*

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"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."

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dec 25th 2013

No email this week.  We had a great Skype call will Scott.

P-day for the following week will be New Year's Day.  We will find out about transfers then!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 Dec 16th email

What is up?

Alright, I'm just gonna let you know now that next Monday, I will actually not have P-day that day.  P-day will be on Christmas!  So, we will still skype at 6 that day, President Ford has allowed us to have the full day as a P-day.  So, yes, skype at 6 my time, so 12 noon for you.  But, leave your computer open with skype on starting at 5, just to be safe, in case I come early or something.

Wow, 2 weeks ago you told me Do opened his mission call.  Now he's gone.

So yeah, this letter came late because we played soccer with President and his brother from 8-10, and then basketball from 10-12.  I'm tired.  And really awful at sports now.  But, at least I'm getting thinner. 

No, I never made french dessert.  I probably did what took the least effort to do....(His brother made a Buche de Noel for French class)

So yeah, Christmas like I said will be P-day, we'll probably try to get a meal appointment at a member's house, and then Elder Pierce and I will go to an amazing family he baptized in 4th branch (through tracting) and have fish or something, and that will be before we go and skype yall.

1)  Please do whatever is possible to get that one I suggested to work.  If not, yeah use the other one, it's too late to get another picture taken.  It's just the glasses will stop all the attractive friends of Kristen to become attracted to me......(Full sized picture of Scott for Eric and Kristen's wedding)

2)  I will be at an INTERNET LOCALE!

3)  No, there's a lot of trees, just the place where we took pictures didn't have any trees in that area.  Yes, Christians here do use the Christmas tree, fortunately.  (See Christmas card.)

Ok, so this last week we had 23 lessons in total.  That's the most lessons I've ever taught in a week.  Eric, if you taught 40 lessons on average, shut up, it's different here.  Anyway, we were blessed by the Lord with many opportunities.  In fact, we were street contacting and a woman comes up to me and said she saw me in a vision of us two talking together in that exact spot.  Unfortunately, she told me she was gonna get her granddaughter baptized in the Catholic Church on Saturday.  I was hoping to meet with here before that to explain to her what it means to have the authority to baptize, but she can't meet until tomorrow.  I was planning on giving her Moroni 8 to read, but I feel it's too harsh, so we'll probably just teach her like another investigator..

Street Contacting

Ok, as far as souvenirs, we didn't come across anything that looked like an Albanian made nativity scene.  But, we will keep looking.  So, yeah, sorry if I don't send anything home for Christmas, I figured getting my souvenirs for y'all altogether would save me a lot of money on shipping, and yeah, I'll definitely get y'all good stuff.  I'm gonna make one more withdraw from my account of no more than $300, and then hopefully that can cover everything I wanna buy for you and the fact that I still need to get an Albanian flag.  Hopefully that will be that last withdraw I'll make as a missionary.  By the way, I'm already scared of being a poor man when I get home.

Anyway, I'm excited for Christmas!  I'll see y'all next week.  Tell Kristen I got my interview almost done.  Sorry, it's a little difficult to read, I didn't write it thick enough.

Have a great week!  Be safe!  Don't do anything stupid!

Ju dua shumë!

Elder Palmer

2013 Dec 9th email



 Christmas card


Hey, what's going on?  I just remembered that my birthday is this month, that's scary.

Ok, so, I got a letter from the Bertonneau family, good to hear they are doing well.  But, Sister Bertonneau hinted something that kinda scared me.  So, I know we'll talk more on Christmas, but I'll be honest, I would really prefer it if you don't come pick me up at the end of my mission.  I have always wanted that moment in the airport when you see your family for the first time after 2 years.  So, yeah, I would really prefer that you don't pick me up.  Sister Bertonneau said in her letter you wanted to do that, but I would prefer not.  Dad and Andrea have their 14-year old trip this year anyway, so I would say save some money and we could go back in like a year or something. 

Yes, Elder Knight is going home at the end of the month.  (Scott's trainer.)  That is weird. He was supposed to be my first companion I would ever have that's home.  It weirds me out.

Dad:

1)  Skype.  Let's plan for 6 PM, my time, so 12 PM your time, assuming you'll be in Virginia.

2)  So, Elder Pierce and I are committed to running 3 times/week.  We have a pretty good course, hopefully at least a mile, but there's lots of hills.

3)  I dunno, I'm tryna be smart with my money at this point.  So, with this in mind, start thinking of what you want from me to get for you all for June.  I'm in Tirana which is a great city to get souvenirs, but I'm not guaranteed to stay here, so have everything ready by Christmas.

Anyway, Jazz stink, but the Cardinals could make the playoffs!

So, this week, a cool thing happened.  So, we had zone training, and it turns out the Sisters in 2nd/4th Branch had continued teaching a mom and daughter that Elder Knight and I taught over a year ago! (slaps self in the face....).  And, I had the privilege of baptizing the daughter on Saturday!  The mom can't get baptized yet.  Anyway, it was cool, cuz I had no idea she was even being taught.

Also, we have another investigator.  We had trouble meeting him during the week, but he came to church on Sunday, and he really enjoyed it!  I also had to give a talk, on the Restoration, yesterday.  I didn't prepare very well, but I managed to last over 10 minutes.

So, I decided I have made a goal for the rest of my mission.  I am gonna baptize a dude.  All 6 of my baptisms are girls.  Ima find that future Stake President and baptize the heck outta him!
Also, our zone had a special fast this week for a long list of less-active members, and we saw small miracles occur from it!  A less active came to 4th Branch yesterday and bore his testimony apparently, and this lady in 1st Branch who kinda disappeared randomly showed up apparently!  So, we did see the fruits of our labors.

Also, this morning we went to Mount Dajti, a mountain in Tirana, and cut down a Christmas tree for our  house.

I love you all lots!  Have a good week!  Be safe!  Don't do anything stupid!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 Dec 2nd email


 Scott's MTC group
1.5 years into mission!



The fact that my first semester of BYU ended almost two years ago makes me want to punch a wall.  Don't worry, I'm not trunky, although the group that goes home at the end of the month is pretty trunky.  The worst part is that the sister going home in that group is the sister that reported with my group.........
Anyway, hope that Thanksgiving was fun.  It was a ton of fun here in mission conference.  We had mission conference from 10-12, and then lunch from 1-2, and then a talent show from 2-4, and then a testimony meeting from 4-5 for those going home soon.  The talent show was fun, our district did a rendition of "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" that had to do with mission and Albanian stuff, so it was fun.  I got a lot of them on video, so you'll be able to see them.

Um, funny story, so dad actually told me about Bishop Holdaway about 3 weeks ago, so I already knew about it.  I'm kinda bummed out actually, I would have liked him as my bishop.

Yes, I have started the calendar, it just lists of events that happen before Christ is born.

Jake, I wish I had a suit that fit me.

Andrea, you are so lucky.

Eric, 1 month and counting. (holy crap......) (until his wedding!)

Dad:

1)  No football.  But, talent show.  It was a ton of fun.  We got some funny guys here, let's just say that.

2) Yes, I'll talk about that in a sec.

