Contact Elder Watson

Jacob will be unable to read this blog during his mission. If you wish to contact him, please use the information below.
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

Monday, June 30, 2014

30 June 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your email! It really means a lot to me when I get to hear from you each Monday!

This has been a very different week. First off, driving was CRAZY! I think that's the most stressed I've been on my mission. Everything went fine. I was a little rusty at first, but after I got going I was fine. It was a super long drive too! It was about 4 hours long from Tirana to Prishtina. We only stopped once to get a snack at a stop on the side of the road. I drove up here with Elder Price. Elder Price is actually one of the Zone Leaders here. Elder Price was born in California, but he's lived all around the world because of his dad's work. He tells people that he's from Saudi Arabia because that's where he graduated high school. His companion is Elder Austin from Mississippi. Both of them are really awesome to be around! We also have a sister companionship here. Motra White and Motra Curtis. They're both really awesome! We all get along very well up here in Prishtina. Elder Bangerter loves it here in Prishtina. This is where he's served his whole mission so far so it's interesting telling stories from Kosovo and Albania to each other.

Albania and Kosovo are VERY different. Kosovo is very much like America. In fact everyone here loves America. They love it so much that they actually celebrate the 4th of July. I'm really interested to see what happens here. But the people here use the Eruo and everything is a lot more like America. It's quite a lot different. I like it here, but this last week I was a little homesick. It was strange. I wasn't homesick for Minnesota, I was homesick for Durrës and the people there. When I got set apart, President Baker talked about feeling homesick a little bit. What he described hit the nail right on the head. When you leave an area that you loved, you really miss it. You miss the members, the missionaries, and the city. This last week was a little hard for me to focus on Prishtina. But now I'm feeling a little better. It's still a little rough at times, but I'm trying my best to focus on the work at hand and to not let it get to me.

But yes, Kosovo is very different than Albania. In Albania, pretty much everyone you talk to says they're Muslim but they don't really practice their religion. However, in Kosovo nearly everyone is a practicing Muslim. I've only talked to about 3 Christians since I've been here. It's very different. And also right now is Ramadan (Ramazan in Albanian) and people actually practice it. During Ramazan, Muslims fast from morning until night everyday for 30 days. After dark they are allowed to eat. So most people don't go out during the day. Most of them sleep all day and then they party at night. Most of the restaurants have very limited hours and they don't have as many options because they don't have much business. It's a very different world here. We had a meeting with the branch mission leader on Sunday and he asked us to be very cautious during Ramazan because that's when more of the radical people like to plan things. I don't really think I'm in danger. Don't worry. If I'm just obedient to mission rules and be respectful to other people, everything will be fine. The bad thing about Ramazan is people don't want to meet with us because they are fasting. So it should be a very interesting month.

The Church here in Prishtina is very small. We had 25 people in Church on Sunday. A member of the Branch Presidency asked me to bear my testimony in Sacrament Meeting as well. All of the new missionaries had to bear their testimonies. The branch president here is actually American. He's a returned missionary from Bulgaria and he has a wife and two kids. He works here in Prishtina, and he actually speaks Albanian very well. He actually knows the Junckers. He knew them while they lived in Macedonia. His name is Joe Bodell. President Bodell and his family were living in Macedonia before and that's where they became good friends. He was really surprised that I knew the Junckers. It was a pretty cool connection.

I need to learn a new dialect up here. I've been speaking Tosk for the last three months, but now I have to learn Geg. Geg is a really thick, heavy dialect. We had a lesson with a man that spoke very thick Geg and I hardly understood him, so I'm pretty nervous about that. It's a little harder now because Elder Bangerter and I don't really have a ton of experience with speaking the language, so it makes understanding people difficult. Actually here in Prishtina, there are a ton of people that speak English. While I was in Durrës I heard English once. But here there are a lot of tourists and people who work at the embassies, so there is a very diverse language range here. But we've been working well together. We actually had a pretty busy week! We had a ton of lessons with people which was awesome! I felt like we had a very successful week.

It's interesting to see how Elder Bangerter and I have changed. We've had pretty different mission experiences so far, so it was interesting to see that we were very different than the missionaries we were in the MTC. Elder Bangerter's trainer, Elder Lindermann, was actually companions with Elder Clawson in the MTC. So that's pretty interesting!

Mom, I'm glad that you went out with the missionaries! Here it's difficult to get members at our lessons because the Church is very small, and some members feel pressured about being Christian because it is a very Islamic place. When we get members to help us with our lessons it's very good! So I'm glad that you're helping them out! I'm sure they really appreciate your help! Having members help us is such a blessing! When you get the opportunity to help the missionaries, please take that opportunity!

Thank you so much for all your love and support! Ju dua shumë!


Elder Uacën

Monday, June 23, 2014

23 June 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your emails and your support! I always look forward to getting your emails each P-day! Wow, it sounds like a lot of family stuff is going on this week! Vance, I'm really sorry that I didn't get a chance to see you this time around, but it was really awesome to see a picture of you! We'll be able to see each other in just a little bit. When Mirtha and Genesis are staying with you, be sure to send me some pictures of them too! No, Vance, I never snuck pop in the middle of the night. I'm more of a water person now. Soda as a missionary isn't the best thing, you just feel sluggish from all of the sugar in it. We drink a lot of juice here. The juice here is amazing! There are so many different flavors and all of them are fantastic! Juice in America is pathetic in comparison. Rachel, I'm glad you're getting used to your braces. It took me a while to get used to them, but after a while they just feel normal. If you follow the orthodontist's recommendations, you'll be glad you did!

Yeah, Elder Clawson had a really good birthday cake. He actually had three! One from each companionship in Durrës and one from a member. He said that he had a pretty good birthday. Yes, one of our investigators got pretty mad, but we can't help him with money circumstances. We were very clear that we can only help with spiritual need, and not with material need. Everyone here is really poor, so if we help one person, everyone will come out of the woodwork looking for us to give them money. It's sad to see how poor people are, but I'm glad to know that the Church has a wonderful welfare program to help the people here.

Yes, it is VERY hot and humid. Dad, imagine Metal-Matic near the furnace on a really hot, humid Minnesota summer day. That's everyday in Albania. It's super hot, but I'll live. We have a nice air conditioner at our apartment which we are VERY grateful for! As for giving my address, if I knew it I'd tell you. Addresses here in Albania really have no meaning. You just tell people what things you live by and they figure it our from that. Even on the official address for the Mission Home in Tirana has an address that says that it's close to a specific store. I can only tell you the city that I'm serving in and that's about as much as I know. You can take a screen shot of the city with your guess and I can tell you if you are close or not. That's about as much as I can do. Sorry.

So, speaking of what city I'm serving in... Yes, transfers are this week. We received our calls last night, Sunday. So on Tuesday, I will be moving from Durrës. Can you change the flag out front? Because... I'm going to Kosovo! I'll be serving in the city of Prishtina, the capital. I believe that Brother and Sister Juncker spent quite a bit of time working in Prishtina. I'm super excited to be serving up there! As for my companion... I'll be serving with Elder Bangerter AGAIN! I'm super excited to serve with him again! I was really surprised to hear President Ford say that. It will be a little more difficult than the MTC because now we'll be speaking Albanian. We got our transfer call at about 10:15 PM last night. As for Elder Clawson, he'll be leaving as well. He's going to the city of Shkodër. Shkodër is in the very north of Albania. He's really excited to go up there! After we got our calls the Assistants to the President called us with travel plans. The Assistants to the President are missionaries who are chosen to serve in a special leadership assignment. They work a lot with President Ford and work with him during transfers. They told us that we would be taking a bus to Tirana and then I'll be going up to Prishtina with Elder Price. Elder Price will be one of the Zone Leaders that lives in Prishtina. Zone Leaders get a car so they can do the jobs that they have, so I'll be going up with him in a mission vehicle. The Assistants ended their call and Elder Clawson and I were talking about how crazy it's going to be. Then at about 11:00 PM one the Assistants called us again, and asked to talk with me. He said, "Elder Watson, I have a very important question for you and you better have the right answer." I said, "Okay" and then he asked, "Can you drive a stick?" Apparently, Elder Price can't drive a manual transmission, so I told him that I knew how, but I wasn't very good. He said that's fine, and then he told me that I'll be driving from Tirana to Prishtina. I was blown away! I get to drive in Albania?? Already?? I didn't think that was possible! but because I practiced with the Mini Cooper back home, I'm able to drive up there! It's about a four hour drive too! I'm really excited, but super nervous because Albanian drivers are crazy to say the least! This transfer call has been really awesome! Yes, I will miss Elder Clawson. We've had a really good time in Lushnjë and Durrës together, and we've worked pretty hard. I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to serve with him. My dad is awesome! In other transfer news, I'm getting an uncle and a nephew! Elder Foster is training again and Elder Eliason will be training as well. Our family is getting huge! There's a lot of mission family respect. Our family, has one of the strongest lines, whereas other families are almost extinct.

