Monday, March 28, 2011

the one about basketball

Ah, I am feeling very happy lately. Maybe it's the brighter days (even though I hate the sun), or maybe it's the happier people, but I am on cloud nine.

We have a meeting scheduled tonight with Fatjon and it'll be the first meeting in about 3 or 4 months, so I'm stoked about that. The other elders are still meeting with Kladjan (claw-dee-on), and they've started meeting with a man named Bujar (boo-yar). He's a pretty smart man, and he's very accepting of all we teach him. Also, we've started meeting again with Reni (renny). I first met Reni when I was in this branch almost a year ago. He's happy as ever, and we've committed him to read the Book of Mormon again. He's read it about 3 times already, and thinks it's true, but he still needs to change a bit in order to get baptized.

On Saturday, we had a pretty fun activity with some of the youth. Sometimes the young people in the church get overlooked here, and we wanted to have an activity to hopefully keep them active. We played basketball.

The guy in the wheelchair owned the basketball court; he didn't actually play with us. Nice guy.

Well, that's about all I have to report this week. I wish you all well!

Elder Weaver

P.S. I've completed my "european" look.

In Europe, this is the embodiment of suave.

Monday, March 21, 2011

the one about upswings

Ahh, I love the times on the mission when everything just starts going better. I just need to take advantage of this time to its fullest extent and enjoy it while it lasts.

First, the other elders are teaching the nephew of one of the members. I got to do a split and teach a lesson to him. Even though he's the other elder's guy, I still rejoice in their success. His name is Kladian (claw-dee-on), and he's super humble. This kind of humility is rare here, and it's amazingly refreshing when you get to talk to someone who has it. He doesn't have a lot of education, but he's wiser than 95% of the population. He's thought a lot about life, and when we were teaching him, he said that he thinks there should be a prophet today too, because times change and we need guidance. He also says he likes the fact that our church isn't saying, "Come join us because we're right and everyone else is wrong and we're really righteous". He thinks it's good that we invite people to find out for themselves if they should join, and not just take our word for it. I really like him.

Yesterday was district conference, where all of the members from Albania come to Tirana and we hear a few good speakers. The talks were great, it was nice seeing all the members from areas previously served in, and we even had two guys from English course come! I hope they felt something good and choose to inquire for more.

Another good thing happened. A new pizza place opened up right below our house. The guys who work there all seem really cool, they speak english, and the pizza was miraculous. They shared some experimental pizza with everyone. We had a few slices of some pizza with chicken, cherry tomatoes, and onions, and it was the best pizza I've had in Albania, hands down. I think their secret is that they use enough sauce. Most places here spread a quarter-sized drop of sauce around the whole crust and call it good, which should be a crime in my book.

I hope people everywhere are having good lives. I hope the people in Japan can heal and start rebuilding, and I hope the Lord will help them know that they'll get to see their loved ones again.

Elder Weaver

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the one about mountain roads

As always, English course is great. Last time, we split into three groups and the game was that one of the missionaries would start a story and then point to someone to continue it. They didn't really get it. I started by setting up a scene where we were at Skenderbeg's castle and the Turk army started advancing, but nobody wanted to do that. Then I tried having them imagine they were on a plane when strange turbulence happened, and they looked out the window and saw monkeys on the wing. They thought that was weird. In absence of creativity, we just went around telling stories about ourselves. There were some interesting people there.

Yesterday, Monday, we went to Elbasan for the Dita e Verës (day of summer) celebration. The trip from Tirana to Elbasan is about an hour and a half drive up and through the mountains.

There were a TON of people there. The main boulevard, which is about a kilometer long, was packed with people. We just stood in the middle and absorbed it all. Eventually, people just came up and talked to us. It was fun having conversations with many different people.

The tall guy in the right of the frame looking at the camera is Edi Rama, mayor of Tirana
It was pretty fun.

By the way, my Mountain Dew-scented shaving cream has no taste whatsoever.

Elder Weaver

Monday, March 7, 2011

the one about unexpected changes

Well, here's a picture with my companion, elder Fredrickson:

But here's a picture of me with my current companion:

Confused? I was too, but sometimes an emergency transfer is initiated and you have no idea why. On Thursday, I found out elder Fredi and I would ride with the assistants up north to Shkodër, where elder Fredi would be left there and I would come back with my old-new companion elder Seevers. I actually never made it to the van. For some reason, on Saturday, my insides tried to become outsides, and they did a pretty good job of it. I wasn't gonna ride in no van, so we did an inter-district exchange and I recovered at home with elder Buys while elder Norris accompanied elder Fredi on the ride. Its cool to be companions again with my trainer in the branch he trained me in. I don't know why the switch happened, but I don't need to know either.

English course is still going good. We have many people and much fun. By the way, we have a manual we use in teaching English. It has lesson outlines for three different levels of ability, 10 lessons for each level. We usually follow that outline roughly and then improvise our own stuff as we see fit. Elder Fredi was really, really good at teaching English. In fact, on the first day of English course without elder Fredi, they wanted us to pray that he would come back. But, I'm sure that they'll like me and elder Seevers, too.

Also, my new shaving cream is lemon-lime scented. It smells EXACTLY like Diet Mountain Dew. I want to eat it every time I shave, and so far, I've resisted. But next week, I may describe the taste. Just saying.


Elder Weaver