Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#25 Happy New Year

Gezuar Vitin e Ri! Shoot, that means that I have to write a different year in my journal now. I don't know if I am ready for this change.

But, let's get down to the nitty gritty, we just had our first transfers! That is so crazy because if I had been on an English-speaking mission with a normal transfer cycle, I would have written this email the first week of September...crazy. Por, ashtu behet ne Shqiperi! So Elder Austin is now in Prishtina, Kosovo (where he was before he became my companion in 4th branch of Tirona). I am now in Tirona 3rd branch serving with Elder Jorgensen. Elder Jorgensen is in my generation of missionaries, so it will be pretty crazy to not have someone more solid in the language than me (however last transfer I really worked on holding my own and not relying on my companion so I think that will definitely help out). But Elder Jorgensen is a good dude from Castledale, Utah. He was hurdler in High School (from which he just graduated in 2013) and took states in his division twice (Alex, that is mostly for you. He ran a 39.9. What times were you running?) I am excited to be with him and hope that we can get everything done here that we need to!

It was pretty hard to have us both leave our area because we, well, we did a lot of finding and met a lot of people. We knew who all of these names and numbers on the paper were and just really hope that Elder Bullock and his new trainee who are going to be taking over our area will do a bang-up job so that those people we found can progress in the Gospel! It was pretty cool because even though the transfer ended on Monday, on Sunday we were able to find 4 new investigators that seem really promising. I was glad that Elder Austin and I were able to leave the next two missionaries with a lot of work.

So, New Year' is like a a war zone here. Everyone goes out and purchases their aerial fireworks, roman candles, and M-80s and it is nuts. We had to be inside the house by 4:00 so that we wouldn't be sure to not get hurt by any crazy cuns or anything. We were allowed to stay up for the fireworks, but at 10 we were really tired so we decided to take a nap and slept until about 11:47 when Elder Jorgensen was awakened by the large amount of explosions and we watched the fireworks...for about 8 minutes and then went back to bed. Wow, that makes us sound like party-poopers too, Mom, but at least we felt great in the morning!

To answer some questions from Father:
So I am not totally sure what the landscape is in Albania because I have been in the big city almost the duration of my time here. There are mountains and such, I have sent back some pictures with some before. It is not in general as green as Michigan, but there are some really beautiful landscapes.

I see a lot of dogs, some cats, a couple random horse and cow now and then, and a lot of pigeons. Other than that I don't see a lot of animal life. Except for that time we saw that guy gutting a sheep outside of the Institute Center, that was exciting (but now that I think about it that doesn't fall under the animal life category either). Oh, and here everyone eats turkey on New Year's and so a bunch of people had tied up turkeys' and chickens' feet and would just put them on the sidewalk for people to come buy.

My clothes are doing just great. As for the shoes, the Eccos are doing just splendidly, but the Clarks fairly recently developed large cracks in the soles (it was not a pliable enough sole) which would definitely not improve their water it is good it has not rained like at all recently. I might be able to get them re-soled here, so we shall see what happens with that.

We have a washing machine in all of the apartments and then hang the clothes to dry on these drying tables. That definitely makes cleaning our clothes a lot easier than it could have been!

As for things that we need, we are coming into this area with a very very limited amount of work, so prayers for us to be able to find investigators at this time would be fantastic. Other than that, I cannot really think of anything.

Oh, I cannot remember if I wished Brigham a happy birthday or not! Happy late birthday Brigham, I meant to say that on Skype last week.

Love you, everybody and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Ju dua, dhe mos behuni kote ne punen tuaj sepse ju jeni shume me mire sesa ajo!

Elder Ostergaard

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