Family and Friends,
Hey, it is my 21st birthday on February 17th. I’d love to receive a birthday note from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will read it on my next P-day. Thanks!
This week my companion Elder Eddings and I had a full schedule of fallen through lessons. It was okay because it gave way to a lot of good finding of new investigators. We did a lot of good hard work this week that hasn't yielded a lot of juicy fruit yet. We have the faith to get a bountiful harvest this upcoming week.
We did something that became rather interesting this morning for P-Day. We went with our sisters to an Orthodox Monastery outside of Fier and we happened to show up simultaneously with a group of guys for a baptism.
One of the guys was getting married in the Orthodox Church and so he needed to be baptized. We should up and saw that they brought in a big 50 gallon tin barrel with a cross welded on it. We asked one of the men what was going on and he explained that the guy was going to be baptized. I spoke to the man to be baptized and asked if we might observe and he willingly consented.
The ordinance was performed by a priest wearing a simple black robe with a long white almost scarf-type garment. He read out of a small ordinance book the prayer in Albanian. The priest blessed the water and anointed the water with oil three times in the form of the cross. The man was then washed with water on his face, neck, arms, and legs in the shape of crosses and then he was anointed following the same pattern. The man's brother and cousin were taking pictures through the process.
He then went and changed into a white tunic with small red crosses on the front and back. The priest changed into an extravagant and ornate robe of red and gold. The man got in the barrel and squatted down as far as he could and the priest, using a cup, poured water on his head three times in the name of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost. He then got out of the barrel and stood while the priest spoke more of the prayer.
He then dried off and changed back into his civilian clothing and stood while the priest anointed him with some substance that I could not determine, the whole time chanting. The priest gave the man a candle and they circled the barrel three times on the opposite side of the barrel from each other. The ordinance soon ended. The man and his family then gave us some treats they had brought. The whole process lasted about an hour.
It was an interesting sight to see. This monastery was over a 1,000 years old and was where Skëndërbeu, a 15th-century Albanian nobleman, was married. The baptism was very fascinating to witness. I am grateful that I could see that on my mission. I probably will not something like that again.
I love you all. I will share more next week. My birthday is tomorrow and I would love a quick birthday note from all who would like to send one.
Elder Açësoni i Madhërishëm
P.S. Check out Le Petit Elder Acheson's blog at racetolyon.blogspot.com
P.P.S. If you have missed any of my past letters got to barbyacheson.blogpsot.com