Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Here We Go Again!

See you in 1 1/2!
And so we begin again.  It has been almost 6 months since Elder Clawson returned from the Adriatic South Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I can honestly say I have missed having a missionary.  I love having him home, and having everyone around for all our fun Summer vacations, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It will be so fun to have Emma out serving a mission and getting some of those great growing moments, and experiences that Jed had.  What an opportunity.

Emma received her call on Sat. Sept. 5, 2015 and she did things her own way from the start.  With Jed we had a big get together.  Lots of friends and family here for the opening, but Emma did it different.  When the postmaster called telling us that a white envelope was at the post office in Paradise, Emma and James jumped in the car and picked it up immediately.  Once she was home, she ripped it open.  No big production.  We all just listened as she read what the letter said as we ate our breakfast.

Taiwan, Taipei Mandarine Chinese speaking!!  It wasn't a huge shocker.  Some of us may have actually been praying for Taiwan:)  James served in the exact same mission almost 25 years ago, and then my brother Marc served there about 16 years ago, and then my youngest brother Eric served there about 9 years ago.  Marc's wife also served in Taiwan.  So Emma is the 5th family member to serve in Taiwan over the last 25 years.  Someone made the comment that Emma is going to tidy everything up that all the others started:)  Needless to say, there is some major excitement about Emma teaching in Taiwan.  

Emma had her farewell on Sunday Dec. 27th at 9am in the Paradise 1st. Ward.  She did awesome!! After, we had an open house luncheon for her at the bakery.  Lots of hugs, and laughing, and goodbyes.  Thanks to all the wonderful family and friends who helped out in one way or another.  We love you!!  

We will head down to the Provo MTC on Jan. 6 2016 for Emma to start her mission.  

Favorite Kelsie cousin!
Grandma and Grandpa G.

Paige and Cameron cousins!

Favorite neighbor Janet on the left and Grams R. on the right.

Hi Brad!

Hi Austin!


Love friends!

Jed and soon to be sister in law Gracie:)

Thanks White's for all your help!

Favorite friends!

More favorite cousins!

Old employees, who are now married and having families:)

#mynameissweetheart with cousins Gem and Theo

Hi Maw's


Uncle Sam

Handsome Noah

Hi McKell!!  I think the Pepsi fountain was almost as popular as Emma.

Grandpa G.

Nate and Dag

Cookies all around and favorite friends, the Johnson's!

Uncle Josh and his family Facetimed since they are in Equador.  

Grandpa C.

Hi Chase!

Some favorite girls.

Cousin Bryan

Grams and Carter

The Smith's 

A good chat with Carol.

Wil and Lauren:)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Best Experience Of My Life!

(This is the very last email that Elder Clawson will write as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.  As his mom I really can't believe this day has actually come.  It seems like I've been gearing up for Jed's mission since the day he was born, and now it's over.  I will miss these weekly letter's and getting a glimpse into this amazing experience.  I didn't quite expect what an amazing journey this would be for our whole family.  Jed has touched the lives of so many people who he didn't ever actually meet.  His letter's and testimony each week have made this whole two years so worth it.  He left a little boy, and I love seeing what he has become.  Thanks everyone who has followed Jed's adventures in Albania and Kosovo.  The blog won't sit idle for long.   Jed's sister Emma is in the process of submitting her papers to serve a mission as well.  Jed's example and excitement for the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ has influenced her decision to be a missionary too.  She wants to be just like Jed! We'll be back to these pages in no time. xoxo Lisa)

Lot's of goodbyes!!  This is the Larsen's.  Jed loves them!!  The senior couples who have served in the Adriatic South Mission are amazing!!  A little piece of home, and a sweet grandma and grandpa to all these young Elder's and Sister's.  Thanks to ALL the senior couples that the Larsen's are representing here!!
Well Dearest American Family who patiently has waited for my return, 

This is the last email that I write to you all. I don't know if I'll talk about all the stuff that happened this week but I will say that it was a great week to end on. 

My mission has been the absolute best experience of my life. I have never seen so many people so blessed by accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have never been so happy to work so hard in my life. I love the Albanian people and I have loved being here. The church is true and God loves us!! This is my email and I will see you all soon. I don't have anytime to email anyways because I've got interviews with Pres. Weidmann right now and I've got some errands to run and stuff. But I love you all and I hope you all have a good two days!! 

Love, Elder Clawson 
Elder Clawson and Elder Befus

Elder Holmes and Clemens

The Fuller!  She's awesome!

