Mormon. They were in jail for human trafficking. During my lessons they have told me that I would be prime example of what they want. They said it's because of my white supple skin. They kidnapped Liam Neesons daughter too. But Shpetim is getting baptized and Bujar is almost there so we're working on it.
Just kidding. They're just my teachers that act as investigators.
But our district motto is "We don't have money, but what we do have, is a particular set of skills that make people like us, a dream come true for people like you. We will find you... And we will convert you." (in a Liam Neeson voice)
 I Hope everyone is doing well and I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures this week. I'll try to get some good ones for next week. I love you ALL!!

Love, Jed
Dear Mother,
Oh how I miss a meal of beans and potatoes with bacon!  Thanks for sending me Dear Elders. THey make my day! I hope everything is going well at home and I love you guys!
Love ya, Jed

Dear Dad,
Yeah I heard all about Jane! Thats so funny she's loving the water now. I've been speaking my language so much it's ridiculous. I dreamt in Albanian like two days ago and i was trying to conjugate verbs and noun declensions in my dream which was stressful but I'm getting  better. I can translate pretty good but i can't speak as well as i would like to. Sorry this isn't very long but i just spend all my time typing the big family letter. I love ya tons!
Love, Jed

Friday, August 2, 2013

Aug. 1, 2013

Dearest Fam!

I'm glad to hear Grandma Clawson is making some progress. Give her a hug for me.
So happy to see that Elder Clawson knows how to study:)
So this week has been good. This morning i got some really good excersise in with Elder R. He's the one that pitches for the college in San Mateo. He has two mitts so we went outside the house and played catch and then he practiced his pitching with me cuz he has to keep his rotator cuff and shoulder in good shape. He pitches at 92 MPH. And I was catching them like they were nothing. He said I was pretty good at pitching but I'm pretty sure he was just lying.

Elder Clawson's Branch Pres. who
reminds him of Grandpa G.
My new investigator, Bujar, has been a pain in the butt this week. We taught him the lesson on The Gospel of Jesus Christ and he was all up for having faith and praying and what not, and then yesterday we asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said "Nuk besim ne Jezu Krishti. Nuk ditur nese ai ishte Biri i Perendise." which translates to, "I don't have faith in Jesus Christ. I don't know if he was the Son of God." I was getting ticked so we decided to end the lesson there because there's no way the Spirit can come into a room and testify to an investigator when the teacher is in a bad mood. I felt really bad for being frustrated but i tried to not let it show during the lesson. So next time something like that happens I'll be sure to be understanding.

The most frustrating thing is when i'm in a lesson and the investigator asks a question that i know the answer to, and i don't know how to say it in Albanian. I don't like the feeling of being restrained in my thoughts and words due to my insignificant knowledge of a language. I'm trying so hard. I've been emailing Austin Knowles a bit and he's given me some nice advice on learning the language.

The new cafeteria is super nice! The food isn't heavenly but it is so much better than the other stuff we were eating. I've been so unhealthy with my food choices here. I feel fat. When i got the package of bread and Funyuns, I went to the store and bought some Queso, and I dipped funyuns in queso with the elders that are going to Mexico. It was delish but disgusting all at the same time. And when Kirsten sent me the bag of Funyuns, I ended up eating them by myself in one sitting. That was a bad idea as well. But thank you for all the goodies! The bread is awesome and everyone loves it. My teacher,

Elder Clawson and his tall comps.

 loves the pumpkin bread. He's really poor since he has a brand new baby, and a young wife and he goes to school full time so he enjoys being able to eat. I don't know if the glasses or the watch or socks are supposed to be sent here, cuz i haven't seen anything. I haven't gotten a lot of mail for the week so I don't know if they got lost or something.

Tell everyone that i love them! I hope everyone is safe and healthy! Tell my friends to not do anything crazy too.


Dear Mom,
I hope the primary calling isn't too stressful. Who took your place as the sunday school teacher? How are the Kureks doing? I miss you all and i wish i was coming down to Lake Powell with you. The Deser Daze is awesome, huh? I miss your good food,and just being able to take a nap. I get so tired during devotionals and what not and I might pass out due to lack of good sleep. For some reason I haven't been sleeping too well at night and i don't know why. Last night though, Elder Olds woke up at like 1 in the morning and started teaching something in spanish. But the best part was he got up and said "Listen up you Fools!" and then he started speaking spanish. He does a lot of weird things at night. He farts way loud too but so does Elder Linderman. We have learned how to cook microwave burritos with an iron cuz we're too afraid to mess up our toaster. That toaster is so awesome! Especially with the Asiago Sourdough. We smuggle little butter packets from dinner and stick them in our fridge just for the bread. Well I love you and I hope you're not stressing over me too much. I'm healthy for the most part. I think I might've fractured my hand before I got to the MTC cuz it's been hurting for a while but I'm drinking lots of milk so I'm sure I'll be fine. If not I'll have someone look at it.
Love you tons!

