“Coming down to the wire! Time to sprint!”

-Again, I stole the title from uncle nicks email. #ThanksNick

Many wonderful things happened this week, but I just thought that I would share one cool experience, or two from this week…

Yesterday at church, first off I had a talk, but anyways, in second hour in the combined class we were talking about a mildly trixy topic and there was a lot of raised voices… and one of the women who was in the class is the mom of two recent convert kids, and she herself has been previously baptized in another church when she was a teenager… and in the midst of other discussions at church the whole authority and baptism came up and she posed the question of whether or not her baptism was valid. The room went silent… *que motra kollmen, I was then able to explain to her that her baptism was a wonderful showing of her faith, and that at this time God had another way for her to show her faith, that baptism by authority restored through joseph smith was a showing of the lords faith and confidence in her to make the right decision and follow his command. I was then able to share some scriptures with her in the bible…. she sat contemplating looking at the picture of baptism that I handed her…. and as the previous conversations of the classroom resumed, about five minutes later…. she turns to me and asks if she heard right about there being a baptismal service this upcoming weekend… I said she had heard right…. she sat for another moment, then asked if she could be baptized on that day. – this woman may I add, has been coming to church nearly every week with her member sons for nearly 3 or 4 months and has refused baptism… and somehow, even in that stuffy and ridiculously hot room of loud albanians, the spirit was able to pierce her heart and propel her to change. I am so grateful for moments like that.
Also on our way back from the berat castle today, sitting on the fergon… or van as you might say, the fergon stops to let people on, basically hitch hikers on occasionally, and who hops on the bus, but a girl (blejona, the biologist) that I taught forever ago in tirana who I had a dream about like 2 days ago. Chance that today we decided to go to berat even though it is blazing hot? I think not. God is in everything.   Got this girls new number and we should be meeting up this week to get her back on track!
This is a good life. God is good. So very good to all of us. Oh man I love being a missionary. I think I will just stay forever… 🙂
Love, Motra Kollmen
“I Believe in the gospel of work. There is no substitute under the heavens for productive labor, it is the process by which dreams become reality. It is the process by which idle visions become dynamic achievements. We are all inherently lazy. We would rather play than work. We would rather loaf than work. A little play and a a little loafing are good. But it is work that spells the difference in the life of a man or a woman. It is stretching our minds and utilizing the skills of our hands that lifts us from the stagnation of mediocrity.” – Gordon b. Hinkley
Funsies:
-Tefta is getting baptized this week! pray for her 🙂
-This was the craziest week of them all! remind me to tell you in a couple weeks why 🙂
– Visited berat caslte today
– me and sister E. are becoming expert curry chicken and balsamic glaze chicken experts. Yes this is the only transfer that I have bought meat and made it at home. #nottryingtobeaveggiebutthatishowithappened
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As the Beastie Boys said, “you can’t, you won’t, you don’t stop!”

Stole that email title from Uncle Nicks email to me last week 🙂

“Developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influence of godliness is not an easy matter. it takes time and frequently involves a struggle. It will not happen by chance, but is accomplished only through deliberate effort and by calling upon God and keeping His commandments.” -Howard w. Hunter

“There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, if we have faith.”- Gordon B. Hinkley
“There is a serious need for charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action, the need for charity is everywhere.”- President Monson
“Sometime, somewhere, the knowledge of the Lord shall come to every soul with saving and convincing effect; then every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”- James E. Talmage
“I understand at times, some may wonder why they attend church meetings or why it is so important to read the scriptures regularly or pray to our Heavenly Father daily. Here is my answer: you do these things because they are part of God’s path for you.. All you have to do is trust inyour Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His path.” -Dieter F. Uctdorf
I know this is the Lords work. Every moment we are building not just our testimony, but working on our own conversion. BD def. of conversion: “Denotes changing one’s views, in a conscious acceptance of the Will of God…” The Lords will WILL be done. Always.
Love, Motra Kollmen
Funsies:
-this week we were fed marrow stuffed baby cow intestines…. please never again. Did I shove half of it into my purse when nobody was looking and the moment was right? yes. yes I did. No fears everyone, I cleaned that purse pretty good after.
-Bible video contacting. SO GREAT
-Birthday parties out in the fshats!
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As mama always said, good things come in small packages.

