November 16, 2016

The 2nd half of this week was quite the crazy one. On the way home on Friday night, we got a call from President Weidmann, telling us that Apostle Ballard, Elder Christenson of the presidency of the 70, and President Kearon of the European Presidency would be coming down on Monday to visit a Syrian refugee camp. Then he told me that we would be coming and I had to reserve a room for it all at the refugee camp. I had no idea how to do that. We started getting everything ready for it, including some Mormon Helping Hands vests, since we didn't have any in Macedonian (classic). On Sunday, we heard from the Nelsons that there might be some complications on Monday. Elder Chingas and I rode with the Nelsons to pick up a security guy from the airport who came early to get everything ready, named Joel Burnham. Brother Burnham told us that because Elder Ballard would be flying in on a private jet, and the airport in Skopje didn't contract with an international company for supplying, the plane wouldn't be able to land. He started working with people to get some kind of one time contract worked out for it.

In the meantime, all of us went out to the camp, which was just on the border of Serbia. The guy wasn't too friendly to us, until he found out we were the "Mormoni" (we were saying church of Jesus Christ). Then he gave us a private tour of the camp. There were hardly any materials that we could see. These Syrians have really got it hard. I got to do some translating work there, but there were a lot of pretty specific words, so we found someone else who was quite a bit better at English than I am at Macedonian. We took Brother Burnham to his hotel after, and then he called us a half hour later, informing us that the whole thing would be cancelled. It was super disappointing, especially since such a small thing preventing it from happening. I called President Weidmann to tell him that he didn't need to come down for it anymore, and he just optimistically responded to it by saying "How wonderful, how I get to sleep in. But you still don't!" I don't think anything can faze that man.

We got Prosina and the kids to church this week! They've been keeping almost all of their commitments, except church and baptism, which are the two most important. Bojan doesn't understand why he can't just come to English course on Tuesday, say a prayer, and then be good for the week, despite repeated lessons on the sacrament. We were still super happy that 3/4 of them came to church though!

Elder Dibble wanted to try some stuff called Baklava, which I was never a fan of. We got it at a new place, and it was ridiculously good, and now we're both pretty addicted to it. 

The half was training in Tirana was good. Luckily, everyone has their international driving permits for the vehicles now, so I didn't have to drive at all. We decided to do the whole thing in one day, for a total of 10 hours of driving. And in 2 weeks, we get to drive down for the 3rd time in a month for Thanksgiving! :')

We were contacting on the bridge, and Sasho came out of nowhere and started talking to us. Then, also very suddenly, the evangelist guy that rebuked me a few months ago, came up and started yelling at us to get off the street and stop with our lies. He then got up in Sasho's face and said "These guys are lying to you. Don't believe a word they say." He left after about 10 minutes of that. Sasho asked what he said to us, I told him, and then Sasho said it was a good thing he didn't understand because he would have thrown the evangelist guy off the bridge. Good ol' Sasho! Luckily, with people like that, all you have to do is be the guy that acts like Jesus (which isn't hard to do), and you pretty much automatically win. 

It was a long week, and disappointing that Elder Ballard didn't come, but it was a good week all in all :) Elder Rigby