This last week has been amazing! On Wednesday we had Mission Conference. Every missionary in the Adriatic South Mission gathered at the Mission Home in Tirana. We had some really great training from President and Sister Ford. It was their last Mission Conference. They're only here for one more week, and then President and Sister Weidmann will be here. It was sad to say goodbye to the Fords, but I'm excited to meet the Weidmanns! Also, all of the missionaries that are "dying" gave their testimonies and it was pretty sad, because I got to know some of them really well. It's crazy to think that they're leaving for home tomorrow!! They said that the time just flies by! It's hard to believe I've been gone for five months already!

On Saturday we were visiting one of the families here in Durrës, the Pjetri family. One of the girls, Nertila (15), talked about how she was super nervous for her tests in school, and she asked me to give her a blessing. I was super nervous because I've never given a blessing in Albanian before. But as I gave her a blessing, I was able to feel the Spirit and to give her a blessing of comfort as she prepared for her tests. It's very similar to give blessings in Albanian. Obviously, you're speaking a different language and that's difficult, but you feel the Spirit of the Lord directing your words regardless. I know that the Lord works with his people across the entire world in the same way. He works through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I know that this is the Lord's work and He's called me to work here with these wonderful people. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If anyone questions that, I would challenge them to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. God cannot lie, so the answer we get from Him is the true answer. I know that anyone who sincerely reads and prays about the Book of Mormon will receive that answer from God. I have recieved it and I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the words of God, and through both we can learn what we need to do if we want to be happy in this life.

Thank you so much for the love and support you give to me! Javë të mbarë! Zoti ju bekoftë!


Elder Uacën

Elder Watson and his mission family.
Elder Watson, Elder Eliason (Brother), Elder Clawson (Dad), and Elder Foster (Grandpa)
We threw away all 28 of our pizza boxes this week!
Izmir with Elder Watson.  He's an investigator who loves
playing futball with the missionaries.
Sunday lunch at Ersi Myrtollari's house.
Lunch with Ersi Myrtollari.  A member who is very sweet
and loves helping missionaries with lessons.
Ersi with the Durrës Elders
Albanians hang dolls or stuffed animals near their homes to ward off evil spirits.
Most of the time they appear to draw evil spirits to them!  
Here are a couple of my favorites!

Elder Gray had an accident this week.  He drank some of the water here
and now he's shrunken.  Let this be a lesson not to drink the water in Albania!
Elder Watson posing on a rock at the beach.
Adriatic South Mission photo

16 June 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your email! It's always nice hearing about what's going on at home! And Vance, it's great that you get to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa! I'm sorry that I don't get a chance to see you, but I'm a little busy right now. Don't worry, we'll see each other pretty soon!

It sounds like you had a great Father's Day, Dad. I'm glad to hear that! I'm also glad to hear that Grandpa Watson and Grandpa Hawkins also had a great day! I think that Father's Day was also this last Sunday in Albania, but I didn't hear anything about it. Yeah, time is flying by! Sister Jensen (friend from Jacob's home stake) only has a few months left and I'm almost to five months as a missionary. Elder Clawson hits his year mark in just a couple weeks. He can't believe how fast time has gone by! Also, yesterday was his birthday. So we had a pretty full Sunday with Church, lessons, and a special lunch with the other missionaries. He said that he had a pretty good birthday. 

So about this "Shepherd's Pie" you've heard about. It was actually a chicken pot pie. Every Sunday, the Elders in Durrës get together to eat lunch. We switch up who cooks, brings drinks, or brings desserts. So a few weeks ago we found a recipe for chicken pot pie. We decided to make it and it turned out very good. We just followed the recipe for it. I don't think I did anything special. I just followed the recipe. We've been cooking in a lot more this last week because we want to save some more money, so this last week has been full of pasta. It's really cheap here, so that's always a bonus!

Today we went to Kruje for P-day. Kruje is where Skendërbeu lived. Skendërbeu was a great leader of Albania back in the 1400s. He protected Albania from the invading Turks for a long time. His castle was in Kruje, which is a large tourist attraction there. The city is built into the side of a mountain and it's very beautiful. We explored the castle and up in the mountain above it. It was a pretty fun day. We were all pretty tired afterward. 

