The center of Skopje is finally open!!! It actually happened last week, and this is huge! It has been closed long before I got here, for like a year total. They took out all the tile that was there and now put in blindingly white tile. It's impossible to keep your eyes open while you walk across it. They also installed a ground level fountain that is pretty sweet. Now they are always blasting classical music that the fountains move in sync with, like a small version of the dancing Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas.
The Zone Leaders came down this week, I was with Elder Rasband. We went to the Albanian side of town, since he can't speak Macedonian, and walked through some neighborhoods, talking to the families on the streets. It was fairly unsuccessful until we were almost back, and we saw some kids doing flips and stuff in a small park. We stopped and started talking to them, and apparently, they are the Skopje parkour group of Skopje called “Urban Monsters.” They were pretty cool guys, and we talked for a while, and they ended up giving us their numbers! Pretty cool find.
The next day, the exchange was still going on, and we were contacting on the boulevard. A guy comes up to us saying "That book is not a testament of Jesus Christ" referring to the Book of Mormon. I recognized him pretty quick as a guy who gave the other guy some trouble, so I just told him this was pointless and for him to please go away. After a few minutes, he finally started walking away. Suddenly, he turned around and started flicking his fingers like he was flicking dust at us and yelled "IN THE NAME OF JESUS, I REBUKE YOU." The guy did that like 5 times, giving Elder Rasband and I a good laugh. I can officially say I've been rebuked by JC on my mission!
We had a branch activity this week. We were going to go hiking, but we changed it last minute to card games because it was raining hard. All the members took the rain as it being cancelled I guess, because only Prend showed up. We played UNO first with him, and then he taught us an Albanian card game that was pretty fun. Usually Prend is a lot like a nice grandfather, very gentle to everybody, but during that game, he talked so much trash to me. Every time I would play a card, he would say "Фала!" which means thanks!, and then destroy me on whatever I just played. It was definitely the hardest I laughed all that week.
For things coming up this week, Sister Riddle leaves for home on Wednesday, we have mission conference the same day, and it's my birthday tomorrow! Sister Riddle is going to be missed a lot, she's the master of the language here. She's got the accent down hard so everybody here always thinks she's native.Have a great week! Elder Rigby