Monday, July 7, 2014

Shkoder Is Awesome!

Hello my dearest Family!!

Happy to be on a bike:)
Well Shkoder is probably going to be my absolute favorite place to serve! This place is awesome! There's so much that needs to be done here and Elder Dahl and I are super excited to see what we can do. 

Last Monday I did the usual missionary thing and we went and said goodbye to all of the people that we know and love. We said goodbye to Cimi, and Marion his brother, was actually there with him so we were able to see him once again before we left! They gave me a couple of really cool hand made lace doilies that his wife made. (Doilies... Holmes, does your depravity know no bounds?)<-- Dr.Watson from Sherlock Holmes. And Marion gave me this super sweet leather bracelet. The first time I met I asked him where he had gotten it and he said it was a gift and I was like "Oh dang I wanted to buy one like it." But he remembered that I liked it so he decided to give it to me as a parting gift. In return Elder Watson and I gave him two ties and I gave Cimi one of the watches I had because he really liked them. That was kinda sad to say goodbye to them but it was alright. 
Goodbye to Ersi,Cimi and Marion

Goodbye to the Pjetri family!

Ersi is an amazing member missionary!  He helped the missionaries so much in Durres.  Sad to leave good friends!

Jed and Elder Palmer goodbyes!  Elder Palmer is done and headed home:)

Jed loves Elder Tanner!!  Hard to see him go home as well.  Pocatello isn't that far from Cache Valley though:)

After that I went and said bye to the Pjetri Family in hopes that their dad would be there but unfortunately he wasn't. That wasn't as bad as saying goodbye the first time I left Durres. The person that probably cried the most over me leaving was Ersi.  I like him too. He's a good kid and I'm excited to see him again. 

Tuesday I hopped onto a fergon and headed to Tirana. I got to the mission home and got my package! Thanks a ton for that! Even if you didn't send me any regular oreos, those Berry Burst Oreos were gone in like 30 minutes. I love those things. I'm making the cake for my year mark. And actually I will be done with my mission a year from tomorrow. President Ford told me when I was leaving for some reason and I leave on the 1st of July. Anyways I'm making a cake for me and Jorgy. We were in the MTC together. After that I hooked up with Elder Dahl and I said goodbye to some of the best friends I've ever had. It was rough saying goodbye to Tanner and Palmer. Elder Tanner left me this big flag that Elder Gunther left behind. It's actually the Title of Liberty and I have it hanging up in my house right now. After that we took a van up to Shkoder.
Mustache missionaries.
We spent that whole day just getting to know Shkoder. It's a super beautiful city and there's a lot of tourists that come here from Germany and stuff. 

We've been spending a lot of time with the other Elders in our district. We are serving here with Elder Temple and Elder Jorgensen. Just the four of us all isolated in the middle of nowhere right next to Montenegro. We all really like each other and we get along really well. Elder Jorgensen and I are loving being in the same area. He's hilarious and we enjoy each other's presence. We also have a car in our district. Only Temple and Jorgy can drive it but that's okay because I just don't have to worry about crashing it.
Elder Jorgensen and Elder Clawson and the district car.

The work here in Shkoder is slow. We took over a sisters area and I'm really impressed with the work that they got set up for us though. We have about 3 investigators that show decent potential. That's all 4 of the missionaries combined. We have set up some pretty high goals and we are going to try our absolute hardest to get them achieved. We have a branch president, a clerk, and that is it. We fulfill all of the other positions but it's kinda easy because we don't have to worry about any people. At church yesterday we had 9 people in church. 4 missionaries, President Kraja, 1 member, and 3 little kids from our english course. I'm so excited to see what we can do here! 
Jed's new companion Elder Dahl.  I hope Elder Dahl is up for this!

One crazy thing about Shkoder is that they speak Ghegnisht. It's a ridiculous dialect of Albanian and I'm struggling to get it right now. I can speak it but I can't understand it for some stupid reason. They speak with super deep voices and it's crazy how different it is from normal Albanian. But I like it a lot.
p-day activity

"Should've bought the hat!"  he said.
We've tried to get some work this week but 75% of the missionaries here are white washing so we don't know where anything is and Elder Temple has only been here for 3 months. But we absolutely love being here.
This is the where the branch meets in Shkoder.  I'm sure they'd be thrilled if they could fill up even half of that room.

Elder Dahl is a quiet kid, kinda like Elder Watson, but that's fine. He came out with the last group of missionaries and he is doing really good. Having a bit of a rough time with the language change but I am too so it's whatever. He's from New Mexico and likes to play tennis. Good kid. 

The families that used to be members here have either fallen away or were converted to the welfare program. Kinda rough.
Jed's apartment.  The banner is the Title of Liberty passed down from Elder Gunther, to Elder Tanner, to Jed.

Today for P-Day we went to this place called Zogaj which is right next to the Montenegro-Albania border and we goofed around there and bought some hand woven bags from this family business that's super cool. They have these massive looms that they make rugs, table settings, bags, and all sorts of other things and they sell them for ridiculously cheap. It was super cool. Other than that I just ate food and read the Old Testament study guide.
Shkoder, Albania

Well I hope you all have a great week and I love you all!!

Love, Jedediah

Dearest Mother, 

Thanks a ton for emailing me. Have a blast up at Sam and Hollies! Tell them all that I said hey and that I love them. You should probably cut down that grass in the field or else them deer are gonna start creating some huge colony and then they'll make a surprise attack one night and take out the whole garden! Well I love ya tons and I hope you are all safe and happy. 
Love, Jeddy

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