November 2, 2016

So the exciting news I forgot to mention previously is that Elder Prince and Sister Riddle (recently returned missionaries) are working at the MTC now teaching Macedonian! They'll be translating materials into Macedonian for new missionaries that come in the future. There's an elder coming here in December in the MTC right now, but I'm not sure how exactly that's going to work, since everyone is either training or being trained. Also an American family will be coming over here to work at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje. The father served his mission in Bulgaria, so hopefully he remembers some of that Bulgarian!

I drove a brand new car out of the lot :)  Last week, we did a lot of paperwork and getting registered for the new car (thank you Nelsons!), so that on Wednesday, we would be able to drive it to Tirana for Mission Conference. We have residency cards here that take about a month to get, and they expire every 6 months. Well, currently, only Sister Barch and I had our cards, as Sister Hassell and Elder Chingas were in the middle of getting new ones, and all the new missionaries haven't received theirs yet. So that meant Sister Barch drove the old car and I drove the new one over to Tirana, Albania. Sister Barch handled her car like a pro, even in Tirana during rush hour. Like me, she hadn't driven for a year. I'd like somebody to show me a place where it's harder to drive than Tirana, because I don't think it exists. Anyways, after driving an old beat up truck before my mission, it was a pretty crazy change to be driving a brand new 2015 car. The control panel for everything looked like something from Star Trek, so I guess I'm turning into a bit of an old person. It had a GPS, but we found out from experience that GPSs doesn't work in Albania when we tried driving back to Skopje, and the GPS kept sending us to the airport. From the pictures you can see that the leaves are starting to turn fall colors. It is getting here; in the 30s at night, so we had to drag out our big coats to wear.

At Mission Conference, we were pleasured with Pres. and Sister Johnson of the European Presidency. President Johnson spoke mostly about the guidance of the Holy Ghost. The most instructing thing for me was his statement about how the spirit will not guide us in every second and moment, but it definitely will guide through a lot of the different moments. However, we have to make a lot of the decisions based off our knowledge, and then the spirit can tell us whether that decision was correct or not. Check out the picture of every missionary in the mission.

Our English Course starts tomorrow, and we’ve been handing out tons of flyers, so hopefully we get people to come. The problem is that the church is far away from the city center. The work has been slow for the most part lately, and English classes should help to pick up the work a lot!

The mission has definitely made me much more straight up with people, for better or the worse. Bojan and Prosina have told us this past month every week that they would come to church, but they haven't shown up. So Saturday night, in our lesson with them, we were blunt about their church attendance, and told them that we would be coming to their door Sunday morning to pick them up for church. I think they thought we were joking, because they were very surprised when they saw us there Sunday morning. Prosina was the only willing one to go, so we started our hour hike to the church because she didn't want to take the bus. We are definitely going to be making this a weekly thing :)

We celebrated Halloween by going to a Chinese restaurant. I know, we're pretty lame. Happy Halloween y'all!  Elder Rigby