3)  Yeah, I'm down.  I probably won't be able to run 3 miles a day, but at that point I could probably run every morning for like 25 minutes.

JABARI PARKER!!!!!!!

Anyway, yes, the baptism happened and it was awesome!  Her sister spoke on baptism, but pretty much gave her whole conversion story.  The sister who spoke, had a really bad day one day, and her store she works at is by the store of a recent convert, and Elder Pierce and Elder Ferguson walked by and were talking to the recent convert, and he told them he had someone for them to teach.  And she was golden from the start, and she was baptized the Saturday before I was transferred here.  And she is awesome.  Probably the best talk I ever heard on baptism.  And her mom and some friends came to the baptism and really seemed to enjoy it, and we're hoping this week to be able to start teaching them all.  Also, the 4th Branch missionaries gave us a referral who ended up coming to the baptism, and we had a short lesson with him, and he is really solid.  Bear in mind that all 5 of my baptisms are girls, so teaching a guy that really seems solid is something I'm excited about.  We have a lesson with him tonight, and I'm just stoked to teach him.

We also got another referral from 4th Branch named who's actually a rapper!  He apparently has a rough past but has cleaned his life up a bit, and was astonished to have never seen the Book of Mormon before, so teaching him will be a lot of fun too.

So, yeah, things here are going good.

Ok well, have a great week!  Be safe!  Don't do anything stupid!  Enjoy putting up the Christmas tree without me!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013 Nov 25th email

Hey family, how goes everything?  I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week....

Yes, I opened the box.  Thanks you so much for the Skittles, they haven't been eaten yet.  Because I'm trying to be careful eating, I'm hoping they will last a few weeks this time.
 
 

Dang, new 2nd Counselor..

Yeah, I read dad's talk actually, nothing surprising, but kinda ridiculous that parents would suggest living together first.  Where are people's common sense these days?

Yep, Thanksgiving, like last year, is Mission Conference, and the couples will make us Thanksgiving dinner, and there's gonna be a talent show again.  We're kinda nervous because last year's talent show went so well, we're curious if we can top it this year.....

1)  You know, maybe.  I definitely plan on running regularly when I get home.  Running is the only thing I'm too tired to do in the morning here.  I'm getting nervous though, members in 3rd Branch have fed me more than I have been fed in my entire mission probably......I've done so well...(Dad asking if Scott will run a 1/2 marathon when he returns...)

2)  We don't drink soda.  I'm off the stuff.

3)  We set up a table with pamphlets and Books of Mormon and a visual and try to talk to people walking past us.
4)  Never.  (Don't know.)

So, yeah, other than Mission Conference, we actually have a baptism Saturday.  Just before I got to 3rd Branch, Elder Pierce and his last companion had a baptism.  We started teaching her sister right when I got here, and she has been golden.  Unfortunately, once she's baptized, we don't really have any progressing investigators.

Well, enjoy your Thanksgiving!  Be safe this week!  Don't do anything stupid!  
 
 

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 Nov 18th email

Hey, how's it going?

a "Hobbit" door found tracting


Things have been going really well for Elder Pierce and I, we had a really good week!

Dad, nice job on the marathon!  More than I could probably do.

Dang, Spencer's gonna be married......

Jake and Andrea, don't have too much fun with life.

1)  K, I'll get you a picture for next week.  I need to wear one of Elder Pierce's shirts since my shirts are HUGE on me at this point, and also I am gonna get a haircut soon.  No tux, just shirt and tie.

2)  We're going strong with 'no-shave November,' and by that I mean that since we have to shave every day, during the day we focus all our concentration on trying to make our face hairs grow at a faster rate.  It's pretty difficult, and we usually go home with pretty good head-aches and a bunch of popped brain cells, but it's worth it.

So, yeah, there was a protest it Tirana about the whole Americans and Syrians placing chemical weapons in Albania.  We were actually doing a table in the center of Tirana when the protest happened, one of the sisters when she saw it immediately yelled, 'we gotta go, now!'  So, in about 30 seconds we packed up our table (got all our pamphlets and Books of Mormon in a box)  and got out of the crowd.  It was intense.  Also, while tabling, one of the missionaries took pictures of us while talking to people, and there's one of me that looks really cool and that's probably Ensign-worthy, so if I get the picture from him today I'll send it today, otherwise probably next week.

Also, our investigator is awesome!  She was able to come to church yesterday for sacrament meeting before having to leave for school.  She's progressing really well, and she should be set for a baptism next week!

Anyway, that's about it.  Have a good week!  Be safe!  Don't do stupid stuff!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 Nov 11th email

Ok, so I wanted to send the pictures, but the thing is that this computer I am using is being stupid and won't connect my camera to it, so I can't upload jack right now.

Um, Elder Bilodeau and Elder Harvey are both from Boston, so maybe it's one of them?  (Someone who has visited the blog....)

So, I played basketball today with Tirana missionaries.  Man, I stink at sports these days.....

1)  I don't know car models at all.  It looked nice, though...

2)  I didn't really have time to tell them. 

3)  We walk like champs.  Gotta keep my figure at this point.

So, all we got right now as far as work is one girl, who is awesome!  Her sister got baptized the Sunday before I was transferred here, and she's doing good.  The problem is, in the school she signed up for, she has school Sundays, so church can be difficult.  However, she did come yesterday for all 3 hours, and she really enjoyed it, so we'll see where things go from there.

Other than that, everyone else pretty much told us they are either too busy to meet anymore and that they'll call us, or they lost interest, so we're in finding mode these days, but Elder Pierce and I are having fun and working hard.

Have a good week!  Don't be stupid!  Be safe!  Good luck on your race dad!

Ju dua!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 Nov 4th email

Yes!  I went to the baptism!  It was awesome!  I got to baptize her!  I'll try to send a picture, if not today next week.
So, a zone leader's job pretty much is to get numbers for the APs, and then hold training sessions on why they need to have more numbers.  Numbers numbers numbers numbers numbers.....  Also, zone leaders usually have a car, but since my zone is only the city of Tirana, we don't get one, which is ridiculous, we're the laughing stock of leadership because of it.  But, it is fun.  Elder Pierce and I actually were able to drive the AP's car to Elbasan.  That was the first time I ever drove somewhere hoping my memory would get me to my destination, and it was in Albania.
Zone conference?  I don't know, but Thanksgiving is mission conference.  Our district still doesn't know what to do for our talent show.....
Andrea, think of something to do.
Jake, don't die from AP chemistry.
Dad:
1)  Yes, I went.  A few Elbasan members came and asked why I didn't tell any of them I left.
2)  Like I said, don't have one....yet.

3)  Yeah, we actually started daylight savings a week earlier than you Americans.  Sunset starts at like 3:30 here.....
So, yeah, being back in Tirana is weird, but I'm in like a completely different area that I'm not used to at all.  It takes forever for me to figure out how to get around my areas, so we'll see how this goes.
But, right now our best investigator is a girl who is a friend of a woman who just got baptized recently.  She reads, prays, and everything she needs to do, but the school she's in makes her go to school on Sundays, so we're working on that, but she has a baptismal date for November 30th, so cross your fingers.  But, that's pretty much all we got right now as far as investigator work.
Have a good week!  Be safe!  Don't do anything stupid!
Ju dua!
Elder Palmer

2013 Oct 28th email

Well, I guess I'm not destined to hang around Elbasan for a long period of time.  Because, I got transferred to 3rd Branch in Tirana, as a Zone Leader!  I will be with Elder Pierce, who's in my MTC group, so I am co-senioring!  I'm stoked!  So, Elder Knight is going to take my place and finishing training Elder Jorgenson, which happens to be his grandson.  So that's kinda cool.



