Sunday, July 27, 2014

We Are Now A Hugging Mission

Letter from July 7, 2014
Happy 4th of July from Albania!!  This is how they celebrate.  With red, white, and blue ice cream!

My dearest family,
I'm suspecting the reason that no one has emailed me is because you are either asleep, on the road, eating, walking our dog... oh wait, watching a rated-R movie, crying because you all miss me so much, or you just forgot your oldest child who is in one of the far corners of the world. (Jed emailed a little early, but we all got emails to him before he had to leave.  Such slackers we are!)
Whatever the reason, it's okay. Rejection has become a very regular part of my life.
Well this week was full of all kinds of stuff. On Tuesday I went down to Tirana with my other boys and we got to have a combined zone conference with the Tirana Zone and the South Zone where we all got to meet the new mission president. He's a pretty cool guy and yes his wife does look like Baroness Schraider from the Sound of Music! The first thing that I heard him say was that this mission was now a hugging mission. So all of the Elders got to go up and give President Weidmann a hug and all of the sisters got to go and give Sister Weidmann a hug. A good first impression I believe.
Shkoder, Albania

So I guess they will be coming to every single missionaries house and looking at them and seeing how they are. Which is kind of a problem for Elder Dahl and I because we made some sloppy joes for the 4th of July and dirtied a ton of our dishes and then our water has been out since the 1st of July and hasn't come on since. My landlord refuses to answer his cellular device so we are going out to look for a new house this week. Should be good. And the dishes smell like death and it's dog.
This week, workwise, was a little sad. We didn't get to meet with a lot of people and thank heavens we had english course. We met with two investigators out of the many that the sisters left for us to teach and they were really cool. One kinda unfortunate thing is that all of the sisters investigators are girls. So if we do get a lesson with them we have to use the other elders in on the lesson because we need some more males and the male members here (there's two) are always busy, at work, with family, or they straight up live too far away. So we feel really bad inconveniencing the other guys. But they're good sports about it. Another downside to having only girl investigators is that when I call them, they're expecting one of the sisters voices coming from the phone. They hear some dorky little kid and they get all freaked out and say "Uh where are the sisters?" And then I say that they had to leave but I'm taking their place and that I'm a missionary just like them. Then they say "Uh maybe some other time." 

Doing service for a member's sister.  Picking something.

I called one investigator and she answered the phone and I said "Hey my name is Elder Clawson and I'm a missonary with the Church of Jesus Christ. I'm friends with those two American girls that you know." She said "Wait one second." So I waited for a bit and then this dude gets on the phone and starts drilling me with all of these questions asking me why I was calling his girlfriend. I was just like "WHOA! Calm down man I'm not trying to get with your lady, I just called a number that was in my phone." He calmed down a bit and then told me to never call the number back. So I'll give it a couple days and then I'll give it another shot.
This means that we are doing lots of finding for male investigators. We need some more priesthood in the branch here. Members in general but you get what I mean. I freaking love Shkoder though. My district is awesome, the food is good, the people are actually really nice and I don't have problems with the young men saying potty words at me. My companion is a lot like Elder Watson so I know how to work with him. He doesn't like it when people touch him so we'll see if I break him of that this transfer.
Shkoder really is my new favorite place. It's super pretty. It has tons of potential here and I'm so excited to see what we can do with it once we get a groove going. The language here too... It's beautiful. 
Celebrating the 1 Year mark!!

I'll tell ya a bit about the people that I met with this week. They were both ladies, one's named Rozi and she speaks really good english, and the other is named Liza and she is older and has 4 kids I believe. They both really enjoyed meeting with us and I think they'll keep meeting with us. Rozi has a brother who seemed kinda interested in the gospel as well and we gave him a Book of Mormon and he seemed stoked to read it.
On Saturday we went and did service for one of our member's aunt. She had a big field of stuff that we had to pick. It was really fun and we had a good time. I think we may be doing that again next week. The World Cup is also ending next Sunday. Më në fund. People have been going crazy here. There was this riot thing going on after Germany won against France and guys were on top of cars screaming with huge flags and peeling out on their scooters or motorcycles. 
Some cute little girls in the missionaries English course.
Well that's about it. This last week I did a lot of study out of the Old Testament which was super awesome. I study the Messianic Prophecies foretold by Elijah, Elisha, Moses, and all those other ancient prophets. I thought it was super interesting to see how misinterpreted the prophecies were. But it also really made me look on my own knowledge of our Savior. Jesus Christ was the only person in the world to have all the details of His life laid out in words years before His actual birth. He was born of a mortal mother and of an immortal father and He did atone for all of our sins. Through His Atonement we can all forsake our sins and become cleansed. If we humble ourselves before Him and repent, we can live with Him, our Heavenly Father, and our families after this life. He is the only way by which we can be perfected. He died for us so that we can also rise from the dead and become resurrected. I know that He will come again in all of His power and glory for the salvation of all of God's children. 

I love you guys and I hope you all have a great week!!
Love, Jedediah
Dearest Mother,
How was the Fourth for ya!? I hope everyone was safe up in Idaho. Did anyone do anything crazy behind the boat. Yes I did celebrate my year mark and the Fourth but it wasn't anything big. I love you so much and I hope everything is going alright.


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