Monday, March 30, 2015

They Are To Change Ours...... week 48 .....

Hello Hello!!! :) 

First off, I want to wish my parents a WONDERFUL ANNIVERSARY ON THE 2ND OF APRIL!!!! What amazing examples you are to me as to how to continue to fall in love with your spouse as time goes on. Thank you for your examples and for showing me that the way to have a happier marriage and family is centering your marriage and family on the Gospel. 

This past week was a great week! A lot of things have happened, and hopefully I remember them all to tell ya'll. 

Pres Weidmann and wife with a largest group of sisters missionaries since Sis Z been here!!!
This Tuesday we had our last District Meeting. It was such an amazing District Meeting. We did a testimony meeting for the training portion. It was by far the best district meeting that we have had this transfer together, it was so spiritual and such a good note to end on. Afterwards we had our yummy himalayan food. #delicious

Yep that is Sister Z!
You know how sometimes when missionaries go on missions and some of their weaknesses become a big strength? Well, shaving is still my weakness, i don't think that can become a strength. It is just a down right health hazard for me. Last week when we were at Gjakova sister's for the night, we had sister's conference that next morning so I thought that I should shave. So, I shaved...but then I had to use a bandaid. One of the sisters said "Sister Zollinger, I think you should consider laser hair removal." haha. Well, i had the dumb thought to shave a gain a couple days ago. Good thing I have awesome looking Muppet bandaids, because they were much needed...anyways I have just accepted the fact that shaving can be a health hazard. Just saying. :) 

The other night we went contacting and it was raining, but I figured I could try using the umbrella upside down, because 1) no one really does that b) it sounded fun and 3) it could attract more people's attention.  Well it sorta worked...i just got really really weird looks. 

 Spectators watching the futball game
Selling supportive gear for the Albanian team
Yesterday Albania played Armenia in Futbol! We were walking to a member's house and we have to walk on the Boulevard to get there, and they had a huge tv set up for the game!! It was so awesome!! I was so tempted to try and contact there so that I could double task, but we didn't, we kept on moving. But it had just started and I kept on saying "futbol moter! futbol!" haha!! 

The hair that Sister Z & Sister Riley cut
There is a little boy in this ward who is 3. He had super long hair. One time I told him mom that he should cut his hair and then she just looked at me and said "no sister zollinger. His hair is like Jesus' hair." You can't argue that. So, i left the issue alone. But this little boy is starting to fall in love and idolize these elders. He was talking about how he wants to look the "boys of the church" meaning the elders. He wanted a haircut. So me and Moter gave him a haircut. It doesn't look too bad either. But we went to their house that next day, and the Mom said how the little boy cried that night because "My hair isn't like Jesus' hair anymore mom..." it crushed my heart that he cried, but he has changed so much since getting the haircut. He behaves so much better and he is so much more happy too!! :)

Yesterday the Elders made me cookies for my birthday! It was super super sweet of them all! I was really bummed about transfers happening before my birthday because I wanted to celebrate it with the district that I have because this is my favorite district, but then they surprised me yesterday and made me cookies! It made my day! 

The local artwork
Today for p-day we went to the bakery and learned how to make yummy albanian/kosovar food called byrek. I absolutely loved it! It was so much fun! Being in a bakery and seeing mixing machines that big all I could think of  was "you could make so many cookies with an oven and mixer that big." So being in the bakery today just sorta finalized my hope and dream of one day owning a bakery of my own. It was awesome being back there! :) We all got to try to make a byrek. Those are a lot harder to do than it looks. The only one who succesfully did it was Elder Rasband. All of us tried and the person who helped us just laughed and then moved on. hehe, it was so much fun! 

Daylight savings was this past weekend...but a lot of people forgot about it. Not a lot of people were in church this week... 

