What a week! I can’t believe that it is P day again already! This has been a fantastic week!
Firstly, on Tuesday for the devotional Elder Holland came! And what a wild and ferocious talk he gave! I feel so lucky because there have been such fantastic speakers while I have been here!
Elder Holland talked a lot about Enduring to the End, and how so many RM’s fall away from the church, and he was so passionate in explaining how wrong that is. One of the quotes he said that I absolutely love is: ” I can’t stand the thought of losing any of the sheep. But even worse, I cannot bare the thought of losing the Shepards.” That one struck me, because though I have never thought of myself as a Shepard, that is what we are as missionaries. We are helping people come unto Christ, and it is so sad when, after testifying of the truthfulness of this gospel day in and day out for 18 months-2 years, a Shepard falls away. He also stressed how utterly important the word “invite” is in our missionary purpose. Because to be able to invite someone anywhere, you yourself have to be there first. I absolutely loved this. Because it’s true, for us as missionaries to invite others to come unto Christ we first have to be there ourselves. How can we ask our investigators to Pray, and Read, and come to church, and love Him with all their hearts if we ourselves haven’t done it first. And we all know the common saying of if you can’t convert anyone else in the time you are on your mission, at least convert yourself… or something along those lines. Well it is so true! We must make sure that we come home absolutely converted unto Christ, and then endure to the end. To be converted you must come unto Christ in every way possible, and trust in Him. I want to come home completely different than what I was. Not that I was bad, but I want to be fully and totally converted and I want that to be visible. I want to be unrecognizable when I get back. Something else Elder Holland said was “there isn’t any old life. There is no going back…. Real life is missionary life.” I love this because once we accept this as missionaries we can lose ourselves in the work, and be eternal missionaries…
It was so funny because when he was expressing all of this with such passion, he kept saying “my mission has meant everything to me” and when he was expressing how much he dislikes those who take their mission for granted he said: ‘” I will hunt you down and put my knee in your throat if you take this experience lightly…I’m not above anything… I will hunt you down in the dark of the night.” haha good ole Elder Holland!
He also stressed how underused and under appreciated the Holy Ghost is. Which is so true. We have the ability to have one of the godhead with us at all times, who is just as equal and one in purpose and on par with Christ and our Heavenly Father. So I implore each of you to use the most universal gift that God has given to every member of this church… appreciate it and feel comforted.
Sometimes missions are hard. That is a given. It is called missionary WORK for a reason, and though I have barely scratched the surface of this work, I have already wrestled a bit with the language and gospel principles trying to become an adequate teacher for the people of Albania. I know that I have many trials ahead. However when we think of our hardships in comparison to what our Savior went through in his earthly ministry, I feel humbled and work harder. “Salvation is not a cheap experience”, and we are bringing salvation to people who desperately need it. Of course it will be difficult. Because we as missionaries are disciples of Christ, and a disciple is someone who walks where he walked, taught what he taught, feels a bit of what he felt. Elder Holland said “The road to Salvation always goes through the garden of Gethsemane… if you are a disciple, understand that we will weep and struggle and feel the pain and blood of this generation…. however it isn’t too much for you to endure a small portion of the weight he bore…. do not flee from Christ-like moments”.
I love this work. And though the trials still lay ahead, I know that if i put my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father I know that I can do anything.
I love you all dearly and hope you are well! Can’t wait to call home for mothers day this Sunday, first time in MTC history! My companion continues to be amazing and I love her so much, she is such an example to me. I love my district, they are hilarious and though they are these young boys they are spiritually mature beyond their years.
Sorry this is a bit short- Till next week!
Love, Motra Kollmen