Thanks so much for the packages! I received one from Mom this week, and two from Aunt Carolyn! Thank you so much! The other missionaries here love the candy as well!
We have many solid investigators right now. We have some male investigators! Amazing! Six that could make awesome priesthood holders if they will commit. We have three on baptismal dates, but they need to work for it. They have to show their commitment to the gospel. We found one man last week outside of English course. Elder Austin made up an interesting analogy for him. His brain is full of church knowledge.. only it is very weird. It is like a cup full of dirty water. We don't really know what church or combination it is, but it is a lot of empty ended theories and stuff. Anyway the more church stuff we give him the more comes out. It is like pouring clean water in a cup of dirty water. It is slowing down now though. He committed to baptism. Everything is making more sense to him now. We are certainly lucky to have the truth, and the knowledge that we can pray for answers.
Two sisters, (11 and 8) are bringing their whole family to the gospel. We have had a few lessons with them. They are great. They read the Book of Mormon a lot, and pray every night together.We found an old investigator of ours this week. She fell off the map there for a second, but she wants lessons again. It was pretty exciting because she was doing so well until she disappeared. A is a different solid investigator. In her prayer (That she gave on her first lesson!!) she thanked God for finally bringing her to someone who could help her find direction. She has been coming to lessons, and actually came with her younger sister to a baptism. Amazing because they live in a village outside of town so that took commitment.
On that note S got baptized. Elder Bilodo came in from Durres to do it. It was a long anticipated day for her, and it was great to get a lot of our investigators there.
We explored the Forests of Albania today. These forests just so happen to be the ones that Voldemort lived in. Anyway took some picks dueling and stuff. It was awesome. Adventure is awesome!
We get our Stake here in Albania right away. I am most excited for them because with a stake comes a Patriarch. Most people in Albania have never had a patriarchal blessing before. The few that have had it done in English a few years back when an English speaking patriarch was here. We have our first stake conference on March 9. We are all going into Tirane. Most people will ride buses into Tirane I think. It should be very exciting. To be honest I do not know many details though.
This week I am heading to Tirane for a Police check thingy. Sis Boettinger and I are the only ones who need to go. The others were at the American Embassy last week. The Tooleys also have business in Tirane so we are headed in on Wednesday. I hope I pass!!
I had a girl at church ask me "What are you gaining from doing this? Are you getting paid? School credit? Why are you here?" I gave her a pretty standard answer about blessings and stuff, but I wanted to say "if you only knew." It would have been impossible for me to comprehend before my mission just how much I am getting out of it. I can't even begin to describe how great it is. And the beauty of it is that it was never about us (the missionaries).
The Fords were in Elbasan for a day this week. They said they really want/need more senior couples but there just aren't any to send. It kinda sounded like Mongolia is in the same boat. I know of quite a few in our ward that could do it. I really hope they decide to go because first and foremost it is awesome, and as well the Lord needs them! They have no idea how big of a difference they could make! So dad issue some words of encouragement, and tell them to write on their papers that they want to come here haha.
English course ended this week. They go a couple weeks and then break. We are on a break right now.
Take Buddy on walks!
Love, Elder Stewart
|Elder Austin, S and Elder Stewart|
|Elder Stewart in the Forests of Elbasan!|
|Elbasan in background.|
|Elder Stewart and Elder Austin duelling with "wands" in the forest of Elbasan. No sign of Voldemort though! :)|