“Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have ‘moved away from the hope of the gospel’ (Col. 1:23). Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down.” -Neal A. Maxwell
Wow Ok, so this week so much has happened! And this upcoming week is going to be even crazier. This last week I have learned a lot about patience, and gods will. Yet again! We are working with a lot of investigators who just have so many things, so many terribly hard things happening in their lives… Lives so difficult that last night from just learning some of their stories, I felt so sad and just stressed out for them! I had stress just thinking about their circumstance, and can’t imagine the actual stress of being within those circumstances! However my companion when we were on our way back to our house and she could see me being stressed for these people, she stated the obvious and helped me calm down again, she said ” we can’t control everything, there is no use in worrying over what we can’t control. But we do have the message of the gospel, the thing that can change their lives and help them.” – Motra Jackson. She is so wise this kid (trainee) of mine.
And she is so right! We might not be able to take someone completely out of their hard circumstance and make everything happy for them physically or in a worldly sense, but we can share the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. A message that has been changing people lives for years now, a message that has changed over 15 million peoples lives and counting! I testify that a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation, the plan of happiness, Planin i Lumturise, brings true and lasting happiness. I know that through the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, old wounds and hurt feeling and all kinds of sorrows can be healed. I don’t feel like I have ever faced anything as difficult as some of the investigators that I have right now, but I know that I have indeed had harder times in my life, and that it was through my Savior that I found the strength to overcome those hard times. I know he is the way, the truth and the light. And that because He lives, anybody, no matter how seemingly broken can return to the right path.
I have an investigator named Syela, and never have I heard of a harder life. She is only 17 yrs old but she has been in and out of the orphanage, her dad is in prison for murder, her mom isn’t what a mom should be and is never there for her… her brothers are into drugs and have pulled syela in to a life that she doesn’t want. She has never felt the true warmth of a loving and safe family. She is broken… and she is having a hard time seeing the light, and recognizing her own divine potential. I know that she has so much worth in the eyes of her Heavenly Father. When she expressed to me her thoughts of how alone she was, I couldn’t help but feel the tears coming into my eyes… not merely from sadness at her sad tale. But in that moment just looking at a soul who wanted so much to know light and love, my heart was swelling, nearly bursting with an amount of pure love that I have never felt before, and I know that it is just a portion of what her Father in Heaven feels for her. I stopped her, took her by the hands and testified of the love that was filling my heart, and the words that poured out of my mouth I know were right from her Father in Heaven for her. Some people never hear loving words.. they don’t know their own worth because the people around them have failed to tell them. But I told her she has a divine worth and destiny and that her Savior knew her. I have had some of the most powerful spiritual experiences in the last few weeks that I have known syela. I know that she is a big reason why I am here in elbasan. And I know with all my heart that the gospel will heal her, and that she will find the warmth and loving embrace of a heavenly father who loves her without end here. I just pray that she will look up to see the light, however small it may appear to her right now… long enough to start walking towards it and slowly slowly feeling the warmth envelope her.
I am grateful to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that this time is precious, and that it is making me the person that I need to be and that God needs me to be. For which I am eternally grateful. I love you all dearly and I hope that you look out for those who need that same warmth, there are people all around us who need help. We just have to reach out and help them up.
-Love Motra Kollmen
Fun things: Went to vlore on an exchange it is a tropical wonderland like florida or something, like hawaii. The elders did a Bugace challenge, eating 5 of these huge rolls rolled in butter and stuffed with byrek dough with sausage/// i refuse to try the thing. It would definitely stop my little heart. We have a lot of people progressing towards baptism this month, Gurie was supposed to get baptized this week, but she couldn’t come for her interview because she had to go to the hospital and they found a hole in her heart 😦 so pray for her please. But she should make it in two weeeks to the waters/ LOTS OF NEW INVESTIGATORS. this upcoming week we got an exchange and a zone conference and prez interviews as well as skyping my beautiful family for mothers day! See you soon cute family 🙂 ooh also I bought the fellowship of the ring in Albanian for the post-mission reading list. 🙂