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 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!! 

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!! 


Motra Zollinger


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 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!! 


Motra Zollinger