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. I'm so glad that I never had to go to school on a ! 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 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.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 themafternoon 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 them 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: clawsonscalledtoserve.blogspot.com.