Monday, November 20, 2017

November 13th

Përshëndetje familja!

So sorry that this is coming out late, we've had a bit of a crazy day. Normally we would be proselyting at this time, but we ended up having to go to Tirana for a doctors visit and got permission to email tonight instead. We don't have a lot of time, but still better than nothing.

We've had a fun week with some cool experiences. First and foremost, we went on a two day exchange starting Thursday night in Pogradec and ending with Saturday in Korça. It was a ton of fun getting to serve in those cities. The people there are so awesome. Right now those are the two fastest growing areas in the mission! Also bonus I got to be with Elder Lords and Elder Schneider who have been two of my favorite companions. We got to meet some of the members which was super fun. Elder Wilson(the one I served with in Durres) was one of the missionaries who opened Korca so I've heard a ton about these people so it was a lot of fun actually getting to meet them, and turns out they are just as awesome as Elder Wilson described!
So other than that, we're still meeting with Redi. He's super great and we've been working with him on prayer and scripture study with the purpose of getting an answer from God. Unfortunately, people at his work have found out that he goes to church and are trying with everything they can to stop him from going. So these past couple weeks he hasn't been able to come on Sunday, but we've still been having some great lessons.

We also have a new investigator named Rexhepi. We met him street contacting and he said he was interested in learning more about our church and the Book of Mormon. Then yesterday we had a super good lesson with him. Turns out his brother in law is a strong member in Vlore and he's talked with him a bit about our church. He doesn't have much of a religious background, but he said he's excited to learn more and see where this takes him. He even accepted a baptismal date for the weekend before Christmas!

Also yesterday, we had a really fun lesson with a woman named Drita. As we were walking to her house we just couldn't quite figure out what we needed to teach her, so we decided to just try our best to follow the spirit. So after a bit of conversation we got on the topic of angels and what do angels look like? So we felt like we needed to read the testimony of Joseph Smith from the beginning of the Book of Mormon where Joseph talks about meeting Moroni. She was so amazed! After every sentence she read she would gasp and just say "wow, this is so true!" then at one point she looked at us and said "I know that your church is true". She still has a way to go before she'll be ready, but she wants to start meeting more now and will hopefully come to church.

So that's about it for me. I'm doing great. I'm all better after the whole being sick thing last week. We've got a super busy week coming up including transfer calls this weekend, so I should have plenty to talk about next week. I love you all, sorry if I made you worry!

Mirupafshim, Zoti ju bekoftë!
Elder Gardiner

Here are a few pictures from the past week. I have a couple more on my camera, but I don't have that with me for the moment.
These two are from our time on the news with Redi.

Austin speaking parts are at 7:38, 25:40, and 37:15.

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