Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14th

Përshëndetje familja!

First order of business, Kristi passed his baptismal interview!!!! This week we taught him all the commandment lessons. We started by teaching him the word of wisdom, which he had already learned and was already living, so we decided to read D&C 89 and he said that he felt the spirit testify to him that the word of wisdom is from God and that it really will bless us. I can honestly say that's the first time I've heard an investigator say that. Then later when we taught him about tithing he said that he isn't in work, but that he had 2000 leke with him and wanted to give us 200 right then. Of course we can't do that, but now we showed him how to pay tithing and he's really excited to pay that every month. Then after his interview we played a round of chess and talked about the gospel, he made a super cool analogy about how we're like the pawns in chess. At first look they aren't really that dangerous, but as they get closer and closer to the other side they progress and then when they hit the back they transform into exactly the piece you need and become really powerful. So that's like how we progress in this life, and then if we've done all we need to do one day we will all be resurrected and become like our Father in Heaven. We've invited a ton of people for his baptism on Saturday, and I'm super excited!

Then yesterday we had the scariest phone call of my mission. President Anderson called us while we were in a lesson and we totally thought he was calling to transfer one of us out of Durrës. So we called him back and he said "this is a transfer call" and we were both devastated, but turns out what will actually be happening is that Elder Harris will be transferred into a trio with us. Right now he's serving in Shkodër with Elder Mero, but Elder Mero goes home this week. So he'll come down with us for the next two weeks. Now our area technically covers Durrës, Shkodër, Lezhë, and Laç, which is like a quarter of Albania. It's going to be super fun though, Elder Harris is super awesome and we'll be super busy.

We met with Zubide again. We read the Book of Mormon with her and helped her understand the basic story of it with her. She loves meeting with us and has a ton of faith, but it's going to be really hard to get her to come to church. But we'll keep working with her and just try our best. 

This week we also had a lesson with the bishop and his family. They're super strong members and they're an awesome family. We talked about being a light for the world and how we can share the gospel in a ll times and places. They're super funny and really good at testifying to other people and sharing the gospel through service.

Then we also met with Vëllai Paja this week. He's such an amazing member. He was baptized in Italy and has a super cool conversion story, then he decided to come to Albania to help grow the church here. He was doing super well in Italy, he had a great job and didn't have to worry about money, but he had a prompting that he needed to come back to Albania even though it would be harder because the church needs him. Now he's trying to get his sons ready to serve a mission and trying to be a good example for them. They're a great family and it's awesome having such strong members that just really understand the gospel. 

I got my dental work done. They did a good job, and it was probably one of the nicest buildings I've been in on my mission. It felt like an actual American dentist office. Also, the new car looks super nice. And the package came this week, it was super good, I really liked it! I really like the new tie!

It's been so hot here in Albania. We're in the middle of a heatwave called heatwave lucifer. Here in Durres it got up to 110 degrees and in Tirana it was even hotter. But then it rained yesterday! So now things are a little better

Well that's about it for me, it's been a great week and it went by super fast.
Love you all! Have a great week!
Mirupafshim, Zoti ju bekoftë!
Elder Gardiner

PS One cool thing about Kristi, he was taught by missionaries about 2 years ago but he wasn't ready and ended up going to Italy. One of them was named Elder Stewart, so it would be really cool if we can find him and let him know about Kristi. 

Also, I've started getting really good about taking care of my teeth. I brush twice a day, every day, floss every night, and have even started using mouthwash. 

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