Hey hey hey family!
This last week has had some great experiences and some, well good learning experiences that summarize Fier up altogether.
Big highlight of the week: Jona and Ema got baptized! How awesome is that? To beloved daughters of God took it upon themselves to enter into a covenant with their Creator to love Him, to keep His commandments, and to serve Him to the end. That is just magnificent.
Ema is incredible and is so converted to the truths that she has discovered here in the restored Gospel. She has found for herself that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that God's power has once again been restored to bless us in this day and time and to lead us back to Him. Her sister Eda (I have sent a picture before with both of them in it along with Pamela) used to be totally against Ema's baptism but has really come a long way and consented to say the closing prayer at the baptism itself.
Jona is also great. She I think is especially grateful for baptism because of the total cleansing power it has upon our souls. Some difficult times in her past really have lead her to find a way to continue forward...it just so happens that us being on the street that one day allowed her to catch sight of it. Alda, Jona's sister, will be baptized this week and we are also excited to work with them to get their family active in this spiritual pursuit that they have joined ranks with.
So there is the really beautiful part of Fier, it is growing, there are people who want, need, and are accepting the Gospel. Gezuar. However, there is another, slightly more character-building part of Fier. We have been having some serious problems with the noise and vocabulary that is used around the church predominantly with the young men. This has caused us to search, ponder and pray a lot. This week at futboll ( we play futboll with members and investigators every Saturday) one of the young men let himself get a really hot head during the game and yelled at me (I guess I need to up my goal-keeping skills in order to keep people happy). Some stuff happened, he was told to leave the field and then came back and shoved and hit me in the head (it's all good Mom, he hit me surprisingly lightly for as big of a guy as he is). Well, the straw fell, the camel was sent to the hospital for emergency back surgery, and we decided that something needed to be done more so than was done before. We talked with President White and he decided that the best thing to do was to ask the young man to not come to anything for a month, and then after that to only come to Sunday meetings for a month. Elder Simons and I went over to his house and were the translators as President talked with the young man and his mom. It was pretty cool actually, he showed a lot of remorse for the things he had done and asked for frorgiveness. As President White told him what the punishment was for what happened, a lot of love and understanding was shown. We have a lot of hope for the young men here, and I have faith that if we can help them to to what is right, that their faith will grow and their testimonies and conversion to the Gospel will take over the natural man inside of them.
Transfer calls will be made this Sunday. I am kind of terrified for Fier. Their is so much potential energy that could cause it to burst into growth or to buckle and snap. I have never really had any desire to suggest transfer moves to President Ford until this one, however I have full confidence that he is a man of God and will make the choices that will most bless the lives of the missionaries, members, and investigators here.
Hey Mom, I love you so much and hope that you have a fantastic birthday today! You are awesome and such an example to me all the time. What a great missionary you are! I pray for you and know that you are praying for me out here.
Products of Saturday's baptism:
Us with Ema after her baptism
Us with Jona after her baptism, I think this is a hilarious picture so you should laugh
Us with both of 'em
The sisters and I after donating blood today (How many people can say they have donated blood in Albania? We checked it out and I can still donate blood back in the states, so it's all good)