Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter in Durres

A sign on someone's door telling them to go away. :)

Rice with octopus!

The Easter decorations we sent. Elder Gray and he put them up to make their apartment feel a little "Eastery".
Hello there! I hope you are all having a great Easter. Welcome home to Grandma and Grandpa Stewart!!

Well things are going well here in Albania. We had a good Easter. They don't do to much for it here. Elder Gray and I decorated the apartment with those sticky things that you sent mom. They are pretty cool! I hope that you can kind of see them in the picture. This year was for sure the most I have ever been focused on Easter. I read the story and stuff in the bible on Sunday night before bed. It was a good Easter. Elder Acheson made us Currie rice for dinner on Sunday. We take turns cooking Sunday Dinners.

Easter in Albania is a lot different than in Canada or in the States. It isn't commercial, and honestly you could probably miss it if you weren't thinking about it. However on Sundaypeople were a lot friendlier than normal. People had very kind spirits. People were willing to talk to us. They wished us Happy Easter and were very respectful. There are a lot of really nice people, and I think they all felt Christs love on Easter. I was very impressed by the Muslims who acknowledged the holiday to us. To me that is true class.

Kristi our 18 year old investigator came to church with us on Sunday. He truly is amazing. He recognizes blessings from God and points them out to us. He is our age, and we can just relate to him so well. I think we would have been really good friends if we had grown up together. He likes school, and swims for fun. He also speaks understandable English for the msot part which is cool, although.. I will say more about that. He has a very bright future as a member of the church. We are going to take it slow with him now. He has to have a solid testimony. Here in the mission there tends to be a go go go attitude.. which makes sense considering we are only in an area for 3 months, but ward members have told us to take it slow and make sure these investigators have solid testimonies, and are willing to commit. Our church is a bit different than most. Once you are baptized you have to be actively engaged. We can't just coast. Here in Durrës we get 80's attendance out of our 340 members. Maybe all wards are like this, but this is troublesome, and many of the members have brought up this concern. When a person is baptized they become the wards job, and that can be very tough if the person is not prepared right from the start.

This week we started soccer with the Young Men. It is awesome. They bring their friends, and we all play together. We have a spiritual message at the start. This week it was raining, and the first week, so turnout was not fantastic. We had 4 on 4 on a small field. We had one investigator come with one of the YM Roni. I think I mentioned him last week, but him and his brother Rej (Ray) 13 and 11 are totally awesome. They are super solid in the gospel and just model citizens. Super mature, smart, funny. I like them a lot. Their dad and sister are also fantastic. Their dad has been through a lot, but he is amazing. Soccer was certainly a highlight. We hope to get some investigators from it.

This week we visited a partmember family. A mom and dad who have been members for the past two years, and their two sons (9 and 2). The goal is an eternal family, but somewhere in life they have kind of lost their testimonies. They feel God.. if there is a God.. has abandoned them. They are having a rough go. He is out of work. She is stressed. They live a long ways from church. They feel that for them becoming an Eternal family is impossible. A long gone far fetched dream. We are going to work really hard on them because the reality is they can.We just have to rekindle a little fire.

This week we experienced a little sickness. Elder Gray was out of commission for one day. I was just one night. Went to bed fine, terrible night, and fine in the morning. While reading in Exodus (I am trying to read the bible because I want to be able to answer yes when people ask me if I have read the entire bible. It doesn't happen often, but I just want to read it) I found a verse that I feel relates to our situation "Exodus 3:8"

Also Elder Acheson took us out to one of his favourite lunch places. I am not a huge seafood person, but I had rice with octopus and a bunch of other seafood. It was actually pretty good.

The gift of Tongues is in full effect. This week as I mentioned above I have been communicating well. I can understand and respond to almost everything. While I am not good, I am doing well. Elder Gray is doing good too. We have both improved a lot here in Durrës. Everyone is always surprised when Americans and Canadians have learned their Language.

Have a great Easter Break! Take Buddy on Walks, and more walks because I forgot to remind you last week!

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Love, Elder Stewart

1 comment:

  1. Its a wonderful message and I love it, Thanks for sharing. God Bless! tfi the family international