Sunday, June 17, 2018

May 7

Përshëndetje familje!

This was a great week here in Shkoder! First matter of business, transfers. I will be staying here in Shkodër/Lezhë and I'll be serving with Elder Perry. Elder Isufaj will be going to Elbasan to serve with Elder Harris. I'm super excited to stay here. The work here is on its way up and I know that miracles are about to happen.

Speaking of miracles, Pali is amazing. He was kind of starting to waver a little bit last week, so we felt like we needed to change up the way we do lessons. So now we're focusing more on teaching even more simply. We've started reading from the Book of Mormon story book with him and then assigning him to read that part in the actual Book of Mormon after we read it together, and then we teach him the lesson simply and then play some cards with him at the end. That was definitely revelation because now we're meeting more often, he actually understands what he's reading in the Book of Mormon, and the spirit has really touched him. This Sunday he even came in a white shirt and tie and stayed for all two hours, and the members all love him. After church we went to his house and met with his whole family including two of his cousins, and got to talk about Pali's baptism. They're super nice people, they're really catholic but they said that the choice is totally up to Pali if he wants to get baptized again. So we actually decided to move his date up, now he'll be getting baptized on the 19th if he comes to church again this week! While we were there his cousin even asked us about the Book of Mormon and what we teach, she said she saw Pali's Book of Mormon by the tv and felt like she needed to read it, so she read a few pages. We asked her if she would like a copy and she said she would love one! We'll do everything we can to get them all to Pali's baptism, and I feel like a lot of them will follow when they see Pali get baptized.

He's our only really progressing investigator right now though. Julian still hasn't been coming to lessons or to church, so hopefully we'll be able to meet him this week. We met a really cool guy this Sunday named Arben. He had met Elder Isufaj like 5 months ago and had some questions that he wanted us to answer so he looked around and found our church in Lezhe. So while I taught second hour Elder Isufaj had a lesson with him and was able to answer all his questions. He took a Book of Mormon and said he'll deeply study it (he knows the Bible super well) and then come back with any questions on Friday.

Also there's a less active that I'm really working with in Lezhë named Denis. He's a quiet guy and it's kind of hard for the missionaries to relate to him, but luckily I've been prepared for this. He loves video games. And I've played plenty of those before my mission. So basically we've become really good friends, and he really wants to play video games with me after I leave. I definitely didn't think that playing video games would one day make me a more effective missionary, but honestly I've seen a ton of blessings come from it here on my mission. So I guess God works in mysterious ways. Our Heavenly Father knows all his children and he'll put us exactly where we need to be to use all our gifts and talents, especially while we're serving as his missionaries.
Another fun moment. My trainer, Elder Mero and his family were back here visiting Albania and happened to stop by Shkoder this morning. So we got to meet up with them and talk for a while. It was super fun getting to see Mero again and it was great getting to meet his family. They're such amazing people. Mero's mom took a picture of the two of us and I'm sure she'll send that to you, so make sure and forward that to me when you get it.

Last but not least, this Sunday happens to be Mothers day which means my last time Skyping you from Albania. I don't know all the details, but we will be Skyping on Sunday. Just let me know what time would work best for you and I'll try to work around that. It'll have to be after 5 PM(9:00 AM your time) though because we have church here in Shkoder and in Lezhe to go to. No one has really told us anything about it though, so I'll keep you updated on any important changes.

I'm doing great, and continuing to love it here. Albania is so amazing and I'm going to really make these last 12 weeks count!

Love you all! Have a great week! Zoti ju bekoftë!
Elder Gardiner 

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