Monday, July 28, 2014

The Soles of Their Feet Were Wet . . . Week 14

Hello Hello! :) 

I do hope that everyone had a splendid week and a wonderful Pioneer Day!!! :) 
This week I hit my month mark in Albania. It is crazy to think that I have already been here for an entire month; time sure does fly by out here. I am progressing in the language too, which makes me super happy. :) I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for helping me speak the language and learn it, because I know without a doubt that if I was trying to do this on my own it would be miserable. 

Let's see, some highlights from this week:
There was no scorpion this week, which was a wonderful relief. There was a cockroach though, but what is a cockroach compared to a scorpion? Ha-ha, honestly though. My companion says that I am blonde. Am I blonde? I know I act like a blonde, but I thought I have brown hair, so when she said that my hair was blonde I was in complete denial. Am I really blonde? Ha-ha, I am like stumped on that... ha-ha. So, once upon a time a language quheted Albanian existed. And once upon a time it is hard to tell the difference between letters for a Sister Zollinger. So, we were on our way to an appointment, and we sorta got lost, err, I mean we took a long detour to get to the house. Ha-ha. :) So, I was following Motra Russell as I was trying to hear the difference between a double ll and a single l. So, pretty much I went insane for about 20ish-30ish minutes as I repeated what sounded like the same sound to me and getting weird looks from Albanians as I walked past them. Ha-ha, it was prime! :) 

We tracked into Jehovah witnesses again, but these two were nice. Like really nice. :)

The heat is getting a lot hotter. So now I end up sweating like a pig trying to pass 2 peach pits. It is not fun. So much heat. Ha-ha. But, it is all the better reason to get the delicious ice cream here! :) 

This week really was a great week! This week I learned more about faith. I learned how faith and hope need to co-exist for it to work; because when these co-exist there is no room for worry or fear or anything. I remember in sacrament meeting last year-ish how Brother Petit said something that had a big impact on me, he simply stated that "fear and faith cannot co-exist. It is one or the other." That statement is so true. I have faith when it comes to learning this language and when it comes to speaking it in lessons. I know that I have been called to Albania to serve my mission for a reason, and I know that I will be able to learn this language. I am not worried about that. But, when it comes time for a lesson, I get nervous sometimes and I start to even feel a little scared if I have to say a big part in the lesson. But I realized how that is not how faith and hope work. I have faith that I'll be okay and I'll be able to speak, but I learned the importance of shunning any doubt or worry that might come into my mind. Earlier this week we were doing the setting expectations and the restoration lesson. And, I was in charge of setting the expectations, and Motra and I took turns for each segment in the lesson, and I was to recite the first vision. Mind you this was all in Shqip too. So, I was a little nervous. Okay, a lot nervous. But, I remembered something that I had read earlier that week from an Elder Bednar talk and it was "Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted. They walked into the river Jordan with a future-facing assurance of things hoped for. As the Israelites moved forward, the water parted, and as they crossed over on dry land." The part that stuck out to me the most was when it says that the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted, which reminded me of Motra Russel's advice about the language, and that was you have to open your mouth to be filled. So, as I sat in the church waiting for the investigator to show up, I said a prayer. First asking for forgiveness for not trusting in God as much as I should have been and for asking for His help during the lesson so that I wouldn't be nervous, and that I would be able to say what I needed to say and to remember what I had practiced for that lesson, especially the first vision. The lesson went well and it showed me again how important faith is. Often times not only do we need to have faith, but we need to also begin to act knowing that God will help us, before we can receive that witness of our faith. Just like what the Israelites did. 

I testify that God hears and answers our prayers. I also testify that faith works. At times it can be hard to not worry or let doubt creep in, but that doesn't do anything. I relearned the importance of having real working faith coupled with hope. I also know that Satan is a fat-head, and that he is going to do all that he can so that we doubt. But, prayer works. Pray to have strength, to not worry, to not have fear, and I promise you that God will answer you. He has answered mine. God loves us; we really truly are His Children. He wants us to be happy in this life. I know that faith is the most powerful tool that we have. No one can take away our faith. It is ours. I know that this Church is true, the message that we share is a message of happiness; we are God's children and He loves us. How beautiful it is to know that. 

Have a great week! :) 

Love you all!

Motra Zollinger