Thursday, February 27, 2014

God Loves His Children

Beso means "BELIEVE" in Albanian.  (Kiss in Spanish:)
Hello Dear Fam!!
Well I'm glad to hear it's getting a little warmer out there in Utah. Sorry the snow has been so yucky. I'm sure it'll be fantastic the year I come home.
This week went by way fast! A lot of it was spent in finding efforts once again, but hey, that's just how the cookie crumbles. So yeah last Monday after P-Day ended we just went onto the main road by the church and street contacted for a few hours. Got a few numbers but one of them was a lady that asked "So do we only meet and talk about God? We don't meet and have fun?" So yeah we gave that number to the sisters.
No idea how he got chocolate on his eyes.
At church yesterday though, we were met with quite a pleasant surprise. There was a girl named Dori who was sitting with three boys. I was greeting all of the members so I told Elder Eliason to go and introduce himself and tell them how we were missionaries and to kinda get to know them. He talked to them for about 15 minutes and then he came back with a huge smile on his face. Apparently these boys are super interested in learning about the church and want to serve missions in the future. They said that they've seen missionaries before and been impressed by how they act and what they do.
So after church, I got to talking to them and we gave them some Books of Mormon and just simply gave our testimonies on how we know these things are true and that they are the words of God. They were all super stoked to be learning about the church and we have a meeting with them tomorrow so we really hope they come. That would just make my life to have someone to study for!!
This week I also had an exchange with Elder Tanner while the trainees went together for the day in my area. I stayed in Elder Tanner's house, which we call the Treehouse, because it's in the Tirana e Re area. We had planned for a pretty full day of lessons and we had really high hopes for a day of success. We woke up the next day and had to head to the church at 7 o'clock because we had to fill up the font for a baptism. I'm the only Elder in all of Tirana that knows how to do it. We waited till about 10 for the 3rd Branch Elders to come and take over since it was their baptism. 

Growing up in a bakery came in quite handy Sunday.  Jed's got some great kneading skills.
 I think Sister Winder was impressed:)

As we went throughout the day it started raining freaking hard. Therefore, due to the natural thoughts of the Albanian people, you can't go outside when it's raining or else you get sick. (James said that the people in Taiwan thought the same about rain. 23 years ago. If they went out in it, they would get sick, so rainy days in Taiwan were not productive either.) That sucked. So no lessons showed up that day and no one would answer their phones. DAH!!
Elder Eliason and Elder Baldwin had about the same day as us. No lessons and no numbers. But I did have one interesting experience. We were street contacting and I stopped an older gentleman and he asked me who I thought Jesus was and then he proceeded to tell me how I'm too young and too stupid to know anything about the nature of Jesus or God. I was wasting my time preaching false doctrine according to him. That kinda broke me down a little bit but I just sucked it up and put my big boy pants on. But at the end of the night, Elder Tanner built me back up and told me that he was really impressed with me and how I take missionary work and he told me I was a fantastic Elder. That just made the whole day better, especially coming from him. It's amazing what nice words can do for you.
This was a meal of Qofte which is like sausage, and Lakror which is an Albanian quesadilla:)

I'll tell a bit about what happened yesterday too. Right after church we went straight to the Winders for lunch,(The Winder's are a wonderful Senior Couple from Idaho that are serving in Jed's area.  Most of the dinner appointments Jed has had, have been at the Winder's home.) WHICH WAS HEAVENLY!! After we ate we went to a lesson with the other Elders in our branch to help them. We met with 3 Evangelists at the church. They wanted to see what our church looked like and what we taught. The other Elders had one lesson with them about a week ago and they were given a Book of Mormon. They had a lot of questions about it.
Ice Cream! 
Here's how it went: I was sitting while all the other elders were standing and then the 3 "investigators" surrounded me. And then came the torrential onslaught of emotional, spiritual, and mental racking comments. These were 3 kids who were about 25 years old, picking on a small 18 year old kid who has been taken from his comfortable home in America, thrown into a country where he can't speak one of the hardest languages known to man, ripping him to pieces with comments and questions, trying to make him doubt the only things he knows are 100% true. 

These people were not there to learn about my church, but to mock it and criticize it. I didn't Bible Bash. I simply answered their questions with honest answers that were coming from my heart.

I'm going to close this letter by telling you that God loves his children. Last night I was overwhelmed with the Spirit as I was answering the questions being asked me. I know for a fact that I could not have defended my church, my fellow Elders, or for the Prophet Joseph Smith if the Spirit was not with me last night. Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God and he did restore this Church. We are all children of God. The Book of Mormon is true and I have a firm testimony of it. There is no truer book. If anyone reading this email has any questions about their life, they can be answered by prayer. If you humble yourself before the Lord and ask with real intent, I know for a fact that He will answer you. One of the blessings of being out here on a mission is that I get to see this happen in people's lives on a daily basis.
I love this church and I love being a missionary!
Love, Jed
Dear Mom, 
I'm glad to hear it's starting to get kinda springy out there. It's starting to warm up a lot here. Can't wait for short sleeve shirts. The transfer is ending at the end of this next month! My son will be leaving my wing! He's doing well!  Crazy. Well I love you Mom. So much!!
Love, Jed

1 comment:

  1. I love it! Serving as a full-time missionary is the best! Every experience is for your good - and that experience is one he'll never forget. Jed is awesome - and I love how proud you are of him. I'm proud of him too! He is rockin' it :)