A learning experience

There are so many things that happen on a mission that just mold you and stretch you and make you a drastically different person than you were before you left, and so many of these kinds of experiences happen each week, I change drastically each week. Some of these experiences are coming home to a flooded apartment and spending the next hour getting all of that water out of the house, learning how to say the right thing to someone that will inspire them to change their life, inviting so many people to come unto Christ, the joy of someone recognizing the feeling of the holy ghost, and some experiences are ones of sorrow for losing one of the precious souls- when someone decides that the path of Christ is not for them and their family. These are some of the experiences that we had this week.

 I won’t lie, I was devastated about losing a long time (relatively long time, as in day before baptismal interview) investigator, as we should be as missionaries, we invest so much in these people, we spend so much time carefully teaching them and praying for them. We love them so dearly, so when they make such a rash decision and deny the feelings and the answers that they had received, one cannot help but be devastated. But these experiences help mold us, they make us stronger. In such moments of finding out that an investigator of a long time is no longer interested yes I was devastated, but unusually calm about the prospect of the future. I know that it is all in God’s time. I know that we made a difference in that persons life. I know that one day she will see the path and choose to follow it. But she has to be the one to actively choose that path.

I have also learned a lot about patience this week. This has always been a bit of a tougher topic for me… I like efficiency, I like quickness, and in this beautiful land of Albania, people like to take their time. When people see us rushing to appointments, they yell “avash!” (Slowly!) And sometimes I may get frustrated when people don’t understand as quickly as I would like them to. But this week I have really been striving to be better at just breathing, thinking, and striving to be more calm. I study the life of Christ… A lot. And in every situation, he is the epitome of patience. (and every other “Christlike” attribute, obviously), and I just think of the weight of the world, of humanity that he had upon his shoulders. Now that is a lot of stress! And he bore it in patience. With all the persecution that he faced, he was calm. Now when I compare my “burden” my “challenges” my “persecutions” my “stress” in respects to his…. what are mine? They are minuscule. And when I gain this perspective, that is when I am more patient. Because if He could do it under such a weight, than surely I can.
These are just some of the thoughts of the day. It’s been quite the week. And we are so very hopeful for the week ahead! This work is a wonderful work. It encompasses everything you could imagine. And I  Iove every second of it.
Till next week! I love you all dearly!
Love, Motra Kollmen
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Albanian Girl

What a week! I am a bit pressed for time now but I will say a few things about what has happened this week!

– Rosa was baptized! And what an amazing day it was. I don’t think I have ever been happier than I was when she came up out of that water, or when she received the gift of the holy ghost on Sunday. She is such a special spirit, and in the testimonies that she offered after her baptism and after her confirmation were astounding. She is very spiritually mature, and has a very solid relationship with her heavenly father. How amazing. She got baptized on Friday, a month to the day when we met her for the first time. we only taught her for over 3 weeks… I cannot believe it. I feel like I have known her forever. She is such a strong daughter of god.
– Have 5 others on dates. We are so excited for them. And we are setting even more time aside this week to find, and get more people on dates.
– Went to Elbasan today, way fun! Walked around on a castle, and ate some lovely food.
– Had presidents interview this week also, and it was so good. He is so spiritual. We really talked a lot about prayer. And he really compared it to it as if we are working in an olive garden, and he asked me to paint a picture in my head,  and he asked me to place the servants, and the master of the garden… and he asked me where I had placed them. And I said that the servants are harvesting the fruit, and the master is standing right behind them telling them in their ear what they should do, pointing out the ripe fruit and telling them how they are to harvest.- And that is exactly like this work. We should be listening to the master, Christ, in all things. And because he is right there with us, we can turn to ask his help and ask advice. How wonderful? We need only turn and ask. – I loved that he had me do this little exercise with him. He then committed me to really more sincerely listen in my prayers. To take time to listen. earnestly. And I know that it is working.I just need to spend even more time listening. Because He is there. Just waiting for us to ask him what we should do, if our daily plan for the next day is good, or if we need to change it… He will send thoughts and impressions to our minds and hearts if we ask Him.
 
– My companion is so amazing and spiritual, and such a  good example to me. I love her. And I couldn’t ask for a better trainer. 
 
-Language is getting better. Everyday a bit better! 
 
Next week I will have a good email for you all. But know that I love this work. It is beautiful. I experience amazing miracles everyday, we just have to open our eyes to them. I love you all so much! 
 
Love, Motra Kollmen 
alright! This was rosalinda's baptism! It was so beautiful. She is so wonderful

alright! This was rosalinda’s baptism! It was so beautiful. She is so wonderful

where to start..

I never know where to start… So much transpires each week that I feel that I can’t possibly pick one thing to talk about!

