Happy Birthday Dad and Grant! I am a bit late on Grant's (I remembered on the 27th), but if it makes you feel any better Grant, I wasn't going to get you a present anyway. Dad, I am sure you are looking as dashing as ever.
Also a quick shout out to my familial line in the Dow High Marching Band. The fourth generation of Mormon Drum Majors was born this past week. I am so proud.
This last week was a great week! Pamela was baptized! Man, it seems like we were teaching her forever, but it was only a month. She is way awesome. She is continuing to read everything almost as fast as we can dish it out and has her sights set forward to the temple and potentially a mission after a while. She couldn't decided who she wanted to baptized her out of Elder Simons and I, so she flipped a coin and Elder Simons was able to do it! She will be moving to Tirana fairly soon here to start university, but she has promised us that she will be a strong active member over there. We are excited to see the impact that she can make as a member-missionary.
Ema decided that she also wanted to be baptized! She has had serious desire and faith for a while, but when Pamela set a date for Saturday Ema told us that she wanted to be baptized that day as well. She thought about it a bit more however, and asked if she could actually wait a week or two in order to be for sure ready for this. Both of them have next to 0 familial support. Ema's sister Eda told us straight up this week that she did not want her sister to be baptized and the rest of the family is against it as well, but Ema is a pretty determined child and will not be deterred. I told her and Pamela that they were going to have to be each other's support system and they will be. Elder Simons and I both think that Ema would be a great missionary some day.
As for Jona, Alda, and Xheni, they are doing well and progressing in the gospel. Jona is especially excited and tried to have us move her baptismal date up. We couldn't because she needs to come to church at least twice before she is baptized and yesterday was her first time being able to make it to church. She stayed for all three hours though and her dad even showed up for about 45 minutes at one point! It is so cool to be able to see so many progressing in the Gospel as much as they are. They are taking the messages we attempt to put before them and put them into their lives. What a great blessing that is.
This week has been full of it's young men problems once again which keeps us continually searching for ways from the Lord that these loud, rowdy boys of the present can become leaders and solid Gospel role models of the future. I guess something more that I needed to become is patient, because bit by bit it is coming. But it just drives me nuts how I am not getting patient fast enough (haha, you get it?).
I am thinking back to my studies this past week and nothing is coming to me as something that I need to share with you. But that is okay. You should read something though from the scriptures and apply it into your lives. At least, that's what the good book says to do.
I hope that you all have a fantastic day and week! School is wrapping up which is so crazy! Don't worry, everything will work out...however you should probably study a bit.
P.S. And my condolences for the Rodriguez family. I haven't seen Nathan in years (probably since being a deacon) and I will saying some prayers in their direction.
This is Elder Simons and I (I am the one on the left with the red hair and name tag) with Ema, Pamela, and Eda (in that order) after Pamela's baptism.
Here is Elder Simons and I (it is a bit tricky to find me in this one because I am actually the crazy, old Albanian guy) with Ylli Binaj, one of the oldest and most hilarious members in Fier. Ylli knows probably about 400 English words, and most all of them are slang taught to him by missionaries (city-slicker, "your mom", bite me...). He's a character.