Ponder the Path at Thy Feet

Hey there beautiful people. Today was a wonderful day! We went to Apalonia, where PAUL taught. Now i can say that I have walked where that great apostle walked.. made me think of one of my favorite talks by president monson, ponder the path at thy feet, in which he talks about a woman who visited Jerusalem and awed at the fact that she was walking on the very places the savior may have touched and walked himself… and President Monson talks about how it is far more important to not walk where he walked, but HOW he walked. I thought of this as i was up on this mountain of Apalonia… thinking wowza this is where PAUL was. An incredibly powerful teacher, one of the greatest missionaries of ALL TIME…. And I was incredibly humbled to be there and to realize that this time as a missionary, that I have already passed and the 2 weeks that I still have… this is the time to walk LIKE Paul walked, a man of God who worked miracles in the name of our Lord and Savior. I want to do that.

 I know miracles are real. I have seen them. Many. Large, as well as small. He is everywhere. And we are His tools. How wonderful, how humbling that the Lord trusts 18 and 19 yr old punk kids to preach the most important thing the human race could possibly hear? I will never be able to express adequately the gratitude within my heart for the chance I have to be a missionary. There is truly nothing more great that I have ever done in my life. And I relish this time that I still have to be a full time, preaching teaching messenger and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Funsies:
1 stake conference in tirana yesterday, our bus broke down thrice, and we got stopped by the police once, and it was wonderful to see the majority of the RC’s there! woot woot
2 I have learned to make many albanian foods this week, the RS is determined to make me an albanian chef before I head back to the land of McDonalds.. haha
3 Inviting the world to be baptized. feels so good!
4 lots of fun photos!
Love you kids, keep on keeping on, Motra Kollmen
also if I dont really email much next week, dont be alarmed.
CIMG7035 CIMG7022 CIMG7020 CIMG7016 CIMG7004
Advertisements

Put your face to the sun, shoulder to the wheel and just PUSH

Hey there provo.
This week was marvelous, the best thing being when TEFTA girl got baptized! She is absolutely wonderful and just such a decided woman who knows what she wants, and what the Lord needs her to do, and she just does it. So refreshing 🙂
Kinda fun, because this was the first baptism not in an actually built in font, because our branch is smaller… it was in one of the blow up ones, and it was the funniest things seeing her and the Elder baptizing her getting in and out of that thing. Needless to say it was a group effort, and it was hilarious. But this week we just saw so many miracles, most of them connected to Tefta. She is just such a dedicated member, of about 24 hours. Already being a missionary to her entire neighborhood, so there are lots of potential investigators that we will be meeting with this week! Oh man… I love Tefta.
Also today for pday we were going to go on a wild adventure, but it has been postponed till next week… so yes. So instead I downloaded some mormon messages and we watched them today. This one I watched called origins was absolutely amazing and I pray that each of you will watch it! Did my eyes shed some tears when I watched it? Maybe.. Why yes, yes they did.
If any of you lack wisdom, let (them) ask of God.
And He will show you the truth. For He is the way, the Truth and the Light.
Love you all lots!
-Motra Kollmen

https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages-for-youth/origin-1

CIMG6975 CIMG6976 CIMG6978 IMG_1792 (1) CIMG6974

“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
CIMG6954 CIMG6940 CIMG6937 CIMG6927 CIMG6926

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!
P1000879 P1000943

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_

CIMG6875 CIMG6879 CIMG6881 CIMG6885

“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.
CIMG6821 CIMG6823 CIMG6838 CIMG6872

“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
CIMG6845 CIMG6849 CIMG6841 CIMG6856 CIMG6858

“My heart doth magnify His holy name.”

“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, til the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” -Joseph Smith