A cool artist lady came to the church this week and we were able to look at her artwork. They were absolutely amazing and I loved it so much!! :) 

The Sisters love these two little ones
a quiet moment before the transfers..
The biggest highlight of this week is that we got transfer calls Saturday night!! :) It was nice being the night before Sunday because we were able to know before going to church if we were staying or going. We did a musical number on Sunday as well and we sang the tear-jerking song "God Be With You Til We Meet Again." That is a beautiful song, but it is a tear-jerking song. and blah. it was hard. but, it was still super super good!! I am going to be going back down to where I was trained in T2 and I am going to be training again!!! :D I am super super excited!!! :) It is super bittersweet having to leave Prishtina though, I absolutely love this place so much more than words can describe, but I am excited to be going back and to see what the next 3 months have in store. That is something that I realized yesterday, is that on missions we are so focused on the lives that we are going to change and those people that we are supposed to help; but I think we forget about those who are supposed to change ours. Every single person that I have gotten to know on my mission has filled a hole in my heart that I didn't even know existed. I didni't know it was possible for a heart to hold so much love before. I really do feel like I am in the promised land right now, with the people that I am supposed to be serving with. These are my Albanian and Kosovarian Angels. I love these people here so much and I am so excited to continue to be serving! I love serving a mission more than anything in the world. I know that this church is true and that God loves us, and that we are His children. Jesus is the Christ. I love them with all my heart. Have a wonderful week! Smile lots serve lots and treasure trials. 


Motra Zollinger

Monday, March 23, 2015

He Knowth The Way That I Take.....week 47

Hello Hello! :) 
Missionaries headed to Valbona, Albania for a pday activity!  

First off, I wanted to thank everyone who wrote me a cute note in my valentine's package. I absolutely loved all the letters and the drawings from the kiddos as well. Thank you so much for that! It absolutely made my day!! 

Wow. What a week it has been. It has been a crazy busy week, but none the less an amazing and fun week! One nice relaxing highlight of the week is that we are taking a break from our english class hoping that it will sift out the ones who don't want to learn...which means no more battles with the younger boys. Which is a major relief. *phew*.

move over missionaries, sheep need to get to Valbona
We had an awesome district meeting on Tuesday. We were practicing role playing, and Elders Jorgenson and Temple gave the best role play ever on the Word of Wisdom. They did it like a pre-game pep up talk. It was hilarious and so much fun to watch. haha. :) 

We sorta accidentally took an unplanned vacation this week. So, we had sister's conference down in Tirana, we were going to drive down Thursday so we wouldn't have to do the early drive down on Friday. So, we went to Gjakova Wednesday night to sleep over at the STL's house so that we could just drive down with them in the morning. Literally as we were about the leave they got a call that said to not leave until Friday morning. So...we didn't know what to do. I ended up going with sister Boettinger to Peja for the day. That was a lot of fun. It started snowing there though, which was absolutely freezing....but Peja is such a gorgeous place. 

Sister Conference in Tirana, such a photogenic Zollinger :-/
Sisters Conference. It was absolutely amazing!!! I know that I was so incredibly excited to see Sister Russell!!! When I saw her, I just screamed and started to jump up and down and then I ran to her. I love that lady so much! It was so good to see the other sisters as well. I just love them all so much!! Sister's Conference was so good! We watched a cool video called "The Invisibile Women" we talked a lot about our special gifts/talents that we have and how we can really help others and build them up with our talents and vise versa. It was super good! The only down part of sisters conference was the end... it was so bittersweet. All the missionaries that are going home in about a week shared their testimonies. I was doing absolutely fine, until Sister Russell walked up to bare her testimony. Then I just started bawling. That is one thing that I have learned, how badly I hate saying goodbye. It is the hardest thing ever. 
Sister Conference Pictures

On the way back from the Sisters Conference (which is in Tirana), we stopped and got some yummy food at Time-out, they have such yummy suflaqes!! Well, I had a suflaqe and some fries right as we started leaving. I knew I was gonna probably get car sick...but i didn't know it was gonna be that bad. With the skill of Sister Davis we were able to get back to Gjakova in an incredible shorter amount of time, but that also made me more car sick. so note to self, don't eat right before big car trips. It ain't fun. 

The suflaqe that I ate, my body didn't like that too much. My stomach just felt *meh*. If ya know what I mean. But I wanted to get this *meh* feeling to go away. (this meh feeling was a sick stomach ache feeling, but a bloating and it just felt super full kind of meh feeling). We didn't have any pepto bismol in the house to help with it, but there were some Fiber digestive biscuits across the street at the store. They worked for Moter one time, so I thought I'd try. It was desperate measures so I ate the entire box (that really was the only thing I ate that day too, 12 biscuits)... well it didn't work. It just gave me a bad stomach ache and stuff. So note to ya'll out there, don't try other stuff....just do pepto. 

