“the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation” ( Jacob 4:15–16 ).

So on this episode of Tirana Third ward with yours truly Motra Kollmen, the rains came down and the floods came up! Quite literally! Two days ago we were sitting cozy in our apartment studying this beautiful language called Albanian, when we got a call from an investigator who was at the church and wanted a lesson and she wanted to know if we could make it to the church, of course! And then right after we hung up with her, a member called and said she was in the area of the church and wanted to know if we needed help with any lessons! Coincidence, I think not! So we threw on our clothes and hustled to the church, and while we were running, it started POURING rain, which then turned into huge hail pieces! Needless to say that when we made it to the church we were absolutely drenched. It was definitely a beautiful missionary moment.
We proceeded on with the lesson, however mid lesson another member comes in and tells us to come out to the windows and look out. And the streets were flooding! (Picture for evidence below). Everyone’s yards, and all the alleyways were just gushing with water! in some parts there was probably a good 4 or 5 feet of water! Funny thing is, that the private yard of the church and where the church was, wasn’t flooded. A little water, but nothing quite as drastic. Now whether the church was being guarded by angels or was merely built on better ground I don’t know. But it made me think a lot about the classic primary song we all know;
1. The wise man built his house upon the rock,
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
And the rains came tumbling down.
2. The rains came down, and the floods came up,
The rains came down, and the floods came up,
The rains came down, and the floods came up,
And the house on the rock stood still.
3. The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
And the rains came tumbling down.
4. The rains came down, and the floods came up,
The rains came down, and the floods came up,
The rains came down, and the floods came up,
And the house on the sand washed away.
This quite drastic flash flood, was washing away all kinds of things, a lot of trash, some shoes, toys, a lot of finely potted plants… pieces of houses… And I couldn’t help but think about this in comparison to our spiritual well being. We know what happens to those who build their houses upon the sand (Satan), upon the things of the world, they might have that momentary pleasure but in the long run, once the rains come down, they are left with nothing. But if we build our house upon a firm foundation, the rock (Christ), we will be safe.
“Mortality is period of testing, time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us,and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble—that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us.”-President Monson (How Firm a Foundation)
We are going to face rain, winds, hail storms, all kinds of things in our lives! Because this life is a testing time, a time for us to be tried and stretched… but if we will build upon Christ, always looking to Him, we will stay the storms, and we will be stronger because of them.

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is sure foundation, foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Hel. 5:12).

Not only must we build upon the sure foundation of Jesus Christ, but the prophet Jacob identified Him as the “safe foundation”! This stone, he said, shall be “the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation” (Jacob4:15–16).

I want to testify that I know that Jesus is the Christ, the SON of God. I know He lived and died for us. I know that He loves us. I know this life is hard. Everyday here I meet people who have such difficult lives, some of them have borne things that I cannot physically, emotionally, or mentally comprehend… But I know that if they will embrace the Gospel, and Christ into their lives they will be healed. When we accept the gospel and Savior this doesn’t mean that the trials stop. If anything at that point the adversary tries even harder to throw us off! Because he knows what we are capable of and knows that we have DIVINE potential. But through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we find a strength beyond our own to continue forward to face the storms of life. Of this I am completely sure. I love my Savior with all my heart, and I pray everyday that I will honor His name that I wear on my chest. I pray that I will withstand the storms, and I know that with His help, I can. 

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
I love you all dearly and hope that you will build upon the Rock. And I promise you that as you do, you will find a heavenly strength that you cannot imagine.
Love from Albania, Motra Kollmen 🙂
PS. don’t worry the flooding was only for a bit, and everyone was alright! We did do a lot of cleaning up for service though after. Though my boots are still drying from that experience. Also this is the longest email I will probably ever right.
Fun things:
-I am becoming a pro Albanian traditional dancer with the help of the Gosturanis
-these yellow flowers grow everywhere! they call them Mimoza
– So yesterday was the first day of march, spring! And everyone puts on these string bracelets with a wish in their heart, and then wears it until the 15th then they put it on a tree or flower, and that spring your wish will come true! 🙂
– Speca te mbushur! Stuffed peppers! YUMMM
CIMG6241 CIMG6225

the rains...

the rains…

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