This has been such a good week. It is hot. I am melting like a popsicle. But I have never been happier! I love being a missionary. This morning President sent us a text like he does everyday with the above quote. It is one of my favorites, and every time I read it I cannot help but be inspired and pumped up to do missionary work. I have gained a testimony of this, that NOTHING can stop the work from progressing.
I had the wonderful blessing of listening to a homecoming talk of one of my best friends Christian Mangum this week, (thanks for sending that to me dad), but I have to say it was one of the best talks I have ever heard. Not only was it amazing to see how much one of my closest friends has changed over the past two years, to see how close he came to know the Lord, but a certain phrase that he said really hit home with me. He talked about how the work of the Lord will move forward, whether we decide to actively participate or not, but why sit on the sidelines? We must become active participants. -I loved this, as it is something that I have seen on my mission. You cannot just wait around for a massive change, change will occur-the lords work will progress- but as we actively jump up and seek for what more can we do… that is when miracles happen. Or maybe our eyes are then just more open to seeing the miracles. I know that when we decide to combine our efforts with those of the Lord, when we humble ourselves and bring our will in line with the will of the Father that is when we can become tools for Him to work through. And when we can work miracles in the name of the Lord.
The Lord is propelling this Marvelous work and a wonder. He is the author of all success and all things good in this World. To be his servant, a grafter in this part of His vineyard is a humbling and marvelous opportunity for which I will praise His name forever.
Love, Motra Kollmen
Other things:
-Teaching lots of villagers, praying for lots of rain. There has been a drought here in Lushnje for about 2 months and the crops of our golden investigators have been dying, so if you would like to pray for rain in Qerm i siper, that would be wonderful. Yet despite low funds, as in selling things to get into town, this family still does it. Because they know the Lord will bless them. They will be getting baptized next week 🙂
-Still can’t look at watermelons… yes last week I did get foodpoisoned and was throwing up a lot. Don’t worry, I am good. Just never invite me over to eat or look at a watermelon ever.
– The other day and nearly everyother day here it is around 45 degrees C. what is that in F…. like 109? SO HOT.
– Me and sister Eliason are the same person. She is just a taller and blonder version of me. I love this kid of mine.
– I have to resist the strong temptation to run and jump into the water fountain in the town square everyday…
That’s all for now folks.
Sometimes I try to paint sunsets, and I fail. All is well. One day I will go back to school and practice. haha don’t worry I will make it good.when I find time.
CIMG6779 CIMG6808 CIMG6782

“you can only see that which you have eyes to see”

Hello there America.

Instead of my saying a whole bunch of things this week to you, I thought I would just attach a link to a beautiful talk about charity by our beloved prophet.
Our zone has really been putting an emphasis on charity, and I have decided to incorporate it into my daily personal study from now on. Charity is the pure love of Christ. Which none of us really have… for none of us are perfect. I know that I am not perfect… but I know that as I study and come to know the perfect love that Christ had and has for each and everyone of us, then I can develop this most important Christlike attribute a bit more for myself. This is necessary for every single one of us because Charity is the base upon which we might build the rest of ourselves, our lives. If we do not anchor ourselves in charity, the development of the rest of the attributes of our Savior Jesus Christ are impossible to achieve and develop.
I know that I am not perfect, nor do I have that perfect, Christlike love of Christ completely figured out yet. But I do want you all to know how much I love you, and more importantly how much I love my Savior. I am and will always be eternally grateful for His sacrifice and love for me.
Love, Motra Kollmen

“I am not embarrassed to tell you that I believe in Miracles”

This week. I don’t really know where to begin. Because I feel like whenever I get on to write all you people, the only word that comes to my mind is : MIRACLES.

To be honest, I was actually thinking about this a couple days ago, looking back through my mission journals… yes I am on number three… I wanted to document this beautiful crazy hard wonderful experience… and the word that I saw the most that caught my eye… was just that: Miracles.
I would say that is the word that describes my mission more than any other. And I am so very humbled and grateful to have been here to see and feel so many miracles, both big and small. And the miracles just continue to happen!
This week, we found more new investigators than I have ever found in one week. And we got a lot of people on baptismal dates. Our investigator pool is now large and healthy, and it was all just from talking to everyone we saw. Our new gators came from our own efforts as well as the Lord just put people in our path, or just inspired people who had received pass along cards long ago to come out of the woodwork and call us up and ask for us to help them change their lives. More than once this week has my jaw dropped.
1And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles. -Mormon 9:19
I know with all of my heart that God is a God of miracles. I have seen them in Tirana, Elbasan and now in this beautiful land of Lushnje. And He never ceases to bring about miracles when we work our hardest and are diligent servants of the Lord. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, a missionary in a supposedly difficult and stagnant area or one in a renowned and successful one. It is all about YOUR OWN PERSONAL PERCEPTION. Choose to have success. Then work for it. Give it everything, and the Lord will bring the miracles. He has always been and always will be a god of miracles. Even if you are not a missionary, you can still look and find and create miracles in your life. God isn’t a different God for missionaries, He is the same for all. Missionary or not, newly investigating the church or old time member, He has miracles waiting for you. You just have to choose to see and actively participate. Because they are there. I testify of that with all my heart.
Luvs, Motra Kollmen
Fun things:
– Today I broke, and went and got a pedicure. These feet have carried me far, and they needed some TLC.
– It is super fun trying to get out to fshats or villages to teach people and villages of people who gather around at your feet like some kind of church movie to be taught and they all just stare up at you in awe grasping their books of mormon as you talk about eternal families, and an all supreme being who loves us as a tender loving father.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
🙂