Week 1 in Tirana, Albania
Here is Elder Jonathan Hald's first letter written on his first p-day about his first week in Tirana, Albania. Apparently, they use internet cafes to write from, and the computer he was using did not have a drive from his memory card, so he won't be sending photos until gets to a computer which has it.
I Dashur family and friends
This has been my first week in Albania. It has been SOOO CRAZY!!!! We left the MTC Tuesday 4:30am. We arrived in Albania Wednesday around noon. Everyone there were looking at us. We got our luggage and found the assistants and the Mission President and his wife. My district go to get a ride in a minivan called "Big Blue". We quickly found out that people are crazy drivers. There are almost no traffic lights. In addition, people totally ignore them. People just drive how they want. We all were freaking out a little. In Albania you have to drive as if you are in an action movie. It was great. So when we arrived at the mission home we got to eat some sandwiches and then we went out to go tracking with another missionary while the mission president conducted his interviews with everyone. It was a really fun experience. It was very interesting to go talk to people in downtown Tirana. I could not understand a word the people said. I had a The Best Two Years experience "This is not the language they taught me in the MTC". SO afterwards we tracked and I had my interview we had dinner. It was ALBANIAN PIZZA!!! It is really good. after that we went to a "the nicest" hotel in Tirana. IT was 15 dollars for a night per person. The room looked like a motel room, but just a lot lower standard then Americans are use to. Anyway, Next day we go to the place were Albania was dedicated for missionary work. we got some time to consecrate ourselves and then we had some Burek (albanian breakfast). Then we went back and had some more Albanian pizza. Then right after we got put into companionships and where we would serve for the first 4 months. I am being trained by Elder Matson in Tirana 2nd branch. I found out that we have a lot in common. So random thing, When sister Ford (mission president's wife) saw me she said "oh you must be the opera singer". I was in shock how she knew. So I will most likely be singing in mission conferences or church.
Now it is monday, my first Pday. We went around Tirana as a district and played some soccer. Also we went into a mosque. it was interesting.
Basically I have found out that missionary work is great, but is really hard at the same time. It demands a lot of mental strength. I really love the people the people here. Oh and did I mention that on my first day, 20 minutes after I got my new companion I invited someone to be baptized? Well I did. He says that he will when he knows the book of mormon is ture. Also we have 1 baptism coming up next week and 2 more in 4 weeks. The work is wonderful! The Lord is truly good to me. I only wish is that I can serve Him how He would have me serve. I look forward to this next week. We are now in charge of 2 areas in Tirana. They took out 2 elders out of the 2nd branch so now it is up to us to do the work for 2 areas. If everything works out then we will have so many lessons that we will not have enough time in each day to teach all of the people that we have planned to teach. I am in awe of how the missionary work is moving forward.