çkemi Family! :)
Thank you so much for the package that you sent me!!! :) The cookies were delicious (as usual) and just thank you so much for the package! :)
|Sister Z and her companion, Sister Coleman|
So, last p-day (Thursday) we were in our residency and I was looking at the back of our door where it has the "Emergency Exit" routine. I started to read that because we really just chillax on p-day but then I stopped and thought to myself "that'll never happen to us. I don't need to know that." haha, oh ye unlearned. So, Thursday night after we had all gotten in bed, said our prayers, and everything the fire alarm went off. At first I thought it was someone's actual alarm and I didn't understand why they would have it be going off right now, but then it donged on me that it was an actual fire alarm. So, we got all the girls in our zone outside. It was a little alarming (no-pun intended...haha, i'm just so funny) as we were going down the stairs because I could smell something burning. Anyways, so we went outside into the parking lot. We started to play some games to get to know us all, since the new Hungarians and 2 Estonians had come in the day before. We played the "down-by-the-banks" song. It was a lot of fun!! Long story short, someone wanted to cook a burrito and burnt it. So we didn't get back to our residence until 11 o'clock. Motra Coleman and I were wide awake by the time we got back and we are just so hilarious. Honestly, we say the funniest things. So, we stayed up for about another hour laughing our heads off and making jokes and everything. haha, good times. good times. So, yeah, our building got evacuated because of a burnt burrito. So, whenever you cook a burrito in the microwave, be cautious. haha :) That was really our big adventure of the day. We got to breakfast the next morning and we were exhausted. I was exhausted. It is amazing how much it helps to get a good amount of sleep each night and when you don't, it does take a couple days to recover from it. It was so much fun though!
|Camille with one of the Hungarian missionaries, Sister Simons|
Sunday was a crazy busy day for me. The second day here at the MTC, we got to know our branch presidency and everything. We had personal interviews with President Hutchings, and in the interview he said "now, Sister Zollinger, do you play the piano?" I told him I did, but only on very desperate occasions. Well, this Sunday they were desperate for a piano player. So, I played. It actually went super well! haha, i was glad when it was done, but I enjoyed it. In sacrament here, you have sacrament with your zones. And everyone is expected to come to church prepared to give a talk on the topic for that Sunday. Well, I didn't really prepare a talk because 1) I was playing the piano 2) I figured he wouldn't call on me 3) I just didn't make enough time to write a talk. I had some ideas as to how I wanted to give it, but it wasn't written out, and it was in English... As I was walking to sacrament I told my companion "just watch. The one Sunday where I haven't prepared a talk for sacrament, I'm gonna get called on." Sure enough, the second he said "Sister Zollinger will be our first speaker" I turned to Motra Coleman and said "I told you so!" but, I guess I didn't say it very quietly, because everyone started laughing and the Branch President even repeated what I said and laughed. haha, oh well. It went well though. I actually wanted to share what I talked about in my talk. The topic was on the Atonement. The Atonement is an amazing gift given to us. I don't think I have ever used the atonement more in my life than since I have been here because when I put on this missionary badge everyday I've got to step it up. When I put Jesus' Christ's name on, anything and everything I do represents Him, and I don't want any shame being put on him, because of me. Everything I do represents Jesus Christ. But, everything I do also gives honor to my family, my ancestors; and also to this church that I belong to; to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I truly believe that the atonement can be adequately defined in Ether 12:27. The atonement helps us become stronger, it helps us become more of who and what our Heavenly Father wants and needs us to be. Saturday night I was reading Jesus the Christ under the atonement section (such an incredible book by the way. I highly recommend reading that whenever you need to prepare for a talk or lesson). I had a new perspective on the Atonement, a perspective that I have never really had before. Jesus Christ suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane; he suffered my sins, my afflictions, my sorrows, my emotions, my wrongdoings. But, it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross. I think that every molecule in all of those nails that nailed him to the cross could symbolize every single one of our sins, of our wrong-doings; of anything that we did that caused him the pain and grief on that cross and in the Garden. Every time Jesus Christ looks at the palms of His hands, and sees that scar, he sees me. He sees my sins, he sees me. In 2 Nephi 21:16, it says how "I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me." I do not want to make what Jesus Christ did for me in vain. The best way to show gratitude to not only my brother, Jesus Christ but also to our Heavenly Father for sending His only begotten-Son to do that, is by using the atonement. That is how I am going to be able to show my gratitude for the opportunity that I have to repent of my sins. Every time Christ looks at His palms, I don't think that He will or is ever going to forget what He did for me; but I don't think He is ever wanting to forget what He did for me. That is how much He loves me, a sinner, He still cares about me, and above all- He still loves me. Every time Christ looks at His palms I want Him to be able to point at a little section of His scar and say "This was for Camille Ann Zollinger. This was only for her. I still love her; and she is trying her best." That is all Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have asked of us, to try our best and to use Them. To use the Atonement, to not make their sacrifice in vain, but to use it in gratitude and love for them; that is what I learned this weekend. That even though Christ suffered for my sins, emotions, my everything in the Garden of Gethsemane; it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross.
