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