CalledToServe

CalledToServe

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas . . . Week 35

Hello hello!! :) 

So, I was almost done with this email but then I accidentally pressed that evil delete button and so it all vanished as it went away laughing. I hate technology sometimes. YOU SNEAKY COMPUTER. Pregnant camel. Pregnant Camel. 

Anyways, moving on. :) I hope that everyone had a wonderful week! This past week has been such a great week! So many highlights!! :) 

Most people when they blow their nose it sounds normalish. Not me. Every time I have to blow my nose, I swear and elephant appears behind me and blows his trunk... hehe.

We helped decorate a recent convert's first Christmas tree! It was so much fun! :)

Yesterday we had such an amazing Christmas party!!! Oh, it was so good!! I was in charge of making the chain. It only took me and hour and a half almost two hours to make it. haha, it was fun. Plus, the elders bought me a chocolate bar as I made the chain, so it all worked out. :) score. This party though was amazing! We had about 70 people (it looked like 70 at least) which is so many people! We did like a pot luck dinner and it was soo soo good!! :D It was amazing!

Today we went bowling. Unfortunately I brought shame to the Zollinger bowling name... but hey, at least I looked stylish as I did it. Right? :) hehe. Today was such a fun day! We had breakfast together and we got permission to watch It Is a Wonderful Life. That is a witty movie. Some of the missionaries got chocked up during the movie, and I didn't at all...I felt like I had no soul for a couple minutes. But then some other missionaries didn't get choked up either so I felt okay. 



I love my district so much! This is our last week together; we have transfer calls this Sunday. I have no idea what to expect, but this has by far been my favorite district. I love these Elders and my companion so much! They are all so amazing, and the Elders feel like brothers to me, and my companion a sister. It is amazing how you can go on missions live with people you have never met before, and yet they fill a part of your heart that you didn't know was empty. 

I made the Elders Man cards. Pink Man Cards that is. They all got a kick out of them, which made me really happy. Because I was worried they were gonna think they were lame. But they didn't, score. hehe. I made an elephant for Sister Favero. 


 
Caroling. We went caroling this past Sunday. To be honest I was a little nervous to do it because 90 plus percent of the people here are Muslim and I have heard stories of missionaries going caroling before and yeah, I was nervous for it. but I was NOT going to back down. It was so amazing. When we started singing I wasn't nervous at all. I was so happy and I felt so good, and it is because we were testifying of Christ our Savoir and of His Birth. It has been really interested and I have learned so much serving my past transfer here in Prishtina. The doctrine that Christ is the Son of God is attacked, mocked at, laughed at, despised, and frankly denied every single day. Therefore, my testimony of Christ has been strengthened so much this past transfer. Especially this past month focusing on He is the Gift initiative. It has been truly amazing. Christ is the Son of God. I think my favorite Christmas Hymn is Away in a Manger. 

1. Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
The stars in the heavens looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
2. The cattle are lowing; the poor baby wakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
3. Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

Angels appeared to Shepherds to invite them to come to Christ's birth. Wise Men visited the Christ to give him presents. Christ's birth is for everyone. Both the poor and the rich were told of Christ's birth. Both the poor and the rich believe in Christ. Christ is for everyone. If during Christmas our happiness is dependent upon presents that we receive we will never be completely satisfied. We never get every single thing that we want for Christmas, we will never be satisfied. BUT, there is something that we can always be dependent upon and that is our Savoir and Redeemer. If we rely upon Him for help in our lives and for happiness we will be surprised by how happy we are and what we are able to overcome. I know that the meaning behind Christmas is Christ. He is the Son of God. How amazing and miraculous was and is His birth and His life. It is the most important event in the history of the world. Life will never be the same. I am grateful for my Savoir and Redeemer. May we remember His birth and His life and what He has done for us this day as we celebrate the birth of the Savoir of the World. I love him with all my heart. 

Merry Christmas!!!! Have a wonderful week! Smile lots and serve lots!!! 

Love,

Motra Zollinger

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christ Is Love . . . Week 34

Hello hello!!! :) 

I hope that everyone has had such a wonderful week! I am glad that it finally snowed back home in Utah because guess what? TEN DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!! :D

Also, Happy anniversary to Jonathan and Courtney again! and Happy 6th (I think 6th) Birthday to Liki! :D 

This time of year is such an amazing time of year! I just love it! Here are some highlights from this week, and since the next p-day for us won't be til Christmas I am going to foretell some highlights that will be happening this coming week. :) 

We had exchanges on Monday and Tuesday with the amazing Sister Training Leaders!! It was so fun! I was with sister Boettinger this time. We had an amazing time together. and It snowed!!!!!! :D The snow wasn't sticking to the ground, but there was still fluffy stuff falling from the sky! Tuesday morning we woke up and went to the window (like I always do to see if it has snowed) and it was starting to snow. So I hurried and called the elders and said "it's snowing! Merry Christmas!" haha, Sister Boettinger and I were SO EXCITED!!! The best part is that we had contacting all morning long and so we got to sing and talk to people in the freezing snow and everything. It was freezing, but it was snowing. So it was okay. :) 

So the Elders cut us down a Christmas tree the other week. We decorated our tree on Tuesday. It looks amazingly Christmasy. and we got Stockings as well. 

We rode the bus for the first time since coming to Prishtine. I used the bus multiple times every single day in Tirana, but it was our first time this transfer this week. It was exciting stuff. 

