February 15, 2016

I hit 18 months this last week. It is CRAZY. I know I've said this a lot already, but the mission is flying. It's so weird to me that it's all just going to be over in an instant.

More General Authority (GA) visits. We had a really cool thing happen this week. Elder Hallstrom of the presidency of the 70 and President Johnson of the European Presidency met with the Crisis Relief Center of Skopje this week, and they had a few hours before their next flight, so we got to have a meeting with all of them and with the members! I was so excited for them. I don't think hardly any of them have met a GA before, especially someone in the presidency of the 70. They all talked about the power of their voices, and the positive energy you could feel from them (all the people here are obsessed with the word energy. I think that's how they describe just about every feeling). They talked about how the Lord trusts us as missionaries since our mission president lives in a different country, and to the members, about how they're the pioneers, and they need to plant a strong foundation. We had a good showing there too, even though it was a Thursday morning.

We picked up some new investigators this week that are members of an Evangelical church. And that church takes place in their house. I feel like they are just honest people searching for the Gospel in their lives. They started their own church because they feel like all the other ones mess up somewhere or another. But after giving the father (who's the pastor) a Book of Mormon, he read 40 pages in one day. He said the only reason he didn't read more because he had to prepare his sermon! We got to attend; it was a classic Evangelical church, with a guitar and a lot of singing, and then a small Sunday School kind of meeting focused on James 2. I really enjoyed it; you can tell they're very God loving people. After the meeting, the older brother who wasn't in the first lesson starting asking what we were about, and when we starting explaining, the other 10 people there stopped talking and listened. It was a big crowd! The Lord really blessed us to give us that opportunity.

We've been going to a lot more villages lately, like Dolno Lisice and Dracevo. The people in Dolno Lisice were so nice since it was such a tiny village. We had a lesson with a guy there. There was one lady, Rosa who wanted to invite all of her family and her sister's family to hear a message, so she took us over to her sister's house to pick a time. We used the words Mormons with her sisters, and then Rosa's whole demeanor changed. She told us not to call her or anything. The people here in general don't like Novovernici, which means new believers. That's anyone that's not Orthodox or Catholic.
Elder Rigby