Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A New Investigator and Some Disappointment in Durres

I'll start this one off by some fun trivia. Did you know that if you
play basketball you get taller? It is totally true. Just look at any
basketball league. Take the NBA for example. Most of them are really
tall. It is because they played basket ball from when they were
little. The shorter ones probably didn't play as much basketball. It
is true! All of the Albanian boys told us so! :)

Another funky sporting fact. If you are sweating you need to put on a
long sleeve when you are outside regardless of temperature because
otherwise you get the flu. :)

There are a couple of things like that around here. I get a kick out
of hearing them!

The highlight of this week is a boy named M. When I first came
into Durrës about 5 months ago M was a very poorly behaved boy. He
used to go out of his way to try and offend us or make working in the
street hard for us. He knew we weren't Jehovahs Witnesses, but he used
to yell "Jehova qoftë me ju" and bow down to us in a mocking manner
just to try and get a reaction from us or from others in the road. It
is not unusual for Albanian boys to do things like that, but with all
of them we just try and be nice to them. It has worked. We say hi to
them, and talk to them every once and a while. We try to understand
their lives. They love it when we take about 5 minutes out of our day
to talk to them about theirs. The other day while talking with them we
gave M and all of his friends all english course flyers, and
invited them to English course. M came, and he was well behaved.
He has now been coming for two weeks. We invited him to come to soccer
with us on Saturday with the Young Men. He came, ad he loved it.
Afterwards we invited him to church. He said yes! We walked with him
to church and he stayed for all three hours. I sat by him in
sacrament, and the Book of Mormon fascinated him. He asked to buy it
from me promising me he would treat it nicely, and read it. Of course
I gave it to him. He had a great experience! It just goes to show that
anyone can change. M is an awesome kid! He has a bright future. He
complimented us on our standards, and our good behaviour. He
definitely felt the Spirit!

It was a tough week with A. We met with the Bishop and he allowed
us to set a baptismal date for A. He has learned everything, and
has been to church 17 times! It was so exciting. We set it for the
27th with A. Everything was looking great until we caught him
smoking. The worst part is that rather than fessing up to it he has
been keeping it a secret. We had a really straight forward lesson with
him on Saturday. I had no problem being "Devastated with my
investigator not keeping commitments." I pretty much told him that he
wasn't doing his part and he needed to shape up. He needed it. We have
been through a lot over the last 17 weeks. He took it pretty well. I
think he felt bad. Hopefully he pulls it together. He may still have a
while before baptism. It was super hard for me to see, and I think he
recognized that. I was like "A, we are literally doing everything
we can to get you baptised. You know this stuff. Lets get it done." We
gave him Alma 7 to read about the atonement and stuff. I still have
high hopes for A. He is a good guy, and we are good friends.

Today for p-day we went to "The Sports Palace." It is their sporting
center here in Durrës. It was way fun. We played 2 on 2 volleyball. We
could have used a lesson from Sara and Hannah! We also went to the
Mosque and got Elder Rasband a Kuran because he wanted one.

Last Monday we made that byrek. It is kind of like pie stuff. It is
oil with a little bit of flour in it. It tastes amazing! It was really
fun making it with the Dragotis!

Tomorrow we have Zone conference. I have never had one go past 1:30
before. This one is scheduled to go until 4. It could be quite the
conference. I feel big things coming!

Take Buddy on some walks!

Have a great week!

Love Elder Stewart
The Sports Palace

1 comment:

  1. Love the old Albanian wives' tales!
    Your frustrations/loving attitude regarding A reminded me of this quote from Elder Holland: "So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work. As one gifted writer has suggested, when the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all.10 Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving."