Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16th

Përshëndetje familja!

Well now I'm here in Fier and I'm loving it! Things are going super well here!
First, we had a baptism on Saturday! The kid's name is Xhoni and he's super awesome. He's 11 years old but he talks like and adult businessman. Elder Larsen baptized him and he was so happy. Every day we met him he would just talk about how excited he is for his baptism, and then after it happened he talked about how happy he felt. He gave his testimony at the baptism and he did a super good job, he wrote it out and it was honestly better than most of the talks I've heard in church recently. I'll attach a picture at the end of this email with him.

Next, we have a super awesome investigator named Redi. He's famous. He works for a tv and radio company here in Fier doing some sort of news show and he's won the Albanian version of the Pulitzer Prize. He's super prepared, we've had a bunch of lessons with him this week and they've all just gone perfectly. It's kind of funny though because all the members know him and look at him like a celebrity. He has a baptismal date for the 4th of November and he'll totally be ready.

My companion, Elder Larsen, is super awesome! He's from Texas and will be going to BYU this winter semester. He used to run track and will study for chemical engineering. We get along really well and we've been having a lot of fun together, he's super funny. He goes home in December so I'll probably be his last companion, and we'll make the most out of the time he has left. We also have a senior couple here, Elder and Sister Lewis. They're from California and both super awesome too. He's the branch president so we do a lot to help him out. There are also a ton of super cool members here. Some of them I've mentioned before and sent pictures home with them, but I'm sure I'll be sending more eventually.
Church was kind of crazy though. Fier is a branch and we usually have like 25 people in church, so basically we have to do everything. So on Sunday I was the piano player for sacrament meeting, I gave a testimony, and I passed the sacrament, plus we had Xhoni's confirmation in the middle of all that. It was a little crazy but it ended up being great. I definitely need to learn how to play the piano better because none of us actually know how to play.

Other fun things, the Vlore Elders crashed our car so that'll be getting repaired for the next two weeks, which really stinks because we do a ton of traveling. We went to Pogradec on Thursday for a baptismal interview. Elder Lords is serving there now so it was a lot of fun getting to see him again. The people both passed their baptismal interviews and got baptized this weekend too! This week I'll be going to Berat on an exchange and I'm really excited for that.

So as for your questions. We're the south zone leaders so we cover the cities of Vlore, Fier, Lushnje, Berat, Elbasan, Pogradec, and Korça. And we basically just make sure the missionaries are all doing ok and doing their job. We go on exchanges with each of the district leaders every transfer and we do the baptismal interviews for people taught by the district leaders. As for proselyting we just cover Fier and all the villages that are around Fier. So far everything's going fantastic!

I love you all, have a great week! Mirupafshim, Zoti ju bekoftë!
Elder Gardiner

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