"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 December 17 email

Hey family, I hope you enjoy these pictures I sent you that I took while I was in Pogradec.  I know I am a terrible photographer, but whatever.

Ok, I will first start with that comment I got from my blog.  Yes, I do know who Elder Woods is, and I think I have actually heard about this person getting baptized.  Woods is training Elder Finklea, actually.  He does have a blog, and if you google "Adriatic South mission"  look for the blog that begins with "Two by Two," it's like the 4th entry, that's Woods' blog. 

Yeah, the Boydells told us about Connecticut yesterday.  It seems we've been having a lot of shootings lately.

Holy cow, one whole semester has already passed on my mission. (Friends from BYU are home for the holidays). That's messed up.  Tomorrow I hit 5 months, this thing is flying by, I can't believe I will be approaching 6 months.  What's crazier is that Juan hits 1 year on Friday.

So, yeah, it got freezing last week, and our heater broke and our pranari (landlord) was in Greece for a few days so we couldn't contact him, so yeah we had layers and layers of stuff, but now it's fixed and it's warm inside our house again.  Outside, it's bitter cold, and it doesn't snow here in Elbasan, it just rains like crazy.

That's awesome that y'all are in 3rd Nephi, I am almost done with Helaman, I am in chapter 14, right in the middle of Samuel the Lamanite prophesying to the Nephites.

Yeah, thanks for the skittles, and if you want, feel free to send more.  Yeah, the thing is, we're not really involved with the 'primary,' if you want to call it that.  The primary is made up of the kids at the orphanage right across the street.

Oh, yeah, about skype, I really don't know when I'll be calling you, so my advice is just to leave it up all day.  Obviously it'll be, my guess, around noon in Virginia or something like that.  Just make sure to give me your skype name so I can find it on Christmas.  It's so weird here, these people really don't celebrate Christmas at all, they like New Years a whole lot better.  I still have to remind myself that Christmas is next week, and that my birthday is in 10 days.

Jake, Andrea, I am glad you love school.  So, I got a question, any particular reason why school stops on Thursday?  (It doesn't.  School goes through to Friday.)  Is it why I think it is?  (No, it is not the end of the world.)  Enjoy the Christmas presents I sent you, I worked really hard to get them. (Sarcasm)

Ok, dad:

1)  Our phone is not international, I have no idea what phone we would use if I called you.  We don't text, only zone leaders and assistants text.

2)  Yeah, I just tried googling it,  (a dessert called tre lace) and I got the same problem.  It's a cake with a good icing, but the cake itself is also filled with milk, and it's pretty good if the proportions are good.  Honestly, other than candy bars, there's no dessert that I really like.

3) (Where did you go last week for P-day?)  Pogradec, as I said.  We're actually going there again because the zone leaders didn't go last week because they were in Tirana doing stuff.  It was fun, it's by the beach, I kissed a girl (as I have shown you in the picture I sent) and I finally bought my first two ties in Albania.

Ok cool, so this past week.  So, this week was pretty great.  We got 2 new investigators from English course.  One just wanted to be baptized, and her friend at first just came because the other one didn't want to come alone, and kept telling us that she has already been baptized.  But, after watching the Restoration, I think I saw a change in mindset in the both of them.  They both came to church yesterday and really liked it, and said they'll be back next Sunday.  We also had these 2 other guys from English course that have come to church two weeks in a row now, and one yesterday in Sunday school said he does feel something different when he comes to church.  We haven't had any meetings with them outside of English because they have been busy, but we're meeting with them this week.  They're really cool too.  It's crazy what's going on, I have 2 more weeks with Elder Knight, and then training is over, and we'll get transfer calls on the 29th, and I really want to stay in Elbasan.  I just want to be able to leave the place where I was born (started the mission) completely fluent.  Man, this week as far as understanding was awesome, I started having those moments where I didn't even have to think to be able to understand the people.  It isn't always happening yet, there are still a few people where I am like 'what?' but it's getting better.  My speaking is good, but I still think like an American when I speak sometimes, and that just makes no sense when you directly translate English to Albanian in your mind.  Oh yeah, we had an earthquake, it wasn't bad, no one was hurt and nothing was damaged, we're all good.  I think it was a category 4 or 5. (What?)

Oh yeah, something else.  With the new missionary changes as far as age and time in MTC, transfers will now go from 3 months to 9 weeks, so that could change when I go home.  President said if it has to be staying a little bit longer or going home a little early, he would prefer if we stay a little longer, which, overall, I am fine with that, but I really don't want to miss Fall semester.  I specifically wanted to leave in July so I wouldn't be in the predicament that Eric was in when he got home.  So, president is working on it now, because in our mission we will start to get Serbian speakers, and they are only in the MTC for 6 weeks, while Albanian speakers are 9 weeks now. 

We also had general priesthood meeting in Durres on Saturday, it was pretty cool.  We had 20 people sustained for Melchizedek Priesthood, including one from Elbasan.

Anyway, things are good, hope you all are doing well.  Be safe this week, especially Friday.  (12/21/12- the end of the Mayan calendar) I am confident nothing will happen.

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