I made it a goal at the beginning of this transfer, to do a musical number for sacrament meeting. So, I did one yesterday. My hands weren't even shaking that bad. It went well. It was really funny though, because half way through a little boy in our branch (he can be a little stinker some times), he walked up to the piano and started hitting some keys, so one of the elders grabbed him from the piano. But as they grabbed him, this little boy turned the volume off on the piano. I just started giggling...that sneaky boy!! It was funny. It was sorta fun to do a musical number, it went well. 

The trip to pday activity.
Today we had quite the p-day adventure!! We went to Valbona. Valbona is a national park that is just outside of Kosovo in Albania. We woke up at 4:30 this morning so that we would be able to get there and back in time. We went with the Peja and Gjakova missionaries as well. The drive there was fun, it is absolutely gorgeous! But, there was snow. We didn't think there'd be snow, but there was. The snow was super super high!! So, us being the mature 19-21 years olds that we are, we all went and played in the snow for about an hour and a half two hours. No, none of us had on boots or thick coats or anything. But, it was totally worth it. We just walked through the snow and had snow ball fights. One of the elders who went to college to play baseball nailed me in the thigh three times with a snow ice ball. haha. it stung bad. but it was a lot of fun! hahahah. Unfortunately, I think all of the Kosovo missionaries are probably going to be sick later on this week, but it was totally worth it. :) By far the funnest p-day that I have had in Kosovo. 

Valbona had snow and the missionaries were not prepared..
It is crazy how quickly time goes on a mission. This is the last week of this transfer. On Sunday President Weidmann will be calling and letting me know where I am transfering (I am pretty sure that I won't be in Prishtina another transfer, because I have been here 6 months...). With the end of a transfer coming up, I have reflected a lot on the past 3 months and the things that I have learned and what I have done and everything. I thought a lot this week about a scripture that I read earlier last week. It is in Job chapter 23 verse 10. It says "For He knoweth the way that I take, when He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold." I absolutely love the beginning of this verse, because it says that God knoweth. That is something that I have defnitely learned this past transfer, that God knows what He is doing. Like, honestly. He really really knows what He is doing. He knows what He is putting in our life, what He is wanting us to over come and to do, etc. But He knows what He needs and wants us to become. God is like a mirror maker (yes, it probably has a real term for that, but I don't know what it is). So, picture it like this: God has a rough piece of glass and some silver, and that is us. God knows that He has the materials that He needs to make it a beautiful mirror, He knows exactly what we can become and how He needs to do it.  So, God starts to sharpen the materials, He shines them, cuts them, breaks them, thins them, etc; basically meaning that he tries the materials, when the materials are put under light their spots or their weaknesses are amplified and He knows what he needs to fine-touch on more. So He does what He needs to do to make the mirror the beautiful, unique mirror that He knows it can become. When all is said and done; when all the materials have been fixed to how they need to be (which all along was to the potential that they had), when God holds up the mirror, He sees His reflection. This is the exact same thing for us. We are all these materials that make a mirror. As we go through our own personal Gethsemanes, or refiner's fires, we are getting thinned or cut or sharpened or we are getting closer to the potential that we do have. The closer we come to God and Christ; the more we know them. The more light from knowing them shines on our weakspots and we then know what it is that we need to fix. When all is said and done, when He hath tried us...we will come forth as gold. God will be able to see Himself in us, Christ will be able to see Himself in us. That is what gold is, it is celestial glory. God knows our potential. We need to trust Him, because He knows who we need to become and how we need to become who we need to become. Whenever hard times come, there are glorious moments because they have the potential of being some of our most sacred and celestial experiences while in mortality. Treasure your trials. I have come to know my Savoir Jesus Christ on my mission; and the ways that I have gotten to know Him weren't easy, BUT those trials that I did have are now sacred. They are sacred because they helped me come closer to my Savoir. There is only way to make it through life with a smile on and gratitutde in our hearts and that is by relying on God. Trust God. Have faith. Everything will work out for our good, but we need to have faith to be able to see or else we'll just be looking. 

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


Motra Zollinger 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Primary Principles..... week 46

Hello Hello!!! :) 

Happy Birthday again to my oldest Sister!! I am glad that you had a super great birthday!! 

This week was an adventurous week and a super great week! 

