"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, March 26, 2013

2013 March 24th email

Hey, family, what's up?

So, yeah, I'm in Tirana now.  Big city is weird, I'm not used to it.  So, this week we have been doing a lot of finding.  A LOT.  Just before transfers, the 2nd Branch area was pretty much whitewashed so we're both starting from scratch.  Just my luck, eh?


1)  This week wasn't much different.  I'm senior, but he's only 3 months behind me.  He just graduated last year.  He played basketball, and is one of 12 kids.  He's awesome at the language, he and I pretty much like the same music,  I don't know, kaq (that's it).  We get along great!

2) In all the 4 branches in Tirana, there are 12 missionaries.  2 in 1st Branch (Assistants), 4 in 2nd (us and ZLs), 4 in 3rd (regular companionship and other ZLs), and then 2 in 4th.  We walk.  No one rides bikes in this mission, which I'm glad because I just hate that stereotype.  We walked in Fier.

So, yeah, I don't got too much that happened.  There are two girls here in 2nd Branch that have come to church very often but haven't been baptized.  Then there's another that has come to church for a while but hasn't been taught yet, and we plan on teaching her tomorrow.

Unfortunately, that's really it.  Jake, don't die.  Mom, I didn't get your email....(Darn computer...I really thought I pushed send.)

Ok, well, that's about it.  Have a good week!  Take care!  Don't fail school!

Ju dua!

Elder Palmer

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 March 18th email

Hey, family, what's up?  
Dad, you are dead wrong!  I have been transferred to 2nd Branch in Tirana, and I will be serving with Elder Foster, who came in the group after me.  So, I am senior companion for the first time.  I am very excited for this opportunity in Tirana.

No, I completely forgot about Pi Day.  (3.14)

12 years in Virginia, I am so old......

Yeah, I already know my release date.  The thing is, ever since the age change from President Monson, President has been working with these dates forever.  The thing is before that, there's a cycle that the mission followed.  Transfers would be 3 months long, and then departing missionaries go home at the beginning of January, April, July, or October.  But, with the age change and the amount of time in the MTC shortened, he had to make some quick changes.  This current group goes home a few weeks early, the next group goes home like 3 weeks early, and the one after that, that group goes home a month early.   So, President worked with his area authority to refix the go home dates, so they're back to normal schedule, except mine because of the new mission president.

Jake, top fare!

Andrea, xham fare!  (?)

Eric, where you at?

K, so yeah, last week.  Monday, after email, we went villaging with the ZL's.  The investigator's name was found by missionaries in Tirana.  Anyway, we met him in Tepelen, a city like an hour from Fier.  

Tuesday, we went to Tirana and had zone training.  Elder Christiansen and I gave a training on 'Going about doing good,'. 

Wednesday, we met with people from English course. 

Thursday was the baptism day.  It was a very stormy day, but the plan was for him to get baptized in the sea. We spent most of the day wondering if we would be able to do the baptism.  Well, after an unpromising morning, Elder Bair told us that we're gonna go for it. So we did.  We arrived at the beach, and it was still very rainy and windy.  But, the best part was that as soon as we started the program, the storm ceased and the sun came out. Coincidence?  I think not.  The baptism happened, and we left just as the storm got worse again just after Elder Bair performed the ordinance.  Anyway, that storm just got worse as night came.  We were in the church and this massive bolt of lightning struck that it caused the outlets to spark.  It was ridiculous.  

Saturday, we went to Durres for Priesthood Meeting.  But, also, the first man baptized in Macedonia came, so that he could be recognized and sustained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood (the first Macedonian).  It was a lot of fun.  I saw Elder Knight for the first time all transfer.

Sunday, we had church.  We went home then to weekly plan and get things set for the next missionaries and what-not.  Then, we spent about 40 minutes anxiously awaiting transfer calls.  The assistants called, and asked if they could talk to Christiansen, and told him where he's going.  Then I had to wait about 20 minutes before I got my call because they were going in alphabetical order.  I honestly thought I was going to stay in Fier once I found out Christiansen was leaving.  That's what the whole mission was thinking.  But, I was surprised to be transferred to Tirana in 2nd Branch.  I'm really excited for it, it's gonna be fun.  
Anyway, that's about it.  Eric, what's wrong with you?  (No email from his bro.)  K, love you and have a great week!