There are 4 missionaries in Elbasan.  Probably 6 by January when sisters finally come to Elbasan.

Jake, you're old.

Andrea, so are you.

Eric, I'm working on my interview questions for Kristen.

(Do you ever get referral from the website?) Rerrals?  Here?  Actually, last year Elder Knight and I got a mormon.org referral.  Unfortunately, she didn't worked out.  Otherwise, not really any media referrals...

Family history records are here, but they are jumbled and disorganized like nobody's business.  We are working on it, though.

1)  (What do you eat to lose so much weight?)  eggs and cereal.  and sufflaqes.

2)  (How is running?)  Yeah, running is still hard.  We run to the church and back.  My arms aren't that big, I still take breaks when doing the pushups.  I just wanna start doing pull-ups, but there's nowhere to do them.

3) (Mark has an assignment to give a talk in Stake Conference and asked for a topic) Topic: Doubt your doubts; not your faith

So our investigator is getting baptized on Saturday!  And I'm gonna beg President to let me come back for the baptism on Saturday.  So, rumor had it that I would be transferred yesterday because of leadership changes, and I decided that if President called me I would immediately ask him if I could come Saturday.  But, I forgot....

So, yeah, things are good.  Sad to leave Elbasan again, but excited to work with Elder Pierce.  I'm thinking what weirds me out is the fact that I will be a zone leader until my final 6 weeks as a missionary.....

Have a good week!  Be safe!  Don't do anything stupid!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 Oct 21 email

ummmm, hi.....

Andrea, you are not allowed to get older..... (14th birthday)

Jake, you too.....(17th birthday)

But, Happy Birthday!

Eric, I've decided you're not allowed to get married.  Don't worry, I already emailed Kristen, and she reluctantly accepted it.  Don't ask how I got her email.

Don't worry, I'm in a good mood, just good ol' sarcasm, get ready for it.

So, I finally had the stones to weigh myself this last week, and I saw that I was 83 kilos!  or just under 183 pounds, which I think is the lightest I've weighed since Junior year.  I guess 300 push ups a day, as well as running 3 days a week helps.  I initially had a goal of 165 by the time I get home, but earlier I didn't think it was realistic, but I think it is now, so I'm gonna do it.  I have taken a lot of stuff out of my diet now, mostly anything bread.  And, plus, everyone talks about how much thinner I am, so, yeah, motivation.

1)  (How did you break the mirror?) So, I was just being me, you know, the whole lack of common sense thing kicks in, I was shaving, and there was a little shelf on the mirror, and I leaned on it, and it just breaks off.  
2)  (Christmas phone call?) Skype, no doubt.  But, that's over 2 months away, I don't want to think about Christmas just yet, mostly because Christmas Day kicks off the last 6 months of my mission....

3)  I'm not really sure.  I don't think it was celebrated by the people.  But, there is a YSA Halloween dance in Durres for members.  And, a Halloween dance for the youth in Tirana.

So, yeah, we got this awesome lady who went to church yesterday for all 3 hours!  It was awesome! She has a baptismal date for a week from Saturday, and if she comes to church on Sunday again for all 3 hours, she should be good.  So, I'm excited for her.  Her friend showed up to church yesterday and stayed for all of it, and he said he liked it.  We will hopefully meet with him tonight.

So, Eric, before you start dialing Kristen's number freaking out, asking what I said to her, relax, it was all a joke.  Still kinda annoyed that you can't wait for your brother to see something good happen in your life, but it's ok, I'm not mad.
(2 Peter 1:6, Titus 2:2, D&C 101:38, 2 Corinthians 6:4, Hebrews 6:12.  Find the common word)  (The word is Patience)

Also, I'm gonna need to take a picture for the cut-out, mostly because the people at the wedding need to see that I'm no longer Fat-Albert, I'm Hot-Guy, so all of Kristen's attractive friends can fight over taking pictures of my cut-out.

Have a great week!  Be safe!  Don't be stupid!
 

2013 Oct 14th email

Korça was the best p-day because there isn't really much to do for P-day in Elbasan.

Sorry Eric, your team lost.  (Soccer)

Can Kristen handle sarcasm?  (Yes)

I'm currently making a list of very important questions that I will ask her on Christmas.  My sister-in-law needs to pass my test.  So, if she fails, well, then it's over.  That's what happens when you blow me off on my brother's wedding.  Just kidding.  But I still got questions for her on Christmas.  Also, I think that you need to make a life-size cut-out of me for the wedding, my presence must be there. The feeling of dry humor and awesome sarcasm must be felt at the reception.

Dad:

1)  I have absolutely no idea, but apparently Albania is one of the most original countries in Europe.

2)  Yep, the tress are changing colors.  However, it's been very hot this week, and we are wearing suits now.....

3)  Um, I broke a mirror in the house, so I needed money to pay for a new one.  So, I just took a bigger amount out because of the fee....

So, things are going good.  We are teaching a family, but the mom is the main focus because the kids are all under 8, and the dad works ridiculous hours so church is difficult for him to come, so hopefully in the future.  But, the mom is doing great, but she couldn't come to church yesterday because one of the kids was sick.  But, things are going good.

Well, I just realized that I have been in Albania for over a year now.  I always thought it'd be weird to live outside the states for a year.  I remember how I thought this would go so slow.  Yeah right....

Well, that's about it.  Have a good week!  Don't do stupid stuff!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

Thursday, October 10, 2013

2013 Oct 7 email

Wow.....  I cannot believe it.  Jake was awesome, my heart goes out to him and his family at this time.  (A member of our stake passed away suddenly.  He was one of Scott's music teachers.)

I would say that to what Alex wrote in the obituary.  Getting on stage performing is something I hate, just cause I too get stage fright.  But, in my short time working with him, he really got me to be just a little bit more outgoing that I was before.  I'm still not, but I always remember in practices and everything he would always pushed me to come out of my shell a lot more, which is difficult to tell a very closed person.

I want that song, heck the whole album.  Get it and use my money to pay for it.

Well, I glad yall's week was good.  Andrea, nice job on the dancing!

Yeah, conference was awesome.  I was at both Saturday sessions, and Sunday morning.  Holland did it again!  But there were several, including President Monson's Saturday morning one, President Uchtdorf's, and Elder Bednar's.

1) Ç has a 'ch' sound, like church.

2) both.  I'm 3 months ahead of him in the mission, and his birthday is in March, so I'm older by a few months in both meanings.

3) 57 missionaries.  14 sisters.  As far as total last year, not sure, I think like 44, but only 6 sisters.

4) Yes.  (Don't know)

So, yeah, this last week, we have had two main investigators we worked with.  One finally came back from Greece, and she's doing awesome.  We got the Boydell's to come with us to meet the family, and they loved it.
 
