|Tirana, Albania (?-she did not say for sure)|
Wow. What a week! This week was such a good week and it was so much fun!! I hope that you all had an amazing week as well! :) I am so glad that Mom had such a wonderful birthday! Happy Birthday again mom!
Our investigator passed her baptismal interview and she will be getting baptized on Saturday! I am so excited for her!
So, the week started off really exciting on Tuesday during lunch. I was on an exchange with my awesome albanian sister, Motra Hysa. We went to a resteraunt for lunch and we were going to meet the elders for lunch. While we were waiting for them I had to go to the bathroom (like always), and so I went to the bathroom. The door, had a normal key in it that I had to twist to lock the bathroom door. But this key ended up mocking me and I locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes! haha. it was hilarious, and awful, and embarassing at the same time. When I first tried to unlock the door, the key just wouldn't really fudge. I just giggled and though "not funny, move key..." but then it wouldn't. It was only us in the resteraunt and another man and the workers so i really couldn't yell for sister hysa, besides she couldn't do anything because I locked myself inside, and everyone would know it was the american girl that locked herself in. I kept trying to just open the door thinking that it would magically unlock itself. ha, NOT. I heard someone talking, and so I stopped making noise to see if someone was talking to me. But then I just tried to keep opening up the door, because I was embarrassed because i realized that they were talking to me. after a couple minutes the door unlocked itself. I just swung open the door and grunted a little, and it was a waiter who was trying to tell me how to unlock the door. I must have had a weird expression on my face, because he just looked at me and giggled a little and then i just thanked him for his help and then went and sat down. haha, sister hysa and the elders got a kick out of it. I thinkt hat's the last time I am going to the bathroom at that resteraunt. haha!
So, back home whenever I found a spider or a big bug, i would never kill it. Unless I was weeding, because then it was in my territory. I would always put a cup over it and then leave it for my dad to take care of or something because I didn't want to kill it. So, today I was in the bathroom and I saw something move... turns out it was a cockroach. But, that's okay. So I went and got a cup and put it over the cockroach and then walked away, because I had done my business. haha, sister white thought I was crazy when she saw the bug. haha. it works though! It died!
While on the exchange me and sister hysa were just lying in our beds talking. We have a photo of David and Goliath in our room, and sister Hysa was looking at the photo when she said: Kush eshte ky? Skenderbeu? (Who is this? Skenderbeu?) haha, i laughed so hard I almost cried!!! Skenderbeu is the big Albanian hero who helped them in the wars. it was hilarious.
We have been having such gorgeous weather here lately because we have been getting such good rain storms! They have been glorious and so nice! Albanians absolutely hate the rain. It is like cats and water. We were walking outside to go to street contacting right as it started to rain. Me and Sister White just squeeled of excitement and rain in the rain. I don't think an Albanian has ever given me a weirder look before. hehe, it was hilarious.
Sister White's eye swolled up super bad yesterday, and we called the mission nurse and she told her to wear an eye patch. But we didn't have one... so sister white made her own eye patch. it was adventurous! her eye is doing better today!
|Motra Z, White and an elder|
This morning we woke up super early to go on a morning hike before it got super hot. It was so gorgeous!!! :) It was such a pretty view and it was so much fun! It was a way good work out as well. We had to fight our way through thorns and big bushy trees, aka we journeyed our way through the albanian forest. I kept on threatening everyone there though that if there were any spiders that we would all be dead. thankfully, there were none. There was a big fig tree though, and everyone got quite happy about it and started to pick them. personally, I think figs look like alien brains and i refuse to eat them. But everyone else had a fun time. and then a goat herder and his goats came by and Sister White fed one a fig and then all the herd came over and started to surround the tree. hehe, it was hilarious! One tried to get me to feed him, but I told it to go away. haha, no thanks. they were cute though, they had weird eyes. but it was so much fun! Nature is so stinkin' pretty!
|Cave, mine of some sort found on hike|
|Opening to cave/mine|
We went to an awesome member's house this week for a lesson. The mom was so amazing and sweet and made us the best byrek that I have ever had since being here in Albania!! It was so amazingly good!! :)
|Motra Z and Motra Hysa|
|Motra Z with Elder Guymon in Kosovo|
|Elder Rasband with Motra Z in Kosovo|
Zone Conference up in Kosovo was so nice!!! I was so excited to go back up to Kosovo! I was able to see all the members that I absolutely loved! It was so glorious and so amazing! It was so cool to see all of my missionary friends as well. gosh, I just love being a missionary so much! The conference went really well! It was bittersweet, because all the missionaries that are going home next month they gave their final testimony. I was first. I am a Zollinger. I should be last, not first; haha, so it was weird going first, but it went really well. It was an amazing conference! I especially liked Sister Weidmann's training. She shared a story with us, and it was so powerful and so applicable and I wanted to share it with all of you.
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained, that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun ·up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out feeling that his whole day has been spent in vain. Since the man was showing signs of discouragement the adversary decide to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man's weary mind: "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it." Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
"Why kill yourself over this?” he thought. I will just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be enough." And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
"Lord" he said, I've labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You've asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven't even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What's wrong? Why am I failing?"
"MY friend, when I asked you to serve Me – you accepted.
I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength - which you've done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me - with your strength spent, thinking that you've failed. But is that really so?"
"Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands a callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you've grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know, that it’s still God who moves the mountains.
No matter how our life is, we are asked to simply push. Push Until Something Happens. Sometimes it may seem that we are pushing for ages, but just like happened in this story; no effort goes wasted. Every effort is to make us stronger and better than before. Sometimes we are pushing for a long time, but sometimes that is all that God is asking from us. I know that there have been times throughout my mission that I have had a rock before me, and I had to push and push. Praying until something happens is the key to life; but it will be the key to life only if we do it with obedience, love, and a desire. So when the days are hard: push. When you are tired and feel like you can't go on anymore: push. When you are having a wonderful day: push. No matter the situation: push.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Smile lots serve lots and treasure trials!! :)