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 fullwith 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, 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!
|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.