Well, nothing new other than that.  We work hard.

Have a good week!  Be safe!  Do nothing stupid!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 Sep 30 email

Hey what's up? 

Sorry, we went to Korça today, so we just got back.  I'll send pictures next week.  So, I don't have much time today.

Training's going good, Elder Jorgenson has been a lot more positive than I was when I was a fringo.  It's coming along, avash avash, just like every missionary.  He's doing great.

1)  Korça has been the best P-day of the transfer so far.

2) Tirana is a lot more alive than Elbasan.  Tirana is always noisy, Elbasan is always quiet.

3)  I'm the oldest in the District by a few months over Bilodeau.

So, another week in Elbasan.  We got this guy that we have been teaching, and things have been going pretty well with him. 

We also have this awesome family, but they have been in Greece for the past week, but should be back sometime this week, so that'll be good.

Have a good week!  Enjoy school and work!  Don't do anything stupid!

Ju dua!

Elder Pallmëri

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2013 Sep 23 email

Why is everyone getting married?! 

Well, glad y'all had a good week.  As I always say, basketball is better, so let's let the best sport decide.  (Utah beat BYU in football last Saturday)

Yeah, long sleeve sweater.  I would still say large, but I'm not sure.  I don't think I took my sweater vest with me on my mission, so yeah...

The Boydells leave in November, just before Thanksgiving.  There's a new couple apparently coming in November.
 
 Jake, I remember those days......Like in those commercials you've seen, it gets better.  (Junior year)

Andrea, ah, World History.

Eric, geez....(Don't know....)

1)  No. (Again, don't know)

2) Yeah, there's an Elder who's a Ute fan.  He hates how just about everyone plans on going to BYU here after the mission

3) Qysh ke kenë?  Qysh po kalon?  Don't even try with google translate....(Well this is what the translator came up with: Since you have? Since going through?)

And it came to pass that lessons were taught, and testimonies did grow.  However, as one woman continued to be spiritually awesome, it came to pass that her husband did take her and the children to the faraway land of Greece for at least one week.  So, contact was lost.  For now.

Yesterday at church I was told I was giving a talk without ever being told.  I don't think I ever gave a talk that unprepared before.  I don't know how, but it lasted 10 minutes, I think.  I talked about missionary work, and I described how Brigham Young was an investigator and that the smart missionary's testimony meant nothing to him, while the inexperienced missionary's testimony got him good.  I also talked about David O. McKay saying, 'every member a missionary,' as well as President Hinckley saying, 'people think missionary work is only tracting, but there's a better way.'  Then, I talked about Elder Holland's talk when he said, 'would Joseph Smith and Hyrum blaspheme before God in their final hour?'  If you can tell, about halfway through my thought was, 'how on earth will I finish this talk?'  Nevertheless, I did, and people said it was good, so I'm glad.  I also taught Priesthood again, chapter 17 in the Lorenzo Snow book. 

Have a good week!  Be safe!  Don't do anything stupid!

Elder Pallmëri

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Sep 16 email

What's up?

Eric, you look like a red-neck with a beard.

Wow, Brock is done.....(Young man in our ward returning on 9/26)

That's cool, tell everyone that remembers I exist I say hi to them.  (Ward members asking about Scott)

Package?  Maybe skittles, but nothing else really.  I guess, like as far as Christmas, all I would ask is maybe a sweater, since now as missionaries we can wear sweaters instead of suits.  Members here say I have shed many kilos, so if I wear my suits that are too big for me now they'll think I gained it all back.  But, other than that, there's nothing I really need, I've been good.

The members say I speak better, but I am also more calm, I was pretty stiff when I was a greenie, and they now say I am much more calm, which is definitely true, and they have said I have changed a lot. Also, one member says I am too skinny now....

Alright, well, this last week when writing in my journal I have been writing in scripture language because I needed to amuse myself, so now I shall thus continue my writings in holy manner:

And it came to pass that much preaching was done in the land of Elbasan. After many hours laboring and preaching repentance to the Elbasan-ites, it came to pass that three hearts were touched:  one man and two women.  Therefore, the teaching of the Gospel began, and after the space of many moons, the man said to us: "I feel more full when we meet."  He is a good man, born of goodly parents who raised him with the idea of actually learning and being one of intelligence.  And thus, things were understood to him.

And now we return to the account when preaching and interacting with two women.  And it came to pass in the 20th hour of the 11th day of the 9th month in the 5 year of the reign of Obama, a women named halted and spoke to us.  And thus, on the morrow, we did meet, and she brought an acquaintance.  And thus the Book of Mormon was introduced to their lives, and throughout all the lesson, the question hit their minds: Why are their so many churches in the world?  And thus begins an account of the teachings of the Gospel with these two women.

And thus, while the working and tilling of the land of Elbasan goes forth, we received a call from the Elders, preaching down south in the land Lushnje.  Elder Knight, my father, sends word of a Lushnje-ite who wants to know the Gospel that has just moved northeast in the land of Elbasan.  And thus we marched our way forth to their domain, where we met a family: a wife, a husband, and 3 small children.  And yet, that is not all.  She comes with good tidings, saying:  "I have two friends here who want to learn as well."  And thus, our hearts were made full with the opportunities brought before us.  

And now, I make an end of my sayings for this time, being filled with the desire to save the souls of the ever-so-loving Elbasan-ites, the Lord has thus given us means by which we can declare His word, because of our faith.  And thus it is, amen.

I hope that doesn't sound blasphemous, or like I'm full of it.  It really was a good week, and I know it only happened because the Lord gave us the opportunity to find these people.

Anyway, have a good week!  Be safe!  Enjoy school!  Don't do anything stupid!

Boshtër Pallmëri

2013 Sep 9 email

It's a boy!  His name is Elder Jorgenson.  I'll send a picture of him in a sec. 



Dang, school started.  It's weird not being in school while everyone else is.

Jake, good luck, Junior year's hard, but you can get through it.

Andrea, glad you like 8th grade.

Wow, Kristen's engaged.  Everyone's thinking about marriage.  On my birthday....?!

So, being in Elbasan is weird, but it was weirder last week.  It's kinda soaked in that I'm back, and that I'm working with the same people again I worked with last year.  It is weird to be training in the same area I was trained.  But, it's good.

Yeah, there's a couple new members.  But, hey, I played the piano in sacrament yesterday in church.

We just met with a member before we got on internet, who just happened to let us know he's a member of 14 years!
We also have a couple investigators already. 

No, I haven't memorized the Articles of faith in Albanian.......yet.

So, yeah, things here are going.  A little slow, but they are going.

So, I have given birth to Elder Jorgenson.  He's good, we've been having fun together.  It's weird training, especially in lessons when the Boydells accompany us as well, and I realize I currently am the the bridge of communication between investigators and members.  But, we have been enjoying Elbasan. 

Well, have a good week this week!  Enjoy school, work, and whatever other thing you are doing this week.  Don't do anything stupid!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pictures

He misses his guitar


 I thought he was ironing his shirts
but I think he is putting them out to dry.



Clean kitchen



He's been telling us how hot it is!

