Fishers of Men

“To Simon and Andrew Jesus said: “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” The contrast thus presented between their former vocation and their new calling is strikingly forceful. Theretofore they had caught fish, and the fate of the fish was death; thereafter they were to draw men- to life eternal. 

Notes:”Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” said Jesus to fishermen who afterward became His apostles (Matt 4:19). “From henceforth thou shalt catch men.”(Luke 5:10). This reading emphasizes the contrast given in the text- that between capturing fish to kill them and winning men to save them. Consider in this connection the Lord’s prediction through Jeremiah (16:16), that in reaching scattered Israel, “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them“..” (Jesus the Christ Chapter 14)

 
This week I have been really digging into my Jesus the Christ reading and just pouring and pondering over the New Testament. And this week I have really loved the section that I have included above about becoming fishers of men. It is kind of a weird thing to think about, fishers of men. What even is a Fisher of Men? Who are these fishers of men?
A Fisher of men is someone who strikes out to invite their brethren to become partakers of the word of God and of Life eternal.
Missionaries are the Fishers of Men.
We leave home early each morning, strike off from shore if you will, to throw our nets into the water the moment we leave our houses. From the moment we cross the threshold of our home, we should have our line in the water, until the moment we return. We are the Lords fishermen. However, like Simon and Andrew, our purpose holds more glory and more reward to those souls who we find and invite while having our lines in the water, the reward is far greater than the destiny of mere fish. Which like stated above have the fate of death. The reward we offer is Life Eternal. The chance to walk and talk with God again, to live with their family forever.
Sometimes like the work of a fisherman (I would imagine), the days are long for missionaries, sometimes they can be tough! But what we are teaching people makes it all worth it, and when someone comes unto their Father in Heaven and makes a covenant, or promise with Him, that moment is incomparable.
We are the Fishers of Men in this area of the Lords vineyard. This week one of the Lords beloved Children made a promise with Him, and I know without a doubt in my mind that He is proud of her. This week Florinda Dado (10yrs old) was baptized! Never have I seen someone with such a love for their savior, and a sincere desire to follow His example. Florinda has taught me so much about that simple yet completely motivational childlike faith. And I am so grateful to have been able to teach her about her Savior, someone who loves her more than anyone, and understands her beyond anyone else in the world.
There are miracles all around. We have two other younger investigators who received powerful, specific confirmations that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that Joseph Smith was in fact a prophet. Such strong spiritual experiences so young in life, and I can’t help but be in awe of these young girls incredible faith and love of the Savior. It is things like this, among many others, that make me extremely humbled and grateful to be a fisher of men (women 😉 ) in this area of the world.
I pray that you are all well, and that you can exercise such childlike and simple faith this week!
Love you all to the Moon and Back!
~ Motra Kollmen
Sorry if this email is a bit scattered, these are just my random thoughts today 🙂
Florinda Dado!

Florinda Dado!

Florinda Dado!

Florinda Dado!

photo 4

at the square

at the square

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SO I am officially old tomorrow. (I am 19 going on 20…. )

Alrighty! Well, tomorrow I leave my teenage years behind and enter the future of adulthood! Tomorrow I turn 20. When in the world did that happen? And to make this birthday memorable, today we decided to do something drastic… we cut off like a foot and a half of my long locks! (I will include a photo of before and after). I thought it might make me look older, since you know, tomorrow I will actually be older. But instead I believe I look even younger… and I also feel like a look like an animation character! Yay! But I really like it. We also had Thai food, and went rock climbing today, and as I sit here in this cozy little internet cafe, the rain is pouring outside; so it is basically the perfect day 🙂 I love Albania!

