Monday, January 6, 2014

I Understood Every Single Word

Elder Clawson on the quiet streets of Tirana, Albania on P-day.
Hello my lovely family,

Well I am a proud father. (When a missionary trains a new missionary straight from the MTC they are considered father and son.  And the funny thing is that Elder Foster, who trained Jed, is now considered Elder Eliason's grandfather.) My son is one Elder Eliason from a little village in Illinois. He's a month younger than me so it's not one of those weird situations where you give birth to a son that's older than you. 

These elders are all waiting to pick up their new trainees. 
So I picked him up at the mission home last Thursday along with all of the other training Elders. We were all super stoked to get our sons. We had a really good training from President Ford, (a training on how to train. THE IRONY!!), anyways, that was really good and I totally forgot that when you have a trainee, you get put on a different schedule than the normal missionaries. We have an extra hour of study during the day for "The Training Program". And they also really emphasize the fact that we shouldn't skip out on those studies. It's kinda different than from what I'm used to in the past. We kinda would skip out on a few studies as I had been here longer because we would have lessons but I guess the studies are really vital for the trainees. 

This is Jed's new companion.  Elder E. The caption that came with this photo was, "I'm Happy!"
He actually sent a really cute picture of
both of them smiling, but it was too blurry.  Sorry!  So just imagine Elder Clawson smiling too!
We took a taxi with all of Elder Eliason's stuff in it back to our house and we moved him right on in. We went out street contacting that night with the other missionaries in our branch. One other set of Elders and a set of Sisters. They are all fantastic, and the new kids are a really good group of new missionaries. 

Elder E was in his high school band and he has lots of fun stories.  He is a hard worker and enjoys putting himself out there. Me and Elder Bullock, have been throwing our trainees into the fire recently so they kinda get a foot hold on how people will react to missionaries. We had them contact by themselves for about 20 minutes last week and they got a solid number of people they talked to. They are doing great.  We are doing a lot of finding, or street contacting right now.  We have found some pretty promising people.  We met one kid named Elton that called us and asked if we could meet on Sunday and give him a Book of Mormon. We met with him last night but we didn't have enough time to really get into anything, so we just went through the introduction of the Book of Mormon with him and he seemed pretty stoked on getting the book to read. 

Jed saying goodbye to his latest companion.  
So hopefully this week really gives out some good investigators.  One amazing thing that happened this week was with my language. I was having a really hard time understanding people completely with my last companions and that was one thing that really made me nervous. I knew for a fact that no trainee was going to understand a native speaker that speaks a million miles an hour, and I was the person who had to understand what was being said. But our first lesson, I understood every single word that was said. And I was able to explain my own thoughts and that made me feel like a million bucks. Thank you all so much for your prayers. I know for a fact that they are what's keeping me alive and going here in Albania. 

This picture is from Christmas right after the elder's Skyped their families.
Today for P Day we went to the big treg (a large enclosed market)and I bought a hoody and two new ties. They're pretty cool. Elder Eliason bought a new watch and a couple cool ties as well. I told him welcome to the land of cheap ties bro. Then we went to Tajvani and went bowling again and this time they had the cosmic lights on!! That was awesome. Then we took our new companions  to eat a "Special Pita" at Time Out which is one of the missionaries favorite things in the world. We also made them drink DhallĂ«. That was awesome. (From what I've heard, this drink is very common, and served everywhere, but I haven't heard of any missionaries who actually liked it.) 


is a cold yogurt beverage mixed with salt. In addition to Turkey, where is it considered a national drink, ayran is found in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Lebanon, and is present in the North Caucasus, too. It may also be referred to as Turkish buttermilk. ...

I hope school is good for all the kids. The new couch looks freaking awesome. But it'll be a while till I see it in person. I love you all so very very much. Have a good week and have fun skiing and stuff. Tell Jess good luck with that baby!!

Love, Jed

Dear Mom,

I hope you had a good time at Jess's baby shower. It looked like a lot of fun. Tell Gem good job for learning how to ski and tell Grandpa that he better be down with skiing with me when I get home. I hope everyone is happy and healthy. Love ya mom!!

Love, Jedediah 

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