Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Joy (and Snow) in the Journey in Gjakova

New Years took a real toll on our investigator pool. In the midst of
all of the parties everyone seemed to be falling off of the face of
the planet. It was extremely difficult to get lessons with people last
week, and as a result this week has kind of been a re-building week.

This week we got a lesson with a recent convert who has not met with
missionaries for over 3 months. We managed to set up an appointment
with him, and he gave us a warm welcome. He has quite the story. As a
young married man with 3 small children his house burned down with his
son and his wife both in it. He managed to get his daughters out, but
when he went back in for his wife and son he heard something tell him
to get out and take care of the girls because his wife and son were
already gone. He has some scars and stuff on his face from the event.
He was baptised about 4 months ago, and paid tithing even before he
was baptised. Recently however he had a huge problem at work, and has
had to work 16 hour days 7 days a week to take care of it. Although he
didn't say it I think his main question is why do bad things happen to
good people? I feel super bad for him because he honestly is the
nicest guy with the best of intentions. It is super tough to see
people going through stuff like that. His daughters are super nice as
well. They might start learning from the sisters. It was great to get
in and see him though!

We have been doing a lot of finding this week. We met with a boy in
his mid-teens this week. He has been going to all of the churches
looking for the truth. He was super interested and liked meeting with
us. We gave him the Book of Mormon, and he told us he would read. We
talked to his mom on the phone, and she sounded excited about him
learning. It is cool having a kid around the same age a Joseph Smith
doing the exact same thing as he did. I am sure you all remember me
talking about Ersi from Durrës. He did the same thing, and had the
whole Book of Mormon polished off in 3 days. The boy we are meeting
with has some great potential.

We had a good branch activity this week. It was to celebrate all of
those who read the Book of Mormon last year. It was great to see
everyone there and excited about their success  there were some
investigators there as well, and I think it encouraged them to read
the Book of Mormon. There are two boys who are in part member families
that we are trying to work with. The sisters are working with some of
the girls. It would be great to start getting some of these families
all baptised, and then sealed together. The two boys that came to the
activity ended up coming to church as well.  We are really hoping they
will accept to start learning seriously and meet with us. They are two
different families. One is 14 and the other 18.

We went to Prizren today for P-day. Many people here say it is the
prettiest place in Kosovo, and from what I have seen I may have to
agree with them. It has a castle, and lots of old buildings. There are
mosques everywhere, and when the call to prayer went off it was
echoing everywhere. It is snowy here as well so everything just looked
really cool.

Elder Lesi is a great guy to serve with. He is a hard worker. The
Tooleys are fantastic. It is fun serving with Sister Boettinger and
Sister Vermunt. The branch is doing well. We are working on getting
someone ready to step up and take Elder Tooleys spot as Branch

Have a great week! Take Buddy for some walks!

Love Elder Stewart

His snow angel in Gjakova. That's such a Parker thing to do! :)

" I have a pretty funny story about that Christmas package I mailed you.
Well it turns out I shouldn't have doubted the Kosovo mail service.
The address got all washed out and wasn't readable so it got sent back
to the return address. The funny thing is I put the Prishtina church
as the address. The Prishtina church doesn't have an address.
Everything just gets described with words.. not addresses. So I put on
the package... The Church of Jesus Christ- Across from Albi Market-
Road Tringë Smajli- Prishtina Kosovo. (In Albanian) I have no idea how
it made it back there. If it can make it back to the church I know it
can make it to Canada. I will re-send it haha!"

Gjakova in winter. 

Elder Stewart and Elder Lesi

The river through Prizren, Kosovo

Elder Stewart

A church in Prizren

Cobblestone piazza - so European!

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