Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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

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