Thursday, May 14, 2015

Creative Zone Conferences!

Happy Mothers Day!!

That was so great to talk with you yesterday. I really enjoyed that. I
don't really remember a lot of it. It flew by really fast, but it was
great to see you all!

This week has been great. We have had another busy week. Last Monday
we drove to Prishtina for the Prishtina Zone conference. The
conference took place on Tuesday, but we had a meeting and a family
home evening with President up in Prishtina. On Tuesday we had the
conference. Elder Bangerter and I had 45 minutes. We decided to change
things a little bit. Instead of giving a training we had a full group
role play. We had previously thought out a few scenarios of finding.
The first was inside of an elevator. We had two Districts go out into
the hall and the other District stayed inside the main room, and we
quickly set up the elevators (Folded up ping-pong tables and white
boards). The missionaries then came in, and entered the elevators, and
had about a minute to create a gospel conversation, and to try and get
the people interested. We had them switch elevators, and then we
evaluated it. We then did it again. We did the same thing in the store
situation. They were at a check out counter with a few small snacks,
and we had the check out people with aprons, and other people in line.
We then did it with people stopped at a crosswalk. Everyone loved it.
I will send you the powerpoint that we used. I thought it went really
well. Elder Bangerter is a really creative guy so it all came together
great. We are really trying to get better as a whole mission at
finding new investigators. President does a great job motivating us,
and he gave a fantastic training. He does a really good job at just
teaching by the Spirit. It looks to me that he goes in with a plan,
and then just teaches by the Spirit only using his set plan if he
feels that that is right. He knows his scriptures really well. As a
mission we have been focusing on using Christ more in our lessons. We
are trying to use more of his attributes and stories about him as we
teach. A few weeks ago it dawned on us that it is really hard to
"invite others to come unto Christ" when they just don't know who he
is. President Weidmann did a great job of using scriptures about
Christ all throughout his training. After hearing him speak I always
feel so energized. He is a great leader. Another highlight of the
Prishtina Zone Conference was that we had invited one of the members
there to bare his testimony. He did a fantastic job. Elder Bangerter
recorded it, and I am so glad he did. It was powerful! Muslim to
Christian. The struggle. One thing he said was how disappointed his
parents were with him. He said they were devastated, and that they
made it clear to him he was bringing the whole family shame. He said
that hurt a ton, but that he knows these things are true, and that he
knows that he will make his parents proud. He is such a great a guy!
He said that when he first came to the church he had no interest, but
as he saw the pictures of Jesus Christ, and heard of the things he did
he wanted to learn more about him. He will be a fantastic leader of
the church in Kosovo. His fiance has a really great conversion story
as well. It was great for all of us to hear that. Miracles happen, and
conversion is a powerful thing.

Wednesday was a great day. We were back in Tirana. We met with a less
active man and his family. We had planned to meet with them two time a
week, and to help him on his way back. One thing that we felt was
really important was to get him reading from the Book of Mormon again.
When we got to  his house we asked his daughter where they had read
to. She loves to read, and has been reading on and off with her dad.
She said they were at 2 Nephi 32. We congratulated them, and asked to
read a chapter together. At the end of the chapter we began talking
about the Holy Ghost. We then asked him how he felt when he received
promptings from the Holy Ghost. His answer was that he was sick that
day. What we said? At that point his family told us that he had never
received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Sunday right after his
baptism he was sick and he never went to receive the Gift of the Holy
Ghost. We were quite surprised. We hope to help him get rebaptised,
and to become an active priesthood holder.

Also on Wednesday night we saw Sister Bjeshku and her family. She is
great! Their whole family is awesome. It had been a while between our
last teaching appointments, and so we wanted to review everything with
her. We talked about the steps of the Gospel that are necessary to
make the Celestial Kingdom. She totally understands it, and her whole
family is very excited that she is learning. It will be great for her
husband as well. He seems to have a really strong testimony, and a lot
of knowledge, but her works on Sunday and it is hard for him to come
to church. We hope to get him coming back to church as well. Their
children are very strong members. Brother Bjeshku is a very supportive
husband and father as well so that is great.

Some other stuff happened on Wednesday as well, but the other really
cool thing that happened is that we felt like we should go and visit
one of the recent converts in our ward. We went to his house, and he
wasn't home.. but his parents let us in, and we talked with them for
about 20 minutes. They were really nice. They then started asking a
lot of questions about the Book of Mormon. The mom had learned before,
but is not baptised. The Dad had never sat in on a lesson before. We
taught the Restoration and it went fantastic. I love the dad. He is a
really big funny guy. I think that is the best way to describe him. I
loved it. They loved it. They invited us to come back and teach them.
We went back a few days ago and had another lesson with them. this
time their son was there. He is super solid. They have huge potential
as a family. We will be meeting with them again this week. The Spirit
has been super strong in both of our lessons with them.

Tirana Zone Conference was on Thursday. In many ways it was a lot like
the one in Prishtina. It was a tri-Zone conference however. We had all
of the Albania Zones there. Things went great. We did the elevator
scene with them as well as public transportation (Busses and Vans). I
think people were happy with how it all went.

I don't have time to finish this letter. We had a lot of things come
up with mini transfers.

Love you all! Take care of Buddy!

Elder Stewart

Our most current family pic!

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