June 1, 2015

We've been teaching all of our members the parable of the sower to help them make sure they are planted in good ground.  So we had been studying it throughout the week to help us get a better understanding to make sure we could explain it clearly. We had taught the story quite a few times, having good lessons, and the last time we taught it was with Sasho. In the middle of the lesson, the Spirit hit me unlike any of the other lessons. I instantly felt so grateful for this gospel and Jesus Christ, and it was probably the closest I have gotten to crying on my mission. I know that those spiritual experiences occur through pure faith in Christ, independent of any physical benefit. I bore my testimony to him about how moving more towards the good earth has improved my life.

We had our first Council Meeting with the new Branch President Arif. We got many important things worked out (most importantly a branch party). We are hoping to get an English course for locals started within the next few months, seeing how successful that has been for other cities in the mission. 

The sister's new member, Suzana, caught me at the end of a family home evening and told us to come over to help her pick some cherries from her blossoming cherry tree. We headed over there a few days later and really got to know her, she's such an awesome lady. Her husband died 15 years ago, and she has been working on her own ever since. After the picking, she wanted us to come over the next day, but we persuaded her that a few days later would be better. When we came again, she had Tavche Gravche ready for us, which was so delicious. In the future, I definitely won’t forget to put my cherry-picking experience on resumes. Macedonian Tavche Gravche:
The Zone Leaders came down this week. I had a pretty good exchange with them, finding and having a lesson with a couple young guys. They seemed super interested, and they really opened up to us. Unfortunately, when we called them the next day, their parents forbid them to meet up with us again, and they took away the Joseph Smith pamphlet we gave them. Super disappointing.

The American couple that has been here are officially back in America now. They traveled around all of Europe for a solid month trying to get a long-term visa before they got kicked out. They will be missed.

We found out that 3 new Elders have been called to Macedonia and should be here in September! I'm not sure how that's going to work, because it will just be Elder Chingas and me, and maybe Elder Lessi if he finally makes it here from Kosovo. I am sure it'll all work out though! Have a good week. Here are some pics from out P-day trip to Lake Ohrid last week. Lake Ohrid is almost 3 hours from Skopje southwest on the border with Albania.
Elder Rigby
    Finally, we made it back home to Skopje and they had a parade to celebrate my safe return...
    I love these Macedonians - they are really a fun bunch.