Thursday, August 28, 2014

There is a literal power from the Book of Mormon . . . Week 18

Hello hello! :)

How was everyone's week? I hope that it went well! This week has been a great week! 

Highlights from this week:

English class. We are teaching filistar and I get the little kids. I absolutely love it. I teach them animals and foods and people and how you talk about them in english. What I do is that I will draw *attempt to draw* something and then I write what it is in english. And they tell me how to say it in Albanian. So it is pretty much killing two birds with one stone. Really though, the kids are adorable and they laugh at what I say. hehe, which reminds me of Grey laughing whenever I was trying to be funny. hehe. we really have great times during english class together. :)

a returning member that we have been working with came to church yesterday for the first time in 7 years!!!!!!!!!! Motra and I were so excited to see her!!! Ah, so happy!! 

Earlier this week we were street contacting and we talked to a man selling bananas. His name is Toni. We met with him on Friday and gave him a Book of Mormon. It was amazing: Sunday evening the first ward had a baptism (all the baptisms in Tirana are at our wardhouse, because we have a font). We didn't find out about the baptism until after church. So, it was about 40 minutes before the baptism and we get a call from Toni. He was in Tirana. He was at the church. He wanted to find the church so that he knew where it was. So we went to the baptism with him. It was amazing. I know that that was not a coincidence, at all. That was a tender mercy of the Lord and I am so grateful that He helped us with getting Toni to the baptism. We are hoping that something at the baptism touched him, and we are so excited to meet with him later this week. 
Tree, me, tree

My companion is amazing. She is absolutely incredible. And we are so hilarious. You should hear some of our conversations. We also have super spiritual conversations as well. We also tell hilarious stories and make up awesome songs on the spot to entertain ourselves. 

I had such a neat learning experience this week. I learned about the power that comes from the Book of Mormon. These past couple weeks have seemed a little more trying and I didn't understand why. Yes, I know that everyone has their ups and downs but I didn't get why mine was seeming to be lasting or that I couldn't get over it. It seemed like something was missing, something that I wasn't doing. I realized what it was on Tuesday. During lunch that day I decided to read the Book of Mormon. After I read out of it, i literally felt filled with some excitement some power. And then it hit me, for the past couple weeks I hadn't really read out of the Book of Mormon everyday. During personal study I would read out of preach my gospel and I would read the scriptures that it suggested with personal study, or I would read out of the new testament and such. I was still reading some scriptures but I wasn't focusing it on the Book of Mormon. I felt like i got spiritually spanked by the spirit that day, and i swear my guardian angels just had their hands on their forehead in the "duh formation". I knew that the Book of Mormon was important, but I never understood that there was literally a physical, spiritual, and emotional power that comes from reading from that wonderful book every single day. But, I now know that there is a power that comes from the Book of Mormon. It is hard to explain what it is, but you have to experience it to know what it is. For the rest of my life, I will read out of my Book of Mormon every single day. Even if it is just a few verses, because I know how it feels to have skipped some days here and there, and i just felt like something was missing. I am so grateful for the mercy of our Heavenly Father; that I was able to repent and ask for His forgiveness. And that I felt His love and I knew that I was still loved.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I now know that there really is a power that comes from the Book of Mormon. It is true. I love reading out of the Book. It is a blessing for us. If we want to know more of our Savoir, Jesus Christ or our Heavenly Father; read the Book of Mormon. If we want to know if we have a purpose in our life, read the Book of Mormon. If we want to know what is going to happen when we die, read the Book of Mormon. If we want to know if God loves us, read the Book of Mormon. If we want to feel peace in our life, read the Book of Mormon. If we want to feel more happiness in our life, read the Book of Mormon. There is not a question that cannot be answered by reading the Book of Mormon. It is true and it can and will change our lives. I also know that as we read the Book of Mormon that we can feel of it's truthfulness; and sometimes feeling the truth is knowing the truth. I know this to be true. 

Have a great week! Good luck with school starting for everyone and I hope that all is going well! :) I love you all so much! 


Motra Zollinger

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We were Promised a Temple! Week 17

Hello hello!

So today for p-day we did nothing. And it was glorious! Last week's p-day was too stressful for me. haha. We went up to Shkoder which was fun...but it took a lot of time. But, it was a wild and ferocious day, that's for sure.

Pictures from last week's p-day trip to Shkoder

So much has happened in the past couple weeks that I don't know where to start. So, I am just pre-warning you... this email this week is going to be a long one.


