Monday, September 23, 2013

#11 Jave tre ne Shqiperi! (Week 3 in Albania!)

Hello from Albania!

It has been another crazy week out here in Europe as will be every week I am sure! Elder Austin has spent the last 5 or so days in the hospital which means that I have been with Elder Macen whose companion Elder Hald is in the bed adjacent to Elder Austin. Hopefully Elder Austin is getting out today though, so here's hoping! But it's okay Mom, I have already decided that I am not going to get sick here, so everything is under control for me.

We went and taught this lesson about the Plan of Salvation a couple of days ago to some recent converts and that was an interesting experience. We didn't have the Plan of Salvation pamphlet on us as we had both given ours away that day, so comprehension wasn't as great as it could have been. After on of the ladies we were teaching was not understanding why we weren't talking about Mary at all and there was quite a bit of loud talking (it is kind of an Albanian thing...especially on the phone), I just had this thought to look in the cabinet right next to us as we were in the Church. In it I found these Plan of Salvation pamphlets which we gave to them, bore testimony of the truth of what was written in them, and asked them to read them at home and that we would meet with them again about it. I don't think Elder Macen thought it was as cool as I did, but I was like, "Elder, that was definitely the Holy Ghost that gave me the thought to look in that cabinet!" Even with the small things, the Holy Ghost helps us do what we need to do and it is pretty cool!

Something that I have been learning here even more is that the gift of agency, while one of the greatest gifts ever given to us by our Heavenly Father, it allows us to make our own choices--what a pain! Just sitting there in Sacrament Meeting and hoping every creak of the door is an investigator, I am thinking, "Come on! Don't you know how much happier you could be with this in your life?" And I guess most people don't, but that is why we are here. I wish that every time I was saying hello to someone on the street, talking to someone form the hallway of the pallat they live in, or training to explain things in lessons that they could just -- know. They could feel what I know they could feel with the Gospel blessing their lives and the lives of their children. I guess that is why we need the spirit though. Elder Bednar says that being a missionary is "a whole lot more about who you are and what you do than anything you ever say." And I guess I sometimes get a little impatient with myself because I don't feel like I can afford any time as a mediocre witness of Jesus Christ, but at the same time, He knew what he was doing calling me to come here at this time. I have a lot to learn and a lot to do, but that's okay, that's why I am here.

Well, love you so much and I will be thinking about you this coming week!

Elder Ostergaard

P.S. Just got a call from Elder Austin and he is actually going to be out of the hospital in the next 2 hours or so!

Here is a picture of a Turkish toilet...that was a pretty interesting experience...

A Saints and Soldiers shirt in a dyqan here! This and Imagine Dragons was playing in a store...Mormons are everywhere!

L to R: Elder Austin, Elder Hald, and Elder Macen in the Greek Hospital.

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