Goodbye Albania!

Another great member couple and Elder Osterguard.  He is returning home the same day as Jed.  

Saying goodbye to the people at the old folks home.  He's spent a lot of time with these people and loves them:)

This Week Is Going To Be Great!

June 22, 2015 email

Service for the week was clipping old folks toe nails and finger nails!

Dearest Family, 

Well this week was a good week. Things are kinda starting to dawn on me and it's weird. 

At the beginning of the week we tracted into this family that was great. We were able to teach them about the Family Proclamation and a bit about the Restoration. It was the father, Tom, the mother, Mira, and a daughter, Geraldina who actually does some work at the massive Catholic church here. We set up a return appointment for Thursday and we were super excited to go over and talk with them. Thursday rolls along and only the mom was there but she politely asked us to not come back anymore. I'm glad that she was nice enough to let us know right then that they weren't interested. So that was kinda sad but it gave us some excitement at the beginning of the week which was nice. 
Nucrema on toast.  It tastes like Nutella, and cream and butterflies he said.

Elder Wilcox is Jed's companion.
The second cool thing that happened this week was with another named Fatos. He was found by the sisters while street contacting and they handed him off to us. We have been able to meet with him almost everyday this week which has been fantastic. He is very poor and has a smoking problem but we have been able to set up a routine and a plan so that he can finally get over his addiction. He also is preparing to be baptized on the 25th of July which is fantastic! It's kinda weird planning for a baptism when I won't be here but it's alright. Fatos really enjoys meeting with us and he wants to come closer to God. We were a little concerned when he told us his financial situation because we were a little afraid he would ask for money but he has told us many times that he wants to strengthen his faith and then that will help everything else in his life. 

District flour wars!
Xhemil wasn't able to meet with us this week because his mom is really sick. He's been taking care of her so he just doesn't have the time to meet with us. But we are still very excited for him so no worries. 

Plan of Salvation yay!
I don't really know what else to say besides the fact that this week is gonna be great. I have a talk next week in church and we have Mission Conference on Wednesday with everyone and I am ready for it all. Shkoder is witnessing a miracle right now and I'm glad that I get to be a part of it. 


Love, Jed

Dearest Mother, 
Mom, I am super excited to see you. Don't worry, I am stay focused on the work but every now and then when I'm just sitting in the house I start thinking of the awesome food that I'm gonna be eating with ya'll. Also my card still doesn't work so it might have the same problem as last time or maybe an international problem. I love you Mom! Have a good week! 

Love, Jed

Happy 20th Birthday Elder Clawson

June 15, 2015 email

Dearest Family and Friends, 

Looks like a little lemonade with some street contacting!

This week was full of blessings and shinanigans. One awesome thing that I must mention is the fact that our investigator Xhemil is AWESOME!!! He has been reading and soaking it all up. We just need to get past the whole mindset of "I'm Muslim and I can't change." So I exhort you all to pray for his heart to be softened to the message of Jesus Christ. But he was reading this week and had some pretty good questions. They're a little deep so I'm not gonna get too in depth in them but Elder Wilcox and I had to go and do some hardcore studying. But he is a great guy and we are so excited to see where the Gospel is gonna take him. 

We also started teaching two young couples this week! The first one is Erik and Anisa. They are a very young couple with a super cute 2 year old girl named Erisa. If you don't notice that's Erik and Anisa put together. I just thought that was hilarious when they told us that. Anisa is Muslim and Erik is Catholic but Anisa really wants to be baptized. We are working on her a little bit more than Erik. He doesn't pick it up quite as much as Anisa but he still pays attention and reads a bit. They are having a little struggle with the First Vision and accepting it but we are praying for them and they are also praying for an answer so it'll come in God's time. But they are fantastic people. They are super young and just love to laugh and have fun. 

Birthday haircut.  And it was free.  What a kind lady!
The other couple is Ton and Arta. We tracted into them using the Family Proclamation and Ton wasn't home so we had to wait for him to come home so we could go into the house. But we just shared the message on eternal families and they loved it. Ton seems a bit older than Arta and he is super tall. Arta is short and kinda quiet but they have some super cute kids. We have a meeting with them tonight and we will be sharing the message of the Restoration with them. I have big hopes for them.

You asked about Filip, he is doing great. He stopped smoking for a bit and he has been coming to church and learning from the Elders still so he is chugging along like a champ. Genti is actually coming up to Shkoder in a couple days for work so he said he'd come and see me real fast. That should be fun. 

