Tuesday, September 2, 2014

WEEK # 10 IN GJAKOVA, KOSOVO


September 1, 2014

Family and Friends,
Elder Acheson


Elder Schramm


This week has been full and fulfilling week here in hot Kosovo.

 Esiona Alushaj and Suzana Biçaku  from Elbasan 
The main feature of this week has been the presence of Suzana Biçaku and Esiona Alushaj from Elbasan here in Gjakova, Kosovo. They have come for the week and have been helping us out with missionary work before school begins. Suzana and Esiona have been staying at Vlora Hajdari's house and have been joining us in lessons. 

The Gjakova Branch YSA Conference
They fortunately were here to join part in the Gjakova Branch's YSA Conference. The new YSA President, Jasemin Morina (my recent convert), did a wonderful job in organizing activities for the younger members of the branch. 
The beloved bowling trophy held hostage by Elder Schramm

On Thursday we bowled for a couple of hours at a mall in Gjakova called Nertili. Elder Gray swept the floor and the missionary bowling trophy (a bowling pin that has been in my apartment since the days of Elder Peterson last year) with 194 points. The activity was concluded that day with the consumption of root beer floats with root beer attained from the military base. Europeans in general do not consume root beer because it has been likened to cough medicine for them. The root beer floats were received mildly by the Albanians but were quickly consumed by the nostalgic Americans.

Mirusha, a secluded waterfall 

Elder Acheson called this waterfall a "little slice of heaven"
On Friday we joined the weekly branch activity to the YSA Conference and we all went to Mirusha, a secluded waterfall about 45 minutes outside of Gjakova. It was a beautiful sight that, in the words of recent convert Shkumbin Vorfi, "was as though God had taken a drill and carved for us our private resort." It was a trully wonderful opportunity with swimming, watermelon, and something apparently called the "Ice Bucket Challenge."
The ALS Bucket Challenge reached Elder Acheson
Hopefully we will get to you Elder Acheson's version of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Then on Saturday, the YSA went and had a picnic (which we were not able to attend) that ending in a testimony meeting that, according to all reports, was simply wonderful. It was held on top of a hill that over looks the valleys surrounding Gjakova and was apparently very conducive for the spirit.

This Monday we decided to take Suzana and Esiona to see Elder Bilodeau (who baptized both of them) in Peja.
Elders Baker, Acheson and Bilodeau
We met up with Elder Bilodeau and ELDER BAKER!!! Elder Baker, Elder Schramm, Elder Gray, and I grabbed a bite of breakfast at a beautiful hotel while Elder Bilodeau, Elder Harvey, Elder Tooley, Suzana, and Esiona taught a lesson to a member in Peja.
We are handsome!


After we got all got back together and joined with Elder Myers and Elder Simons and went to another beautiful waterfall (this week was waterfall week) to the north of Peja. It was breathtakingly beautiful and was a great opportunity to hang out with Elder Baker and Elder Bilodeau (Elder Bilodeau finishes his mission in 30 days).
Both Elder Acheson and Baker reached the 1 year mark in the mission field this week
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Well I love you all and I hope that you all are doing well. I pray that you are in good health and are doing very well.

This next Thursday, the 4th of September, marks my 1 year mark in the field. Looking over this year, many changes have happened: some difficult and some miraculously easy. I counsel and encourage you that if you have an aspect of yourself, your character, or your life that you wish to change, you can change it through the enabling and ennobling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Remember what President McKay said: "The purpose of this Gospel is to make bad men good, and good men better: to change human nature." You, for the most part, are good men (and women). It is our goal to become better, to improve and to be the person that the Father wants us to be. Those changes to our very nature may be wrought through the enabling and ennobling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Life is much easier when you allow the Lord to direct you. You learn faster and your road is easier. I promise you that you will be happier, more intelligent, and will have the blessings of God upon you if you are obedient to whatever covenants you have taken upon yourselves and keep the commandments. Do that and I promise you that you shall see God, His hand in your life, and you shall be happy.

I love you and I am glad to be here. Kosovo needs your prayers.

Love,

Elder Aqësoni

P.P.S. If you want to send my any letter or package, the ADDRESS MUST BE EXACTLY AS FOLLOWS. There have been many mailing problems (derivatives of the following including: Tirana Albania Mission, Adriatic Mission, [ommiting the P.O. Box 2984], do not make it to the mission office)


Elder Thomas Chase Acheson

Adriatic South Mission

P.O. Box 2984


Rruga Qemal Stafa, Vila 1

Përballë Postës Nr. 22

Tirana, Albania

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