Monday, September 27, 2010

the one about caves

Well, about the most exciting thing that's happened lately was Sunday's lunch/dinner. We cooked a half kilo of beans in the pressure cooker then added tomato sauce, corn and hot dogs. My idea. It was pretty tasty, and quite filling.

This last week has been very slow, but with one additional baptismal date! This man (Adrian) has been an investigator for a while, and was close to baptism a few months ago, but then he found out he can't go back to the states where his wife and three kids are (long story). He took that pretty hard (who wouldn't?) and the baptism was postponed. We've set another date with him and are really helping him along as much as we can; hopefully he'll do all he can, too.

Oh yeah, and today we took our district trip a few miles out of town to a little village where there were cows and donkeys and chickens!. We went a little past the village then got out and hiked for about a mile and a half. I took some pictures along the way. Then we got to our destination of a cave. The cave had bats. Bats do not use indoor plumbing. The floor was their plumbing (but it just smells like dirt). We slowly made our way through, slipping and sliding along the way, taking pictures and admiring the bats. It was a great hike, and the caves were dang cool. I even got to check something off of my bucket list  -- slip and hit your head on a rock in a cave full of bats.

I hope next week is more exciting (in terms of missionary work, that is). Nevertheless, I didn't come on a mission just for the busy times; I came for the whole experience.

Elder Weaver

Yeah, I'm wearing sunglasses in a cave. What of it?

Monday, September 20, 2010

the one about invisible angels

Wow, it's still pretty warm these days, for being in the middle of September. I really hope it starts to cool down permanently soon. This week has been... interesting.

We were tracting a building, not having much success, when on the last door we knocked, we found the other elders' disappearing investigator! That's the third very unlikely meeting I've had with him. The chances of knocking on his door out of the thousands of other doors in our area is pretty small. I'm sure the Lord is trying to give him a heads up that he needs to meet with us more often, heh.

I think I'm beginning to feel a little bit like the prophets of old. They preached and taught with all their hearts, and yet the people would not listen. We had another meeting with Mirela, the not-filled-with-gratitude lady. She was a little bit better than last time; she didn't want to give up on life and die. That's a good thing, so we're going to keep meeting with her. If we don't die because of frustration in the process, that is. Every time we talk with her, we try and let her see how reading the scriptures and praying to God will start her on the path to true happiness. The thing of it is, she has some pretty conflicting ideas: She believes in the bible, of course! She believes the words of Christ, no problem! But she doesn't believe in life after death. Well, let's see, if you believe in Christ, and He said there was definitely a life after death... then you would believe there is a life after death, right? Not in her view. She's going to take a lot of praying and studying.

We had an interesting experience the other day. We had a meeting with Olgert, our awesome baptismal date. He brought a friend. This friend is a very special person. "I sees angels! In fact, there's an angel in that corner over there!" (what are you supposed to say to that? "How many fingers is it holding up?"?)This friend's pupils also would not dilate, but I don't think that was related to it ;) This special friend was a bit disruptive, but when told to shut up by Olgert he happily quieted down. We still managed to have a good lesson and we haven't seen that special friend since.

Until next time,

Elder Weaver

Monday, September 13, 2010

the one about turning tables

This has been a week full of surprises. Well, ok, only two surprises, but they're both pretty dang cool.

First surprising night: We went on a 2.5 day exchange with the other elders so they could attend a leadership training meeting. It was me and another elder who only has two months in the country. We were street contacting, and I tried to talk to a mother and daughter, but they just kind of blew us off. I don't take anything personal, but I was getting tired of it, so I suggested we walk to a different location. The other elder agreed, but suggested we take a slightly different route. Lo and behold, we ran into one of their lost investigators! He seemed happy to see us and said his phone ran out of money and that's why the other elders couldn't contact him. We set up a meeting for 7pm that night and we were super stoked about it. Sadly, the time of the appointment came and went, and he didn't show. We did some more finding, then right before we went in for the night, I realized we needed more ketchup for my breakfast. On the way back from the store, I decided I wanted some grilled corn from one of the numerous corn people around the city. We went to one and it took us a while to realize it, but the guy who ditched us was right there getting some corn, too! We talked to him and he said he had work, but would come to church for sure. That was a fun night.

A few nights later we actually got a hold of the investigator who had a baptismal date but who'd been missing for about two weeks. We set up an appointment and waited about 15 minutes after he was supposed to show, but he didn't. Right as we were leaving he showed up! I'm glad we waited as long as we did; the Lord was keeping us there a little longer for a reason. Turns out he's been reading the Book of Mormon pretty consistently, and he's been praying a lot. One cool thing is that he said he got an answer when he prayed that he should stick with this church and these missionaries, which is awesome, because before, he sometimes got confused as to which church was ours and which ones weren't. We've moved his baptismal date back, but it looks like it's still happening.

I love this work, and I know the Lord is helping it along all the time.

Elder Weaver

Monday, September 6, 2010

the one about free private english course

This area isn't exactly bursting with investigators, but that's OK. We're doing everything in our power to teach the people we do have and strengthen the branch.

We had our super-cool investigator come to church again yesterday, and he stayed for all three hours, which is sweet.

Well, that's the only investigator-related story this week. We meet with a lot of less-actives when they have time. We have been doing a ton more contacting, and we've found something we think works pretty well. We have a big white board we carry around that says "Free private English course!" (in Albanian, duh). We go to hotspots of people and set it up on a tripod. Even just carrying it around between stops we get lots of people coming up and asking about it. We explain that we'll meet them when they want, where they want, and as Americans we'll teach them all the English they want to know. All we ask in return is that they also listen to a short lesson for religion after we teach them English. We had more people talk to us than had ever talked to us before in one night. Some of those people we are currently teaching, some never answered their phone. But then again, that was just the first time we used it. We expect to use it many, many more times and gets tons of contacts. We have high hopes for this little board!

Wow, this has been a dang short email. Hopefully next week will be longer.

Elder Weaver

Elders Fisher and Weaver