Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Know It's True

Hello Everyone!

Well I'm ridiculously tired right now so this letter probably won't be the longest one. Sorry!

But this week was spectacular. Elder Watson and I have been teaching this family that we met last week and they are so awesome! They love coming and meeting with us and they love learning more about the church. We invited them to be baptized in June and they are progressing and preparing for that day. We are super duper excited for them.

The Elder's getting smoothies one day.  We thought they looked delicious!
So this week was really good also because we got lots of sun. I am a tan piece of man. We went to Berat today and I swear it was like 500 degrees and I almost died. Poor Elder Watson is having a problem though. There's this old guy that we see around town every now and then and I don't necessarily have a problem with him, but every time he sees us he comes up to Elder Watson and gives him the nastiest, wettest, biggest kiss I've ever seen. And he just sits and talks with Elder Watson for like thirty minutes. I street contact with other people until Elder Watson starts begging me to save him. I'll be a little quicker to help him this week. 
This is Ersi who helps the missionaries out so much!  The sign is advertising a carwash, and Jed thought it was quite funny that it said, "Car Wash with a Grope"  I'm sure it meant HAND Car Wash:)

The family that we are teaching is awesome! We meet with them pretty often and they walk with us to the Institute Center and then we sit around and have a nice lesson. The other night we taught them the Plan of Salvation and at the very end Elder Watson gave them the commitment to pray to know if the Plan of Salvation was God's plan for his children. Cimi looked at him and said "If I didn't already believe that, I wouldn't have even stayed or come to this lesson. I know it's true, but I will pray about it." So needless to say they are an awesome family. The mom can't come to church on sundays though! DAH!! She has to work every single day and she can't ever get it off. So there's going to be a lot of praying and fasting done for her. She has shown the biggest desire to get baptized though but she's gotta come to church if she wants to get baptized. 

Really I have like nothing super interesting that happened this week that I can think of right now. I'm so dead right now and I can't remember anything that happened. This morning we woke up at 6am and caught a bus out to Berat which is down in the south. It's got a castle and it's just a really pretty place in general. I've decided that is where I'm going to buy my home. It's kinda weird because here in Albania they let people live right next to the castles and all of these amazing monuments and stuff. 

We've been doing a lot of finding again. We've met some really good people. We found this one guy named Ermal in the road a while back and we actually set up a lesson with him and then I realized "Oh shoot! Institute is tonight!" Last time I was in Durrës I got ripped apart by President Mema because I interrupted his institute class by bringing an investigator into the center for a lesson. But I asked Ermal how old he was and he said he was 27 and SINGLE! Therefore we took him over to the center and introduced him to all of the single people there and sat in on the class. He listened, shared some opinions, and laughed every now and then. He talked with a member for about an hour afterwards and he seemed really interested and had some insights that he liked sharing. He said he would really like to come back the following week and attend the class again. We have faith that he will accept the message.
Early morning P-day travel by bus.
Well that's about it for this week. Everything is good. We've had some little earthquakes here lately and it's kinda freaking me out. I just hope a big one doesn't come because if it does, ALL of Albania is coming down. The buildings here aren't necessarily the safest. 

Elder Watson is on fire! He is such a good son and he is totally pushing himself. He could train next transfer. He's excellent with the language and he's a good kid all around. 
All these photos are of Berat. It's a city in South Central Albania and where Jed's district spent P-day.  Jed says he going to live here someday.  And I guess I don't have the corner on the market of beautiful places to live:)

Have fun today! I hope you enjoy the pancakes, the ride, the lakes and all the joy that comes with it. I love you all so much!

Love, Jedediah

Dearest Mom, 
Well I sent that package a little while back. I'm glad it got there though! The garden looks super nice and so do the bees! Way to go with all of that! I love you Mom!

Love, Jed

Thank You So Much!

Jed with Elder Winder.  A Senior Couple who has treated Elder Clawson soooo well while he was in Tirana.
Sunday dinners for all the Tirana missionaries was their specialty.  Thanks Winder's!!

Dearest Family, 

I'm sorry if I kinda freaked you all out yesterday by not emailing. Yes, there was an earthquake in the middle of the night and a huge piece of our ceiling came down and crushed Elder Watson's legs and so I had to take our massive kitchen knife and conduct an amputation from the knee down because we had to get outside of the house as quickly as possible because the house was on fire. So yeah, I guess you could say it was somewhat of a traumatic experience. 