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013 Sep 2 email

Well this was an interesting weekend.....

Which is his favorite?
What's up family?

Happy birthday Grandpa Bob and Grandma Carlene!

So, I have been transferred back to Elbasan, and I will be training!  I can feel the contractions already!

So, the thing is transfer calls happen on Sunday nights, but I actually have been back in Elbasan since Friday.  For reasons that don't need to be explained, I got emergency transferred on Friday.  President called me Friday morning while weekly planning, and by Friday night I was back in Elbasan.  So, I am now with Elder Bilodeau until about Thursday, and then we will both get our trainees on Thursday.  Elder Bilodeau is also training in Elbasan, and he will be district leader.

Jake and Andrea, enjoy school.

Eric, I'll try to get a jersey.  (Soccer)

Yep, EFY did happen this week for all the youth (in Albania), and it was in the city of Korca, not Tirana.  A lot of Elbasan youth went, and they all bore their testimony about how awesome EFY was and how they grew spiritually.  Oh, the memories.....

Dad:

1) See up top  (Transfer)

2) We take something called fergons.  They are big vans that are pretty much like taxis.  Nah, trains are never used.  When I got here, we actually had the Elders in Macedonia drive us over to Elbasan, since it was on the way.  At the time the Macedonia Elders had a car, since it was just two of them and a whole country.

3)  Yeah....Thanks Eric  (BYU/UVA game)

So, this transfer is a long one.  A REALLY long one.  Next transfer day?  January 1st, 2014.......4 months.  (Long transfer due to change in MTC training time.  A one time schedule change.)  But, I'm excited to train, and especially to be back in Elbasan.  It's weird being back in a city I have already served in. I have a different apartment.  It's the one the other companionship of Elders used when I was here last year.

 Elder Palmer with 
a street performer


Well, enjoy school!  Enjoy this week!  Don't do anything stupid!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 Aug 26th email

Geez, y'all start school next week!

No, our district is all Americans.

Yeah, this week has been really hot as well.  Thanks to the heat, I have dropped weight, and members have noticed.  It's awesome!

Oh shoot, Brock's almost a dead Elder!  (A missionary from our ward who returns next month)

1) DANG!  I think I'll be on the computer later today, so I'll try to bring it then.  (not sure...)
2) It's fantastic.  I have no idea what's in it, I've learned over time since being here to not question what's in food, just enjoy the taste.  (Tave Dheu) 


3)  I'm really ready to move on to a different place.  I've been here too long.  But, I don't know what's happening to me still.

4)  Redskins and Cardinals  (NFL)

Well, the big think that happened  this last week is that we found two interesting new investigators.  One of them knows the scriptures better than me.  Yesterday in church in Priesthood he quoted from the book of Abraham..... 

Ok, well enjoy your last week of summer!  Jake and Andrea, enjoy school.  Eric, enjoy college and soccer!

Be safe this week!  Don't do anything stupid!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 Aug 19th email

Nice, my blog is updated!  I just looked through it, that picture with the bridge and the lake, I have walked and ran several times on that bridge.

Dang, Spencer Leake is getting married....

Dang, Dave's gonna have a baby!

Oh crud, if we used bikes here the death toll of missionaries would be huge.  No, walking's better.  (Missionaries in Richmond ride bikes and have had a few close calls lately.)

I will send a picture this week!

1)  Yeah, it's happened.  Elder Finklea began in 2nd Branch, and he came back now to train because he knew the area.  That's what I want to do.  Kosovo is possible for me, not Macedonia, that's for the Serbs at this point.

2)  It's called Tave Dheu.  It's fantastic

3)  We went bowling again today.

4)  I did get it!  But, I forgot to bring it with me today.  Next week.  Don't worry, it's safe.

Well, things started picking up this week.  We found this guy while street contacting and he's awesome!  We already have him on a baptismal date for the 21st of September.  And, tonight we should be having an appointment with our recent convert and her son, who is a new investigator, so we're excited for that.

Plus, we finally had a meeting with a less active last week who's really cool, just incredibly busy and out of town a lot.  

So, things are starting to pick up here, and we're having fun.  Two more weeks of transfer.  I love 2nd Branch to death, but I have been here way too long now, so I'm ready for a change.

Yeah dad, the Branch President is awesome.  His name is President Gjini (gj is almost like a normal english 'j' sound, kinda hard to explain, I'll explain better in 10 months.  He really gets it too, so that's really good.
 
Anyway, have a good week!  Be safe!  Don't do anything stupid!  

Ju dua!
 
Elder Palmer
 
One last thing before I go:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!!! (Jerry)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

2013 Aug 12th email

Dang, summer's almost over!  Sorry, but that's ok.  Next time there is a summer, I'll be there, so no problem.

Glad you enjoyed your trip, sounded like it was a ton of fun.

The fruit in season right now is watermelon.  And it is THE BEST!  We eat a lot of it.  Yeah, they're everywhere in the street markets.

Jake, Mrs. Earl is the best, so hope you have her.  Just don't be an idiot in her class. Enjoy band.  Oh man, and you have AP summer work, best of luck on that!

Andrea, read!

Dad:

1) As far as I know, no.

2) Transfer calls are 3 weeks from yesterday.  I love 2nd Branch. 

3)  Just weekly scores, and how that new quarterback is doing.

So, this last week was HOT.  Ridiculously hot.  I'm pretty sure I sweat off like 10 pounds last week, it's awesome.  Remember those blue pants I wore last year before I left?  Well, I still wear them, but a very tight knot must be tied for them to stay on.  I feel lighter.

SO, yeah invstigator work here is pretty slow.

But, we had 3 less actives in church Sunday, which beats the zone goal of 2, so that's good!  I've been working with them for a while, they're engaged, and the guy had started coming back for a while, and then stopped for a while, so we hope they're on the uphill again.

Anyway, not too much else to say.  Stay safe this week!  Don't do anything dumb!  

Have a good week!

Ju dua!
Elder Palmer

2013 Aug 5th email

Hey, what's up?

So, funny story.  A guy on Friday actually called me and told me he found my credit and debit card, as well as my ministerial certificate and a copy of my 'leje qendrim,' which allows me to be here.  So, that was pretty miraculous to say the least.

O yes mom, family is first to Albanians.  It is how we try to approach people.  Several already believe they'll live together forever.

Dang, the platform.  (Diving platform at Lava Hot Springs)  I'm probably still too much of a chicken.  Also, heck yeah!  That pizza place was awesome!  (Pizza and Put Put in Star Valley Wy)

Jake and Andrea, summer's almost over.  Dang.  Don't you hate that?

Dad:

1)  Of course I've seen it.  I never saw the ending coming either the first time around.  (Sixth Sense)

2)  So, I never actually carry around my wallet.  I kept it in my white handbook case,  Eric had one, where I just put it in my front shirt pocket, so my money and cards are usually very close to me.  I always carried my debit card in it unless I needed it.  I think everything was clear, I can wait a bit before I get a new card.

3)  I have talked to Marc a couple times, but he didn't respond once, and I guess I forgot.  I'll change that right now.

4)  No, am I supposed to?

