July 31, 2016

Richard gave a wonderful talk yesterday about his service as a missionary in Macedonia. He considered his time there the best two years of his life, and will really miss being there. He enjoyed the Macedonian people he met, the dedicated local church members, the missionaries he worked with, the couple service missionaries, and he said his mission president was truly inspired. One country, but several religions and languages, and a mix of cultures.

Elder Rigby came home with a bag of missionary badges printed in different languages which illustrated the first challenge he faced: talking to the people. He learned Bulgarian in the MTC, needed to learn Macedonian (took about 8 months to begin fluency), but since the mission also covered Albania and Kosovo (speak Albanian), he learned a bit of these other languages as well. His Bible and a few church pamphlets were in Macedonian, the Book of Mormon was in Serbian, and the D&C was in Croatian.

Only street contacting was allowed, which meant they had to find investigators by talking to people on the streets. He told about working with a single fellow and a family that were eventually baptized. Economic hardship is a part of life for many Macedonians. Many grow up smoking and drinking alcohol, Turkish coffee and tea. These were challenges to baptizing people. However, because any family benefits from gospel principles and the church, he was instrumental to helping them want to eventually be baptized with persistence and the help of the Spirit. Some had to travel quite far to get attend Sunday church meetings.

A pivotal time was when the mission president challenged all the missionaries to read the entire Book of Mormon in a month. Then again the next month, this time seeking to better understand Christ’s atonement. These challenges helped improve missionary desire to share the gospel and their fluency in speaking to the people about the blessings the Church could bring into their lives.

Elder Rigby hopes to keep in contact with members, ex-missionaries, friends, and others he met on Facebook and other social media. Next he is heading up to BYU to study Mechanical Engineering.
Pics -- with my dad and brothers and sisters:
The extended Rigby family: grandma, uncle Paul and aunt Michelle, and cousins:
At Gaslight Theater with the Rigby side of the family: