August 3, 2015

So much moving! Holy cow, my first days back in Skopje have been jammed pack. First of all, it's really nice being able to understand the people again. The Macedonian came back pretty quick, which was nice, and I still get to practice my Albanian with Elder Lesi, even though it's quite poor, haha. It's great to be with all the missionaries and members again, I've missed them! And we still have another year of experiences to make.

We hosted the APs [Assistants to the Mission President] last Monday night. After emailing, we went directly to Elder Prince's apartment. After walking a long time from the Nelsons, since there's free parking there, we arrived at the apartment and got no answer. We called Elder Prince and he said they moved into a different apartment, so we hiked all the way back to the Nelsons with all my stuff, and drove over to their new apartment. We finally got there after 10, and were dead tired. But there were 5 of us and 3 beds, so we gave the APs two of the beds, Elder Chingas and I slept on a queen together, and Elder Prince took the couch. Not the best sleep of my life, but I definitely appreciate a good night’s rest more now!

When the APs left, they took off Elder Chingas and Sister Barch with them, and so Elder Prince (my new companion, again) and I started the move from the apartment they just moved into, to another apartment that was just acquired, which took forever. We also had to go with our lawyer to get Visa extensions for me, Elder Prince and Gierisch, which required a whole lot of waiting, since Macedonia doesn't do things too efficiently. Then that night, the ZLs (Zone Leader) came down for exchanges. We did the exchange, which went well, and then it was back to missionary work as normal with Elder Prince and me. Super crazy days.

It's good to have the additions of Elder Lesi and Sister Kelly. Elder Lesi is such funny guy, and for only having learned English for 7 months, he's extremely good. The Macedonian though...might take him a bit longer. Sister Kelly, who has only learned Macedonian for about a month, and has a reputation around the mission for being a wizard at Albanian, is already as good as all the rest of us at the language. That woman has the gift of tongues if I've ever seen it.

Zoki got married to a woman from the Netherlands! It is wedding season here and many people get married this time of the year. They had the wedding here in Skopje, and then they're going to have the sealing in the Netherlands. We went to his wedding, which was super cool to see so many longtime Mormons gathered together with the bride's family being there. Church was also packed, because they all came, along with the Weidmanns being there. At that time President Weidmann told us we will actually only be getting 2 elders (not 4), and that we all will be based in Skopje, so no new cities to open yet! One day.

We took a nice strenuous hike up to the top of Mt. Vodno, where the cross is, which is something I've wanted to do ever since I got here! The easy way up is to take ski-lift style cable cars. It was the 6 missionaries, plus a member, Ana. It was a good time :)

Hope all is well with all of you! Lots of pics today.  Elder Rigby