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.

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