So, I was in the bathroom at the church and I had to blow my nose. like a lot. I felt something in my nose but I just couldn't get it out. So I kept on blowing. and they were not quiet ones. I was blowing it when I randomly hear one of the elders yell "you can do it sister zollinger!" how dare they ;) can I not go to the blow my nose in peace? haha. all that blowing though really hurt my nose. It felt weird after that. I got out of the bathroom and the Elders are all just sitting down on the seats and looking at me and laughing and said "was that you blowing your nose?" Elder Clawson later told me that he thought it was an elephant... i guess i have a talent with the noise and the sound pitch that my nose makes when I blow my nose...ha who woulda thunk. 

 On Sunday morning my companion asked how my nights rest was and then she started laughing. Because apparently I sang in my sleep last night. and to have had woken up my companion sleeping meant that it was not quiet singing because she is a heavy sleeper. Apparently I sang really loud "jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way" and then I stopped singing and that was all I had said in the middle of the night. haha, well... :) 

Sometimes when you are street contacting for a long time you are able to get entertained really easily. It is even more fun when you get to see how people interact with everybody. I think this week I saw the best confused and surprised look ever by this guy walking by. I don't know why he gave us the look, but it was funny. 

On the 18th it will be my 1st year anniversary from getting my Mission Call to Serve in the Adriatic South Mission. My life has never been the same since that day. I still remember how excited I was that day that I got my mission call and that excitement has just eskalated (I don't know if I spelled that right...) since that day. 

This past week has been such a great week! I had a really cool conversation with a person who is building a resteraunt. My companion had a feeling that we should knock on this door and talk to whoever was inside. As we were talking we asked him if he believed in Christ. His response was "I already believe in Love, so of course I believe in Christ." It amazes me how people who do not know about our gospel can give such pure answers. It is so true. Christ is love. The first Gift that God gave us was Love, it was Christ. In John 3:16 it says that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son; that whosever would believe on him shall not perish but have everlasting life." Because God so loved you He gave you love. He gave you Christ. It is because of Christ's Love that He successfully fulfilled His mission here on earth so that we can obtain Eternal Life. The greatest evidence of Christ's love is His Atonement. He died and suffered for me. For you. For your spouse. For your kids. For your family. For your enemies. For your heroes. For every single person. Love. That is the meaning of Christmas, that is the Gift of Christmas. This week and next week, let's share the Spirit of Christmas with our neighbors, our family, our friends, our enemies. Let us Share Love, and more importantly let us #SharetheGift http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?im=true&v=2874125972001 

Have a wonderful week! Smile lots and Serve lots and I will talk to you next week on Skype!!! :D 

I love you! 

Love,

Motra Zollinger

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Serving With Love . . . Week 33

The Branch's Christmas Tree
Hello Hello!!! :) 

Happy 1st anniversary to Jonathan and Courtney on the 15th!!! :) 

I hope that you all had a wonderful past week! I know I did! :) It has been a wonderful week and I just love being a missionary so much! It is the best thing in the world!! :) 

Here are some highlights from this week: 



 So, when you walk into the church there is a wall and at the top of the wall is a window into the president's office. The elders were in a lesson and I needed to get their attention, but I didn't want to knock on the door or anything, so I decided to climb onto the table and put my face against the window to try and get their attention..yeah, it didn't work too well. As I was up on the table, the other elder's came in with their investigators and I was so embarassed... so I pretended like I was fixing the christmas lights...improv, right?

Elders MkGrath & Eliason and Motra Favero
We had such an amazing lesson with a 15 year old girl. Her mom had died when she was younger and we taught her about the restoration. The member who was helping us with the lesson, the same thing had happened to her, but her mom had died about a year ago. In the middle of the lesson we asked what the girl is feeling. She just said "i don't know. so good...i want to cry." then she started to cry. and as she was crying I just got the strongest feeling that that is what her mom was doing right now on the other side of the veil, because she is learnign the same things that she is learning right now. I told her that just a couple minutes after she had started crying... and she started crying more and she said "i started to cry because I could feel my mom next to me." It was such a tender and sweet moment.

Today for p-day we played a game of Basketball horse. and I won, I am the granny master.  and I played in a skirt. :) 

Elders Clawson, Jorgenson and MkGrath
We played soccer this week. That was a lot of fun..except I kept on talking to myself while playing and I would be like "ooohhh no no no" and a lot of the members just ended up laughing at me. haha, but what do ya do? 

Yesterday for lunch I made brownies and I thought if you put marshmallows on the brownies right out of the oven that the marshmallows would get hot and melt and made a frosting. Well, it doesn't work like that. So the brownies randomly had some marshmallows on top....but it still tasted good, which is a good thing. :) haha. 

I scared myself. Like literally. It was night and we were walking to an appointment. I thought that I could see someone out of the corner of my eye walking by, so I moved over, but they didn't move...it was like they followed me. And the person looked taller and they were darker, and I looked over and jumped. I screamed and then just stood there and for some reason went into a semi squat position... ha. It was my shadow. Yep, I got scared so bad by my shadow. 

Elders Clawson and Jorgenson
Elders Clawson and Jorgenson cut us down a Christmas tree. I was so happy!!! 