Just kidding, I didn't even wake up when the earthquake happened and the only reason I didn't email was because the power was out in Durrës all day which was kinda dumb. So yesterday we started work at 3 instead of 6 since we just sat at the center and played games and ate pizza all day. 

This week was really good for us. One kinda sad thing happened though. We had a lesson with Beni and Linda and we were super excited to invite them to be baptized and I told Elder Watson that he had the baptismal invitation. He was all pumped and ready to get the job done. We had roleplayed that morning at home and Elder Watson was all ready and stoked. We went over to Beni and Linda's house and they gave us some cookies (they destroyed my teeth because they had almonds that were still in there shell and what not) and they also gave us a really good shake thing that was loaded with bananas and kiwi and it tasted like heaven. We ate our stuff and then we proceeded with a lesson about the Restoration and it went awesome! They were all like "Yeah, we believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is definitely true." So then I gave Elder Watson the 'look' and he extended the invitation to be baptized. There was a little problem with them understanding him so I kinda had to clarify and help a bit but Elder Watson definitely invited the Spirit with how he brought up baptism. So we invited them and they said.... "We're Muslim." WHAT!? So they explained to us that they respect all religions and how there's one God for us all.  So next time we are having a couple from the ward come with us to their home and talk with them a bit. Because it's obviously going to go over better if they have two people, their own age, talking with them about these things and we can just sit there and back them up when they need it. Pray for them!
Priest Quorum activity.

Another really cool thing that happened, actually occurred last night. So on Sunday we saw two guys just walk into the sacrament meeting by themselves. I knew they weren't members because I had never seen them before and I said to Watson that I was gonna go and talk to them right after the meeting. The meeting ended and I went and talked with them. I set up a meeting with them for the following day at 7 o'clock. 
Some of Jed's favorite people.  Evi and Sam.  Friends and recent converts.  They are such good kids!

We went through out our day yesterday and went tabling with Elder Gray and Stewart again and we met some really interested people.But we met this guy at the stadium last night and he had brought his wife, their 1 year old baby girl, and also his brother came with him. His brother had also been in church and we were happy to see him as well. The man's name is Cimi, with a ç but I don't know how to make it capitalized.  His wife is Marsi and the daughter is Sofia. We walked with them to our institute center and we had a fantastic lesson with them there. They were baptized into the Catholic Church and they have tons of faith in Jesus Christ. At the end of the lesson they stated on their own that the Book of Mormon was true and that the Church was true as well. I asked them if they wanted to become members and the wife just smiled and nodded. We invited them to be baptized and they said YES!!!  We are super excited for all three of them. And also their little daughter is like the cutest little piece of meat in the world. I wanna just take her home with me but that's not allowed. 
Elder Clawson and Elder Watson

Also another great thing that happened this week happened on Thursday. So we called this girl named Gersilda whom I had met while tabling down on the Volga the other week. I didn't know if she was interested in the church or in me because that night I was wearing a short sleeved shirt and you know how fantastic I look in short sleeves... No just kidding. I thought she might have been interested in us because that night was kinda chilly but I was fine, and she came up to me and rubbed my bare naked arm and asked if I was cold. And then I made it kinda awkward and weird because I hadn't been touched by a teenage girl for like 11 months and so I just said "No... but thank you." So yeah that was weird. But she gave us her number and said she wouldn't mind meeting again. We gave our a pass along card with our name and number on it and she left.
Sunday tradition in Durres.  The district of 6 Elders take turns fixing Sunday dinner for the other missionaries.  It was Elder Clawson and Watson's turn this week.  Jed turned out a pretty dang good looking Chicken Pot Pie.  I am super impressed with his cooking skills.  Trust me!  He had none of them before he left:)

