This past week has, as always been dominated by the blessings that were very much so present. It reminds me of the part in Pollyanna where she is sitting with the pastor under that large tree in the field and she reads her locket "'If you look for the bad'... oh, it always makes me cross-eyed" then the pastor reads the quote "If you look for the bad in people you surely will find it." It is that way in both people as well as situations. We can see good or we can see bad. It is up to us.
Yesterday we got together and all headed down to Stake Conference in Durres. Stake Conference was a little funky this time around because they actually did it in two parts, one for half of the stake in Elbasan in the morning and one for the other half in Durres in the afternoon. We were able to load 18 people up (6 missionaries, 4 members, and 8 investigators) to go down there. We made a big push for all of the men to be wearing their Priesthood uniform and, well in a few words, we looked good! It was so wonderful to see all of these current and potential Priesthood holders wearing white shirts and ties. It truly makes a difference. The conference was wonderful and really packed a punch for those who had ears to hear. I had the opportunity to sit next to Mariglen (a 20 year-old who will be baptized on Saturday) both in the conference as well as in the van on the way home. President Mema (the Stake President) gave a talk focused on those preparing to serve missions. I turned to him near the beginning and told him that this was for him, he looked back and said "ajo eshte arsyja pse une po degjoj me vemendje" ("that is why I am listening intently"). On the way back we sat and talked for those 2 hours about how his life is changed by this message that he started to hear 2 months ago and what that means for him. Cool stuff.
We started up our English Course on Thursday, our main fear was that the morning Zone Conference in Tirana would make us late. However, that wasn't a problem, with the main problem turning out to be the buckets of rain falling from the heavens all day. Few people showed up. However, we have solid hope that on Tuesday we will have a much better turn out. In fact, the first day not working out might have actually done a good job of weeding those out that weren't really interested anyway.
Haha, one exciting thing that happened this week was on Wednesday night, we were out tracting and the other Elders called us and let us know that the toilet had a problem and the church had flooded. We jumped over there (it's a good calf workout) and the four of us and the sisters used mops, a squeegee, brooms, and a dustpan to clear the water out. We had to try and do it pretty quickly because it was getting late. We got most of it out (just by pushing the water out the door) and then left the air conditioners on overnight to dry the place up before the English Course the next day.
Hey, I love you guys and pray that you are doing alright! RenFair looked fantastic from what dad sent to me. I hope that you are having a wonderful time getting all runner-y for the marathon and such.
This is the Franc Posse. From left: Martiglen (working to be baptized on the 28th), Franc (will be baptized on the 14th), Leo (working for the 28th), Franc (the member that brought them all).
This is our Shkoder squad in front of the Durres chapel (it is actually built by the Church and is beautiful). From the back left: Leo (I), Franc (I), Martiglen (I), Me, Erion (I), President Kraja, Elder Szabo, Mariglen (I), Elder Wilcox, Kujtim (I) Middle from left: Sister White, Sister Vjerdha (I), Sister Maxwell, other lady (I) Bottom from left: Arsen, Franc, Noj, Elder Walley.
(I) after their name means investigator.
We be a-lookin' good.