July 13, 2015

Things have been good in Durres! Some info about Albania. Everyone here is Muslim, but because it was a communist country before, almost none of them practice it. The people here love Americans like no people I've ever seen, so they're super kind to us. They are also more open, and willing to stop for a few seconds on the street, which has made Albania one of the most successful countries, if not the most successful, in Europe! They are one of the least developed countries in Europe, the worst in the Balkans, so it has been quite the transition.

Unfortunately, all of our investigators have recently dropped us, so we have been searching. We didn't see much success this week, which was frustrating and disappointing. We had a zone training on Thursday, and the President wants us to focus more on getting referrals from members, particularly less actives, to find more investigators and hit our baptism goal. So we've been asking all the members we meet with for referrals, and challenging them to pray about it and try to think of someone for the next time we meet! Also, we handed out a lot of fliers this past week for an English Course that starts tomorrow, so hopefully that'll bring some new investigators.

Elder Lesi, the Albanian missionary who took my spot in Macedonia, is from Durres! So this week I played soccer with his little brother, and got to meet his sister too! It's been really cool getting to work in his hometown, and I'm excited to talk to him about as we will both serve in Skopje for the next year haha!
On Sunday, we had a Stake Priesthood Conference that missionaries were invited to attend. It's been so long since I've seen that many white shirts! It was beautiful :) I got a translator device that usually just the senior couples get, so I could actually understand all of it! One of the speakers talked about only following the good examples so we can be better, instead of the bad ones to justify ourselves in doing worse. After the meeting, I found a Croatian member who lives in Albania now, so I talked to him in Macedonian a bit since they are similar languages, and boy, it's crazy how rusty you can get in 2 weeks. I couldn't get past a couple words without stumbling, or without Albanian popping out. On the bright side, I can say a half decent prayer in Albanian now, and I can understand the general idea of a lot of the conversations I hear now! Which makes things a lot more interesting (to understand what people say).

For PDay today, we checked out the Durres Amphitheater (read about it below) and hit up the beach. Check the pictures. Love you all! Elder Rigby