Thursday, December 4, 2014

Refiner's Fire

Dec. 1 2014 email

Hello Family of Avon and everywhere else, 

Elder Clawson with a cute little girl in his ward.  She looks to be about Sweetheart's age:)
It sounds like you guys had a killer awesome Thanksgiving up in Eagle!! I was exceedingly sorrowful to hear that the Velodrome was a little too muddy for the biking enthusiasts but it sounds like you guys had plenty of other schmutz to do. 

Well this week was a very nice one for Elder Jorgensen and myself. Monday night we had some stuff planned but only one lesson worked out and that was with Suad. Betim was at the church at that time as well, so we had him join us for the lesson. We showed them the Mormon Message about the Refiner's Fire (The video below is the video Jed is talking about.) and talked about how in this life we all have struggles and challenges but we gotta get over them and continue in life even though it sucks at times. After that we had a discussion about our lives and some challenges that we've all had to deal with and it was good for them to kinda reflect on those experiences and see how it helped them in the end. 

So we were contacted Monday night by our leaders and asked to do an exchange in Gjakovë the following day. So we woke up Tuesday morning and took off for Gjakova. We got there and we both worked with a set of Elders over there. It was good. We did a ton of finding and got some numbers and then we had some lessons also. It was a great day in Gjakova.

It's Elder Watson!  Mission Conference on Thanksgiving Day.
We were able to meet with Nezir, Ajdin, and Artur and Adhurim the next day. It was really good to meet them. Nezir is doing so good! He's been off smoking for quite a while now and he is just progressing as a member and we love to see it! Ajdin has been good too. He might need to have his baptism pushed back a bit more because he wants to read a bit more. We think that he is ready but he really just wants to have more experience reading the Book of Mormon. It's a good desire for him to have and we're not gonna force him to get baptized if he doesn't think he's ready. We showed Artur and Adhurim the new He is the Gift (#sharethegift campaign and video are below. Click on it.  It's AWESOME!)video for Christmas and they really liked it. The men we are teaching celebrate Christmas pretty often, even though they're Muslim, so we were glad to hear that. That night I went to bed early because we had to wake up at 3 in the morning the next day. 

Thanksgiving Day!!! We woke up bright and early and picked up the sisters. They had made banana bread for us the day before and had gotten us chocolate milk so we were totally ready for the ride. (I tell you these sisters are amazing!) We drove to Tirana Albania with them just talking about all kinds of funny stuff. The sisters make me laugh because they are both super fun. Elder Jorgensen spilled Banana Bread all over his brand new suit pants while we were driving. That was a shame. Just wanna say, right now in this internet locale that I'm writing this email in, Viva la Vida is playing, and I am singing to it. Music is dearly missed in my heart. Anyways, we got to Tirana right on time and we had a special training on the new Christmas Initiative for this month. It is such a great idea! It got us all super stoked for Christmas and we are excited to share it this month. After that training we all went downstairs and ate the fantastic food that the senior couples had made for us. They are so great. Then we had our dessert contest and Mother....... I won. My prize was a can of sweetened condensed milk. I made the Chocolate Orange Butter cookies. Ya know the ones that are like the Mexican Wedding Cookies? So yeah they all liked those. Next we had a talent show and guess who's talent won? OURS!! Our whole district did it and we did a P90X workout video but we called it Book of Mormon X and we did a bunch of funny exercises. President and Sister Weidmann were laughing up a storm. It was fantastic. So our prize for that was another can of sweetened condensed milk! One for every companionship in Prishtina. After all that we had a quick testimony meeting where I got to hear the sisters who started their mission the same time as me bear their dying testimonies. It murdered me. I almost lost it like a wee lad that gets coal for Christmas!! MY SISTERS ARE LEAVING!! That hurts me. I love my sisters, they are so great. I'm lucky I've been able to serve around both of them. After that it was about 5:30 and we took off with the sisters again for Prishtina. Crazy thing happened too. I was driving and it was pitch black outside and I can't see anything except for the lights on the passing cars and so I wasn't paying the best attention but right at that moment I felt the car move in a weird way so I sat up more and focused on what it was and then all of a sudden this car comes whizzing around the corner, on a bridge, passing 3 semi-trucks, coming right for us! I pull as close to the side as I can and the car misses us by like 1 foot. We all about peed our pants and the sisters and I screamed. But we lived. Because God caused something to make the car move in such a way that it would get my attention so that I would be able to pull over super fast. It was awesome. We got home at about 9:30 that night and went straight to bed because I hadn't had a lick of sleep since 3 in the morning. 

Blue flag is for Kosovo, and the red double headed eagle flag is for Albania.

Albanian Flag Day or Independence Day.  Nov. 28, 1912  Ward party for the occasion.
The next day we just had a bunch of planning to do for the coming week and then we had to help set up for the Nov. 28th party! Here they have Dita e Flamurit which is Flag day and it is pretty big. (On Nov. 28, 1912 the country of Albania declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire.  Kind of like our 4th of July!)We had the party at about 6 o'clock and we had tons of people there. We had byreke and kos and it was super good. We played games and all kinds of things. Nezir sat next to us and we played Pit and he was getting super into it.  He could only stay for an hour so we just sat and talked with investigators and members. Then we all got up and did some traditional Albanian dancing.  Then they played Cotton Eyed Joe, the Macarena, and the Cha Cha slide and no one knew how to dance to those songs so all the Elders showed them how it was done. Fun stuff. Then we went home and slept. 

Saturday we cleaned up the church and then went finding. We found for most of the day and got some numbers. We met with Betim that night and showed him the new Christmas video and he fell in love with it. Instantly started Facebooking and hashtagging it up. Then we met with Ajdin and talked about Enduring to the End. He totally gets the Gospel and we love him. Just gotta get him feeling ready. 

Yesterday was a good Sabbath. I actually gave a talk. I talked about Faith and the Brother of Jared which is one of my favorite stories. 

Ajdin came to church and afterwards we read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with him and then we just had a discussion on it. He is a good guy and he will definitely be baptized. After that we went to dinner with the Bodell family! He's the branch president and they made us orange french toast which really ringed my chimes. I brought over the leftover cookies from Thanksgiving and I said they were like Mexican Wedding Cookies. Pres. Bodell is sitting at dinner and says "Hey can you pass those Mexi-Balls over here?" I chuckled to myself quietly because I didn't want anyone to judge me inappropriately. After that we shared a spiritual message and they gave us some Christmas presents! It was all American food! I was so happy! Love me some Jello pudding, BBQ sauce, and Kraft Mac and Cheese!!!!!!

So glad Elder Jorgensen's family loves him, because it doesn't look like Jed has anything yet!

P-day with Elder Jorgensen.
That was all that happened yesterday and today we woke up and had to take care of some insurance stuff in connection with our car. It's almost done. Then we actually had a lesson with a new investigator named Arber.  We shared the Restoration with him and he liked it and understood it. He's a good guy and he prayed in Serbian for us. Kinda cool. After the lesson we went and looked for a Christmas tree but turns out there's no wild small pine trees. Curse the soil of this land. Then I came home and changed and got lunch. 

Well that's it my loves. I hope you guys have a good week! I love you guys!!!!!

Love, Elder Jedediah Jim

Dearest Mom, 
Sounds like you guys are having the best times of your lives! Tell everyone that I love them still. How's everything going in primary? I'm glad Jane gets to come. She seems like she is going to be a very social butterfly. Well I love you mom! Have fun and be safe!

Love, Jed

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