October 7, 2013
Family and Friends,
Albania has been excellent this week.
We had a baptism on Friday! Maliq from Korça got baptized and is ready to be a full-fledged member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Maliq’s baptism was held at the 2nd/4th Branch building in Tirana on Friday at 6 PM. My companion Elder Wagstaff played the organ and I gave my first talk in Albanian. It was a thrilling experience. I wrote the talk in English and then translated it. I was told that if it hadn’t been for my poor pronunciation, it could have been given by a real Albanian with correct grammar and good vocabulary. Another small victory. We had a recent convert named Alfred Abdulari baptize Maliq. Alfred and Maliq are both from Korça and are both around the same age. It has been awesome having Alfred with Maliq because they sit together at church and it is so funny to see them just sit and chat.
This week has been focused primarily on getting members and investigators interested and excited for General Conference. In Albania, we have Conference broadcasted to each of the meeting houses and shown on newly purchased flat screen televisions. Members who are proven translators go to the district offices and are given advanced copies of what the speakers will say and translate them. Then they listen to what the speakers say and translate based off of the text with the little changes that all people make while speaking. Some of the translators are our Branch President çuçi and the District Executive Secretary Gresi Mirëpesa.
So my experience with conference was awesome. It was difficult to understand but we received some very direct answers that were applicable directly after we left the meeting and went teaching. We had several investigators come and they had a great experience as well. I additionally was able to see my Aunts Bonnie and Betsy who sing in the Tabernacle Choir and point them out to the people in the Branch. Motra Balalari, a sister from the Branch said that my Aunt Bonnie’s hair was “bukur fare” or “totally beautiful.”
|Aunt Bonnie Lee sings Alto II in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir|
|Aunt Betsy Lee Bailey sings Soprano I in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir|
For this week’s P-day we had breakfast at the only American Restaurant in Tirana, the Stephan’s Center as a district, and then we headed to a mall called City Park maybe 25 min outside of Tirana. When I walked in, I felt as though I walked back into America, it was clean, organized, and just not… Albanian. I actually started feeling uneasy because everything was so clean. But the main reason why we were there was to ride the only mechanical bull in the Balkans, or as far as I am lead to believe. I have never ridden a mechanical bull even in the United States, but we have Elder “Texan” Ferguson in our district and we had to ride the bull. It was fun and I hope to be able to get the videos on the blog somehow. They are pretty funny.
Well my Albanian of the week consists of two Shprejes or expressions used in Albanian. The first kind of makes sense. “E dua si kripën në sy!” or “I love it like salt in my eyes!” This is used when you hate something. The second makes no sense at all. “Lakuriq I natës jepi jui patës, Pata ngordhi, lakuriqi pordhi.” The translation is as follows: “The bat gave the duck water, the duck died, the bat tooted.” I’m sorry for the language but it is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and I heard an Albanian say it. It was ridiculous.
I thank those of you who have been sending me letters. Don’t worry, your responses are coming. It takes some time to get to the states. I love you all and thank you for your support.
|Elder Acheson and his awesome district in Tirana, Albania|