We had zone conference. That was absolutely amazing. I learned so much and the spirit that I felt in zone conference was the spirit that I have felt at the temple. You can stand in Holy Places even when you are not literally inside a temple.

We had dinner at the Bishop's house; me and Motra and the two elders in our ward. They are all good at Albanian, and I obviously am learning, for some reason I got way nervous at dinner. I was sweating so bad and my face was red the whole time. #sweatinglikeapigtryingtopassapeachpit

I also went on exchanges the other week. That was so much fun!! :)

I don't not like tomatoes anymore. I tried tomatoes, and I actually like them! I was super surprised. But, those things actually taste quite delicious to the taste buds on my tongue.

English course started back up. We are teaching the beginners. I get the little kids. :) I love it!

We went tracting for my first time this week. And I quote Pirates of the Caribbean as we did so, it was too fitting. Because, often times this is how it went. We would walk up to a door in the apartment buildings. We could hear the people inside the apartment. We knew they were in there. So, we would knock or ring the doorbell. Then all the sudden the apartment would go silent. It reminded me of despicable me 1, when Agnes and them are selling cookies and Gru pretends to be his own answering machine... well, that doesn't happen here. Anyways, so, we can hear these people inside after we have knocked on the door. But they don't answer. So, I quote the following to my companion: "we know you're in there puppy [she means poppet]... come out...we're not going to hurt you." It was just too fitting to not quote it. Sometimes we have to create our own entertainment when tracting or street contacting after we get rejected over and over again.

Yesterday tracting was so good! So, we knocked on this door and a man in his twenties answered it. But, his response was priceless. I was starting to introduce us and he said "wait. give me 5 minutes, I need to finish washing my hair." then he shut the door. But, he had shampoo suds in his hands as he answered the door. But, the thing is that he came back! We had a nice conversation with him. And we are going to be hopefully meeting with him this weekend.

I had the most amazing experience on Saturday. At English course on Thursday for our spiritual thought we talked about the Book of Mormon. This cute older gentleman, is a cop. ( A cop!) And he wanted to hear more about the Book of Mormon. So we met with him on Saturday. I have never fallen in love with an Albanian here more quickly than that lesson. He wanted to know what our names were; so we told him. He looked at me and said "no, that is too hard. you are Motra Zog." This cute old man gave me a nickname!!! The part that was the most touching was the end of the lesson. We taught him how to pray. He has never prayed before in his life. After we taught him how to pray, he prayed. I have never heard a more sincere and humble prayer in my life before. After he had finished, he was smiling with tears in his eyes. We asked him how it felt, and all he could say was "I have so much emotion" as he is pointing to his heart. It was amazing and so humbling. I am so grateful that I am able to be here, to help people come to the truth of who they are-children of God. That God does exist, and that He loves all of us so much! Unfortunately, he does not live in our ward boundaries. So we have to pass him over the T4. But, he is a rockstar and I know that he has found what he has been looking for.

Yesterday during church, it was amazing. I can't even explain it adequately enough as to what I felt and what happened. President Weidmann (the mission president) spoke during sacrament meeting. He told of when he was an area of the 70 and he was here 5 years ago; and he felt impressed 5 years ago to promise the Albanian people that they will have a stake in Albania. and it happened. Yesterday, the President promised the Albanian people 2 temples. One in Tirana and the other in Siranda. I can't explain it exactly, but the spirit that I felt as soon as President Weidmann said that, was so powerful and so strong. I too know that there will be a temple in Albania soon. The President promised that if the people a) invite people to sacrament and to church, b) keep the sabbath day holy, and c) pay their tithing; that they will receive a temple soon. I can't describe how I know, but I felt it.  I too know that one day there will be a temple in Albania. I cannot wait for the day when these amazing people will have a place for them to do the amazing work of missionary work. The spirit that I felt in that meeting was undeniable. I felt it so powerfully. I don't know how long it will be before they receive a temple, but I do know that I will be coming back when it is done.

I love it here! Everyday I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the opportunity to serve here, in Albania. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. I am more sure of that than I have ever been in my entire life. I know that He does. Prayer is a sacred and spiritual opportunity that we have to talk with our Heavenly Father. I think too, that sometimes we might be able to feel Him right next to us or His arm on our back as we pray to Him. I testify that God knows each and every one of His children. We are all known to our Heavenly Father. Alma 26:37, I see the truth of that scripture every single day. This church is true! Pray to our Heavenly Father, He is always there for us. He will never let us down. Never.

