September 9, 2013
|This is the mural Elder Acheson references|
|This is the Tirana, Albania Museum|
|All the new missionaries stayed at Freddy's Hostel|
|The missionaries borrowed beds from the Seven Dwarfs|
|Mission President Ford, Elder Acheson, Elder Wagstaff and Sister Ford|
|Tirana 3rd Branch|
Dear Family and Friends,
I have arrived in Shqiperi! I am living in the Tirana 3rd Branch area
and my companion in Elder Uagstaf (Wagstaff). Tirana is the capitol of
Albania I love this city!
I hardly know where to begin. The first and most apparent difference
from the United States and other countries I have been to that I
noticed was that things we might call traffic laws in the US are...
non-existent. On the drive from the Airport to the Mission Home, I
quickly learned just how fun driving is. The AP driving our car was
casually weaving in and out of close traffic at 70km/hr. The
interesting thing was that we were being passed. All the time. I just
laughed and had a ball. My companion at the time Elder Ostergaard had
to keep on telling himself that "this is normal, everyone isn't mad,
this is normal." Finally people in someplace in the world know how to
drive. This is what Utah has been preparing me for right?
President and Sister Ford are awesome. They are from London and just
some of the funniest people I have met. Within the first hour, the new
missionaries were paired up zone leaders, the APs, and a few other
missionaries and we went street contacting. I went with an Elder Pirs
(Pierce) to Qenderi i Tiranes (Center of Tirana) where if you google
search photos of Albania, and you see a museum with a very communist
looking mural on the front, I was directly in front of that museum. My
first lesson in Albanian, to an Albanian was to an old Xhaxhi
(pronounced Jaji and translates in to "uncle"or "old man") named Nebim
on a bench in the Qender. We read out of 2 Nephi 4 together. As is
turns out, he had a very tough life under Enver Hoxha, the communist
dictator, and has been praying to God to end his life. Nebim did agree
to meet with the missionaries again and I hope the missionaries who
have his area contact him.
My companion and I live in a beautiful apartment. I will be
preparing more information about my mission and Tirana in general.
Your Albanian of the week is in Wishing Tense. Albanian has a tense
that indicates a wish or positive sentiment on behalf of the speaker
for their audience. "Rrofshi mire!" This translates into "may you live
well!" Nenes or Old Ladies will say things in wishing tense to you
during the entire conversation that you have together.
I have lost my address book and all of the email addresses and mailing
addresses within. Please forward my emails to whomever would like
them. Also, contact my mom at email@example.com and she will take care of whatever you need.
Sending mail to Albania is not as bad as previously predicted. It
costs about $1.30 to send a letter to me. It might just talk a longer amount
of time to get to me than email and DearElder.com. My address is
Elder Thomas Chase Acheson
The Adriatic South Mission
Rr. Qemal Stafa, Vila 1
Perballe Postes Nr. 22
And this address will never change throughout my mission. If you
decide to send a package, add PO Box 2984 after Adriatic South Mission.
If you do send a package, tape on to the package religious pictures or
Jesus or the Virgin Mary. People will not tamper with packages of
religious natures, its taboo. Put pictures on top of the stuff inside
I love you all and I thank you for your loving support. I intend on
staying in contact with all of you throughout my mission. Thank you
for your prayer and I will do my best to keep up with the emails. My
P-day is Monday and so that is the day I can email.
Love you all,
P.S. from Barbara Acheson
David and I asked Chase via gmail how things are going in a nutshell. This is what he had to say:
Wonderfully! Companion is great, Branch is great. Investigators aregreat. Food is great. Apartment is great!