Elder Scadden

Elder Scadden

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Once upon a time in Albania (March 8, 2010)

Hello all from Albania!

I would like to begin by wishing my niece Keira and also Matthew Bray a very Happy Birthday! Edhe nje qind! Well, you all are probably wondering if we've made any progress medically. So I went to the American hospital and the orthopedist there asked me to bring my xray. The next day I brought it, he (btw he was a German doctor) took only a 3 second glance at the xray (the same xray I had gotten 2 weeks before) and said "oh... you obviously have a stress fracture, look, right here" LOLOLOLOL the other doctor at the other place completely missed it.

Well, anyway, we are very happy now that we know what is wrong. I have to say completely off that foot for 3 weeks and then cannot run for 6-7. I am now using crutches and we have been confined to quarters. We are now only doing member visits and helping the Ahlburns transcribe and translate 2010 A Brand new year. I actually feel more useful than I did during the time we didn't know what it was because we are making great progress on the 2010 movie and the Ahlburns are very excited about it. Especially after how well the piece we had already translated was a blast at the super Saturday that just happened. Anyway, I am sad that I am not able to do any finding (other than looking for referrals), but I am enjoying hours of scripture study and really feel myself strengthening spiritually daily. Its a great feeling. As president put it, now is the time for me to "sharpen the saw" that I might be a better tool in the hand of the Lord. The translating we are getting ready to do on the movie will also be great for my language.

Just so that you all know, I also had a check up with a urologist because of some very unusual testicular pain I have been having. No cancer, that is clear. The doctors seem to think I have some sort of testicular infection, so I am taking antibiotics (NOOOOO I will now probably die of influenza in a year or something as this dang pill destroys my immune system for the rest of my life) to get rid of it. The pain has subsided dramatically but immediately after my examination it was ridiculously painful. Once I got home I just fell on my bed, not moving for about 30 minutes as the pain slowly subsided. I won't lie, it was hilarious, which wasn't good because every time I laughed about it they hurt more. Anyway, don't worry about that, because it is not causing me any more problems. Its actually kind of nice that I got hit with both of these things at the same time.

In terms of attitude I have felt great these past few days. Now that I know I can be freed from the house on the 26th, I can now patiently await it rather than waking up every morning guessing my status. Elder Thackeray seems to be going a little stir crazy, but today he's doing an exchange with Elder Loose so he can be out and about for a few hours. I can soundly say that I haven't been in such a good mood for over a month now. The Lord has truly answered our many prayers and I am extremely grateful for His tender mercies. You know, it is funny how something so small as a stress fracture can cause such inconveniences.

By the way, if you ever come to Albanian and have a medical problem (aside from trauma) go to the American Hospital! It is an extremely nice facility and most of the employees understand a decent amount of English. They are also all, for the most part, very nice. Actually during my numerous doctors visits there this past week I had the opportunity to share the gospel with numerous people. Unfortunately nothing directly came out of it but more people have been opened to the light of the gospel and maybe will let us in when we knock on their door.

I also got to spend a good deal of time with President Neil. I would just like to say that I have a great deal of respect for him and he really does have a great deal of compassion and concern for us missionaries. He has been extremely helpful during this time, as has his wife. I also got a great package from Jenni this week, that made me very happy :)

Oh, I have a question! So I have been counseled to not bother myself with Kleon Skousen's stuff. I am now curious about how you all feel about Truman Madison or Hugh Nibley? I don't have any of their material, though I did hear a Truman G. Madison talk on Joseph Smith that was amazing when I was with the assistants. What do you all think? All in all I know it is better to pay attention with the words of the living prophets, but I am curious to know to what level of validity I can hold their words when others quote them.

So tomorrow we are having a mini transfer. Elder Celaj has served his time and because he is an Albanian he is on a different track than other missionaries. So one of the assistants is being sent to Vlore to replace him and Elder Allen, from my group, is now assistant. Elder Allen is an absolutely great missionary. He is very hard working and strong in his testimony. It has been a pleasure to interact with him here on the mission. When I was in the MTC with my group, I thought that we were some of the most immature, unprepared, and future problem causing missionaries. However, every missionary from my group has proved to be outstanding in their efforts and work. I am friends with them all and have learned things from each. Its hard to look at some of these elders and believe that they were once the person they were when they first entered the MTC. Well, it is a lesson to me about judging people, and also a testimony to me about how powerfully people can change on their missions. I do hope that similar positive changes are taking place in myself, though it is much harder to see such change in ourselves. I guess that is really one thing that the gospel is all about is change, isn't it? We are always trying to change ourselves and take on the countenance of Jesus Christ.

Anyway, I must go now. I hope you all are well. I thank you all for your prayers on my behalf, and for all of your support. I love you all and miss you all. You are remembered in my prayers. I know that this is the Lords work, and that He is watching over us. take care, and may God be with you all.

With love,
Elder Skadi

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