"Hi everyone, I'm online here in.... THESSALONIKI! Hahaha I'm back! I'm District Leader again and I'm continuing Elder Tornar's training! (He came into the mission 3 weeks ago)
I can't wait to tell you about my first week back in Thess! I flew up this morning so I'm pretty tired, but I'm excited to be here!"
(The flight must have been early as this email was received about 11am Greek time)
"I'm really happy to be back, I know the area, my Greek is better now and I have more experience, so I'm hoping to make a big impact here. Also it feels like coming home after a being on holiday in Athens haha! And I'm a trainer which is crazy, but Elder Tornar is great and I think we'll get along really well. It's crazy how I'm training in my second transfer though!
Elder Tornar is from France! Maybe I'll be able to remember some more of my French whilst I'm with him! I had to use it in another lesson the other day. I was with Elders Dastrup and Murphy for a few days whilst I was between companions, and they had a lesson with a Syrian man who spoke English, Greek and French, and all 3 not very well. with a mixture of the three languages we were able to get through to him and we had a really good first lesson, and he set a baptismal date!"
News from last week in Athens
"Angelo's (member in the English branch) famous banana pancakes! He promises them to all of the missionaries but very few end up actually going haha,
I went with Elder Lohman during our exchange."
"Me and Elder Lohman! It was an unusual exchange as it was his last ever full day of missionary work, and it was a great day!"
"The road behind the Ilion apartment, it's a dingy little alley, and the sign says the name of the road. It's called "Street of Dreams" hahaha"
"The leavers in the airport this morning, with President Freestone and with Sister Everitt
We were all together in the airport this morning and went our separate ways. I was on the plane by myself which was unusual ha!ha !
My spiritual highlight this week was yesterday. We had a testimony meeting at the mission home for the four leaving missionaries. It was going to be at Mars Hill but ended up getting changed. It was just the four leavers, plus Elder Leppard (the AP who isn't one of the leavers), the Mannings the Freestones and I (I was only there as I was in transit haha).
We had a big meal then a really nice devotional in the living room. We all shared three things we have learnt from our missions, then the leavers bore testimony in Greek and in English. It was a really spiritual meeting and I really enjoyed it. Elder Lohman and I got along really well, (the tall blond Swedish Elder), Elder Koponen is fantastic (from Finland, the other AP, and although we didn't spend much time together we always got along really well when we were together), Elder Smith was Elder Peel's trainer and is a great guy, and Elder Seluhins and I were good friends. It feels like older brothers are leaving home!
"I'll tell you one reason I'm excited to be back in Thess, the shower is wall mounted and not handheld, and you can flush toilet paper! You can in the Ilion apartment as well, but generally in Athens you can't and it has to go in a bin next to the toilet, which is lovely! It's not a problem here in Thess though
Okay everyone I need to get going now. Sorry I've been a bit all over the place this week, and there's probably loads I've forgotten to tell you that I'll remember during the course of the day. I'm a bit tired from the journey this morning so I'll have everything in order and do it properly next week!
I hope you have a wonderful week!"
Just for the purpose of record when we look back on this post, today the Greeks elected a new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras. Elder Teal said early in his email that the mission handbook tells them not to comment on Political or social events in correspondence home. So as always he was obedient and didn't.