I feel like I might have unintentionally started a little battle with these little gang of boys that show up to our English course. I wasn't the one who started it though, but I am pretty sure that I am going to be finishing it. So this week, the little gang of goobers came into english course. That was their first mistake that day. Just joking. They really weren't bad at all. They were doing fine. They came in, I gave them the look that said *you better be quiet today boys...* the boy totally got my message because he sat down and stuck out his toungue at me and made a silly face at me. Two can play that game. Yes, I was at the front of the classroom and I made a face back at this kid. They were doing fine all throughout the lesson because they didn't give me a reason to make them leave. But then after the closing prayer, the two boys started to fight. One put the other in a headlock. Are you kidding me?! We are in a church for heavens' sake. So, I got the wonderful privelege of breaking that fight up. I got them seperated and then I got hold of the one who instigated it and I dragged him out of the church. I think I surprised some of the elders or something because they just stared at me with big eyes and I was just like "well, that was fun...". haha. We'll see if they show up to English course tomorrow. I might bring a squirt bottle or something. hehehe.

Book of Mormon cake
woopie cake
So whenever anyone in my district has a birthday I tell them that I will make any treat or food that they want for their birthday. This week we had two birthdays. Elder Rasband's birthday was on Tuesday, he wanted a Libri i Mormonit cake. So, I did my best to make him a Book of Mormon cake... then Elder Temple had his birthday on Friday the 13th. He wanted a Whoopie Pie. Well, I had never made this before in my life and it was taking a lot time to do single whoopie pies, so I just made him a super big one, except it started falling apart as we sang to him. All the elders got unicorn candles, it was a lot of fun! Except I never sing happy birthday because I don't know how to sing it the normal way... because we never do that in our house... so i didn't know what to do... haha

Motra Boettinger and Motra Zollinger
gjakova, kosovo
gjakova, kosovo
This week I went on an exchange with wonderful Sister Boettinger to Gjakova and to Peja. It was absolutely gorgeous over there! It was so fun spending time with Sister Boettinger. She was the sister who took me out the first day when I got in country, so it was really cool to spend time with her. She has been there for me since day one of the mission and I hate saying goodbye. She leaves with Sister Russell and Elder McGrath and others in two weeks. I hate goodbyes. But the exchange went super well! I took a lot of photos of that place too! It was fun to spend time with the Elders in Gjakova and Peja as well. 

We had another party this week! That was super cool, it was all the members in Kosovo and they came up to our branch and we had an awesome party! ...except there was dancing. The highlight of every dancing party is that I am reminded how much I absolutely hate dancing. So that's nice, it just gets bigger and bigger each time people try to make me dance. ;) haha. Honestly though, the party went super super well. A lot of people showed up and it was a lot of fun! One of the recent convert's sons, he is about 3 years old, I was trying to get him to dance with me but he wouldn't... but it was towards the end of the night and I was starting to walk out of the room and then this cute little boy he grabbed my hand and he started to dance with me. He is a precious cute little kid. Overall it was a great night! :) 

This past sunday I had the neat oppurtunity to teach Primary with my companion. President and Sister Bodell's little boy, Moses, was the only kid that showed up to Primary that day. He is my cars buddy. But, it was so much fun! We talked to him about the temple. But he was playing with his Cars stickers and so I said "if McQueen and Sally got married in the temple they would be together forever." I never knew that you could teach someone about the temple using Cars. It worked pretty well though. I loved being in Primary, because it made me think back to all the good days when I was in primary. It reminded me of when I was little and innocent. But in all honesty, I was surprised when Moses started singing to the primary songs and that I still knew a lot of the words and the motions to the songs. It made me so grateful for Primary. I am so grateful for all of my teachers who taught me and helped me start to gain my testimony. I am especially grateful for my parents. I remember when I was a little girl how before they tucked me in at night, they would help me say my prayers. They taught me what faith was and who Christ is. I never thought in a thousand years that I would be doing the same thing. I am here as a missionary, I am teaching people to pray to God for their first times ever. I am teaching people what faith is and how to grow it. I am teaching them who Christ is. I love with all my heart what I am doing. I think it is the neatest experience when I am trying to think of how to explain to someone in a way that they'll understand as to what faith is, or how to pray, or our articles of faith and it just tickles my soul when primary songs come to my mind first. I will forever be grateful for Primary and for all that my parents have done for me. and overall for what Heavenly Father has done for me and blessed me with. I am blessed beyond what I deserve and I am so grateful for all that I have. I am grateful that I am able to be here and to teach people about the gospel and to help them so that it will bless their lives. I know that this church is true. I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. I love them with all my heart. Lean on them. They will always be there for you. 

Have a wonderful week! smile lots serve lots and treasure trials. :) 

I love you all!! 


Motra Zollinger