Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Great Week and Finally an Adventure!

Editor's note: For protection of all the people Elder Stewart meets and teaches, from now on we will just use their first initial rather than their names.

This week went well! We have had a great time!

At the start of this week we had a trainer trainee meeting! I got to see my whole MTC group! That was very fun!  Everyone seemed to be doing well! A lot of them became my really good friends in the MTC. Pres Ford gave us a training on commitments and some other stuff. We then separated trainers with him and Trainees with sister Ford. We said what was going well and what wasn't. I of course said absolutely nothing along with a few others.  I think i scored when I got Elder Austin because we get along pretty well, and we have been able to teach lessons. Anyway that day was fun! We drove to Tirane with the Tooleys. All of the big Taxi wans in Albania have been shut down... Too many accidents. It is going to be a lot harder for us to get out of town now for conferences and stuff.

I gave my first Albanian talk on Sunday. I was the closer so I ended up chopping quite a bit of my talk off. I had a 15 min talk so I wrote one for 20, and then I only had to speak for 10. I spoke on conversion. I thought I did well. Afterwards people talked to me about it, and that proved that I was more or less understood. SCORE! The Tooleys fed us these awesome pancakes for dinner after church! I love their food!

We had 7 solid investigators in church. We just need to get them committed. They all loved it! 

As for lessons...we had a great few with J. Sometimes on his own, and sometimes with friends of his. His friend K comes to most everything! They also have a big group of friends. They would, and with time I hope will make great members!! Todays lesson was super powerful. Because commitments have been hard to get we reviewed everything we had taught quickly. We had a great discussion. We talked about the Plan. We talked about what we need to do. We talked about faith and testimony. We had D and S in on the lesson. They were huge assets. It is great having shqiptare (Albanians) in on lessons. Altogether there were 8 of us at the lesson. 4 investigators. I think they all felt something. Some people shed tears.. first time I have seen that in Albania.

The girl we met on the street.. M. is rocking. We have had two lessons with her.

S and A (S's friends) are both doing well. S seems the most interested, but then A came to church and S did not so I guess it is a toss up. the Tooleys and Pres Kashari have both sat in on lessons with them.

A is a man who is great. His wife died a few years back. He has a daughter. We had a lesson with him this week on the need to be baptized with Priesthood authority. He had a ton of questions and a ton of objections to it, but I think we are on teack now. He was baptized before is the thing. Pres Kashari and Bro Tooley were in on that lesson, but we have had some other ones without them. The fact is though members certainly help with lessons.

We had a lot of other lessons too, but those are some highlights.

We have three potential families. We have had one lesson with two of them, and two with the others. We have been working on having powerfull interactive lessons. It helps me out too because I don't have to speak as much, and I can just listen. Listening is way easier than speaking. We have also met with some men this week. It looks like we might even get a second lesson with some of them. It is so sad with us when we think we have a great lesson with a guy who has such great potential, and then we never see him again! We are trying so hard to get priesthood and families! The one family we got to hike out 45 minutes to their house. It is a long ways out. They have grandparents, and their children, and their children. There are a lot of people. We met a lot of kids. They are some of the most friendly people. Hopefully something good will happen! We also met with a family who lives in an apartment near the center. We tracted them out. We have only ever tracted twice for about an hour a time. There are many more effective methods of finding here in Elbasan! It was a mom and her 15 year old son. There is a 17 or 18 year old son too... hopefully he is at the next lesson. The final lesson we had was with a girl who I told you about in probably my first in field email. She is Hannahs age, and she is leading her family to the church. Two of her friends were the ones at church. They all get found through the English class that we teach. Anyway the spirit was strong in all of those lessons.

There was a move in the mission this week and Elder Acheson got taken from Elbasan, and Elder Richards came here. I miss Elder Acheson because he was a really great guy! We had fun together! He plans to be president of the USA in 2044. That would be totally cool! Elder Richards is awesome though! We get along very well! He has only been here for about three days, but we are pretty similiar. He is 18 as well. His birthday is next week. He is one group ahead of me just like Elder Acheson and Price. 

Today we went on a great adventure. I had been hungering for an adventure so we did it. We hiked up the canal to the river (well like lots of little streams) and followed it for a long ways. We hiked, and jumped over stuff so we were all super happy. Team Elbasan likes adventure!

Good to hear Buddy is well after the operation!

Love, Elder Stewart

A gypsy camp

Elder Stewart

Elder Stewart and Elder Austin in front of the mission home.

Their P-day adventure. Notice the shorts in February!?!?!

The canal they explored on their p-day adventure.

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