Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Elder Clawson! 19 Years Old

Well my dearest family it is once again that time, 

Elder Clawson with Ian Anderson from Cache Valley.  He is a returned missionary from Albania and is back traveling and visiting all over Europe.  He just happened to show up in Jed's church today, on Jed's birthday.  He delivered a package from us to Jed.!  I wondered all day yesterday if anyone would care that it was Elder Clawson's birthday, and little Tender Mercies like Ian showing up  happened.  Jed received love from home, and a familiar, encouraging face from home as well.  Makes a mom's heart happy!
I've realized that I've been out for a bit. It's gone by really fast but this is the last week of the transfer and my last week with Elder Watson. He's a bro and I love him to death. He's still kinda quiet but like I've said before, I make up for it. I believe this time here in the mission has unhinged something in my brain and I can guarantee that it will only extremify as the time goes on. 

This week was pretty good. We had hardly any lessons but I blame Satan. He kinda is the devil. But the lesson we had were good. But also this was the week on the training program where the trainee missionary takes the lead in all situations and basically becomes senior companion for the week. Elder Watson blew it out of the water! Wherever he goes next transfer, they'll be lucky to have him. He's amazing! 

Last picture as an 18 year old.
We met with Cimi and his family twice this week and it didn't necessarily go well. I thoroughly understand that he is in a rough situation and I can't imagine what he's going through. But that first night we met he kinda ripped into me for the fact that I couldn't give him any money to help him out. I felt horrible and I tried so hard to just get him to calm down and I explained how we had fasted and prayed very hard for him and then I went on explaining how the blessings might not be super apparent at the moment but they are there. He didn't really like that reasoning and he kinda flipped out again. He calmed down for a bit and we had a good little bit of conversation. Poor Elder Watson wasn't catching quite everything that was being said and Cimi was stating how he didn't have enough food to feed their baby and Watson looked at him and said, "Have you tried a fast?" I was just like "Oh no." and then he blew up again! He started yelling and telling us how we should give him what we have for him and how he's been out of food for two days and he's lost a ton of weight. I felt so bad for him but there's nothing I could've done for them. I love them to death but I'm here to help people spiritually. 

Jed and a member of the Durres Ward.
The second meeting went better and he was calm but still asked a lot for food. If he asks for it again we may have to drop because they haven't been reading and they haven't stopped drinking coffee. 

Ermal. Holy Guacamole. This guy is a heaven send. We met with him a couple times this week and taught him the Word of Wisdom and Tithing. We were a little worried about him drinking coffee but after we explained the doctrine and promised blessings he just said "Yeah that makes sense. Why wouldn't God want us to be healthy. I'll stop drinking coffee because it's bad for our stomachs and even though I don't drink very often, I'll stop drinking." So needless to say we are in love with Ermal. He is so in tune with the Spirit and he just gets it. He's super smart and I'm thoroughly impressed with him. A lot of Albanian men are kinda lazy and don't like to work, but Ermal just works his butt off. He wants to do something productive in his life and be happy and he knows that there are a few things in this world that bring true happiness. 

Elder Stewart preparing Sunday dinner for the District.  The companionships take turns each Sunday preparing dinner for the other 4 missionaries.

Elder Asler and Acheson bought Jed a birthday cake.  I think they did a way better job than I could have!
The lesson with tithing was great. He understood all of it and accepted to live it after baptism. He's still thinking about baptism and wants to be a little bit more prepared before, which I understand. 

P-day picture taking.

You must pay to go to the public restroom.  20 Lek is equivalent to $.19

P-day activities.  Jed's District met up with the Elder's in Tirana.  These are 4 MTC brothers.  Jed LOVES his MTC group!
Sunday was my 19th birthday. Yes everyone I am now 19 years old. Kirsten mentioned last week how crazy it is that if the age change hadn't come, I'd just barely be leaving! That's crazy! 
So yeah I woke up, made some corn flakes, ate them, put on my church clothes, and walked to church. I saw Ersi on the way to church and he had gotten me a book about Enver Hoxha. (He was the leader of the communist party in Albania from the end of WWII in 1944-1985 when he died.)He wrote an awesome little note in it and told me he got it for me so that I wouldn't forget Albanian. What a nice kid. 

At church I was greeting people and chatting with some members and then out of the blue comes in Ian Anderson! (Ian is a returned missionary who served in Albania and lives in Cache Valley.  Jed actually talked with Ian right before he left on his mission last July.)He had brought my package from you guys and it was nice to talk with him and Rachel his fiance. He looked really good. It was a nice birthday surprise to get a package and talk with two people from Cache Valley on my birthday! After church we stayed and sang for choir which was pretty fun. And as we were leaving all of the youth in the ward sang happy birthday to me. That really made my day. Then I got kissed by a bunch of guys. Just saying right now that it's better when it's from a girl.... 

We came home and Elder's Gray and Stewart made us chicken and pasta. Elder Acheson and Asler bought me a cake and we just had a great time sitting and kenaqing (having fun basically, excuse my albanglish.) After that we went to Vëllai Toçi's house and had a lesson with him. He was super fun to talk to and we had a good lesson about Moroni and the Title of Liberty. 

Today we went to Krujë again! It was fun because some of the Tirana missionaries were there. Elder Rawlings, Baker, Squire, and Smoot were all there and we had a good time chatting and hanging with them. My MTC group is awesome. We had pizza and just had fun. Good day. 

Well transfer calls are next week and I'm excited to see where I'm going. I'm happy to go anywhere! I love being here in Albania. I love the people and I love everything about this place. Last week me and Elder Watson saw an old guy on the sidewalk with his pants around his ankles, taking a pee into the road. Weird, but we had a good laugh. 

I love you guys a ton and I hope you enjoy your week!!

Love, Jedediah Jim

Dearest Mom, 
Yeah I'm dying here from the heat! It's so bad with the humidity here. I usually change my shirt when I come into the house because the other one will be destroyed. For some reason I get the worst pit stains. I don't know why. I'm glad Lake Powell was fun! The pic looked awesome. Well I love you so much and I hope you have a good week! 

Love, Jed

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