Hello all from Albania!
I hope everyone is well. I miss you all! Last week I got a lot of really great emails. I feel quite informed about home this week which is not necessarily always the case (just because 2 or 3 people couldn’t possibly tell me everything that’s going on in everyone else's lives). This past week has been good. We had our first Zone Conference with me conducting. Let me say that I learned many things about conducting a zone conference. The Assistants gave Elder Thackeray a hard time for not really explaining to me at all the things I would need to know or be ready to announce during the meeting. Needless to say, having seen many meeting conducted, it really was not that rocky. I simply did not know the information that people expected me to know. As a whole, zone conference was Great! Very uplifting, with a focus on finding. President has said that the year of 2010 will be the year of finding.
Last night we went to go visit Sister Charma, the old women who reminded me of Sister Hodge. We she has been sick and last night was in a really terrible way. This morning we came with an ambulance, put her on a stretcher and carried her down 6 flights of stairs. Since it was planned (it was not an emergency) the EMS guys refused to come and carry her down and since all of the men in the church were working, we were asked to do it. It went well and we were glad to help. She decided to go to the Hospital because she has no one except friends to take care of her and she needed more constant care. I hope that she will get better. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had passed away in the night last night but this morning she seemed to actually be doing a little bit better. A good sign.
I would like to inform everyone that according to people, animals and things do not make all the same sounds all around the world. Where in America a dog goes Bark Bark, or Woof Woof, here in Albania a dog goes Hahm Hahm Hahm Hahm and a gun goes Tak tak tak tak. LOL. I guess it's not a surprise that such things wouldn’t be the same around the world but I just had never thought about it before until it came up (somehow) in church yesterday.
Dude, it has rained like no tomorrow this week. We went tracting a couple of days ago and it was raining pretty hard. While we tracted the rain got even harder. After the time came to leave, we left the neighborhood of apartment buildings we had been tracting and found that we were trapped, the main road had flooded about 5 inches LOL! Clearly passable but we decided to walk around a ways and finally found a place were we could get across mostly unsplashed. It could have been worse.
I would like to say that I really love the testimonies of others. I find them so very refreshing. Last week one of my sisters bore testimony to me about something and I really found it energizing. I had a similar feeling at church yesterday as the people were giving their talks. I rejoiced in their love for the gospel and faith in their savior. As I have been on my mission I feel like my love for the testimonies of others has greatly increased. Maybe part of it comes from always worrying about if a member will just suddenly apostatize for some totally random reason. Hearing their testimonies gives me assurance that they are trying to stand on good ground. I am reminded by Elder Bednar's talk from this last conference where we are encouraged to bear testimony far more often in our homes. We really can draw greater strength as we hear other's testimonies and especially as we bear testimony to others. I am truly blessed that daily I am given the opportunity to directly bear, to many people, my testimony of Christ and the prophets that he has called in our day. Its hard to believe that I have less time left to do that than I have behind me…
Well, I must go. Thank you all for your prayers, I feel your love and support even across these many waters. I miss you all, and I love all of you very much. I know that this is the Lords work. All of you take care and may God be with you!
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