Monday, January 13, 2014

Elbasan Week 2

Hey All!!

Elder Austin is a great guy! He loves to talk so he makes up for me being pretty quiet in the apartment or while in cars and things! He has lots of stories! He is into music and stuff. He has written a couple of songs on the piano. He can cook a little bit which is nice! So far we have made meat, pasta and eggs mostly. Most days at lunch we eat traditional! It is very good! I love byrek, and suflche, and the pizza, and a couple other dishes that I can't remember the names of! It love the food here! Also they have this cool cereal stuff that I eat every morning for breakfast! It is almost like granola! It is very very good! Anyway, Elder Austin is a pretty smart thinker. He is good with spacial games like chess, and 3D puzzles, and the rubics cube. I figured out the 3D puzzle, but I can't complete a rubics cube, or beat him at chess haha. He isn't much into physical activity. He says the air outside hurts his lungs when he runs. He is a sit-ups and pushups kinda guy! But I am going to keep working on him! :)

This week has been great! We have found some new investigators, and some of our others are progressing! One girl is bringing here whole family into the church! She has read the Book of Mormon, and prayed about it. She told her parents, and they got curious. We are meeting with them weekly! We really hope the realize the gospel is true!! They are a great family. We have quite a few investigators around my age, and a little bit older! They were all very curious about why we were living by ourselves in their country! They come from all different family situations! It should be interesting! We hope that they will continue to meet with us! Here in Albania it is pretty easy to "never be found again" if they choose to because of the maze of roads and appartment buildings! We continue to hold most lessons at the center just because it is so much more effective! Another investigator that we have has been attending young womens for quite some time! She loves church, and she has read and prayed. He parents have given her permission to be baptized, and she was very excited about that! We were very excited for her! She then talked to her Grandpa who is a muslim, and he scared her really bad. We are trying to work with her, and so are the senior couple here! I will tell you about them in a second! Another person we found was at the book store! Some of the Elders wanted to buy some more language materials! I really had no reason to buy anything so I started talking to the Lady at the till. She was very nice. Being in a book store she was very curious about the blue book I was carrying! I told her what it was, and long story short she has it, and we are going to go back to the store and talk to her about it! Another investigator we have is an older man! He knows a ton about the bible, and he told us that he believes the Book of Mormon is more true than the Bible... not sure what that means, but we are just hoping it means he has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Elder Austin commited him to baptism on a park bench on our first contact with him. It was crazy! Hopefully he progresses! Last investigator that I will tell you about we met today while contacting! We talked with him, and Elder Austin carried the bulk of conversation like he usually does... because He is much better at the language that I, and he is inclined towards talking lots, and he is really good at dealing with people! I threw in my two bits here and there, and then at the end of a decent conversation he said I want to meet with you again because you shine to me he said... pointing at me! It was honestly a pretty crazy experience, but we are meeting with him again! I am confident that there are a lot of people helping Elder Austin and I from the other side.

We have 2 hours of companionship study every morning! Elder Austin is a good teacher! he is helping me figure out the ropes to full time missionary service!!

The toolys are the senior couple in Elbasan! Sister Tooly takes great care of us! She is so funny! She reminds me of Grandma Stewart! Elder Tooly is also hilarious! he makes the funniest comments! He is doing s great job of directing the missionary work, and in many ways the branch! The toolys are very actively involved in the teaching efforts! Often they take one of the young women in the ward! There is a very well running young womens program! In many ways the young women are what hold the branch together! They gets friends and families to church, and a couple of them speak english so they are very useful for the toolys! Sis tooly is the young womens president! Oh and I for got to mention that I am now an Elders Quorum Teacher! Elder Tooly and I rotate weeks! When Elder Tooly teaches we have to translate! The Toolys feed us every Sunday, and they often come to lessons with us so i know them quite well! I also met them in the MTC which is pretty cool!

Albanian is still very hard, but it is coming! One of the hardest parts for me is thinking like an Albanian. Their sentences are built differently, and they say strange things sometimes. One example of something that threw me of is... I will be there in 5 minutes. When said in Albanian it is... I came in 5 minutes. Little things like that throw me off!

I hope winter camps go well! They must be coming up! Snow Caves all around! Everyone will love it! They beat tents and cabins every winter! Good luck on all exams!

Take Buddy on walks!!!!

Love, Elder Stewart

Lunch one day this week. He said it was delicious!

A family in Elbasan with a Canadian bear given to them by another missionary from Lethbridge.

The remnants of a passalong card they handed out. "Guess they weren't as interested as they said!"


  1. I liked the part of him shinning! It's so true, these missionaries ARE shinning and have so much to shin about!!

  2. Elder Stewart is doing wonderful! I am so glad that our guys are together. They are truly being blessed. I'm so glad that he's having a good experience with Joseph (Elder Austin). That means the world to me to know that he is helping him and vice versa. They'll make a really GOOD TEAM and I'm sure the Lord knew that and that is why He put them together. I can't wait to see how their weeks go and to hear all about it. It's so nice to hear your son's part of the story. It's truly WONDERFUL. What a blessing for you to have a son a mission serving with his whole heart. SUCH A BLESSING! I love the part too where the investigator says to Elder Parker "you shine!!". Awesome!