Sometimes when you are talking to people on the street, you do not always talk to the nicest people. and sometimes you talk to people who only want to argue. That happened to me earlier this week. I was talking to this guy and he would ask me questions and I would answer them. And then I started to testify about the gospel, and he interrupted me and said "no, no. You don't know this, you think this." Gabime. I looked at him straight in the eye and said "No. I don't know a lot of things about life, I am only 19 years old. But I KNOW that this is true." It felt so good for me to be able to testify and to be able to say without a doubt that I know that this is true. and I know that every single person can know for themselves of the truthfulness of this Gospel and that it is through prayer. Anyone can talk about the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and any other principles of the gospel. It can even be the prophet. Yes, we will be able to feel something as they talk, but we need to pray. Like it says in Moroni 10:5 "through the power of the Holy Ghost you can know the truth of all things." It is true. and I testify of that. 

Oreo cookies Motra Z made for Elder Jorgenson's birthday
Yesterday, we watched this video for a devotional. I loved this video so much. It was so short, simple, and yet so powerful! For a little boy to be able to do such an amazing and loving act of service for a complete stranger. It touched my heart.  I loved this video so much because service is the best gift that we can give this Christmas season. When we help others it is like we are helping God. Mathew 25:40. Our best example of service is our Savoir Jesus Christ. He served, everyone. Because he loved us all. I hope that this Christmas season we are able to try to become more like our Savoir by serving others. http://www.mormonchannel.org/more-videos?v=1318641007001 #SharetheGift

Have a wonderful week! Smile lots and Serve lots!! I love you all!! 

Love,
Motra Zollinger


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanksgiving!!!! :D without olives...and it was amazing!! . . . Week 32

Hello Hello!! :) 

Wow. What a week! Wasn't it amazing? I absolutely had such an amazing time this past week and gosh, life is just so god! :) 

So many highlights from this week:
"THANK YOU USA'" Holiday

In Kosovo they have a "Thank You USA" holiday. Like a legit holiday. It was amazing. They have SO MANY American flags hanging up on the Boulevard and a mini concert too. It made street contacting really interesting. We street contacted as country music was our background. I was feeling so patriotic. I absolutely loved it! 

I successfully scared my companion. Ten points for Gryffndor. 

Our Recent Convert's cute little boy came up and gave me TWO HUGS. That is quite something. I got hugs from that little boy. 

Thanksgiving Mission Conference!! It was absolutely amazing!! The senoir couples were amazing chefs and made so much food for all of us. They baked 10 turkeys and so much food. It was so good. After we ate the heavenly food we had a talent/skit show. It was hilarious. So much laughter and so much happiness. Our district won the award for the funniest skit. We did a Book of Mormon Work out video (inspired by the Canyon Park Ward's girls camp skit about 3 years). It was so fun! I saw my MTC district. They are all doing so well and love them all! I also drank my first Dr. Pepper in 7 months... i was running on 2.5 hours of sleep and I needed something... haha. 

We had a photo shoot with Thanksgiving and they were of our districts. Ours was awesome. For the funny photo we didn't know what to do...it turned out priceless. I will try and get the photo and give it to you Mom and Dad so you can post it on the blog. cause it is so priceless. 

Car drives with free entertainment from the one and only Elders Clawson and Jorgenson. They are great Elders. 

Albanian Flag Day!! :) We had a party at the church, and it was soo soo much fun! Oh my heavens! The best thing is that the members planned it. The missionaries just help set up the deocrations. Speaking of which, I hate balloons. We had to blow them up, and three of them popped as i was blowing them up. those are evil little things... But anyways, the party was amazing. Such yummy traiditional Kosovo/Albanian food, with a lot of juice. A lot of laughter and games and it was awesome. 

Yesterday as we were street contacting I talked to a guy that we had talked to a couple weeks ago. He is so cool. Here are some chunks from our conversation that I had with him.
         ME: are you excited for december? It is such a special month because we get to... HIM:      eat chocolate. eat lots of chocolate. let me know when you have some, i want to eat some.     Even though he was a hilarious guy to talk to, he really was awesome. He did say something that was absolutely amazing. He read my name tag and said "Motra... sister. Oh, you are a sister of Christ. Tell Him that I say hello." How amazing is that. This person is agnostic, he doesn't know what he really believes. But still that was one of his desires, to say hello to Christ. I thought it was absolutely amazing. 

I had a wonderful Thankgiving and I am especially grateful for Miracles. A miracle happened on Thanksgiving day driving home from Tirana. Thanksgiving day, we got up at 2:30 in the morning to get ready to drive four hours down to Tirana for the mission party. Personally, I was running on about 2.5 hours of sleep for that entire day. I think the same was for my companion and Elders Clawson and Jorgenson. Elder Clawson was the driver. After having spent the day down in Tirana, it was about 5:30 when we started to make the four hour drive back to Prishtine. As we were starting to get in the car (I have always sat on the right side of the car) and Elder McGrath was getting on that side so I just sat behind the driver's seat. Elder Clawson kept on saying how he was tired and how we needed to keep talking to make sure that he stays awake. We had food we were snacking on also. About a couple hours into the drive, we were getting higher up in the mountains.. I had slouched down to try and relax my legs and after a couple minutes it was too uncomfortable, so I had to sit up. As soon as I sat up I looked forward, and I can still remember what happened. and I don't know how we are still alive. We were coming around a bend, there was a semi on the other traffic line (it was just two way, with one lane so like going down 5th south from our house kind of linage) and there was a car that
Mission President and his wife in the middle
was speeding trying to pass the semi while we were already almost even with the semi. I swear time slowed down for those five seconds. I don't even know if Elder Clawson moved the car or not, but I remember feeling that car speed past us and it was literally inches away from us. It doesn't make sense, like I honestly don't know how that didn't hit us. Elder Clawson said that me changing positions had shifted the car a little which made Elder Clawson pay more attention and come out of his zoning out which gave him just seconds to react. I keep on thinking about what happened that night, and I am especially grateful for life this week. Who knows, if we had gotten hit, maybe another miracle would have happened and we would have all been okay; but, I know that we were protected. It doesn't make sense how we didn't get hit, but it makes sense to me because I know that we are protected as missionaries.Because of that experience I am grateful for so many things espeically this week. I am grateful for life, because that was a really really close call. I am grateful for prayers that I know so many people pray for missionaries, and their prayers are heard and are answered. I know that God watches over His missionaries, in every mission in every place. He protects them. 

I am also so grateful for the month of December. I am grateful for the gift and life of our Savoir and Redeemer Jesus Christ. He is the most precious gift from our Father in Heaven for all of us. Every person on the earth has this Gift, even if they do not know it. The Atonement of Jesus Christ affects and helps every single person every day. I am grateful for my Savoir and for His Gift and His Life and the chance that I have this month to reflect on His life and His goodness. I hope that this month we are able to take time to spread the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of Christ's life. to share the Gift given to all of us. http://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HPFR112814529 #sharethegift


Have a wonderful week!! smile lots and serve lots!! :) 

Love,
Motra Zollinger

ps spread the spirit of Christ. hashtag share the gift for all of December. Youtube take over on December 7th (i think the 7th). It is going to be amazing, and there are going to be so many miracles. #sharethegift


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Live What You Believe . . . Week 31

Happy Monday!!! 

I hope that everyone had a wonderful week and that everyone is getting ready for an amazing Thanksgiving week!!!! Full of yummy Turkey and yummy foods and such a great holiday season! I know, I am! 

This past week has been a great week! Here are some highlights from this past week:

There is still no snow. BUT it has gotten A LOT colder!!! It is amazing and I absolutely love it! It rained for about a couple days straight this past week. It was so nice! 

I had my first ever Park Bench Lesson this week. We had it at a park that is across from the Catholic Cathedral. It was a really good lesson. She is now a new investigator, and it was an amazing lesson. The spirit was present in the lesson. And it was so amazing to see the spirit working on her as we bore testimony to her of the truth. 

I scored two goals in futbol this week...and an own goal too... but ca me bo. haha. Futbol was really good this week. One of our investigators came! It was hilarious because anytime anyone tried to take the soccer ball from her she would just stay "stop stop stop" and keep running. She is such a cutie and hilarious. 

Elder Jorgenson almost took a bite of a snail this week during service. Good thing he didn't... 

Sister and I got attacked by a rain storm. We went out in the morning to street contact as we waiting for our investigator appointment. We got to the street and there was some sunshine shining through. Then ten minutes later, there was no sunshine shining through, and then BAM! It started pouring rain and winding (I don't know how to say that...it got really windy) and so we hurried and got in a store for shelter. 

Another day when we were on the Boulevard street contacting. We said hi to a lady walking by. She stopped, she looked at us and said "are you American?" we said yes. Then she just stared at us and said "I love you!" and she hugged us. And then she walked away. Haha, it was hilarious.

Oh, I almost got hit by an old grandpa on his jazzy. I swear he tried to hit me, it was hilarious. We were on the boulevard again. He had to swerve to not run into sister Favero. But then he turned his jazzy straight at me, and gave me a look and then proceeded. I had to move out of his way and then I just busted up laughing. It was hilarious. That sneaky grandpa. 

Someone played the most cruel joke on me yesterday. They have these really good cookies here! So, we had some left over from our institute activity on Wednesday. So yesterday before our ward council meeting I went in the kitchen to get the cookies because I saw the box in the cabinet. I was going to share, of course... but, I go to get the box AND SOMEONE PUT AN EMPTY BOX IN THE CABINET. Those sneaky people. The elders and my companion just laughed at me, but i was not too amused. Those sneaky sneaky people. 

This morning I had a really good personal study. I read a scripture that stood out to me, and that I think is so incredibly important and vital for all of us to do. It is in Mosiah 12:29, and it says "If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it?"  In this Abinadi is asking the judges or the minions of King Noah why they don't keep what they teach? In other words why don't they live what they preach? In other words Elder Holland's talk "Israel, Israel, God is calling." (I highly recommend that talk. it is amazing!) That really is the only way to live this gospel and to be really truly happy. We NEED to live what we believe. Doing this will help us and help others so much. There should not be any "Sunday Mormons" or anything like that. Being a Molly Mormon or a Peter Priesthood is the highest compliment that a member of the Church could ever be given, because that means that they are really truly living what they believe. That is how true happiness comes. I don't know why this scripture hit me so hard this morning, but I think part of it has to do with why I am so happy as a missionary. A mission is not easy, at all. It is hard work, but I am SO extremely happy as a missionary and it is because I am living what we teach. You don't have to be a missionary to be so happy. You can do start living what you believe today. It is just up to you. I testify that really applying the principles of the gospel in your life is the best way to live. It is the formula to true happiness, the self confidence, and to such a great life. Life doesn't get easier, but your testimony of Christ grows and of God and you start to truly learn and believe that anything is possible with two; as long as one is God and the other is you. So live the gospel. Live what you believe. Because it will change your life. 

Have an amazing week! 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I love you all!! 

