Sunday, March 16, 2014

We Have God

Missionaries headed to the organization of the first stake in Albania!  Don't they all
look great in their red ties:)
Hello Family!

Well I'm stoked to hear that you had a really good time water skiing! The weather here is starting to feel like summer and I've been ridiculously trunky over biking lately! I HATE IT!! Why can't my mission ride bikes?!

Big news first! So yeah yesterday the Tirana, Albania Stake was formed!! The first stake in the Balkans!! Elder Kearon of the Seventy came and organized the new stake, along with another Area Authority named Elder Charles. They're both really fun guys and I got to talk to both of them a bit on Saturday when they were having a meeting with all of the Priesthood Holders.
Yesterday I got a call at about 8:30 from my Zone Leaders saying that all the Tirana Missionaries had to hussle their bunions down to the Pallati i Kongreseve, which is where we were all meeting to form the stake. It's kinda just like a huge auditorium and stuff. So we ran down to the place and found out that we just had to guide people to the doors and what not. The young men were supposed to do it, but Albanian young men can kinda slack off every now and then, just like every other group of young men in the entire world. It's just how it works:) 

The Elder's and the Sister's with one of the sister's investigators.
We guided people and stuff and we were pulling in stragglers in til about 10:50ish. And the meeting started at 10. Needless to say I missed a lot. I missed all of the new callings for people who will be serving in the bishoprics, who's gonna be the new stake president, and other things that were cool. So I came in and I got to listen to Sister and President Ford speak for about 15 minutes and then I got a call from the sisters saying that my investigators were standing outside waiting for me to come and get them. I went outside, found them and then the sisters asked me to go find their investigator who was down at the center of the city. I went with my companion, Hermes, and Fatjon (2 young men Jed's been teaching) and we booked it down to the center and found the sisters investigator.
Needless to say, I missed all of the meeting. I was very sad. Destroyed actually. But the good part was, I got to see all of the missionaries that I've missed and all of the people from Durrës!! I saw Esnajder on Sat. night right after I sang at the Cultural Event, and then I saw the Pjetri Daughters at the conference. So that was really fun.
Hermes and Fatjon are doing lovely. We're now teaching one of their friends named Musa. He's a lot like them but I don't think he's Albanian by origin so I'll ask him that when we meet with him again. Last night we taught the Word of Wisdom to them and they promised us that they would be trying so hard to not do those things. Smoking is hard for them and coffee but we told them that they could save a ton of money if they didn't buy those things and that statement really brightened their day.
After the lesson I was talking with Fatjon and I asked him if he is praying and he looked at me and told me that every morning when he and Hermes wake up, they get together and they pray. And then right before they go to bed at night, they pray. Then he said "Because now, (as he flicks the Word of Wisdom pamphlet) We have God!"
Obviously we are very excited for these boys. They are doing fantastic and progressing beautifully. I'm so happy to be teaching them. 
P-Day activities.  
Sorry the pics not great, but these two boys are some of Jed's favorite people.  Evi and Sam were both baptized just recently, and are doing fantastic!
This week is Week 11 of the training program for new missionaries. It's the week that Elder Eliason is basically by himself. I just sit back and let him take the reigns. I let him plan, he leads lessons, and I act like a trainee basically. I'm excited to see if he's ready. I think he is. 

I'll talk a bit about the cultural event this last saturday. I sang with all of the other missionaries in Tirana and there were some other little talks given and some more songs sung by a choir. And then JULIAN GJOJDESHI sang!! (Julian was the first baptism Jed was involved with when he first got to Albania.) I was smiling from ear to ear when I heard him sing. He's way good and all the people in the place were bawling like little babies. I talked with Julian a bit afterwards and we had a few laughs. Everyone from Durrës is so impressed with my language now cuz I was pretty awful when I was in Durres with Elder Foster.
Organization of the first stake in Albania!
I did see one miracle this week. When I saw all of the people from all over Albania come together to celebrate the formation of a stake after only 20 years of being introduced to the gospel, I saw the blessings that come into our lives by means of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is how the human race can find pure joy. I love this gospel, I love these people, and I love being here helping build the Kingdom of God!!

Well, that's about it for this week. I love you all and I miss you like Wolverine misses his memory! Thanks for the support. I hope all is well with everyone's health and stuff.
Love, Jedediah

Dear Mom,
Why didn't you go skiing?! Gators don't eat people. How's the new website going? It looks great. How's the new dog? I guess she's not that new anymore but you get what I mean. I love you so much and thanks a buttload for sending me the emails every week!
Love, Jed

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