This last week has been quite busy. I am sorry I did not get a chanceto email you yesterday. We were running a ton of errands, and then wehad meetings and family home evening from 5-9. President gave uspermission to send off a letter home today!Mini transfers happened on Tuesday. Some of the missionaries weremoving around. It all went really well though. We took twomissionaries to the airport to fly home. It is crazy seeing people endtheir missions. On Tuesday afternoon we had some lessons. We areteaching a family just outside of Tirana. We also had a lesson with aman who we met on the street. He had a wheel chair with the churchesname on the back. He is very nice.I went on an exchange with Elder Acheson on Wednesday. I was in hisarea. We had District meeting in the morning, and taught some lessonsthroughout the rest of the day. We also got to meet with Ersi. He hasbeen having a tough time, and I really feel bad for him. He is anawesome kid. He is living here in Tirana at a shelter. We met one ofthe ladies that works at the shelter and talked out a set of rules sothat we can get Ersi to come to church, and to come for activities. Itwas a huge blessing. The lady was really nice to us, andaccommodating. Elder Acheson still wants to be President of the UnitedStates so he took a very diplomatic approach. It was funny! It worked!The whole exchange was good.We have realized that there are a ton of less actives here in Tirana.We got a list of some people from our bishop, and our ward missionleader. We decided to go out and find a lot of them on Wednesdaymorning. We took the list and went out finding them. Addresses don'treally exist here so we got in the general area, and then werelooking. We prayed that we would be able to find some. In the end wemet a man there who was happy to help us find a few of them. With hishelp we were able to find two houses with less active members. One ofwhich was very nice to us. She just said that she had no interestanymore. She married a Muslim man, and has been less active for thelast 7 years. It was good to meet her though. Maybe the sisters willbe able to go there and just sit with her for a little while. thesecond house was a little harder to find. The man who was finding withus thought it might be one of the stairwells so he went up to thehouse he thought it might be, and knocked. It wasn't them, but it wasa man and his wife who had two children who live in the States, andare both baptized members. They gave us their phone number, and wewill have to go back there. That was really cool! They have been toour church. That is the second person in two weeks that we have metthat has baptised children in America. While I do think it is greatthat they are members it is sad to me that they don't stay with theirfamilies and help build the church here in Albania. The Church, andtheir country need them very badly. That is one of the reasons I haveso much respect fro President Mema (the Stake President here). Hecould be working anywhere in the world that he wanted, but he isliving here, and directing the church. Following that house we foundthe other house with members. They wouldn't let us in, but they gaveus phone numbers so we can go back. We thanked our helper friend alot. We invited him to meet with us. He was not interested, but wegave him a pass-along card with our website so that he can check itout on his own time. We then set out to find one more family. We foundthem after a lot of looking. It is a mom and daughter. The daughterwas called on a mission to Albania, and since then they have goneinactive. That is a very hard thing I think. We really would like toget her and her mom to come back to church. Apparently they were verystrong in the church before.Following that less-active finding session we took off to meet theVlore Zone Leaders in Durres to do an exchange. I came back to Tianawith Elder Squire, and Elder Bangerter went to Lushnje with ElderGray. We came back for a lesson with Brother Shehu. The man that hasnot received the Holy Ghost. He wasn't home and so his Mom SisterShehu and his daughter Rezi went out with us to find some less activehouses. We found two more. Neither let us it, but it was great to meetthem. We hope to get into their houses this week. We went to teachSister Bjeshku with the promise that we would be back in an hour toteach Brother Shehu. We tought Sister Bjeshku. She is doing great, andI think she will make her baptism. On the return Brother Shehu wasstill not there. We were a little dissapointed, but we went out totract. We prayed and walked and picked a building. We tracted for anhour and got absolutely nothing. With 9 o'clock quickly approaching wedecided we had to go. We stared walking down the stairs, and all of asudded Elder Squire said that he needed to knock the door right infront of him. So we knocked it and a man answered. As it turns out heis a Melchizedek Priesthood holder and has not been to church in 2years. He was happy to see us, and we got his number and we met withhim the next morming. On Sunday he came to church, and he loved it. Hestayed for 3 hours and said he will continue to come week per week.Another less active success was on Thursday morning. We went to theSecond Counselor in the bishopric and had a lesson with him and hisfamily. His family comes pretty regularly, but he hadn't been tochurch once while I have been here in Tirana. He told us he would cometo church, and he kept his word and he came.Thursday night we met an active member family. Their last name inBala, and they are "Bala-ng". They are great! We had a new idea to dorole plays with members. We did a role play with them on invitingtheir friends to learn more about the Gospel through casualconversataion. just normal real life stuff. We practiced with them.They have an 11 year old son and a 4 year old son. They started doingit, and they did great. At the end they asked their friends if theywanted church materials. Then they were giving them stuff. It seemedpretty real to me up until that point. I kind of questioned them alittle bit. So if you are just talking at the store, or in the roadyou are going to have a pamphlet or a Book of Mormon. Is this arealistic situation for you? Of course they replied. I then learnedthat their backpacks and purses and carrying bags always have churchmaterials to give away. I was shocked to say the least. We shouldn'thave been teaching them. They should have been teaching us. How manyof you carry around pamphlets and Books of Mormon?? If you don't Ichallenge you to start, and to try and use them The take membermissionary work seriously.Saturday we had Futboll in the morning. It was really good. It is goodto be out there in the community playing with a lot of people. manyhave been found through simple stuff like that. We had lessons in theevening.Sunday was quite the day. We had 3 less actives, and an investigatorat church. It was awesome! The attendance was the highest it has beensince I got here. We had 92. After church we had back to back lunchlanguage study with the other 4th ward Elders. We study Albaniantogether on Sundays and teach each other new things. It works reallywell. On Sunday afternoon we had choir practice. Our choir is a workin progress. The members really like it, and it is a good opportunityto help them. The Stake President has set it up. We could use achorister like Mom.Sunday night we had some good lessons. My favourite was one with arecent convert and 2 active member men. they were supposed to haveinvestigators for us, but they didn't. The recent convert is still alittle bit Catholic. He believes Joseph Smith was a prophet, and thatthe Book of Mormon is true, but he also believes the the Catholicchurch is true. it is a little confusing, but in the end ElderBangerter read Ezekiel 37 to him and he said ok. It all made sense.One of his arguments was that if the authority was really restored byPeter, James, and John then that would mean we have the same church asin olden times... he looked puzzled, and we all yelled yes. We thinkit is all cleared up now, because he really is a pretty smart guy. Heis just a few months older than me.The week went well. Good luck with graduation this weekend. I love theair band thing!Love you all! Take care of Buddy!Elder Stewart
Thursday, May 21, 2015
So busy...but Still got a Letter Off...One Day Late!
Posted by dkstewfam at 9:34 PM