Love,
Motra Zollinger


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It Is Almost December And We STILL Don't Have Snow . . . Weeks 29 and 30

Hello hello!! 

Sorry about not having one to send out last week. But I do this week. :) The past two weeks have been such great weeks! So many stories and so many things that have happened. Here are some of the highlights from the past couple weeks


First, we don't have snow here. It is almost December I don't know if I can handle not having snow. So we made snow flakes. haha, I started counting down to Christmas on November 1st. Just ask my district... haha. 

Happy Birthday Courtney!!! 

They have shrimp tasting cookies here. We went and bought some cookies at a bakery and they taste like shrimp. But I don't know if they are supposed to taste like shrimp...but they do. 


I bought a PEZ. They are awesome. I got a smurf one, that old dude one. I call him Xhoxhi Smurf. He is my mascot. haha. 

We played futbol. It felt so good to play futbol. It was so fun! One of the members we were playing with did get drilled right in the head with the soccer ball...but he is doing better now. 

The Soldiers from Bondsteel come to church on Sundays now. It is so funny because Major Jenson brings chocolates every Sunday and hands them out to everyone, it is like Christmas comes every Sunday. haha, it is the best thing ever. 


We had Mission Conference this past week. It was so fun being back in Tirana! The Mission Conference was absolutely amazing. I was in Heaven and I loved it so much. Elder Dyches and his wife came and talked to us and it went so well!! So well!! It was so fun to see all the other missionaries too, to see my district from the MTC and the missionaries from the district in Tirana. It was awesome. Those bus rides though are killer. Leaving really early in the morning to come to Tirana or back to Prishtina. It is killer. But so fun. :) 

okay. as a missionary you get use to awkward situations. especially when speaking a different language you get use to awkward silences. But, I think the other day the most awkward thing ever in my entire life has ever happened! Like ever! So, Sister Favero has been sick for the past 3 weeks. I finally got her to go to the doctor. So we googled American Clinic. We found the closest one and we made an appoinntment. We show up and on the outside it says "American Clinic. Women's clinic." Well, we are women so we proceded. We walk in and there are a bunch of pictures of pregnant people and babies and stuff. We go to the level where our appointment was, my companion just sticks her head in the room and shuts the door and is bright red. She said that this was a pregnant doctor place (I totally forgot that word and how to spell it...). So we call the office, and she says I'm not pregnant, I just have a cold. The receptionnist says that we can still help you. So we go in the room. Every single couple in the waiting room turned and just stared at us. It was so awkward. And on the wall behind us was those drawing of a baby in the womb and stuff, and my companion turns around and looks at them and I am going bright red and I just say "sister. stop it. turn around." it was so awkward. So yes. We thought we had made an appointment for a normal regular clinic. But nope. We went to a preggo place clinic. most awkward time of my life. 


We have these super cute little girl investigators, they are ten and eleven years old. The other day this week we had a lesson with them. We had talked about the Restoration and we were inviting them to baptism. After giving the invite, they said "yes! Can we get baptized right now?" haha. we laughed, it was adorable. We set up a date with them, but it is so amazing to be with these little girls. They LOVE  the Book of Mormon so much and it is so cool! They love reading it and yesterday after church they wanted to just read out of the Book of Mormon and then talk about every verse that they read. It was adorable. 

We had such an amazing lesson a couple weeks ago, and President Weidmann helped us with the lesson. The spirit taught that lesson. Not us. I was so priveleged to be in the same room as the spirit taught the member that we were teaching. It was a longer lesson, and I felt like I needed to testify. So I testified of Christ and the power that comes from His Atonement. It was amazing, because the words that I said were not my words. After I was done talking, I sat back in my chair in amazement because that wasn't me who was talking...and even more, I got an answer to a question that I have had for years. God answers prayers. Sometimes the hardest part is having the patience to wait for our answers from God. But, He will always answer our prayers. I know that He does. 


I love being a missionary! I can't believe that I am a missionary! This is the hardest thing that I have ever done, but the feeling that I get every day is the most satisfying and most exciting feeling! I know that Christ lives. I know that it is only because of Him that we are able to overcome our challenges our sadnesses our trials. Because He went through what we go through. He is our Advocate with the Father. He loves us. God loves us. I am so grateful that I have this wonderful oppurtunity to teach people and to help them to come to know their Savoir and their Redeemer. He lives. Go to Him. You will never regret it. 

Have a wonderful week! smile lots and serve lots! And enjoy the snow!! :) I love you all!! 

Love,

Motra Zollinger

a

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I am Enlisted in the Army of Helamen . . . Week 28

Hello Hello!!! 

I hope that you all had a wonderful Halloween and a wonderful week! 

All of these pictures are from the potato farm
This past week was a wonderful week! So many highlights:

On Tuesday we went to Bondsteel (the Army base). I was in Heaven! It felt like Christmas morning for me, because I was so excited! I got to do something that I have wanted to do all my life and that was to eat dinner with the soldiers! I couldn't stop smiling all night, because I was in a room filled with soldiers. It was incredible!! Institute was really good too! And it was so cool too, because some of the soldiers came to church yesterday! It was so cool!! :) Oh, and I am still a clutz. We went to the food place after to buy some American food. I almost broke the glass on the refergerator by dropping a Ben and Jerry's pint of ice cream on it... and i almost knocked over a whole rack of clothes by accidentally running into it. My companion just turned and looked at me and said "you are embarrassing me..." haha, it wasn't my fault. the clothes rack jumped in front of me on purpose. 

