Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lonely Valentine's Day

Hello Everyone!! 

Well I had a really great week. Nothing too crazy or scary but it was fun and we got work done!

This is Elder Tanner who Jed thinks is the BEST DISTRICT LEADER around!!
So the week started out on Mon. with a retention lesson with Algida and Pellum. It went well. I don't know if I have ever really talked about Elder Tanner with you before, but he's my district leader and he's probably one of the best missionaries I've ever seen. He served in Prishtina (Kosovo) for a long time and then he came down with me into the Tirana 2nd branch and he's training a new missionary as well. He gives some of the best training meetings when we all meet as a district. He gave a really good training this week on how to be consecrated missionaries and how if we strive to be consecrated we will receive miracles. That's just my spill on my favorite District Leader. 

This week we met with Emanuela once on Tuesday and taught the Word of Wisdom. She took it very well and we told her that if she is ever placed in a situation where someone is offering her drugs or booze, to give us a call right then. She said she would. After that we did a lot of finding to kinda widen our pool of teaching. Our finding efforts have kinda been slacking lately so we're trying to get a lot better with that. We've met with Evi three times this last week and he is doing fantastic. He and Sam are going to seminary and participating in church and just being good kids. Sam gave a talk in church yesterday about the Holy Ghost and he did fantastic. Short and sweet kinda like Evi's talk last week, but it was still awesome. 

Elder Eliason and I are really trying to get better with our language. We've started a really difficult goal of SYL (Speak Your Language- The missionaries do this quite frequently in the MTC to practice their language.  They can only speak Albanian and no English.) lately too. We speak Albanian right when we get up and up until we come in for lunch. After lunch, we speak only Albanian until we come inside of the house at about 9 o'clock. We've been good with it somedays and not so good at other times. But holy guacamole!! Elder Eliason has had a huge jump in the language and I've been asked by a couple people if I'm Albanian this week!! Miracles happen!!

Valentine's activites with the Young Single Adults.  Elder Clawson became VERY competative during Musical Chairs:)
We had a lonely Valentines Day but it was still fun. We actually took Emanuela to a YSA (Young Single Adult) party with all of the young single adults from Tirana. Stela (Stela is a beautiful Albanian member of the church who helps the missionaries immensely! She helps with lessons, and is the best example of a MEMBER MISSIONARY!  I need to be more like her.) set it all up and she did a fantastic job. Emanuela enjoyed herself and we all had a good time. We played Musical Chairs, (which Jed's companion said he got VERY competitive about!) did some traditional Albanian dancing, and all kinds of other fun things.
So right after the party I was kinda prompted to give Emanuela to the Motrat (Motra is sister missionaries) . Several different reasons for that and it was the right thing to do. So the next day we had a hand off lesson with her, Helga, and the Mortas. We had a Book of Mormon chat and then explained that we would be letting the Sisters teach her from then on. And all she said was "Ok." She didn't even ask us why! Jeez, talk about not being appreciated. Just kidding, it's good that it wasn't a hard hand off. 

Sunday Dinner with the Grimci family.  Thank you Grimci's!!
Sunday was really fun. Right after church, all of the missionaries were invited by the Grimci family (a kind member family) to come on over for lunch. We had pasta, chicken, salad, cherry preserves, and all kinds of good stuff. Then we just talked and shared a spiritual thought about temples with them. Good afternoon. Then we spent the rest of the night out finding at Taivani (the local park). Kinda long but it's good for us.
Elder Clawson in Taivani Park contacting people. And eating an ice cream cone.
 Today we actually went to Krujë! That was really fun. They have a castle there.

Sometimes I can totally tell this kid is barely 18, on his own in a foreign country, and is loving his independence:)

Street market on the road up to the castle.  Pure tourist attraction and tourist trap as Elder Eliason put it:)

Jed's companion Elder Eliason.

(The Krujë castle (Albanian: Kalaja e Krujës) is a castle in the city of Krujë, Albania and the center of Skanderbeg's battle against the Ottoman Turks. The castle withstood three massive sieges from the Turks, with garrisons usually no larger than 2,000-3,000 men. Mehmed II "The Conqueror" himself could not break the castle's small defenses. Today it is a center of tourism in Albania, and a source of inspiration to Albanians.)

and we left this morning and had a blast looking around up there. It was super pretty there too. We had pizza and then came home. Nice P-Day. 

Well that's about it for me. I am sorry the stupid snow isn't staying but ah well. I'm just glad Elder Anderson can't rub it in my face. And I hope he reads this at some point. I love you all and have a good week!!

Love, Jed

Dear Mom, 
I love you so much and guess what?! Elder Austin called me at like 11:30 last night from the AP's phone to tell me he loved me and that he was leaving at 5 this morning. He's been ridiculously sick so we kinda saw this coming but it was still horrible to hear about it. He's the greatest! Well have a good and safe week. I love you!

Love, Jed

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