Monday, April 28, 2014

#11 WEEK IN DURRES, ALBANIA

Dear Family and Friends,

It is another beautiful day in Durrës.


This P-Day we got together as the South Zone
and played capture the flag in Divjak, a national park/beach. It was very fun. All of us missionaries were together and we got to run around this abandoned hotel complex. We got dirty (I slipped in the mud) and just had fun. It was a good opportunity to see everyone from the zone.
South Zone P-day!


This week we have had some great experiences teaching our investigators. We have a wonderful opportunity teaching a girl named Elda in the home of the Cani Family every week. Elda lived in Greece and is now here in Albania. She speaks Albanian very well but needs to read the Book of Mormon in Greek. It is very nice that the Canis have lived in Greece and originally were taught in Greek. Elda has a desire to be baptized and we just have to help her become ready.
The Cani Family

We are also working with Silva. She is a find through our English course.

She came to church this Sunday and had a very good experience. She comes from a very good Catholic background and simply has a desire to do what is right.
She has a baptismal date and all we need to do is ensure that she really gains that solid testimony of the gospel.


I want to tell you all that I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. It is apparent to me and to others if someone has received a testimony of the Book of Mormon. The Book is a tool which God has given us to (1) know the truth of the Restoration, (2) come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ is, and (3) learn how we can improve ourselves as the Children of God. There are those who have not had a witness of the Book. To bring its words to people in the world is why I have come on a mission. I know, of assurety, that it is true. I have had witness of this. I invite you that you may help those around you develop a testimony for the Book and to continue to strengthen your own.

I quickly want to say that here on my mission I have come across many new friends and even brothers. Many of whom I cherish deeply and plan on spending much time with after the mission. But of particular, I have come to love and respect Elder Mitch Baker. There are those who are friends in times when the sun is shining and then there are those that are friends when hail and ice are falling from the sky, ripping into your skin and dampening your soul. Elder Baker is one to extend his arm above your head to protect you at his own expense. I love Elder Baker and know that he is one of those true friends that I will keep close forever.

I love you and I pray that all may be well with you and your family,

Elder Açësoni

Elder (Professor)  Acheson after English Class

Elder Asler
Elder Acheson 


Monday, April 21, 2014

#10 WEEK In DURRES, ALBANIA

Monday April 21, 2014



Family and Friends,

Happy Easter from Durrës!

We have had a wonderful Easter week here in Albania. We had a wonderful Sunday service and in the last quarter of the 3rd hour, we received a visit from Elder Charles a member of the Seventy and President Mema, our Stake President, and they shared a wonderful Easter message.
Elder Ashler and Elder Acheson

21 years ago yesterday, Elder Oaks came to Albania and dedicated it for missionary work. He gave the dedicatory prayer at the Varreza e Deshmorëve or the Veterans' Cemetery, which has a beautiful view overlooking the city of Tirana. When a new batch of missionaries comes into the country, one of the first locations to which they are taken is to that hill and they are each given a copy of the dedicatory prayer.

I was fortunate to begin my mission in 3rd Branch (now 3rd Ward). Varreza e Deshmorëve is in 3rd Branch and my trainer, Elder Wagstaff, took me there and we had an opportunity to walk around a little more and think about the area. The second time I had there was a blessing to further reflect on how things have grown and developed in this country.

I have grown to love some members here in Durrës very deeply. Four families, with whom I have had contact with this week are the Cani, Pallogu, Prenga, and Risto Families.

The Durres Disctrict:  L to R Elders Stewart, Grey, Ashler and Acheson
The Cani Family is a beautiful family that have been members of the Church for a number of years. They have 3 children Ani, Ana, and Henri. They are preparing to go to the Temple in Germany this next month to be sealed together for eternity. Ana has her mission call to serve in London, England on July 31st. I have extended the commitment to help her prepare to be a missionary. The commitment is that if she works with us right now, that her first convert baptism can take place before her mission. She has delivered and now we are working together with two investigators that they have brought as a family.

The Pallogu Family is made of Sister Pallogu and her brother Anastas. Sister Pallogu is a physics teacher who has lived in Greece for a considerable amount of time. Anastas is an engineer and is investigating the Church. We have come to be very close to them. They both are vast resources of wisdom and deep understandings of the scriptures. We had the honor of eating Easter dinner with them and it was a wonderfully pleasant experience to spend that evening with them.