Oh, I would just like to caution everyone to not try to eat an Airborne tablet. I don't like how they taste, and I didn't want to put it in water...so I tried just taking a bite out of the tablet. #badidea haha, never do that. just sayin'. hehe. 

It is pretty cheap entertainment when your companion falls asleep during language study in the morning and starts speaking albanian in her sleep. haha. I couldn't handle it, so I had to go into the bathroom to laugh so I didn't wake her up. haha, priceless it was. 

I made snickerdoodles for the first time, and I did math completely wrong and didn't add enough flour...but then we fixed the recipe. hehe. I also realized how you don't make homemade goods and try to give them to strangers. Because, 1)they are going to not take them and look at you like you are crazy b)it is sorta a creepy thing to do if you think about it. That is what I learned. We had made a lot of cookies and I was like, let's go give them to strangers so that they have a good day. Yep, didn't work. just trust me, don't try to do that. 

It is getting colder here. I usually wear tights... I just forgot one day to do it because I was wearing a long skirt. I got into our investigator's house, and she just pointed at my feet and stared at me. Long story short she made me wear some of her socks. when I say she made me do it, I am not exaggerating with that, she literally made me do it. Let's just say my outfit that day looked mighty fine. 

On Friday we went to a member's house to go work in his potato farm! It was so much fun!! mwaa! Some people here are sorta sexist... so we got down to the farm where the potatoes are laying to be dugged, and the member looks at me and my companion and says "you can just sit there and watch because you don't have strength." ha. my foot. My companion and I did not take that advice too well from him. We did everything that the Elders did while we were helping him. We dug up potatoes. We carried buckets of potatoes up the hill. We even pushed a wheelbarrow full of potatoes up the hill. ha, my foot we don't have strength. That was really fun though to be up at his farm on Halloween. 

We had a ward halloween party!! That was so fun!! We played the doughnut on the string game, hehe, that was priceless. We also did bobbin' for apples. Elder Clawson was the champion at that. I also realized how disgusting unsanitary bobbin' for apples are. It's worse than kissing. I was watching them play and in my mind I was screaming. People would bob and try to get the apple, and then try another apple, and it was like a public toilet. It was disgusting and I will never bob for apples before in my life. Unless I am the first to go, then I will. but that was nasty stuff man. but all in all, the Halloween party was so much fun!!! It went really well and it was a great success!! Oh, and in case anyone was wondering... toilets are NOT flushable. 

I decided to write a poem about my mission thus far. I absolutely love being a missionary and I have never been happier in my life. I know that this church is true and I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. I am so grateful that I get to teach people more about this gospel, because it DOES change lives! 
Elders Jorgenson, Clawson, Stuart and MkGrath

I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
going about in word and in deeds
teaching people of Christ who is our Savoir
and helping them grow their faith like seeds

I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
arming myself with the Word of God
protecting others from the whip of our enemy
by planting their lives in the Gospel Sod

I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
fighting alongside the Priesthood of Youth

we both are protected, helped, and known
as aid is continually sent from the prayer booth

I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
getting support and counsel from above
as I talk to my Commander by prayer each day
and He talks back to me through love

I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
our weapon is stronger than the strongest rod
it is not something you can hold or touch but,
it is felt and known for it is the Spirit of God

what we had for lunch at the potatoe palace.
lots of bread, jam, and cheese. :) it was so good
I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
wearing on my chest my Tag and my Shield
which is etched 3 things that I hold most dear
while I am serving in the mission field 

I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
working alongside My Captain The Christ
doing my best to find the souls
whose lives will be changed and rescued by Jesus Christ

I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
yes, I know of the task that is at hand
but I do not fear or have any shame
because I know it is with Christ and His Angels that I stand

Because I am enlisted in the Army of Helamen
I feel a joy that can not be explained
I love what I do and who I am becoming
and my testimony will never be tamed. 




Have a wonderful week! Smile lots and serve lots!! 

Love,

Motra Zollinger

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

With His Stripes, I am Healed . . . Week 27

hello hello!! 

This past week was an amazing week!!! :)

Here are some highlights from this week:

olives still have pits. haha, i don't know if i will ever be able to get over that. 

IT SNOWED!!!!!!!!!!!! I woke up in the morning and i saw snow outside and i giggled. I just love the snow so much. *preparation coughing aka clearing voice* Do you Want to Build a Snowman? hehe :) The weather is quite cold here and it is amazing and I absolutely love it. haha, yesterday I wore my glasses.
We walked to our investigators house and inside her house it was warm. So my glasses had a seizure and fogged up like crazy. I couldn't see at all, so i had to take my glasses off for like five minutes for them to defog. haha, good times good times. 

I went in an old fashioned elevator. The ones where you just shut the door and then you see the levels change as you go up the level. I was freaking out. hehe, it was so cool. :) 

So, it is cold here. Motra Favero and I were walking back from an appointment and we started to play tag. It doesn't really work well or go for a long time when it is only the two of you. But, you sure do you get interesting looks as you do that. haha. :) but sometimes you've got to entertain yourself when you are on a long walk. 
 
I had Thai french fries. They are delicious.

Today for p-day we carved pumpkins, because it is Halloween soon. If I say so, mine was pretty awesome. Pumpkin seeds are edible... i have never had one before so I just ate one raw...not too bad...but i think we'll bake those tonight.  


