Monday, February 3, 2014

Smiles On Their Faces and the Spirit In Their Hearts

Elder Clawson with some new friends.  The young man on the left is from Turkey and was THRILLED
to find the American's.  He had been lost for a few hours, and Jed and his companion helped him
find his Hostel.  The man on the right is the Hostel owner.

Hello Mother and Family!!

This week was great!! Thank you so much for the fast and for all of the prayers because they have really helped Elder Eliason and I so much this week!! 

Jed's bookmark.  Dr. Who fans will get it.  
So the week started out with us still finding people and trying to get some work done. Monday night we taught an investigator named Pelumb and a recent convert named Algida. Actually it was more of them asking Elder Eliason to teach them the Plan of Salvation because they saw that he needed to get some good practice in with speaking Albanian. He taught about the Plan of Salvation and I was just sitting quiet off to the side and answered his questions when he couldn't understand or if he didn't know what to say. It was a good lesson and we had fun. Elder E. is doing great! 
Jed and Elder Eliason riding the train home from a lesson.

Pelumb is actually an investigator in another branch, but he was at the Institute Center when we had the lesson going on and he asked if he could join in with us. He's getting baptized this week and all of the missionaries in the two branches are super stoked! He's kinda been an investigator for a really long time. He had to give up smoking and some other stuff and he's a great guy so we're all really happy to see him progress in the gospel. 

Later this week we went and saw a family that lives out in a little fshat (village) called Kashar. I actually went and visited them every now and then with Elder Matson but their dad wasn't at home because he was sick at the time, and was in Italy. But this time we went with the sister missionaries and the father was there with the rest of the family. It was fantastic! We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the sister's kinda put an emphasis on baptism because only one of the children is baptized, and the mom and dad are really good people that want to be baptized. We told her that we want her to be happy and not feel rushed into baptism. She knows that it's the right thing and is just kinda stressed because she's always at work and trying to keep her family in line and stuff. 

Elder Clawson and some of his investigators.
One night, I believe it was Wedneday night, we were out street contacting and we had gotten a few numbers and feeling pretty good when I said "Hi!" to this couple that was walking in front of us. The girl stopped to talk to us. The guy seemed kinda ticked that I had stopped his girlfriend. We stated that we were missionaries and that we were talking with people about this book. (The Book of Mormon) The girl told us that her name was Emanuela and that she was Catholic. The guy just told us that he was Atheist. I took the hint that he wasn't very happy to be talking to us. Emanuela gave us her number and said that she was interested to know about the Book of Mormon. We kept contacting that night and got a few more numbers and then went home. We called her that night and set up a meeting for the next. We met her at the park and gave her a Book of Mormon and told her that if she read it, and prayed about it she would receive an answer that it was true. 

This is Elder Clawson street contacting.  No wonder no one wants to talk to him:)
The following night we were out on the street again talking with people on the road and here comes Emanuela. She stops us and says that she has some questions. She was always confused with the Catholic Church and how they believe in the Trinity and such. She asked us what we thought about the trinity and we told her that we believe that they are three separate beings. She said "Okay that makes sense." and basically just left after that. We called her for a lesson at the church for the next day and we met her at the park and she brought a friend with her named Helga. We called some other Elders to meet us at the church and we also called Stela (Stela is a cute member who helps the missionaries out with investigator lessons quite often. )to come and help us out with the lesson. 

There was Elder Webster, Elder Braden, Elder Eliason, Stela, Emanuela, Helga, and me all sitting in the chapel. We taught about the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Wow! That was honestly one of the best lessons I've ever had. Helga was asking wonderful questions about being a child of God and at one point she asked "How could these things be true?" And right then Emanuela looked at her and said "Helga these things are true." Holy Cow! Yes they are!" that's what I was thinking. So needless to say, they left that night with smiles on their faces and the Spirit in their hearts. Unfortunately only Emanuela was able to make it to church yesterday but that's okay. We're planning on giving her a baptismal date tomorrow when we meet with her again. Probably Helga as well if she comes. 
So yeah, work has gotten a lot better and we have a lot of potential people to meet with because we've found tons of new phone numbers that hopefully aren't fake. 

3 Generation Photo:  Elder Foster was Jed's trainer, Elder Clawson, and then Elder Eliason who is Jed's trainee.
So in missonary terms Elder Foster is considered Elder Eliason's grandpappy:)
Other things that happened this week:
We were street contacting outside of this center on Myslym Shyri (A main street they contact on.)and out of the blue this guy comes up to us and says, "Americans! Thank heavens!" He was a lost 22 year old guy from Turkey! He had come to Albania on holiday and didn't know a lick of Albanian. He had been looking for a hotel for the past 2 hours and no one could communicate with him. The name of his hotel was "The Tirana Backpacker Hostel". And luckily, I knew exactly where it was. So he walked with us and he asked tons of questions about us. We told him all about the church and what we did as missionaries and all kinds of things. His name was Mesu. He was from Istanbul and spoke really good english. We got to the Hostel and rang the buzzer so we could go inside. The owner of the Hostel came out and you should have seen this guy. It was young Mr. Litizzete. Super Granola! He had a sweet beard, nice ponytail, and his hotel was so awesome! I'm definitely going to stay there when I come back after my mission. It was the most granola looking place I'd ever seen outside of Cache Valley! We're talking Rock Haus and Cafe Ibis kinda granola. So we got him all settled in the hotel and I got a pic with Mesu and the owner and then we left Mesu on his own. I gave him my email and he told me I was his new American Best Friend. He was a total stud. I told him that if he ever comes to America he can stay with me. 

Jed was responsible for cleaning the toilets at the church the other day and he found these cigarettes in the
back of the toilet tank.  He compared it to the $100 bill episode Jed had as a little kid.  Where he stole a $100 bill
out of James' planner, then felt bad about it and tore it up into a million pieces and scattered them around the house.  We realized something was amiss when baby Seth pooped out a corner of the $100 bill.  The part with two zero's.  We knew we were in trouble:) Jed made up 300 stories before we finally figured out what had happened.  Jed said some poor member or investigator must have felt that deep dread, and regret so they stashed the cigs out of sight.
Well that's about it for this week. Hope all is well with you guys. I love you so much and I miss you!! Keep having fun and skiing. Enjoy the Olympics too. 

Love, Jed

P-day and Jed sporting a new haircut, and eating his beloved Byreke. Börek (also burek and other variants) is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as phyllo (or yufka). It can be filled with cheese, often feta, sirene or kaşar; minced meat, or vegetables. It was most probably invented in what is now Modern Turkey, in the Anatolian Provinces of the Ottoman Empire in its early era, to become a popular element of Ottoman cuisine.  A börek may be prepared in a large pan and cut into portions after baking, or as individual pastries. The top of the börek is often sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Dear Mother, 
Thank you so much for writing me weekly. Tell Eric and Jess congratulations! I'm excited to see Eve when I come home. She'll be the Jane that I didn't get to experience while I was gone!! I love you Mom! You are fantastic and I couldn't have asked for a better mother! I'm so grateful to have you in my life and to still care about me even when I'm halfway across the world!! Thanks for all that you've done and all that you still do. Tell Papa Jimmy, Happy Freaking Birthday and that "HE'S AWESOME!!" 

Love, The Eldest Elder

No comments:

Post a Comment