Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13th

Përshëndetje familja!

So this has been a pretty crazy week, but at the same time nothing too interesting happened. 

To start, Valentine's day is a holiday here but the members said they don't do too much to celebrate. Also happy birthday mom! U befsh një qind!(something they say here in Albania). I hope it was a great one!

We just got back from playing soccer in Lushnje with the rest of the south zone, and that was a ton of fun. It was really cool, we had to be back a little early for a meeting and we were just sitting by the side of the road waiting for a furgon to come and pick us up, and then we got bored because we were waiting for a while so we just started waving down other cars to see if anyone else wanted to give us a ride, mainly just as a joke. But then some guy actually pulled over and told us he was heading to Vlorë too, and that he had actually seen us contacting before so he took us exactly where we needed to be! Definitely a blessing from the Lord.

Also we just found out that Elder Lords and I are moving apartments, which is going to be a pain. We live in a super nice apartment by the church right now so it will be sad to leave. But the one we're moving into is awesome. It's on the top floor and has a great view of the sea, it's pretty sweet.

Also this week we had to drop Besnik and Fatjon. They're such amazing people and I had a lot of hope for them. We met with them on Friday and challenged them to go a full day without smoking and alcohol, and they said they were doing it when we talked with them on Saturday. But unfortunately they didn't show up to church. So maybe someday in the future they'll be ready. 

However, this week hasn't been all bad. We were able to have a couple lessons with a guy named Aulon, and he's so cool! He's a lawyer or something like that, and he's super smart. Basically in every lesson he teaches himself. He also has been reading on his own and says he loves meeting with us. He's pretty busy so we can't meet as often as we would like, but he seems to be doing great. He accepts super well everything we teach him and he's promised us to come to church every Sunday until his baptism, which is awesome! He came to church yesterday and he seemed to really like it too!

So other than that, we've been doing a lot of tracting and a lot of street contacting, and that's been going pretty well. We've done a lot with the members and been really trying to work with them. We had a family home evening at the bishop's house last Monday, and that was a ton of fun. 

I think that's about it for me. Working hard and doing well.
DSC02132.jpegNow for your questions. I think Mason really should take AP Human Geography, it is an amazing class, and I've learned a ton from it. Especially being on a mission, I've used a ton of the things I learned in that class in my everyday life. Mrs Wright is an amazing teacher, and the class isn't super hard. Even if he doesn't take the AP test I think it would definitely be a good class for him.

Sorry that this is a little short, we don't have a lot of time today, and I'm super tired. If there's anything I might have forgotten, or that you want to know, feel free to ask. I should be on for about another hour and a half.

Mirupafshim, ju dua shumë!
Elder Gardiner

Amber-I'm going to pretend that you talking so casually about hitching a ride from a stranger is no big deal...because to me, that is a BIG DEAL!!!

Why are you so tired?  You feeling ok?

Austin-Honestly that's no big deal, we've done it a few times. That's just how Albania is. I'm sorry if you don't like it but that's just how it works. Most people don't have cars so it's a pretty common thing to do. And he was a super cool dude! His job is disabling bombs in the ocean, btw which is super cool.
Also i'm just tired because I ran super hard at soccer today, and I'm way out of shape. 

Amber-I believe's just so foreign to me.  And you know, I have an active imagination and assume only serial killers pick up hitchhikers.  And saying he works with bombs isn't as calming as it should be.  Although, now I'm curious about why there are so many bombs in the ocean.
Austin-There are a lot of bombs from like world war 2 and stuff. And yeah, normal people here pick up hitchhikers. That's how people travel. The main form of transportation is furgon which is just a big van that drives from city to city and picks people up on the way.
We have to exercise every day still. I usually just do like jumping jacks, push ups and sit ups. But I'm still not in the best shape.
Elder Lords is super cool. It's funny because he also served with Elder Maurer so we had a lot of the same experiences with that. Also we have a ton of things in common. We have a very similar taste in music and he played video games before his mission too. 

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