Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Getting Chilly but Fantastic...

Well this week is the first week I can honestly say that I have been
freezing cold. Snow hit on Thursday I think, and it has been a very
cold existence ever since. I am putting my coats, and gloves, and
touques, and liners, and long johns, and long sleeves, and sweaters,
and neck warmers, and scarves, and socks all to good use. It was so
exciting to see snow. It is beautiful here.

We have been street contacting for a lot of the week so we get a lot
of exposure to the cold. Surprisingly people still talk to us. In fact
on the coldest morning we got the most numbers. This winter is
predicted to be the coldest in the last 10! I am excited!

We had a really cool day on Tuesday. We picked up a new investigator
who was really nice, and interested. He had a lot of good insights,
and fantastic questions. The lesson ended up going an hour, but it
felt like it flew by. We have since met him again, and we brought an
amazing member with us. He got baptized a couple of months ago. They
clicked very well. The investigator is honestly searching. He is 21
years old. We are meeting with him again tonight. I have very high
hopes for him!

Another cool thing that happened this week was on Tuesday as well. We
were teaching English course, and I started getting calls from a
random number. I was teaching so I couldn't take the call. After
course I called the number back, and we set up a point to meet because
he wanted to learn. It turned out to be a dad, a mom, and four kids.
We had the same member help us out with their lesson. They also had a
ton of questions. We are meeting them tonight as well. I am very
excited. It could be awesome. Pray for us!

I had an exchange with Elder Jorgenson this week. It was really great
to be with him for a day. We had a lot of fun, and he is a great

We carved pumpkins today for pday. It was really fun. We went out and
found them all this morning at the market. They look great. Our
Halloween party got cancelled. Turns out Halloween is less of a thing
here than we thought it was!

Elder McGrath and I are having a great time out here, He is really fun
to serve with. Prishtina has been a fantastic experience

Take Buddy on Walks!

Love Elder Stewart!

You all have a shout out from the other Prishtina Elders!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Football Craziness and Fleeting Investigators

This week was good.

Culturally this week was crazy because Albania played Serbia in a game
that went absolutely wild, and ended up getting called off early by
FIFA. I have heard part of the story. I am sure you can look it up and
find more. Kosovars all consider themselves to be Albanians. They are
huge fans of the Albanian national team, and they have had a lot of
problems with Serbia in the past. We were out contacting the afternoon
of the game, and as gametime started rolling around the streets
started going crazy. EVERYONE was running around in black and red
flying flags, and singing chants. They had a massive TV set up in the
square, and the city was going crazy... and the game hadn't even
started yet. We weren't outside for the game, but we could hear it. I
am pretty sure the whole city (other than the missionaries) was
watching it. In the morning when we went out to contact the city was
still going crazy. There were large groups of young people running
around with horns and flags yelling a funny little rhyme thing that
the team has. It was like no sporting events or fans I have ever seen,
and I have seen my fair share.

As far as missionary work goes it was a pretty tough week. Our first
three lessons of the week were people telling us that for one reason
of another they didn't want to meet anymore. That was super tough
because they were cool. Also we had an investigator go to Sweden, and
another to America. They are both supposed to be back... sometime! We
have been trying super hard to find prepared people, and to get the
Spirit in our lessons. For the most part I think we have had it.. I
guess that is why getting dropped really stings.

On a good note, our area has two recent converts (converted this year)
and we couldn't get a hold of either of them. This week we finally got
a hold of one of them, and had two lessons with him. It turns out he
has just been all over Europe, and that is why we couldn't get a hold
of him. We as well as many members of the branch were relieved that he
came back, and isn't lost. Here is hoping we can track down the other
one. We managed to get President Weidmann in on our second lesson with
him. It was the coolest lesson ever. At first we were doing the
standard translation thing, but then we got onto the topic of
languages and the RC went off in french.. and President Weidmann
followed. That is where we lost control of that part of that lesson
and Awesome happened. Who knew President Weidmann spoke French
fluently?? That man never ceases to amaze me.

President and Sister Weidmann were here for Saturday and Sunday for
our branch conference. It was great to see them. The branch loved
meeting them. They are very impressive people. It has been great
getting to know them a little bit better. Our branch got a new second
Councillor. He is 24, and as good as or better than any I have ever
seen in Canada. This guy is phenomenal. He is also our Ward Mission
Leader right now. He has been a convert of about 5 months. He is
amazing. President Weidmann and Sister Weidmann gave our ward some
good trainings for sacrament. It was great because a lady who just got
baptized not to long ago brought two new investigating families to
church. The sisters are going to start teaching them both. That was a
miracle. They both look very promising, and they would start our
primary and youth programs.

