Hello family!

What a wonderful week it has been! We were blessed with a lot of lessons this week and so many experiences. I never know where to begin!
Some things that happened:
-Aferdita passed her baptismal interview!!! This upcoming Saturday she will enter into the blessed waters of baptism and enter the fold! haha I love her so much. She is so sassy and wonderful. So stay tuned for that next week… 🙂
– yesterday in church stake president Mema came and gave one of the most amazing talks I have every heard. He is our only stake president here in all of Albania, Macedonia, and Kosovo, and he is also the institute and seminary teacher and he is one of the most amazing human beings alive. He talked about something very interesting. He talked about how we commonly misunderstand something very important, and how we often teach this wrong… he talked about how when people receive the holy ghost, we think that it is them commanding the holy ghost to come down onto that person and then reside with them. NOPE. He talked about how we cannot do that. We do not command the spirit to come down. But that person is cleansed with fire, making that person cleaner than ever before. completely clean, and if their heart is open and if they are in fact clean, then the Holy Ghost may come and reside in them. -this was all in albanian so I am doing my best to translate back into english…but this is the best I can describe what he said, if there are any errors that is the language barrier hahah- but I just absolutely loved that. Because it is so true, first they are baptized with water, and then with fire and the holy ghost. When they lay their hands upon the head of the person receiving the blessing, they are laying their hands on them to cleanse them with fire. To absolutely cleanse them, IN ORDER that they may be pure for the Holy Ghost to reside in them. How cool is that?
I think about this baptism of fire, picturing a metal worker, thrusting a rough piece of metal into the furnace, the metal glowing brighter and brighter until it is absolutely blazing, then I picture the smith taking out that metal and working it into something beautiful. Something completely unintelligible from what it was before. Making it into something beautiful.
Now, this might  be a bit of a weird image for me to picture, but at that point where the metal is intensely bright, it is pure. And then the metal worker, the master if you will, can take that blazing piece of metal, that pure substance, and work it into something beautiful.
How wonderful.
– This week I have been really focusing on becoming more grateful for all that I am given. I am so incredibly blessed. I have been blessed with a wonderful family who supports me at home, I have been blessed with friends who are now all around the world inspiring me in different ways, I am blessed to be here in Albania, blessed with the gift of tongues, blessed with new friendships that will last an eternity, blessed with the opportunity to come closer unto my savior Jesus Christ, and learn not just about Him but of Him… Learning constantly how I can become more like Him. How I can help these people. And I love them so much, and cant picture being anywhere else but here. I love this place with all my heart. I love this ward. I love my companion. I love teaching the Gospel. I love being a missionary. He has blessed me with so much, each night I just pour my heart out in thanks to Him for everything He has given me. Is it easy all the time? No. absolutely not. This is crazy hard work. But through Him, we really can do all things!
I love you all dearly and hope you are taking steps to come to know your savior. I KNOW that He is here for us. He knows how you all feel. He knows how I feel. For he is mindful of us “wanderers in a strange land”.
Love you to the moon and back!
-Motra Kollmen
-transfers on the 30th! crazy. I hope I stay here, so I can be with all these wonderful people for Christmas! hehe

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