Monday, October 6, 2014

There Is Nowhere I Would Rather Be

Hello Family of Clawson, 

I have had a super fun week! It was super busy and full of all kinds of chaos but I survived and enjoyed the ride. 

Jed with his trainer Elder Foster.   Good byes are tough!
On Monday I drove down with the AP's from Prishtina to Tirana and just had a good 4 hour drive with them. We saw a gypsy guy out taking a poop in the middle of the city and I just thought to myself "There is nowhere I would rather be." I was with good people, chilling in a big van, wearing a name tag, seeing something that you don't see very often. One of those 'I love my mission' moments. 

Elder Clawson and Motra Curtis.  She returned home this week too.
When we got to Tirana I was able to meet some members in the 1st branch that I knew and then we went to President Weidmann's home for FHE and it was super fun. We play Book of Mormon charades and had a good laugh. We stayed at the AP's house and had a good time with them. The next morning Elder Roberts looked at me and said "Wanna go get some breakfast at the Stephen Center?" And I just said "Uh, yes." So we left and got some Chocolate Chip Pancakes at the Stephen Center. (The Stephen Center is a little restaurant and hotel that has American breakfasts!)

Elder Clawson saying his goodbyes to Elder Roberts.  
Elder Clawson and Motra Kokol.  "She's like an Elder in a good way!"  
Then I went to the mission home and took my last pictures with the dying group of missionaries. (Dying missionaries are going home.  They've served their 2 years or 18 months and are heading home to family.) It was super rough. I said goodbye to Curtis, Kokol, (that one was super rough), Foster, (that one sucked too) Roberts, (Sad), and the rest and I just wanted to cry! They were all super awesome and I will totally miss them. Elder Palmer actually sent me a photo of him picking Elder Foster up from the airport and that was cool. 

Some of Elder Clawson's MTC group.  They're always happy to see each other.
After that I said goodbye to my old district and took Jorgy (Elder Jorgensen) up to Prishtina! We have worked super hard this week but it was Bajram 

(3) Kurban Bajram: the "Feast of Sacrifice"): In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Bulgaria, this festival is referred as Kurban Bajram. Kurban Bajram comes two months and ten days after Ramadan Bajram and marks the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail for God. As Ibrahim prepared to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead (this story is also a part of the Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh). 

Muslims around the world thus sacrifice sheep for this holiday, giving the meat out to their family, friends and to the poor. This meat is called kurban in Bosnia, thus the holiday is called Kurban Bajram. 

Muslims also celebrate Kurban Bajram as it marks the end of the Hajj for the millions of Muslims who make the pilgrimage to Mecca each year. )

and everyone was out celebrating and every single store in Kosovo was closed! So yeah that kinda messed up our week but we were still able to meet with a few people. Nezir is still doing well and we were able to teach him about the Priesthood and Temples this week which was good. He is loving it and he is just fantastic in general. We also met with that guy named Agim and we invited him to be baptized! He said he wasn't sure because baptism seemed kinda weird to him. So we'll be working on him a bit slower. Still a great guy. 

Elder Clawson with some great members in Kosovo.
Well the new sisters here are Sister Favero and Sister Zollinger. They are both really good and I'm super impressed with their work so far. The Elders are Elder McGrath and Stewart and they are awesome as well! They have been finding all week and have met some great people! All in all my district is really good. 

Elder Clawson and Elder Jorgensen in their "Helping Hands" vests.  They found a cute tea set while they were cleaning up garbage, and decided to break for a bit.  Looks like Jed will have some good practice for when he gets home to play with his sister Jane:)
Elder Clawson and Elder Jorgensen really like being together.  This is a picture from Theth, Albania.
On Saturday we drove out to a little village and we met with this guy named Bashkim. He is super awesome and we actually got him as a referral from! He said that he wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ from our point of view and that he wanted to meet with missionaries! So we drove out and met with him and gave him a Book of Mormon and talked a LOT about Jesus. He has met with missionaries from tons of other churches and he says that they just don't have all of the truth. So it's good that we got to him! He loved it when we presented the Book of Mormon. He asked us to sign it and all that jazz. He is definitely going down in history as one of my favorites. He was super awesome. Just super happy and hungry for the righteous truth of GOD!!

Street in Prishtina, Kosovo.

Jed in front of  Skenderbeu statue in Prishtina.  Skenerbeu is an Albanian hero dating back to the 1400's.  Here's the link from Wikipedia.
Yesterday was a little rough because none of our investigators could make it to church and so I just wanted to cry. But to make it all better is the fact that President Bodell invited us over to his home for tacos! So we went over there after church and had a great time just chatting about life and loving taco meat. Later in the evening we had our Branch Misson Meeting and that was great. Then I tried teaching Jorgy how to drive a stick. One Christ like Attribute that I have definitely gotten better at is Patience. I was super patient and considerate with him even though he was killing it all over the place and on several occasions he almost decimated my Bathsheeba vehicle. But he is getting better.

This is the famed Banana Bread, or I should say cake, from last week.
Lots of finding going on still so pray for us! I know you already are but just saying. I love being here! I love the cold air, I hate the rain, but I love Kosovo! I love serving with Elder Jorgensen and I love being a missionary! I know this church is true and that God loves His children! (us) I get to watch Conference next week so I'll be able to relate to y'all's stories next monday. Well I love you guys and I hope you have a good week!

Love, Jeddy

Dearest Mother, 
I'm glad this new dog is surviving. Jane needs to have a dog for longer than 2 weeks. Is it starting to get cold and snow at all? I'm hoping that snow comes soon here because I'm loathing this wretched rain right now. I had a good Pday too. Played frisbee and what not and had a happy day. Little cold but I like it. Well Mom, I think you are the absolute greatest lady ever. Thanks for writing me and keeping the blog up to date! I LOVE YOUR GUTS!!

Love, Jedediah

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