History of the Church in Macedonia
Macedonia, in 2012, was opened for missionary work, making it the last country to be opened in all of Europe. The only city open in Macedonia right now is Skopje. We use Serbian materials for the most part. All we have in Macedonian are the sacramental prayers, the Gospel Fundamentals Book, and A Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We have most of the other materials in Serbian, but for example, we use the Croatian Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, since those aren't translated yet. We learn Bulgarian in the MTC, which is similar to the Macedonian language. Macedonian is a part of the Adriatic South Mission because of the high presence of Albanians and the low geographical area of the mission. Even with Macedonia, it's still the smallest mission area-wise in the European Area. Currently, it's illegal for us to tract (knock doors), so the bulk of our finding is done through street contacting.
An LDS couple, the Junckers, were doing some kind of work unrelated to the church in Skopje in about 2009. At the end of their stay, they were asked by a church official to extend their stay and to serve a mission in Macedonia. They agreed, and they worked there as humanitarian aid missionaries. In 2010, Elder Russel M Nelson traveled to Skopje and dedicated the country. The Junckers talked with their associates, found 6 people, and those 6 Macedonian people became the 6 founders for the Church in Macedonia, and the Church became officially registered in the country.
The first proselyting missionaries came in April 2012. Despite being there to proselyte, it was illegal for them to do so. One was pulled from Albania, and the other from Serbia. They couldn't bring up the church to anyone legally, the people had to come to them about it. Even so, they managed to catch the attention of Elmaz Arif, who after being taught for quite some time, was baptized in October 2012 and became the first member to be baptized in Macedonia. During this time, church was held in the Juncker's home in Skopje. The Junckers were replaced by the Andersons that year.
In 2013, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Sants got legally registered in the country, making proselyting legal for the missionaries there. The church started renting out a conference room in Hotel Arka for Sunday services. 4 Macedonians got baptized that year.
Sisters were brought into Macedonia at the beginning of 2014. The Skopje group also became the Skopje Branch, with James Swineford put in as the president. 2014 also saw the baptisms of 9 people, including the first family (link to an article of one of the members is at the bottom).
At the beginning of 2015, there were a total of 10 missionaries in the country. With help from the lawyers that work with the church, a building was found that would be suitable for the church to have a more permanent location in the municipality of Zdanec, Kozle. 2 people got baptized.
Released Elder Rigby
Posted by Elder Rigby's Dad at 8/05/2016