Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Love Doing This Work!

Good Morning family!!

A member family that is so good to the missionaries! 

Investigators who will be baptized soon, and Ersi on the far right who is a member who helps the missionaries a TON.
Well today I'm not nearly as tired as last week so hopefully this email will be a bit longer and more satisfying. 

This week was really exciting for Elder Watson and myself. The only real downside to it was that Cimi and his family had lots of stuff going on this week so we were only able to meet with them once, and that was last night, but it went really well. We taught them the Word of Wisdom and I believe they took it pretty well but they had lots of questions about coffee and stuff and they were like "My doctor said I had to drink coffee for my health." No he did not. Caffeine is probably one of the worst things for you and coffee destroys your teeth and lots of other things. Not to mention God blesses us when we abstain from it. So yeah we had that lesson and we testified that if they didn't partake of the things we had spoken of, they would be blessed with health and strength, a stronger reception to the Spirit, and they would also save money by not buying those things. After we explained all of that they played some ping pong with us and then they left. Overall it was a really good lesson and I definitely felt the Spirit which is the necessary thing. 
The Liahona came this week, and Jed went to school with the kids in the picture.  Kind of fun!
Another cool story! So me and Elder Watson really like this pizza place called 'Pizza Dy Engjëjt' which means 'Pizza of the Two Angels'. We go there all the time because it's super cheap and they have pretty amazing good pizza too! This last Tuesday we were walking over there to order us some pizza and we get there, order, and then as we're walking back this lady stops us. I turned around and this blonde nice lady starts asking me what we're doing in Albania. I was kinda short of words because I hadn't been stopped by a cute girl for like a year now so I just said that I was a missionary with my church. She expressed interest to know a little bit more about God and also asked if we were the guys that set up the English Courses. I told her we were and then we exchanged phone numbers so that we could meet at some other point later on in the week.  She was obviously pretty interested in the church.
New glasses today for these Elder's.
So now we call the Pizza place, Pizza of the three angels. Because there was definitely an angel guiding us to that spot to find that lady. Or for her to find us. On friday we called her and we set up a meeting. She said she had a friend that wanted to come too so we called some members to come and help us with the lesson. The girl, Elena, came and she actually brought two friends, Kristina and Adela. Adela wasn't super interested in the church but the other two definitely were. They had both read from the Bible and they were super ready to hear our message of the Restoration of God's Church. They are meeting with us tomorrow and we are super stoked for them. Elena actually reminds me a lot of Juian's fiance, Arta. They look similar and both like to laugh a lot. 

Lunch this week with Elder Acheson.  Looks pretty fancy schmancy!
One more success story. About two weeks ago we street contacted into this guy named E. He was kinda awkward in the road but he spoke pretty good english so we explained why we were here and why we have learned Albanian. He agreed to meet with us and we told him we would talk a bit later. That Friday we set up a meeting with him and fortunately that was the same night that Institute was being held so we took him to that! He listened intently on the lesson and at the end we asked him how it was. He said he was really impressed with the knowledge that this group of young adults had, and how they could talk freely and explain what they were thinking. He said he hadn't seen anything like it in Albania and he enjoyed it. 

We introduced him to a member named Sadush who is around his age. E is late 20's and he has a good job. He's kinda socially backward but he is very straightforward and he respects others but likes to make his opinion heard. We had a lesson with him and just us this last week on the Restoration. He was kinda skeptical about Joseph Smith's experience and he expressed that concern to us. Elder Watson and I bore testimony of how we came to the knowledge of the truthfulness of this message, and E kinda warmed up and said "Who knows, maybe this religion can change my life." And I just looked at him and said with a big ol' grin "Oh E, you have no idea." He's been reading and he came to church with us yesterday. He stayed for sacrament meeting and then also for the investigator class. Motra Agalliu, the teacher in that class, taught about Repentance and it was a way good lesson. She bore solid testimony and it was awesome. E believes in something called Gnoticism and he said that they believe in salvation through knowledge and the shunning of worldly things, whereas in Christianity, we believe that salvation comes through Jesus Christ. We will explain to him that we are saved through Jesus Christ if we act accordingly, but we also shun worldly things and accept Christ as our Savior. 

He's a good kid though and we are really excited to see him progress. Cimi and his family are excited for their baptism coming up. Hopefully they can still progress for next week. The work is good and the people are awesome. I'm finally not having to contact 24\7.
Handsome missionary.  
On thursday this week I had an exchange with Elder Acheson. Our sons went together and had a good time. Acheson and I had to go to the Pjetri family because Marjeta had called me for a blessing. She was really nervous for a test that was coming up and so she asked if I could exercise the priesthood and give her a blessing. That went well and we had a good time. We went to a really nice restaurant for lunch too. 

Today was really fun too. We woke up this morning and at 7 we went to the bakery just across the street and we made byrekë with the cute old ladies!! It was awesome. We were chatting it up with them talking about how they wanted to learn english, what our families were like, what kind of byrekë is the best, why we were serving missions and all sorts of other stuff. There was this one boy that worked there named Visi, and he was the first one to meet us at the door and then he went around introducing me to all of the ladies. He introduced me to them as "Clawson, The Sexy King" and everyone got a kick out of that. Afterwards we were instructed on how to make byrekë and we became master chefs. It was probably one of the funnest points of my mission just sitting at this bakery chatting with old grannies and eating byrekë. We're going over next p-day too. They fell in love with us and they want us to come every single day. After that we went to the treg (A fun market that has EVERYTHING!) and bought some stuff with Elder Gray and Stewart. We got sunglasses and also Watson and I bought some pointy shoes! Now we are legitimately European missionaries. And they look good. I'll send a pic next week cause I ain't got none for today. 
This morning for P-day, Elder Clawson and Watson spent the morning at the bakery across from their apartment learning to make Byrek. (click here to see what Byrek is.  Jed loves the stuff!)  Jed was in heaven!  Here is the whole Byrek making process from start to finish.  Thanks to Elder Watson for documenting this whole experience:)

Eating the fruits of his labors.

And American baker boy, and an Albanian baker boy.  How fun is that!

Then we went and got crepes and talked about what's going on. Elder Gray really likes to pull my leg and sometimes it's really funny. I like my District a lot!  It's a good group. The transfer ends in less than a month and I'm freaking out. I have no idea where I'm going or what's going to happen. Elder Foster is doing good in Kosovo (Elder Foster is Jed's "Father" or very first companion.  Great guy and Jed thinks he's the best!) and says he loves you guys. I love you all too.
Some friends came to visit Durres.  Jed used to do this to his brothers:)

Missionary shadows.
I am going to end by telling you all that the Holy Ghost has the power to touch hearts and change lives. I love feeling the Spirit so often here and I don't want it to end. I have loved my time here and I love doing this work. It is a divine work that only God can guide. He is our loving Heavenly Father, and we are His children. He loves and he has given us everything. Our families, our challenges, our ups and our downs. He knows us individually and He wants us to be happy. He has simply asked us to be our best and to follow the example of his Only Begotten Son. I know that if we do this, we will be blessed, others around us will be blessed by our examples, and we will be happy no matter what our circumstance is. 

I love you all so much and I hope you enjoy your first week of SUMMER!!!!!!! Go biking for me or something. 

Love, Jed

Dearest Mom, 
I'm totally gonna show you how to make byrekë! And then we can make it at the bakery and people all over Cache Valley will flock to our byrekë place. Thanks for writing these emails and keeping the blog up. Tell Grandma Roberts that I got two of her letters this last week and that I loved them! I love how she sends me stickers that I can put all over my house. And the newspaper clippings. Those are nice. Let her know that I love her. I hope those wimpy deer don't be coming into the garden no more! That's why we need a Newfoundland dog. Deer probably would be afraid of a bear like that. Just get the Adairs to bring Buster over. Well I love ya mom. You're the greatest mom ever and thank you so much for supporting me while I'm out here!

Love, The Eldest Son lost in Albania

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