Short and Sweet...So I don't have any emailing time. I just drove up to Tirana and I'll be here for the last few days of my mission. But I just want to say that I'm so thankful for this experience I've been able to have serve as a missionary the past 2 years. I really wouldn't trade it for anything, because of the knowledge I've been able to gain, and the people I've been able to meet. I know that God loves all of his children.
If you want anything more than that, go to my homecoming or something. Well, I'll see all you guys on the flip side. Love you all!
Posted by Elder Rigby's Dad at 7/25/2016
The Last Full Week! I've said that time is flying before, but now it's like it got on the star ship enterprise and it's going warp speed. I'm really going to miss the mission and all the great people here.
This week we found a whole lot of Muslims that were very grounded in their beliefs. Usually when people want to start bashing, I try to end the conversation as fast as possible because there's no point, but there were some real persistent ones this week! So we entertained them a bit. For the most part, they try to explain what Islam is about, and expect us to agree with them upon finally finding out. I let them know that I've been here for about 2 years talking to Muslims, and usually they get pretty taken aback, and don't have any real arguments worth arguing about after that. It felt good to testify about what I know to them, even if they don't want to accept it.
Since my time is winding down and no one new wanted to meet this week, we met with some old investigators this week. One of those was Alexander, a tour guide that Elder Prince and I used to teach. He doesn't really want to change his life and keep commitments, so after a time we couldn't meet with him anymore. He would always wear a shirt that says I LOVE HONG KONG. I told him that I'm from there, and he has always brought it up ever since. He's also got the most booming laugh.
We met with Danilo and his family also this week, who are old investigators. I've been over to their house 3 times, each time about a year apart from the last. They're some of the nicest people I've ever met, and we got fed by them. And it was STUFFED PEPPERS. Grandma, if I didn't like those back when I was home, I don't know what was wrong with me. We had a really good discussion about Jesus Christ though. They're 7th Day Adventists, and it was a Saturday that we met with them, so it worked out well!
Speaking about food, the worst thing by far I've had on my mission is Ajran. It's like spoiled milk with some salt in it. One day through the week, we got lunch as a district and we decided it was time for the new sisters to try it. They weren't buying into it that it was good to drink it, so Sister Dow took some massive swigs of it. Good on her for making the sacrifice. They decided it was safe enough after that, and we got to enjoy their priceless reactions after the fact.
Sister Kelly, who I served with here in Skopje about a year ago, finished her mission about half year ago, but she came back this week to visit! It was pretty weird to see her as a non-missionary, especially since I'm still a missionary.
For any who want to come, my homecoming talk will be July 31st at 8:30am at the Cortaro Ward. The meetinghouse is located at 3530 West Magee Road Tucson AZ.
Posted by Elder Rigby's Dad at 7/18/2016
Ending with the Beginning! Going back to the center area of Skopje, I've returned to the exact same area where I started my mission. But it's not like there's a lot of other choices! I get to work with Bojan and Frosina again though, but this time as recent converts! Well, at least with Frosina. Bojan went off to England a couple weeks ago to go work without even saying goodbye to anyone! So unfortunately I probably won't be seeing him again. Frosina was telling us how she's still deciding whether she will go too. She told us she would have to pay 900 Denars (~$18) for her flight to London, and then the bus ride would be 1200 Denars (~$24) to the city where Bojan is at. But she was also telling us that Bojan found the church in England, so all is good!
There's a couple in our branch from Russia called the Relkovas. They've got really strong testimonies, and they're great members, but they've always been hindered a little bit because of their limited Macedonian. But with Elder Bowen here, and our mostly English speaking branch, Sister Relkova gave a talk in Russian, with Elder Bowen translating to English, and some missionaries translating for those non English speakers in the seats.. I could pick up bits and pieces of the Russian. It's like the equivalent of regular English and the hardcore Pidgin English they've got in Africa! She gave a way good talk though about the Restoration. Such a cool couple.
On Saturday night, the sisters came back from Tirana with some new sisters, so we're back to 10 missionaries in Skopje now. They seem like they're ready to help though, so that's good.
Posted by Elder Rigby's Dad at 7/12/2016
HAPPY AMERICA DAY!! Don't worry guys, after this one, only 3 more emails will be going your way from me!
The assistants called us Monday night, telling us that we would be heading to Kumanovo to check out the city! So we headed over there on Thursday. I've been there a few times, but this time was by far the most successful. Everyone was very open to talk, and I'd bet 99% had never seen missionaries before! We were scouting for a place for church along the way, and we found a guy who I'd bet owns about half the city. He kept showing us place after place. But in the end, we found out from President Weidmann that now is not the time for Kumanovo.
The Watermans had us over for an early 4th of July party! It was a lot of fun. It also happened to be Canada day, so we got to make a lot of jokes at the only Canadian and only non-American there, Sister Dow.
This week was also transfer week! I'll be following the same path that my trainer, Elder Prince, had, and I'll end my mission by being with my trainee, Elder Dibble, for one month. Elder Dibble is a serious stud, so I'm way psyched for it!
Posted by Elder Rigby's Dad at 7/04/2016