Enjoying Sunday Dinner together.
 So 2 weeks later we called her and set up a lesson with her. We planned on meeting at this one location in the Center of Durrës at 7 o'clock. We asked Ersi to come help us with the lesson and we sat at the center for 30 minutes. She wasn't answering her phone and so I just thought it was just another average Albanian standing us up again. We went home to take language study and then at 8, I got a call from a random number and it was her on her friends phone! She was at the spot we had previously specified and was wondering where we were. We called Ersi and told him to meet us there. We ran our butts over there and met with them and showed them where the institute center was. The first thing she said to us was "I just want you to know that I respect you so I said I would meet with you, but I'm Muslim and I'm not going to change." Then Ersi came in and stated how he was Muslim before he met the missionaries too. Gersilda had also brought a friend named Denisa who was kinda interested as well. So we went to the center, and Ersi actually talked the whole time. But he was talking about his conversion story and teaching from his own personal experience. I can't give a convert testimony because I was born into the church. I have a testimony of my own conversion to the gospel but not in the way a Muslim convert does. Ersi taught some awesome things and he was able to invite the Spirit into the lesson and it touched the hearts of these two young girls to the point where they were asking some of the most awesome questions. They asked if we could meet again with us and Ersi. We told them that we totally would and we are planning on doing that tomorrow. 

So now is the time where I thank you all for the prayers that you having been offering for us. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I don't know how it all works out but prayers are answered. When we came into the house after waiting for those girls, I sat down on the couch and I prayed. I begged our Heavenly Father to bless us with an opportunity to find people who were ready for our message. And he delivered. This week has been incredibly awesome and I'm so glad that I am a missionary here. I LOVE ALBANIA!!
I think he's quite handsome:)

Now, the elevator incident. We were in the elevator of the other Elder's home and we do this thing called "Elevator Chat". We record ourselves and talk to each other like on a TV show or something. In the very middle of this chat, the elevator dropped. And it wasn't a 2 foot thing. It was like, "HOLY CRAP WE JUST FELL LIKE A WHOLE FLOOR AND WE ARE GONNA DIE!" Elder Acheson was blessed to record this experience on his camera. It's pretty awesome. But yeah, elevators man.... They'll kill ya. 

I also went on an exchange with Elder Asler this last Saturday. He's a funny kid and we had a really good time. We played futboll that morning with the other missionaries and the young men and then we had a priesthood meeting that we got

to go to. That basically sums up that day.

Well, I hope you guys are all ready for school to be out. I remember last year right now. Me and the rest of the Nord Clan were all getting ready to graduate! Crazy baboons. Well I love you all. A lot. Have a good week and be safe. Go big and then go home. Go home big.

Love, Jed

Dearest Mommy-locks, 
I'm sorry to hear that Lucy is slacking at her job. Those deer are of the devil. You should look into getting a Newfoundland dog because I don't think anything besides Godzilla would come into our yard. But really you should get Newfoundland. They are super cool. Are you allowed to put poison on  your plants and let that kill the deer? I'm sorry if that sounds gruesome but I'm just thinking about what's best for your vegetables. I love you mom and I hope you have a good week! 

Love, The Amputater and Elevator Dropper. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

People Hunger For A Glimmer Of Hope

Dear Family!!
Man, I had a fantastic time chatting with ya'll last night. So yeah right now I'm in Tirana and I just got my package!! HALLA!!! It is so flipping awesome! Thank you so much!!
So this week was really great in Durrës. We met some really good people this week that we feel will really progress. We met this couple, Beni and Linda, who met the missionaries about 15 years ago and then the elders left and no one met with them again. Beni saw us sitting outside a crepe joint and he came and said hi and we got his number and we've already met with him once and we are super excited to see where they go.
Another cool thing happened to. We came home one night from work and we always stop at this little bakery thing right across the way from our house and we went over and there was this guy there that had just bought something. He heard us talking to each other in English and then he started talking to us in English and asked what we were doing and why we were here. He has some friends in Italy that are Mormon and they have shared a little bit with him. Just comes to show that you shouldn't waste opportunities to share the gospel with people!!
Street contacting.
Something that I didn't mention last night was that we street contacted into a guy named Julian and he lives outside of Durrës in a little village.  We went out and met him and had a fantastic lesson about the Restoration! Before we had begun we asked him what he thought about God and he said "I kinda think of God as like our dad. He wants to take care of us." So needless to say, he's on the right track. We're gonna meet the rest of his family this week. He's 30 years old and has a wife and a litle boy. We really hope that they accept everything cuz they are awesome. 

Elder Watson is doing great. He is enduring my weirdness. Nënë's (little old ladies) are still rubbing my back and stuff. It's getting really hot here though. Like I'm dying today. BAD PITS!!
Members in Durres.  The young man on the left is getting ready to go on a mission himself!