Hey this has been a great and hard yet extremely miraculous week! Nowhere better to be than on a mission!
I am so grateful of the love of my savior that I have felt in an incredible abundance on my mission. So grateful to have seen the change in my investigators, to see the light grow in their eyes, as well as I am eternally grateful for the change that has occurred within my own life and my own heart. I will never be able to deny the change I have seen and felt. And for that I will praise his name forever.
Miracles are real my friends. Never forget that.
Love, Motra Kollmen
sorry its short… but like mama always said, good things come in small packages.
fun stuff: traditional dancing in the fshats or villages with investigators. Making fancy chicken curry at home. talking to the world. finding the prepared. being a missionary. ya know.
The Comforter
Henry B. Eyring
The burdens His faithful servants must carry in life are made lighter by His Atonement. The burden of sin can be taken away, but the trials of mortal life for good people can still be heavy burdens.
You have seen such tests in the lives of good people you love. You have felt a desire to help them. There is a reason for your feeling of compassion for them.
You are a covenant member of the Church of Jesus Christ. A great change began in your heart when you came into the Church. You made a covenant, and you received a promise that began changing your very nature.
Alma described, in his words at the Waters of Mormon, what you promised at your baptism and what it will mean to you and everyone around you—especially in your families. He was speaking to those who were about to make the covenants you have made, and they also received the promise that the Lord made to you:
“Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.”2
That is why you have a feeling to want to help a person struggling to move forward under a load of grief and difficulty. You promised that you would help the Lord make their burdens light and be comforted. You were given the power to help lighten those loads when you received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
When He was about to be crucified, the Savior described the way He helps lighten loads and gives strength to carry them. He knew that His disciples would grieve. He knew that they would fear for their future. He knew they would feel uncertain of their capacity to move forward.
So He gave them the promise that He makes to us and to all His true disciples:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”3
Then He promised:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”4
In just the past few weeks, I have seen that promise of sending the Holy Ghost fulfilled in the lives of children of God who were pleading in prayer that their burdens would be lightened. The miracle of the loads being lightened came in a way the Lord promised. He and Heavenly Father sent the Holy Ghost as the Comforter to His disciples to help.

http://www.mormon.org/blog/four-lessons-christ-taught-about-faith?cid=HP_TU_8-11-2015_dMIS_fMRMN_xLIDyL1-B_

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“You never walk alone”

This week.. a lot happened. We have been doing lots of group contacting, working out in lots of fshats, villages, teaching a ton of new people and sorting. As well as we had a big combined zone conference, in which I gave my “dying” testimony…. which was a bit absurd to me considering the fact that I still got a while… also at combined zone conference I was able to participate in a training about not being afraid to ask people to be baptized in the first lesson. It was awesome to be a part of that, because honestly I am so excited to ask people to be baptized, so it was fun to share that fire with the other missionaries and to do a role play in front of the majority of the mission about it with my cute little trainee… I think she was a little nervous, but she did so well! She always does. 🙂 But everyone at conference was treating me like I was dying the next day and I was like, everyone stop I still have weeks left! Anyhoo, all in all it was a great conference. And a piece of the training that we received was from Presidents wife, in which she shared a story that I would like to share with you!

P.U.S.H.
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained, that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun ·up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out feeling that his whole day has been spent in vain. Since the man was showing signs of discouragement the adversary decide to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
“Why kill yourself over this?” he thought. I will just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be enough.” And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
“Lord” he said, I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”
“MY friend, when I asked you to serve Me – you accepted.
I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength – which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me – with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”
“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands a callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know, that it’s still God who moves the mountains.

P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens!

