Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2700 members, 2000 families... Oh

April 24, 2017

Fatjon, So we called up Fation last week after we got done emailing, and he answered! His phone has been off for like 3 weeks. Anyways, we went and ate a crepe, and we watched the Restoration video, and went over the Restoration! It was good! He understood better that Joseph Smith was really searching for the truth. Fatjon is interesting, because he has seen Dragon Ball Z and Star Wars, and a bunch of American shows and likes them! Most Albanians don't like them. He's learned a lot about Mormons from the Internet, so right now, the challenge with him is helping him to understand that all these things we say actually are real and important. We met again on Thursday and began to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It went pretty well! He expressed to us that these things have "touched his soul," which is a big improvement from Fatjon! He's a great guy. :)

Elder Lords and Anderson, So transfers were this week, and we're staying in Tirana, but the Sisters in our District left, and now Elder Lords (Andrew Lords from Idaho Falls that was in our stake when we first moved in) and Elder Anderson ,who is in his last transfer, are in our district! I'm looking forward to serving with them and learning from them, and especially to serve close to Elder Lords, because he's from IF! P.S. I saw a video that showed a first glimpse of the IF temple on the inside, and it looks so pretty!

Elder Halverson, Zone Conference and the Spirit of Elijah, We got to work with one of the Elders from Macedonia for two days while he was here for a zone conference! It was way fun, he's way cool. Zone conference was great as well! President Mema, the Stake President, spoke to us about the Spirit of Elijah. He also told us that the membership in Albania is 2700 and there are 2000 households of members. This means that 2000 of the members are the only members in their families. Oh. We were encouraged to really try hard to meet in the houses of those we teach and to include their family as much as possible, which would be absolutely incredible to teach a family and to see them get baptized. We'll keep you updated on that!

Lorencë and Anxhëla, These two are part of an Evangelist church here in Tirana! Three weeks ago, we were singing to publicize a fireside we were putting on for Easter, and I met with them and two of their other friends! They were way cool, and before we said goodbye, they prayed for me! It was so cool. Anyways, we met with them on Wednesday after Zone Conference with Elder Halverson! We went to a little cafe (not our preferred place for a lesson) and started talking about what we believe. It was cool being able to teach someone that already has a strong faith in Jesus Christ! We talked about our baptisms, about Joseph Smith, and a lot about the Book of Mormon. Anxhëla accepted one and said she would read it, and Lorencë took one, but said he wanted to finish the Bible first. We'll see where things go with them.

Ahmed, We met up again and discussed the Restoration, and discovered that he didn't understand it completely, which is understandable, because English is his second language, and it's a pretty unique message. It was interesting with Ahmed, because everything he knows about Jesus, he has learned from the Quran. He did not think that Jesus died, so when we told him that Jesus really did die, that was something totally knew for him! We've planned to have a lesson centered around Jesus Christ with Ahmed, and we're going to use the Bible Videos! I'm looking forward for that. We also have to go over faith and prayer with Ahmed, because he's a little bit confused about that I think.

Arlind, is golden. Turns out he's not in area, so we'll probably let the other elders teach him, but this guy is so cool. We taught him about repentance, and I think Arlind is probably the most prepared person I've ever seen on my mission. He was deeply touched as he read from the pamphlet about repentance. He is so sincere and humble and has been prepared by the Spirit in his life up to this point. He didn't come to church, but the reason why was because he was up until 1:45 a.m. reading the Book of Mormon, and he forgot to set his alarm for the morning. He's so stinkin' cool. I had a special experience as we were teaching the Plan of Salvation. He was expressing how happy he is to learn these things and about what he was feeling, and I promised him that Heavenly Father is pleased that another one of his sons has returned to him in faith. As I said this, the Spirit testified to me that what I said was true, and it was a very humbling experience

Yevgen, We met with our Ukranian friend again! We set up a day to meet with him last wednesday, but we miscalculated how long zone conference would be, and we couldn't meet him. He came to church, and told us that he was at the mission office waiting for us, and he was wet and cold because it was raining. Dang it. If there's one thing that can make you feel bad, it's a homeless hungry Ukranian refugee asking you why you stood him up on teaching the gospel. So we apologized, gave him some more food, and then he came to an activity later that night! He seems to be doing better. We'll meet with him tomorrow, and might go to Berat on Monday to meet with the Russian missionary that is helping us teach Skype! Woot!

I love you all! I know that prayers are heard as we exercise faith! This week, try saying your personal prayers out loud. I promise you will see a difference. I love you!
Elder Schneider

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