Tell everyone that I love them and that the church is true! One fantastic thing that I've seen this week is how people are starving for something in their lives, and then they come and find us and realize that we have what they've been looking for. People hunger for a glimmer of hope and truth. And we don't offer just a glimmer, we offer the whole shin dig. I love seeing people come to the realization that God loves them, we love them, and that they can have eternal life as long as they put in a little effort and don't give in to the horrible temptations of the world. I LOVE BEING HERE!!
That's all I've got for this week. I love you guys. Peace out.
Love, Jedediah
Dear Mother, 
I am glad to hear you enjoyed chatting with me. Tell Kayd I said hi back if you can. I hope I didn't weird you out last night with all of my weirdness. I love you so much! Thanks for being the best mom ever and I hope you had a good Mother's Day!
Love, The Eldest

You've Gotta Help Us Out Ya'll!

He gathered the flowers the whole meadow over.  Dear Mother all flowers remind me of you!  Happy Mother's Day Mom!
Elder Clawson on the Vulga.  It's a boardwalk bordering the Adriatic Sea.

Good Morning America!!
Well the good news is that this week was a lot better than last week.
This week was spent working with a lot of returning members, less actives, and recent converts. We did find this one investigator last night which totally made our lives!! His name is Elger and he's a 17 year old kid that goes to high school. We had a lesson with him and he seemed super interested in the church and he was actually really educated about Christian doctrine. The only thing that he had a problem with was the fact that while Jesus was living on the earth, there was also another prophet in America preaching about the Gospel as well. We're gonna have a member in on the next lesson with him so hopefully they can explain it better than I can. So we got his number and said our goodbyes and that was the just the first part of an exciting Sunday evening.
After we had met him and had the lesson, we walked down to the Vulga which is just like this really nice kinda boardwalk along the beach that goes right along the sea. It smells like Hawaii. So therefore, I like it. We decided to do some street contacting there because there was a ton of people just mingling and frolicking and just walking. Kinda like in Winter Wonderland. We stood up on the side where people could see us but tried to not be intrusive. We see two guys come up to us and we simply say "Good Evening, how are you? Can we talk a little?" They said "Po." Therefore I tell them who we are, what we're doing, and why we're doing it. Then this guy looks at me and says "Jam Protestant." So then comes the onslaught of Bible references, curses on those who preach false doctrine, and all kinds of things that were actually quite offensive at points. 
Ersi trying out Elder Clawson's missionary tags.

The missionaries rarely eat meals with members or anyone while in Albania.  Most of their meals are quickies in a little cafe or something quick at home.  This family was so kind and generous to feed all 6 of the Durres missionaries.  It makes a mom very grateful:)
One of the guys was Muslim but he respected us and just said that as long as we live our religion and try to be good, we'll be fine. So yeah I didn't have a problem with that guy. But the other guy was just ripping into us. He told me that there was no prophet before or after Jesus Christ and that I was damned for believing the words of a so-called 'prophet' in this day and dispensation. I didn't Bible Bash just so you know. I didn't even get defense and that should tell you something. So yeah he yelled at us for about 45 minutes in front of everyone that was on the boardwalk that night, and just as he was leaving he shook my hand and said "Do you believe that you will see the Lord face to face after you die?" I told him "Absolutely. I have no doubt." And then he stated, "No I don't believe this." So naturally I'm ask "Why?" because I'm thinking he's gonna say something along the lines of "oh we can't see God." But no he decides to answer me by saying, "Because you are going to hell."
Durres countryside.
So he walked away, and the muslim guy told us that he didn't want to offend us and then they both left. It was kind of sad that I had been told that I was going to burn in Hell, but God is the judge of all mankind. As for the rest of the week, we have been working with the Pjetri's dad. He's got a lot of work outside of Durrës so it's really hard for us to get a lesson with him in his home. We've been talking with his family and they are totally on board with helping us get him the Aaronic Priesthood soon. So hopefully everything works out with him and we can get something moving. 
This is the Bear of Durres.  A man owns him and walks up and down the streets with this bear on a leash.  Everyone wants to get their pictures taken with the bear. Not sure how smart that is.
We are really trying to gain the trust of the members here so they can feel comfortable giving us some referrals. I've only gotten one referral from a member and that was Evi. (Evi is a 14 year old boy that was introduced to the missionaries from a friend from school.  Elder Clawson and his companion taught him from beginning to end and watched as Evi was baptized and included in the youth of his ward.  He is doing fantastic and all because a friend shared his beliefs with him!) Comes to show what can happen when members of the church take the initiative and get the work going themselves. It's hard for us to get stuff going sometimes so you've gotta help us out ya'll!
Elder Clawson with he and Elder Watson's 22lb. bucket of Nucreme.  It's like Nutella but with a vanilla swirl as well.  Their goal is to finish it by the end of June.  I'll bet they do it!