Ju dua,

Elder Palmer

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2013 March 11th email

Hey, what's up?
Ok, so I forgot to bring my camera today, so I won't be able to send any pictures.  Also, I don't have much time, because the ZL's got a referral in a village near Fier, so we're going with them and we're gonna meet with them today, so I don't got too much time to talk.
Alright, so this week is the last week of transfers.  I have absolutely no idea what's gonna happen to me, it's all up in the air.  I could be staying or I could be out of here.  Heck, in 3 transfers I could already match as many areas as Eric had his entire mission.  (his brother served in Democratic Republic of Congo, and only served in three areas his entire mission.)
So, no, this scavenger hunt was organized by Elder Bair.  He's a dying missionary, (going home soon) so he wanted to do something fun.  We just ran around Fier for 2 hours.  There wasn't any particular theme, just to run around town.
Yes, I got the box, unless you sent me another one without my knowledge.  Thank you for the skittles, as always.
In Fier, there are about 5 or 6 young men.  
Yeah, Mother's Day is a big deal. (It was Mother's Day on Monday)  We threw a party
for the Mother's and women here, everyone came dressed up.  And the young 
men helped serve the food.  Plus we learned some Albanian dancing, and that
was a ton of fun.  There's like 3 or 4 young women here.
Ok, dad:
1)  See above.  They don't have Father's day here.  They had Teacher's Day on Thursday
and that was a big deal, but I don't know any other major holidays here, except the
Independence Anniversary in November.
2)  It was part of the scavenger hunt.  The dog was running fast, so I just took
a ton of pictures while running, hoping to get a good one.
Ok, I don't have too much time, but this Friday there will be a baptism!
Speaking of home, I did what Eric couldn't do until pretty much his last week
in the mission, and President announced the go-home dates for everyone.  I will
be coming home in June, 2014.  Unfortunately, I won't be filling the entire
count-down calendar, but President said I was originally set to go home in July,
but if that happened the new Mission President would come in on an immediate
transfer, and that's usually not something you want to happen, so he put us back two
weeks, so mark your calendar.  So, that leaves me with even less time.
Anyway, that's about it.  Have a great week!  Andrea, be happy, I can't believe I have to
tell people that.  Jake, don't crash.
Ju dua!
Elder Palmer

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2013 March 4th email

Hey, family, how's it going?  

Yeah, I'm starting this a little later because we did a scavenger hunt with our district (including Lushnje) and have ran around Fier all day.  So now I am doing email.

Ok, so soccer.  I am absolutely terrible. (Prefers basketball...) And the members let me know.  I just really stink at it.  We're actually playing soccer at 3 (9, your time) because we didn't play on Saturday because we went to a baptism in Lushnje, which I will talk about later.  There is a stadium that's pretty cheap that we rent for like 2 hours.  Yes, there is grass.

I have eaten at 2 members houses since being in Fier.  It's really good.  
This last week was good.  It was about half rain, half not.  But it is starting to get warm, which I am excited about.  Best of luck on the yard work.

Eric, very good.  I'll be home before you know it so I can be the annoying one again.

Yeah, I remember Brother Peck.  He was the YM President before I became a deacon, because Bro. McKeon was the President as soon as I got into YM.  Man, I'm old.

Is the church handbook, "Principles of the Gospel?"  (No) Hey, I heard the scriptures have gotten some major changes to it.  That sounds awesome, it'll be interesting to see them.

So, you restored the new Scooter, eh?  (Light bulb, stereo) So, which car will Eric take now? The truck still so that Jake can learn to drive stick?  (No, Eric will take Scooter, Jake the truck.  We haven't taught Jake to drive stick yet.)

Tell Jacob D. good luck, and I wish him a successful mission in Puerto Rico.

1)  Thanks for the warning.  I have been trying to be cautious so I don't come home broke before I start school.  I kinda wanna know how much money I have left, but I fear I am gonna get a pretty small number.  But, yeah, thanks for the advice on taking out a bit more money than just 20.  (ATM Fees)
2)  Yes, like I said, it is starting to get warmer, at least here.  I am nearer to the coast than Tirana or Elbasan or Kosovo.  But yeah, today is a very nice spring day.

3)  Can I see a bracket?  I'm gonna assume BYU didn't make it this year, but could you give me Tyler Haws' stats for the year?  I heard he has done some work.  Did VCU make it?  (March Madness-but the season is not over so there is no bracket yet)

Ok, so last week:

After P-day on Monday, we went out to a Member's house just to make a surprise visit.  No one was there.  Then we went to another house that we tracted into like a month ago to see how they were doing.  What happened?  They weren't interested at all.  Unfortunately, nothing else really happened after that, we did some contacting and nothing really came from that.

On Tuesday, we had district meeting, and then we found this giant store called ELKOS, which is apparently a branch of Wal-Mart or something, and we checked it out during lunch. I felt at home for a bit.  Anyway, that night we had branch FHE, and the topic was having FHE every week.  Then we played some games.

Wednesday, we had a lesson about the purpose of the sacrament and kinda reviewed the Gospel.  Then we had English that night and talked about patience and it's importance.

Thursday, we met with an investigator. Then we went up to Lushnje because Elder Christiansen had to do a baptismal interview.  Then, after that we went back and went to Institute that night.

Friday, we taught a lesson on the first part of the Plan of Salvation, up to what we do while we are on earth.  Then that night we had English again, and we talked about love and charity, which was good for me.
Saturday, we went to a baptism in the morning in Lushnje with an investigator, so she 
could see one herself.  She really liked it.  Then we had branch council.

Sunday, we had church in the morning, I taught YM's, about honoring mothers
and what not, which was good.  I forgot all about it, so it was a pretty short

lesson.  Then we went and ate a members like usual, and then we met with 
an investigator again and taught her about the Spirit World, what it's purpose is.

And then today, like I said, we did a scavenger hunt and ran around Fier 

all morning, and I'll send you pictures.  I was with Elder Bair for this scavenger

Anyway, that's about it for this week. Jake, enjoy driving but don't die.  Andrea,

draw.  Eric, hello.  Ok, love you!

Ju dua,

Elder Palmer