Well I have finally made it to the beautiful land of Albania and wow is it amazing!!! It is quite humid and quite hot here, and Albania is quite literally the Mexico of Europe! I am in the Tirana 3rd ward which is the ward of one of my MTC teacher’s husband’s mom actually, and they are a lovely little ward. There are probably 35 ish active members right now, though we have a few returning members and what not but we are really in need of a revival around here, and we are definitely going to make it happen!

So let me just start off by saying that our first day here, we got off the plane and we were greeted by our wonderful English mission president and his cute wife. And they drove us to the mission home where we had some traditional food and they proceeded to be paired up with the STL/s and immediately went out onto the street for contacting and she said hey you get to stop them. And so I did. I was initially a bit nervous but then it worked out and I got some numbers and I’m sad that I’m not in that area because they were awesome. But after that we just had dinner and I was out so fast. Next day got my new companion and we went right to our area about 10 mins away from the mission home and she is brilliant. Her name is Motra Fevaro and she is an absolute gem. She reminds me so much of aunt Caroline. She is seriously a blond version of her. And she also reminds me a bit of Abbie Mongie, and Sophia Osmond. So it is truly an amazing combination. She is such an inspiration to me both with the language and with how spiritual she is. The thing that strikes me the most about her is how much she loves EVERYONE. She loves these Albanian people and the members with all of her heart and they love her too. It is truly beautiful and I hope that I can be half the missionary she is soon.
So currently we don’t really have any progressing investigators and we just have so many potentials who are on the fence and so busy. So this week we are calling our assessment week and we are doing a lot of sifting because we need to get down to business and hasten the work.
 I know that I havent even been here a week but I am already developing a love for these people. My first real lesson with a woman was my second day, and we just ran into her and had a lesson about how God loves us and she invited us into her very very humble home where she proceeded to offer us a very strong kafe, and after we declined she had one and lit a cigar… though I was initially a bit uncomfortable because we had asked her to wait… we still continued on with our lesson and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of love for this woman that I hardly knew. I knew she had so many trials. She is struggling financially, as is most everyone here in Albania, but she had such an incredible love and appreciation for God or Zoti, and I felt my heart swell with love for her. She is a very muslim woman, as is most everyone here, and I don’t know if we will meet again. But I will never forget the way I felt how much Her Heavenly Father loves her. The spirit manifested itself, even through the smoke… And she could feel the spirit too… she even snubbed her cigar when we were getting really serious. And when I bore my testimony, she understood every word and clutched her chest. It was just a brief moment, but I know she felt the spirit. And that is what is going to convert people. Maybe not her right now. But I think she will remember how she felt when we talked to her. But that same spirit is going to be what brings people unto Christ, not me, but the Spirit.
Wow. It is very hot in this tiny little internet cafe. But I am so overwhelmingly grateful to be here and to have a marvelous companion. I have so much to learn, but we are getting serious here. We are going to re motivate the people here. Its hard because everyone has work ALL THE TIME because they are struggling to feed their families…. but we will help them understand that the Gospel is exactly what can help them with their struggles and their pains and help them endure to the end and receive miracles in their lives.
I love you all, and I hope you are well. Till next time!
-Motra Kollmen
Other fun things:
– bore my testimony and introduced myself in church yesterday. It went great. Just got up and just went for it and bore a testimony how all of us can and should be everyday missionaries and how important the work is and how much I love them. The ward is great and all the old ladies love me 🙂
-Offered various wines in lessons this week. Its disconcerting because they bring out a coca cola bottle, but just kidding, its wine and then we have to politely decline and then they give us more candy or fruits
– this place has so many fruit stands. Farmers markets all day every day
-The bread and food is delicious.I might get a little fat while I am here. But I will make sure to work it all off through walking and daily yoga ok? so just love me.
– The treg (market) is awesome and I may have bought a cute purse and tons of flowy pants… its so so huge and awesome
– Byrek is the best thing on the planet….

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