Monday, June 28, 2010

Another week

Hot dog, another week gone! I can't believe in less than a month I'll be a quarter way done.

This week has been kind of crazy. I've never really appreciated how hard it is to plan and execute a church activity, until we had to do one Friday. All week stressing out over plans and doing it in what little free time we had. Four missionaries with the combined creativity of a fly make for a hard time. BUT, it worked out ok in the end.

We first took people into the sacrament hall where they could choose two paths: one was wide and easy, the other path wound through chairs and had an obstacle blocking the way which they needed to ask the helper (me) to move. If they went the easy way, they got water sprinkled in their face. If they chose the more difficult path and asked for help, they got a little candy bar. We then read some scriptures afterwards about how the path of the adversary is easy and many find it, but strait is the gate and narrow is the way of the Lord. I don't know if it really stuck, since half of them chose the easy path and the other half never actually asked for help.

Then we fed them real american hamburgers. It was hard finding good quality beef, so we had to special-order ground veal. They were really good, and even though only about 15 people showed up, 5 kilos of meat was somehow a perfect amount. The rest of the night was spent by people doing their folky-albanian dancing and me hiding in the library so I wouldn't get pulled into it.

This last Sunday was... interesting. We had a man wearing a beret and a funky mustache join us for church. He seems to have an unhealthy fascination with Elder Asquith, hugging his stomach and calling him his brother about 14 times. The line he kept saying that got me the most, though, was "Your father made you beautiful".

Well, until next time!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Bad news: Our power was out last night, which meant no anti-mosquito fan for me. I woke up and scratched for half an hour.
Good news: It wasn't that hot last night, so at least I wasn't sweating and scratching.

Bad news: We just spent two hours getting the run-around trying to pay our electric bill. We finally got the matter resolved at the city headquarters.
Good news: The places we were told to go were no more than a 2-minute walk.

Bad news: I gave my first talk in church yesterday.
Good news: I gave my first talk in church yesterday!

Things are going well as usual. It's been raining today, which makes me happy because it means I'm covered in water and not sweat.

One thing I've learned while here: I didn't judge people before my mission, but now I really don't! That guy on the street with a cigarette in his hand and tattoos all over is probably a really nice guy and everyone could use the gospel.

Man, I'm having less and less to say. We keep visiting less-actives and non-actives. We haven't had any success with the people we've met the last few weeks, but the people we do meet with have been bringing friends to church, which is awesome! Also, a few people from the English class we teach have been coming.

Hopefully this will be a more eventful week!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week... hot

Mission log: It's hot. I seem to be excreting a permanent layer of water-proof oil. It keeps the sweat rolling around, but what the true purpose is, I have no idea. Candy melts inside of it's wrapper, even in the shade. The majestic tree-octopus has almost disappeared from the surrounding forests. Children cry because their ice cream melts in their hands before they can get a taste. My sweat rag is the only thing between me and insanity. The child in me wants to run through a sprinkler, if they had sprinklers here. But I'd probably get third-degree burns from the water. I have to plan ahead and freeze half a bottle of water if I want a cool drink. There is no cool-down period from a shower, only a warm-up period. I have a fan blowing on me all night long, never needing a blanket. The fan helps keep the mosquitos away, which seem to prefer my face and knuckles more than anything else.

On the cooler side of things, 2 of our investigators now have baptismal dates! These 2 mid-teen girls are friends who've been investigators a fairly long time. I'm thankful to the Lord they finally took that big step of setting a date. Now we're trying to meet with them 2 or 3 times a week to teach them more and review what they've already been taught before they get baptized. I'm excited to see this process; it's amazing to see the change in people's lives and countenances.

Stay cool!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hi again

Not much happened this week, we keep visiting our regulars to get them coming back to church. We spent a few mornings going to some outlying villages and encouraging the few scattered people there. I kind of felt like I was in a western movie when we got out of the taxi in the small intersection in the middle of town and everybody stared at us. It was easy to think they were all against us and we might have to fight our way through hordes of people to safety. Then they lost interest and I came back down to Earth. We visited an old woman and her grand-daughter at their little place with chickens in the yard and kittens sleeping on the couches on the porch. We brought a great member along with us and let them know we still care about them and invited them back to church. I don't know if they'll come back or not, but I hope so. Average sacrament meeting attendance is about 15-19 members and 4 missionaries.

I guess one of the harder things we have to do in life is endure to the end!

Sorry for the brevity, but hopefully I'll have more experiences to share next week.

Kini durim!