Hello Hello!!!!!! J
First off: CONGRATULATIONS TO JONATHAN AND COURTNEY ON HAVING A GORGEOUS BABY GIRL!!!!!! Gosh. I can't look at the photos and videos of her enough. I keep on talking about her. She is perfect and so cute and aaahhhh!!!! I am an aunt!!!
This past week has been a super great week!! And we were NOT grounded!!! It felt so good. haha. I have quite a bit of highlights from this week. Buckle up. hehe.
|The shirt made for Motra Z by Elder's|
So you hear about the stories of girls falling down the stairs in front of a group of boys? Yeah, well that totally happened this week. We had just finished our language study and we were walking out of the apartment to go street contacting. We were quoting Rivedosja as we were walking down the stairs, and I don't even know how it happened but Sister Riley totally fell down the stairs. One of her legs like collapsed under her as she was trying to eat some of her chocolate. I didn't notice it until I thought she was trying to "melt". So I just said "moter!" and I grabbed her hand, but then I looked up and saw all these boys looking at us and i just looked at moter and whispered "there are boys" and then I let go of her hand. I don't know why I did it, but I did. But she was laughing as she is twirling down the stairs and somehow she is still managing to eat her chocolate. I just stared at her and then I just busted out laughing. She was laughing too. She stood up and put her hands up in the air and said "i'm good." I am pretty sure that we laughed for about 20 minutes after that. Like we were both laughing so hard. It was priceless.
|a close up of the shirt|
Sometimes when you are street contacting you have to entertain yourself so that you can stay alert and attentive. So, one time we were just standing on the blvd. So I put my hand out in front of me and started shaking it really hard and said "earthquake" or something like that and turned toward moter. Then someone walked by on the boulevard, he looked at me with such a confused and yet terrified face and said "opa...." and walked away. haha and then a couple hours later this xhoxhi (that is what old men are called in albanian). He came up to me and goes off in German. We had seen eachother on the street a lot before, but then this small crowd gathers around us and is just giggling and laughing. I was laughing because he could have been speaking in japanese for all I knew. I just stared at him and said "good or no" in german randomly. And then right before he leaves he looked at me and saying "have a great night" but he said it in ALBANIAN!!! That sneaky sneaky person. haha.
|the conference room|
I got the sweetest present from all of the elders this week. They made me a shirt that says "Nëna Z." on it. Nëna means Mom. I don't know why exactly, but a lot of the elders call me mom. hehe, but I love it. They made this shirt for me and Elder Rasband drew it and pretty much I love the shirt so much! :)
We went to lunch after our district meeting at a super yummy good place. All the elders were in suits and we think that they thought that we were part of the mafia, so they gave us a big conference room all to ourselves. Haha, it was pretty cool.
So we were walking to an appointment, and the house is in the International Village. This house is quite far away (about 15 minutes with car or so). But I didn't want to bother the elders and ask for a ride, but no worries. So we walked, it wouldn't be THAT long. haha, gabimë ishte. It took an hour and a half to walk there! It was a super super nice scenery though! But yeah, so we show up to the house and then the member asked us "you found the bus stop?" I just looked at her with a straight face, and said "there was a bus....?" she just giggled and said yes. haha. Sister Bodell sure got a kick out of it when we told her that we walked clear to her house to meet with her nanny. haha. It was only a 3 hour walk all together. We came home and ate so much food because we were so hungry and then I crashed on the bed. I accidentally studied Lehi's dream in my sleep....it was only for a couple minutes though. I crashed. It was a really fun and good walk though. We walked by a car wash and it had my name on it, so it was awesome. And I talked to the owner who had the same name as me...but he was a boy. hehe. Nice name! :)
A recent convert that we work with a lot. She gave her first talk on sunday!! She did so amazing!! And I translated for her. I was so terrified. But it worked. #prayer
Lots of weird stuff happen street contacting. There were a group of 40 or 50 year old men walking by. I said hi to them and handed them an english flyer. I was talking in Albanian to them and had such a confusing conversation with them. This was all in albanian:
guy: do you speak english?
me: *looking around and then pointing to myself* me? Yes, I'm from America.
guy: oh really?
guy: was it hard to learn english?
me: of course not! I am from america! I speak english!!
guy: just giggles and walks away.
