Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Spiritually Uplifted, No One Tried To Kill Us, We Shared Truths, and Hearts Were Touched

Hello my lovely family!!

Celebrating Motra L.'s birthday:)
Well thank you all so much for fasting for me!! I'm having faith that the benefits of that fast will be reaped this coming week. 
Unfortunately, this last week has been my worst week in the mission, if we are going with numbers. But I did also get really sick this last Wednesday and it definitely took a toll on our work for a couple of days because I could not move without my head feeling like it was going to explode. So thankfully the symptoms for that have kinda left and now I'm only left with a piercing ear ache that causes me to basically scream out loud on occasion. Any advice for how to get rid of an ear ache? 

2 handsome Elder's leaving church.
So work has been slow this week, but I guess I can count it as a successful week seeing as we were spiritually uplifted, no one tried to kill us, we shared truths, and hearts were touched. We street contacted until our little boy hearts could street contact no more and I had to carry my young Padawan, Elder Eliason, back to the house with fatigue running through our spirits and gut-wrenching discouragement pounding our brains. As we planned out the next days activities our mouths would be watering for a taste of an actual lesson with an interested investigator. We search our planners for numbers that we had acquired after hours of endless, language straining, and seemingly hopeless street contacting. As we dial the numbers into our handheld cellular device, I gently raise the phone to my winter cold ears with a silent prayer in my heart. Then a voice comes up on the other and it says "Numeri që thirrët nuk existon." Or in other words, "This number doesn't exist."

Hello Elder Hanks:)
Basically that's how a lot of this week panned out. People would either give us fake numbers, not answer their phones, or just straight up say "I'm not interested. (In my eternal salvation)." But I'm definitely understanding why this is happening. I had tons of success in Durrës and I had work when I first got to Tirana so God wants me to see every single aspect of missionary life. And I'm grateful that he has given me this challenge because it's making me become a lot more diligent in getting up and out of the house in the morning to go seek referrals from members, tract a pallat, or go street contact for hours on end. Sure it's disheartening and sometimes feels absolutely useless. But "God's will has a purpose but we may never know it." (This is a quote from A KNIGHTS TALE if no one remembers.)  

Jed and Elder T. looking towards Tirana.  
Yeah, so that's about all the new stuff that's going on here. I feel like this whole month of January has just been flying right by though. I'm almost halfway done with training my son. I've started calling him my Padawan from now on because I like referring to myself as Master Jedi Kllasën. We are almost to week 6 of our training schedule and I feel like I just got Elder Eliason the other day! 

Last Wednesday night I started feeling a little weird by the end of the night. I had a sort of scratchy feeling in the back of my throat and by the time I came in that night for language study I realized that I was not gonna be a happy camper in the morning. I went to bed that night and woke up the next morning feeling like I had been bulldozed by Megatron with a herd of robot elephants with Bazookas. I don't know if that made a whole lot of sense but it's how I felt. That kinda held me back from shaking hands with lots of people because I had a runny nose from hell, and my voice sounded like Lillie's from that one episode of How I Met Your Mother when she smokes the cigarettes. (Jake and Emma might know what I'm talking about.) So no one really wanted to talk to the weird, short, American kid. 

One good thing that I almost forgot to mention was my English Course Class. I have 5 regular people that come in and they are so excited to learn. The only weird disadvantage is that I teach the intermediate class, so I don't know what to teach them. They know lots of things that beginners know but they aren't as good as advanced people so it's just hard to know what to work on every week. But they have shown a little bit of interest in the Book of Mormon so I'm hoping that something beautiful will blossom from that. 

Jed was able to baptize this cute lady this week.  And the cute little blond sister missionary took piano lessons from AUNT MADALYN!!  Such a small world:) (for all those Clawson's relatives who know and love Aunt Madalyn.)
And speaking of blossoms from English Course, I got to baptize Eli this Saturday!! Elder Matson and I found her from our last English Course and we taught her quite a bit but then we had to give her up to the sisters because she lived in their branch. I did get to baptize her though, but unfortunately I said the prayer wrong, (it was in Albanian you guys, cut me some slack) so I had to dunk her twice but it was whatevs. <-- Funny. 

After all that, she told me that I was her "American son" and that just made my day. She is the nicest old lady and when I come back to Albania she wants me to stay at her house. Pretty awesome. 

P-day today was to the Tirana Zoo.  Rabbit:)
That's about it for the week. Sorry if I've been kinda weird in this email. This mission does things to you. My favorite Old Spice flavor is WOLF THORN! or Fiji. Anything that will make me smell like football, motorcycles, or something manly. Tell Seth way to keep the pride in the Clawson family!! He is our New Hope. Like Luke Skywalker. But tell him that I'm proud that he is my brother. He looks like he's stretching right out! I saw the pic on the instagram thing on your blog. Have fun skiing and I really love you guys. 

Love, Jed

Dear Mother,
So I'm staying safe and healthy for the most part.  A lot of my clothes smell like cigarette smoke because everyone smokes here and I think I might be getting addicted to second hand smoke. Ah well. Tell Brooke that I'm super happy for her! Tell her that she will be a fantastic missionary! I'm really excited for her. I love you so much!

Love, Your Eldest and Favoritest, Jedediah

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