Yeah, I did use the puzzle when we were teaching that lesson. (Jacob has an Albanian Plan of Salvation puzzle.)  It worked quite well, but it's not something I use with everyone. It really depends on the investigator and their needs. If I think they need a visual representation like that I'll use it. I think it worked very well for that lesson. We haven't been back to the bakery. We've had a lot of stuff that we needed to do on P-day, so we weren't able to make it there. We had a baptism scheduled for the 14th, however it didn't happen. The family that we were teaching and hoping would get baptized on that day have had some really tough times with money. We haven't been able to meet with them as often as we would have liked, and sometimes when we met they would only want to talk about getting money from us. We explained that we only helped spiritually and we didn't help with money, but they kept wanting to talk about money. So we don't really know what to do with them. It seems like they still have a desire to learn about the Gospel, but they haven't really been keeping their commitments. So we hope that they will still have a desire to learn and come closer to Christ!

That's great that you have an opportunity to eat with the Elders! First off, people take better care of the Sisters, that's the same world wide. Secondly, it such a blessing to eat with the missionaries. We haven't eaten with many members here, just because they're very poor and we don't want to take something that they really worked for. But when we get to eat with the missionaries, we also get a chance to build relationships with members and missionaries, and those relationships can really help with missionary work. I would challenge you to have a strong relationship with the missionaries and help them with whatever you can. Missionary work is so much better when we have help from members! Just think about it, Amulek in the Book of Mormon taught with Alma and they did a lot of great work together. Alma was a prophet, he was called by God to teach the people. Amulek, however, was a normal guy. He was a regular member. Miracles were preformed when Alma and Amulek worked together. We can apply this by helping out the missionaries. When members and missionaries work together, miracles happen! I know that as we show our faith by helping to share the Gospel, that God will help us, we will receive blessings! I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve the Lord here in Albania!

Thank you so much for your love and support! It's wonderful knowing that you have love and support from people at home! Send my regards to the Princeton Ward and the rest of the family!


Elder Uacën
This is the big xhami (mosque) in Durrës.
It's right near the city center and it's a big stop for tourists.
This is Skendërbeu.  He fended off the Turks from invading
Albania for several years in the 1500s.  He lived in Kruje.
There is a large Skendërbeu museum, but it's closed
on Mondays, which really stinks.
We got a ride up to the top of the mountain that overlooks Kruje.
While we were on the mountain, the clouds started rolling in.
It was pretty cool to be inside of a cloud.  It felt pretty good compared
to the hot and humid weather of Albania this past week!

We found a statue of some guy we didn't know up on the mountain.
The views from the top of the mountain were amazing!
This is one of the markets or "treg" in Kruje, also known as the "Tourist Trap."
Kruje has some very beautiful buildings and roads.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

9 June 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your email! It's really nice knowing that I have love and support from home. Missionary work is tough, but knowing that there are people praying for your success brings a lot of comfort and knowledge. Thank you!

Elder Gray and Elder Watson with matching pants.
Elder Watson is also wearing his pointy shoes, but
it is not a great picture of them. They do not look
like "old man shoes" to his family!
(Sorcerer's Apprentice reference) 
Thank you so much for sending those recipes! (Jacob asked Mom and Dad to send him some of his favorite recipes.) Hopefully, I'll be able to use them. Cooking in Albania is very different, so some of those things don't exist here, like peanut putter, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and other things. So I'll have to experiment with the things that we have here. It should be pretty interesting! But thank you very much! I have met the other missionaries from Minnesota, only briefly though. I'm the only Minnesotan in the South Zone (everywhere south of Tirana). There is one other elder, Elder Lee, serving in Tirana right now. There are two sister missionaries, Motra Heathcote (I don't know how it's spelled exactly) and Motra White. ("Motra" means "sister".) Motra Heathcote is in Shkodër and Motra White is in Tirana. I've only met them very briefly once, so I don't really know them. It sounds like all of them are down from the Rochester area. Those shoes we bought are amazing! I love them so much. Yes, they are VERY pointy. They are a very European style of shoe. Yes, they are just as pointy, if not pointier, than the clerk at the hotel in Iceland. (Jacob and Dad went to Iceland two years ago. The hotel clerk had pointy shoes that curled up like elf shoes!) The shoe continues about four inches past the end of my toe.

