Monday, April 20, 2015

# 92

Hey Everybody,

I hope that this last week has been fantastic! One thing that I noticed yesterday was actually as we called in to give the report on our week to our district leader. He referred to several of the things that we mentioned as miracles, and it was a good reminder to me that truly our lives are filled with miracles and life is so much more beautiful when we recognize those.

This week we had a couple of cool things happen. One was that we received permission to use the Sisters' car to go and visit Tonini and his family (he lives a bit outside of Shkoder) and so we were able to do that near the end of the week. It was great to be able to meet them and talk to them about the Gospel. His 15-year-old daughter had read the Joseph Smith Pamphlet and part of the Book of Mormon and had a lot of questions for us (they have strong Catholic roots so they were questions like: why do your priests marry? why don't you do confession? why don't you think that the Catholic church has authority? etc.). We were able to answer them and it was great to see Tonini back up some of the things that we were saying. He still isn't sure which church is true, but we're getting there bit by bit.

About a week and a half ago we talked to a man and his daughter on the way home at the end of the night and were able to go and meet those two as well as the mom this week. Jaku (the dad), Vera (the mom), and Dajana (the 10-year-old daughter) are from the north and have a Catholic background. They mentioned that other people from churches had been to their house before, but we weren't expecting when on the second visit Sunday night, Dajana pulled out a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet that had been given to them a year ago. Pretty cool! We are excited to work with them and hope to help them become closer to their Heavenly Father through the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

On Saturday we held a traditional dance at the church (Albanians love to do that) and had a good amount of people come. Activities are a really good way to do missionary work. I have thought about during high school when I invited a couple of my friends to come to stake dances with me and it was great and they had a great time. I wish that I had done more to try and invite my buddies to learn a bit about what we were and why. I think one of the reasons that I didn't is that I didn't really know how to, and that made me scared. It is actually a really unthreatening thing to tell someone, "hey, I am going to be going to church on Sunday, wanna come?" How cool would it be if we just invited people in warm, normal ways to "come and see"?

One cool thing that we got to do this week was go over to the house of a less-active lady and whack cement off of her walls with a pickax! She deserved it though, she hasn't come to church in years. Just kidding, she asked us to do it, so it's kosher (in the most Mormon of senses).

Well, I love you everybody! Hope that you have a good week and don't do anything too crazy.

Elder Ostergaard

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