On Tuesday night, Russel M. Nelson was the speaker at our Devotional. What an amazing spirit that was there. What an amazing Apostle of the Lord. His wife spoke with him. Her talk was a very good talk, and I enjoyed it a lot. Her talked was on "desperation". She said how desperation is needed inorder to become humble. How being missionaries, we are desperate. We are desperate to have the spirit with us. We are desperate to feel of our Savior’s love, to have His help, His guidance. We are desperate that our families be protected; we are desperate in the work. We are desperately trying to find people to come unto Christ; and by so doing we are humbling ourselves unto our Heavenly Father. We are realizing that there is no way that we can survive one day on our own. We need Him. Every day, every hour, every minute. The minutes/hours that we try to do it on our own, are very hard and very long hours/minutes. Desperation used in our character and in this gospel, is not a negative thing. It is a positive thing, because then we are humbling ourselves. I thought that was really neat, and it was an incredible talk. Russel M. Nelson is such a sweet old man. He is a wild and ferocious speaker like Elder Holland but he is simply and powerfully stunning. Something he said really hit me, he said "Enduring to the end...is enduring to the endowment." That statement is so true!!! If you really think about it, that is exactly what enduring to the end is, enduring to our endowment, enduring to those covenants that we make in the Holy Temple. If we Endure to our Endowment there is no way that we will ever fall away, or lose hope. We will be converted unto Jesus Christ and we will be blessed. This morning we went and did a session. I think at the temple is where we get the perfect examples of what Enduring to the Endowment really looks like. This morning, I sat behind a sweet frail old sister who was in a wheelchair. She couldn't stand at all during the session, and she had to have help from a sister throughout the entire session. But she kept on smiling, and even though it took her longer than others, she did it. She knew the importance of what she was doing that day in the temple for not only her but for whom she was doing it for. It was so humbling. I want to be like that sweet old frail sister. When I am old and towards the end of my time on this life, I want to be able to still go to the temple every week. I could physically feel of her testimony and her faith as I sat by her and watched her. She reminded me so much of Grandma Kidd. It was like Grandma was saying "Hi" to me through her this morning. It was incredible to experience.
Yeah, this week has been amazing. :) The language is coming along. Tuesday was really good for me with the language! I felt so confident and I was understanding it, and then Wednesday came... yesterday was hard with the language. I felt like I couldn’t understand anything and yeah. But, I know that I'll be fine. This is where I am supposed to be, and I've got to give it my all for the Lord to be able to do His all. Speak Your Language (SYL) is difficult for me, in French class when we SYL’d I never did it. I always went into English. When we SYL here, I try hard to do it in Albanian, and it takes me a while to complete some sentences, but there is always room for improvement. That's my goal for this week. Is that when we SYL to do it all in Albanian. No English, at all. It's gonna be hard, but I can do hard things. Besides, anything is possible with two; as long as one is God and the other is you. :) But, with all that being said, I love this language so much! It just feels familiar. I'm scared to go to the Albania to start teaching and everything, but I am super excited at the same time! I've really just got to keep my faith growing in Heavenly Father and do my part and I know that I’ll be fine. :)
I hosted yesterday. I was also sweating like a pig trying to pass a peach pit. But that's beside the point right? ;) But I saw ASHLEY EYRING!!!!!! I was so happy to see her! She is just such a cute person! Gosh, I love her! So, tell her parents that I'll keep my eye on her for them! I love it here! Oh, and this morning at the temple I saw Candi Brundage's daughter too! ...i don't remember which one it was though; they all look alike to me. It wasn't Beth. That's all I know. haha. :)
I love you family! :) I love you all so much!! :)
Motra Zollinger. :)