Its Zone conference time again. The missionaries serving in Greece form a Zone within the mission and meet together monthly for training and instruction. Elder Tornar and Teal flew down from Thessaloniki to Athens to attend and stayed at the office for a couple of nights.
Zone Conference was a chance for the group that trained together in the MTC to have a picture together, minus their friends that are serving in Cyprus.
It is also Transfers this week, swapping companions and areas. Many missions have transfers every 6 weeks, but in Greece it is every 12. I guess with such a low number of missionaries to swap, if it was every 6, you could end up serving with the same one again! We won't know where transfers will take Elder Teal or who he will be with, when he emails next week. In fact even though it is happening this week Elder Teal didn't yet know this morning. As pre-mission parents you know from hour to hour almost where your children are, it has taken us some time to get used to not having a clue from week to week!
"So it's been a good week, unfortunately we've not had a lot of time for lessons with the trip to Athens, but things are going well. We had three people at church with us yesterday, and had a lesson with one of them after the meetings. We have also started to make notes and leave lots of good information in case we have new missionaries that won't know the area or the people too well.
I feel like I will leave, so yesterday we had our farewells after church, which wasn't sad but I will miss the members here very much. Brother Todi called me this morning, he wanted to say again how grateful he was and to tell me that I really do have a family and a home here in Thessaloniki whenever I want to come, which I hope to do as often as I can after my mission, We also have our trip of Albania together to look forward to! I feel like I'm leaving home again! haha
And yes it is a nice place. It's not necessarily the prettiest of cities, but it has a charm and character that is unlike anything I've seen anywhere else.
I think Thessaloniki will be a top destination for family holidays when I have a family of my own haha! There's not really a beach though, it's more of a city holiday if you come here."
"Hopefully I'll see Elder Peel this week depending on how the transfers fall."
"..we went to a tourist shop to buy a T-shirt, and suprised the woman by speaking Greek to her. A man in the shop told me I look like someone from Greek television and asked me if I was Thessalonikian, which I was very happy about as it means I'm getting the accent right."
About flying to Athens for conference
"I figured out that today was the 10th flight since the start of my mission, many of which were this same journey.. On the plane Elder Tornar gave a Book of Mormon to the woman next to him, but she read it a bit and handed it back at the end of the flight"
"We walked along the street for a while and had so much finding success! We gave away all our books and had only two left, one in Albanian and one in Bulgarian. I saw a man and could tell he was Albanian from his face, so we talked with him and gave him a book. Just before we came home we met a Bulgarian lady which meant we came home with completely empty bags."
District Meeting in Thessaloniki.
"I shared some of the things that I considered to be successes, I got quite emotional and it got difficult to speak. I just wanted to express that I was grateful to the other missionaries for the work they have done in this area which is so dear to my heart. As we build up the church here we are helping the members, for whom being a church member is no easy task. I love these people so anything we have done that has helped them is success for me."
Elders Teal and Tornar have served together so well, they have done all they can to share the gospel with everyone they come in contact with, but understand their success is in lifting and building others in any way they need.