Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Challenges make for Great Growth

Our week has gone well. On Monday night we were street contacting. We
stopped at a fruit stand and were talking with people. We talked to
two guys for about 10 minutes. They were pretty cool, and we invited
them to learn. They weren't super interested so we invited them to the
movie we would be showing on Saturday. They said maybe. On Saturday
afternoon they gave us a call and asked where they could meet us. We
took them to the church, and they had a great time at the activity.
They came to church the next day and stayed for 2 hours, and loved it.
They ended up knowing some people there as well. We will be meeting
with them throughout the week. Theyare pretty cool guys. They are 18
and 21. 

The man in our ward, whose family we have been working with, is really working hard against us. We are not sure why. He is so mad at us for continuing to meet with his 19 and 21 year
old son and daughter and his wife. His family, especially his son have
been doing great. His son E loves the Gospel. He is super good
with computers, and we set him up doing Family History. His wife is a
little mentally sick, but she lights up every time we do a lesson. She
even prays. We invited them to the activity but they couldn't come so
we went over there on Saturday night, and the dad was home. He
is in Korca throughout the week except on weekends. We were really
excited to have him in the lesson. His kids know it is true. With a
little positive encouragement from their father they are guaranteed
baptisms and a family in the church, but the dad yelled at me... alot.
He was so mad. We are not sure why, but he was so mad at us for
working with his family. We explained to him why we do our work, but
he was so mad. Elder Greener gave a super powerful testimony to try
and get the Spirit back, but nothing was working. We didn't know what
to do. We tried to calm him down. We offered to give him a blessing.
He wouldn't have it. We prayed and he walked us to the door. He came
to church again by himself yesterday. He admitted that he had been
acting out of line. I had a pretty good talk with him. He is a great
guy! I figured everything was fine until I talked to him last night
and he told me that we are not allowed to visit his home for at least 2
weeks. We are praying a lot for him. I think he is just super
stressed. He is maybe a bit embarrassed about his wife, but there is
no need to be. It is a very interesting situation. We have always got
along great, and we aren't sure what happened. He doesn't want to talk
with us. He said some very negative things about us. He and Elder
Greener had a bit of a clash at the door. I know he is super mad at me
because he sees me as the instigator in meeting with his family. He
just doesn't understand. He told a lot of the members about what
happened. They all have come up to us asking what happened. There is a
lot of internal gossip that can break up the ward. We just have been
trying to keep our heads down and keep working. President called us on
Saturday night, and talked to us about a few things. He asked us about
our day, and we explained it to him. It is quite a frustrating
situation. I am sure it is all just a misunderstanding because with a
little positive energy their whole family could be happy in the

D, a long time investigator committed to baptism this week, and
we will work very hard with him! Brother Lezo (our ward mission
leader) helped us in that lesson, and we sure saw the effect that a
good member can have on a lesson. He is scheduled for baptism on the
22 of August. I promise one of these baptisms is going to work out! He
is a 45 year old man. His family is super Muslim, but he is a
Christian. He knows the gospel perfectly.

I had a super good exchange with Elder Gray this week. It was just
like the Durrës days. We both agreed that those were probably three of
the funnest months of our missions because they were so hard. We
worked like crazy, and did a lot of fun stuff. We talked about our
first lesson together with a lady named Bruna. Brother Toci helped us,
and he was probably like 'what is going on? How did we end up with
these two duds?' But after being energized by a ton of nutella, being
chased out of appartment buildings, teaching awesome investigators..
 figuring out that people would give us their
attention if they didn't understand us and using the word "stationwagon"
as our main street contacting approach (the whole mission started
copying us), seeing Elder Clawson and Watson almost every day at
lunch, being super thrifty and saving hundreds, getting rocks thrown
at us by kids, running around Durrës every morning, taking Ersi with
us everywhere, working with the young men, learning how to deal with a
ward council, comparing how fat we were getting during nightly
planning, sweating like crazy in a house with broken air
condidtioners, going out every single morning and contacting as hard
as we possibly could, figuring out how to survive without our
trainers, building up an area that didn't have investigators, fruit
for days, becoming best friends with the bakery ladies, weekly soccer
with investigators and ym... and much more it all added up to
greatness. My testimony grew a ton. We tried our very best to help
everyone, and we had a lot of fun doing it. In Lushnjë we got to teach
a few lessons together. We contacted a lot as well. He is a great
missionary to work with because we get along great. We ran stairs in
the morning. We played some basket ball on a mini hoop in his house.
It was good stuff. I have certainly met many great people on my

This week we also went to Shkodër to translate for President. The
church is looking to donate a little bit of money to help out a few

We have been doing quite a few skype lessons. One of the people we
have been teaching will be getting baptized in in Germany on Saturday.
His name is A.

There was a small transfer that happened this week, and as a result
Elder Greener and I are in Macedonia right now helping people move
around. We will be headed back to Albania tomorrow with 3 other

4th ward is doing well. We have very good realtionships with most of
the members. We are working hard to help them. They have helped us a
lot lately. In Sunday School for example we had two young guys help us
with our new friends that were at church. Martin and Ardi are the
members names, and they are great. Martin is a pretty funny guy. We
are the same age he has about 300 pounds of muscle on the average
bear, but is super blonde haha. We get along great. It is sure fun
working with great members.

Have a great week, and take good care of Buddy!

Love Elder Stewart

Elder Griffiths, Elder Gray, Elder Stewart, Elder Greener

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