I love you all! Have a most splendid day and week! :) And, pre-congrats to Miss Clara Bowles for getting married this week!! :) aaah, so exciting!! :)

Love you all!!!

Motra Zollinger

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Greetings from Albania . . . week 16

Hello hello! :)

Oh boy oh boy. No time. We went up to Shkoder today, but traffic was super crazy so it took A LOT longer than planned. Prandaj, my email is going to be super short. 

The work here is doing great! This past week we focused on returning members. We felt like that is what the Lord needed and wanted us to do. And we truly feel like it was. Miracles have been having the past few days and it is so humbling. This truly is the Lord's work. I will write more about it all next week, I just don't have time today.

I went on exchanges this past week; that was a lot of fun! I absolutely loved it! :) 

I know that this church is true. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; and really truly the only way that we are ever going to be able to gain a relationship with our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ is through that wonderful, glorious book. Heavenly Father is our Father. He loves us more than we can ever comprehend. Jesus Christ is our Savoir our Redeemer, and our brother. God is completely and totally aware of us—each and every one of us. That I know to be true, and that is what I have especially learned this past week. Prayer works. Love works. Faith works. 

I love you all! 

Have a splendid week! Smile lots! Serve lots! :)


Motra Zollinger

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I Believe in Christ, So Come What May . . . week 15

Hello my friends!! :) 

I hope that everyone's week went well.

Highlights from this week:

After street contacting by the lake, we were starting to walk home. We said "hello" to an old man who had a scale set up. But, then he stood up and he was like "come weigh yourselves, it's free." It's falas?? Well, in that case, ha-ha, not. But, we did anyways to be nice. His scale didn't work though, because it said that I was 0 lbs. ha-ha. jk. The cursor moved, but that doesn't matter much... ha-ha. That was pretty funny though. :) 

Motra Russel likes the Muppets. So, we quote the Muppets a lot. And the "Ew" skits from Jimmy Fallon. 

Yesterday we were at the lake again, and we say a cute little frog hop across the sidewalk. And the first thought that went through my head "Good thing the Duck Dynasty Robertson family aren't here, or else you would be their next dinner." Then I was confused as to why that was my first thought. 

We haven't had ice cream for 2 whole days. But, we're getting some tonight. :) 

Elders Ostergard and Lee

Today for p-day we went bowling!! I was actually nervous to go, because I am so awful. And since grandpa was like a pro-bowler, that isn't any more pressure to try and do well and to not bring shame on his name. So I told my companion "I want to get at least an 80." I got 4 strikes. Like, what?! I don't know how that happened. I scored 141. I don't even score that on the stinkin' wii. Miracles happen. Ha-ha, honestly though. I took a photo because I feared that this would never happen again. I just had to mention that because I figured dad would be proud of me. :) hehe. That is the highlight for my day, is doing well in bowling today. #itwillprobablyneverhappenagainthough 

Grandpa Z would be proud

This past week was a good week. It was hard, but good. This week we are going to have a lot of finding opportunities, which I am very excited about!! :) I don't know why, but I absolutely love street contacting!! :) Like a lot!! :) I don't know why, but this past week was harder than the others. I was just being too hard on myself, and put myself down a lot. But, then I realized how ridiculous it was to do that, because all it is doing is making Satan happy. Satan is a fathead. #fhonestlythough. Missionary work is hard work, but we are sharing a glorious message that can and will change people's lives. A line from "I Believe in Christ" came to mind yesterday at church, and it was "I believe in Christ, so come what may!" That line from that hymn gave me that strength and determination that I needed to keep moving forward, because it is true!! I know that I have a Savoir who is always there for me, He never leaves me. I know that with His help, and because of His Atonement I am able to overcome any trial any challenge that I run into. With His help we can conquer anything. Yes, we have adversity in life and opposition in all things; but that doesn't mean that we should be down on ourselves. We are Children of God. We are empowered with divinity and so much individual worth. Satan isn't the strong force. WE ARE. Who is Satan compared to Children of God who have the help of their Heavenly Father and who are empowered by God's love. He is nothing. We are everything. I testify that if we prayer for the strength and help to get through the day, that He will give it to us. I know, because that is the only reason that I was able to make it through last week with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. Because I prayed and I know that God hears and answers our prayers. There is a power that comes from talking to our Father in Heaven.  Those who kneel to the Lord can stand up to anything. 

Have a great week!! :)

I love you all!


Motra Zollinger