Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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. 


Elder Hald

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 1 Out in the Missionfield  (finally!)

This is the letter and photos we received from Elder Hald's wonderful new mission president in Tirana, Albania.

September  5, 2013
Dear Bishop and Sister Hald,
Your son, Elder Jonathan Hald, arrived safe and sound at the Mission Home last evening.  He will be serving in the 2nd Branch.  This will be in the District of Tirana.  His companion will be Elder Benjamin Matson .
Sister Ford and I are so pleased to have Elder Hald as one of our missionaries and look forward to getting to know him well. We know that he will be able to contribute much to the missionary effort of teaching the people of Albania about Jesus Christ.
Missionaries absolutely love to receive mail and can be contacted either by email or by sending letters through the post office to:

Elder Jonathan Hald
Albania Tirana Mission
PO Box 2984
Rruga Qemal Stafa, Vila 1
Perballe Postas Nr. 22
Tirana, Albania

Sincerely Andrew Michael Ford
President Albania, Tirana Mission

As you can see, Elder Hald's address is listed there as well. 

Elder Hald with his new companion, Elder Matson, and their Mission President and his wife.

Elder Hald surrounded by Elder Ostergaard and Elder Acheson at the Salt Lake City airport on the morning of their departure for Albania.
Don't they just look so happy and excited to go.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Below is the letter Elder Hald wrote on his last p-day at the Provo West MTC.  He will leave the MTC to go to Albania at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, September 3rd, exactly two months after he entered the MTC on July 3rd.

Please send all LETTERS to the mission office until Elder Hald can notify us of his first assignment in the mission field:

Elder Jonathan Hald
Adriatic South Mission
PO Box 2984
Rr. Qemal Stafa, Vila 1
Perballe Postes Nr. 22

Week 9 at the Provo West MTC

Dear family and friends

This is crazy. I leave for Albania on Tuesday!!! I am so excited. We received our travel plans last week. We just ended our consecration week today. For consecration week we set goals of things we wanted to do for the Lord and we could only speak in Albanian. It was really hard, but very rewarding. I feel I have grown so much in the language. I also feel a lot closer to the Lord. 
So then last week has been wonderful. We got to hear elder Neil L Anderson speak for our last Tuesday devotional. It was a wonderful talk about love and sacrifice. I sang in the MTC choir again. I do not remember if I have written this before, but I have been singing with the choir each Tuesday here in the MTC, except for the first one. IT has been a wonderful experience to sing with so many missionaries. I find it quite funny that there are more missionaries in the choir than not. Also my sickness that I talked about last email in healing. My voice is back and my energy is at normal again. I am so very grateful for all the support from my family and friends. It is really weird for me, but I am having a hard time talking about anything else than the gospel. The MTC really changes you. It has been a wonderful blessing to look over my stay at the MTC and see the change I have gone through. I cannot stop thinking about how I can help the person next to me or the one I am teaching draw closer to Christ. I find myself searching the scriptures like never before. My prayers have turned from being asking prayers to being gratitude prayers. It is often overwhelming at the end of the day when I reflect over my day and ponder over what Heavenly Father has blessed me with that day. I often think of so many things that If I were to include them all in my nightly prayers I would not be sleeping that night. It has been really interesting for me to see what the Lord has made of me so far. Everything that I do that is good is from my Father in Heaven. Everything I am that is good is because of Him. I rejoice in Him and in Him will I rejoice in forever. May we never forget the great love of our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. May we always remember the infinite sacrifice our Savior did for us. If you ever have any doubts or question about the book of Mormon, I have two words of action for you, "Read it". 

Elder  Jonathan Hald

Elder Jonathan Hald with his district in front of Provo Temple

Elder Hald in front of Provo Temple

Elder Hald and Elder Baker in front of Provo Temple