So, this week was way too slow.  Everyone blew us off.  And it's getting really hot.  August is looking to be a hot one.  So, we've been doing way too much finding.  But last night we went tracting and we found this awesome couple.  We had a really good discussion.  They definitely want to meet and see the church.  We also met a guy off the street, and he's really cool, but he lives in the 3rd Branch area, so we'll be giving him to them pretty soon.

Other than that, we are prepping up for the stake, so we are really starting to crack down on less-active hunting, and it's been tough because addresses are impossible here and everyone works 'all the time....'  What do you do, eh?

Well, that's about it.  Enjoy this week, be safe, and don't do anything stupid!
Ju dua shumë!

Elder Palmer

2013 July 29th email

Yeah, I got robbed.  So, like in my last email, please cancel my debit card so the guy doesn't take all my money.

So, I was in a bus, and it.  was.  packed.  I didn't even see it happen, but some of the other missionaries saw their backpacks unzipped and lost some menial stuff, so I decided to check to see if I was good.  Apparently not.  I'm kinda ticked right now.  But, I got some awesome pants still.

Last week we went to Kruje, but since our zone is the Tiranan zone and we can't really leave it we can't really go anywhere....

I have backed up pictures.

Yes, I write in my journal.  I am almost done with my big black one actually.

Glad you're all having out west, it sounds like a lot of fun!  wish I could be there.

1)  Really bad.  but, I inherited some dumbbells from a missionary that went home in March, so I have been using them.  Also, I have started doing curl-ups again, and I've realized ab workouts slim me down more than running.  It's weird, but true.

2)  Nope, but this last Thursday marked 20 years of the church in Albania.  2nd Branch said there was an activity, but it ended up being members bearing their testimony of the church for an hour.  Not bad, but I thought there was a party.

3)  The artificial lake where we run is a national park.  As far as other, not really.
 
 

Well, don't got too much to say.  We are still in epic finding mode, so no investigators close to baptism yet.  We found a young man, but he doesn't have a phone.  He's really promising, we just don't know how to contact him.

Well, have a good week this week!  Road tripping, that sounds fun actually.  I just realized I haven't driven a car in over a year.

Be safe this week!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 July 22nd email


Wow.  Well, now I can say "last year when I was on my mission."  That's just weird.

Wow, it sounds like youth conference was fun.  I remember doing the ropes course, I chickened out a bit early too...dangit.

I wanna do violin again, but this time I wanna be in a 'Yellowcard' situation, not for classical stuff.

I haven't bought the pants yet.  We went to Kruje and that took most of P-day today, so....But Sister Ford said we're good to wear them.

Dad:

1)  Vacations?  The Beach.  Then the beach again.  Then again.  And again.  And again.  I'm actually quite jealous.  I can hear the Outer Banks call in one year.

2)  No, we have a guy.  Just 3 bucks.  That's all.  (Haircuts)

3)  Missionaries teach the lessons, with members helping as usual so they can have friends.  We do have branch missionaries, but they're both about 20.

So, I don't got too much to write this week unfortunately.  Our area just got whitewashed pretty much. Our best investigator planned on meeting with us last week, and when we were waiting for him, I called him, and he told me he was in Saranda for two weeks.  Saranda is way down in Southern Albania.  And we really don't have any other investigators.

We have a lot of retaining and less active work though, so we'll be able to get lessons at least.  But yeah, this next week could be slow.....

Well, I really don't have much more to write.  I've learned that as time goes by it gets harder and harder to write long letters.  But I try.  I think I failed this week.

Well, enjoy your trip this week!  Be safe!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer


2013 July 15th email

Hey family, what's up?!

Yes, I hit my year mark on Thursday, which is kinda ridiculous.  Yeah, the time does fly.  I remember the beginning of Eric's mission.  That was really slow.  An Elder in my last district described the mission like a train, that slowly get faster as time goes.  That's how it is with each transfer, each one just goes faster and faster.  Which is true, because I'm at the halfway point at this transfer.  What the heck!?!?
Well, I might as well get the bad news out before the good.  As of July 30, Montenegro will no longer be a part of our mission.  It will be a part of the Adriatic North Mission.  It makes sense, the Adriatic North is all countries that speak Serbian or an extremely close dialect, plus Montenegro has like no Albanian speakers, so it's just not needed in our mission.  The two missionaries up there are really excited from what I've heard.  That also means the Westwoods, the senior couple up there that Grandma Carlene and Grandpa Jerry know, will also be with the North Mission now, so I probably won't meet them.

The baptism went very well.  I had to perform the ordinance twice because she kicked her leg out at the last second the first time, but it all went well.  And Elder Matson confirmed her yesterday, so it all went well.  

Yeah, I remember telling myself last year that I have time on the mission thinking of what I want to do.  Well, I'm over halfway done and haven't really thought about it too much.  Although, I have decided to take up the violin again when I get home.  I have finally understood why I hated it so much.  Having weekly lessons just made it feel like homework.  Teaching myself has always been more fun.  But, mom, I'm sorry for all the grief I put you through for like 18 years with the violin, but I do plan on continuing with it.  I know saying sorry isn't enough, but I'll think of something else in a year when I get back.  (No worries...)

Jake, they're gonna do a 50 miler next year I bet!  (High Adventure)

Andrea, have fun in Utah.

Nice, youth conference, Pacit shume qejf!  (very accomadating...I have no idea...)

Dad!

1)  Nope, not in my mission......

2)  Yeah, I'm so excited for it!  Last transfer I wanted to get these slacks that are awesome, but President said no when he saw another missionary wearing them, but hopefully now I can!  We have to wait from President Ford to get the 'ok' to actually start living this new standard, but I think it will. Yeah, I was surprised about the jackets, too!  I like suits, we look CIA in suits.  But, I'm down with sweaters as well.

3)  Um, I'm not sure if I have run there.  The place I run is at 'liqeni atificiale,' or the artificial lake.  The place you wrote down is called, ' the hills of the lake.\  I don't know, could be the same place, but probably not the same.

So, yeah, that's my week.  I'm doing 3 exchanges this week, so it'll be a fun week.  Nothing really special going on, we need to be doing a bit more finding so we can get more progressing investigators, and also we're gonna start less-active hunting so we can help build the branch up for the stake.

Anyway, have fun this week.  Be safe!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 July 8th email

Hey!

Holy cow, Eric, you were at the beach.  I envy you so much right now.

Hope you all had a great 4th of July, I can't wait to celebrate it with you next year!  

Man, I wish I could go to the temple right now.  9 months is waay to long, especially with another year without it.

Jake, I hope you enjoyed EFY, now enjoy the big hike this week.  They're always fun in the end.  (50 miler)

Eric and Andrea, enjoy Utah.

Nephi in Albanian is Nefi (Nefy).

Aw, water trips....wish I could come.  (Snake River)

By the way, I'm not trunky, don't worry.

Pops:

1) We went to the Stephens Center, which serves American food.  I had a Bacon Cheeseburger.  It was really good......

2) Yeah, they have Independence Day at the end of November.  This last November was their 100 year anniversary.  Nothing insane happened, or at least in Elbasan, that's where I was when it occurred.

