17 November 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for the emails that you send me each week! I look forward to reading your emails every P-day! Wow! That's crazy! You got a TON of snow this week! I was telling some of the Albanians about how much snow we were getting at home and they couldn't believe it. They were telling me that snow fell in Durrës about four years ago. It was only like a centimeter, but everything was shut down because the snow never falls here. Before I forget, wish Grandma a happy birthday from me! This morning I was writing the date and I realized that it looked quite familiar, and then I realized that it was her birthday. Give her my fala (regards). Say hi to Wes and Becky for me when you see them this week. Also, say hi to Phil when you get the chance. Have you heard any more news about anyone else in the ward preparing for a mission? So this week, we'll be restarting our English Course. We use English as a finding tool, so every once in a while we'll end our course and we'll have a break and restart. It's a way that we can get different people into the course so we can find investigators to teach. So we'll be starting that up again this week.
This last week was kinda' crazy. I had conducted an exchange with Elder Muncy, and that was pretty sweet. We had a lot of fun together. Also, this week we had Mission Conference in Durrës. It was a little different because the meeting took place in Durrës, when the meetings normally happen in Tirana. It was also a little different because we had a guest come. Elder Timothy Dykes from the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us. So because we were the missionaries in Durrës, we had to do some last minute things to get the church ready for the conference. I had the exchange with Elder Muncy the day before the conference, so we had a lot of fun running around getting things ready for the conference. It was a wonderful conference! We learned a lot about strengthening our faith in Jesus Christ and what we can do to develop stronger, more meaningful prayers. We learned a lot about becoming a master teacher to help those we teach come closer to God through our meetings. It was a really great conference! Also, because it was a mission conference, I was able to see all of the missionaries in the mission. It was really great to talk with Elder Clawson again. I was really happy to hear that Nezir got baptized. I'm super happy about that! I also got to talk with all the other missionaries I've had the opportunity to be around. And in a couple weeks we'll be having yet another mission conference! We'll have a special Thanksgiving Mission Conference. I'm really excited for that one as well!
This week I also had the chance to go on another exchange with the Zone Leaders. So a District Leader does exchanges with all of the missionaries in his district, and the Zone Leaders do exchanges with the District Leaders. So this week I got to go with Elder Price in Lushnjë. Yeah, Elder Price and I still get to go on exchanges. It's super awesome! I was so excited to go to Lushnjë again! I loved being back in my hometown and again in the house I was born in. It was wonderful to see all of the members I knew from the last time. I really enjoyed my time in Lushnjë this week. I had the opportunity to teach some of the families that Elder Price is working with. They are wonderful! Some of them are nearly ready for baptism. In fact, they had a baptism in Lushnjë just this last weekend. I also got your package this last week. Thank you so much! Thank you so much for sending it. It means a lot to get something in the mail every once in a while!
About once every week, we meet with a less-active member here in Durrës. We just saw his name in our Area Book and we decided to go try and visit him one day, and we've been able to meet about weekly for the last month. It's been really great! We've found out that he had a very strong testimony that the Gospel is true. He just has some family issues that are keeping him from coming regularly. However, I've seen a big change in him since we've begun meeting with him regularly. We meet in his shop because he said it's a better environment than his house to talk about the Gospel. So we go to his shop and we have a chance to sit and talk about the Gospel for about half an hour. One of the first times we met with him, we asked him about his personal reading from the Book of Mormon. He went over to a cabinet and opened it. He rummaged around in it for a bit and pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon. It looked like he hadn't touched it in quite a while. However, when we went back and met with him last time, he had it out in the open, and he had papers in it containing notes he'd written about what he read! Also, when he lifted it up, I noticed that there was a hymnbook open underneath it. I was really happy to see that! As we were leaving, he told us that our weekly meetings were a miracle for him and he has felt that a fire had been reignited inside him again! I'm so very grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the opportunity we have to repent. Sometimes we think of repentance as a painful word that only means bad things. However, repentance is when we change doing something so that we can follow the teachings of Jesus Christ more exactly in our lives. I'm grateful for the blessings of happiness and peace that come and replace those feelings of shame and guilt. I'm grateful for the repentance I've seen in this man, and I know that it's blessing his life in many ways. I'm also grateful for the blessings that I have in my life that have come through repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that if we all humble ourselves and we repent of our sins, if we change how we're living, we'll have much more happiness, peace, comfort, hope, and many other great blessings from the Lord!
Thank you for the love and support you give to me. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! They are heard! Ju dua shumë! Kalofshit bukur! Paçi siguri në bor!!
Love, Elder Watson