Wednesday, April 29, 2015

So Many Adventures...and Many Miracles.

This has been quite the week.

It all started on Monday night. Every Monday we meet with President
Weidmann, and talk about the mission, and make plans for what we will
do moving forward. He is a great leader, and an awesome guy to talk
to. He is very smart, and can explain many things (Gospel and many
other things) in great detail. Following our meeting we have family
home evening with the office couples, and discuss anything else that
need to be discussed. It was our week for the game. We had about half
an hour. So.. we played the name game. I explained it to every one,
and it was a hit! That was great to see! Everyone was laughing!

Tuesday was our District meeting. Elder Acheson is our District
leader, and he is doing a really great job. The work is going great.
He really likes doing role-plays in district meetings so it keeps us
all on our toes. Our District seems really great. I have been very
blessed in that I have always had great Districts. We have quite the
mix right now. It keeps things really fun! One funny thing that
happened was during his training at the end he had us all write down
the Christlike attribute from PMG that we thought was most important.
He said it was a test. We all did it, and then we had to justify why
we thought that. I wrote charity.. because charity never faileth
right? That was actually what I thought though, and then his training
was on Charity so it all went well! Tuesday afternoon we met with a
new family. It was a Dad, Mom, and their 22 year old son. They were
really nice. The Dad had met us on the road a few days earlier, and
was really quite interested. One of my favourite members of fourth
ward was there, and he was able to help us. The lesson went great, and
the son accepted baptism for the 30th. They are very nice people.
After the lesson we were just going to leave and go contact, but the
member Brother Skuka seemed sad or something so we sat down with him
and talked. It sounds like he has a pretty tough life. Things are
tough with his family. We met him last week and gave him a family
history book. we asked if he had filled it out. He hadn't. For about
half an hour we filled it out with him. We filled out a page for him,
and then we filled out a page for both of his parents. It had a place
for memories, and talents, and hobbies. He was telling us all about
his life, and about his siblings, and about his parents. He was super
happy at the end, so we were really happy that we had the opportunity
to do that.

Wednesday was miraculous. We had three lessons set up in the morning,
and so we went to go teach them. Our ward mission leader Brother Lezo
came to help us as well. The first guy came, and it was a pretty good
lesson. He said he would come back so that was really good. The second
man never showed up so we were contacting right by the church, and a
man came up to us. he had met missionaries 4 or 5 years ago, bu then
he left to England, and was never able to connect with missionaries
over there. We asked if he had time to sit down, and he said he did.
He is super prepared. He remembered a ton, and had done his research.
He knew a lot, and was very accepting. He is GOLDEN. He lives in the
other ward though so they will teach him, but he is fantastic. It was
a miracle that we met him! He accepted baptism now, and is doing

Wednesday at lunch we drove to Durres City. I went on an exchange with
Elder Watson, and Elder Bangerter served in our area with Elder
Roemer. It was great to be back in Durres, and to serve with Elder
Watson. We had a lot of fun there together, and our exchange was
fantastic as well. We were able to do a lot of street contacting. We
got a lot of numbers. I loved being back there. I saw Elders Holm and
Richards there as well. It was just a really great afternoon. In the
evening after planning I got a call from President, and we had to
change the plans. President let us know that the North Mission was out
of Serbian Book of Mormons. In the morning we met back up with Elders
Bangerter and Roemer and Elder Bangerter and I drove to the Montenegro
border to meet a senior couple, and give them the Book of Mormons. The
timing was perfect, and just as we got to the border the senior couple
pulled through. The timing was perfect. We handed off the books, and
were about to leave when we saw a very curious looking police office
looking at us. We gave him a book in Albanian and explained it to him,
and then got his number. It was really cool how it all worked out. On
the way back home we had a number from Church headquarters that was
located in a small town. We stopped in. His phone was off, and we
couldn't get ahold of him. So we asked around. It is funny how small
towns work. the second person that we asked knew him. We weren't able
to meet him, but we left a Book of Mormon for him, and were able to
give one to another man.

Thursday evening we tracted. We prayed and picked a building. The
third door we tracted was a less active. We had no idea that he lived
there. It was amazing to talk with him. I think he really wants to
come back to church. From what i got out of it he had planned in his
head a perfect family, but then his daughter married a Muslim guy and
left for Germany, and went inactive, and his son went inactive, and
the perfect family dream went out the window. He was a very sad man. I
felt bad for him. It was amazing we tracted into him. Definitely lead
by the spirit.

Friday went well. Saturday was quite the day. We played Futboll in the
morning. I love that. We had quite the group of people together. All
of the kids love playing with the missionaries. It was a very hot day
out. It was so much fun! At the end however I grabbed my bag, and I
did not have my cell phone. It was there before the game so I guess
someone needed it more than me. We called it, and it was off. That was
too bad, but I am super grateful because in the same bag was my money,
my drivers license, and my camera. Thank goodness they didn't get the
camera! We ate lunch as a District afterwards. Saturday afternoon we
skype lessoned a couple in france. Elder Bangerter taught them over
skype last transfer, and they were baptized. They were really nice. It
was quite the experience doing a skype lesson.

We met with our main man E. He is very Muslim, but he is open,
and he admits that if he finds something better he will join it and
leave Islam. He is such a great guy. This last lesson he had a ton
more questions. Islam is proved with a lot of facts written about in
the Koran so he wanted us to give him a lot of hard evidence. We just
explained to him that that isn't how faith worked. He is fascinated.
the original reason he met with us was to fin out why 19 year old boys
spend two years teaching. He has come to realize just how unique our
church is. He asked "if you became a prophet or an apostle, and didn't
see an Angel would you deny the faith?" We said no. He was astounded.
He said that if he ever got to a high rank in the Muslim faith and
didn't see an Angel he would leave immediately. He is still moving
forwards, and has read a ton. The main problem I am seeing is that he
refuses to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. To do that or to say
Jesus is the Son of God is equal to excommunication from Islam. I
don't exactly know what to say to him. Any ideas? I pushed him super
hard, but then he got really sincere, and just said "Look Stewart, I
can't". He is really devoted, and I admire his devotion. I can see the
things working inside of his head. He is processing a lot of

Sunday was great! We had 3 investigators in Sacrament meeting. Sister
Bjeshku came. She has been super busy, but is on track to be baptised
on the 16th. She is totally going to make it! She looked so happy, and
the bishops wife sat with her. They both looked maybe a little bit
lonely so it was great for them to have eachother. We also had our two
big security guards there. They are big fellas. They liked it. After
church we ate lunch as a District.

Sunday night we went out finding. We went to the top of an appartment
building to begin tracting down, but Elder Bangerter said it didn't
feel right so we left. As we were leaving to go back down we met a man
at the elevator. He was super interested, and gave us his phone
number, and told us to come back. We rode to the bottom together, and
went separate ways. Following that we went into the street, and a man
was yelling at us. He asked us who we were, and what we were doing. We
let him know, and he wants an appointment as well. He lives in the
other ward, but they will get to go to his house. As soon as we walked
away from him another man called us over. He was 23, and with a couple
of friends. They asked a lot of questions. The one that called us over
seemed pretty sincere, and he said that we can meet him this week at
the church. It was pretty clear pretty fast why we had to leave that
appartment building!

Things are going well here. Elder Bangerter and I got our house
rearranged and cleaned. It is a new missionary house so there were a
lot of things being gathered and moved around and cleaned. It looks
great now though. It is by far the nicest house I have been in while
on my mission. This one has 3 big rooms, and two bathrooms as well as
two balconies. It is quite the contrast to the one I was in in

We don't teach any English here right now. There are 5 companion-ships
in our meeting house and the other four are already doing 4 classes so
we don't have one. It is good and bad. I have really liked teaching
some of the English courses.

Thank you so much for the Easter package. I loved it. You nailed it on
the Orange, and my favourite cereal, and chocolate, and a much needed

Have a fantastic week! Take Buddy on some good long walks!

Love you lots! Elder Stewart
From last weeks story... Elder Stewart, Elder Rasband and Arber and Etrit. They have family that live near us.

P-Day with their District

Making a "run" for the border... Montenegro, that is! :)

The Border. Looks like it could be here!

Elder Stewart. Should have a sign added that says 'Canada  10000 miles' :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Travelling Throughout the Adriatic South


This has been a very good week. We were in Prishtina on Monday night
and Tuesday. We had a District Leader training up there for the three
District Leaders in the North, and then afterwards I got to go on an
exchange with the one and only Elder Rasband because he is the North
Zone Leader right now. The Training went very well, and the exchange
was excellent.

On tuesday morning I was able to get ahold of Arber (Editor's Note: Arber is the nephew of a family that lives near us. They have been trying for months to see if Elder Stewart could go meet him, but he has never been in the right place at the right time for that to happen. Finally, this week it did! Our family and their family were all thrilled. The family here was able to tell us much more about the visit from Arber's perspective too, which was so neat!) , and I got a
lesson set up with him. It was awesome. We drove out to his house, and
met him, his younger brother, and his Dad. They  were all very nice.
We met him near his house, and he took us the rest of the way. We had
a great time talking with them. They were very personable, just really
great guys. I loved it. They let us explain why we were there. We
taught them about the restoration. They are Muslim, but had a lot of
respect. They took the Book of Mormon, and the pamphlet. They were so
hospitable. They then went on to feed us lunch. It was fantastic. It
is very rare for people to serve us lunch. They were just so great. We
left on very good terms. It was great to see them. I hope that Elder
Rasband, and Elder Temple can keep in contact with them. Following
that lesson with Arber we went to another lesson at the church, but
they didn't show up. Elder Rasband and I prayed, and he got ana answer
and said he had thought up a good pallat to tract out. We went over
there, and got 4 numbers for return appointments, and two lessons in
about 15 doors. The success rate was incredible. We also met a man
that I had talked to 5 months ago at a Prishtina bus stop. He is a
taxi driver, and he remembered me, and I remembered him. I think they
will get to meet with him as well. Elder Rasband was super inspired!
We left Tuesday night, and get back home safely.

We had another exchange on Wednesday night through Thursday. I went
with Elder Wright in our area. It was great to be with him. He has a
lot of energy, and we street contacted like crazy. He has served in
4th ward before so in the afternoon he showed me around to a bunch of
the members homes. It was a huge help. We had a really good time
together. I felt a little bit bad because our one Muslim investigator
went a little wild on him, and it went a little over the top, but he
took it all well.

Friday was filled with miracles. Up until Friday our week had been a
little bit crazy. We had a lot of work to do at the mission office in
the morning which left us with not a lot of time to work. We tracted
in the afternoon before our ward missionary correlation meeting, and
met a cool couple. They are quite old, but very nice! I love them. We
then had our missionary meeting with our rockstar ward mission leader
Brother Lezo. We then had a lesson that followed with two security
guys for the SanPaolo Bank here in Albania. They were wuper nice guys.
They were really great, and they loved our message. Unfortunately when
we came out of our lesson we were the only missionaries at the church,
and we were locked in the church. They were great sports about it
through. That is the second time in two weeks that we have been locked
inside of the church. The sisters came and rescued us. While we waited
for them the two men told us about their jobs. It sounded pretty
intense. they get to carry around some big guns. Turns out when we
contacted the one he had a concealed weapon on him. Kind of cool. We
have great investigators. The one came to church on Sunday, and they
are bot supposed to be bringing their families next week.

Saturday was a mini mission thing in Durrës. All of the prospective
missionaries here in Albania were there. We got to go on splits with
them, and drive them to appointments. Elder Bangerter and I went up
there with 6 sisters from Tirana, and we met the 6 Durrës Elders
there. Everything went great. I saw a ton of people from Elbasan and
Durrës. Klajdi was there, and so was Xhulio. I got to go out with both
of them. Elder Austin and I started teaching them, and they are both
super solid in the church now. Klajdi is the Branch Clerk, and they
are both preparing to go on missions. It was sweet!

Sunday was good. Edmond came to church. He is the Muslim guy that I
think is great. He stayed fpor all three hours. he is making great
progress. We met with Sister Bjeshku on Sunday night. Her mom is
dying, and it has been super hard to meet her all of this week. We had
a great lesson with her though. She truly desires to be baptised. Sh
said just give me a little more time, and then suggested the 15th of
May to get baptised. We set her for Saturday the 16th. It looks very
promising for her and her family.

Elder Bangerter is 20 today! We had a big celebration for his 20th
birthday. We did breakfast with some other Elders, and then went on a
Gondola, and a hike up in a mountain just outside of Tirana with some
other Elders and Sisters. It was great. He is an old man!! haha

Things are fantastic here. I love serving out here. I have been
reading through jesus the Christ, and it amazes me all of the things
Jesus did.

Take care of Buddy! I love you all!

Elder Stewart

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Finding and Teaching in Tirana

Wow you had a crazy week! I am happy to hear that you made it home
from Japan safely. Good luck with your new calling Dad! (Editors note: Dad got called as Stake President of the Lethbridge Alberta East Stake this past weekend.)

I have to start from what happened two weeks ago because I didn't have
any time to write last week.My new companion Elder Bangerter is from
Utah. He lives down by the Mount Timpanogus Temple that we went to
right before I went into the MTC. He is a really cool guy. He is
really into music. He loves to sing and play the piano. He is a very
hard worker. So far we are having a great time serving together.

The Tirana Fourth Ward is fantastic! The people here are great. Elder
Bangerter and I both agreed that we had never been better welcomed
into a ward. The people are great, and seeing as that we are both new
in the area we have put a huge emphasis on getting to know the
members. We have really tried to get to know their names, get their
phone numbers, and get to their houses. Last week there was an Easter
Ward Picnic thing and we had a great time there. The Bishop of this
ward is doing very well, and we even have a very excited Ward
Missionary Leader. From what I can tell so far this ward seems to be
one of the more stable ones in this area.

The Area book we inherited was destroyed. We are reopening a closed
area so it hadn't been touched by missionaries for a year. We started
going through it and found some members, and old investigators. We
went over all of the information on the members, and found some stuff
that looked cool. We met with the old Elders Quorum President, and had
a fantastic lesson with him. We are really good friends now. None of
his family members are members, and so we are trying to gain his trust
so that we can help him. He  is a great guy, and at General Conference
this week he asked us if we can meet with him again this week. We
volunteered to serve his family, and I think he thought of something.

Another person that we met with was the family of a less active man,
and his three children (15 boy, 13 girl, 4 girl). In the first lesson
as we were getting to know them we realized that the mom is not a
member. She was super nice though so we turned out following the
example of Jesus Christ Lesson into a lesson for her, and she accepted
baptism. We were a little confused as to why she has never been
baptised. She took the lessons with her husband a few years ago when
he was baptised, and then watched her kids take them last year, but I
guess the time just wasn't right. She is scheduled to be baptised on
May 2. That will be great for her whole family. they are all really
excited about it. It will probably help her husband come back to
church. It is great. She has read a lot. They all have. We gave her
her own copy of the Book of Mormon, and she reads it at work. She is
flying through it. She loves it. We have had quite a few lessons with
them now. Every time they tell us what they have read and are always
very happy. It is a huge miracle. We hope to continue to get to know
the ward. I am sure there are part member families all over the place.

We have met with a few other really great members as well. We met with
the Bishop and it sounds like we should be doing service with him this
week, and helping him paint some stuff outside.

Our other cool investigator that we have is 24, and in a Muslim in
University. He is way cool. We met him street contacting. We have a
large sign that says "Because He Lives" and we contact with it. He
took a picture of it, and so we started talking to him. He had heard
about the Mormons before, and he knew a couple of things. He was very
interested in the explanation that we gave him. He really wanted to
get a  copy of the Book of Mormon. we got his number, and a met with
him a few days later. He is a very smart guy, but very personable. he
is very relaxed, and loves talking. He always comes with questions,
and he understands the answers. We have been able to explain things
that usually don't get explained in the first few meetings such as our
ability to become like God, the purpose of the Law of Moses as it
applies to the Plan of Salvation, and Christ. He has read an
incredible amount of the Book of Mormon. He gave us a very detailed
explanation of what he had learned from the testimonies, some chapters
in Alma, Ether. He writes everything down. He is so open to learning.
We can see his mind working as we explain it to him. He said that if
he comes to know these things are true he will be baptised. He started
practicing Muslim when he was a teenager because he was looking for
direction. He says every day he goes to the Mosque and prays for
direction. So far he says the Muslim Faith is the best he has got, which is cool. 
We have been meeting with him pretty much every day. President has
challenged our mission to meet with our investigators daily. The
prepared investigators progress faster, and the ones who aren't
prepared are weeded out faster. This investigator also saw a baptismal
service this weekend, and made it to a session of conference. One
funny thing that happened was that right after the baptismal service
he realized the time and said, "I have to go.  Do you have a room with a
carpet that I can use?"  We got him one, and he prayed right there. It
was great. He is super cool. Another funny thing that happened was
last night after our lesson with him and his friend, we tried to leave
the church, and realized that we were locked inside. Because we are
new here we didn't have keys. We had to call the other Elders and get
let out of the church. They were super good sports about being locked
in the church for 15 minutes.

We had conference this weekend, and it was great to see it. I really
liked the quote "A saint is a sinner that keeps trying" That was my
favourite part I think. I hope you all tell me what your favourite
talks were again. I will have to read them all again.

It has been really cool working with President. He is a very inspired
man. We have had a few meetings with him so far. The first was when we
were choosing which trainer would train who. It was really cool to see
him work, and to be able to help him, and give advice. We also planned
a training with him. We brought a lot of ideas, and he was like a
wizard using scriptures and his own thoughts to tie it all together.
He is great. He is a very inspired, and he cares a lot for all of the

I love you all lots! Take care of Buddy!

Love Elder Stewart

For P Day, they explored Kruje. He had been there before, but never while it was snowing!

He took 3 Albanian missionaries to the airport to begin serving their missions in England.