So I am finally here and holy cow it is awesome!! When we got to Munich that was when we got our first interaction with Albanians. There was a good handful of natives that were very happy to talk with us. But it was super hard. We then landed in Tirana and got our first glimpse of life as our plane landed right next to a guy plowing his field. Like seriously he was just out having a party with his plow. We were greeted by the APs and the Fords. Elder Webb is an AP and he is crazy, but super fun. President and Sister Ford are super awesome. He calls her 'darling' in that english accent like from the movies. She is super funny and I can definitely tell she is a mother figure to all the missionaries.
I went out street contacting for a little bit and I was drilled. It was so hard to stay awake. But anyways, I was getting pretty comfortable talking with everyone and every once in a while people would stop and I placed two books of Mormon and then one guy came and talked to us and agreed to have a lesson with us. So we walked back to his Hotel and sat in the bar that was on the main floor and we taught about the Restoration. Unfortunately I angered him when I told him that Christ told Joseph Smith that there weren't any true churches on the earth. The only thing I could understand from him was "You mean my church is false?" and then it was just a hellfire storm of Albanian words. So he escorted us out of the hotel and we were on our way home. Good first couple of hours in the country.
Also the roads here are crazy. When Vellai McGlothin said there were no rules on the road, I was just like 'pfff whatever' but really, there are no rules, no lights, no signs, no cops directing traffic, and the APs and the Fords are just as bad!! Its a mad house here!!
|Elder Clawson with his favorite little kids. Jed and his companion are teaching the whole family.|
|One of the cute little kids that plays in the|
alley leading up to Jed's apartment.
So me and Elder Foster have been quite successful. The guys that I met at the baptism are Fabjan, Dritan, and Bledar. We met with Fabjan later that night and he is a baller. He is so cool. He's from Mire Dita and and speaks Geg. He is a bartender on the outskirts of Durres and he's very generous. He offered me a free Heineken. Anyways so that night we watched the Restoration with him and he was totally feeling it. So Elder Foster told me to give him the baptismal invite so I did. And he said PO!!!!! I was stoked!! We left that night and i was on cloud nine. We've met with him two more times now and taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom. He seems good with most things but since he is a bartender he has a little prob with drinking and what not, but he is trying really hard.
Dritan is 32 and has a wife and 2 adorable kids. They live in extremely humble circumstances but they are a great family. He has a son named Aldioni and a daughter, that makes my heart melt, named Adella. The son is 12 and adorable Adella is 7. But they are so small. Aldioni is the size of a five year old and Adella is A bit bigger than Jane. It's crazy. His wife's name is Anxhellina. She is great as well. She loves that I'm trying to learn Albanian. We taught them the restoration the other night and all but Adella accepted to be baptized but Adella will be baptized in December. BOOM!!
Another investigator we have is Deacon Anthony. He is a deacon in the orthodox church but he likes the missionaries and the spirit we have. He was passed down to us from the previous missionaries. He's very receptive and we taught him the Word of Wisdom last night and he accepted to live by it. He is super intelligent. He knows the Bible like the back of his hand. He appreciates that I've come to Albania in my young years. But he prefers the lessons to be in English so he can practice his English. Fortunately he's the only one that we teach in English. He's awesome though.
|Elder Clawson's apartment. Not too bad.|
The food is super greasy but super good. Suflaqe is like eating heaven. cereal for breakfast every morning and something greasy for lunch. My apartment is super fun too. There's about four little 2 year old kids that play in the alley leading to our front gate and they are so fun to goof around with. We have a pomegranate tree right next to us as well. Our windows need to be closed at all times though.
So I think I have already fallen in love with the people. They are so fun to talk to and be around. The xhaxhis are so fun to talk with as they play dominoes in the street or something.
I'm sorry this is ridiculously long. But it's all been so eventful. I'm sure I will have plenty of more stories to come. I'll talk a little bit about some of the crazy stuff thats gone on.
Another fun thing was i saw a goat get chopped up in a butcher shop. that was cool.
I love being here already. I love these people and I love Elder Foster. He's a hoot. I love you all so much. Hope all is well with everyone. I was so happy to hear about Lotoja and Jane riding down the hill!! And tell Jake he better be hitting those jumps or they are going to be super overgrown.
I am being safe. I haven't felt sick yet and I'm staying healthy. I'm glad the garden is doing well. Sorry about the deer and racoons though. I love you.