The mosquitoes here in Albania aren't as bad as the mosquitoes in Minnesota, but they are definitely not friendly here either! One thing that doesn't help the mosquito population here is that everyone waters their sidewalk. People will walk out of their shops and throw water all over the side walk. Apparently they think that it helps keep the sidewalk clean, but it does nothing. It's really weird. Wow, that's soon for Rachel to get her braces! (His 10-year-old sister is getting braces on Wednesday, June 11.) I hope that she'll adjust to them well and that they won't hurt her too much! Rachel, be careful and take really good care of your teeth when you have braces on! You only want to do it once, trust me! If you follow Dr. Jonak's rules, you'll be fine. That's so awesome that Mikey got his mission call! (Mikey will be the next missionary, after Jacob, to leave from the Princeton, MN, Ward.) I'm super excited for him. He's going to the Mexico MTC? That's awesome! He'll learn Spanish there really well! He's going to be a great missionary! That's crazy that Josh has already hit his halfway mark! (Josh was the last missionary, previous to Jacob, who left for his mission from the Princeton, MN, Ward.) Elder Clawson will hit his year mark at the end of this transfer. He's really shocked how fast the time has flown by! At the end of this transfer, I will have been a missionary for five months already! That's crazy! Time is really flying by! Here in Albania, our transfers last for three months. I guess we're the only place in the world that does transfers this long. Everyone else has six week transfers. Our transfer will happen in about two weeks, on the 24th of Qershor (June). We've been guessing what will happen at the transfer, but I guess we'll see soon enough. 

This last week has been pretty great for us here in Durrës. Work here is really picking up for us. We have a nice group of investigators that we are teaching right now. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation to a girl this last week. She had a really strong knowledge of the Gospel and everything in the Plan of Salvation made sense to here. At the end of the lesson, we showed her a picture of an overview of the Plan of Salvation and we talked about how if we want to go to the Celestial Kingdom, we need to follow and accept the Gospel, and the way we accept the Gospel is through baptism. She said, "Yeah, I need to be baptized." It was an awesome experience! I learned that the Lord is preparing people to accept His Gospel. All we need to do is invite. People are just waiting to learn and to be invited to act. We learn from the Scriptures that the Lord is preparing people to hear the Gospel, and I have seen it in real life. I know that the Lord's promises are true! I have been reading in 2 Nephi lately and Nephi is such a great guy! His teaching is very simple and straight to the point. He reads a lot from Isaiah and he says that in our day we will be able to understand the words of Isaiah, and that they will be very useful for us. When I was reading through those Isaiah sections in the Book of Mormon I was able to see the meaning that they have for us today. I know that Isaiah can be a little difficult to understand at times, but if we put forth the effort, we will be able to see the personal meaning in those scriptures. It can be a little intimidating to study Isaiah, but remember that the Lord commanded us to study the words of Isaiah (3 Nephi 23:1). As 1 Nephi 3:7 says, "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." The Lord will help us to keep His commandments. He has given us a commandment to study the words of Isaiah, and He will give us the way to understand it. I know that we can learn a lot from the words of Isaiah, and I know that as we search his words, we will be able to understand the specific meaning that they hold for us. I know that these things are true, and I challenge you to really look at the words of Isaiah. I promise that as you do this, you will be able to understand more and more of his prophecies. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a servant of the Lord here in Albania, and I know that the Lord will bless us as we strive to keep His commandments!

Thank you so much for all the love and support from home!


Elder Watson
Making byrek
From a favorite krep place
View of a market

Another view of the market

View of a fruit market
Getting haircuts from a "sweet" barber shop
The chapel in Durrës
Elder Clawson, Elder Gray, Elder Watson, Elder Stewart

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2 June 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your email! I always enjoy getting your emails. I definitely know what you mean when you say that it seems that the week goes by fast. It felt like it was yesterday that I was in Berat for P-day, now it's P-day again! Time is moving really quick! It's already June! Wow! The weeks go by so fast! Our week was pretty full, and it sounds like your week was pretty full as well. I'm sorry to hear that you have so many school make up days, Rachel. (His sister had to make up six snow days in all, two at the end of the year.)  Here in Albania, when they miss school due to weather they make it up on that Saturday. I'm so glad that I never had to go to school on a Saturday! I think that wouldn't be very fun. Yesterday, when it became June, I thought, "Wow, I gradutated from high school two years ago." Can you believe it? Two years. It's crazy how fast time is flying by! That's interesting to hear that the 16 year old and the 10 year old Sunday classes were mixed, but I'm sure Mikey did a really great job at teaching! He emailed me a couple weeks ago saying that he's waiting for his mission call. I'm really excited to know where he'll go. Yesterday, we were calculating what percent of our mission is from Utah. Almost half of the missionaries in the Adriatic South Mission are from Utah, and guess what the second most represented area is. Yep, that's right Minnesota! We have four Minnesotans serving in Albania! Isn't that crazy??

