Monday, August 4, 2014

#6 WEEK IN GJAVOKA, KOSOVO

Monday August 4, 2014


Family and Friends,

Hello from Gjakova and I would like to wish President Barack Obama a Happy Birthday and would like to express my sincere gratitude for his work and service for my country. I hope that all of you can join me in adding him in our prayers that he may lead our country in wisdom and righteousness. I hope that all of us can lend our support as much as we can rather than try and tear him down.

This week has been marked by a lot of traveling for me. We learned last Sunday that Elder Anderson would be changed with Elder Curtis Schramm.
Elder Schramm, Sister Tooley and Elder Acheson
On Tuesday, Elder Anderson and I rode the 6 AM bus to Tirana. We got in around 11 AM and I picked up Elder Schramm. We had about 5 hours before we needed to catch the 4 PM bus to Gjakova and so we went and had lunch with the Ballallari family in 3rd Ward. It was wonderful to see them again and was especially wonderful to eat Sister Ballallari’s food. Afterwards, Elder Schramm and I made our way to the bus and began the trip that got us back to our home in Kosovo 5 hours later.

Elder Schramm is an awesome elder from New Mexico.
Acheson and Schamm ready to work in Kosovo
He was actually my trainee’s, Elder Ašler, companion in the MTC. He was trained in my former area in Elbasan by Elder Richards in my group. Elder Schramm worked with many people that I taught including Suzana, the Toromani sisters, and little Denis Zhurda. I am very excited to be working with Elder Schramm here in Kosovo.

On Wednesday we had our Branch activity, which was Elder Schramm’s introduction to the members of the branch. We went to a field by the other elder’s apartment and played ultimate Frisbee with the members. It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to have our investigators interact with the membership.

On Thursday, we the missionaries had a special treat. A member of the branch, Burim the 1st Counselor in the Branch Presidency, was married on Thursday.
The Gjakova Missionaries at Durim's wedding
We went to the wedding party together and had a blast. The food was great and the Albanian traditional wedding dancing was fun as well. The only problem we Americans had was the bombastic volume of the music. It was so loud that you could not carry on a conversation with the person sitting next to you. But aside from the lack of conversation, the evening was very nice. Burim and his new wife looked wonderful and I am sure that they are going to be very happy together.

On Saturday, Elder Schramm and I traveled to Prishtina so that I could take part in a District Leader Training given by our zone leaders. It was great because Elder Bilodeau and Elder Price, my former companions are now in Kosovo and I had an opportunity to speak with them again. We also had that wonderful Prishtina Thai food. It was a great experience that we had together.

Then on Sunday, we left after church to go to Fort Bondsteel to join the servicemen’s fast and testimony service. They were very gracious to invite us back. We drove the two hours there, all four of us junior missionaries in the back of the Tooley’s car. I would have thought that my legs had gotten used to being shoved in small places but I guess they still protested. The time we spent on the base was excellent and I am glad that this has been made a regular thing; President Wiedmann has asked the Tooleys to go every week and alternate between taking the sets of Elders in Gjakova. It is great to have the interaction with the members on the base, and not to mention the American food!

Cutting it close in Kosovo
Today for P-Day, Elder Schramm and I walked around Gjakova and became more familiarized with the ambient. I got a haircut and a shave and we bought some qebap in a samun, Kosovar food is great! We also happened upon a taxidermist’s shop and he let us watch him skin a fox, all the things that happen in Kosovo!

Well I love you all and I am loving it here in Kosovo. I miss Albania and America but I know that someday I will return to both.

Love,

Elder Aqësoni






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