Monday, February 23, 2015

Live Our Prayers ............week 43

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. 

Motra Z 
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 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! :) 
Motra Riley

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? 
me: yes.
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 "'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 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! :) 


Motra Zollinger

Monday, February 16, 2015

Carry Your Crosses.... week 42

Hello Hello!!! 

What Motra Z  made for the Valentine's Day YSA Branch Party
strawberries for the party
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! Or as I went around saying, happy VL day (but that was only applicable to a few... hehe). I hope that everyone had a super great day! I had a lot of fun on that day. I made the Elders Valentine's and cooked them their favorite cookies. And don't worry, the valentine's day card for the elder's was like the least romantic one ever; all thanks to my little brother Parker for giving me the idea. 

Also, Happy Birthday to my brother Jonathan!! A big two three. That is crazy stuff. Ya old fart. BUT, you are going to be a dad soon, what an awesome present that is! Have a great day brother! 

an albaninan couple 
This week was quite an adventurous week. On Tuesday me and Sister Riley went down to Tirana for a trainers/trainee meeting. It was amazing. I swear, President Weidmann is just absolutely incredible. The meeting was super super good and I got to see my friends! I got to see Sister Coleman and Elder Befus and Sister Bezus! I was super super happy! It was blast! I got to eat at timeout as well and I bought two awesome dictionaries!! It was really fun! On the bus ride i was exhausted but I couldn't sleep. I also drank an entire liter of water in a two hour bus-ride. That was entertaining. haha, but it was fun! 

Elder Jorgenson's nap
So, we were grounded again this week.... for a few days (this time we stayed in street clothes as well). Elders Temple and Jorgenson translated atleast six mormon messages! Elder Jorgenson also took a nap, in what looked like a super uncomfortable position, which I got a photo of... #sneaky. But yeah, we had good district bonding time. We still were able to have lessons at the church as well, which was awesome! 

Her english teaching..
For english course we did dancing words and such. We taught them the "Michael Jackson moon walk" and the worm. haha. I tried doing the worm infront of the class and boy was that embarassing. haha. I was in the street clothes on this day btw, wasn't in a skirt. But, it looked like a worm that got electricuted or a worm that was trying to wiggle away from a spider or something. I got my feet up in the air and then i crashed. haha. 

Valentine's day. Friday night we realized that we didn't have an activity for Valentine's day. Most of the members here in Prishtina are YSA. So, we had to do something. Sister and I decided to make a valentine's party. For some reason we did a dance. I was reminded on Saturday just how much I hate dances and dancing. haha, it was crazy. I did dance a little though because I realized that I was pooping at my own party. So I danced a little. There was really good food and stuff. haha. The members and those that came were having fun so I was having fun. I had a lot of fun watching them. So it was a success. 

Yesterday after church we went to the Branch President's house for lunch. The Bodell family is the most amazing family! They have the cutest kids ever and gosh I love that family! We had yummy tacos and Sister Bodell teased me a little about the olives (she was with me when I discovered that olives have pits in them). So they have a little 3 year old boy who loves the Disney movie Cars. I told them that I absolutely love that movie as well, the mom and dad just laughed. But then I was like "no, i honestly love that movie." I told them how I had Mater and McQueen pillows back home and such and they started to believe me. Well, anyways. This little boy has all of the cars in the movie. and I mean all of them. He even has two maters. Well, I was super excited with Karyn asked her little boy if I wanted to go play with him with his cars. I was right over at the table playing with them. It was a lot of fun! like A LOT of fun! Well the little boy had to go take a nap, so i got all the cars to myself. I was totally kenaqing. :) hehe. 

The result of "fighting a bear"...  
Today for p-day we went to the national park. It was a lot of fun! I unfortunatley picked super bad shoes to wear at this park, because I wasn't expecting it to be wet there. but it was. haha. We threw the football around. I wound up to throw the football (aka finding my inner Tebow) and then I totally slipped in the mud. I guess I ended up pulling a Laker's instead because I totally failed. well yeah. A companionship came late to the park so I just pointed at my shoes and my jeans and said "you missed it. I fought a bear and I won." haha. that was exciting. 

