|Today's p-day activity involved climbing to the top of "The Pyramid" in Tirana.|
New Year's is the big holiday in Albania. Jed said last night was like World War III. Rockets and fireworks blasting all night!
The pyramid: International Center of Culture (Albanian: Piramida) was a museum in Tirana, Albania, that opened on October 14, 1988. Formerly known as "Enver Hoxha Museum." This pyramid-shaped structure was designed by the daughter and son-in-law of the late communist leader Enver Hoxha. It served as a museum about his legacy, but after 1991 became a conference center and exhibition venue. Some sources have referred to it as the "Enver Hoxha Mausoleum" although this was not an official appellation.
During the 1999 Kosovo War, the museum was used as a base by NATO and humanitarian organizations.
It appears that the 17,000 meters square complex may be destroyed for the new Albanian parliament to be built on its place. However, some leading foreign architects have opposed such a move while other supported it. Historian Ardian Klosi who died recently, initiated a petition not to demolish the structure with around 6000 signatures. Prior to being designated as the seat of the Albanian parliament, the structure was originally supposed to be turned into an opera theater. However construction works were halted, while the exterior marble tiles were removed and seen in a depot outside of Tirana.
Since 2001, part of the Pyramid is used as broadcasting center by Albanian TV channel Top Channel. The surrounding space is currently being used as a parking lot, and bus station for mini vans to Elbasan.
Hello sweet family!!!!!!
So it's been a while since I've written you all an email. Lots of stuff has happened though.
Well I started the week with Elder A and we just kept working with a family we've been teaching and with E. and getting them all ready for baptism that week. Before Christmas we had the baptism for E and there were so many people there to support him. All of the young women came and watched him be baptized which was a totally self esteem boost for E. He also brought his sister who kinda had interest in the church but not a whole lot and we still haven't been able to set up a meeting with her. The baptism went fantastic and I didn't have to dunk him more than once. He gave a balling testimony and we all ended with lots of smiles.
The next day was the day for the family's baptisms in Durres. So we ended up taking a fergon (Like a big van with tons of people on it.) on out to Durres and I got to see tons of old friends there. Two of the Pjetri family kids were there and I got to talk with them for a while as well. The dad got to baptize all three of the kids which was such a spiritual boost for that family. The kids came up and gave their testimony and cute little Erik got up there, said good evening, and then just started crying! It was the cutest thing that I've ever seen!!
So we were on cloud nine that night and we actually came home with the family in their freaking nice Mercedes-Benz. That was a lot of fun and Erik was going freaking crazy. But ah well.
So it was basically just busy work after that with Elder A until Christmas came. The Shkoder Elders came and stayed with us all night Christmas Eve and that was ridiculously fun. The next morning we woke up and I opened up all of my presents, which were so cool by the way, and then we made blueberry pancakes for everyone. We went to the treg (an open market I believe.) and I bought a new watch and some new scarves and what not and then we went on our way to the mission home to go and eat with the Fords.
There were 6 of us who were invited to come and eat at the mission home. We got to the mission home and waited a little bit for everyone to get there and then we all sat at the table and exchanged some gifts that we had been given from the Fords. We had lots of good things to eat at their house and we all had a good time. After dinner we completed a big puzzle with a picture of a Ferrari on it. Then we watched an original British Christmas movie called the "Snowman" which was just a silent cartoon with a soundtrack of music but I really liked it. It was cool.
Then I went to an internet joint and I got to Skype with ya'll!!! That was fantastic to talk with everyone. Jane is so big! It's ridiculous. I've missed out on all of that fun with her!! She made me more trunky than Kirsten did. And thanks for letting me talk with her for a little bit as well. We both appreciate it.
After all that, A and I just tried to get work done. He was dying hard core and I know it was hard for him to get the desire to work. (When a missionary is about to return home they are considered "Dying". Compared to when they get to the mission they are considered "Born".) But we did fine and it was really sad when they left on Sunday. Two elders came down from Shkoder and they picked up A from the house and Elder B just stayed with me. We said our goodbyes and told them that we would see them in a year and a half! That was the night that we also got our transfer calls.
Me and B went and worked and then came home to wait for our calls from President Ford. B got his first and he was told that he would be staying in Shkoder and he would be going with Elder V. who is a native!! He was stoked and nervous at the same time but it was all good. Then President wanted to get on the phone with me.
He asked me how I was doing and how it was with Elder A and after I had answered all of his questions he told me that I would be staying in the second branch, and I would be training.
I don't know if this is a big deal to ya'll, but it blew me out of the water! I'm the only Elder in my group who will be training and I don't know if I'll be able to handle it!! This boy better be good at the language or heaven help him cuz I won't be able to. A lot of praying has been happening with this and I'm excited to start. I meet the new missionaries tomorrow and we'll have a meeting and then I'll be taking my new "son" to the house to start work. Pretty crazy.
Well that's the news for the week. I'm glad you all got to go skiing recently. Sounds fun. I love you guys so much!! Have a good week.
I am super nervous to train. It's a really big step for me and I hope I can do my best. I hope everything is okay with you and the family. I love you guys so much.