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He may not be able to respond directly to each letter or e-mail, so check back weekly to learn of his progress!

Adriatic South Mission
P.O. Box 2984
Bulevardi "Gjergj Fishta"
Qendra "ALPAS", Shkalla NR. 5,
Apartamenti NR. 14
Tirana 10000, Albania

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

28 April 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your emails, thoughts, and prayers! I always look forward to hearing from you on P-days! Well the move from Lushnjë to Durrës wasn't too crazy. We had the zone leaders drive all of our stuff to the place where all the buses and frigons are. (Frigons are large passenger vans without seat belts and hurtle down the high way at about 90 mph.) We found a bus going to Tirana and they said that they were going through Durrës, so they would drop us off there. We loaded all of our stuff down under the bus and we traveled to Durrës. For some reason the bus was driving really slow for the entire trip, so we got there a little later than we were planning, but it all worked out in the end. As soon as we got there we had a meeting with the rest of the missionaries in Durrës and they welcomed us warmly. Right after our meeting, we moved all of our stuff into our new house and we went to lunch. We had quite a few meetings that day so we could organize ourselves and get on the same page. That night we did some tracting and we didn't get a whole lot of success from that, but we knocked on the door of a nënë and she gave us some Easter Candy. In Albania, all of the older women are called "nënë" or grandmother. So that was the highlight of our day.

Elder Clawson and I are opening a new area in Durrës, so we don't have any investigators at the moment. We've been trying to work with some inactive members, but they haven't been too willing to meet, which is a real bummer. So the majority of the time we street contact. My entire mission up to this point has been street contacting. The people here aren't as nice as the people in Lushnjë. Durrës is the second largest city in Albania, and the people have more of that big city feel. Not a whole lot of them are willing to stop and talk. Also, I've been sworn at more here than in Lushnjë. All of the boys who learn English can say "Hello, my friends. How are you? I'm fine thanks." and then a bunch of swear words. At times it's hard to just brush it off when someone swears at you in English, but most of the time we let it go. However, we have confronted a couple kids who have sworn at us, and then every little bit of bravery they ever had leaves and they run like a frightened deer.

We have it set up nice with our finances. All of our rent and utilities get taken care of through the office. We don't have to worry about any of that stuff. It's really nice! And then every missionary has a debit card issued by the mission. Once a month we'll get money put into our account and we go withdraw it from an ATM. This is the money that we use for food, travel, and other necessities. When we want to buy personal stuff like souvenirs or clothing, we purchase that with our own personal money. I haven't bought a bunch of personal items yet. The only thing I've bought was a hard drive so I can back up and organize pictures that I've taken.

Rachel, that's so awesome that you got a Frozen piano book! I really liked that movie! Have you seen it yet? When I get home you'll have to play me some songs from it! Oh, I've been hearing a lot of people saying that Psych is ending. Is that true? There isn't any wall to wall carpet in Albania, so we have all hard, cold floors, so I've been wearing my Psych slippers a lot. My slippers have sparked many conversations about Psych and it ending, so I was really shocked to hear that! 

Cars are very different here. I never really understood the genius of a smart car until I came here. Everything is so small and crammed together, so small vehicles are the best option here. I've also seen a lot of cars here that aren't sold in America. All of the missionaries who are in leadership positions have mission cars, and every mission car is an Opal. The one I've spent the most time in is an Opal Corsa. That's the vehicle that the zone leaders have. The other day Elder Clawson and I were talking about how awesome it would be if the mission vehicles were like the Blueberry from Psych. 

Today we went to Divjak for P-day. All of the missionaries in the south zone: Durrës, Elbasan, Lushnjë, Fier, and Vlorë got together to play capture the flag. It was really nice because I was able to see a lot of the missionaries form my MTC group. We played capture the flag on the beach in Divjak, but there were a bunch of bushes that grew very pointy, sharp reeds. I've never seen things like them before! They were pretty sharp! Fortunately I wore jeans today, so I had an advantage over the other missionaries. Whenever I was close to being tagged, I would run into these bushes and that would buy me enough time to get away. We had a lot of fun playing capture the flag today. Our games got pretty intense too! Elder Penrod was telling me that they played capture the flag in Vlorë with some of the members and they don't understand the concept at all. He said that the Americans just walked across their side, grabbed their flag and walked back while the Albanians stood there. So now they just stick to futball.

I miss Lushnjë a bit, but I'm glad to be here in Durrës. I know that transfers and changes like this are always a little rough at first. Things were just starting to pick up for us in Lushnjë after three weeks, and now we have to start all over here too. Today, when I was in Divjak talking to the other missionaries in my group, they were talking about all the lessons and success they were having, and that was a little disheartening to me. However, I just need to stop worrying about myself and what I want and I just need to focus on doing the Lord's will. Street contacting can wear pretty hard on you sometimes, and, at times, it's hard to stay hopeful. However, I know that the Lord has called me to come here to Albania. I know that He needs me here in Durrës. I know that He will help me with this work. I know that a mission isn't easy, and I knew that when I put my mission papers in. I know that the Lord will qualify us for the Work that He calls us to. I know that He will help me to understand what everyone around me is saying. I know that He will put me in the path of those people who are ready to hear and receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God lives and He loves us. I know that He won't forget us. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior, and I know that through His Gospel, we can become happier in our lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that God loves us because He sent His Son to Atone for our sins. Now, God gives us prophets to help us, and He gives us His Word. I love reading from the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I've learned a lot from their pages, and I know that I can still learn much from them, as well. I know that the Lord knows each one of us individually and He cares about us personally! We should never forget that!

Thank you so much for your love and your support! I definitely couldn't do this without you!

Javë të mbarë!


Elder Watson

Batjar, Elder Watson, and Juxhin in Lushnjë
View of Elder Clawson's and Elder Watson's new place in Durrës
View of Elder Clawson's and Elder Watson's new place in Durrës
View of Elder Clawson's and Elder Watson's new place in Durrës

View of Elder Clawson's and Elder Watson's new place in Durrës
Elder Clawson in the Durrës house

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