Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#19 Monday, November 18, 2013

I hope you are doing just awesome today! And that the power comes back soon, as fun as it is to have outages, after a while it can become a bit of a handful. The power here goes out a fair bit, but it usually isn't for very long. Usually just when we are walking down the road and every thing is just way dark and quite...it's kind of peaceful actually.

It is a a very well placed P-day this week, for sure. This week started out a bit rough in the missionary work department as everyone except for one of our lessons didn't come and the other lesson that we got we just pulled off the street (we have been getting better at that as of late which is great). However, as the week went on we started to have more lessons and when people wouldn't show up we would go out and find someone on the road to teach. When we got to Friday night we were looking at our week and decided that we were going to hit a certain mission goal for investigator lessons and new investigators that we hadn't been able to hit yet. We needed to get 5 more member lessons and 2 other lessons.

Saturday -- we didn't have much luck with people coming with 4 lessons falling through. But, Saturday night we decided that we were going to hit that standard. Kaq (Albanian for "that's it", or "end of the thought/point"). We were also really pushing for our investigators to come to church because that is something that we have been struggling with from week 1. So we called a ton of people. I don't like talking on the phone -- with the exception of Christmas and Mother's Day -- so this whole calling people for lessons and stuff thing is kind of a trial for me (especially because supposedly it is a good way for me to practice my Albanian and everything which means that I am in charge of the phone 2 weeks on 1 week off, but I'm not bitter). I had so much adrenaline pumping through my whole body starting from Saturday night and going through Sunday because there were so many people that we were really pushing for to come to church and lessons on Sunday. I knew that either I was either going to be super stoked or way depressed depending on what people's agency to choose whether or not they were actually going to follow through on their commitments.

Well, that depression set in as we were waiting there and waiting there for people to come to church. But then, a member's non-member 15-year-old son who we have been trying to teach came to church! Then Nertila came. Then an investigator who we actually had thought was in Greece at the time walked past and we jumped out and dragged him in. We had been especially expecting and pushing for a girl named Enxhi that we had taught a couple of times and is way awesome to come. I called her an hour before and she said that she was coming. After the meeting had been going for a little bit I called her and she said she was close but couldn't find it. We jumped out and got her and brought her in. Then, we were able to have some member lessons with most of them as they had to go. When we met with Enxhi and asked her about how church was she was super excited to do baptisms for the dead for her sister who had died and we were so excited to see her applying the lessons. Then she basically quoted 1 Ne. 1-6 to us and it was awesome.

Well, so we went to lunch and the Winder's house ( they are such an awesome senior couple! Elder Winder actually slipped coming out of the baptismal font about a week ago which means that he has been pretty out of commission for a little bit.) with 3 member lessons down and 2 to go. I made some last minute backup plans while we were there and we hoped for the best. This guy named Memed came and we were able to have a lesson with him at the youth center and then book it over to the church (about 10-12 minutes) for another lesson...who even though they said they were coming 10 minutes before didn't come or pick up their phone when they were supposed to be there. We had Brother Sula there looking all classy in his suit and tie to help us out and both them and another lesson fell through. We needed that lesson! I turned to Brother Sula and asked him if he could wait for 3 more minutes to which he kindly obliged. We went out there with a determination to have a lesson with someone. Elder Austin offered a prayer and we went crazy contacting. After about 3 minutes we stopped this girl who had seen us before and said she had a few minutes to come in and sit down with us! She was Orthodox and interested to learn about our religion as well as to take part in English course.

Prayer is a real thing! When our purpose is to turn our will to the will of the Father's and to do His work, we will be helped! So yeah, that is my cool mission story of the week and it left us wiped out. P-day was a welcome thing this week for sure.

Today we went for a hike and I was able to take a little bit of time to just be quite, watch and listen. I am living in a beautiful place right now. Not only am I in a beautiful place, but I have a divine calling and obligation to help make this country more beautiful in Spirit. Looking out at the massive expanse of Tirana it is a little daunting, so it is good that we are not doing this huge work alone. I think that sometimes the hardest thing to remember is that even though we are in a city of 1 million, we don't have to see all of them baptized to have done our part of the Lord's work. But we might as well try...

Hey, I love you a lot and am hoping that you are having such a beautiful time with everything! Thanks for being so great and supporting me and all missionaries with your prayers!

Elder Ostergaard

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