Monday, November 18, 2013

#11 WEEK IN TIRANA ALBANIA

Family and Friends,

It has been another interesting week in Albania.

A big piece of news took place in Albania this week. As missionaries, we cannot watch the news, sometimes we find ourselves swept up in it. It was the intention of greater powers for Albania to store some of the Chemical weapons taken from Syria in Albania. On Thursday, our district was along the main thoroughfare of Tirana “tabling.” Tabling is where we set a table on the sidewalk and display posters about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and have stacks of pamphlets and copies of the Book of Mormon. When we started catching momentum in our contacting efforts, I glanced down the street and what did I see, an angry mob marching straight toward me.
Protesters against Chemical Weapons
A large group of protestors were marching from the Foreign Ministry building to the Prime Minister’s Palace protesting the placement of the Chemical Weapons in Albania. We were located at the Pyramid, right in the path of the protesters. We gathered our things and got out of there fast as possible.
The Tirana Albania Pyramid


The debates over placement have been affecting Albanians here. In multiple lessons, the majority of some prayers we here from our investigators we focused on asking God to not let “America, our greatest ally, make the mistake of ruining our relations forever by putting the poison here. We don’t want it. If they send it here we will no longer be friends.” But not everyone was antagonistic to the idea of letting the weapons in. Some said this would be a great opportunity for Albania to show the international community “that we are ready to take on responsibility and join the world on international issues of great import.” This week has been very interesting in that regard.

Handsome Elder Wagstaff attracts a crowd of lovely Albanian Young Women
This week also we had an exchange with our zone leaders. I went and stayed the night with Elder Pierce and Elder Palmer stayed the night with Elder Wagstaff. Elder Pierce and I had a great opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper spiritual level. He conducted a “Walk Through the Woods” with me. It is one of those psychological exercises that help you project your subconscious into a more readable and understandable medium. It’s a lot of fun to hear about other missionaries “Walks Through the Woods” and compare the various aspects of each others’. My “Walk” was a great learning experience.
Elder Acheson street contacting in Tirana, Albania

It was great fun to be with Elder Pierce and see how other missionaries work. Elder Pierce is a fantastic missionary and is a great teacher. We taught a lesson with Denisa, the sister of one of his recent converts Tefta. Denisa is on a path straight toward baptism. Tefta was one of the quickest people to progress to baptism and full, emphatic activity. Elder Pierce and Palmer are solid missionaries.

So my companion has twin brother serving in Lithuania. He and his brother have had a competition about meeting an Albanian in Lithuania and a Lithuanian in Albania. The Lithuanian Wagstaff met his Albanian sometime ago but just this past week the Albanian Wagstaff met his Lithuanian. We were walking on the street late at night coming home and we said “Përshendetije” or hello to a couple walking on the street. The woman jumped back startled (it was late at night so I don’t blame her) her husband told her in English that we just said hello and so we started talking to them. The woman had an accent and I asked her where she was from and she said Lithuania. Elder Wagstaff got really excited and practiced all of the Lithuanian he had learned from his brother. She was pleasantly surprised and had a good experience with LDS Missionaries.

Team Wagstaff and Acheson Preparing for the Ping Pong Championship of the World.  Check out our ties!
Things here in Albania are going well. We are preparing for Thanksgiving in the mission. We will have Mission Conference and dinner where we will have a talent show where each district performs. Updates will follow; I can’t give any details because it is a secret what we are doing. It will be the best.

I love you all and I thank you for your support. It means a lot that so many of you write. I thank you very much.

All the love I can muster,

-Elder Açësoni


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