Contact Elder Watson

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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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

7 July 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your email this week! I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for the pictures from the Fourth of July. I hope that you had a wonderful time at Grandma and Grandpa's house! It's really nice to get pictures every now and then. It was really good to see pictures of the whole family! What's up with you, Vance? The way you say "what's up" in Albanian is "ç'kemi" (ch-kem-ee). It literally means "What have we?" They don't say it as much in Kosovo, but it's used all the time in Albania.

Wow, it sounds like you've had a pretty busy week with everything going on! That sounds like quite the experience with picking up Mirtha and Genesis from the bus station! {Mom had the key fob in her purse; so when she got out of the car at the bus station, the car started to shut itself down. Fortunately, Dad was able to get the car of the busy downtown Minneapolis traffic--in morning rush hour, no less!} But I'm glad everything worked out in the end! Don't worry about Ramadan, I'll be just fine. So interesting fact, in Albanian they call it "Ramazan" but the real Aribic word is "Ramadan" and there are tons of men with the first name "Ramadan" in Kosovo. In fact, we're teaching about three or four people with the name "Ramadan". I hope you understood that. So I'll try to use "Ramazan" when I talk about the Islamic Holiday, and I'll use "Ramadan" when I'm referring to a person. Okay. So Ramazan has been posing some challenges with our work here in Prishtina. First off, no one is out on the streets because they're all inside resting. Just when the streets start livening up at night is when we have to go inside. So that's been frustrating. Also, people don't want to meet with us during Ramazan. That's the biggest excuse I've heard since I've been here. When we ask people when is it better for them to meet, most of them say "After Ramazan". So things have been going a little slower. We're just a little more careful when people start arguing with us. We are very respectful and we just try to end it as quickly, and peacefully, as possible. But things are going okay, don't worry about Ramazan.

So I think I told you about some of the differences between Albania and Kosovo last week. If I could sum it up quickly, I'd say that Kosovo is comparable to the United States, and Albania is similar to Mexico. It's a vast difference between the two countries! So here in Prishtina, they love America so much that they celebrate the Fourth of July, too! They had a huge concert out on the boulevard (a large pedestrian walkway with shops and restaurants) and they had fireworks at night. In fact, we had a party at our church, too. We thought that it would be a great opportunity to invite people to come see our church and learn more about it. We invited everyone that we could think of. We called our investigators and challenged the members to invite a friend. We also ran into some Americans while we were out and about during the week, so we invited them too. There was one man, named Granite, and he was super excited to come! He was born in Kosovo, but he moved to the United States when he was very young. Currently, he lives in Wisconsin near the boarder of Illinois. I think he said he was from Janesville. He comes back in the summer to visit family out here. He was really bummed that he's missed the Fourth of July for the past four years, so he was super pumped to come. He came and he brought a friend, named Atdhe (but he goes by Al). Al was born in Prishtina, but when he was four he moved to London, and that's where he's lived since. We was back here visiting family and studying at a local university. So yeah, we had a British man at our Fourth of July party. How ironic! I'm so glad that Granite came. He was the life of the party! He's not a member of the Church, but he had a great time hanging out with us and celebrating the Fourth of July. We also bumped into a man (early 20s) named Joe, who is also from southeastern Wisconsin. He's out here doing an internship with a law company. And he brought a friend from Rochester, Minnesota. Small world isn't it? It was a really great party and we had a lot of fun! It was a great activity for everyone, and everyone said that they had a great time! I had quite a memorable Fourth of July this year. Elder Bangerter and I went out to have some celebratory Fourth of July burgers at a restaurant that was showing a game of cricket, we talked to a BUNCH of British people, had a man quote a passage to me from the Ku'ran in Arabic, and I got told that I was deceived and I need to convert to Islam. It was definitely one for the record books.

This week we had our first zone conference with President Weidmann. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet him and his wife. They speak English almost with an American accent. He has actually lived in Washington state for several years. When he introduced himself and his wife he brought out a HUGE Toblerone bar. He said that every time they sent out a missionary from their family they'd buy one and they've never been able to finish one. However, in the Tirana zone conference they made quick work of it. He said he was surprised beyond belief that they could finish it! We also made pretty quick work of it. He is very motivated to have us become the best missionaries that we can become! He really wanted us to refocus our efforts on being exactly obedient in every single aspect. He's very motivated and loving. He's a wonderful man and I'm excited for the opportunity to work more with him. I'm excited to get to know him more as well. Since he's in Tirana and I'm in Prishtina, I don't know how much contact I'll have with him. However, I think we'll have some opportunities to become better acquainted when he travels around the country a little bit more.

This week we have had some really awesome experiences with teaching. We met two kids, around the age of 20, and taught them about the Restoration. They were really interested to learn more, but they were only in Prishtina for another day. So we had another lesson with them the next day, right before they left to go back home to their village. We gave them a challenge to read from the Book of Mormon before we met. When we met, they told us that they read all of Alma 32 and the Restoration and Plan of Salvation pamphlets. That really surprised us! We had a really awesome lesson about faith and we also talked about having living prophets. They were really surprised about that and they wanted to learn more about them. We gave them a talk from President Thomas S. Monson and told them about and how they can read more about him. It was really awesome to teach them because they were so sincere and they really had a great desire to learn more. It was such an awesome experience to teach them and to see them progress so quickly. I know that the Lord is working with the people here in Kosovo, and I know that He's already preparing people to learn about the Gospel. In a place where 99% of the people are Muslim, it can get kinda' discouraging at times, but having experiences like this really lift you up! Those kids are far away from Prishtina right now, so we can't teach them. However, I have faith that the Lord will continue working with them while we can't. I pray that, when they return to Prishtina this fall, we will be able to meet again and help them partake of the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can be blessed beyond belief! I have seen great blessings in my life and the lives of others while through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyone who wishes to find peace, happiness, and true joy can find it through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is true.If we have questions or doubts about the Book of Mormon we need to read Alma 32 and pay attention to the comparison of faith and a seed. If we really study this and apply it in our lives, we WILL receive that answer that the Book of Mormon is true! I know it, because I've done it. Now it's your turn to try.

Thank you so much for your emails, love, support, and encouragement! I couldn't do this without your love from home!

Zoti ju bekoftë! Javë të mbarë!


Elder Uacën
Road Trip with Elder Price

Our Apartment Building Starts on Floor -1

The "Newborn" Monument in Prishtina

President and Sister Weidmann at Whiteboard
with Elder Tulli (front right)

Elder Bangerter and I got the HUGE Toblerone box. . .

. . .and mounted it in our apartment.

4th of July Celebration in Prishtina

More Celebrating!

Granite, Elder Watson, Sister Curtis, Sister White

Elder Watson, Granite, Elder Bangerter

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