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

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

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