The Prenga Family is particularly exemplary. Arben is about 18 years old and despite an accident a few years ago which has slowed his capacity, is a beacon of Christ-like love. Arben, this past week was hospitalized with appendicitis. We gave him a blessing last Sunday. When we returned yesterday, we found him surrounded by his family smiling and expressing his love. Arben told us that he had been counseling his fellow patients to not give up, Jesus Christ loves them. He had shared his testimony with the sister of an invalid in the bed next to him and gave her our phone number. When we showed up, he tried to get out of bed (despite having a gaping hole in his side) and give us hugs. He, during our message, gave a beautiful testimony that stopped everyone in their tracks in the busy hospital room. He radiated with love and a willingness to serve despite his pain and discomfort.


The Risto Family is a family with whom we are working. They have been away from Church for quite some time. They still have a great love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the Missionaries. This morning, Sister Risto spent some time with us and helped us look for a couch. She was our judge of quality and our bargainer. It was her expression of service and love for us and I am impressed by her example of service.  I am very excited for the opportunity to help them back to full activity.

Elder Ašler and I have been doing some great work together. I am more convinced with each passing day that he and I were meant to be put together. I love him and am thankful everyday that I get to be with him.

I love Durrës. I love Albania. I love my mission. I love my companion. I love the Lord. Happy Easter and know that I am praying that all those among my family, friends, and acquaintances may receive every blessings that they deserve.

Love you all,

Elder Açësoni

Monday, April 14, 2014

#9 WEEK IN DURRES, ALBANIA



April 14, 2014

Family and Friends,

We have had a good full first week of the transfer here in Durrës.


The salute is the Enver Hoxha anti-fascist salute.The sign says "Glory to the Bright and Immortal Action of Comrade Enver Hoxha"


Elder Ašler and I, with Elders Grey and Stewart headed to Fier for Zone Training. There I we received a wonderful training from Elder Palmer and Elder Bilodeau. The training was excellent. We have been asked to focus on inviting people to be baptized in the first lesson. I have personally seen great blessings come from this. We are very fortunate to be serving in a place where people are relatively open-hearted. It was very nice to see my former companions Elders Ostergaard, Price, and Bilodeau. Elder Wagstaff is training again up in Gjakova which is one of the more isolated places of the mission and I unfortunately will not be able to see him for some time.

We additionally are trying to make an effort to work more closely with members. We are fortunate to have access to a couple of prospective missionaries. We are blessed to have these future missionaries because their testimonies are very powerful in touching the hearts of investigators.

Making the best French toast EVER for preparation day with Elders Stewart, Grey and Asler!
We have had a great time getting the new missionaries familiarized with the Ward. We stopped by the Pjetri Family together as a district on Sunday afternoon and had a wonderful lesson with them. I love being with our district. We had a French toast and Risk party this morning for P-Day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself; winning helps.

Elder  Ašler and I have another excited week ahead of us and we are excited to dig in and work!

With great love,



Elder Acheson wins in a preparation day Risk game.  (Its not the 1st time he's dominated the world.)
Elder Açësoni

Thursday, April 10, 2014

#8 WEEK IN DURRES, ALBANIA

Sister Ford, Elder Acheson, Elder Asler, President Ford

April 7, 2014

Family and Friends,

An exciting time in Durrës!
New companions meeting

I and my new companion, Elder Daniel Ašler (A"sh"ler), have had an excellent time thus far together. Elder Ašler is from Zagreb, Croatia. He speaks fluent English, Serbian, Croatian, Bosian, and will soon speak Albanian fluently. He and his mother are members and have been close friends with missionaries throughout their time in the church.
 
Elder Stewart and Elder Grey
We are accompanied by Elders Grey and Stewart in our district. Elder Stewart and I worked together when we were in Elbasan. He is from Alberta, Canada (which we will just have to deal with... Canadians...) Elder Stewart is awesome. Elder Grey is from Morgan, Utah and was a all-around talented athelete in High



School. Elder Grey served in Vlorë with my close friend Elder Lee who is now Zone Leader in Tirana. I am very excited to work with all of these wonderfully talented Elders.
 
The great missionary influence of Elder Wagstaff (2nd from the left) will be felt for a long time through these elders.  Elder Wagstaff trained or their trainees trained this group of elders.



I must be short this week but know that I have a testimony of the work which we are doing. I know that it is a priesthood duty that we have to spread the good news of the gospel across the world and I encourage all to take part in that work. I see the blessings from the hands of the Lord everyday and I know that God rewards his servants.

I love you all and can feel the blessings which you call upon us.

With great love and respect,

Elder Açësoni

P.S. I received a package that had been opened by the Albanian customs people. Make sure that if you send something, put stickers of Christ and the Prophet Mohammed on it. I know that sounds wierd, but that covers both our bases.