Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26th

Përshëndetje familja!

Well this has definitely been the craziest week of my mission so far. Albanian elections were this week. They happened on Sunday so church attendance took a hard blow, but what do you do. Just as a heads up, I'm writing you from Tirana. President Weidmann got a prompting and we all got temporarily transferred! The three of us all got put into separate trios in Tirana. I've been here in Tirana second ward all week. So even though getting taken out of Durrës stinks I actually got assigned to be with Elder Bowen(who is finishing his mission on Thursday) and Elder Schneider(my MTC companion)! Elder Bowen was in my district in Vlorë and he's super funny, but he only has a couple days left and he's very ready to be done. But serving with Elder Schneider has been so amazing! Elder Schneider is a stud and I loved serving with him in the MTC so this week has been great. We work super well together and it's awesome seeing how much we've improved in our teaching and in the language. Also this week we had two exchanges so I also got to work with Elder Anderson (who is also finishing his mission this week) and Elder Nielsen from my MTC group. It's been a crazy week and it still feels like I'm just on a big exchange, but it's been fun working here. We talked with President Weidmann today and he said that everything is fine and that Elder Ellsworth and I will be going back to Durrës on Wednesday. Unfortunately however, we'll have to do a lot of catching up on the work in Durres, and Elder Wilson didn't really get to say goodbye to any of the members or our investigators before he got sent to Tirana, but he's back in Korça for a day and he seems to be doing fine.

Some cool experiences from this week, we're teaching a 16 year old kid from Syria. His name is Ahmed and he's super cool. We teach him in English, but whenever we read from the Book of Mormon or do prayers he does it in Arabic, which is super cool.
We're also teaching a kid named Elio, he's super smart and he's super nice. We met with him twice last week and had some really good lessons. His uncle and grandma are members and they're really cool. They didn't come on Sunday because the uncle who usually drives them all to church was in Vlorë for the elections.

Also it's been like 100+ degrees this week and the humidity is killer. It's been pretty rough, but we've rearranged our schedule so that we're inside for the hottest parts of the day. We are actually allowed to take an hour nap during the day if we work for an extra hour.
So I'm not sure what else to say, we've done a ton of street contacting. That's been fun, but it's been pretty hard too. 

Well this week has been crazy but I've also had a lot of fun. It's nice having so many missionaries in one city, and we have an amazing district. When we go back to Durrës our district should be Elder Ellsworth and I, and Elder Schneider and Elder Lords and that'll be so fun because they're all like my best friends here.

I love you all, I hope you all have been having a great time!

I love the gospel and I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve a mission here. I love my Savior and I know that He lives and guides us in our everyday lives. We've had a lot of people try to convince us that the Book of Mormon isn't true, that the church is a lie, that Joseph Smith is a false prophet, but through this and through the power of the Holy Ghost I know that this is the true church, the kingdom of God restored on the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that through it we learn the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that every person who reads it and truly feasts upon it's words can not go astray.

Have a great week!
Elder Gardiner

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