THANKSGIVING and the BECOMING

This week has been amazing. Sis. V is on the mend, and we were able to really get out and work, and it felt so good!

Also, I have been thinking so much this week about ‘becoming’.
There is this awesome member here who lives on the american embassy housing compound. Her husband works for the embassy, so they are american, and we go over to her house once a month for dinner and a lesson, because there just aren’t many people here who she can speak english with and have a good gospel discussion with. plus she gives us referrals!  So we all trade off going up there, a big part of it is she makes killer enchiladas. And considering the fact we have like no spicy things here, the enchiladas are incentive enough to walk that far out on Elbasan road! But I absolutely love going to her home. Her family is wonderful. And always in our lessons, and in our discussions she talks about ‘becoming’. So me and sis. V have been obsessed with it for a while.
This sister who lives at the embassy, sister S, was sharing some mission stories with us from her mission in France, talking about how the most significant thing she felt at the end of her mission was how she wished she could have been the missionary she was at the end of her mission, at the beginning of her mission. Because she had learned so much, had seen so much, that by the end she felt like she could have done a lot more good had she known what she had at the beginning what she knew by the end. And this is common. We all wish we had known things that we learn, earlier. Isn’t that so amazing that each day we grow and learn so much. Out here, I am changing drastically each day. Each day I learn a new aspect about missionary work, that I can’t believe I didn’t understand before, and I wish that i would have recognized it or learned it earlier.
And with sister S, she said it definitely mattered who she was at the end of her mission, but the more important part of it wasn’t who she was by the end, but HOW she had become that way.
This last week we were teaching a RC named Ema, she is the cutest thing in the whole world. And she has easily become one of my best friends. She is amazing and so strong for only being baptized in june. She is a youngwomens leader, and a teacher. She has such a strong testimony. But it wasn’t easy. And still isn’t easy. She has had to face a lot of opposition from her family. They are completely kunder (against) her being a member. We had an extremely sweet lesson with her this past saturday, in which we watched the latest mormon message called the Refiners Fire; talking all about opposition and how those things shape us, how knowing deep sorrow will also allow us to recognize and feel immense joy as well. It was a beautiful message and I highly recommend it.
It is beautiful and true. And after watching the video ema opened up to us and we had an extremely extremely powerful lesson. I felt the spirit so strongly, and yes my eyes might have leaked a few tears. I will always remember that experience.
We all go through our own trials. We all experience varying degrees of sorrow and grief. But if we turn to our Father in Heaven during those times, if we take those experiences and turn them around for good, we have so much more opportunity to grow and change for the good. I know that in my life, every difficult thing that I have had to overcome, every heartache that has come my way, they weren’t fun. But. Because of them, because of what I have decided to do when I am faced with those sorrows, how I have decided to act, and to whom I turn in those moments of difficulty is what makes the difference. Through the trials I BECOME someone much more capable, reliant, hardworking, humble, . etc. I have just been thinking about this a lot lately. I am not passing through an extremely difficult time. But missions are hard. But I have also experienced the greatest joy I have ever encountered out here. I love it. I love who I am becoming. I have an incredibly long way to go. But I am not the same person I was 7 months ago. And I love it. And I love how I have become this way. Through trials, and overcoming them.
As far as other things over here in Albania…. this week is thanksgiving! so HAPPY THANKSGIVING ! For our festivities over here, we are gathering and feasting together as a mission on Thursday, and then we are doing a dessert contest and a talent show. Ours is gonna win, I am positive.
I hope you take the time to truly give thanks for what God has given you! Because it is a lot! I love you all dearly! Eat some turkey, or Indian food for me!!!
With so much love,
Motra Kollmen
ps we got a new apartment and it is awesome! hehe 🙂 Love you guys!
so we make lots of vegetables. oooh guess what? we moved houses! OUR HOUSE IS SOOOOOO CUTE. it is a lot farther away from the church, so now we walk like 15 extra minutes, but hey, it is worth it. we live on the 8th floor of this awesome apartment building, there is an elevator, and our view is spectacular/ I will send one soon! but this is a pic of our sunday dinner. :)

so we make lots of vegetables. oooh guess what? we moved houses! OUR HOUSE IS SOOOOOO CUTE. it is a lot farther away from the church, so now we walk like 15 extra minutes, but hey, it is worth it. we live on the 8th floor of this awesome apartment building, there is an elevator, and our view is spectacular/ I will send one soon! but this is a pic of our sunday dinner. 🙂

photo 2 photo 5 photo 1 photo 1 photo 5 photo 5 photo 5 photo 2

Advertisements

Can’t stop, won’t stop.

