THE POPE WAS HERE

Well hello there. What a wonderful and crazy week it has been! So many things have happened, it astounds me every week just looking back. I love it.

This week Aferdita was able to enter the waters of baptism led and baptized by her brother Trashegim.
Let me just tell you about this last saturday that she was baptized because it was one of the craziest days and best of my life:
Saturday we did our weekly planning in the morning, and then we had a couple lessons. One of which was with about 7 amazing kids who are all over the age of ten but under the age of 16 and they are so lively and full of energy and they love coming to church and learning about the gospel and the book of mormon. And we were having a lesson with them, and invited them to walk and come with us to the baptism with some of the other members. SO if you can imagine this, me and sister favero leading 7 investigator children along with 2 member kids, and a couple other adult members herding them from the back, through this large city….. which! was crazier than usual, because who was in town? THE POPE.  FOR REAL. The POPE was in town this last weekend. So Tirana was just absolutely flooded with people. You can imagine my stress level at imaging losing one of the kids. I respect those parents who take their thousand children to disneyworld now and still manage to have a churro in their other hand, I have a lot to learn! -Somehow, and I know it was a miracle, we got to the other building where the baptism service for our dear Aferdita was taking place. Then we had a lesson with all those children and our dear Aferdita and her siblings Trashegim and Ilirjana about enduring to the end. It was a beautiful classroom setting with Aferdita front and center. It was great. Every time Aferdita or someone answered a question, the children lightly clapped their hands. Aferdita was loving it. And we were still able to have the spirit lead and we all felt it really strong there at the end. 
Then as the service started…
 
… was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever seen. When the baptismal service started, with good old Numero Bekimet (count your many blessings) sung in the beautiful off tuneness of the lovely albanian people,  our sweet Aferdita and Trashegim and their nonmember sister Ilirjana were all bawling. And it was so sweet to just see their smiles as streams of tears ran down their faces from the spirit. They were just clinging to one another and it was the most beautiful thing. It is moments like that, when you know that they have developed a deeper understanding of their Heavenly Father, and are actively taking steps to draw closer unto Him… that you just KNOW that this is where you are supposed to be. Even now, I can honestly say that I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I love these people more than I could have ever imagined that I could love people. And this work is hard. I am exhausted each night. Falling asleep in prayers. But that is how it should be. Because if we work hard, God will bring the miracles in His time. And as we  work hard, we can help these people forge these relationships with their Father in Heaven. And nothing is more beautiful than that.
And Aferdita was baptized by her 6 year member brother Trashegim. It was a very emotional day for both of them. And I just keep thinking about how we have only been teaching Aferdita for less than a month! we have known her for 2 but only taught her for 3 weeks… and her faith has grown drastically. She is a different person than she was before. She is truly coming to recognize her divine potential and is making steps to fulfill that potential.
As missionaries we see these peoples potential. When we are out finding, we see each persons potential to be a relief society president, ward clerk, primary teacher, bishop. Each of us has such incredible potential. And our Heavenly Father knows our potential. He is just waiting to help us fulfill our potential, and He will help us. As missionaries, we invite people to fulfill their divine potential. We invite them to learn who they were and what they chose before this life-to come here-, who they can be and should be here, and what their potential is after this life. Each person has the potential to live with God again, to walk with Him and be like Him. And we have to help them recognize that potential. Because every soul is precious in the eyes of God. We can never forget that.
There were a lot of other incredibly amazing things this week…. here is a little list:
-we are teaching a brother and sister, and the brother was being really persistant about having his sister pray for us, only because he said after that he feels so good when he prays and he wants her to feel that too
– had a great zone conference, 1, WORK WITH BISHP, 2, Pray seek and find-plead with the lord to be an instrument in his hands, 3, One new baptismal date per week or more
– Romans chapter 8 is one of the best chapters ever.
– One of the members here used to live in a mansion palace and have servants and be really rich, but the red mafia stole everything from him years ago….
– I had a dream that albania flooded last night, like to the top of the apartments, woke up to a torrential rainstorm! but it isn’t flooded, don’t worry!
– I saw a human skull by the trash cans… I just kept walking…. maybe a lot quicker…. yikes
Anyways. I love this place. And I love all of you wonderful people! Till next week!
love, Motra Kollmen
look aferdita was baptized this weekend! I LOVE THESE PEOPLE.

look aferdita was baptized this weekend! I LOVE THESE PEOPLE.

CIMG5186

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