Elder Scadden

Elder Scadden

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Once upon a time in Albania (March 15 2010)

Hello all from Albania!

I hope everyone is doing well! I especially hope that Mum is recovering nicely from her surgery. It mustn't be fun to be confined to a bed for a long time. This week the weather has been great outside but I have probably spent a total time of 2 hours actually outside in the fresh air and that is just the adding up of brief travel time to various locations LOL. I am excited that winter is dying and that spring is on its way. I think that winter will always represent death and suffering to me, which is probably why I dislike the season so very much. This week I got two great packages!! One from Mum and Dad and one from Jenni. They were great! You all spoil me too much.

The highlight of this week what a visit from Elder Ford, a member of the area authority 70s from England. He had a special meeting with us missionaries where he tried to encourage us to put more into the hands of the members and to make more, but shorter visits to our investigators. It was really a great meeting. We were all able to share our concerns and the like, since, unfortunately, the Albania culture fights strongly against the things they want us to do, but that doesn't mean they are impossible! They are encouraging us to make 15-20 minute lesson visits.

A large problem we have here is that it often takes 15-20 minutes to get the lesson started because Albanians demand small talk. We just have to be more stern with them. Fortunately it is hard to offend an Albanian with a blunt statement. As for the members, it all falls under trying to get the members of Albania to become a more Zion people and adopt a Zion culture. We can do it, albeit one step at a time!

It was also the weekend of District Conference. We had two sessions in the Durres chapel. The meeting was really excellent and my favorite part by far was President Baird's (our district president) talk. He shared the story of the two snipers in Somalia (as Elder Eyring did 2 conferences ago) and the 3 boys of the Martin and Harris handcart companies. He then referred the stories of reaching out to the lost members of the church, those who have fallen away, and doing everything we can to bring them back. He then challenged that every member bring 1 less active back to church this year. It was a fantastic challenge. I really hope that the members respond. Even if only a third of those attending yesterday succeeded then church attendance and activity here would grow by 120 people Which is huge when you consider that weekly church attendance is only 400-500 people per week, out over 1500+ baptized members. I have hope that this will yield strong results. I also got to see my boys and many of my friends from 2nd branch again. It was a great day, though I think there are some members that need to be reminded that we don't buy things are Sundays. You would be surprised how many members don't realize that it is against Gods commandments (they view it like this, if we're not going to a mall, or to stores to buy cloths or fun things, we aren't breaking the sabbath, but food is something that can still be bought). They fail to realize that it would be better to buy it all Saturday, so to keep the Lords day Holy).

Anyway, nothing else has really happened. I'm staying off my foot and we are hoping for a speedy recovery. I miss you all and I hope that all of you are well. I love you. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. May God be with you!

With love
Elder Skadi

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