October 7, 2013
Happy Monday after Conference weekend! What I have seen and understood so far has been so good! There were three sessions that we went to at the 2/4 Branch building that were translated in Albanian --so comprehension was...limited -- but then for P-day today and probably next week we are listening to parts in English. One of the ones that such out to me that I have listened to is President Monson's Priesthood Session address on Home Teaching. I had a lot of thoughts , so here are a couple:
1. I really regret not being a better home teacher. Like really, Home and Visiting Teachers, today is the 7th of the month, that is not too early to call up and make an appointment and see how you can help. In fact, better today than tomorrow and better tomorrow than the day after. That little part of the vineyard that the Lord has granted you to watch over is crazy important and you need to always remember that.
2. I thought a lot about being an Elder's Quorum President last year and the massive emphasis that we put on Home Teaching. That was a huge learning experience for me, and the times were I really tried to take the needs of those who I had stewardship over and treat them as I would treat my own needs, that is when I felt the power of heaven really come in and make a difference.
3. Albania...doesn't really have home or visiting teaching. I don't know what I can do to help this, but I am really going to see what I can do to help at least the area I am in with this. It is a powerful way that Heavenly Father watches over His children and takes care of their needs. I was talking to a guy in his early twenties on the road who asked the question why God would allow people to suffer if He was really there and He really cared. He is really there and He does really care, and that is often shown through the deeds of other of His children. Let Heavenly Father work through you and try to be the answer to someone's prayers. It will bless you as well.
We had two investigators come to Conference which was awesome! One of them is this xhaxhi named Agim who was initially found by the APs and then given to Elders Racine and Lee who were previously in this area. I guess they had had a lot of trouble getting him to church because they would offer to come pick him up and he would be like, "no, I know where it is" and then wouldn't come. So, we didn't really offer--we kind of just told him that we were going to be there to walk with him to conference. When we got there, he came out and answered the door and said that he would be over in half an hour. We told him that we would stay and wait to walk with him, but he didn't let us, so we went back and started to watch conference...and he came! As much as we can't impose on people's agency, it is our duty to do everything in our power to bring people to Christ. I think the more and more we do this as missionaries, the more people will recognize the Gospel's importance and draw unto Christ.
I have been getting better at contacting! That is actually really good, because the usual percentage of numbers to first lessons is...well not very good. People here often won't tell you if they aren't really interested or, by the time that you call (usually the next night), the excitement of you being American has worn off. We are probably going to have to start calling earlier...
I hope you have wonderful time in Utah, Mom! That is going to be a really fun thing I am sure! Tell Alex and Carley I say "hey" when you see 'em! I hope the Hales' was tasty and that the discussion was enlightening.
Well, I love you so much and think about you when I allow myself the time to! Keep doing great things back there in the states!