Monday, June 27, 2011

another one about baptism

Hey all. This was kind of a slow week, what with my companion's group's trip at the beginning of the week and an outside zone training that was cancelled due to sickness. There wasn't much going on throughout the week, but yesterday was awesome!

Klidi (clee-dee) was baptized! After church, we all piled into a van and went to the Durrës (durr-us) chapel. I conducted the meeting, which was fun. It was the shortest baptism I've ever been to, about 35 minutes. It had to be short because Klidi had a test in Tirana the same day. After the meeting, he went and found a van to Tirana and the rest of us went back to Lushnjë (loosh-knee-uh).

Here's a picture of lots of people we meet with. I don't know why I'm not in there.

Clockwise from guy in red tie: Rajmond (rye-moaned), Elder Eckel (el-durr eck-el), Klea (clay-uh), Migena (me-gain-uh), Irida (ee-ree-duh), Florida (flow-reed-uh), Franko (fronk-oh), Klidi (clee-dee), and Lazar (la-zarr)

That's all for this week. Here's hoping there'll be more good news next week! And, same wishes of health and happiness and everything.

Elder Weaver

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the one about trials

So, this week has been kind of tiring. On Thursday, we went out to Rajmond's (rye-moaned's) little village and talked to a friend of his while Rajmond went to get some gas for his car. He was totally out, so he took a big jug to put the gas in. About 45 minutes later, he came back with pretty bad news. The gas was bad, and he was driving when the engine caught fire. Man, this guy has very little to begin with, and the car he was planning on selling goes up in smoke and he has to leave it on the side of the road. He said he might try to sell it for scrap metal, if thieves haven't stolen it before then. I'm totally amazed by this guy's faith. He's already been shunned by his family because of converting to Christianity, so he has no help from them, and yet he continues on. Even after his car is kaput, he still comes to church. That's about an hour and a half walk, one way. My theory is that either things will start improving, or he'll die soon and just go straight to heaven. His example really shows me that I have no room to complain about my life.

Klidi (clee-dee) is getting baptized this Sunday, so that's great! I'm really happy for him, and I think he'll be a great new addition to the branch.

I just recently got back from an unexpected district trip to Krujë (crewy), and even though I've been there before, I had a mildly good time. We went into the museum and saw tons of stuff about Albania's national hero, George Kastrioti Skanderbeg (that's the angli-... anglisize-... English-fied version of his name. I don't feel like doing pronunciation tips for his real name). It's a pretty cool story, look him up on wikipedia if you have a minute. I snapped this picture in the museum:

Yeah, that's a goat's head on his helmet. Maybe it nibbled on his favorite boots or something.

I hope everyone is doing well and appreciating what they have, whether it be family, good friends, food, or just the fact they're alive.

Elder Weaver

Monday, June 13, 2011

the one about a baptism

So yesterday, we were a small congregation again. There were only 8 of us, but it was still a good meeting. After the meeting, Klidi (clee-dee) requested a blessing because he was taking big tests in college today. So, we had the only active priesthood holding member give him the blesing. It was short, sweet, and cool. Afterward, Klidi said he felt a warmness in his chest, but it didn't hurt, and that it was nice. Now that's cool, because as far as I know, he hasn't ever heard before that that's how the spirit is sometimes felt. Therefore, he wasn't faking it. I didn't think he was that kind of guy in the first place, but sometimes you get people who try to say dramatic things to make us missionaries happy, and it's not good.

Also yesterday, Sidorela (see-do-rell-uh) got baptized! She's that girl in Fier who's almost always angry. Her being baptized is a miracle in itself, and the icing on the cake is that she was happy the whole time I saw her; not even a frown was on her face. So, I know that you don't go on a mission to rack up your score on baptisms, but just FYI, she's kind of my first baptism. It's been a year and 2 months coming, but it was worth it!

So here's me and my companion, elder Mugleston from Tacoma, Washington.

And I also made a video tour of the house. Hope you like it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

the one about small groups

So yesterday was an interesting experience. We usually have the church room packed with people; we had 18 last week. But yesterday, we had us two missionaries, two members and two investigators. It was kinda weird. But, it was fast and testimony meeting, and even though it lasted about 10 minutes, the spirit was still there as the members expressed simple statements of their belief.

We have three baptismal dates! One is with Klidi (clee-dee), the young man with an honest heart, and the other two are girls who are best friends and want to get baptized together. If these people get baptized, it'll be my first! Yay!

On Friday we went with a man to a little village and helped him teach his english class. We met in a tiny, run-down schoolhouse in the middle of nowhere, but it was still a good experience. Then we visited his uncle nearby. They had one of the nicest houses I've seen in Albania, which corresponds roughly to an upper-middle class American house. We asked what he did for a living and he said he was a truck driver. Oh yeah, and the whole time he was asking us if we wanted a shot of his liquor. We said we don't drink alcohol about three times, then he offered wine. Again, we don't drink alcohol. "At all!?!" "At all". Then he went on and said how he drinks a whole bottle of liquor by himself. Every day. "Uhh... Even while driving?" "Yep!". I felt a little scared for my safety after that. I do not want to be on the same road he is. I hope for everyone's sake he has a hollow leg.

We are safe and healthy, and I can only hope the same for everyone back home. Take luck!

Elder Weaver