Let me first begin by thanking everyone for all the mail you have sent me. I only get it about once or twice a month because it has to come up from Tirana with someone from the mission so it is quite the treat to get letters and packages.
So now for the stories and other miscellaneous things that I am assuming you came here for...
Tuesday's and Saturday's are the English class days and I love English class so much. It is a great opportunity for me to speak English with the natives and to just have a good time with the youth here. There isn't any gospel lesson, just English, except for a little thought at the end of class about how we can improve our lives and how we can better the lives of others (pretty non-denominational, I believe). We also close every lesson with a prayer, whether it be a prayer offered by a missionary or one of the Muslim kids. It is so cool to have so many different faiths come together and pray. The lessons that we teach are almost as cool, but not quite. This past Tuesday we taught about adverbs and adjectives. About 15 minutes into the lesson I realized that I had no idea what an adverb was. To any of my English teachers that may be reading this, I apologize from the very depths of my soul. I still couldn't tell you the difference between the two.
The following day, Wednesday, my companion and I did about 4 hours of finding. Finding involves a mix between knocking on doors (tracting), talking to people on the street (street contacting), and tabling (setting up a table with pamphlets and Books of Mormon and letting people come to us). Of the 3, tabling is by far my favorite method. It gives people the opportunity to come to us with questions and shows desire on their part instead of us walking up to them and scaring them. Tracting is my next favorite. We get to visit a bunch of different houses and apartments and meet people in a semi-formal environment. But my least favorite method by quite a long shot is street contacting. We have such a difficult time getting any serious investigators from this because we sometimes scare people off and they think we are being rude. If we do have a gospel-oriented conversation and ask them for their number (to meet again), they give us either a wrong number or tells us they don't want to meet when we actually do call them. 'Tis the joy of missionary work, I suppose.
President Ford and his wife came to our humble little city of Gjakovë on Thursday to have individual interviews with the missionaries and to check on our progress. Since they live in Tirana, they brought up all our mail with them. I got a package and a letter from Hollie, a letter from Bro. Collings, 2 letters from Grandma and Grandpa Allgaier, and a dearelder. It was awesome!
So to wrap up this email, I am going to share one story. This story took place on the 25th of this month. It was one of the coolest lessons that we have ever had with this family. Before I tell the story, let me give a little bit of background info. Their family has 6 people: the dad, the mom, son (16), daughter (13?), son (8), and daughter (8). The mom and her 3 youngest children were all baptized together and are currently the only members in their family. The dad has received all the lessons but hasn't been baptized for reasons that are unknown to me. The 16-year-old boy has not had any lessons and has had almost no contact with the missionaries or church. So that night at the lesson, all 4 of us Gjakovë elders went to deliver a washing machine to their house and to share a short message. At first, everyone except the 16 year old was there as we were discussing the Atonement and repentance to the dad. But about 10 minutes in we hear the front door open and close. The mom gets up and leaves and comes back with the 16 year old son. This is the first time he has sat in on a lesson and it is also the first time that they have been taught as a family. The mother was almost tearing up as we continued teaching. It was so spiritual. At the end, the mom gave the closing prayer. That very well could have been the first time that they have prayed as a family.
As a concluding thought, I want to ask you all what you think about this question: Why do we close our eyes when we pray?
Thank you for everything that you all do for me and my family. Stay safe!
- Elder Allgaier
|Lesson at a family's home|
|my companion at the family member's home|
|My companion didn't wear black socks|
|A baptism calendar that I made for 2 of our investigators|
|These are constantly cooking chicken all day (only 4 Euro!)|
|Cafe rio dinner on Sunday (courtesy of me)|
|The most delicious chicken ever|
|A burrito being born|