First full week in Fier has done been done. I am feeling a bit better about the work here than I was a week ago, but it still feels like there is a ton that we still need to sink our teeth into.
It is so crazy, I was thinking about how back in high school I was considered the most optimistic in my senior class and everything, but out here in the field I have found it so much harder to keep enduring cheer that seemed so effortless then. Maybe it was because I just didn't really have the trials that we have as missionaries. Whatever it was, I was thinking last night as I said my prayer how I just haven't been finding in myself the piece of sunshine that I really used to see in myself. And I want to change that. So, that is that is the plan. This little light of mine is a-gonna shine.
But, anyways, this week was a great week! Saimir -- well I guess a little background on him. He has been taught for months by previous elders and is a really good guy. He is an English teacher and has recently been through a really difficult divorce. His wife is making it really hard for him to see his two daughters which is really hard on him. However, he has found peace in the Gospel (which he doubts sometimes) and we are really trying to help him progress. We taught him how to fast this week and he just did it which was awesome! He really feels the Spirit, and now he just needs to grab on and trust in the Lord. Florian read from the Book of Mormon finally! It was awesome and we are just really hoping to see him continue down the road of progression now. I think the Gospel still is just a for fun kind of thing for him, but we'll work to help him use his agency in the right way. Long-suffering and persuasion, it's like the hokey-pokey, that's what it's all about. Fuat was an investigator we found street contacting and he is doing well and tells us he believes that the church and Book of Mormon are true...but I think he isn't quite understanding the "only true church" thing. However, line upon line and precept upon precept we hope he will learn and come to a deeper understanding.
One big part of missionary work that we hadn't really noticed before was recent convert lessons. We are doing a good number of those this transfer. There are a lot of recently baptized 18-year-old or so boys in Fier and that makes for interesting church meetings. I think being a missionary is definitely the closest thing that I have experienced so far to how I look at being a father. You just really work your hardest to love the members and investigators and then when they do dumb things or just don't do the things that you know are best for them you are somewhere between frustrated, loving, and aaaaaaah! and well, that is just how it rolls. However, when they do something really good you are just so excited for them and it is just the best. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Elder Simons is doing well. He isn't really shell-shocked by the surroundings at all because I guess Israel is pretty similar. One thing that I have definitely learned about learning a language is it is hard to tell if you are really getting any better at all until someone comes in without a whole lot of experience. So one definite plus of this transfer is knowing that I have indeed been learning at least a little bit of this language over the last little bit.
Here are a couple pictures. The first one is Elder Simons and I right after we were put together. The second is a plate of deep fried frog. My lunch today.
Well, I love you so much and sure hope that you are having such a wonderful day! Excited and weirdly crazy feelings in the direction of Carley and Sam! Urime! Keep it real and don't do anything I wouldn't do.