That convo with him confused me so much...haha, I don't know why, but it did. But then again it doesn't take a lot to get me confused. Just ask the elders whenever I am trying to use technology. haha.
|another view of Kosovo|
I had my interview with President Weidmann this week. He is such an amazing mission president! And his family is absolutely amazing! I really really enjoyed the interview with him, because he is so spiritual and I feel like I am talking to a general authority when I talk to him. He took my planner and looked at our new investigator goals, which was 4. He looked at me and said "which 3 days were you planning on not finding a new investigator." I just looked at him and said, well I'd love to have one every day! He said that we could find one every day. He asked me what it would be like if God would send us a text message every morning saying where our new investigator would be. I said "that would be awesome!" He then looked and me and said "but sister Zollinger, you wouldn't be able to learn God's voice." That stuck to me. He later encouraged me to pray for a new investigator everyday. As he encouraged me to do this, I felt such an excitement to do it because I knew that it will be such a great and sacred opportunity for me to grow closer to my Savoir. I knew that amazing things were going to happen following President Weidmann's counsel, but what happened this past weekend was amazing. Every day since our interview I have been praying to find new investigators. Last night was an amazing experience. It was right after we had gotten home from our ward correlation meeting. It was about eight o'clock and I was saying my personal prayer for language study. As I was praying I had the feeling that we needed to go outside and street contact, but I sorta just pushed it aside thinking "no...it's okay. we need to do language study and sister riley just got in some pajamas..." I kept on with my prayer. Again the thought came into my mind to go street contacting by hotel sirius. Again I pushed it aside and at the same time thinking of the what ifs if we went street contacting.... Then the impression came to my mind a lot stronger and I knew that we needed to go street contact. So I ended my prayer. I told Sister Riley that I feel like we need to go street contacting. She changed back into her missionary outfit and we headed out. When we left the apartment it was around 8:15 pm (we are to be in the apartment by 9 pm or 9:30 if we have a lesson)...we went to hotel sirius and said a prayer to start our finding. Nothing was really happening...so we went down to the boulevard. We were able to talk to a couple of people but I could tell that it wasn't them that we were supposed to talk to. I didn't know who we were supposed to talk to, but I knew that God knew. Sister Riley said that we needed to go back to Hotel Sirius, i asked if we should give it a couple more minutes on the boulevard but she said that we should go to the hotel now. So, we went. As we were walking there I was thinking "what are we doing? It is late, it is cold and raining, and frankly I don't know why we should be out here." but at the same time I knew that I had felt the impression to come out here and I knew that it would work out. After getting to hotel sirius, not a lot of people were on the street. But we stayed anyways. We went on the other side of the side walk and just waited. I saw a girl walking our way and I knew that that was the girl that we were supposed to meet tonight. We had a lesson with her last night at the church where we showed her He is the Gift and Because of Him. She is Christian and already has a Christian background. It was amazing. I was amazed and shocked and and the same time so humbled to have had such an amazing experience last night. It was such a testimony building experience for me of praying and of having the faith. I learned how important it is for us to truly have real intent when we pray; meaning that we are willing to act to receive an answer. It reminds me of a talk that I once read where it said that "We need to live our prayers." It is one thing for us to pray and then to go on the rest of our day not thinking or acting upon what we prayed for. But we need to go throughout the day with that prayer truly written upon our hearts doing our part so that we can receive an answer to our prayer. I know that if we do all that we can, and most importantly if we have the faith that is needed that God will help us. If you ever worry that you might not have adequate faith, excercise the faith that you have then it will grow! Faith has to bloom before it can become a strong tree of faith. I know that God hears our prayers and just like President Monson said "how far He is willing to go" to help us. God loves us. He really truly loves us. I know that this is true. We are His children. This gospel is true, this is the only source of true, lasting happiness.
Have a wonderful week! Smile lots and serve lots! :)