Yevgen, So we talked with President Weidmann this week about Yevgen, because right now, he doesn't really have a future, or a home, so we wanted to know what we should do, like if we should baptize him, or if he should go somewhere where he can stay active to be baptized. He suggested that we suggest to Yevgen to back to Ukraine, because there he won't be a refugee, and he could receive support from his ward, home teachers, and he can also keep progressing and prepare to go to the temple in Kiev Ukraine! He also said we must make sure Yevgen is attending church regularly before his baptism, because if not, it's like we're baptizing him, and he's immediately becoming inactive. The only problem right now is that his camp doesn't let him out until 11 o'clock on Sundays, and church starts right at 11! Gah! So this is an excerpt from my email to President Weidmann, "We took your advice, and we fasted and prayed about Yevgen and about your counsel for him to return to Ukraine. We talked to him about this, and he does not want to go back to Ukraine. He said he does not have any family there, and that he would be persecuted by the government if he returns. He said that because he does not have family there, if he went back, he wouldn't have anywhere to live. What kind of help the church could give to him if he moved back there? Would we be able to help him get a fresh start? We will keep thinking about this and keep praying. We invited Yevgen as well to pray and to think about where he can return so he can stay active in the church. He does seem to be progressing. He also told us that he will ask the leader of his camp to see if he can get special permission to leave early so he can come to church." Yevgen is so cool. He wants to come to church, and I believe has real intent, he just has such a hard life. He's progressing though, and he seems to be a little bit more happy each time we see him :) Also, We ate lunch with Elder Bowen, the Russian Elder, and Yevgen today, which was fun!
English Course Quotes, Haha! Ok, so there are some pretty funny things that get said in English Course sometimes, because their accents are a little bit different, and they'll confuse words and stuff. I'm gonna start writing them down, because they're stinking hilarious. Haha so we play catchphrase in the class each time. We write a word on the board in English, and one person sits with their back to the board, and the other students have to describe the word in English without doing gestures of speaking in Albanian! So the word on the board was "acne." And one guy named Dean, who is actually really funny, says, "They're like pimps! Pimps! Pimps! Pimps!" HAHAHAHAHA!!!! He was thinking of "pimples," but was just a little bit off. Haha! And then for another one, I can't remember what the word was, but he was describing something, and said, "How do you call the big finger of the foot?" Ha! In Albanian, the word for toe and finger are the same word, so it's just the direct translation. Haha! Another time, Dean didn't know what one word meant, and so he looks it up in the dictionary, and reads the definition out loud, and they still don't know it, and then at the end he reads, "first used in the year 1677." Haha! Oh thanks Dean! Now they know what the word is! Haha! Funny stuff. I'll write down the funny quotes this week, and get back to you with more.
Fredi, We begun reteaching a friend this week named Fredi! He was an investigator with Elder Draper and Crandall, who were teaching him back in October, and he came to us last week and said he wants to be baptized, so we are helping him put that desire into action right now! He understands gospel principles well, the only setback is how much he smokes. He smokes a lot, but we're working to help him develop a testimony of Joseph Smith so he can have a firm base to help him understand why he needs to quit smoking. His dad is also an alcoholic, so that's pretty hard on him. Fredi is a great guy though. One hard part about helping people stop smoking here is that it's like one of the only things they do in their free time. For example, Fredi is unemployed right now, so he spends his days drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes with his friends. He doesn't really have any other hobbies. So if you have any ideas for hobbies that a 40-year old guy could pick up, that would be great!
Rajdi, We found someone awesome this week! On Friday, Ahmed didn't show up to a lesson, so went tracting because it was raining, and we started from the bottom, and didn't really find anyone showing interest until the top floor, which was pretty creepy, almost too creepy, but we knocked anyway and a man opened his door, and was super friendly! He said that he was watching the soccer game for Partisan vs. Kukes, or else he would have invited us in, but he said that his son might be interested in what we have to share, and gave us his son's number, who is named Rajdi! We met with him yesterday in his house with his mom as well! His mom had a copy of the Book of Mormon from some sister missionaries 8 years earlier! We got to their house, and we small-talked for like an hour, which was too much, but she was so cool! She totally loves serving people, and just being nice to people! She works as a school receptionist at a university, and she said that sometimes the girls can be really hard on themselves, and they might be crying or something, and she has stopped to talk to them before, and she'll talk to them, and just kind of build them up, and lift their spirits, and help them feel better and hopeful! She said she wants to be the school therapist, but she just hasn't done school, so she probably wouldn't be hired. Also, her son, named Rajdi, who is 20 years old told us about how he wants to make a film that will encourage people to be better people, or something like that! And he also said he's seen all the movies about Jesus Christ, and loves the feeling he gets when he watches them! Woot! So they seem very prepared! We've got high hopes for them :)
Clawson's, So you already know, but an RM came back and visited the mission with his family! We were waiting in the church for an appointment, and then this guy knocks on the front glass and says in English, "What time is 3rd ward?" We thought it was just an Albanian that speaks English, but then his mom asks us if we still know our mom's phone numbers so they could send you a text. Then they ask us where were from, and it turns out they trained John and Tiff, my old bosses at Great Harvest! So that was way cool. She reminded me a lot of momma in fact, which made me miss you, mom, but made me real excited for Sunday! Woot!!!!!
Church/Members, I talked with Sister Decoursey on Saturday while we were playing Futbol, and she mentioned how she's been visiting a lot of the members, and the fruits that have come as a result. We decided to try this, and we have set a goal that we want to visit all the members in our ward so that they can know us, and trust us to teach their family and friends, and so that they can be more excited for the missionary work within the ward. We plan on asking if they have any family members who may have interest, and asking for when they will have time to help us with lessons, and other commitments which we will plan when we do companionship study. For this week, we already have at least 3 meetings with members set up, and possibilities for others. We hope that in doing this, we will be able to include the families of these members as has been encouraged by you and President Mema!
3 Nephi 13:25-34, I understood this scripture better this week! I understood better the part about the "fowls of the air" and "grass of the field." If I now understand correctly, the Savior is telling us to just not worry about yourself, because of course Heavenly Father will take care of us! Just look at the birds and the grass! They don't do any work and He takes care of them! Surely He will provide for those that do His work. I testify this is true, and that I have felt this on my mission as I have striven to devote myself to the work :)
25 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;
29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.
I love you all! Momma, we will either skype at 4:30 or 5:30 my time. Which one is better? I will send an email in the middle of this week to confirm, but I'll make sure we both know when it will be! I love you!