This week a bakery opened by our house so we have a good place to eat.
It is really nice. Elder Clawson and I are having a competition to
become their favourites. They called Elder Clawson "stewart" once so I
think I am winning! It is a family buisness, and I am really tight
with the mom, the 16 year old son, and the 7 year old girl. I would
write their names, but apparently I am not supposed to. Anyway, I like
going there.

We got to give an embassy worker a blessing this week. He is here for
a couple of weeks, and has been at church. He has strep throat. All
four of us Elders drove over there one day at lunch. I anointed, and
Elder Clawson gave the blessing. It was cool to be able to do that.

All in all a good week!

Take Buddy on some walks!

Love, Elder Stewart

Elder Stewart and Elder Clawson looking not too sure about what they are eating!

Interesting Mediterranean type food. Love the olives!!

Missionaries have long days! Falling asleep during morning scripture study is probably somewhat common!

A cool "Star Wars" looking building in Prishtina

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Prishtina is Fantastic!

This week has been great. Missions are pretty awesome.

The highlight of the week was definitely our cooking job for the
brunch thing in between conference sessions on Sunday. Elder McGrath
and I threw together pudding pie, and brownies really fast on Saturday
night. They were both... TERRIBLE! they didn't turn out at all. They
said the pudding pie tasted like cigarettes. We got a pretty good kick
out of that. The other elders commented that it was good their
investigator didn't try it because he is quitting smoking, and
probably would have been driven back to smoking. it was hilarious. The
other elders scorched their stuff in the oven! The sisters, and Sister
Bodell the branch presidents wife pulled through though so people
didn't starve. It was MHB if you know what I mean.

We have been working out with the other Elders in the morning. It is
pretty funny. We do a rotation of a bunch of different workouts. Today
was Yoga Monday. I felt like I was going to die. Arms, abs, legs,
cardio, and a bunch of other workout things that I don't know their
names I can do, but yoga is hard!!

We ave been passing out English flyers this week, Our English course
starts on Tuesday. That should be fun. I like teaching English. People
here are very gifted English learners. It is quite impressive!

We saw conference this weekend. We managed to get a couple of
investigators there to a couple of sessions. We have one investigator
who came to the Saturday morning session. He quickly made friends with
a few of the guys. He is about 21. He ended up staying for both
sessions, and then went to hang out with one of the members. How
awesome is that?? He is Catholic, but super open. He loved conference,
and want s to come to sacrament next week. I have very high hopes for

We had another investigator come for the Saturday afternoon session.
It was great because we had those Joseph Smith pamphlets they used in
the conference, and we gave them to our investigators. Another thing
that our investigators loved was the music. They loves the Hymns. The
MoTab does a pretty good job of showing them off I guess! It was
really cool to see them sing as well because Motra Faveros mom is in
the choir. The investigators, and the branch loved that.

Our Sunday morning investigator was a guy coming to us for half
English, half religion. He informed us this week however that he
doesn't have a lot of time so he want shorter lessons cutting out the
English, and more religion. This was great news, like we are fine
teaching English, but now we see where his heart really is. He like

On Wednesday we had a second lesson with a guy, and he stayed for
institute after. He loved institute. He was a great participant. Elder
McGrath and I ended up teaching it because the teacher didn't show up.
It went very well. The branch is awesome!

The money is coming in on Friday... or Saturday... or Sunday... or it
didn't come in and Elder Clawson and Jorgenson have a very mad land
lord who is threatening to kick them out for not paying rent. In
between conference sessions we were all at the church, and the
landlord found us there, and asked who was the boss. Elder McGrath was
like uhhh... he is and pointed at me. That made the guy mad because he
obviously knew I wasn't the boss. He got mad at us and the church for
not paying him rent, and said he was kicking them out if they didn't
pay. Maybe a sleepover tonight because they might be homeless. They
packed emergency bags because the money still isn't in their account
from Tirana. (Editor's Note: By the time he had logged off, they got word that the rent had been all is well. :)

We have had a great time contacting on the boulevard here in
Prishtina. It is a beautiful city, and the people are super nice.
There is a cool statue of Skenderbeu and Mother Theresa right by where
we contact so that is kind of cool. Contacting has proven very
effective. We have found a lot of people. I haven't tracted yet here
in Prishtina just because of how effective contacting has been.
Finding is a lot like how it was in Elbasan for Elder Austin and I.

The food here is super good. They have a very large variety of food
including Thai food, and hamburgers. the traditional food is great
here too though!
The language is similiar, but definitely different. For example,  we say
"can come today?" in Albania is Ne mund të vijmë sot but here we say Na
mujna me ardh sot. Or "I have to go" Kam për të shkuar in Albania and Kam me shkue here in Kosovo.

