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, November 15, 2014

10 November 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your emails! I always look forward to reading your emails each P-day. It sounds like you had quite the week! It sounds like your Stake Conference was pretty good! I always enjoyed going to stake conference. We haven't had a stake conference here since I've arrived, so I don't know what it's like here in Albania quite yet. This week in sacrament, I actually had to play piano. I never thought I'd have to do that in Durrës. I found out I was playing two minutes before the meeting started, and I'm not good enough to have all the hymns down, so it was interesting. I was glad when it was over. Dad, I'm glad that you got to go out hunting. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't get the chance to shoot at anything. I hope you'll get to go out hunting again and have some more luck! Seeing those pictures of snow was really good! I miss snow so much, and it's kinda' sad thinking that I won't get to see snow for a long time yet. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go up north again and have a chance to see some snow. 

 The snow begins.

And now--20 inches!
So no, we don't really have any restrictions for cold weather or snow. From receiving emails from other friends on missions in different parts of the world, it doesn't really sound like we have many restrictions like they do. I've heard of a lot of missionaries not being able to leave their apartment for different reasons, and I haven't heard of any experiences like that here in this mission. Rachel, you're going to be in a play! That's awesome! What play will you be doing? What part will you be playing? You'll have to tell me more about it! I hope everything goes well with getting your braces changed around. Just remember that after it's all finished, all the pain and annoying things that come with it is totally worth it!

I'll tell you a bit about the missionaries in Durrës. I'll start with Elder Keck. Elder Keck is from Layton, UT. He is the youngest of 3 kids. He is a huge Ultimate Frisbee fan. He played on a club team in high school. So today, we went and played Ultimate at the stadium here in Durrës. When I say stadium, don't think that we actually got to play in a nice facility. We played in a sandlot next to the big futboll stadium here in Durrës. He's also a big Football (American) fan. You'll never guess who his favorite team is. The Packers. Yeah, crazy huh? He's super awesome and I'm glad to have the chance to serve with him. So I've already told you about Elder Dahl, he's in my MTC group, but he's from New Mexico. He actually went to BYU for a while before his mission as well. He played tennis in high school and he also plays clarinet. He's also super awesome and a great missionary. Elder Muncy is from California. He was actually supposed to be in my group, but a couple days before reporting to the MTC he got in a car accident and had to wait 3 months to report to the MTC. When I found that out, it blew my mind! I couldn't believe it! He's super awesome, as well! He's my Uncle. (He was trained by Elder Foster, my grandpa.) So that's always interesting to bring up. Elder Rasband is from Brigham City, UT. He's a super strong missionary. Elder Rasband and Elder Muncy are in the same MTC group (one after me). Before his mission, he was actually in an alternative rock band. He has some pretty awesome stories about that! Elder Matson is from Alabama. He's the oldest one out of all of us. He'll be ending his mission this coming April. He loves being a missionary and working hard. He's a strength to the Durrës district! All of these elders are super great! It's such a great opportunity to be their district leader and serve them. We're all working super hard and we're enjoying our time as missionaries!

This last week was kinda' slow, as it has been going for the past few weeks. Our investigator pool has kinda' dried up, and we have only a couple people who we meet with, and even sometimes it's very difficult to meet with them. So this has probably been the least number of times I've taught a lesson in a week, just because we don't really have anyone established to meet with. Things have been going like this for the past couple weeks; however, this week I felt a lot different. In weeks past, it kinda' weighed down on me and I wondered why we weren't having success. Things didn't seem to make sense to me. However, last Friday President Weidmann shared a scripture with me in our interview. He shared a scripture from Alma. And at this time, Alma has just been rejected from the land of Ammonihah. He had been having great success on his mission, but the people of Ammonihah were so hardened in their hearts that they cast him out of the city. He was walking away being weighed down with all these feeling and wondering what he did wrong. In Alma 8:15 an angel appears to him and says, "Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you." President Weidmann then taught me about the "great cause" that Alma could rejoice over. This "great cause to rejoice" was Alma's obedience to the commandments of God. A lot of time I think we can fall into an idea that success as missionaries is measured by the number of baptisms or investigators that came to church. However, we learn from this scripture (as well as others) that success as a missionary is measured by your commitment to obeying the commandments of God. If we obey the commandments of God, we too will have this "great cause to rejoice." We also learn from Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21 that when we receive a blessing from God it's due to our obedience to a specific commandment. I really love the talk from Elder Klebingat from the October 2014 General Conference. He has a quote that says, "Selective obedience brings selective blessings." So if we want blessings, we should obey the commandments. If we want a "great cause to rejoice," we should obey the commandments. I know that obedience to the commandments of God brings blessings in our lives. I know that the commandments that God gives to us is for our benefit and happiness. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and I know that His Church has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that even though things are going slow with investigators, I still have a "great cause to rejoice" in my life. I love being a missionary!

Thank you for all of your love and support! I couldn't do it without you! Ju dua shumë! Javë të mbarë! Paçit qef në bor. E dua shumë dhe uroj që ne mund të kishim bor këtu në Durrës, por çfarë të bëjmë.

Me dashuri, Elder Watson

Shadow on the Institute Center door in Durrës.
The sea has been a lot more wavy and crazy the past couple of weeks.

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