Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And the new Branch President is...?

We managed to pick up some sweet new investigators this week. We met
with w 22 year old kid and his 18 year old brother this week. We are
going to get a 3rd lesson with them, and that is very promising!

We are trying to get the branch more involved in the work. The
majority of the members here in Gjakova came in as a chain where one
brought a friend to the missionaries, and then over time they brought
more friends. There haven't been many baptisms here in Gjakova in
recent history, and we are really trying to change that. We want to
get the members to get excited about the work! Our first Branch
Missionary was called on Sunday. That is a pretty big step. She is 19
years old, and will probably help out the sisters a lot.

We are still trying really hard to meet with those two boys from part
member families. I really think they can both get baptized. They could
be baptised net week if they accepted it. pray fro them. it would be
great to have them passing the sacrament. Elder Lesi and I blessed
this week, and Elder Tooley came off of the stand to pass. It was
funny giving him the sacrament first right before he went out to pass.
Sister Tooley said it looked really funny. It probably did... I guess
one of these boys just has to get baptized.

I am teaching the advanced/medium English now. It isn't as much fun as
beginners, but the people are still nice. I have been racking my brain
for ideas of what to do with them. What do you do with a large group
of people who speak somewhat comprehendable English?? It is a little
bit stressful doing those classes and keeping everyone under control
by myself. If you have any ideas.. hit me with them!

We have had quite a bit of tracting success this week. We have been
getting in doors. It has been fantastic! We are looking for the new
Branch President. Elder Tooley told us to tell them he is taking
reumes! We have met some nice guys and some nice families. As
missionaries we can only do our part. It all comes down to whether
they will actually read the book and pray about it. I really hope they
do! We have two return appointments tonight!! We have been using the
"Because of Him" video. It is super powerful! It gives a lot of people
something to think about. It is tough for a lot of people here to
accept Jesus as the Son of God. Members who convert end up with very
powerful testimonies of Jesus as a result because they come the full
360. There are some good potentials from our tracting adventures.

We have been meeting with a lot of the members. The Tooleys hired one
of them as a cleaning lady, and they told us to teach her about
tithing. That is one of the commandments people struggle with a lot
here. It takes a lot of faith to pay tithing when you are supporting a
family and barely making it by. We had a really good lesson with her.
That kind of situation is honestly pretty hard for me to comprehend. I
think of married couples going through school in Canada or the states
who pay tithing. That is the closest thing I have, and it isn't much.
In the end they all have family or friends to fall back on if things
absolutely aren't making it, but these people don't. Some of the
people here look to the church for help which certainly isn't ideal.
Others are really hungry at night. When they understand that Tithing
can really and truly bless them it will be great. Hopefully they take
the leap of faith.

The Tooleys take great care of us out here. They feed us meals every
once and a while, and snacks almost daily. They are a great couple and
they are very personable so members and investigators love them. I am
very fortunate to be serving with them again. Elder Tooley has quite
the sense of humour, and Sister Tooley is the nicest person ever. Our
house (and pretty much every other house) is freezing cold. The
Tooleys made a bunch of bags of rice that get put in the microwave and
heat up. They have been giving them out like crazy. We have two at our
house. Elder Lesi and Elder Tooley have become great friends. They
both like this gross yogurt stuff that went on sale at the local
grocery store, and so now they have bonded for life. All of the people
here love it, but the rest of us all gag when we try to drink it. I
pride myself in being able to eat pretty much anything. The only thing
I really didn't like when I left home was bananas, and now I eat them
all of the time. This Yogurt drink has taken its place as the thing I
don't like. Something about poorly done dairy products... Why do
people do gross things to milk and yogurt and cheese?? Beyond me.

One big benefit of being in Gjakova is that the Tooleys bring us food
from the military base every week. I took some pics of the box they
got us this week. Sister Tooley fills it to the brim. I think we get
more than 4 Euros worth!

The work is going well here. We really appreciate your prayers. It helps a ton.

Have a great week! Take good care of Buddy!

Love Elder Stewart

Elder Lesi

A VERY nutritious meal!

Elder Tooley and Elder Lesi with their "yummy" yogurt drinks.

This baptism finally happened! Sadly, Elder Stewart was not able to be there as he is in Gjakova now, but, was he ever  excited!!!!

Elder Tooley during his photo shoot with "his" statue. :)

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