Oh I got a picture with a bear. Kinda cool. It almost ate me but I looked that bear right in the eyes and I said, "If you bite me, I will unleash the wrath of the Almighty Elder Watson upon you." The bear did not attack me and Elder Watson did not have to unleash his legendary powers. Speaking of WATSON!!!! He is doing fantastic. Like I've already said on several occasions, he is a awesome with the language. He speaks very well, still has trouble understanding everything, but he is growing like a beautiful mariposa, (for those of you that don't speak spanish, that means 'Butterfly. Yes I am tri-lingual.') I can't wait for the day when he comes out of his coccoon and takes off into the Albanian sunset.
Elder Clawson and Elder Watson on p-day headed to the beach.
Today we went to a beach next to Durrës called Porto Romano. I think it's Italian. We took a bus out to the end of it's line and then walked for about ten or so minutes. We came to an old military base and we hopped the fence to go check it out. This guy showed up out of nowhere and told us that it was private property. We asked if we could just stay for like 20 minutes and take some pics for Mothers Day and then we would leave. He said Ok. So we did that and then we hopped another fence and went towards the beach. There was this old nënë there with her cow and we asked her if we could try milking it. She was totally down with that. I tried getting close enough to the cow but it wouldn't let me get close enough to milk it. Kinda dumb but I will milk a cow while I am here in Albania. We walked down to the beach and while we were there we were approached by 3 police men. That kinda surprised us. They told us that we were not allowed to be there and that we had to delete all of the photos that we had taken while on the military base. We pulled the "I'm an american and I speak English" and they let us go without any trouble. Then we took the bus back into Durrës and we went and got crepes and then that's it. 
Adriatic Sea and coastline.

Durres missionaries.

"Sister K is just like an Elder!  She's awesome!" Elder Clawson

Well that's all I've got. Thank you so much for all your prayers! They have definitely been keeping us alive. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!
Love, Jedediah Smack Down Clawson
Dearest Mother, 
I bet you were pretty excited to see the Defender go. Thanks for stating the fact that I've been here for 10 months. Not. It honestly feels like I've been here for like 2 days! It goes by so dang fast. And everyone tells me it just goes by tons faster after your first year. A ladder and then a slide. I'm so scared to think about that. SO I won't. Thanks for keeping the blog up and everything. I love you so much and I do miss you! I'll be getting on at like 6 next Sunday so just be ready. I dont know what time it is there with the Daylights Savings and stuff so we'll figure that out. Can't wait to see ya!
Love, Jeddy Eddy Poo Poo

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Spirit Was There To Touch Our Hearts

