Monday, March 31, 2014

#7 WEEK IN DURRES, ALBANIA

Family and Friends,

Another fantastically beautiful day in Durrës. We could not have asked for a better day upon which to end this great transfer.


Last night Elder Bilodeau and I received the news that he would be serving the city called Lushnjë as one of the Zone Leaders of the South Zone of our mission. I have been asked to stay in Durrës as the District Leader and will additionally be training a new missionary expected to arrive in the country within the next couple of days, for which I am very excited. I get to be a father! I heard incidentally that my father, Elder Wagstaff, will be training again in his final transfer up in the city of Gjakova, Kosovo. I get a brother as well!

I am very excited looking forward on this new transfer. The new Durrës district will be constructed in a similar manner as to my district back in Elbasan: I, in my 3rd transfer, will be training a new elder and the other missionary companion set will be two 2nd transfer elders. Elders Stewart and Grey will be joining me and my son in the work in the City on the Sea.


I am sorry to see Sisters Russell, Heathcote, Singer, and Smith go. Sisters Heathcote and Singer have been assigned to labor together in Shkodër whereas Sister Russel will be co-senioring in Tirana 2nd Ward and Sister Smith will be the only sister training in the mission; she will be serving in Vlorë. I am thankful for the high quality work and am completely confident that their contributions will make a difference in their future areas.

I would like to share a lesson that I have learned this transfer. At the end of my last transfer, I concluded that successful missionary work requires submitting to the plans of the Lord; this work is not Elder Acheson's work, it is the Lord's. This transfer I have learned the importance of a simple Gospel lesson: exact obedience brings blessings.


As stated in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 130 "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—  And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." This means that if we receive a blessing, we received it as a "reward" for being obedient towards the commandment with which the blessing is connected. If we flip the equation established in D&C 130, If I want a specific blessing from God, I need to be obedient towards the commandments with which that blessing is connected.

The commandments that are connected with good missionary work are the mission rules as set forth in the white "Missionary Handbook" and the rules that President Ford has set out for us here in the Adriatic South Mission. I have learned that when we are exactly obedient to the mission rules, the Lord pours blessings upon his servants. I know that this is not only applicable to missionaries but all children of God. If you are seeking for a specific blessing in your life, search the scriptures and find the commandment or law connected with that particular blessing. I can promise you that if you are looking for a blessing of better health, be obedient to the Word of Wisdom. If you are looking to find work or improve your work situation, be obedient to the Law of Tithing and Sabbath Day observance. If you seek for a blessing of greater magnitude, you must more energetically and thoroughly apply and keep that commandment in your life. This I have learned throughout this transfer.

I love you all and I am excited to report to you next week about my new companion. May God be with you in all that you do!

-Elder Açësoni

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