This was a fantastic week. MIRACLES happened. They just always do. We have a lot of people on dates. A lot. We are talking to TONS of people. And the Lord is pouring out His blessings. We are being led to the Elect, and the Elect are being led to us. We literally had 3 investigators just wander into the church wanting to change their lives, when we had a prompting to be at the church at completely random times. They are now all solid investigators (they all came in on separate occasions this week), and are progressing towards their baptismal dates. There are just so many instances like that, or just other miracles that just happen here. And I know that it is because we are talking to everyone we possibly can. And the Lord is opening heaven and miracles are pouring down on the land of Tirane Albania third ward.
Something else cool that happened this week, though it now feels like a month ago, was interviews with president! I love having interviews with President, I am sure he gets tired of traveling all over the mission to meet with missionaries, but I sure do appreciate it. He is a man of God. I have no question of that in my mind. I know it. Because every time we are together, I feel the Spirit that he carries with Him. It is tangible when President walks into a room. How amazing is that? We had a wonderful interview… I had had some questions about some things I had been reading, some scriptures that I needed expounded and explained, and He just did that and more! He truly helped me understand some things, and just inspired me to just dig into my scriptures even more!
Something really cool that happened though; we were at the end of our interview and President was baring his testimony to me and I was just feeling the Spirit really strong, and when he was baring His testimony about Jesus Christ, I just had the most distinct impression to ask President for some scriptures to read. And so after I asked President for some scriptures to read, and President said that he had had some scriptures come to His mind while baring His testimony. HOW COOL. He proceeded to name of a list of scripture blocks for me to read, and I have just been combing over them in my personal studies since them. It has been some of the most spiritual scripture reading I have ever had. I love President Weidmann. 🙂
From one of my studies this week I just wanted to share some thoughts on this one verse in
Matth 26: 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Mark 14: 35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Lukas 22: 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

I read this and my eyes welled up with tears this week. I have read it many times. But it hit me hard this week. This is the ultimate act and showing of the humility Christ had. Christ submitted everything to the Father. He accepted His destiny, the will of God, WILLINGLY. Though difficult beyond imagination. The first part of the verse shows the physical anguish of Christ’s burden, and with His plea for alleviation it shows the emotional pain and weight as well… yet despite how truly difficult His burden… He understood that God had a purpose behind what He needed Christ to do. Christ was humble enough to accept  the will of the Father. A being of perfection… the very son of God, ruler of things both in Heaven and on Earth. If He was so humble and willing to submit His will to that of the Father, how much more need have we to be humble? To WILLINGLY and hopefully accept the will of the Father… no matter how difficult or anguishing. One day we will see the greater picture. For now we just need to be humble enough to accept that we cannot understand it all now… but through Humility, accepting His will… one day we will qualify for that greater understanding and a higher knowledge.. – (Thoughts from Motra Kollmens spiritual study journal)
I love you all dearly. I hope you think often of your savior, and will look around you for those souls who have yet received the knowledge that they have a savior. They need to know. For He is everything. Open your mouths and be bold!
Looking ahead: we have a baptism this Saturday! look forward to pictures 🙂
Love that one girl in Albania, Motra Kollmen
CIMG5736 photo 1 CIMG5745

Inspiration

This week, I have changed a lot. I have been re-buckling down, setting new goals, thinking about what I want to do. How I want to change, and what I need to do to do so. And I have had some of the most spiritual lessons on my mission this week. But I would just like to share a quote that our wonderful mission president sent us over text one of these last days that absolutely changed my thinking and inspired me:

“To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done.”- Richard G. Scott
Our president sent us this text the day that we also had zone training, and it was one of the best zone training yet. In which our wonderful zone leaders shared another wonderful quote with us:
“[Luke]: I can’t believe it. [Master Yoda]: That is why you fail.”
The first quote hasn’t left my mind since our fantastic mission president sent that text. And coupled with our zone training in which we talked about TALKING WITH EVERYONE, it has been changing me.
I have experienced serious miracles on my mission. My testimony has grown more than I thought humanely possible in such a short amount of time… but still the Lord has more in store for these people. For this area. I have been in my current area for nearly 7 months. That is FOREVER. And I have seen the growth of the investigators the members, and yet I know that the Lord has far more blessings in store for this area. He has people prepared, waiting for us. But we have to find them. And how are we going to do that? By talking to everyone that we possible can.
There is a talk by Elder Callister called the Consecrated missionary, and it is fantastic, it talks about this, consecrating ourselves by talking to everyone. By laying our fears upon the sacrificial alter, and proclaiming this gospel as with the voice of a trump. Because that is what the Lord calls us to do, that is what He needs us to do. In that talk, all of it is absolutely amazing. But there is a quote that says: ” if you want to baptize a few people, talk to a few people. If you want to baptize a lot of people, talk to a lot of people. But, if you want to baptize everyone you can, talk to everyone you can.” I have been recommended this talk before, it has influenced the entirely of my mission experience, however with that fresh in my mind, coupled by the quote shared by my mission president, it has taken on a new and even more personal side for me. Maybe because now I am the senior companion. I am training. My companions language is MTC status, so I am the talker. And maybe this is why this more force for me now. Because I am leading. And I want to set the best example possible for my sweet new companion. And the best way I can do that is by talking to everyone. By always opening my mouth and inviting. That is the best way she is going to learn. And miracles are going to happen.
Now, every time I am in the street walking to and from appointments, this quote will pop into my mind, and I will immediately stop and talk to someone. I can’t not. The Spirit tells me to stop. And I will follow it. Because when I do stop, I can tell an immediate difference. And after heeding the prompting of the Spirit, I am far more perceptible to its influence and voice after. I become more apt to listen, and then to heed it’s prompt. And each time I open my mouth, I become more confident, more excited to share the gospel, and I have a greater portion of the Spirit with me.
I know that miracles are possible. I know that the Lord is just waiting for us to make the miracles happen. To just open our mouths to more people. I believe that it is possible, and that is why they will happen. Like with the quote the Zone Leaders shared with us, we have to believe miracles will happen, if we don’t have that faith we will surely fail. I have faith miracles will happen, even more than before. We will take this area to a higher arena; we have the faith to do so, and we will work with the spirit to make it happen by proclaiming the gospel and inviting all within our power to come unto their Savior.
– Love, Motra Kollmen

Let it begin… 2015

Hello cute family and friends!

Not quite sure what to talk about today.. This week has been wonderful! And I feel like I just had a Pday… on new years day…. Speaking of which, new years here is CRAZY! We had to be inside at 4 pm. because people like to set off fire crackers and fireworks… and throw them at missionaries! So we got in at sunset(yes sunset is at 4 here, crazy) and me and my baby trainee Sister Fuller, talked and chatted about life and studied. SHE IS AMAZING. I am excited to be working with her, and it really is very humbling to be a trainer. I am responsible for inspiring this girl, and seeing that she just has a fantastic first 3 months of her mission! Pressure. But she honestly couldn’t be in a more fantastic area to start her mission. I just pray that I can motivate her, and help her start her mission off right! Start the fire now! And she really is fantastic, she has a love for the people and a willingness to work hard! I can work with that! So I am very grateful for her and for everything that we will be doing together, miracles are coming this way, miracles are already here! Then we went to bed on new years night, then we were woken up by the fireworks, wow, they are huge here! SO MANY. and from our 8th story apartment, we had a spectacular view! Tirana loves new years. It might have sounded and mildly looked like a war was going on, and I definitely got a wonderful video of it for all of you to see one day 🙂 it was glorious.
It is kind of like walking down memory road having a trainee. I see her struggling with the language, adapting to this foreign culture.. and it just makes me think of how far I have come since I got in country. Or even since I started my mission. It is interesting… time on a mission is a bizarre thing… so slow some days… but looking back on it all it is passing far too quickly. It scares me. Because sometimes though now I understand what I am doing a bit more, and I comprehend and can speak the language… sometimes I still feel quite new. But now I am a “mom” if you will, I am helping Shepard in another missionary. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I have changed since being out here this week. And it sincerely is humbling to be a trainer, to see how far I have come… but also to see how much farther I have to go, how much more I need to improve. But it is truly an amazing experience, to see how much more I am depending on the spirit and praying to my Father in Heaven now in each prayer… I definitely was before, but now since I am the one essentially teaching the majority of the lessons, at least this first half week together, I have to rely on the spirit a lot, having a constant prayer in my heart that the words that come out of my mouth will hit their hearts. The gift of tongues is a real thing.  It has been amazing to see how present I feel the spirit, and how visible the hand of the Lord is in our lives and in our lessons. It is powerful and amazing.
As far as other things go…. today we found some Mexican food, and a climbing gym! the only one in Albania.. as far as I know, and our mission president approved it! So we spend part of today bouldering, and it made my soul very happy 🙂 I miss climbing on rocks 🙂
Hope you are all doing well! Love you all!
-Motra Kollmen
Love these girls :)

Love these girls 🙂

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Me and my crazy companion this morning, just doing some morning yoga.... ninja styling it.