Staue of John Lennon
Well family,

I am here in Durrës with Elder Watson. WATSON!! Yes Emma I say that.
So let us start from the beginning of my week. Monday after I emailed and went to Vlorë and all that crazy jazz, I went home and changed in to my missionary attire and I called Juxhin and told him that I would be leaving Lushnjë. He was very sad so we set up one last lesson with him and Batjar. We shared a little scripture with them and then took some pictures and hugged out our goodbyes. Sad times. After that we went to this little suflaqe joint that we ate at (I swear we sustained that man's living) and told him that we would be leaving the following morning to continue our glorious work in Durrës. He seemed pretty sad. One, probably because he liked us and two, probably because he's gonna go outta business without me constantly eating at his place every night when I was starving after hours and hours of contacting. We went home and packed which actually took forever. I hate to say it but I stayed up till like 12 o'clock at night getting all of my crap all set up and ready for the morning.
Jed's favorite Elder Tanner came for a visit this week!
The following morning I went to the fergon spot (bus stop)and said my goodbyes to Elder Palmer and Elder Bilodeau. That was sad. My son (Elder Watson) doesn't have two "uncles" living with him anymore which is kinda disheartening. We hooked up with a fergon that was headed to Tirana and then they just dropped us off at the side of the road and luckily I was able to hail a nice taxi guy. He took us to the youth center where we waited for the other Durrës Elders to come and pick us up. That whole day was kinda just showing Elder Watson around the city and letting him know that this was the promised land. We met with Elder Acheson and he gave us a few members to work with. I'm working with a lot of the people that I was with when I was first in Durres with Elder Foster. 
This is the taxi that is carrying Jed and Elder Watson and ALL their luggage!
So it was like 8 o'clock and we had nothing planned so I decided to start with a recent convert lesson and I stated that we should go to the Pjetri family's home and give them a visit. Unfortunately their phone did not work so I decided to just pull a surprise visit. We walked out to their house and I knocked on the door. Marjeta opened it up and she was kinda shocked at first because she didn't recognize who the new people at the door where, but then she saw me and freaked out! They were so happy that I was back. Their mom immediately invited us to come into the house and come eat dinner with them. We told her that we didn't have a whole lot of time but we went in anyways. The dad was there and so was their uncle. He was a cool guy and he had lots of questions about who we were, why I was so young without my parents,(Um....I wonder that same thing EVERY DAY!) how I had learned Albanian, and why I came here from America. 
Last lesson in Lushnje, Albania.

We ate dinner and talked for a while and they asked lots of questions about Elder Watson and they asked how it had been in Tirana and in Lushnjë.  One of the problems that has come up with all of the people that I'd worked with before when I was here with Elder Foster is that they were baptized and then they became inactive! I hope we can change that so we've been trying to get in contact with these people.
Jed's new home in Durres.  

A lot of finding happened this week. And I mean A LOT of finding. We stood outside street contacting for about 5 hours every day this week. Kinda rough. Especially considering the fact that nothing came of it. We got two numbers this week which we hope are good. One is kinda skeptical but the other was good but he lives in a village on the outside of Durrës so that hinders some things. 
The market.  That looks AWESOME!
Yesterday I went to church and greeted all of the members that I had once known! They were happy to see me and it was a nice little reunion. Church was good and the Spirit was there to touch our hearts. After that we had ward council meeting, my first one in Albania, and we reported on how our work has been going this last week. We went home after that and Elder Watson and I got to make lunch for all of the other missionaries in Durres. We made fried chicken and SUPER GARLICKY mashed potatoes. It was flipping good ya'll. Everyone enjoyed it and then we all just sat on my couches and laughed and talked for a bit.
Crepes made by Jed.  I'm so proud!

Fried chicken and mashed potatoes.  Way to go Elder Clawson!
Today I went to Divjakë which was pretty cool. It's just this cool beach down south. We went and played capture the flag with all of the south zone. We had a lot of fun goofing around with all of the guys from my group. I really enjoy the Elder's from my group. They are a good bunch of missionaries and we are all so different but we all seem to have a lot of fun together. We came home from the beach and I fell asleep on the fergon ride back.
The entire South Zone. 

Awesome fun Motra's (Sister Missionaries!)

Well back to you guys... HOLY FREAKING GUACAMOLE WITH TACO SAUCE FROM TACO TIME!! Sam and Hollie's ne whouse looks flipping nice! I was blown away. Like literally the computer fan in my cubicle thing turned on full blast to stop the monitor from overheating with pure awesome huge-ness. That basketball court looks pretty amazing. Tell Fred, The man who provokes bees, that I think he looks mighty fine in a bee suit. Tell Rachel hey too. And before they leave, you must tell Brooke and Kelsie that I wish them the best of luck on their missions. They will absolutely love it. Dad sent me a poem that basically explains my life here that would be good to share with them. 

Tell Jake he is not bigger than me. I am now 5"8 ish and 142 lbs. Who's a big guy? I AM. So you can tell Jake that I can still beat him down anyday. Whether in hand to hand combat, bow hunting, computer hacking, or in "WHO HAS THE REDDEST HAIR CONTEST", I will always be the bigger man and win. And tell him to get better too. Being sick is dumb.
Enjoy the snow because I haven't seen any in a long time...
Loves, Sprinkles, Lovecups (yes those), and everything else that makes ya snicker and giggle like little school girls.
Love, Jedediah, The Boy That Has Three Nose Holes
Dearest Mom,
Thanks for sending the email. I'm actually pretty excited to see how the garden is going to turn out. Some people here have really nice gardens. I'll take some pics one day and send them to ya. You'd be very proud of me for the cooking that I did this week. I made crepes, navajo taco bread stuff, and that fried chicken and taters. They were all very yummy. Well I love you lots. Have a good week!!
Love, the Eldest

Durres Bound!