When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. – When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. – When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. – When the people just don’t understand you, just – P.U.S.H.

I know that the Lord always has a bigger picture than us. ALWAYS. Therefore when He asks us to do it, we must have faith and trust in Him to follow him, trusting that He really is an all knowing, all powerful being who knows not just a bit, but an eternal amount more than we do! We must humble ourselves, recognize our own inadequacy and then obey WHATEVER He asks. To not just obey the commandments, or the mission rules, we must do that, but even more than that we must be absolutely obedient to the Spirit in whatever it tells us to do. I have gained a testimony of obedience to the spirit. It is the way to success and miracles.
This week I have been on my knees a lot, learning patience. We seriously are seeing so many miracles here in lushnje! However some of the conversion processes of some of the people here are going a bit slower than I would personally like… but it doesn’t matter the timing I want, but that of the Lord and His individual child. But I do know that after everything we can do, after simple, clear and POWERFUL teaching, after we have put the ball completely in the investigators court… at that point, the only thing more we can do is PRAY. And as we pray until something happens, I know that is when the spirit takes over and God rains miracles down upon His children. I am so grateful for prayer, and i am grateful that He is stretching me and molding me, as well as all his children here, even though it takes a bit of growing pain.
A miracle this week is the absolute dedication that our instigator Anxhela has to be baptized and follow her savior, she will be getting baptized this week. The other 3 people in her family were also excited to be baptized but for certain things cannot join her this week, but Anxhela isn’t letting anything get in her way! That kind of dedication to the Lord is one so sweet it brings tears to my eyes. I am so grateful for her. Let me tell ya, there has been lots of prayers this week. 🙂
All is well in zion. I know this is the work of the Lord, I know He lives. I know that we never ever walk alone.
Love, Motra Kollmen
random pics. That glorious food is what I made for sunday dinner, curry chicken with peppers and onion, and safron onion tomatoe rice, and a greek salad on the side. yum yum yum yum deliciouso #wifestatus
Me and the comp. riding in a fergon to berat last week, wind was crazy.
my cute outfit for zone conference. Gotta give a dying testimony in style, right?
This sticker is in the front of my planner… I might be a little intense.. ha.
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“Never the less they were to be fearless.”

Miracles up the wazoo! Sorry don’t have much time to email today, we had a pretty neat experience today… we decided to go to Berat, which is the city of a thousand windows that is absolutely picturesque and beautiful and we decided to go there with our district today, and as we were walking up the cobblestone streets to go to the top, we heard a voice of a British woman calling down to us asking if we were the Mormon sisters and brothers…. yes… why yes we are! And she invited us all in for a 2 hour chat basically about how much she loves the Mormons and their life story. She lives here, as of 3 weeks, with her Albanian husband with their four kids… and man is theirs quite the story, obviously there is not adequate time to tell this tale now, but she and her husband started as very well off lawyers in London…. decided they weren’t truly happy thought they were well off financially, and decided to make a 4 year trip around just giving back to the people and giving thanks to God…. They are the most faith filled people and God loving and fearing people that I have ever met on my mission and I know the Elders in that city are very excited to be working with them now. They said about 4 years ago they were thinking about being baptized and they were really good friends with a Mormon bishop in England and they said they needed to do their trip around, but that they are finishing the last couple months of their “mission” and that they want to help the church grow. They were amazing and when I get home remind me to tell you this story. because it has some beautiful pieces full of guitar songs… interesting prayers…. humanitarian work… bill gates… barak obama…. and Thomas S. Monson. They said that they had been praying these past couple days that the Mormons would be brought to them, because they know they are good people full of ethics and vision and goodness….. well they ordered, and God delivered us to their front door!

Miracles I say.
As for other things, we are working with other miraculous people, looking forward to more. Please pray for Lira, Lavdia, Anxhela and Haxhiu as they work towards baptism next week, and the week after. They rock and need all the prayers they can get.
Love you all lots, give the Lord all you got!
Zot ju bekofte.
Motra Kollmen
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