This past week has been a great week! I wanted to share a scripture from Mosiah that really stuck out to me this week. It is in Mosiah chapter fourteen and is in verse five. This verse I think explains so well how much Christ loves us and how we can get through this life. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Christ was wounded for my transgressions, He was bruised for my iniquities; the chastisement of my peace was upon Him; and with His stripes I am healed. That scripture I think is so powerful. Everything that I am going to face in this life, Christ put it upon Him. Every emotion, every trial, every sin, everything possible; He willingly and lovingly took upon Himself. Because Christ did that, I can find peace I can find strength and it is because of His atonement. I can be healed through Christ's help, through His Atonement. I know that my Savior lives! I am so humbled each and everyday when I put Christ's name on my chest.  It is one of the most humbling experiences in my life to be able to represent my Savior to the wonderful people of Albania and Kosovo; and I know that I do not do it alone. My Savior is with me and I represent Him, as I am a missionary here. I love being a missionary. I love teaching and serving people. I know that this church is true and that we don't need to ever go through anything alone. Ever. Just like it says in mosiah 24:15; we don't need to do anything alone, because He has already gone through everything that we will go through. I love my Savior Jesus Christ so much and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me a Savior. 

Have a wonderful week! smile lots and serve lots!! :) 

Love,

Motra Zollinger 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Defending My Savior... Weeks 24, 25 and 26

Hello Hello!!

Wow. It has been a crazy crazy past two weeks!! The past two p-days were a lot busier than I had anticipated so I wasn't able to send out the mass email, but I get to today! :) The past couple weeks have been so good. Here are some highlights:

Happy birthday to Madison!! Ya old fart. ;) 

Happy Birthday to Greyman too! :) 

Happy Birthday to my wonderful and sweet grandma! Plenty nine years old once again. :)

I am in Kosovo now. To get to Kosovo we literally drove THROUGH a mountain. It was so cool!! It is so pretty up here too!  It is so nice here! I absolutely love Kosovo!! Gheg sounds so cool too, I love the language difference here! haha, it is a work in progress speaking it too, but it works. :) 

Motra Z on the Boulevard in Pristina, Kosovo



I have been in 3 countries in the past 3 weeks. First, Albania. Then Kosovo. Then we went on exchanges to Macedonia. It was so cool to see more of the country of Kosovo and Macedonia as well. It is so pretty and I loved Macedonia! The missionaries in Macedonia are awesome and the Macedonian language sounds so amazing cool!! They also had a burger king up there!! It was super good to have some american food...but they didn't have mint ice cream. I'm a gonna find mint ice cream somewhere. It will ndodh. 

Elders Clawson, Jorgenson, McGrath and Stuart
There is an amazing delicious Thai resteraunt here! First time I have ever tried Thai food was in Kosovo. Anyways, it was our first time having lunch together as a district, and Elder Clawson has been serving in Kosovo for four months now, so I asked him what I should get at the Thai restaurant. I told him that I was a sissy with heat so I couldn't get anything spicy. He said to get the pineapple curry because it wasn't spicy. ha, in his defense he said when he had it it wasn't hot. but it was most definitely hot. My mouth was on fire! and since it was our first lunch together I couldn't start crying because something was so spicy so I started to dog pant to try and calm my tongue down. But it didn't help at first, so I started to pant harder...i got light headed. haha, i felt like I was going to pass out. Long story short, I will never eat pineapple curry again. and the good news is that I survived. :) haha. 

Olives have pits. Did you know that? The olives that I have always eaten have had that hole at the top where I stick my finger in them... so at dinner with some members and the branch president's wife I learned that olives have pits, that they don't come with the hole at the top. So, one of the members had olives on her pizza and she doesn't like them, well, I do. So I ate them for her. I took a bite into it and felt the "pit". So, I turned to the branch president's wife and said "be careful... i think they stuffed the olive with like a nut or something." she just looked at me and said "sister zollinger, that is the olive pit." My Mind was completley blown!!! I think I kept on bringing the fact up the rest of the night that olives have pits. Because I had no idea that they did. Really though, that is awesome!! 

For service we went and mowed the branch president's lawn and weeded! I weeded!! I was so happy!! and I may or may not have accidentally pulled out one of their flowers......... but anyways. There were a lot of slugs in the garden, and so we may or may not have started throwing the slugs at each other. I was innocent of course in this. I wasn't too good at throwing them, but my companion got Elder Clawson right in the back of the neck and then it fell into his hoody. haha, his face was priceless. That was a really fun service time!

We played soccer today for p-day. It felt so good!!! aaaahhh, it felt so good!

My district here is amazing! We had lunch together yesterday and it went so well! I just love the Elders in my district, they are amazing and such great Elders! and my companion. She is incredible and I am so blessed and lucky to be with her! 