3)  Edi Rama won, which is what I think the people mostly wanted.  No riots happened, so I assume that was a good thing.

Dang, Jazz.

So, this Friday at 6:30 we have a baptism.  I'm the one baptizing, so this will be the first time I will baptize anyone ever, so we'll see how many tries it will take.

We also found this guy street contacting.  He seems really open, which is odd.  He has the opposite of the normal Albanian mentality of religion, meaning that 'only believing' is not good enough.  He's really cool, though, I'm excited to meet with him this week.

Anyway, enjoy your week.  Jake, don't complain.  The rest, enjoy what you're doing this week and be safe!


Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 July 1st email

Hey, what's up?

Rain, huh?  It hasn't rained here in forever, I think it doesn't rain very much in the summer here.  It's still really hot.  (In Richmond, it has been the summer of constant rain)

Jake, like efy.  (He did)

Andrea, chill.

Eric, nice job! (DAT)

Anyway, Dad:

1) Um, dad, I don't want to hurt your brain trying to explain this to you.  Let's just say noun declentions are ridiculous here.  Since June was describing what kind of day today was, the ending has to be changed.  That goes for July as well.  And since the word for July ends in a 'k,' a 'u' goes after it when declined, otherwise it's usually a 'i.'

2) Oh, we can get fireworks here.  GOOD ones.  Don't you remember that video of New Year's?  I don't plan on getting any though.

3)  I've tried, I can't check shirt size because the one I'm wearing doesn't have a tag.

Again, very excited for Trey Burke.  Sounds like a good draft happened.  Can't wait to watch it next year.

Well, unfortunately, we're pretty much on the downhill here.  People have been dropping us left and right.  Nothing I'm used to, though.  We do have a baptismal date on Saturday. 

I don't know, nothing too interesting happened this week, unfortunately.  All of Tirana gathered together this morning and we played basketball.  Man, I am really bad at it.  I guess only playing twice in 9 months can hurt.

Well, have a good week this week.  Jake, only one girlfriend from EFY.

Anyway, have a good week!  Love you all!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 June 24th email

What is up?

Yeah, I watched that Mormon Message as well last week with Elder Kaeron, he's an awesome seventy.

Mom, I have responsibilities but they're not difficult.

Also, I have not received a package from the relief society.

Nice, Girls Camp!  Dad, you're one of the girls now!

Ah, bears, Eric don't laugh.  (We had two bears at camp.)

Wow, youth conference is coming up.  Last time that happened I reported the next week I began my mission.  Man, that's messed up.

Andrea, enjoy dance camp!

Jake, do something awesome this week.

1)  Yeah, like I said in the beginning, yesterday was election day.  I was worried whether or not we could work yesterday, because last year the election resulted in riots.  We'll see what happens when the results come out.

2)  I did not see the broadcast, but President Ford emailed the main changes.  I didn't know anything about it in mission conference.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Like, iPads are cool, but Facebook?  I'll be trunky all the time for the next year.  We'll see, maybe it won't even start in this mission till after I leave.  But I agree, tracting has not been very good for me since I have been here.

3)  Eric, don't fail.  I'll be praying for you.

So, this last week has been hot.  VERY hot.  Like, ridiculously hot.  So hot, that I now shower 3 times a day.  So, if you plan on sending another package anytime soon, the main thing I would request is another week's worth of Gs, for obvious reasons.  

This week was a little slow, just a lot of appointments fell through.  But, we still have someone on course to be baptized a week from Saturday.  She's accepted pretty much everything.

We also were teaching this 9 year old girl, and she loves church.  But, her parents think she' way too young to understand anything. They have no problem with their daughter being taught and going to church.

Well, that's about it.  We do have some other potentials, but we are in the beginnings with them, so let's hope they progress.

Anyway, have a good week, be safe!  Don't do anything stupid, unless it's fun!  Bëj shaka.

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 June 17th email

Happy Father's Day Dad!  Dang, I completely forgot about it.  It's not celebrated here at all.

Anyway, I'm District Leader.  I plan district meetings, do exchanges, and receive the numbers of the rest of the missionaries in my district.   My district is huge, so I get to do exchanges once a week.

Wow, it's summer vacation.  What the heck?!?!

Andrea, enjoy girls camp!  Mos u anko gjatë javës. (Do not complain during the week)

Jake, keep chillin.

Dad, sounds like you got good gifts.  Nice!  You're right, the rules are sexist. 

Aunt Lee Ann has chickens!  Nice!

I'll try to be a good District Leader.  You know already how humble I am.

Dang, Superman movie.  Another movie to wait for.

1) Nope
2) Nope

3) Nope. Actually I have no idea, I never saw any movie posters, I think Albania's far behind.  It wouldn't surprise me if all the Albanians saw it anyway online though.

This week was an intense week.  Elder Kaeron came to Albania for Mission and District Conference.  His conversion story is pretty amazing.  He hasn't been a member for as long as I thought.  He got baptized at age 26, and still has a 10-year-old daughter right now, so It can't have been too long ago, and now he's a seventy.  
 
He counciled us on the importance of finding, and how to always look for opportunities to serve others.
 
Also, there was a meeting he held for recent converts and investigators, and Elder Matson and I went with an investigator, and she really enjoyed it.  
 
Then, Mission conference happened.  It was really good.  Someone Elder Foster and I worked hard with ended up getting the Melchizedek Priesthood.  President showed us pictures of everyone who was gonna be sustained for the Melchizedek Priesthood, and half the mission marveled that he was gonna get it.  So, it was a good feeling how I helped turn him around a bit.  3 months ago he was a complete knuckle-head.  He still is a knuckle-head, just a smaller one now.
 
Elder Kaeron spoke about forgiving others, which always needs to be emphasized here.  It was really good, and really clear to understand.  No loopholes given.
 
Also, President Ford gave a talk in Albanian.  It was really funny.

Anyway, that's all I have this week.  Everyone have a good week, enjoy summer, and be safe!

2013 June 10th email

Well, I'm staying another 3 months in 2nd Branch.  Unfortunately, I am not training.  One of the missionaries in the MTC went home, and I was the trainer removed from training after he left.  Not mad, but pretty dang disappointed.  The reward?  District Leader. 
But, I will be with an Elder Matson, who's been out about six months, in the group behind me.  We'll have fun together, I'm excited to work with him.  Also, I'm still with the Winders, they're hilarious.

Eric, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  You're definitely old, sorry.

Wow, last week of school.  This is kinda ridiculous.....  Where is the time going?
Nice, temple trip, sometimes I wish Albania had a temple, a spiritual overdose would be good sometimes for me here.  Yeah, I think I heard about that new policy from the Temple Presidency, definitely a good idea for the youth.  (walk in through the front door, past the big mural on the way to the baptistry)

Yeah, I knew Jerry comes home soon, I talk to Colin occasionally.  I come home exactly a year after him.  That's coming close, o geez........

1) See above

2)  District conference happens next week

3)  Much better.  A little sore still, but much, much better.  Running helps.

Jake and Andrea, enjoy your summer.