This week so many things have transpired!

okkkk
1st: we had an amazing meeting with president wherein we talked about the will of god. And how if we are being the most effective, and most diligent servants we can be, if we work as hard as possible, then His Will will be done. I really loved this… and sister V also got a very powerful and amazing blessing from president. And she has been getting better this week! We still have a couple things to figure out, but I pray that she is on the upswing now! 🙂
2nd: we had a mission conference this week, with one of the Europe 70 Elder Dyches. He and his wife and president and sister weidmann provided some amazing training’s. President really focused on prayer and the will of god. President is really keen on talking about prayer, about how if we are involving the Lord in all of our decisions, if we let him know how the work is going, if we turn to Him in everything and if we are diligent servants, His Will will be done. We are His hands, we are His tools here, and if we do everything we can to have our eyes single to His glory and his work and what he would have us do, which we can gain a knowledge of through prayer and diligent scripture study, then the work will go forward.
Sometimes it is hard for us to understand the Will of God. I know that sometimes I really don’t understand it. Sometimes things really don’t work out even though we are trying our very hardest. Even when we are working our hardest. And we try so hard to understand what we did wrong, or what we could be doing better. And granted, there are so many things we could be doing better. We are so far from being perfect! SO FAR! But, we are not meant to understand His Will completely. We cannot. It is utterly impossible for us to understand completely, because we are just people. And if we understood His will, that would take out the necessity of Faith and trust that is absolutely essential. But as long as we are striving to make Him proud, to bring our will in accordance with what we understand of His will for us, then miracles happen. And that is when we start changing. Because it is not merely enough for us to go through the routine, we have to change from the inside out. Our will, our desires need to meet those of our Lord. But if our actions reflect that desire to be in accordance with His will, if we seek always to be diligent, and smart, kind, patient, humble, hardworking, etc. then at the end of the day, even if it didn’t work out exactly like how we initially planned, it will have been His Will. Sometimes that is what is hard to accept. But we take it for what it is, learn, grow, work harder, get better.
Those are just some thoughts I’ve been having lately.
3rd: Saw two wild white horses just grazing on some grass by the lana in the middle of the city…
4th: bought a paint set today and lots of canvas and brushes for pday fun! I was like a kid in disneyland 🙂
5th:….. well times up… but it was a … oh! Trazhgim, aferdita my rc and ilirjana my invest.’s brother got his mission call to Birmingham England! He is going to make a wonderful missionary! Seriously amazing.
Ok out of time. But I love you all dearly! Have a wonderful week! Go to church and read your scriptures! And pray. Pray to understand the Lords Will.
Love, Motra Kollmen
gjagji park

gjagji park

random horses by the lana in the middle of tirana... wut

random horses by the lana in the middle of tirana… wut

the cutest stray puppy dog. :)

the cutest stray puppy dog. 🙂

soooo another park scene

soooo another park scene

one of my best friends trazhgim got his mission call to england! called it! this is aferditas brother, and then their other sister ilirjana who is our investigator right now. they are the best family in albania. hands down. :)) I love them

one of my best friends trazhgim got his mission call to england! called it! this is aferditas brother, and then their other sister ilirjana who is our investigator right now. they are the best family in albania. hands down. :)) I love them

The Miracle of Hope

What a week. Not gonna lie, we were met with a lot of opposition this week. Mainly from poor sister Vermunt’s body. Keep praying for her ok? Thanks. 🙂

