Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Happiness You Can Only Find Through Faith

This was taken at Stake Conference a few weeks ago.  Jed loved conference because he was able to see members and companions from his first area in Durres.  This is the children of a family Jed and his trainer Elder Foster taught.  

 Hello my fellow Americans.

It's ridiculous (we actually just say diculous here because its not happening again like re-diculous) how fast the transfer has gone by! I only have one week in this transfer left and it quite possibly could be my last week in Tirana! If it's not, then that's fine too. But still it's been amazing at how much has happened since this last group of missionaries came to the country!

This week was good. Elder Eliason and I have been trying to become a little more efficient with our time. We actually had a really good training from Elder Tanner (Jed's favorite District Leader) on how we could do that. He shared the example of a guy who leaves his house to go fishing and he's away from his home for 12 hours but he only has his line in the water for 2 hours while he spends the other time doing other things. Like fussing around with his gear, walking to and fro from different places and other stuff which we would call Jargon or something like that. Another fisherman is away from his home for the same amount of time but he knows what he has to do and he has his line in the water for ten hours. Which one is going to find success? Po pra,(this means "Well Yes!") the latter is. So we really strived to have our line in the water for the 10 hours. We weren't met with lots of success but it made the success that we did find, that much sweeter. 

Elder Clawson during his morning study with his pet turtle Oatmeal.
Oatmeal didn't last long since pets are not allowed:)
We didn't get to meet with the boys this week, but I will tell ya something really cool that happened. This last Saturday we had a baptism in 2nd Branch. The sisters found this lovely lady named Mira about two months or so ago and she was being baptized by Elder Tanner this last Saturday. Elder Eliason and I had planned to meet an investigator at Taivani (the park where they do A LOT of contacting.) and walk with her to the baptism and show her where the church was and hopefully get her fellowshipped by a member. We went to Taivani about thirty minutes before the baptism started and we were standing there and our investigator wasn't showing up. It was about time to leave but we decided to stay for like 5 more minutes and then out of the blue I see this kid walk up to my left smiling super big. I looked over at him and it was Hermes! I know you have all been praying for us to have the opportunity to start teaching with these boys again and they have totally been helping. I talked with him for a little bit and found out that he finally found work moving furniture and they've been really busy with everything but they really wanna meet with us still and get baptized. I told them that we would see them this week after we talked with their friend Dori. 

That was definitely a testimony building experience for me. In every single one of my personal prayers and companionship prayers I've asked God for the opportunity to just see one of the boys before next Sunday. And honestly, right when my hope was dwindling into unbelief, Hermes shows up in the five minutes that we had left at Taivani. This means something. 

The Missionaries of the 2nd Ward.  I think this was at a restaurant that had great
American hamburgers according to Elder Eliason:)
Also, the investigator that we were meeting at Taivani actually just walked straight to the church, found a friend, and was already given a Book of Mormon, and was waiting for us when we came back for the baptism. HOLY GUACOMOLE COVERED COW!!!! The baptism went fantastic and the investigators name was Elda. Unfortunately we were only able to have one lesson with her before we realized that she lived in the 4th Ward area (Jed's in the 2nd Ward) so we had to hand her off to the other missionaries. That's the only thing that really bugs me about being in Tirana. I find lots of people while street contacting but they never live in 2nd Ward!! DAHH!!

We've had English course this week too and I'm actually teaching the Beginner Class with Elder Tanner and we have the two trainees teaching the Medium Class while the Sister's teach Advanced. We've found 5 investigators out of the two classes and we are really excited to see what happens with them. We teach them every Friday and Wednesday. It's fun and I learn more Albanian then they do English actually. 

Lately we've been working with a part member family. They have a 9 year old boy that isn't baptized yet because they want their son, who's in America, to do it. We don't know if he's actually coming back, so yeah we usually make a couple stops there every week to kinda emphasize the importance of being baptized. They're a really good family though so I think they will come to reason. 

Elder Iron Man

P-Day activity.  The found the greatest toy store on the planet!  Can you tell they're still just kids at times?
This week I saw Mira get baptized. I don't even know her that well but after she was baptized, I saw a happiness radiate from her that I couldn't describe. It wasn't a happiness that the world can give you, it was happiness that you can only find through faith. She exercised her faith in being baptized and she is already seeing the blessings of that. 

I FIXED MY HOUSE TOO!! I am no longer in search of a new shtëpi (apt.)  because I have repaired almost every problem in the home. It's very clean and pretty now. This week we also found a turtle. We had him for a couple days and then we realized we can't have pets as missionaries. We named him Oatmeal and I think it's a good thing that we found out we had to get rid of him because I think he was depressed. He just sat in a corner all day. And ate bread and every now and then we'd put him in the shower and let him drink some WATAHHH!!! We found him just chilling outside the church and this lady looked out her window and was like "That breshkë has been there for 4 days. Take it away!" When we found out we couldn't keep Oatmeal we sent him away. Now it's just back to me and Elder Eliason in the house. Kinda lonely. 

Well that's about it for the week. We're planning on having the best week ever this coming week!! But it's supposed to rain all week so maybe not. Ishalla Kismet.(means I hope so!) I'm glad everyone is alive and well. Tell Grandma Clawson hi for me. Tell The Southam's that Carter better not have supple white skin or else he will surely be TAKEN by the Mafia guys. That supple, white, American skin brings a high price. (I'm sure he's just kidding Southams!) And tell him to also get excited to have the biggest adventure of his life. I love you all!!

Love, Jed

Dear Mother, 
How many more ski days do you think you'll get in? And yes, you're right by saying we shoulda skipped school more often because I never got to skip school to go skiing with the family. Like I said, you love the younger children more. Just kidding. For some dumb reason I haven't gotten the package yet but I'm sure it'll get here. I love you and have fun in Powell!! Be safe!

Love, Tedediah, The Man, The Myth, The Legend

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