Elder Clawson and one of his awesome investigators.
These next coming weeks are gonna be good. I don't feel like it's ending yet but I had a reality check last night actually. Elder Rawlings called me at 3:30 in the morning to wish me a happy birthday. He was just about to get on his plane home. It took me a while to get back to bed because the fact just smacked me in the face that I don't have a lot of time left. My deadline is coming and it's coming incredibly fast. I have loved my mission and I have never been so satisfied with anything I've ever done. I love being here!

Love, Jed

Dearest Mother, 
I would really like to go to Glacier! That would be really cool but Lake Powell would be fun too. Let the children decide. Don't worry, I'll work my guts out these coming weeks. And yeah if Kell wants to come then she totally can. I'm glad to hear that the garden is coming along well. I'm excited to work in it with ya! I love ya mom!!

Love, Jedediah James

Two Service Projects

July 8, 2015 email
I love this picture!  A man Jed is teaching.
Dear family in Lake Powell,
Well I was sorry to hear about the houseboat not working and I hope you all survive living out in the wilderness for awhile.
This week was full of goodness, butterflies, candy, and powdered lemonade.  We were able to meet with Xhemil again this week and it went great. We had invited to begin reading the Book of Mormon from the last time that we had met him and we were expecting him to maybe read a couple pages or something but he had read most of 1st Nephi! He had some questions about why Laman and Lemuel were always against Nephi and the dad. It was super cool and we were able to just expound on how life will always have opposition no matter what we do because Satan will always be there to try and drag us down. We then shared the message of the Plan of Salvation and he totally ate it up. He also prayed for the first time which was a miracle and a half! I may or may not have had him just repeat the words that I said but baby steps are steps nonetheless.
We met with Erjon this week as well and kinda just had a smack down lesson with him. We explained that we aren't here to just sit and chat with people but we are here to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked to him a lot about how our message can help him in his life and we just tried to simplify everything to a point where he could understand clearly. We invited to be baptized on the 27th of June and he accepted so we will just pray and continue teaching in hopes that he can prepare himself. He is a good guy, he just doesn't think as much as we would like.

We were also blessed with TWO service projects this week. The first one we did was at an investigators house and we helped her pick flowers for chamomile tea. We stayed there in her garden for about two hours just picking flowers and socializing. It was actually super relaxing. The second project was a bit more interesting. We went back to the old peoples home but this time they needed us to help change all of the old people's bed sheets. We had to pick up the old people, throw them somewhere else, change their sheets and then throw them back in their beds. Good thing we are all super strong.
On Friday we were able to have a zone conference in Durres. We received a wonderful training from Elder Roemer and Anderson about setting appropriate goals. It was kinda funny because me, Elder Ostergaard, and Elder Rawlings have all been zone leaders before so we had quite a bit to say on how setting good goals can totally help an area when they are used correctly. It was Elder Rawlings' last time to see most of us because he is leaving next Monday to start summer semester at BYU. After the ZL's training we got another training from Sister Coleman on how we can basically determine how successful we are. She showed a little clip of Napoleon Hill which was cool and we all learned from that. Afterwards we all went out and got sufflaqe and ice cream. Good day.
These young men all became missionaries on the same day almost 2 years ago now!  Still brothers in the Lord:)
This week we were also able to meet an older couple. Peter and Margarita. They are an old Catholic couple and they love us. We met them on Friday night and taught them about the Family Proclamation. After all that she asked us if we had any Holy Water and we said no. She said that when she can't sleep at night she takes some Holy Water and wash her face with it and then she would sleep better and that she had run out. We explained that we didn't use Holy water and that we used prayer to ease our burdens. So she asked me if I would pray and bless her and their home, so I did. We went back last night and we were talking and she said that she'd had the best night's sleep that night. It was just really cool to see how excited she was!
Today we just went grocery shopping, and ate lasagna. Good stuff. I love you all! Have a killer week and enjoy life without me while ya got it.
Love, Jed
Dearest Mother, 
Well Mom, the time is near and I need to get the siblings some gifts. I've got one thing but should I get them anything else? If so, I need the funds from ya'll. I have no moneys. I am totally loving Shkoder though. Elder Wilcox and I are taking the branch on our backs. I've been conducting in church and stuff lately so that's fun. The work is definitely coming. We are still doing tons of finding but I'm loving it. 

Love, Jed