Thursday, September 19, 2013

Second Week In Albania And I Love It

Elder Clawson and one of his investigators.  In his bar!  If Jed were home he wouldn't even be
allowed into a bar.  He's to young.  Even when he gets home he'll still be too young:)
My dear family!!

I'm glad to hear that everything is going well at home!! Sounds like life has been a party!! Kirsten had a great time coming out to the house by the way. I hope Erics doing well and getting ready for Guadalajara! 

So this week has been fabulous! Dritan and his family are just as awesome as ever. Adella and Aldioni are still adorable and they have fallen in love with us. Fabjan is getting stoked for his baptism and he seems super solid so far. We taught both of them about the Plan of Salvation this week in two different lessons. They all seemed to enjoy the message that was conveyed. 

Yesterday was district conference in Tirana and that was super fun! I got to see Elder L (Jed's MTC companion) and everyone else from my MTC group except for the Elders up in Kosovo cuz it's so far away for them to drive. But while we were talking with everyone the topic of numbers came up and I guess me and Elder F. are leading the mission in every aspect of the work. That was kinda cool to hear. But it's also crazy how you can have such a strong love for each individual you teach or meet with. 

Julian is getting baptized this weekend and he is super stoked. He's one of the coolest guys I've ever met. He speaks clearly and that is a huge blessing for me. You guys need to google his music video for 'you raise me up'. Julian Gjojdeshi, You Raise Me Up. Do it.   Here's a link to the You Tube video.

We are teaching Zef again and he has some real problems with coffee. He keeps saying its like a medicine for him and Elder F eventually just had to tell him that it wasn't medicine, it was an addiction. So he seems to be getting better with all that now and he should be getting baptized next month. Anxhela is still struggling with accepting the Book of Mormon and not the Kuran. It bugs me but people still have their agency. I don't know if I've told you all about Deacon Anthony but he's a deacon in the Orthodox church and he's been super awesome. he listens to what we have to say and respects us and what we teach and he also finds sense in everything which is awesome. 

So a little bit about what has been going on this week besides teaching. I have two Durres mothers here now. Just down the street from our house we have a little Byreke stall with a little lady that reminds me a ton of you, Mom. She's super short but so kind but she can be super quirky as well. She talks to me everytime we walk past. She calls me her 'zemra' which is like sweetheart or love for Albanians. But they only say it to people who they really like. The other mother is the Buke (bread) lady. She likes me cuz my language is simple and I come in every other day and buy a loaf of bread. (Elder F makes me buy the buke cuz I'm the only one that eats it and I usually go through a whole loaf in two days cuz I'm always starving every single night.) But she's just this old lady with dyed-red hair. But she is very nice as well.

Elder Clawson's evening food.  Can you tell he's a baker's son?
P-day shopping.  2 ties and a watch $25.  He was told the tie shopping is awesome!  Italian silk ties everywhere:)

Some of the crazy things here freak me out. The hardcore Muslim ladies in their burkas scare me way bad. They only wear black ones and they're the ones with just the eye slits so their whole bodies are covered except for their eyes. All the Elders in the mission call them Death Eaters or Ring Wraiths. I'll try to snap a pic of one the next time I spot one. But yeah they are freaky. Especially at night. Another thing is the butcher shops here. They leave the meat out for days at a time just out in the fresh air. And they kill the animals right in the street. Thats kinda cool. But every once in a while you'll be walking down the street and then you'll see this cute little lamb or a young cow tied to a post on the side of the street. Then you come walking back after a few minutes and you look across the window, and that same cow is hanging upside down with it's throat cut with all of it's skin taken off. Pretty crazy. But awesome at the same time. Shows that my meat is fresh. 

Also I have a bidet. Definitely gonna have one of them in my future home. Thats all I'm gonna say about that. 
Jed sent the ending to this picture as well, but it was a little graphic:)  This little guy is looking at the butcher shop he's going to end up in, in a few moments.  I liked the "fresh meat" comment.

Typical lunch for these boys.  Looks pretty tasty!  Jed's favorite thing is a Gyro that is loaded with meat and veggies and then stuffed with those french fries you see.
The food here is heavenly. Lots of veggies and meat. Kos (yogurt) and energy drinks are the cheapest things here. Kinda crazy. 

I've gotten really good at ping pong because Albanians are sometimes late for their lessons and we teach a lot at the institute building and it has a pong table in it. P-days are fun. We went to the treg (street market I'm assuming) today and bought some sweet ties and fake watches. All in all it was like 25 bucks for 2 ties and a watch. 

I'm loving it here and I'm loving serving these people. Even though I can't understand them very well I still think they're cool. I'm actually learning a ton of Geg. (The dirty form of Albanian) And I find myself speaking that a lot more than Tosk. I love you all and I'll talk about the investigators more next week!! Love you!

Love, Jed

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