The Tirane third ward is doing so well right now! Besides 70 percent of the actual members being on pushim (vacation), the work is really moving forward right now. We are having at least 6 investigators to church for the past few weeks, and we have some really amazing investigators right now with Baptismal dates for the upcoming weeks! This Friday we are having a baptism service for the wonder-girl Rosa 🙂 I love her so much. Yesterday at church she was in relief society with us, because the other ONE young woman that we have, and the instructors are out of town for vacation… and in relief society we talked about the gift of the holy ghost. And for not having the gift of the holy ghost yet, this girl sure does already have a testimony about it. She was raising her hand and just offering up some of the most amazing comments about the holy ghost acting as a comforter and how he guides us and how he is so holy and amazing. She was so amazing! She says things very simply, but oh so powerfully.
As she was offering up these explanations to these women who have been in the church for a few years and have had more time to mature spiritually and learn, she was teaching them in simple terms and offering up her own experiences! And I couldn’t help but just beam at her with such love and joy in my heart. I am so proud of the progress that she has made, and I can’t believe that we are the ones teaching her. She is teaching me! Everyday, I can’t believe how amazingly blessed I am to have the example of the investigators that we have.
Something that I have done since I have been a missionary, is in each prayer, ask for a greater feeling and sense of love for each person that I come in contact with. To have more love for the people I invite to learn more about baptism, to have more love for our returning members, to have more love for my companion, for our struggling investigators, for our progressing investigators, for everyone! And it works. I notice myself just smiling so brightly at all of these people, because I feel a greater sense of love for them. Because I really do. I love them. I want to share a beautiful message with them. And I know that once they feel our love, they will then stop and listen. Because they will know that we care. Because as we all know ” people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Sorry that this email isn’t as long. But there are too many things bouncing in my head. My advice for you all. Just pray for a greater understanding of the love that Christ has, that Heavenly father has, for those around you. Because I promise you. He loves you each so much. He has perfect love for all of us. So let us also strive for that perfect love. Because that is what is going to motivate us beyond anything else.
I love you all, SO MUCH!
Love, Motra Kollmen
Fun things:
-Went bowling today!
-President Weidmann came to church yesterday as a surprise! It was wonderful 🙂
– ROSA is getting baptized on friday!
– This week we have really up-ed our goals, and it’s going to be beautiful.
– It is incredibly hot. I thought it was hot before, but apparently its just getting into the hottest season.
– fun fact. everyone takes naps here from 1-6… it is a ghost town. Not one soul outside.
– Have president’s interview this week, I am so excited!
– my comp is hilarious. Always.

 

 

Today we went to elbasan which is like an hour away just for a day trip, here are some pictures of us at a castle. :)

Today we went to elbasan which is like an hour away just for a day trip, here are some pictures of us at a castle. 🙂

My companion is the best. She is hilarious.

My companion is the best. She is hilarious.

 

Get on your knees.

This week has been absolutely amazing. Miracles are just such a huge part of this work, and I know I say this every week. But miracles are happening here, and I know that it isn’t us, I know that our Heavenly Father is in every aspect of this work! Because I know that alone, we would have collapsed a weeks ago, but I know that there is divine help and that angels are holding us up and that the spirit is guiding us. Because so many ready souls are fining their way to us this week.

We have gotten a few more people on baptism dates, just starting with that initial contact of baptism just sets the pace. And we are having so much success. Obviously we are still adapting and trying to figure out what is best in this area, but things are changing. And it feels so good!
I would just like to share one experience this week that was especially especially amazing. And it really made me re-recognize the importance and power of prayer.
So that wonderful soul Rosa who I talked about last week? Well here is another story about her.
SO this last Thursday, we had an appointment to meet Rosa at the church. And usually she is a little late, because she is just a wee little thing, so we called her up and to our absolute horror she said that she was so sorry but she couldn’t meet with us anymore! I don’t think words can even be written to describe that kind of sinking, heart wrenching, absolute devastation that I felt. Truly, my heart has never felt like that. And I never ever want it to feel like that again. We asked her why and she said that her dad was in town from greece and said that she couldn’t meet with us anymore. We asked her if she had a desire to still meet with us, and so sincerely she said yes. And we asked her if she would ask her dad once more, explaining to him more about the church and if that didn’t work we were going to request to talk to him, because as I have told you, I have never met anyone more ready for this Gospel that Rosa. We asked her to pray before and told her we would pray as well. She agreed, and said she would call in five minutes.
We immediately dropped to our knees. And Sister Favero asked me to offer the prayer. And I will just say this. That I have never in my life offered up a prayer equal to that one. Where absolutely nothing within the prayer was for myself or even for my companion. EVERY single fiber of that prayer was for another soul. For a soul that is so so sweet. SO precious. Never has my heart yearned and pleaded so much with my heavenly father. And as soon as I asked our Heavenly father to “please deliver us this soul” and , the phone rang and we closed the prayer and answered it. Rosa sounded like she was half crying half shouting and laughing, she had asked her father once more after asking her heavenly father for support and help, and she had explained that we had a plan for rosa, that she had friends in the church, and that she loved this church. Then her mom supported what rosa said, saying that she had met with us and knew we were a good church full of good people. After which her father said that it was alright, and said she could also get baptized.
She quickly came and we had a lesson about miracles and we said a sweet prayer together in thanks to our heavenly father. Needless to say that tears were streaming down my face. Never have I been so thankful. Never.  But I will tell you that everything that rosa said had transpired, was in the earlier prayer that we had offered up unto our Father in Heaven. Every word.
I know He listens. And I know that when our heart is open, sincere, and earnestly pleading with innocent and pure intent, He will answer us. I get chills up my arms right now just thinking about that experience. Never have I felt such overwhelming spirit. Never.
Please get on your knees in earnest prayer. I KNOW that He hears us. And then make sure that you thank your Heavenly Father for the things that He has given you; for the answers and comfort He has provided, or the direction He has given you.
There have been so many miracles this week. And I’m sorry that I don’t have time to share them all. But know that they are real. When we have faith for them to happen, and when we work in that faith, then the miracles come. But after the work. Always after the works.
Love,
Motra Kollmen
Other things:
– Ok so we moved Rosa’s BDate to the 16th! She is so so ready.
– Have a couple Baptisms set up for the 23rd!
– We were tourists today, and walked around the center *will send photos soon
– Ok. Went on exchanges to T1 two days ago! Learned some amazing things, and taught them the Baptism approach. It’s spreading!
– So, I eat many things here. But. Somehow I am losing weight. Don’t even know how that is possible. Let’s just pray that it continues this way! haha really though. Ice cream/ gellato is a real thing. So are crepes. But we are also juice people 🙂 Missions are wonderful.
LOVE YOU ALL!