Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the one about victory

And another two investigators make it to the finish line! Well, the finish line as far as us missionaries are concerned. Now we just need to make sure they don't stray off the strait and narrow path. The baptism happened on Saturday in Durrës, and for a moment there, we were worried that we wouldn't make it on time, but we did! And only one person threw up during the ride! (most Albanians aren't used to riding in a car). Here's some pictures! Of the ride, not the vomit ;)

There's my companion on the right and the district leader's companion on the left.
Elder Anderson and I sat up front. It was packed.

And here are pictures taken at the chapel:

From left to right: Me, Ambra (om-bra), Xhina (jee-nuh), and Elder Ireland (el-durr ay-ur-land)

The guy on the left is Joni (yo-knee) and the guy on the right is Nedi (neddy)
That was definitely the highlight of the week. Another fun thing that happened was that we lured a wild cat into the house and then shut the door. It tried to get out, and we let it out eventually, but not after posing for some pictures:

Aww, he's trying to escape!
He scratched me and I've been feeling kind of weird lately. I have an intense craving for meat and I've been foaming at the mouth a bit. Just kidding.
Qofshit mirë!

Elder Weaver

Monday, September 19, 2011

another one about baptismal dates

This week has been great! Our two baptismal candidates will get baptized on Saturday, and I'm really excited about it. It'll be "my" second and third baptisms in the mission, and I hope there's at least a couple more in store before I leave.

Last night we tracted into a lady who was evangelical. She said she'd heard about us before, and she just had a few questions that involved additional scripture. My companion tried to explain how her argument was invalid, but she just dodged the answer. Then I said, "Hey, we don't like to debate, we just invite people to find out for themselves. If we give you this book, will you read it?" and she said yes, so that was a net positive experience. I hope she reads it and gives it a fair chance.

We also had an activity on Saturday about holding to the iron rod. We set up a string throughout the yard and into the house and posted quotes from 1 Nephi chapter 8, and had some "temptations" to try and get them to let go of the rod. I was in the club here, ready to mark the hands of any club-goers:

Aaand, to top it all off, just this morning we went to Apollonia, just outside of Fier. I heard it's also called "Gylaceia". Apollonia is a site with a few Greek ruins. And that's about all I can say about it. There wasn't too much there, just a few column tops (forgot what they were called) supported by some good old Communist Cement.

Hey, at least they tried to make it look like it was still standing
There were also a few other interesting things around there, but I highly doubt the authenticity of some of the column pieces (I tapped some of them with a rock and they sounded metal and hollow).

But then, we explored the area around more, and found some cool vistas. Albania's had some wildfires lately, and that explains the burnedness of some stuff.

I kept hoping for a flaming bird to burst out of the ground.
Then, we ran into some... interesting constructions...

There be bats here. One flew at my face. I screamed. I mean, yelled very manly in order to warn my fellows of a possible rabies risk.

And finally, I found a place to make a cool jumping picture. I then made a cool jumping picture.

Hah, take that, bats! I'll just jump away from you!
That's all. I honestly and sincerely hope and pray every one of you back home is doing well with your health, family and work.

Elder Weaver

Monday, September 12, 2011

the one about baptismal dates

Whew, today has been tiring. Sorry if this e-mail is not up to the caliber or powder charge as previous loads. We spent pretty much all day going to, in and coming back from Tirana for some business up there. Problem is, today is the first day of school, and after walking 30 minutes out to the roundabout at the freeway to grab a van to Tirana, there were about 12 other people there too, needing to get to the various universities there. So we waited, and finally decided to take a slow, bumpy, unnecessarily time-consuming bus.

We still have three baptismal dates, and it looks good for them! They've so far shown a pretty strong desire to get baptized, and I'm looking forward to it. It's good to see them developing habits early in life that will help them now and forever.

In miscellaneous news, I made a fruit smoothie out of milk, sugar, a banana, and a kiwi. Except that the kiwi was kind of not ripe. It added a sensation to the concoction. Mostly, a painful, burning sensation on the lips. Interesting. Also, I decided to buy an ear of corn from a person off the street, but I bought a raw one because I wanted to boil it instead of get it grilled from them. I broke the cob in half then put it in water and turned on the burner. A few minutes later I come back to find this little guy:

Your cozy little home just became a death-filled cave, didn't it?
Also, yesterday, I found something amazing at the store:

Yes, those are bacon-wrapped Vienna sausages. Yes, that is ketchup. Yes, it was perfect.
 I hope everyone is doing not just well, but amazingly! And hold on to your amazing moments, they're rare!

Elder Weaver

Monday, September 5, 2011

the one about gauntlets

Now, the title of the blog post doesn't have anything to do with the silver and gold gauntlets that allow Link to throw boulders many times his weight and toss aside the giant columns in Ganondorf's castle, but rather it refers to a very testing challenge, or a very challenging test. As in, we positively threw down the gauntlet this past week with two of our investigators.

Their names are Ambra (OM-bra) and Xhina (GEE-nuh). They are two close friends who both went to EFY. When they returned they expressed a desire to get baptized ASAP, and so we made sure that they knew what baptism entailed and all they would have to do. Then we set a date of September 24th for both of them to get baptized. This requires us to meet with them 3 times a week, not including church. So far, they've come to all the meetings. I really hope they make it through; they would be great members.
Yesterday, another prospective member brought her father to church. He was the reason she couldn't get baptized, and hopefully after his experience yesterday he'll see that we're a perfectly normal church. It was a good fast and testimony meeting, to boot!
Also, last Monday the Fier elders came for exchanges. We had a little bit of fun on the bumper cars:
That's me with Chief Anderson (actually District Leader Anderson, but Chief has a nicer ring to it).
I hope everyone is doing well and remembering the Lord in all they do.
Elder Weaver