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 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

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