Monday, January 13, 2014

# 3 WEEK IN ELBASAN, ALBANIA


January 13, 2014

Family and Friends,
"He that hath clean shoes and a pure heart"

I am reporting from wonderful Elbasan and wish to bring you the wonderful news from our neck of the woods.

Elbasan, as it turns out, is the best place to serve in the best mission on the earth. The people here are absolutely wonderful in just about every aspect. People love talking to you and love following up on the commitments they make with missionaries.

I would like to talk about some of the people that Elder Price and I are working with right now.

Denis, 12, is one of Elder Price’s baptisms from last transfer. I first met Denis when we were street contacting and he brought one of his friends up to us and said that his friend really needed a lesson from the missionaries. Denis is the type of kid to show up and clean the church with the missionaries for 2 hours on a Saturday morning. He is solid and on fire with the gospel. He is eager to share what he calls the 5 commandments (Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) with everyone that he meets. He is a newly ordained deacon and excited to serve out his priesthood duties by passing the sacrament in church last Sunday. Denis is a little ball of energy and excitement for the gospel that I am trying to emulate.

Susana, 15, is a soon-to-be convert who has been meeting with the missionaries for the past couple of months. She is simply waiting on parental permission to be baptized. Susana is also one to come and clean the church on Saturdays with the missionaries. Susana has been going with the Tooley Senior Missionary Couple and visiting less active members. She gives amazing testimonies and is rock solid in lessons. Susana is the type of girl to ask for lessons when she knows she needs a spiritual pick-me-up. Elbasan has been blessed by wonderful members and wonderful soon-to-be members.

Elder Price and I have had just a solid missionary work week. We have adjusted to each other’s teaching style and we are moving forward with teaching and finding. I have been immensely blessed to be with companions who are so hard working. We have tried being like the missionaries that you see photos of on the internet and try and teach where ever we can.

So this P-Day we were walking in the Castle of Elbasan looking for food and we came across a beautiful orthodox church the Church of the Saint Mary or something after that manner.
Inside the little church
We looked inside and where in admiration for the beauty of this small church. After looking around we were about to head out when the priest stopped us and invited us into his little room to sit and chat. He asked about our missions and was well informed on who we were. He went on to describe to us his work and told us about his mission. He is the leader of the Albanian-lead Albanian Orthodox Church in Albania. He has been working to oppose the political aspects of the Greek Orthodox Church’s presence in Albania. He had several political connections in the States and had baptized the children of a US Congressman. He went on and described some of the interviews that he had with BBC and other things along those lines. He was very cordial and asked me to say something “beautiful.” I told him that as followers of Christ we should all work together and not fight; without emphasizing our differences we should work and bring the light of Christ into the world together.  
Elder Acheson with Father Nikola Marko
Father Nikola Marko was very fun to speak with and we plan on dropping in on him some P-Day in the future.

I thank you all for your prayers and support. I appreciate the kind emails that I have received and I wish I could express to you how much I appreciate everything you say.

Thank you and with all my love,

Elder Açësoni

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