Dear Family and Friends,
I really enjoyed getting your email this week! Thank you so much for sending an email each week! I really appreciate it!
Wow, it's already that time of year? I can't believe that you're at Izaty's already. (Family is on vacation at a resort named Izatys.) Guess what? Today I actually wore my Izaty's shirt for P-day. The other missionaries in my district were asking about it. I didn't realize that you're up there already! It was chilly there too? The past couple days it's been a little chilly here. It's a very welcome change! It's been raining quite a bit here too, so that's been keeping it cool. Otherwise it's been hot and humid every day! I'm really grateful for this break in the temperature. Hopefully things warm up just a bit for you, and the fish start biting! Tell Brother Thomas, the Elder, "Gëzuar Ditëlindje" for me! It sounds like that party was pretty fun. Yeah, I've enjoyed getting to know President Bodell and his family. I'm glad that I get the opportunity to work with him! Rachel, I'm glad that you had the opportunity to be in the parade! (Rachel got to carry a banner in the local Isanti Rodeo Days Parade.) It sounds like that was a lot of fun! I hope you enjoyed it, and that you get to do it again next year.
Yeah, so we have been able to do some traveling and sight seeing. So today we went to Podujevë. It's a small city north of Prishtina. We decided to go there because we meet TONS of people from there. We were curious, so we went up there this P-day. We had a good time exploring the city and just hanging out as a district. Wow! Mom, I can't believe that you've been so involved in Facebook! (Mom is not a Facebook aficionado but actually posted a couple of comments.) Next I'm going to find out that you have an Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and any other social media that has come out in the past five months! Haha. So about that Toblerone, President Weidmann said that you can only get those big ones in Switzerland, so don't worry. Haha. After zone conference, I was cleaning up and I grabbed the box. Because the meeting was in Prishtina, I had home-field advantage. I took the box and hid it in the kitchen until Elder Bangerter and I went back to our apartment. It was a victory for us!
So yeah, those "kids" we taught last week. In Albania and Kosovo, no one looks their age. So these people look like they are about 15 or 16, and I guess it gets easy to forget their real age every now and then. No, neither of us are 20 yet. I'm the closest out of Elder Bangerter and I.
Dad, I enjoy fasting so much, which doesn't really make sense at times because I also love food! I was studying about fasting before and I found a really awesome scripture that I really like. It's in Doctrine and Covenants 59: 13-14. D&C 59 is an amazing section about church and why it's very important to us today. But especially those two verses talking about fasting. These two verses teach us that fasting is a joyful experience. Verse 14: "Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer". I always think of this verse in this way:
fasting and prayer = rejoicing and prayer
Therefore, fasting = rejoicing.
I think this is an amazing section! Please look at the whole section because it promises us many blessings from fasting. I do have a very special testimony of fasting. It is because of fasting that I'm here on a mission. Before my mission I had a lot of questions about the Church, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and a bunch of other things. I knew that I needed to gain a testimony of these things for myself in order to decide if I should go on a mission. I learned from Alma 17:2 that one of the reasons why the sons of Mosiah had such a strong testimony was because they fasted and prayed often. So I figured that if I wanted an answer I needed to fast. I believed, I had faith, that if I fasted, studied, and prayed that I would receive an answer. I had been doing all these things for such a long time and I was feeling frustrated that I wasn't receiving an answer. However, I still had faith that I would receive an answer about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the Church, and if I should serve a mission. I believe that it was because of my fasting that I received my answer to these questions. The answer came in a different way than I expected. I was sitting on the couch holding a copy of the Book of Mormon in my hands. I had been praying fervently to know if I should go on a mission. After my prayer I was just sitting there thinking. I looked down at the Book of Mormon in my hands. The way I was holding the book, my thumbs were covering the word "Mormon" on the cover. However, my thumbs left two letters exposed. They left the letters "RM" visible. I took this as my answer. I started my mission papers, one thing led to another, and now I'm here in Prishtina, Kosovo telling you of this powerful experience in my life. I truly believe that it was because of my fasting that I received this answer! Fasting truly has led to rejoicing in my life! I have a very strong testimony of fasting and the blessings that it brings. I know that when we obey the law of the fast, we receive special blessings from our Heavenly Father! I hope this gives you some ideas with your talk.
Thank you so much for your love and support from home. I really feel your love for me all the way over here in Kosovo! I hope you have a great, fun, safe week at Izaty's! Play a game of golf for me!
Zoti ju bekoftë! Javë të mbarë! Ju dua shumë!