Well, the work here.  The 9 year old girl really likes church.  Having lessons with a 9 year old is difficult.  We teach simply, but we need to definitely make it more fun still.  She loves going to church and to primary, though, and the primary president helps us out a lot, and I assume she knows a lot better than I do.  But things go well with her.

Also, while stopping by a family's house, this old woman comes up to us and said she wants us to pray for her, because she might need another mouth operation and it's too expensive for her.  So, we went by, gave her a blessing, and talked about the Restoration, and left her a Book of Mormon, and she said she'd read it.  So, we'll stop by again this week to see her.

Also, we started meeting with another woman.  Originally, she just wanted English.  But, after our first lesson we left her 2 Nephi 31 to read and discuss next time.  The next time we met, she had a lot of questions concerning the Restoration, and after explaining it to her, it really caught her interest.  She asked, "how can I know if what you're saying is true?"  Well........the Book of Mormon could be a pretty good help.  So, things look promising with her.

As you can see, all my investigators are women. 
Well, that's about it.  Have a good week this week, be safe in everything you do!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 June 3rd email

Hello.

Dang, sounds like stake conference was awesome.  Congrats on the talk mom!

Yeah, we actually have district conference next week.  
Man, school is almost over.  This is ridiculous.  One down, one more to go!

Anyway, I have not read the New Testament in Albanian, but I'm currently reading it in English.  I'm halfway done with Luke right now.

Nice, packages!  (From our ward Relief Society)

Eric, you're so old.  (23)

Jake, yeah, summer!

Andrea, same!

Dad:

1)  Yeah, District Conference is next weekend.  We have Elder Patrick Kearon coming to Albania, and we'll also have a mission conference with him as well, so we're looking forward to that.

2)  I forgot what he does specifically, but he does something with computers.  He doesn't know Albanian.

3)  they're usable,  I just hate untying my shoes, I have better stuff to do with my time.

GO PACERS!!!!!

K, so this week unfortunately has slowed down a little.  We have this woman who knows that the church is true, but she has been sick for almost a week now, so hopefully she gets better soon.  We also have this woman who one day just walked into the church wanting to pray, and she stayed for a baptism and wanted to learn about the church.  And then, there's this 9-year-old girl (still don't remember her name....)  from English course who took a Book of Mormon and started reading it herself.  She got permission from her parents to learn about the church, and she came yesterday, and apparently really liked primary.  So, we're gonna start working with her and the Primary President.

Well, that's what we got going here in 2nd Branch.  Transfer calls come Sunday, I could be in Labor soon (crosses fingers!). 

Anyway, be safe and have a good week!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 May 27th email

Hiiiiii

So, yeah, I just read on lds.org about her funeral services, sounded like it was really good.  (Sister Monson)

No idea who Brother Robinson is, but yeah, it's definitely a sacrifice.  (Seminary teacher, explained the word sacrifice comes from to make and sacred.)

Nice, good luck on the talk.  I've had to give two this past weekend.  I'll explain later.

Yeah, it's hot here.  It only gets worse though.  I haven't heard about Oklahoma, that's really too bad. (Tornadoes in Moore, OK)

Nice, Jake, you got your license!  Be safe.

Andrea, this week was pretty good, but whatever.

Dad, when I saw that Eric was getting fitted for suits, I thought it was for something else.  (Just getting a suit.)

1)  The shoes are doing good, one pair better than the other.  The back part of one pair is ruined, but that's ok.  I'm too busy to take the time to tie and untie, I'm busy.  The suits are doing good.

2)  No idea, school always ends and then re-begins.  (Schedule of summer vacation in Albania)

3) Tirana definitely has all the immigrants here, Tirana's the place where everyone in Albania migrates to get work.  (Wondering if Tirana is more diverse than other cities he has served in.)

K, this last week was pretty AWESOME!  Two baptisms!  Më në fund!  (finally)  After 10 months and six days of work, it has paid off and two investigators actually made it to the waters of baptism!  We had one on Friday night and the other Saturday.  I gave a talk on baptism, translated for our ward mission leader (an embassy worker), and confirmed one new member yesterday!  Elder Foster baptized and confirmed the other in the 1st Branch.  So, yeah, a pretty good week.

Yeah, so things are doing pretty good here.  We have about two weeks left as a companionship and then it's transfers.

Well, have a good week!  Happy Memorial Day!  Be safe!

Ju dua,

Elder Palmer

2013 May 20th email

Hello!

So, first of all, everyone remember President Monson in your prayers at this time.  (Sister Monson passed away last week.)

Mom, I'm glad Mother's Day was awesome for you.  It was fun talking.  I was trunky for about a day, but then we moved on.

Yes, we had that sort of Youth Conference I think 4 years ago.  Personally, my favorite was probably my last one, where we just hung around Richmond and did service and whatnot.  Trek, sorry, wasn't a fan at all, my least favorite.

Oooh, chipotle sounds good right now.  My stomach will probably explode once I eat it again for the first time in 2 years.

Well, we ran a 5K again this morning, but this time I ran without stopping once.  Më në fund!  (Finally)

So, people liked my photo, eh?  Tell them to feel free to send me an email if they want.

Eric, don't fail school.

Jake and Andrea, see you next week.

Dad:

1)  I did the exercise for like an hour after email, and then I forgot.

2) Last week.  (When did you last backup your pictures?)

3)  While the mission may be the toughest thing you'll ever do, it's also the most rewarding thing you could ever do at this point of your life.  Nothing's better waking up knowing you're doing the Lord's work helping those around you come closer to Christ and see the miracles of the Gospel change people's lives.  Also, at least it's what I've learned so far, you learn patience, and pretty much those characteristics of Christ that are your weakest, this is an opportunity to strengthen them (like me with patience).

K, Memphis-Indiana, I want it.  (His wish for NBA finals.)

Anyway, this week should be really good, but I'm not gonna say anything until next week because I don't want to jinx anything.  But yeah, we've got a good pool of investigators, and we're working with quite a few less active people as well. 
 
 
Also, Sister Winder got upset at me for not wanting to have at least 10 kids when I get married.  She was like, "Why wouldn't you want to have a large family?"  I said, "Because 10 is ridiculous.  When God commanded us to multiply and replenish the earth, He was talking to everyone, not just me.  4 is a good number, max."  (We have four and that is a multiple of two which makes sense for Scott to think so mathematically)

Well, that's about it for this week.  Next week will definitely be a lot better hopefully, so hopefully good things will come from that.

Have a good week!  Love you all!  Be safe!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

2013 May 13th email

Hi, long time no hear.  How's it hanging?  (This was the day after Mother's Day, when we were able to skype for 2 1/2 hours, so there is not much to post.)

Ok, well, nothing else really to report this week.  I think we pretty much got everything down yesterday.  Dad, I'll give that 'r-rolling' exercise a try this week.

So, since I didn't really talk about the work overall that's going on here in 2nd Branch, just to let you know we did reactivate someone we've been working with pretty much since I got here.   We do have two baptismal dates, one on May 24th and one right after on May 25th, they're both doing awesome.

Ok, well I don't really have anything else to say, but I love you all!

Jake, drive safe.

Andrea, be happy.

Eric, don't fail school.

Love you Mom!

Love you Dad!

Ju dua,
Elder Palmer