"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."

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!


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?


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.


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...)


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


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.


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


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!


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.


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