This week has been a great week here in Tirana, Albania.
We have a pair of new investigators! Zaim and his granddaughter (or niece, I can’t tell yet because the word for niece and granddaughter are the same: mbesë) Anxhela or as it is pounced, Angela. They are neighbors of our member Alfred Abdulari and Alfred has been an absolute gem for us as far as missionary work. His home is open for lessons and even Lumtëria, Alfred’s communist-to-the-core mother will sit in on lessons. The only thing that could be considered a down side is that Anxhela speaks about as much Albanian as I do, she was raised in Greece but we gave her a Greek copy of the Book of Mormon. They are going to be great.
Elder Wagstaff street contacting
This past Tuesday we had Zone Training and Elder Wagstaff and I gave a training on the Adjusting to Missionary Life booklet distributed by the Church for Missionaries. It was a great experience and we were able to share in addition to that, the Wagstaff Way of annotating and studying one’s patriarchal blessing (see #8 Letter from Tirana, Albania Monday, October 28, 2013). The training proceeded well and excellent numbers were reported for our Zone this past month.
After Zone Training, we headed to the restaurant Fiore which is where we always go after Zone Training. Last time I got goat tongue, this time I got goat brain. Trui is mildly described, quite nasty. The Albanian missionary in my District, Elder Vërushi ordered the same thing and I couldn’t quite handle it as well as he did.
Elder Acheson and Elder Vërushi ordering goat brains. YUM!!!
So something that my companion and I have been working on this is week is finding a house for sister missionaries coming in this next transfer to 3rd Branch. Before the sisters were split between the 1st and 3rd Branches but with the large wave of sister missionaries this next transfer. We will have our own sisters and that will be nice. The sisters we have now just had a baptism this past week and are good at just about whatever they do. I am excited for the new success that is bound to come about with having new sisters in our branch.
Our Awesome Sister Missionaries
Elder Wagstaff has been working on a charcoal depiction of the Nativity as requested by the Tooley couple down in Elbasan (the newest senior missionary couple) and the picture is beautiful. Elder Wagstaff is quite the artist and his fame has spread throughout the sphere of Albanian church membership. The picture was not very convenient for transpiration so Elder Wagstaff had to go to a carpenter and get the picture cut into sections for the convenience of transport but it is still a beautiful picture.
Elder Wagstaff's excellent charcoal Nativity
Christmas is coming to Albania and will be my first Christmas away from home. Since most people in Albania are not Christian (…yet) they don’t have a reason to celebrate Christmas. But since the US and most of Europe celebrate Christmas, Albania is following the trend with decorations and other cultural things like Santa Claus but those things are all connected with New Year’s. Santa comes on New Year’s here and all the conical trees with lights on them are New Year’s trees! It is a little off but they are trying. After we are done here, Santa will be coming on the 25th.
I very much appreciate the kind words that people have shared with me while I have been a missionary. I really love you all and am excited to hear from you. The DearElders I have gotten are all in my Missionary Communications Box and will be treasured forever.
I love you all and wish you all a great Christmas season.