Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31st

Përshëndetje familja!

It was kind of a slower week here in Durrës, but a good one nonetheless. 

We have a new investigator! It's been a little while since that happened, but this one is really cool. Her name is Zubide. The sisters found her a long time ago and we've been trying to meet for a while but things kept popping up that kept pushing it back. She's a great person and she's so positive, which is a miracle in her situation. Her husband was hit and killed by a drunk driver right outside her house a few years ago, and 6 years ago her daughter, Nërtila, was hit by another drunk driver and has lost almost all mental function. So now she works and takes care of her daughter all day. She loves the idea of the resurrection(she's probably the first person I've heard that from since I got to Albania) and doesn't blame God for her situation, but has a ton of faith that God will help her in her situation and one day heal her daughter. We had a really good lesson with her about the plan of salvation and she really liked it. She's me with the Jehovah's Witnesses before, but she read the pamphlet we gave her and felt the spirit, so now she said that she knows that we have the truth! So we went back and reviewed the plan of salvation again, and gave her a Book of Mormon and she was super excited to read that. 

We also met with Artur again. We had a good lesson where one of the returned missionaries from the ward helped us teach him about real intent and faith. We talked about how when we do our part to learn and obey the commandments God blesses us in every aspect of our lives. Also he came to church this week! He only stayed for the first hour, but he did seem to like sacrament meeting. 

Also we got some awesome news this week. Our investigator Kristi has been super busy with school recently so we haven't been able to meet in a couple weeks. He told us that he couldn't meet until he finishes his tests because he doesn't want to learn about the gospel half-heartedly, he wants to dedicate all his time to it. He said that his last test would be some time in August, so last week we called him to keep up contact and he said that he finishes his last test on August 1! So we'll be meeting with him again this week, and he should be getting baptized super fast. He's probably one of the smartest people I've ever met, and he's super prepared, so I'm super excited to meet with him again.

Other than that, we've been trying super hard to work with less actives. But so far all the ones we've tried have either not answered the phone all week or are in Italy. I've written down a list of potential people to work with that I'll ask members about, because addresses don't exist in Albania so finding them is almost impossible. 

We've tried working with Fatjon, but apparently he has not been doing super well recently. We tried to talk to his mom at work, but she was pretty busy so we didn't get to talk a lot, but we'll try again this week.

Then we've also had our English Course. We have a lot of awesome people coming to that, and the gospel course that we do afterwards. It's been super cool, a lot of the people get really involved and ask a ton of great questions in our gospel class. We've gone over the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, and Gospel of Jesus Christ now, and a lot of people have been there for all the lessons. So now we just have to set up other lessons with them!

We've also been trying to work with a lot of the members to strengthen them too. We had a lesson with the Dragoti family, they're the one's that sent you the picture on facebook. They're super awesome, and we're trying to work with the dad of the family, who isn't a member, but for now, he just isn't ready. Then we also had a really cool lesson with the Agaliu family too. We decided to share a conference talk with them, so we went to and chose a talk, but then we felt like that wasn't the one we needed to share. So we chose another one, and the same thing happened. So we went back and the talk from M. Russell Ballard from this past conference about goal setting stuck out to us. So we went and talked about that, and they said that they had just decided that they needed to work on goal setting, and that talk was just what they needed. So that was a really cool experience about how the spirit directs us to what other people need.

Then with the rest of our time we've done a ton of street contacting. We've met a lot of cool people, but also had a lot of people not come to lessons that we set up. So hopefully we'll be able to actually meet with more of the people that we meet.

That's about it for me. I'm loving serving here with Elder Ellsworth! He's a great teacher and we get along great! He loves the Lord of the Rings, so we've spent a lot of time talking about analogies and references in the Lord of the Rings about the gospel, it's been fantastic! Also he's super good at ping pong. We didn't have anything planned for p-day today and had a lot of extra time, so we went and played a lot of ping pong, it was a ton of fun. It's been a great transfer so far.

I love you all, have an amazing week! Mirupafshim, Zoti ju bekoftë!
Elder Gardiner

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