I taught yesterday for my first time in Albanian! Elders Quorum went well. There were only two Albanians, Elder Tooley, Elder Acheson, and I. They understood most! Elder Acheson helped me out a lot! We are going through the Joseph Fielding Smith Teachings of the prophets book! They just came in so yesterday was the first lesson on the nature of God. I have never been to Elders quorum in Canada, but I figure you are probably studying from the same manual! If you have any insights on lesson 3 throw them in an email because I will be teaching that one in two weeks! It is good language study preping and teaching the lesson because the manual is in Albanian so I have to focus in!I am happy to hear you connected with the Tooleys. They are a great couple! They probably made me sound way better than I actually am because they are just that kind of people! They fed us a great meal of french toast casserole yesterday! They make the most amazing delicious things! Today brother Tooley taught me how to make peanut butter! Way good!! They also help us out with lessons all of the time! It is sometimes hard to get members for lessons with sisters, and just for lessons in general but the Tooleys are great! Anyway they are on their fourth full time mission! (His fifth) He had zero money as a child. He said we would be tough to find an Albanian here who has less than he did... which is crazy because I have met some very poor Albanians! Anyway he rose above and was very successful in a number of endeavors, retired at 47 and here they are! It is quite the story that very few people know, once again because they are just that kind of people! They chalk it up to tithing, prayer, and their willingness to serve the Lord if He blessed them with the ability!We had a lot of success this week despite some hurdles! This week has been kicking our butt as far as investigators showing up for lessons! They tell us they are coming, and then they just don't show up. One day we had seven lessons planned for the afternoon, five last minute bailed or no showed and we were left scrambling! Kinda frustrating, but it was fun! Missionary work everywhere has its troubles! Makes for a good laugh! The baptisms we had are called off for permission reasons and Aliens who took our 64 year old man. We have no idea where he went haha. We have a ton of investigators in church. Most of them ranging from 17-21! (Missionary ages really are no surprise when you look at the ages of the majority of investigators. Investigators over 30 and under 10 are pretty rare unless you first get one in that range and they bring their family) Parental permission is certainly an issue! Espescially for the girls! Guys tend to do what they want which can be good and bad for teaching haha. We definetly stand by the families, but even then it seems guys get permission easier, and are less protected. Thats probably how it was for Matt and I! All those times of riding the bus by ourselves when we were like 5 and taking Buddy for walks around the neighbouhood by ourselves, but the girls always got rides and needed supervision on walks haha. Am i right matt and mom?? :)
(Editors note: This has been a long standing joke in our house, but I'll have you know they had to take walkie talkies when they walked Buddy and they never rode the bus at age 5!! There were those who criticized us for that! Can't win! :) )
One investigator Jorgo is a serious potential. The others are certainly hopefuls! He first came to a YSA activity! He is very smart and outgoing! He is just a couple of months older than me. I am confident that we would have been great friends had we lived on the same continent and spoke the same language! He soaks up everything and keep commitments! He shows up to all of his lessons! We have had some great Albanian YSA members helping us out! He has a really sad background. Both his parents have passed away. he is an only child living with his grandparents, but he is leading a lot of his friends to the church where I know they will find peace and happiness! There are some solid YSA and "Dry YSA" meaning would be but aren't allowed. YSA is kinda a loose term because is includes Priests and Laurels usually, and occasionally even gets 15 year olds. They all really like it though! I also had the opportunity to meet Denis! He is a 14 year old boy! We became fast friends! We met at the English classes that we teach! We teach beginners English on Tues and Thurs by the way! Anyway Denis is super cool! He is taking church lessons too, and we sometimes hang out at the center before and after English class and play ping pong or something! He has a lot of friends as well, but often he is alone when he comes and hangs out with us! His parents are muslim. He loves futball! We are really similiar! It is awesome!
We had our interviews with President Ford this week! They went well! He and his wife are very cool! I enjoyed talking with both of them! They brought up our mail too! Thanks for the Valentines package! Thank you for the dear Elders Carolyn! Thank you for the kind Christmas Card Kami and Mark Drew! I think it was sent to the MTC, but somehow we missed eachother, and they sent it to Albania! Funny! It has had quite the journey, but I appreciate the thought and the picture! I have all of the pictures I received for Christmas up on my shelf at the house! It makes for a nice touch haha! I think there are 8 so it is very nice! I started opening that hearts card in front of Sis Ford and then thought better of it! She is a talker, and I didn't want to give her a reason to turn the conversation on me! Can you research our new mish president pres Weidmann?This week we also had a sleepover with the other Elders, but not for a fun sleepover reason! We had a roach infestation at our house, and mold all over the bathroom. Anyway... an exterminator and a whateveryoucallit came over and did some work leaving us without a house for 24 hours. We had some major cleaning to do after that because Albanians don't clean up after themselves sometimes! It was gross.. and poisonous, but I am still alive!It has been an awesome week! I am still loving it! I may be driving my companion nuts because I am a go go go all of the time, not necessarily all useful energy.. you know the way dad and gramps are... anyway its how I was raised!Take Buddy on some walks!!Love, Elder Stewart