Monday, December 2, 2013

Have You Ever Received An Answer From A Prayer?

Dearest Family,

Mishies outside the church.
I'm glad to hear that all is well with you and with everyone else. I'm glad the canyon was open and you were all able to go through that way for Thanksgiving. Sorry Basin wasn't good enough for you all to go skiing though. That kinda makes me sad. How was the food at the party and the Clawsons? Probably superb. 

Jed made 4 fruit pizzas for Thanksgiving and a mission conference.  Can you tell he is a baker's son:)
My Thanksgiving was actually really good. So I left for the mission home with 4 huge Fruit Pizzas that looked like HEAVEN!! We had a good mission conference for a couple hours where we received training from President and Sister Ford, which is always fantastic because they are funny and can always help us do better, and then from a couple of the missionaries as well which was fantastic as well. I was kinda down on myself though and a little bit homesick. But that exact day, I got a letter from Dad and also from Kirsten. They were sent about a week after I got into the country and I got them about 3 months late. But their letters really comforted me and got me back into the Spirit of Working. I was very grateful to get them and know that I'm not forgotten!! Just kidding, I know you all love me. 

Elder Clawson and Elder R. who was in Jed's MTC group.  Mission Conference.
After we ended our mission conference, we all went down into the basement where all the senior couples had prepared a meal for all of the missionaries. There was turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, tons of desserts, and loads of fruit salads. It was all so good. The only thing that I was kinda bummed about was that the stuffing wasn't Stove Top brand. I really like that stuff but oh well. It was fun to just talk and to chat about whats going on in all of our areas. It's nice to see the Elders from Kosovo that we hardly ever get to see as well. I talked with Elder Rawlings and Allgaier a ton and got to know how everything is working up there. Seems all is good and the work is coming along slowly but surely nonetheless. 

So for the talent show stuff, I sang a remix of the Pokemon theme song with the district from Durres, and for the district here in Tirana we did a midget dance to a cool primary song. Unfortunately the zone in Lushnje and Fier won but they had a sweet talent. They had a way cool rap that they did. The overall winner was Elder Brown from Shkoder and his "magic" tricks which were hilarious. All the Elders from Shkoder are actually going to be staying at our house tonight which should be a party.

The dessert contest was really good. I genuinely thought I was gonna win the contest but I lost to a cheesecake! All the missionaries just like chocolate stuff cuz they're a bunch of cheesecake lovers. Just kidding. Or am I? 

Elder Clawson with two young men who are going to be baptized!
I had an exchange this week with one of my zone leaders. Elder P. We had a really good day together and got work done! Our (Jed and Elder Matson) goals this week for numbers were 10 member lessons, 10 other lessons and 7 new investigators. It meant that we were gonna have to work really hard. We reached 2 of the 3 goals and we are very happy. We got a golden new investigator named Evi. He's really good friends with a boy named Samuel who is already one of our investigators and he's been bringing Evi to the seminary classes and to church for a bit. He asked to be taught because he wants to be baptized and we were just like heck yes!! 

He's being baptized the same day as a family we're teaching and he asked me to baptize him. My first legit baptism if this goes through. He reads every day and yesterday I had a lesson with him about reading and praying often and one of the questions that I asked him was "Have you ever received an answer from a prayer?" And he just beamed and said "Yeah, one time I prayed and I received two answers from one prayer!" Instantly I was just like, You are a stud Evi. You know this stuff is true and YOU ARE AWESOME!! So we are also teaching several of the people from our English Course. They are very happy to meet with us and I'm hoping that they go places. They have fantastic potential. 

Today for P Day we went bowling as a zone basically. I took 3rd which definitely boosted my ego more than it should. We left from bowling and came to the Winders home and had some fantastic BLT sandwiches. They seriously are some of the nicest people. 

We have a Christmas tree taped up on our wall with a few of Elder Matsons presents wrapped up underneath. Maybe I'll buy myself a present just so I can have something under the tree. I've eaten the pumpkin bread and all of the other mixes now. They were delicious. I'm saving the wassail a little bit. I want some Christmas morning before I go and work. I'm excited to talk to ya'll!! I may ask you to take my bike into the frame so I can see it. 

Snow in the mountains above Tirana, Albania.
So, this morning I got on to read the emails that I'd gotten from everyone. I read Mom's first and I was instantly bawling like a baby. It has broken my heart to hear about Mr. Litizzete. (Jed's favorite teacher of all time died Sat. in a tragic accident.  Here's a link to the news article about it.That guy was not only the best teacher I've ever had but he actually helped strengthen my testimony. He wasn't a member but he was a God fearing man and every now and then we had some good conversations on the subject. Having little chats every now and then with him was one of the funnest things to do during a busy, rushed, and hectic school day. I loved watching some sweet GoPro video every day before class started. I enjoyed going to the Banff Film Festival with him too! I enjoyed talking with him about "Where the Trail Ends", downhill biking, skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, and all sorts of crazy stuff. He was the one that influenced me and Scott to go skiing at Alta during the middle of a school week. He had an awesome beard and ponytail for heavens sake!

But the best thing that he did for me was this: He helped me see God's hand in everything. When he would teach us about how plants use the light to survive, how DNA replicates itself, or how animal populations could effect everything around them, I knew he was thinking the same thing as I was. All of this is part of something bigger. He was definitely one of the best people I've ever met. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week. I love you all and remember that this is the true church!!!!

Love, Jed

Dear Mom, 
Thanks for keeping me posted on everything. And thanks a ton for the recipe for fruit pizza. They turned out fantastic and they should have won because they were good. All the senior couples told me it was amazing. I'm actually making one for the family we're teaching tonight so that will be fun. I love you so much and thanks for everything. 

Love you, 

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