Monday, June 2, 2014

More Adventures...And a Baptism that Falls Through.

This week has been a good week in Durrës. A is doing very well. He is quitting smoking. We had a very powerful lesson with him this week on the Atonement. The Spirit was so strong. We talked about what the Atonement was, but the focus was on why Christ performed the Atonement, and how we can show our gratitude for the Atonement. He comprehends quickly, and gave incredibly advanced insights on the Atonement. We read many scriptures together. I feel the Spirit very strongly when we meet with him. He continues to come to all three hours of church, and has been well fellow shipped. He is amazing. He learns on his own and brings us knew knowledge. He is fantastic.

We had a baptism fall through this week, and we are still a little bit unclear as to why. X and her Mom were both so excited as we met with them throughout the week. We met them at the church an hour before her baptism on Saturday, and they told us and Bishop Dodaj that they had a small problem and that they needed a different day. We will continue to try and get a better answer. They didn't come to church. We have no idea what the deal is. We can't baptize them if they aren't commited. I think there may be some kind of deep underlying problem, but we really don't know. We are praying for them.. a lot! Fast Sunday fell on a good day.

We met an amazing family this week. It is a mom, dad, two middle school age daughters, and a baby boy. We street contacted the dad D last week. We street contact a lot of people, and often times the numbers we receive are either fake, or the people just want to mess with us.I had the lesson in my planner for a few days, and after a few calls nothing had happened. We felt like we should give it another shot. D was more than happy to meet with us. We met on the road and walked together to his house. The first lesson was only with the parents (D and V), and the second was with the whole family. They are a very Christian family, but they don't have a faith. It turns out the two girls have been to our church once before. They had a Book of Mormon. They all show great potential. The older daughter E gave a flawless closing prayer. She thanked God for the Book of Mormon, and the Bible. She thanked him for Joseph Smith. She ended in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. We had a member (Ersi) with us at their house, and he was blown away. He was baptised earlier this year. He was a very prepared investigator right from the start. He said in Albanian "Her first prayer was better than mine. She got everything. She even thanked God for a modern prophet and Joseph Smith. No investigators do that. She also said in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. I didn't even do that. I said in the name of Ersi Amen." We almost died laughing. we will be meeting with the family again this week. We challenged the family to begin reading from the Book of Mormon. Ersi brought up the fact that he read the whole thing in 3 days when he was investigating. The girl doesn't really seem like the kind that will be beat. She has all tens in a country where grades are all given out of ten. D and V are trying very hard to follow Christ. They just lack direction. They have crosses all over their house, but they don't really know where to go from there. We hope to get them to church this Sunday.

Ersi is awesome. He is a sweet kid. Way beyond his years. he is 15, but he has come through the fire to get to where he is.

This week I ripped my pants pretty bad, and we didn't notice until the end of the night. Up and down appartment stairs takes a toll on pants. I had to take them to a seamstress to get the fixed. The problem was out of my hands.

Also this week we had a funny problem with the phones. We were without coverage for a whole day because our carrier was switched. The whole mission including Pres Ford was off the map. It was weird. we had no way of confirming our appts, but it all still worked out in the end. i think we all realized how dependent on technology we are. We wondered how people used to live without cell phones.

This week we have continued to do a lot of finding, but also we have tried to find some more inactives. We have a lot of members here in Durrës, but unfortunately many of them are not in sacrament meeting. We have found some! Thanks to the Atonement they can come back. President Ford said something that struck me. When people Understand the Atonement they will have a desire to change. I guess it just makes sense.

Have a great week. Take Buddy on walks!!

Love you all!

Elder Stewart

Poppies he found in Albania!

Elder Stewart's birthday celebration in honour of his sister, Sara! Looks tasty!

The hole in the pants...

Good thing he could find some help for the repair!

Cell phones are only so helpful...How did we live without them??

The baptismal program. Everything was ready to go. :(


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