I love it here in Kosovo so much! People have way different perspective on Christ here. I have been told so many times that Christ is an imaginary person and that He is not real. They say this to my face. They deny my Savior in front of my face every day, and it sorta stabs me in the heart when they say it. But, I had such a neat experience about that situation this week. I am not one to try and talk about things that someone doesn't like or agree with because I don't want to make them mad or uncomfortable. So often times I will try to bring up something of the restoration when I am talking to people. It was Wednesday morning and I had read Thomas S. Monson's talk "Be of Good courage." I really loved that talk! Well, that day I was on the street and I was talking to this man. I showed him a photo of the restoration and he saw Christ and God and he sorta went a little bitter. He was like "no. That's not right. Christ isn't real. He's not real at all." In my head I was like "ok..." but then I thought of the talk that I read that morning, about having courage. So, I testified of Christ right then. I told him that we are all free to believe what we want but then I said "I believe in Christ. I know that He is my Savior and that He has done so much for me. I am so grateful to Christ for all that He has done and I love Him. I know that He is real." The guy left and his mind wasn't changed, but I got to defend my Savior Jesus Christ. I felt so good Dad! I did everything that I possible could have in that situation, but I had the courage to testify of Christ to an anti-Christ instead of trying another approach for our Church. I don't know if I can adequately explain how good it felt, but it felt soo good!! That is my favorite part about being a missionary, being able to not only represent my Savior but to also defend my Savior and my Redeemer. I know that Christ does live. He knows me. He loves me. Christ knows all of us. Come to Christ. He suffered for my sins and my emotions, and your sins and your emotions. He knows us more than we know ourselves. He is the only one who can truly comfort us because He knows exactly what we are going through and exactly how we feel. I love my Savior so much and I am so grateful that I get to teach people about Him, and that I get to defend my Savior. I know that this church is true! I love being a missionary! I love this gospel!

And remember: anything is possible with two. As long as one is God and the other is you. 

Have a great and wonderful week! Smile lots and serve lots!! 

Love,

Motra Zollinger

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The end of shator. . . Week 23

Wingapo my friends!! :) 

Wow what a week what a week! :)

I have been beyond blessed to serve with Sister Russell. She has been absolutely amazing and I have learned so much from her! I am going to miss working with her so much but I am so grateful for this past transfer! It has been such a great start for my mission and I cannot wait to see what lays in store! 

Highlights of the week: 

The weather is so much cooler here. I absolutely love it so much! The weather is nearly perfect here. So good. 

Yesterday I made the big mistake of drinking THREE waterbottles during lunch. I don't know why I drank so much, but it happened. But, the problem is that they don't have public restrooms here in Albania. And when you have a 4 fl. oz bladder capacity like me, well, let's just say last night was a REALLY interesting night. After lunch we went a member's house. After the lesson nature was calling my name. But, we had another lesson to go to. So, we took the bus partly there because that was less walking on a full bladder. We had the lesson with the family, which went really well by the way. After this lesson Nature was full on yelling my name!! But, our shtepi was soo far away. So we walked slowly. We stopped and talked to this person who was wanting to talk to us in English. So after that we bee lined it to the church. I would walk really slowly and then try to walk faster to get to the church. When we were closeish, Motra started laughing. which caused me to start laughing which made me start to run to the church. But, then traffic happened. So whilst we were waiting to cross the street there was  A LOT of traffic so I just walked around the pole. haha. okay, long story short last night was the longest 3 hours of my life during that time of not having a public restroom to use. and the Moral of the story is: DO NOT DRINK 3 WATER BOTTLES OF WATER DURING LUNCH WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE PUBLIC RESTROOMS TO USE. Yep, true 'dat son. 

We had sister's conference this week. That was so much fun! It was all the sisters in the mission and the Mission President and his wife. It was so amazing. We talked about the Atonement. It was amazing. That is one of the coolest things about the gospel, there is no maximum in the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is always something that could be learned if you are wanting and willing to learn. 

I learned that you can't try to make up an apple pie filling for a pie. I tried using an applie crisp recipe thinking it would work. It didin't. I also learned that you can't let dough rise all day and then make rolls after. Because fermented rolls are not good. But I wanted food so I still ate a roll, I am very grateful that I didn't get sick...

We did Albanian dancing at a ward party. I would not dance, because I have two retarded left knees and I just can't dance. But then Motra Russell and Elder Ostergard ganged up on me and I danced. But, I actually am glad they did because I ended up loving it!! It was a lot of fun! Albanian dances are the bomb dot com!! :)


Yesterday, we had transfer calls! And when I am anxious and such I have to eat. So, we got in the house at 9 at night, and we didn't get the transfer call until 10:35. And I literally ate something (roll, piece of pie, orange, cookie, and lots of water) until the call. And guess what?! I am going to KOSOVO!!!!!!!!! I was so surprised! I didn't know what to say to respond. But, I am going to Kosovo! My companion will be Sister Favero! I am so excited to work with her, she seems like an amazing missionary! We are going to be white washing the area, and we also are going to be learning Gheg. It is going to be a lot of fun! I think the coolest part about getting the transfer calls last night was the peace that I felt. During the week I prayed that when I found out where I was going on my mission that I would get a confirmation that that really is the place that Heavenly Father needs me to go to. As soon as President Weidmann told me that I would be going to Kosovo I felt so much peace. President Weidmann before ending the phone call said "Sister Zollinger, I know that this is where the Lord wants and needs you." I responded "Me too President. Me too." I don't know what lays in store for me in Kosovo but I know that this is where I am supposed to be going and I am so excited for what lays in store for me. I know without a doubt that the message that we have, all missionaries all around the world, is true. We do have the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth again. God really is our Father in Heaven. Christ is my Savoir, and your Savoir. He has made it possible for us to return to live with God again; it is up to us, we need to accept the Gospel. Accept what is given to us. I know that it is true! 

Have a wonderful week! :) I am so excited for General Conference!! It is going to be so amazing!! :) If you have any questions for life or anything, pray and ask for an answer and I can promise you that you will get an answer during General Conference. 

I love you all! Smile lots and serve lots! :)

Love,

Motra Zollinger

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