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

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