Happy Monday everybody! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS SOON-TO-BE-ELDER OSTERGAARD! What a wonderful blessing that you are called to serve a mission by a living prophet of God! When I was getting ready to go on a mission, I was sure to keep in mind that I could go anywhere in the world, but I really knew that I was going to South America. I, however, was not counted worthy to serve with the entire city of Midland in a country, so I came to Albania... where somehow they found a way to stick some other Midlanders as well ( the Volzs and almost Sister Threet).
I hope that you have been having just a splendid day so far! This past week we have been doing quite a bit of tracting and passing out of English Course fliers. A lot of our investigators have been showing some difficulties with meeting with us which lends us to spending a lot of looking for other investigators.
Even though we have been having some difficulties with meeting with a lot of our investigators, I think that the highlight of the week has been Tonini and his family. We have continued to go and visit them (it is only about a 10 minute drive, amazing how that would not be a barrier at all to missionary work in Midland) and they are great. The 15-year-old (her name is Jona) has been doing awesome. She has read the first several books of the Book of Mormon, and though she is going through catechisms at the catholic church, she told us on Thursday that she prefers listening to our lessons than those of the catholic priests. They really like and understand the idea of a modern-day prophet and really everything else that is taught. The only potential hang-up being as we talked about the prophet and his counsel to not gamble. Here in Albania it is huge to do sport betting, so we will see how this goes.
It is interesting how the Lord works. Often when we are trying to do what is right and things aren't quite going how we want, I have thoughts of how maybe the Lord's work is somehow being blocked up somewhere. However, when I take enough time to actually think about it, I realize that His work cannot be frustrated, it is just going in a different direction than we thought ourselves. However, that is not to say that we should not always be trying to work harder and better. What a blessing that we can always try and do that. I have truly realized that getting caught up in our own weaknesses is pointless and destructive. I hope that I will always be able to recognize that I have weaknesses, but not dwell on them. I love how Elder Holland put it when he stated that the Lord has been working with imperfect servants from the beginning of the world. "Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son," he states, "imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we." I am grateful that we have the opportunity to try and serve even though we are so inadequate, because without this opportunity, I don't know how we would possibly grow. What a wonderful blessing to be a missionary. I am so grateful for the Lord's refining fire, that as Tad R. Callister put it, "a potential god in embryo" has a chance to improve and move forward beyond human and mortal weakness.
I hope that you all have a wonderful day and week everybody!