January 12, 2015

T'was the morning of Macedonian Christmas Eve, when moaning was heard all throughout the apartment. Seriously, they have some weird traditions here. They pretty much have Halloween on Christmas Eve where the kids go door to door at 5AM, singing the creepiest song I've ever heard that sounds like ring around the rosie, and ask for candy and fruits. About 10 groups came by our door, and it was like a nightmare hearing the singing start up again. It's a strange, strange tradition.

The language is coming slower than I want it to. Macedonian isn't a very useful language, so  a lot of people have learned English so they'll have a better chance of getting a job, and we take advantage of that. 

Some other parts of the culture here:

They believe if you sit on cement, it will make it so you can't have children. We've had some lessons on a cement ledge, and the people give some pretty weird and horrified looks.

They think that Americans are barely a step up in intelligence from a dog. Seriously, they that we need help getting dressed in the morning. And everyone thinks we're all loaded, so the beggars follow us around wherever we go.

There's a decent number of Mosques and Muslims around here. 5 times everyday, we hear their priest singing the prayer, which just sounds like "UHHHHHHHHHHHHAHHHHHHUHHOHHH."

We saw a lot of miracles this week. God is very gracious! We lost some pretty great investigators, but we've made strides with others. Dejon has been amazing. He has been searching for the truth in his life for so long. We come in at every lesson and he talks about how whatever we've committed him to has blessed him. He's a heavy smoker, and a couple days ago we taught him the Word of Wisdom. He was at first hesitant, but he stopped drinking coffee and has felt so much more energy and so full. He was very hesitant to come to church and came really late, but he felt like the message spoke directly to him, and he loved everything about it. Seriously, he is a prepared guy.
(Top) Our investigator Dejon, butcher market near our apartment
(Bottom) The largest Orthodox church in Macedonia

We went in for the night to finish studies, and about 2 hours in, one of our investigators, Danielo, called. We had been struggling to meet with him because he's busy and lives far away, but he told us he could meet right now near us if we could. We needed to finish studies, and it was really cold, so we said no. A few seconds after the phone call, we both felt not right, so we called him back, met with him in a cafe, and had a great lesson. Miracles.

We should be getting 2 new missionaries soon. Sis Barch comes hopefully this week, and Elder Lessi from Albania is learning English in Kosovo right now and should be here in a couple months. Great things are happening in Macedonia!

Elder Rigby