Alright, before I start anything, let me apologize about the
jacked up phone calls that came about while I was in Vienna. I don't
know what happened, but the phone just stopped working, I
could hear you but you couldn't hear me. Why does that always happen
with me?! So, Eric, we were talking about what you did your first day
in the Congo, you were talking about Castaway, and that's when it
stopped working. So, I hung up and tried again to call Eric a few
times, didn't work, so then I thought I'd call mom to see if that
would work. It didn't. So, I just
had to wait it out until now to
let you know that I am alive, which I
am, and things are good,
so yeah you know that.
Alright, so, Albania is straight up the [poorest] place I have ever
been to. And I love it! Seriously, I don't have to worry at all
about being robbed or anything, and these people are so nice. But
yeah, things are so far so good. The apartment which I live in is good,
except the ceiling is really small, (I think he means low) I've already
hit my head like 3 times
already. My trainer's name is Elder Knight,
from Texas, he's pretty
cool, he's been in Albania for 6 months, and
has the language down
really well, which I don't. My first area is
called Elbasan. In our
first day we were in Tirana, and while doing
interviews with President
Ford, we went out with experienced Elders
and did street contacting
and tracting. Man, the people here are so nice!
Yeah, they rejected
us, but they are a lot nicer to us than people in Virginia
are to us. But yeah, in our first day in Elbasan we went tracting, and we got
into one woman's house, her name is Leila (I think), and she's been
taught before, and we taught about the Restoration, gave her a Book of
Mormon, and we're working on a return appointment sometime this week.
We are also working with this woman named Mirella, who met with the
previous missionaries before us for quite a bit, and I think she wants
to get baptized, but she can't come to church because of work, but she's
really nice, and her daughter came yesterday to church, and we're
meeting with her tomorrow I think. We also taught a lesson to this
guy named Eris, he's a friend of a member named Mundi who's been
trying to quit smoking, so we taught him about the Atonement, and
I think we'll meet with him again this week.
So, first Sunday at church was cool. I had to go up to bear my
testimony, which was in broken Albanian because I am the Fringo
(greenie) and my Albanian stinks compared to the remaining elders in my
district. So the other Elders I am with are Elders Kay and Lewis,
they're zone leaders and both have about 6 months left, and a senior
couple called the Boydells, who are British as well, and are
hilarious. We have lunch at their house every Sunday after church,
and they cook some good stuff.
So, I haven't tried too many Albanian foods yet, but the one I have
tried is called Syflaqa (I think that's how you spell it),(I cannot find
this anywhere, will have to ask him about it again.) and that is
like a salad with french fries wrapped around in a thick tortilla, and
it's really good. They also have Fanta Exotic, which just might be
the greatest thing ever, and it's so dang sugary, and it's not in the
United States. There is this one drink that every new guy has to try
because it's awful (kind of like that snail on a stick thing Eric ate)
called dhall, where it's just a mix of water, plain yogurt, and I
think salt. Albanians love it, but Americans hate it, for good reason
because it sounds disgusting, but my MTC teacher, Bro. Hoxha, said it
makes his mouth water whenever we talk about it. I was going
to ask you to send this email to my MTC teachers because I have their
emails and they wanted to see my first email, so I won't forget that
So, I actually saw two sessions of conference, so I am aware of the
fact that guys can go on missions at age 18 and girls can at 19, which
is awesome! Now Gabbi, Tess and Ha Young can all get ready
to go on missions, someone tell them to get on that. Also I have
a friend from BYU who really wants to go on a mission, so I am really
excited for her if she's gonna plan on going on a mission soon!
So, yeah, I feel like I had something else I need to say, but I
forgot. What's up in the sports world? Are the Jazz champion
favorites yet? Have the Cardinals started losing since the NFL got
good refs again? Nats champs yet? How's school for everyone? Eric,
are you engaged yet?
Ok, I think that's about it. My P-day is Monday now, like the rest of
the field missionaries in the world, and you'll probably get my emails
before you wake up, so make sure to write Sunday nights! Miss yall!
(We had sent emails, he didn't see them before he wrote the above
email. This is his response to our emails...)
Ok, so I got your emails while writing my first one. Dad, I'll start
with your questions.
As I said, after the plane we got picked up by President Ford and the
assistants and went to the mission home in Tirana, did President
interviews, went street contacting with experienced Elders and then
came back, had a testimony meeting, ate food, went to a hotel and
passed out. The next day we went back to the mission home and got
assigned our trainers and areas and went our way.
Elder Knight is from Texas, loves football and basketball, has been
out for 6 months, yeah. He likes the Suns and the Patriots and the
Rangers, he just likes sports, and were getting along just fine, and
we're having fun.
The language, yeah, I can't understand most of what the people
are saying. Members are nice to me about it right now, for the most
part. They say I speak it well, which is good and all, but I kinda
need to understand it if I want to communicate, but, avash avash.
Elbasan is cool, but both Elder Knight and I are new to the area,
so we don't know squat really, everyone except one of the zone
familiar with the area.
Ok, I think I got everything answered. So, I remember what I was
gonna say that I forgot. So, I don't know if Eric had this, don't
think so, but there's a new training program, which for the first 3
months means more study time, which means more time inside than out
working, which kinda stinks sometimes cuz we feel useless, but we're
ok, we're not trying to waste any time. Also, we have 2 hours for
lunch because there's "Siesta" time everyday, so they suggest not
waste that time
outside. But, life's good so far.
Jake, remember that going at 18 is only an option, so it's up to you.
I am too hyped that sisters can go at 19, I was talking with the other
Elders, we think the field is gonna explode with them now, which will
Andrea, nice job at dance and at becoming section leader, (jazz band)
way to keep the Palmer name a good one!
Mom, thanks for the scripture, I actually think of that one a few
times a day for some reason. (Moses 1:39)
So, right now I am in Mosiah 29 in the Book of Mormon. I feel really
good now that I know what exactly happened in Mosiah, because if you
told me to tell you a story from Mosiah before the mission, I wouldn't
have known one. But yeah, avash avash, I am no longer kot
(worthless) when it comes to knowing stories out of the scriptures.
Oh yeah, something else about the members in church. There's a 17
year old girl named Arrjeta who is a seminary teacher. She's 17.
Ok, I think that's everything I got for this week, I love you all, and
I'll see you next week.
Oh, yeah, another thing, for being the poorest country in Europe, I
have never seen so many Mercedes Benz in one city. That's all I gotta
say about that.