Friday, October 16, 2015

France 2016 and Opposition

3rd Ward has proven to be a little bit difficult up until right now.
We are working with everything we have, and so are the other Elders,
but we haven't been able to generate a whole lot yet. We are stilll
going and praying a lot though.

We have a really cool investigator named Ali. He is from Iran. The 2nd
Ward Elders have been teaching him for about 2 months, but hew moved
into our area. It is a blast teaching him. He speaks a little
Albanian, a little English, and Persian. Our lessons with him include
the scriptures, Google translate on his phone, and a lot of actions
and arm movements. He is learning really well though. He loves Jesus
Christ. He has a very long history and has a strong testimony of the
atonement and forgiveness. He is scheduled to be baptised at the end
of this month. It is very exciting for him. He is trying to give up
smoking right now. He has a lot of will power. He is pretty

We are back at English Course. Elder Szabo loves teaching English so I
am happy to let him. It means he teaches and I get to interact a lot
more with the students. We have some pretty cool people in our class
right now. One family is very Evangelical so they knew all about
prophets. The oldest one came to a session of General Conference.
There is a mom and her little son that always come. She seems really
lonely, and we have a fun time with them at English. Hopefully the
sisters will start teaching them pretty soon. My favourite kid sits on
the front row. I think he is 16, but he is pretty funny. He respects
what we do.

A good scripture that I read this week is Alma 13: 28 and 29. I liked
that it talks about humbling ourselves and calling upon God. If we
humble ourselves we get a lot of other Christ-like attributes. It
really stuck out for me this week. I think I already mentioned it, but
a couple weeks ago I read Alma 18:35 and i really stuck out to me and
we have been using it a lot lately. It talks about having the Spirit
and what the Spirit does. It gives us knowledge and power according to
our desires and our faith. So if we have the Spirit and have desire
and faith to do something God will give us the power and the knowledge
to do it. It has a lot of different applications.

Our super awesome investigator Ilir kind of dropped us this week. He
really just stood us up and we couldn't get ahold of him. We have come
to realize that he had alterior motives for meeting with us. He wanted
a job and thought we were getting paid so he wanted to get baptized,
become a missionary, make money and then use the missionary thing to
start working in a new country and start a new life. It is to bad.
Hopefully he eventually realizes the truthfullness and reality of our
message, but I guess time will tell. He really was in a tough
situation without work. If he can see past the physical for just a
second I am sure it would all work out for him. The church has a
really cool program for single adults here called the "Pathway
Program". They can get a degree through BYU Idaho, and it can really
help them finding work here.

We have a new awesome guy though. His name is Ernaldo. We met him
street contacting in the road. He asks all the right questions. He
came to the Saturday morning session of General Conference, and we had
a lesson with him after it. We had two members in our lesson. The one
is a RM of about a month, and the other has been baptised for about 3
months. They were both around his age. The lesson was super great.
Awesome questions, and powerful testimonies. We set up the appointment
for Sunday at 12. He wasn't going to be able to come to the session,
but to meet at 12. He didn't show up, didn't answer my text, and
turned his phone off twice. We were super sad. Last night I called the
phone again. His mom had it. She needed it for the whole day, and we
had disturbed her at work. Apparently Ernaldo was really busy. We are
hoping for him. We will give him a call tonight and see if we can work
something out. As far as first lessons he has big potential. He seems
like an honest seeker. I think it will be great when missionaries in
Albania can use facebook because they will be able to keep better hold
of investigators. Everyone here has facebook.

Conference was really good. I really liked President Monsons talk. He
looked really sick, but his talk was very powerful. Elder Bednar did a
great job of explaining why the Lord calls older men to lead our
church. I liked the talks of the 3 new apostles. Elder Stevenson is
really young. He seems to have a fire about him. Elder Renlund appears
to be very wise, and a powerful leader. I loved the things he was
saying about seeing others through their parents eyes. That is pretty
hard sometimes. It is a really good way to think about it though. I am
sure there area lot of people in heaven praying for their sons and
daughters here to accept the Gospel.

We tract a lot. We are praying for a family. We have seen a lot of
resistance this week. The people have been very un-accepting this
week. It has been pretty weird actually. We have been very diligent
though and have been going out and tracting a lot. The worst one was
last Monday night. Looking back on it it is pretty funny, but in the
moment we were really confused. We knocked once and no one answered.
We could here people in the distance so we knocked again. This time
they came to the door. The door flew open and instantly I got punched
in the chest and then kicked in the side of the leg. The guy then jab
kicked Elder Szabo in what seemed to be an attempt to kick him down
the stairs. He started swearing at us like crazy. We hopped down the
stairs, and just walked home. It was almost 9 so we had to be home
pretty soon anyways. The miracle of that story was the next day we
went back to finish the building. We tract from top to bottom so he
came up the stairs and we were at a door in the corner. He kind of had
his head down and didn't even see us. I know that the two of us could
have taken him if he would have come at us again, but the Lord
definitely saved us some conflict.

Last night we went to a house on the US Embassy Compound. We ate
dinner with the Roberts family. They fed us really well. They arrived
a few months ago and will be here for 3 years. His job takes him all
around the world. They seemed like a really great family. It was weird
hearing kids speak English. He said he served his mission is Taiwan so
I asked if he knew an Elder Hill. Turns out Elder Scott Hill was a
mission legend. He hit the field about a year after Scott so they were
there for a year together, but had never served near one another.
Small world. I thought that was pretty cool. We shared the smashing
can lesson with them and they loved it.

The big news for the Albanian country this week is that we beat
Armenia and have qualified for France 2016.. the Euro Cup. To my
knowledge Albania has not been in it before, at least not in recent
history. Everyone is so excited. I am sure if you jumped online you
could see highlights from the game downtown Tirana is packed today.
There are people everywhere. There is a big celebration and concert
tonight that everyone is planning on going to. When the won last night
Tirana got pretty loud. We had lost to Serbia on Thursday so it looked
like we might not make it. Everyone was a little worried because
Armenia is a pretty good team. I guess that Albania played pretty hard

We are giving it absolutely everything we got out here. Elder Szabo is
fantastic. We get along great. He is big into trying to cook so we
have been trying different things out in the kitchen. He seems to know
what he is doing. He cooks good chicken. He is also big into working
out... all body weight stuff. Today we took our pullup bars to the
church because they don't fit on our house door frames, and tried it
out for a little while. It is fun working with him though. We have
been working with 2 less actives in their 20s, and it has been a great
time teaching them with Elder Szabo. It is really funny because the
one less active in particular is playing tough to get. He just likes
the attention so we have a good time getting him. Our lessons with him
are super spiritual. Elder Szabo is a solid teacher because he always
teaches in unity like it says in Preach My Gospel. I say something and
testify, and he always follows it with a testimony, new principle, a
question or two to check for understanding, and he always end with a
testimony so I know when to come back in and keep the process going.
He is reliable and I really like that.

Hope everything is going well! Love you lots! Take Buddy on lots of walks!

Love Elder P. Stewart

Elder Szabo and Elder Stewart

Post soccer celebration

Post soccer celebration

Post Soccer celebration. 

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