Dear Family and Friends,
So today, I'm in Tirana. It's really weird being in other cities. I have no idea where anything is in Tirana, which is a HUGE city, so I'm relying heavily on the other missionaries today. I'm staying with Elder Squire and Elder Baker in Tirana for today and . Elder Squire is from my MTC group. He's from Magna, Utah and he is insanely good at basketball. Before his mission, a bunch of schools were looking at him to come and play college ball. At the MTC when we played basketball, he always played left handed, so he wouldn't just destroy us. He destroyed us anyways. He's really good at basketball!
Our P-day in Tirana was pretty good. Since we had an appointment at the embassy, it kinda' ate up a chunk of our day. But it's all good. We found this really awesome store! It's a US Military Store where they sell TONS of awesome stuff! They have tons of cool gadgets and gizmos. I bought a watch there, but it's a watch that can take pictures in 14 Megapixels and HD Video in 1080p! Isn't that awesome! The watch itself actually looks pretty cool too! Elder Squire bought one too, so we've been playing around with them today. That store also sold a ton of other cool stuff. We couldn't stay there much longer, otherwise we would've spent more money. It was really weird to speak to other Americans again, on American soil (because it was the US Embassy, it's technically considered American soil). I saw a bunch of other missionaries from my MTC group, so it was really nice to see them again. I'll be seeing the rest of my MTC group, because we have our halfway training. All of us will be in Tirana to have some meetings, because we've made it halfway through the training program! That's six weeks. I've been in Albania for six weeks already! Wow!! Time is really flying by!
I want to talk a little about a person we met this week. One day this last week we were doing some finding with another set of elders, Elder Gray (Morgan, Utah) and Elder Stewart (Canada), and we had been street contacting together for several hours. We were all really tired and we needed a little break. There is this really nice place to buy crepes in Durrës that we love, we give them a LOT of business. They always smile when we walk in the door. We were sitting outside just about to start eating our crepes, and this man walked up to us. He said, "Hey Elders, how are you doing?" (In Albanian, of course). We started talking and he told us about talking with missionaries like us about fifteen years ago. Then he pulled a picture out of his briefcase of him and four other elders. He was talking about how impressed he was with them and how much respect he had for them. We talked a little bit more, and he gave us his phone number. He said that he would be willing to meet with us and that his name was Beni. We called him later that night and we set up an appointment to meet with him the next day. We met him near the crepe place and he showed us his office that was near-by. He works in a shipping company and he works some days in his office and he works other days down at the Port of Durrës. He then took us back to his house where we met his wife Linda. They are a very kind and sweet couple. We shared a spiritual message with them, and they were very willing to listen and to learn more. We wondered why they hadn't been more interested in the Church with the other elders. We found out that they were the landlords for the other missionaries, and missionaries don't really want to share the Gospel with their landlords, because they're afraid of offending them and then not having a place to live anymore. But these people were very kind and sweet, and they wanted to learn more. They were telling us how much they loved us and how much they wanted us to come back. They made us promise that we'd come back soon.
This was a real testimony to me of how the Lord is working with people and preparing them to receive the Gospel. These people had contact with missionaries before and through the example of previous missionaries they had been prepared to hear the Gospel. I truly believe that Beni and Linda have been prepared by the Lord to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's amazing to see how much the Lord is working with other people. We don't always see His workings, but every once in a while we have an experience like with Beni and Linda, and we know that the Lord is always working, and He's working overtime! It's so amazing to know that the Lord is helping us in doing this missionary work. I'm very grateful to be here and to serve these wonderful people. I know that God lives and He loves all of us. He loves us more than we can comprehend! I know that EVERYONE can learn of God's personal love for them through the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Thank you so much for your love and support! It's really nice to have support from many people at home!
Zoti ju bekoftë dhe javë të mbarë!