I have started falling in love with the Book of Mormon. Honestly, falling in love. Especially Captain Moroni, Helamen, and the Stripling Warriors. hehe. :) They're amazing! I just wanted to share what I learned yesterday from personal study. Ever since coming on a mission the phrase "take up your crosses" has really puzzled me. Yesterday I realized what it could mean, atleast what it means to me. To me, it means carrying the name of Christ. Anyone can say that they believe in Christ, and yes when we are baptized we take Christ's name upon us. So we hold that cross. BUT, a real disciple of Christ will carry that cross. They will carry that cross through the rain, snow, hail, sunshine. Christ carried His own cross to be nailed to after He had suffered in the garden of Gethsemane, after He had been whipped and been treated so unhumanily; He still carried His cross for us. He walked to the Hill of Golgotha for us. Why can't we carry His name? Yes, we are going to face discouragement or even ridicule for such a holy cross that we carry. But it is a privelege!! Only Christ knows how it feels to have those slivers dig into our fingers from the weight, only He knows how tiring that walk can be, and the energy that it takes to do it. Because Christ did it first, we dont have to do it alone. We can carry Christ's name with Christ. We are never alone. He is with us always. I know that Jesus is the Christ. The Son of the Living God. He suffered and died for us. He asks us to live for Him. Obey His commandments, accept Him and what and who He is. That is the only way to have a true joyful life. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Smile lots and serve lots! :) 

Motra Zollinger

Monday, February 9, 2015

We are enlisted.... week 42

Hello hello!! :) 

I hope that everyone has had a great week this past week, and that you are enjoying the super warm weather there. The weather here has turned bipolar and it is super super freezing here, but I absolutely love it! 

Motra Davis and Motra Zollinger 
So Tuesday we went to Bondsteel!! Can i just say how much I absolutely love going to bondsteel? I get to eat with soldiers. I absolutely love it. No, there was no mint ice cream BUT there was cookies and cream ice cream and chocolate and strawberry and it was yummy. I may or may not have gotten seconds... or even thirds. The guy who dished the ice cream was nice and he just laughed each time I came back. I was totally loving it though! The lesson that we had with the soldiers was really good as well. We talked about Christ and what He means to us, it was amazing. 
Motra Riley, Motra Zollinger and Elder Rawlings

On Wednesday the protests didn't end up happening because of the weather... but we heard that is still might be happening later that day so we had to stay inside the church. We played uno for 3 hours!! I won a lot and i didn't even cheat. mwaaaaa. :) haha.

We went on exchanges this week. I was with sister Davis. She is absolutely amazing and I love her tons. We had a lot of fun together and she gave me a hair cut! I got sick of the layers on just the one side of my hair and so I had her level out my hair. It is a lot shorter and just about to my collar bone... I really like it. I was a little nervous at it at first (ha, i even got a nightmare the night before I got it cut) but I really like it now. Sister Davis did awesome at it too, she is awesome! 

"elder temple fried chicken. I made biscuits, the other elders did begetables"
as quoted by  Motra Z
haha, yeah, so I am learning my roman noodles... haha, oh my. Did I say roman noodles, I already know what those are, I eat those. I meant roman numerals. So the game that we play on p-day, Settler's of Catan, it has roman numerals on it. And everytime I would be like "elders what is 8" and they would be "v with 3 i's moter" oh okay. haha. so I felt a little turped out and so I am learning my roman numerals. :)

my athlete's foot may or may not be back... but ca me bo? 

So the Branch President's little boy, he is about 3 years old. He is in love with the Disney Movie Cars. Well, i love that movie too! let's just say that he has a little cars set that he brings to church and i will talk to him about Mater. hehe. :)

This morning for personal study I read Elder Holland's talk "We are Enlisted" it is such a good talk!! I highly highly recommend it for everyone, especially those who are wanting to serve missions and those on missions. It got me fired up. Then,  it reminded me too of the War in Heaven. It is so interesting to read about that in the Bible Dictionary, because the war isn't over. It is still going on today. We are fighting for the cause that we chose in Heaven. Just like a coach saves his best for last, God is sending His strongest troops now. This is us. We are given everything that we need to fight in this battle, the scriptures. I know that the scriptures are true and that a power comes from reading them. 