So this week, was a week. Me and Motra Vermunt have really been learning patience and accepting the will of God. Not that it was a horrendous week. But there are some medical issues of sister Vermunts that we are trying to figure out, and she is such a hard working missionary, so it has been hard for her to accept that she needs to rest… we have worked SO hard together, so it has been a little jolting to have to go from extreme mode, to rest mode. From 23 member present lessons to only 5. But it is so interesting. Because when we would go out to lessons, they would prish (break or fall through), and we think it is the Lord putting His fist down and saying REST. Because let me tell you, she reaallllyyyyy needs it.
 We both like working. A LOT. So it has been a week of humbling ourselves to recognize that sometimes, for the greater good, and a larger perspective, you need to take the rest. I can’t imagine how she is feeling. I know that she has the MUCH harder end of things, and I know she feels guilty. But I don’t blame her, and I love her and pray she will get better soon!
It is interesting going from a ridiculous amount of lessons to a lesser amount. At first, you do kind of feel like you failed. But as with every other aspect of life, sometimes we are at such a high point, we are flying! And, in order to push us farther, to take us to a higher arena, we must be challenged, we must be pushed down a bit, we must struggle for a bit, then, if we are still working with all our might, if we keep our faith and our hope, we find our traction again, and accomplish things we never thought possible before. I know this time is the bit of a struggling time, but I know that as we get this medical mystery figured out, as we rely on our faith, if we stay diligent and watchful and PRAYERFUL, I know that miracles will occur. Miracles unseen thus far in the glorious land of Tirane Third ward!!
How wonderful that we have this gospel. How absolutely wonderful that at the end of a difficult week, we can look to the one upcoming, and have the hope that it will be better. And then we can carry that hope into the week, and make it a better one! I absolutely love this life! The fact that no matter what comes our way, if we stick to our course, if we involve our Father in Heaven, if we live the gospel, all will pass well. (Cdo gje do kalloj mire- this is a common saying here= everything will pass well 🙂 ) I have confidence in this. I know God looks out for each of His children. I know He wants us to grow, so He gives us trials, He gives us weaknesses so we can overcome them. And we are not without His divine Help. He is in every aspect of this work, in every aspect of our lives. What a wonderful God.
I love you all dearly, and I pray that you will all have hope! This life is wonderful, there are so many things to do, to accomplish; tomorrow, next week, has the potential to be wonderful. Go make it wonderful, ok?
Love, Motra Kollmen

Happy Halloween!

What a week! So remember how last pday me and sister vermunt went and hiked through the mountains and whatnot? ya, we probably shouldn’t have done that. She has been having back pain and whatnot for the whole time we have been together, but then when we went hiking last week I think it sent her body into shock, so this week she was in a lot of pain. I don’t think it was all due to our hiking, but I don’t think it helped much… Anyways, today we spent the day in the Greek Hospital here in Tirane running tests and whatnot on poor sister vermunt, trying to figure out what the problem is with her, thought it was kidney stones at first, but not sure now…. poor kid. So if you could all pray for her that would be awesome.

This week has been quite the week. I feel like we had a lot of activities! The best of which was Halloween! We hosted an awesome party at the church, and we were in charge of all of the messy kid games. needless to say it was a success. and by the end of the party there was whip-cream, toilet paper, and doughnuts all over the place. it was super fun to clean up, let me tell ya. 🙂 But it was so worth it to see all the kids smiling faces, and to have them all leave happy with their faces covered in candy and whip-cream.
Because my companion has been really sick this week, we weren’t able to have as many lessons as we have had in past weeks together. But because we had less lessons, we really focused on making those lessons a lot more meaningful and spiritual, which is how they should be. We really want to make each lesson that we have a very spiritual experience, and I think that is one of the things that I learned this week, and I am sure will continue to work on in the upcoming weeks as we figure out what is wrong with my companion. We might not be able to have as many lessons because she may not be able to physically, however each time we teach we have the opportunity and the ability to teach powerfully.
Hey we are headed home, gotta get this kid in bed. But I love you all so much! Hope all is well! Remember how much your Heavenly Father loves you, because it is a lot!
Love, Motra Kollmen
photo 4 photo 3 photo 2 photo 1

selfie in the hospital today after sister vermunt got her stomache scoped! poor kid.

selfie in the hospital today after sister vermunt got her stomache scoped! poor kid.

pic of the sunsetof where we are doing our emailing in the mission home right now!

pic of the sunsetof where we are doing our emailing in the mission home right now!