Monday, February 23, 2015

Happiest Elder In The World

Feb. 9, 2015 email

Elder Clawson with a firework of a cute little girl!!  The sister's are teaching her, and I think all the missionaries love her:)
My dearest Mother and Family!

This week has been full of meetings, trainings, exchanges, near death experiences, rain, flirtatious Albanian woman, and fanatic finding.

So usually at the beginning of every month we have a big zone training with all of the missionaries but President told us that we didn't have to do it seeing as we had a huge zone conference the week before. So Elder Braden and I decided instead to have a meeting with each individual district in their own district meetings so we could address their own needs and weaknesses. So every morning this week, we were out and about giving trainings, talking with the missionaries, and doing all kinds of crazy busy work.

One awesome thing that did happen this week was on Tuesday. We were able to meet with our investigator Kristi and we taught him the Plan of Salvation with a member named T. We had a super great lesson and talked about what we need to do in this life to gain a position in the Celestial Kingdom, and that was when we hit him with a baptismal date. He accepted to be baptized! We are super excited for him and we knew that God would bless us for the work that we'd been doing lately. We also had English Course that night and one of the younger members in the ward was there and she needed someone to escort her home because it was dark outside and she's 10 years old. The sisters usually walk her home but they asked us for a favor because they had a lesson to get to. So we got stuck with escorting a 10 year old girl to her home. We got to her house and greeted her grandparents and then left and then this Albanian lady heard Elder Braden and I talking in English and she asked us where we were from. We started a conversation and she asked what we were doing in that part of town. I told her that we had just escorted one of our members home and she was like "Oh can you do that for me?". I looked at Elder Braden then looked at her and said "No." We did ask her if she wanted to learn more about our church though and she ended up giving us her number which we then gave to the sisters. Flirty woman are dumb.

The week went along with lessons with members and such and I also went on an exchange with Elder Asler from 1st Ward. He came and worked with me in my area and we had a good time. A member asked us for a blessing and so we went to the church to meet her and the sisters were there with one of their investigators. Her name is D. and she is 9 years old and probably one of the most adorable things that I have ever seen. And she is super sassy. But she was very stressed out about a math test that she was gonna be taking soon so she asked me if I could give her a blessing. I gladly did and then Elder Asler gave a blessing for the member that was in need as well.

The next day I had to go on another exchange with the elders in 4th Ward. I went into their area with Elder Waters. He's from New Zealand. Good kid and we had a great time together. We talked all night long while in bed, and just were making all kinds of jokes with each other all day. We had a lesson with one of their investigators. He is Catholic and says that it is against his religion to pray with people of other religions. So we basically just asked him at the beginning if he had any questions and he asked a really good one about baptisms for the dead. He had read on the internet that we did that and so he asked why we did that. My first impression was to say that it was what the true church of God does, but instead we just explained about Paradise and Spirit Prison and expounded on that a bit with him. After a bit the conversation went to the subject of Joseph Smith and we started to talk about prophets. He believed that all Gifts of the Spirit and all prophets stopped after Christ's Resurrection. We weren't really getting anywhere with him and so we decided to end the lesson and we gave him a reading assignment. Mormon 9:7-10 and then we told him that we would talk about what he had read the next time we met.

Elder Clawson with one of his favorite members!  This is the lady that hugged and kissed Elder Clawson's guts out!

These two have grown up a ton since Jed last saw them, but they are doing fantastic!!!  Future missionaries:)
After that lesson we got to see a baptism! Sister Favero and Sister Mehmeti had taught this awesome lady named Manushaqe. And they invited lots of the members from 2nd Ward and the sisters in 1st ward invited lots of their members too. And guess who came?! All of my recent converts! Sam and Evi came and so did Eli! I was the happiest elder in the world! I sat and talked with Eli about her life and she was just so pleased to see me. She was hugging me and kissing my cheeks like there was no tomorrow. After the baptism Evi and Sam came up to me and we had a great chat. They have grown up a ton since I last saw them! It was crazy! They are turning into men. After that we had a lesson with a member and his unbaptized family. We watched the Restoration film and had a great time. Elder Smith, one of the senior elders, came along with us while his wife was at home and I got to translate for him. Great lesson.

Yesterday came and unfortunately we didn't have any investigators in church. So we just dealt with it and talked with members all day. Later on we had a mission prep class with one of the returned missionaries and with two of the youth that are starting their papers really soon.

Well family I love being on my mission. It is the most rewarding thing that I have ever done! I love speaking Albanian and I love preaching the gospel! I am so blessed to be a missionary in this part of the world. I love it when one of God's children accepts His invitation to come closer to him by means of baptism and when you can see the desire to change come out from the depths of their souls. God loves us and knows us! Never doubt that knowledge!
I love you all! Have a good week.

Love, Jedediah
Dearest Mother, 
Well so far my card still hasn't worked but I'll keep trying. keeping me posted on everything. So there's not a lot of flooding in Tirana but in the South there has been quite a bit I guess. I don't know a ton but that's what I've heard. Also, Hunter, one of my friends, met one of Dad's companions in Washington this last week. Well I hope the slurpy snow freezes over and becomes love powder real soon. I love you Mom!

Love, Jed

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