Have a great week, and take Buddy on walks!

Love Elder Stewart

First night in Prishtina with Elder McGrath

A Mazerati in Kosovo! Cool!

Hot Chocolate Vending Machine. We want one of these in our house.

Tango juice. Very popular with all the missionaries.

Orange Halloween lights we sent him to decorate for Halloween. They made it there in record time!

It's Fall there too!

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Great First Week in Prishtina

Congrats to all marathoners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am
very impressed!

Well i made it up here to Kosovo. The internet local in Durrës was
huge. It was set up for internet gaming so it was always filled with
teenage boys. It was quite the environment. This local is much more of
an office.  I am computer 10, and I think there are about 25 internet desks so it is pretty crowded. It is really nice though. It is much more like the ones I
used in Elbasan. In Albania the internet places were everywhere, but
we had to walk for quite a ways to get one here. Apparently a lot more
people have private internet here in Kosovo so the need for cafes isn't as great.

Prishtina is the biggest city I have served in yet. There are traffic
lights and stuff! It is noticeably colder here. We are wearing
sweaters now, and probably going to throw on raincoat tonight because
it looks like it could be coming down. The language here in Kosovo is
different than Albania. There are two main divisions of Albanian. Geg
and Tosk. Some words are different, structure is different. For the
most part we can still understand people, but there have been a couple
of times where people will say stuff, and I literally had no idea what
they said. I love it though. We got a copy of an old never published
Geg book. I have been reading through it. I am going to try and speak
more like it. It is nice because they still understand Tosk. Some
missionaries never really bother to learn Geg, but talking to a couple
of the older missionaries who just took off last week the said juat go
for it because you won't regret  it. I just have to switch back
because Geg doesn't always get understood in Tosk land. It is super
interesting to see how the lanuage actually changes from area to area.
English has it a little bit I guess, but it isn't really the same

Our apartment here is quite nice. It has a combined kitchen and living
room, one bathroom, a spare room with our cabinet, and drying racks, a
bedroom, a decent sized storage closet about the size of our boot
room. It has a nice homy feel. I really like it. 

The branch here is great. It isn't very big. We had under 30 in sacrament, but I love it! We have had the opportunity to meet many of them, and they are all great. Prishtina has been known to be a
missionary favourite as far as areas to serve. The Branch President is
named President Bodell. He is 30. he and his wife have two small
children. He works at the American Embassy here is Prishtina. He has
learned Albanian here. He is a really cool guy, and so are his wife
and family. They actually had us over for dinner yesterday. It was
awesome! They fed us tacos. It was great!

Our ward mission leader here is a 20 something year old guy who was
baptized in May. We had our first meeting with him last night, and it
was awesome. He is on the ball! One thing I forgot to mention about
Kosovo is that the amount of people who speak English is noticeably
higher here as compared to Albania. Our Ward Mission Leader is beyond
fluent. Also on Sunday we bore our testimonies, but there were some
only English speakers there so they had us do it in English with a lady
in the ward putting it into Albanian. It was super weird! Thank
goodness we still teach and do most other things in Albanian!

Elder McGrath is a great guy from Utah. He used to be my Zone Leader.
We are both new to the area. I thin it will be cool serving with him.
In our District we have Elder Jorgenson and Elder Clawson, and Sister
Favero and Zollinger. Elder Jorgenson and Clawson are both a transfer
ahead of me. Sister Favero and I were in the same district in the MTC.
Sister Zollinger is in Elder Rasband's group. As far as District leader
goes it is pretty relaxed. I do the weekly calls for numbers, and plan
district meetings. I don't think it will be to crazy. I am excited to
do it though!

We have one really cool investigator who the Elders before us met. He
is an Elderly man with a lot of energy. We have now taught him 2. He
is scheduled to be baptized in a couple of weeks. He is full of life.
He read the Book of Mormon in 3 days. He was quite excited about the
Word of Wisdom.

We have been doing a lot of contacting on the Boulivard. It is always
full of people. I really like it there. Elbasan had a good Boulivard
too, but this one is more crowded with people. We have seen quite a
bit of interest so we have high hopes! The church is close by to the
Boulivard. It is rented out. It is one big room, and then a couple of
smaller rooms. I really like it!

I look forward to lots of good work in Prishtina. I know we are going
to have a great time! 
We will watch General Conference next week. It makes things easier as far as translation and internet connection. This way it will already be downloaded so we shouldn't have any problems. I hear it was super good so I am looking forward to it!  Also, I hope to send photos next week. These computers are a bit different so I have to figure them out.

Take Buddy on walks!

Love, Elder Stewart