Friday, May 8, 2015

Busy Times in Tirana!

This week has been very busy. We have had a lot of stuff.

On Tuesday we had our District meeting as usual. It went very well. We
have been doing quite a few role plays. We met a cool man that
afternoon. He is the one that we met by the elevator last week while
tracting. He still seems promising. The Restoration seemed to make
sense to him. He is a pretty smart guy, and he knew a fair amount
about the Bible.

Wednesday was crazy we ran around Tirana with Elder Lesi and to other
missionaries getting papers filled out so that they can get their
Macedonian Visas. It was quite the chase. We ended up all over Tirana.
The Embassy closed at 1, and so at 20 to 1 we had everything done, and
ready for the embassy. When we got to the Embassy they said that it
was incomplete. They said it had to be translated. Elder Bangerter
left the other missionaries there, took the papers, and ran to the
translator to get it all translated. It took quite a while, but
because the other missionaries were at the Embassy they waited for us.
When we got back they told us we had to pay a bill at a nearby bank.
We ran to the bank to pay the bill, and at the bank we met a long time
investigator who the ward missionary leader told us to visit. It was
quite miraculous actually. We got the bill paid, and the embassy took
it all. Elder Lesi was able to go back to Gjakova and didn't have to
stay the night. That was fantastic because everything was already
worked out for him to get back to Gjakova with the new Senior Couple
and another missionary. Looking back on it there were people on the
other side helping us a ton all morning. Everything worked out a lot
better than we ever could have planned. That long time investigator
invited us to his house. He hasn't met with missionaries for quite a
few months so this will be a great opportunity.

Wednesday night we took Edmond our investigator to Institute. His
heart is not softening. It is very tough to see. He has a lot of
doubts. His progress has halted completely. He is a really nice guy,
but he stopped. We will see what happens. He has a lot of potential.

On Wednesday we received a call from someone named Kurt who had found
our number on a bus. We met with him on Thursday, and he was
fantastic. He is about 60. He is married. He has gone to quite a few
churches. He would really like to be baptised, but he has not decided
where at yet. He is Muslim by background, but he has always felt a
special relation to Christ. His parents are not for it, but he wants
to and fells he needs to. Tradition is a really big thing here. It is
toughgoing against old tradtions. It makes me think of those
scriptures in the Book of Mormon where they are brought to the truth
contrary to what they have been taught their whole lives. We met him
again on Friday as well. He is great. It turns out he lives in the
other Elders area so we had to hand him off, but he shows a lot of

On Friday we also met with a man named Spartak Shehu. He is married
with two kids, and they take care of his mom. His mom is very funny.
She is super active at church, and Spartak is innactive so she was
very exctited that we came to make the visit. It sounds like Spartak
wants to come back to church. His son just turned 8, and we presented
the idea that he could baptise him. I think he liked that idea. It is
very obvious that his kids really look up to him. He seems like a
great dad. We are going to meet with him twice a week and get him
coming back to church. Our ward mission leader was the one who
suggested meeting with him. He was very exctied when he heard that we
had had an appointment. Everything went fantastic. When we left
Spartak seemd happy. His wife was thrilled. The kids were very
excited. His daughter is 12.

On Saturday we had a meeting with President Weidmann in the morning.
We talked about a lot of upcoming events and transfers. It was very
interesting to be a part of. The Spirit was very strong. We took care
of a lot of things. Elder Bangerter have been putting in a lot of time
on the side getting stuff ready. President does a ton. If Stake
President is anything like mission President I would imagine Dad has a
ton to do. President Weidmann does a great job! We say a lot of
prayers at those meetings. The power of prayer is eveident. There were
many time where we would pray and then remember or change something. I
learned a lot just listening to President Weidmann talk. I realized I
should probably be writing more of this stuff down.

Saturday afternoon we made a trip out to a village to visit a new
family that was contacted in Tirana. we met Fatos and his niece
Alexandra. They were great. They come from very humble conditions, but
thwy were very open. At first the lesson was just with him. He is
around 40, but life really wears at some people so it was tought to
get it going or to get him to tie it all together. We were just
talking about the importance of God, and how he talked with us. As we
talked about Prophets all of a sudden a light just popped on, and he
got it. A class with a teacher. We are the class, and we need a
teacher. I really liked it, and so we took off with that. His niece
then came, and she had read the bible, and was really smart. She is
14. From there on the lesson took of. We explained the Restoration
well. They were very anxious to take the book and read it. We
explained the power of reading combined with prayer. It was a great
lesson. They want us to come back. They were supposed to be at church,
but a few things came up and weren't able to make it. We have very
high hopes for them.

On our way back from that lesson we had the feeling to stop in with a
Recent Convert who has not been coming. We stopped by his house, and
he wasn't there. They invited us in though. His non-member parents
were both there. We met with them. We talked for about 20 minutes and
got to know them. They are super nice. We then had a lesson and
explained the Restoration. The mom has learned before. She knows a
lot. She actually received a wheelchair from the church when she broke
her leg so her son took her to church to say thank you. He ended up
being the one getting baptised. Her hand her husband were great
though. He told us at the end that it was the first time he had ever
sat in on a missionary lesson. That was quite amazing. He invited us
to come back. He is a great guy. He is one one the top dogs with the
Tirana Police Service. He has traveled all over the world getting

Running from their house we made it to the baptism. The sisters in our
ward had a lady get baptised. Overall I would say it was the smoothest
and best baptismal service that I have been to here. Everything went

Fast Sunday was good. There were a few highlights. The first was that
Ersi is in fourth ward now! He came to church, and we met him there.
That kid has had quite the last few months. I am very lucky to have
the support system that i have. I am realizing that more and more. He
was there though, and we had a very happy reunion. He gave his
testimony too. What a guy. He is the best. Sunday night our lessons
fell through so we went out to recontact some old contacts. they
turned out not being home so we tracted. We went into one appartment
prayed and weren't feeling it so we left. We left and walked for a
little bit, and picked a new one. We always tract from the top to the
bottom so we went to the top, prayed, and started making our way down.
We were pretty sure that we were at the right place, but the people
were treating us pretty bad. On the last door person asked who we
were. We presented ourselves. Nothing. We told her through the door
that we were going to be leaving a pass-along card, and then we
started to place it in the door. She opened the door. We talked for a
little bit. She got super interested. We explained, and as Elder
Bangerter was testifying to finish the door approach she started
crying, asked for the book and told us she wanted to come to church.
It was amazing. She seems super awesome.

This whole week has been great. I have gained a very strong testimony
of prayer this week. I know there are a lot of times when God is
probably trying to tell me something and I just don't listen. We
really tried to listen this week.

Have a fantastic week! Happy Birthday Matt! See you all on Sunday!

Take Buddy on walks!

Love you all!

Elder Stewart

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