Have a wonderful week! Sorry the spiritual portion is shorter, i've got to go. I love you all! Have a great week! Smile lots and serve lots! :) 


 Motra Zollinger

Monday, February 2, 2015

Our Personal Gethsemanes.... week 41

Hello hello!! :) 

Motra Zollinger and her darling companion Motra Riley
Well, if this week wasn't an exciting week than I don't know what was. So many things have happened and it has been such a great week too! Here are some highlights: 

We were grounded again this week aka we had to stay in our apartment for safety because of the riots going on. They were going on just down the street from the church. So we stayed in all day long. It was really interesting. The Elders are building the Settler's of Catan game set. They had all these cards that needed to be cut out, I figured that I had a lot of time, so I said that I would do it. That was a mistake, haha. I ended up cutting out 172 cards, it took over 2 hours to do. Well, I had my hand in the same position the entire time,and when my hand got tired I would just squeeze tighter... after finishing my hand was tender. and my index finger was sorta...numb. I figured it would go away, but it didn't. Turns out I damaged my nerve a little... haha. Oh bessie. haha. I just laughed. I called the Elders and told them that this "settler's of catan" game better be good. haha, it is actually a really fun game. 

This is what they did during their stay inside
So, we went to go have a lesson with our recent convert. It went really well. Her little son has completely changed. He used to be a little terror, but now he is such a sweetie. We ended up just talking about Christ with this little boy and some miracles that he had done. His mom was talking to him about the story of Christ and feeding the thousands with the bread and fish. She was talking about the story and the little boy was saying yes and then she asked and what did Christ hand to the thousands and the little boy just said "chocolate." haha, i laughed, it was so adorable! :) 

Leave it to Motra Z to find goodies!
So, probably the funniest thing happened in our lesson this week. Moter tooted. The first time it was just a small toot, and I giggled a little and then I was able to move on. (we were just showing family photos at this time, so it didn't ruin the spirit or anything). And then a couple minutes later, she tooted again, and this time it was a little bit louder! haha. I couldn't hold it in this time. I just started laughing and looked at Sister Riley and I could tell that she was just laughing so hard inside. So, I tried to stop laughing, but I couldn't stifle it. The investigator just looked at me and back and sister Riley and then Moter says "don't laugh at me because my albanian isn't as good as yours." So I had to pull the dad card. I said I wasn't laughing at her albanian but that I had told myself a joke. A really really funny joke. Well, I couldn't hold it in anymore. I had to excuse myself out of the room and then I just started laughing so hard. The elders were out there and asked what had happened, I explained it to them and we were all just laughing so hard!! It was hilarious. She may or may not be called Motra Tootigans now by the Elders. Pretty much it was priceless.

On Saturday we had zone conference in Gjakova to go to. Usually it takes about 2 hours to get there, we got there in just over an hour. haha, Elder Temple drove. Zone Conference was so good! We now have a mission song. It is absolutely amazing and I love it so much! We also watched Meet the Mormons. That was such a great movie! The end of the movie got me choked up, but it was such a good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed Zone conference. I felt like I learned so much. The musical numbers that were shared were absolutely beautiful, the testimonies that were shared were absolutely amazing, and sometimes it hits me that I am a missionary. When i do have another epipheny that I am a missionary, it feels so good. I have never felt happier in my entire life. Picture a room with my family, and as much Mint ice cream chocolate Chip ice cream, grits, and baked ham as i wanted. That would make me super super happy. My happiness here as a missionary is infinity times happier than that happiness. I absolutely love it here so so much!! Being a missionary has a certain feeling with it that is indescribable, At Zone Conference we sang the song, "The Time is Far Spent" on pg. 266. The last verse really stuck out to me. It says: 

Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you;
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you;
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.

 What I have come to realize is that we all have our own personal Gethsemanes. I picture that there is like a gate surrounding our own Gethsemane and that Christ is the keeper of that gate. We approach the gate, knowing that we need to do this and that God needs us to go through it; but we don't enter it alone. Christ leads us the way, He is there with us every step of the way. We always make it through our Gethsemane with His help. It may be that we follow His footsteps, other times He is walking side by side with us, other times we are holding His hand, and sometimes He is carrying us. No matter how we go through our own Gethsemanes I testify that we are not alone. Never. It is with Christ's help that we are able to get through our own Gethsemanes, because He went through them first and He knows the way, He knows how it feels. I am so grateful for my Savoir Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the personal Gethsemanes that I have had and that I will have, because I come to know my Savoir more and more each time; and if it means coming to know, really know my Savoir I will do anything. Because he did everything for me. 

Have a wonderful week! Smile lots and serve lots!! 


Motra Zollinger