Elder Clawson with a young man they're teaching.  The one on the left is the investigator, and the young man on the right is a new member who is on FIRE!  Jed said he is an amazing member missionary!

Hello my dearest and most cherished family!

Well Lushnjë is great and stuff but guess what?


So I'll tell you why I'm being taken out of Lushnjë. Last night I got a call from President Ford at about 9:30. Unfortunately I hung up on him instantly because I'm used to hanging up on Albanians and then calling them back. So we had a little bit of phone tag and then I finally got a hold of him. He was in Rome at the time. He told me that he had spoken with the new Stake President, and they had come to the conclusion that they needed more Elders in Durrës. It's a larger city and only has 4 missionaries. So me and my dear Watson, will be leaving tomorrow morning and we will be starting our new area in Durres. 

Easter Eggs are dyed red in Albania.
I'll admit I was actually pretty bummed when I heard I was leaving Lushnjë. I'd actually made a joke to Elder Watson the other night after we got done chatting with our local baker, "Man I'm starting to get really tight with the people here. 50 bucks says I get taken outta here soon." I was totally saying it in a joking manner because whenever I start really warming up with the people in my area, I get taken out and sent somewhere where I don't know anything. But I was also stoked that I'd be going back to my birthplace. (Jed's birthplace or his first area in the country to serve was Durres.)I'm excited to see if I can revive some of the old work that I had before hand with Elder Foster and work with some of the recent converts there as well. Not to mention the awesome ward there. 

Someone brought them Dr. Peppers from Kosovo.  A little bit of America I guess:)
This week has been okay for us. We found some good potential people that we will be handing off to the other missionaries. Flosed hasn't been able to meet with us but he is starting to ask us more questions when we see him. Hopefully he still progresses with the other missionaries. We've been looking for a house most of the week and we actually had one all ready for us to move into but we kinda got broadsided with a change of plans. 

P-day with the Elder's in Vlore.  These two young men on either side of Jed are his son's he says.  Elder Watson on the left is his current companion that Jed is training, and Elder Eliason on the right was Jed's companion and trainee last go around.  Always good to see Elder Eliason:)
I had my first and last district training too! I gave a training on how we can be consecrated missionaries and lay everything on the altar of sacrifice. I thought it went pretty good. For the couple weeks that I was a District Leader, I really enjoyed it. Elder Acheson will be the District Leader over us in Durres which will be good because he is a great kid. I also went to Tirana this last Tuesday for a training from the AP's for the new District Leaders. That was fun because all the Leaders are Elders from my MTC group. BOO YAH!!

P-day in Vlore. 

At the beach in Vlore.
Today I went to Vlorë for my last P-day with the zone leaders. We ate lunch with the missionaries down there and took a nice long walk on the beach. It was quite romantic actually:). Elder Eliason and Elder Watson got acquainted with each other. THE LONG LOST BROTHERS UNITE!! We also went and looked at a castle which was really pretty and super neat. Then I drove back with the ZL's and that's why I'm so ridiculously late with my emailing. 

It sounds like you are all having a hay day in Utah! I'm glad Seth got himself a chicken. Just make sure it lasts longer than the one that I got at Easter. Either that or make sure he doesn't get as attached to it as I did. How was Lake Powell for dad? Did ya waterski? Probably not. You're getting kinda old. Can't turn 'em like I can. Just kidding, Papa Jimmy, YOU'RE AWESOME!! 

The view from the castle the missionaries visited in Vlore.

Elder Clawson looking rather handsome. (And maybe a bit manly!) at the castle.
Well I guess I love ya and stuff. Have a good week and I'll talk to ya from Durrës! PEACE!

Love, Jedediah "The Claw" 

The sights of Vlore, Albania.
Dearest Mother, 
Can I just say that your strawberry pies looked fantabulously gorgeous?! They looked way freaking good. They don't have pie here. Kinda poopy. Have you started on the garden yet? I'm sorry I hated weeding so much. I feel kinda bad about that now. Well I love you long time! 
Love, The Eldest Elder