November 11, 2013
How is it all kicking back in good old Michigan? I actually met a family a couple weeks ago that had a Michigan license plate, they split time between Tirana and Rockford and so that was a pretty fun thing.
Thank you so much for the pictures of my man-pris, oh and of opening the door too, that was something that I remember now and again as something that shows how stinkin' easy it is to do service/missionary work/etc. Seriously, all it takes is opening up your mouth, being willing to be awkward for a split-second, and then trying to bless someone's life with what you know or do. You showed a great example of that by asking Jeff to say the prayer in Friday lunch, way to go Mom! You are just rocking that bringing people closer to Christ thing! Actually, a cool experience with that kind of thing happened this week. We met this kid named Enald on the road when it was pouring rain, but he still stopped to talk to us which is really cool in itself. We had a lesson with him the next day and he was super cool and told us that there was this one time he was walking on Myslym Shyri ( a road we contact on a lot) and was eating something and Elder Austin had said "ju befte mire" to him (may it do you well -- it's kinda an Albanian thing) and it had made his day! Seriously, look to do big things, and on the way do little things because those little things might actually be really big things.
Well, this week was one of those weeks where it just feels like you are plugging through and trying your best with little results only to look back at the end and see that we actually were able to do some good! An example of that actually happened yesterday. We had planned out 7 lessons to take place...and all except for two of them feel through (tip:if you are looking to meet with someone in Albania someday, don't try to do it on a rainy day). So we went out to do some street contacting -- we do a lot of that. We had about an hour of contacting with only getting one phone number. We went into the church for a 5 minute break and hit the street again. We were able to get 3 people to come into the church with us for a quick lesson and set up return appointments with them. It is cool to see how the Lord will bless us with little tender mercies when we are trying to do what we are supposed to be doing. It reminds me of Nephi and his brethren going and doing everything that they thought were the things they should be doing to retrieve the Brass Plates. Only after the trial of their faith were they able to finally obtain their goal because that is when the Lord blessed them with success.
Right now we have a couple of investigators who are progressing really well or that we can see a sincere desire in which is awesome! Besjan is pushing well towards his baptismal date on the 23 of November and we are really trying to help him get there. The only thing that we are working around right now is that it can be tough to get him to church, but we are meeting tonight and that will definitely be discussed. he is just too cool and too ready to lose it now! He is 19 and this could be something that blesses his and so many other peoples' lives! Nertila is also pushing to gain that testimony and conversion that she needs ( really, just talking to her she already has a testimony, she just needs to let herself accept it). We also have a lot of awesome other people that we are teaching, but meeting with them is super tough which is a shame.
Maybe this is just because I haven't had a baptism yet, but one of the coolest things that I have seen and felt on my mission is when you have a first lesson with someone and they just seem so ready to receive the Gospel! That is such a cool thing.
As much as being at college helped with getting used to living with new people and everything, it doesn't really hold a candle to the mission. I can definitely see how I will be so much more prepared to be an eternal companion after this! That comes with plenty of its ups and downs that's for sure. I think that the biggest thing I have seen is just making sure that your purposes, drives, and intentions are either the same or understood. I am way different than both companions that I have had in very different ways and I am already seeing myself grow because of it.
My health is doing just great and Elder Austin is doing well enough too though he does have some lingering effects from his parasite.
Love you so much! Have a wonderful week!