Me and my crazy companion this morning, just doing some morning yoga…. ninja styling it.

Gezuar Vitin e Ri!

Hello everyone!

Hope you are all doing well, It was so good to skype you family for Christmas, you all seem to be doing so well. I am proud of you people.
Here in Albania, New Years is a lot bigger than Christmas. And it was insane this year. ok let me back up first a bit… first thing, transfers happened! And guess who has a new baby girl!? Me! I am training this transfer! My new Comps name is Sister Fuller and she is wonderful, and I am excited for the miracles this transfer has in store. We are setting some amazing goals for this transfer, planning for and planning to work and pray for miracles. I KNOW they can happen. Someone inspirational to me often says, in missionary work you have to Pray for, Work for, and Expect Miracles. And it truly has become one of my mission motto’s. I have applied it, and I know it is true. I know how hard we need to pray, and how hard we have to work… and I know that when we are praying as desperately as we can… working as smartly and diligently as humanely possible… then we can PLAN on and EXPECT miracles.
With it being new years and all, it is a time to set goals and set a vision for the upcoming year. But as missionaries… we are CONSTANTLY setting goals. And goals are an extremely important thing to me, I value them, and appreciate deeply when others around me have goals. I loved setting goals before my mission, but now I would say it is an intrinsic part of who I am.
” To succeed in your mission, you must have a single-minded devotion to your goal.”
When you set a goal, stick to it. Do everything within your power to fulfill it. Especially if you have set that goal with the Lord. If you call upon His divine help and input on what you need to do, you have to be accountable to the answer you receive.
I have set a lot of goals since being a missionary. Daily goals. I try everyday to look back at what I did in the day, to sort through how I could have been better, what I could have said better, how I could have better represented my Savior. And then I set the goal to change. To be better the upcoming day.
We set weekly goals. Transfer goals. And every year we set goals for ourselves. I have a lot of goals for who and what I want to become in these last nine months of my mission…(weird…) I am glad for what I have become, for what I have learned.. But I know there is so much more I need to become. So I am going to start doing it. I am going to start becoming and just being that person I want and need to become. And there honestly couldn’t be a better time in my life to be doing it, I am grateful to be a missionary. And though I have been here in third ward FOREVER, I have a lot to accomplish still. And I am excited for what is happening here, and I am grateful to be able to train. It is humbling.
I pray all of you will set and live your goals for 2015!
Love you all dearly, edhe gezuar vitin e ri!!!
-Motra Kollmen
List of crazy things:
– Elona was baptized!!!! So many miracles behind her.
-the city goes crazy on new years, and everyone in the whole city sets off huge fireworks… we had to be in the house at 4 pm…
– We have some baptisms coming up!
– Everyone goes out of town for new years…
– Everywhere is closed on new years day… it is a miracle we found this open internet local
– my new comp is hilarious
– This internet local is playing 80s music.. it is beautiful.

etc…the end.

Still in tirana! still in third ward~ but I am training!!!!! hehehehehe they are calling me the queen of third ward :)

Still in tirana! still in third ward~ but I am training!!!!! hehehehehe they are calling me the queen of third ward 🙂

her name is sister fuller and she is a sweetheart.

her name is sister fuller and she is a sweetheart.

sister fuller's first albanian crepe

sister fuller’s first albanian crepe

"three generation" photo

“three generation” photo

just the albanian missionaries!

just the albanian missionaries!

have to wear sneakers

have to wear sneakers

I will stay in this hostel when I come backpacking through europe later in life

I will stay in this hostel when I come backpacking through europe later in life

new comp selfie!

new comp selfie!