June 15, 2015

One of the things with having Elmaz as the branch president is he isn't the best at telling the members and missionaries ahead of time when they need give a talk. His first week, he straight up didn't tell anybody, so Elder Prince had to give a talk that he luckily had already prepared. We met with him on Thursday this week, where he informed me I would be giving a talk in 3 days. This one was a lot harder to prepare for, because the last one I just did in English, and this time I was doing in Macedonian. We used to speak in both languages every week, but now with most of our non-Macedonian speakers gone, we've switched to only Macedonian in church now, which means that my talk had to be twice as long. So between those two things, it reminded me of my high school procrastinating days, which I've missed a lot.

My talk went alright, one of the people said that he couldn't understand me, which was a big confidence booster, but I'm going to attribute that to the fact that he's an old man. At the end of church, Elder Gierisch gave Sasho the Aaronic Priesthood, and he ordained him to the office of Deacon instead of Priest. We picked up on that pretty quick, so we took him to another room and Elder Gierisch did it again, this time ordained him to be a priest, but conferred the priesthood again...but whatever, you can't get it perfect every time. The bottom line is that Sash is a priesthood holder now! A miracle was our 34 people attending church, which would be a good number for when we were in town. Since the new building is far out, we weren't getting as many people, but it's picking right back up again!

Acid Rain. One day this week, it started raining hard, so we headed out to a part of the city called Aerodrome, where there was an outdoor mall with a roof we could contact at. We got on the bus to head over there, trying not to get soaked. We sat down under where there was an open window, sitting across from each other. The bus started going, and some rain landed on Elder Gierisch's shirt through the window. Instead of being the normal wet marks, they were brown, and left 6 big stains on his shirt. We always joke about there being acid rain here since Skopje is so polluted, but that was taking it to a new level.

The two protests that are going on here, the protest against the gov't and the protest the gov't is putting encouraging against the original protest, are still going on in front the of the two big gov't buildings. They're very peaceful though, playing some music, with Foosball and ping pong tables. Not at all what I thought a protest would look like.
Elder Rigby