Family and Friends,
Hello from hot and rainy Tirana. We have had a fun mixture of sweltering summer days and skies rumbling with lightening. The weather is in that fun mid-spring-summer stage.
A young man that I baptized in February of 2014 with Elder Bilodeau named Ersi has been living in Tirana and I have been able to work with him for the past couple of weeks. I love this young man very much and I have loved working with him again. He is moving down to Elbasan and I had to say goodbye for the second time. I am grieved but happy to have done that; I love him so much but I know that it will be better for him there.
We had a fun service opportunity . We helped the Tafili family move homes. They live in one of Tirana's suburbs called Instituti (or in English "Institute," I am sure none of you would have guessed that translation). We and the APs were able to help them move their stuff and we got to have fun with their great kids.
we had a great and rather unexpected opportunity to go to Durrës to take part in a stake fireside for those who had callings (and the missionaries). President Mema, the stake president, passed on the counsel of the Brethren and we have new information as to how we should treat our ministration on the Sabbath and in teaching new members of the Church. The main part of the fireside was a discussion from a couple from BYU-Idaho, the Gibbons couple, who have performed scholarly work on the Book of Mormon and other topics touching Mormonism. I loved the discussion; they used the literary and scholarly vernacular that I love. It was a refreshing look on the Book of Mormon and was a great experience. I also was able to see many members with whom I have worked, laughed, and cried. I got to sit with Erlind and Qerime Dishnica and Sadush Malku. I got to see my people from Durrës, Fier, and Tirana. It was such a great experience from all aspects.
For this P-Day, we went to the Church of Laç. Some background: most Albanians, Muslim, Catholic, and Orthodox (not so much the Orthodox) hold the Church of Laç (Catholic) as a sacred sight. People from all around Albania make pilgrimage to the Church of Laç. Many miracles and healings have been done there. When we talk to people in the road about faith and religion, I would say that I have heard a reference to the Church of Laç at least 3 times a week. We finally went and visited the site. We as the 4th Ward missionaries went and had a great time. It was interesting to sit in the church with believers and to hear their prayers and to see their faith. It was a fun experience.
I have sad/exciting news: I got my flight itinerary. I am expected to land at SLC airport at 10:00 PM July 1st. I, as every missionary, have mixed feelings. I am sure I will talk about this in some later letter.
I love you all and hope that you have a great week.
Elder Açësoni I Madhërishëm