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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

20 October 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your weekly emails! I know I say it every week, but I really look forward to reading them every P-day! It sounds like you've had quite the weekend! That's a lot all happening at once! Give my congratulations to Colby and to his wife. {Colby Baker and Whitley Brickey from the St. Cloud Ward who got married last weekend.} As well as to all the Returned Missionaries when you get a chance. {Many friends from Jacob's youth group are starting to return from their missions, already!} That's so crazy that you have an appointment scheduled with the missionaries so far out in advance! {We scheduled to have the Elders come over on Jacob's birthday in November.} People here don't really plan out their days, so we have to call them the night before or the day of to schedule an appointment with them. At first it was really strange! I thought no one will want to meet with us on such short notice! But if you have a lesson scheduled two days before, they'll forget and they won't show up. Scheduling is very different here. I'm glad Grandma's doing well after her surgery! That's a lot of time to spend off her knee! Wow! I could see how that would be frustrating! {Grandma had to have the cartilage and ligaments in her knee fixed. She has been on crutches since July and will have to continue to keep weight off her knee for another two months.} Say "Hi" to them for me! So gas here in Albania is expensive. The average now is about 184 Lekë for a Liter. So that's like $1.80 per liter. I think a gallon is about 3.5 liters so... about $6.30 a gallon, if I did that math and conversion right. So it's pretty spendy to fill up the little cars that missionaries use. Is the food better in Albania or Kosovo? That's a difficult question to answer. In Kosovo, we don't get sufllaqe so that's a huge plus for Albania. However, Prishtina is known as one of the best food places in the mission so Prishtina is VERY difficult to beat.

Elder Keck and I are doing great! He's really loving serving a mission. He loves Durrës as well. The people from different cities have different names for themselves. People from Durrës are called "Durrësak" So because Elder Keck was born here, he's Durrësak. I still consider myself "Lushnjarë". It's interesting because not many people are trained in Lushnjë. There are actually only two Lushnjarë missionaries left in the mission. There is one other sister that was trained there and me. I really hope I get a chance to go back to Lushnjë one day. The South Zone Leaders live in Lushnjë and they came up to Durrës a couple weeks ago to do a baptismal interview for us. One of them is Elder Price, we served around each other in Prishtina for the past three months, so it was really good to see him. He told me that a lot of the members in Lushnjë remember Elder Clawson and I and ask about us every once in a while. So I'm hoping I'll get to go back there one day. So yeah, a couple weeks ago, like I said, the Zone Leaders came up to Durrës to do a baptismal interview for us. That baptism happened this weekend! It was super awesome! It was a wonderful service and she invited a lot of her family and friends to come to her baptism. She's actually a cousin of a member of the Church in Lushnjë; however, he didn't get a chance to come to her baptism. I was kinda' bummed out about that. However, Esmeralda's baptism was wonderful! After her baptism, she came up to us with one of her friends and said, "She wants to take lessons from the missionaires." Her friend was really interested! She has even come to Church a couple times in the past. She was telling us about how it felt really different inside the Church and how the people here are a lot different than other people you would meet. She said that she felt really good at the baptism, and so she was interested to learn more. So this morning, we were actually in the house doing studies and said called us and said, "Hey, can we do a lesson in 10 minutes? I'm here with a couple of my friends and they want to learn." So we went over to the center and we were able to have a lesson with her and a couple of her friends. Her friends seem really interested in the Gospel! It's wonderful to see how amazing Esmeralda is with missionary work already! She's very solid in faith and she's going to be a strength to the Durrës Ward!

This shows us that people are already prepared to receive the Gospel. At times it's kinda' hard to believe that when we tract and we talk to people in the street for long periods of time without getting a number; however, from Esmeralda and her friends we see that people really are being prepared to receive the Gospel. As a missionary, I've come to see that the best way to find those prepared people are through members. When members prayerfully think of someone they can invite to learn about the Gospel, miracles happen. The use of members in missionary work is HUGE! It drastically hastens the work of salvation. There shouldn't be a division between missionary work and being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We should always be looking for ways we can share the Gospel with friends or family members. Happiness, peace, and comfort are just a few of the many great blessings that come from sharing, or accepting, the Gospel. Elder David A. Bednar gave a GREAT talk about this topic in General Conference! I would encourage you to listen to his talk again, and then to prayerfully think of someone you can share the Gospel with. It can be intimidating at times, but if you have any questions, "Ask the missionaries, they can help you" (Elder Russel M. Nelson). I know that if you do this, you will have those great blessings in your lives. I would highly encourage you to do this and to invite a friend or a family member to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that the Lord will help you in your efforts to share His Gospel!

Thank you for all the support and love you send to me! Javë të mbarë! Ju dua shumë! Kalofshit bukur!

Me Dashuri, Elder Watson

Baptism of Esmeralda!
Sunset over the Adriatic Sea.
Awesome sandcastle we built at the beach today!!
Nice photo bomb!!

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