Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8th

Përshëndetje familja!

So it's been another good week here in Durrës. The weather's been great and the people are awesome.

To start with the Gjergji family. They're so amazing! So it's grown even more than last week, now we also have the neighbor Ina's daughter that has joined the lessons, and there are even more people who have been invited to our lesson tonight. Also last week I mentioned Indrit's friend, Tani. Last week we met his older sister, and hopefully this week we'll meet his mom. She was going to come to church, but she ended up being in Montenegro over the weekend. So they're doing really well. Last Monday we ended up having a lesson at Ina's house with her and her kids which was awesome because even though she'd been in a lot of the lessons she hadn't ever been taught the Restoration, and also because we hadn't met her daughter before that. That ended up being an amazing lesson. They're from a place called Mirëdita which is super Catholic, and they didn't understand that we aren't Catholic until then. But they felt the spirit and understood the apostasy/restoration which was great. 

Also we had one big lesson with most of the people and now Mimoza, Suzana, Indrit, Ina, Bardha, Kristal, and Tani all accepted a baptismal date for June 3! They're so amazing and I feel like they really will get baptized. For now the two things that seem like might hold them back are the word of wisdom and church attendance. Ina drinks a lot of coffee but has committed to start dropping it, and the rest aren't too bad, Suzana mostly just drinks it so people can tell her her fortune, which is something people do here in Albania. And they live really far from the church, luckily there is a bus that stops right by the church though, so the challenge is just that they have to have enough money to take the bus. But they're awesome and I know they can do it if they just set their mind to it, and I'm sure that God will support them as they do.

So they're awesome, but they're basically our only investigators. Mustafa, our Muslim friend, still comes to church and loves it, but we met with him again this week and he still just does not understand anything we teach him. He loves meeting with us and he's super funny, but he just doesn't seem to really want to learn. So we'll keep inviting him to church and hopefully one day he'll figure it out, and when that day comes we'll be ready. Then we also have a guy named Lefter. He's an old Chemistry professor and he's super cool. The lessons with him are really weird though, what happens is that we usually just do an hour long role play where he teaches us how to teach him, but he also studies the pamphlets between lessons and applies them in his life. He also doesn't understand the apostasy(like most Albanians) so he hasn't accepted a baptismal date yet. But he's awesome, and even though the lessons are really weird he has promise, he just needs to start going to church!
We've done a lot of street contacting, and even a little bus contacting, and we've gotten a few potential investigators, but nothing too definite yet. We did meet with one guy named Aleksandër though, and he was cool. He was in a really bad car accident a few years ago and ended up in a coma for 3 months but survived, he feels like God saved him for a reason, but he's not quite sure what it is yet. So we gave him a restoration pamphlet and should meet with him this week. 

We had a ton of people in church this week though, and that was awesome. A big part of it was because we had 6 Americans, 3 of which were returned missionaries, in church with us. Also basically every week in Elders quorum we talk about home teaching, and it definitely makes me wish I was better about that back at home. Also, recently we received the new Albanian hymn books, the ones that look like regular hymn books. But most of the members don't know the new hymns so we've started learning one new song every week after church, and that's been a lot of fun.

Elder Wilson's still awesome, and we're still getting along great. We're trying to really use every second we have to be working so he can finish strong, and it's been great, but it's hard work.

I love you all, and if you have any other questions just let me know. Have a great week!
Elder Gardiner

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