Hey Dearest Family,
Well, the biggest news from this past week was that Tonini and Jona were baptized and confirmed as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! It was so wonderful to see them take this step, a step that they understand and are willing to fulfill. We went to their house and picked all of them up and got a furgon (van) down to Tirana for the ordinance. So, even though the Mom (her name is Age) and the other daughter (Lume) haven't been baptized yet, it is really a matter of time and will be a wonderful day when it happens. Their sights are toward the temple more and more and it is super great. Haha, Jona has read the entire triple combination and Tonini has read most of it. Crazy. (nudge nudge Grant, Jona is 2 and a half months younger than you, so maybe you can see if you can beat her time of the triple in 5 weeks!)
Other than that, our most promising investigators are Mark and his wife Mireta. Mark is in the middle of Mosiah right now which is wonderful! It is so good to have investitators that read. They came on Sunday (he is 3/3 and she is 2/3 in the last three weeks). He is more into the message than she is and it was funny to watch him push her come to Sunday School. We probably made her late for work, but we didn't do any of the pushing at all, it was all him. I like it when we don't have to be the "bad guys." That seems to happen a lot. I guess it is good practice for the future where it seems like that is going to be a thing. Meeting with them is a bit difficult as they can only meet once a week, which makes helping them be prepared for baptism a bit difficult. We are praying for them. Mark, that he may have a continually strengthened testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel. Mireta, that she may more fully understand our message -- she doesn't quite get that we are different from other Christian churches yet.
As for branch business, we had the wonderful opportunity of having President Kashari of the Stake Presidency here in Shkoder on Sunday. He told us that they are going to be working to come up pretty often because of the fact that our branch president went to Italy for an indefinite amount of time. We sure hope that he returns soon!
Today we woke up bright and early at 3:20 to get on the road to go visit Theth "the pearl of the Albanian Alps." It was really early, but it was beautiful. After 3 hours on a 1/2 asphalt 1/2 rock road and a flat tire, we got to Theth. We hiked around and visited a waterfall, the "blue eye", and the itty bitty village of Theth. It is gorgeous, with a slight foreboding feeling (it is the sight, along with a lot of the rest of northern Albania, of blood feuds). It felt like walking through the movie the Village and Godric's Hollow from Harry Potter. Pretty cool.
Blue Eyes Pool
Happy 32nd tomorrow Dad! I hope that you have a wonderful day and know that I love you from over here in Albania! Also, that is wonderful Brigham for being sustained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. I hope that every day you try to be more like the stud Priesthood leaders you see around you. Willing to give your time, talents, and efforts for others and the Lord. Mom once told me of a talk she had heard which encouraged people to go to the funeral, meaning, do those small things that might be a bit of inconvenience but could mean the world to others. Some of my saddest regrets in Priesthood service come from not attending the funeral both literally and figuratively. At the same time, some of the most wonderful moments come from doing taking that time and showing that love.
Hey, I love you family and hope that you have a wonderful day and week!