Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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. 

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