Monday, June 22, 2015

As Far As We Sink Is As High As We Can Rise ........ week 60 (YEA!!!)

Motra Johansen, Motra White and Motra Zollinger
Hello hello!!! :) 

I hope that all of you had a wonderful week this past week. I know I did. It was quite an adventurous week as well!! So much has happened! 

First and foremost: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!! Oh my heavens. Thank you Dad for being my hero and for always being there for me through everything. Even now, while I am on the other side of the world, I can feel your love for me and I know that you are there for me through everything. I love you so much Daddio. 

Secondly: no brat diet this week. haha, success!!! hahahahaha. 

Monday night, President Weidmann called. This is how the conversation went: 
PW: Hello Sister Zollinger, I am calling to let you know that you will be serving.... *immediate panic and stress. wait, i thought transfers were in a week, not right now. what is going on...uuhhh....oh, i should listen so that i know what is going to be happening* in a tripanionship now. You will be with Sister White and you all will be serving in the Tirana 2nd and 4th wards. Sound good? 
Me: Yeah, sounds awesome. 
PW: okay. bye bye now. 
haha. yeah, so that happened! It was totally papritur, but i was so excited and a little nervous about it at the same time. But it has gone super super well. It has been an adventure and so much fun! The work has doubled literally overnight, now that we cover two ward areas (which is practically half of Tirana), so that is super super good. We got to meet with one of the older sisters in the T4 ward, she is like the lifeblood for the members. She is toothless, and so when she gave us kisses on the cheek (which is culture) is sorta felt like a baby's kiss, when it is sorta wet and everything. hehe, we all just giggled afterward. That is a strong nena though. I was talking to someone and she wanted to talk to me, but i told her just a second so I could ask this person a question. but she wanted to talk to me then. She is like 80 plus years young, but she grabbed my arm and started to pull me. and I couldn't hold my own and keep talking, she dragged me to where she wanted to talk to me. haha, I was totally surprised and gained so much more respect for that nena! Especially as she was telling me to bring the elders next time we visit her and then as she was leaving she got close to my face and smiled and said "now, don't forget sister!" haha, not a chance. We will be there. hehe, I love that member so much! :) 
She sent this when "she was in a funny mood, isn't that always?"  So if the Elders say it out loud in Albanian in comes out....??   Yep she went there....
So we had mexican food this week. It wasn't as good as Cafe Rio, but it was still pretty good. It was stinkin' hot though!! I am already sweating like a pig trying to pass a peach pit here in Albania because of the heat, but the sauce on the food that I got it made me start to sweat from the inside out and not the outside in. haha, but I wasn't being a sissy. Because some of the elders were going red because the sauce was so hot. Spicy stuff man, it is crazy. 

There is another sweet Nena in the T2 ward. We went to go surprise visit her, but she was at a park nearby just watching her grandkids play. So we came to go say hi to her, and she was using a cane. I smiled really big and asked her if she really uses that cane for walking or to hit people? She just looked at me and smiled and said "what? Like this? *and then she tried to hit me* and said, i only use it on the annoying boys here." hehe. She is my favorite nena. She is adorable and so fun! She then insisted that we go to her house. So we went. She came out with an entire big bowl full of cherries. She looked at us and said "you aren't leaving until you eat every single cherry." haha, we thought she was joking. But she wasn't. We at so many cherries that night, but they were so good. hehe. Memories. Memories. 

Helping pick a tie...

I totally won at farkle this week!! I didn't beat Elder Smith though, because I think he cheats. I don't know how he cheats, but I am going to figure it out. But I got revenge on Elder Guymon and beat him bad this time. hehe. #victory 

So, I taught the Law of Chastity for the first or second time this past weekend. I was tempted to tell our 17 year old investigator that kissing at all is totally part of this; but i didn't think that'd be a good idea. So I didn't...but I was super tempted to. hehe

Something that I have realized that is so interesting is how much people open up to us as we talk to them on the street. I was talking to an older man from Greece, who had ran into the missionaries there. We eneded up talking for about an hour on the street just about his life and his relationship with God. It was amazing, because I felt like I already knew him. and he just opened up to me and told me so much about him and it was just a really neat experience. It is amazing the people that God puts in my path and in all of our paths. It is super humbling. 

The other day at the end of our lesson, I almost jumped up and started dancing. Because sometimes really cool things happen during lessons and they are so miraculous that you just want to start dancing!! That happened. It was with one of our investigators. She is 18 years old. The first lesson, we invited her to pray and she said that she won't, because she didn't want to. Okay, so we asked if she would do it the next lesson. She said that she would. So, we asked if she would pray. She said that she couldn't because she was Muslim and she can't pray in the name of Jesus Christ. So, one of us said it in the beginning. We taught her the Restoration and it went so well. It was fiks fare. Then at the end we asked her if she would say the prayer, and sister White said that before she closes the prayer, to just wait and if it feels right for to say the prayer in Jesus' name. She said the prayer and she said it in Jesus' name!!! I just smiled so big during the prayer, and I wanted to badly to just jump up and start dancing! After she closed the prayer she was just smiling so big!! It was absolutely amazing!!! :) Miracles happen each and every day. 

Motra's talk
Yep!  She did that.....
I gave a talk for the first time in my mission. Yes, for the first time in my mission in sacrament meeting. I guess that is rare, for someone who has been in country for almost a year. I gave it in the fourth ward. The talk went really well. During the talk, I was trying to talk about a flashlight. But, I don't know if the word that I had looked up in the dictionary was right (because Elder Acheson who was translating for the senoir couples, he just smiled and started to giggle), and so I wanted to make sure that they knew I was talking about a flashlight. So I acted it out. I put out my hand and pretended to click on the flashlight and shine it and said "drita" which means light. haha. well, it worked. hahaha. oh besi. :) 

I just wanted to bear my testimony of my Savoir and my Redeemer Jesus Christ. When I left on my mission, I thought I already knew who Christ was and that I had a relationship with him. But since being on my mission, I have realized how little I knew about my Savoir and about the Atonement. I am so grateful for the trials and the experiences that I have gone through on my mission, because I have come to know my Savoir in ways that I had never expected I would, but God knew that I would need to come closer to His Son in the ways that I did. I know that the Atonement is real. What happened that night in Gethsemane, and on Golgotha, and in the Tomb really did happen. And because of those events, history will never be the same. Life will never be the same. The key to victory was given on that third day. The solution and answers to all of our sicknesses, trials, sadnesses, and any hard times was revealed. Christ lives. He is the Son of God. He has taken upon Himself every single sickness, illness, and hard time that we will ever have in our life. We can over come every single thing. He has already felt what we have all felt so that we don't need to be alone. As far as we sink through hard times is as high as we can rise through the Enabling Power of the Atonement. The power of the Atonement is stronger than the stronger material because it heals hearts. I love my Savoir and my Redeemer with all my heart, and I will forever sing praise to His name. Christ Lives. He loves you. He died and suffered for you, me, your parents, your siblings, your friends, and your enemies. The key to happiness and true joy is through Jesus Christ. Go to Him. Know Him. and I promise you that your life will change as you come to know Him who did the unimaginable for us. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

I love you all!! Have a wonderful week! Smile lots, serve lots and treasure trials!! 


Motra Zollinger