Dear Dad,
The District
So every Sunday we watch a church movie. And there's only two to choose from. The Testaments or the Joseph Smith story. So this past Sunday we watched the Testaments and I can quote every line from it now, but I decided to draw some specs for a bike that i want you to make while I'm gone. Send it back to me if it needs more (which i'm sure it does.) and I'll do it if i ever have free time. I have fifteen minutes at night for myself so I can do it then. It's not distracting me from my work here. I study everyday for like 8 hours. Which reminds me, there is a lot of super crazy stuff in Alma. I didn't even catch all of it when I read at home. I hope Lake Powell was a blast! I love you tons!
Love Jed

Dear Siblings,
Emma, every Elder in my district tells me that they are going to date you when we all come home. Which i wouldn't mind cuz they are all super cool dudes. I hope everything is going well with Eric. Tell him Congrats on mexico for me. Spanish is easy. We hate spanish speaking elders cuz they always complain about how hard the language is and then we whip out our huge notebooks full of noun declinsions and verb conjugations and say "Shut up Elder. This is what a real language is." But I"m sure Eric won't complain.
Jake,  I hope you have maintained the dirt and jumps on the track. Which reminds me, in the winter it'll be sick for skiing.
Seth, I hope you're making all kinds of weird things out of duct tape. Remember that you are awesome and that I love ya. A mission is so fun and I know that you'll love it when you end up going on one. I hope you've been having fun with Jace and all the cousins too.

I'm Still Wallowing In My Youth

Dearest Mother and Family,

Tell Tito and Captain Devan Congrats for me!! (Jed had 2 friends get mission calls this week.  One to the Marshal Islands, and the other to Kennewick WA.)  Those are both awesome missions! I'm glad Pioneer Day was fun for ya'll!! Tell Dad not to get to close to that badger. They are freaky things. They look like Hummvees.

Well this week was nice. It's gone by shume fast. So I'm really struggling with the language so I decided to follow the example of Elder Anderson and just speak Shqip (Albanian) all day every day unless it's necessary to speak Englishte. The very last week we are here at the MTC is a straight week where we don't speak english. The Hungarian district had that this last week and it was really cool.

The Tuesday night devotional this week was really good cuz it helped me understand my companion a bit more. He's very patient with me which is very nice. Being the youngest one on campus is rough at times because everyone seems so mature and I'm still wallowing in my youth. After the devotional I ran into Elder Noah Berry!! He picked me up in a hug and spun me around which was kinda weird in front of all my companions but whatever.

For that package you're sending, just put a pair of those OLD NAVY skinny khakis that me and Jake have because missionaries can now wear Khaki's! Thanks a ton for the food. Especially the bread and Pop-Tarts. We had to hide the bread from the other district because their District Leader, Elder Acheson, keeps stealing HUGE slices during personal study. Our new cafeteria is up and running next Wednesday so I am just jumping up and down. It will be nice to have normal bowel movements from now on.

The Elders that we room with that are headed to Mexico City got to go to Salt Lake today. I hope we get to go somewhere. Jace got to fly to San Francisco or something for his visa stuff. But they are leaving in two weeks which is super sad because they are super duper hilarious. I get along really well with Elder O. He's from St. George and super cool. We quote movies all the time during "COZY TIME" which is from 10:15 to 10:30. Elder E is way cool too. He is a total farm boy but super studly.

The Elders in my district are nice guys.  I do well at focusing but I seem to suck at retaining. Elder B and P are really nice guys. P is the one from Saudi Arabia and I just learned that his dad is a seventy. He has had Elder Holland come into his house and take a nap on his parents bed. B is the one from Germany and he just turned 21. He's a great kid and super friendly. Elder R and J are fun as well. R played college baseball. J is from Castle Dale and he talks like a total red neck. But man is he funny. He has an amazing Smeagle voice to. Elder H and A. H lived in Denmark for most of his life and then moved to Utah. He is huge! Not like fat but tall and built. Like a tractor. A lives in Maryland and plays soccer. His father passed away last September so it's awesome that he's out here with us. He's my district leader and he is so funny. 6 out of 8 of us are writing girls back home. Several missionaries have called Dibbs on Emma. They all saw her pic in the photo album. Thanks for the pictures! They are awesome and so far I have the best looking girl that I'm writing. And that is a district decision. The only person who doesn't think so is Elder R and thats just cuz he's 6'6 and she's tiny.
But anyways, I try not to think about home and you guys too much cuz then i lose focus on what I'm doing here and thats the worst thing that i can do. Send more pics if ya want and I'll send more to you next week. LOVE YOU GUYS!!


Dear Mom,
Thanks for the bread and also for the hairspray. It didn't get the ink out unfortunately but it did save one of my other shirts. It was a long sleeve but i don't think I'll need a new one. I'm glad the gardens doing good. Sorry bout the lettuce and the raspberries though. That really sucks. Have fun in Lake Powell! You will love the DESERT DAZE!! I love you!


Dear Dad,
Keep being awesome. Love ya tons.