Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Albanian Greeting

July 20, 2009

What’s up!

Okay so the translations of that stuff. I actually kind of lied last week in saying that it all meant the same thing, but you do have to say like 5 of them before you can consider yourself sufficiently greeted. =) It’s basically like, “How are you? Are you well? How have you been? With health? From the house? (That one is my personal favorite) Good.” But yeah so they’re pretty much self explanatory. You can also say stuff like C’fare thote puna? (How is work) Si e ke familjen? (How is your family) and stuff like that. But anyway yeah so those are some Albanian greetings.

So about the companion thing. . . .long story. Back when he was in Fier he developed a problem called Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (I don’t know if that’s spelled right), but basically it just kills when you walk and as much as we were tracting and street contacting here in Kamez , it started to act up on him again. So he actually got emergency transferred to Tirana in 3rd branch where they have more work at the moment. So today is my first day with my new companion Elder Bullough! He seems pretty cool, but I’ve actually only been with him for like 2 hours now so I’ll let you know more next week. ;)

So the schedule for the summer is kinda weird. We wake up at 6:00 and work out and make breakfast and stuff and then we have personal study from 7:30 to 8:30. Companion study from 8:30 to 9:30 and then we’re out of the house until 1:30 we come back in for lunch. During the summer the Albanians basically have a siesta type thing because it’s so hot so we have lunch from 1:30 to 4:00 and then we do language to 4:30. After that we’re out of the house working until 9:30 again. Most of the time we’re out of the house, we are either street contacting or tracting. I’m definitely tired every night when we get back to the house. It is hard work.

But I have a cool story about street contacting. One day we were street contacting in the Qendra e Kamzes and all of a sudden out of the blue this guy named Flamur comes up to us and is like, “You guys have a meeting here on Sunday, don’t you? Call me and I’ll come.” We were like, “Heck yes we do!” We found out that he had been contacted by some missionaries when he was in Tirana one day and so he was obviously interested. So we called him Saturday night and he came to church yesterday! After sacrament meeting we showed him The Restoration and talked with him about prophets and the Book of Mormon. He seemed really interested. So we gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to read 3 Nephi 11 and he’s coming to church again next week. We’ll have another lesson after sacrament meeting. He also asked if he could get baptized and how fast so we were pretty excited about that! I hope he is sincere and I think he is. So hopefully we will be able to make this happen. It was really cool. That was probably the highlight of my week.

So about our Branch. The Kamez branch is very small as of right now. We have I think five members. They are so great though. It is fun to talk to them and teach them. A couple of our members are actually trying to go on missions soon so hopefully they are able to do that because they would be fantastic missionaries. But yeah, we meet in the bottom floor of a three story house. It’s a pretty small building, but it works for us right now. So obviously the work in Kamez is just starting out right now, but I have faith that it will grow to be just like any of the other areas. We just have to keep working.

I have a funny story for you. We were taking the sisters around Kamez last night so they could meet the sister members and teach them and we were at Alketa’s house. Motra Bentley had never met Alketa before and so she was showing her some pictures of her family and stuff. Apparently Albanians are a little bit blunt sometimes which, as you could imagine, makes for some funny moments. Alketa saw one of the pictures of Motra and she said, “Is that you? You were so thin! Why are you so fat now?” Ha ha ha ha oh we all had a good laugh at that one. That brightened up my night at least. =)

So tell Nate good luck! That is so exciting! It’s coming right up. So he’ll just be in the MTC for three weeks then, right? That is way cool. I’m so excited for him. And let me know where Cameron goes! I can’t wait to hear! He’ll be an awesome missionary wherever he goes. I think about the guys from time to time and think how cool it is that we’re all going to be on our missions within a very short time. I have freakin’ awesome friends.

Anyway, I should go. I’m praying for you guys and hope you are doing well. It sounds like you are all doing well and I hope that you know how grateful I am for your support and love on my behalf. Thank you so much for everything!

Te Dua!
-Elder Swenson

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