That's so awesome that Sister Orton bore her testimony in church! I always love hearing her testimony! Testimony meeting is the same in Albania, but it's a whole lot harder to understand! When I focus my entire effort on what is being said, I can pick up on what they are saying. When people are talking about Gospel things I can understand them, but when they talk about anything else, I'm lost. But as the people say here, "avash, avash," which means, "slowly, slowly." The people say that it's Albanian, but it's actually Turkish but it's used frequently here. Albanians claim that everything is Albanian. There's a dessert called "tre leche" (I have no idea how it's spelled, but it sounds like that) it's a Spanish dessert with a Spanish name, but Albanian's say that it's totally Albanian. It's pretty funny.

This P-day, today, has been an awesome one! No, we didn't travel anywhere exotic today. We stayed in Durrës, but we had a blast! Okay, so there's a bakery right across the street from where we live. Ever since we moved into our current house, we started making friends with the girl that works there. We normally stop there on our way home and buy something, usually byrek, and we've got to know that girl that works there pretty well. On Saturday morning when we found out that the baptisms for that day cancelled, we decided to buy some depression byrek from that bakery. I don't know if I've told you what byrek is. Byrek is a kind of pie, but it's filled with all sorts of other things. You can get byrek with meat, spinach, potato, tomato and onion, gjizë (which doesn't exist in America), and all sorts of other things. Byrek like this doesn't exist in the United States. I don't know why! Byrek is amazing! I'll send a picture of what it looks like. So anyway, we were buying depression byrek in the morning. Normally we don't go there in the morning, so the girl there was surprised to see us. We started talking and one of the ladies that works in the back noticed us and asked if we were American. We said yes, and she told us that she lived in New York, on Staten Island with her family for 14 years. She spoke English very well, and we talked with her for a bit. We explained why we were here and what we did. She was pretty impressed and she loved talking with us. In our conversation, we talked about how we didn't have byrek in America and how we'd love to learn how to make it sometime. We asked if we could come on Monday morning and learn and she said yes! We were super excited! So that's how we started off our day. The people who work there are wonderful and we all became friends right away. We made some byrek with them and it was a ton of fun. After we were there for a while we decided that we should go so they can get back to work. As we were leaving, we thanked them for everything and said goodbye. As we were leaving, the lady said to us, "What do you want to learn how to make next time?" Needless to say, I think we'll be going to that bakery every Monday morning to work and learn something new!

We all had some disappointments with investigators this week. The other elders had to deal with some baptisms cancelling, and we struggled with a family that is investigating the Gospel. They have some issues with work, and so they're really occupied with that. We tried meeting with them several times this last week, but they either cancelled or didn't show up. They would say that they would come, but then they would cancel on us time and time again. It got really discouraging. So we decided to fast for them. We fasted and prayed for them and we really hoped that we could meet with them. We called them Sunday afternoon and we asked if we could meet with them that night. They said okay, but we weren't sure that they would keep their promise. When we walked over to the Football Stadium to meet with them, they were there waiting for us. We walked together to the institute center that we have in Durrës and we had a lesson. It was really great to meet with them again and to know that they still had a desire to learn about the Gospel! Even though they caused us a bunch of disappointment during the week, our disappointment turned to happiness when we met with themon Sunday night. I know that the Lord hears and recognizes our prayers and fasts. I know that because of our fast, we were able to meet with this family. I know that the Lord will bless us as we exercise our faith in Him. I have seen it time and time again, and I know that I'll continue to see it as I continue with life!

Thank you so much for your help and your support! Serving a mission would be a lot harder if I didn't have great support from home! Thank you so much!

Mirupafshim. Kalofshi mire. Rrugë të mbarë!


Elder Jakob Andru Uacën

Jacob with a yummy-looking smoothie.
Photo from his companion's blog: