Monday, September 28, 2015

My Mission Is Not Over...... Her Final week!

Motra Zollinger
Hello Hello!! :) 

Well........this is it. My last email that I will write as a missionary. It is sorta bittersweet. Bittersweet. that is the best word ever, and it doesn't translate in i try to translate it in my facial expressions...but it doesn't work. haha. 

This past week really was such an incredible week! It went by so quickly, i don't even know if it really happened. It went by so quickly. But it was so good! I am going to do my best to remember everything that has happened this past week; but my ability to focus has dropped dramatically today, haha. so, ki durim. :) 

A member in the fourth ward, made me a dress. She is so good at it too! I just bought the fabric last monday and took it to her house on Tuesday and she measured me and then I told her that I wanted pockets in the dress and that she can do anything that she wants as long as there are pockets. She did such a great job! I wore it to church yesterday, and i really really like it. So yeah, she is amazing. :) 

Wednesday was sister's conference. My last sister's conference ever. Sister White and I were in the middle of our training when Missy Russell walked in the room. I knew she was flying in on Wednesday, but i didn't think she would come to sister's conference. I saw her and I stopped listening to my companion for a couple seconds and just stared and her and started to smile so big! It took all of my self control to not yell her name and to run to her and jump in her arms. But I remained calm, and we finished our training. Then we had a break for snacks and then I ran to her. ah! It was so fun to see her! Sister's conference really went so well. It was such an amazing evening. It was super bittersweet though, giving my last testimony infront of my wonderful sisters. That was hard, but it was such a spiritual day. haha, during the break I saw these treats that i thought were chocolate covered something but I wasn't sure... so I asked President Weidmann who was opening up the container what they were, he just looked at me and said "they are olives" and just smiled. Then sister Weidmann just laughed and said "no! They are chocolate covered almonds." haha. i totally believed him though and i was super confused. 

We also went to the Osmeni family on Wednesday night, to say goodbye to them. They were so sweet and made such delicious fish food for us to eat. It was so much fun to be able to spend the evening with them and to share stories and to just have a great time. I think sarcasm in Albanian is probably one of the most hilarious things in the entire world.  Because it is that much more enjoyable when it is in albanian. 

Thursday morning we went to visit another member, who I taught my first lesson to on my mission. It was super cool to be able to visit them all again. It was even cooler because about 20 minutes in the lesson, Missy surprise visited that family. So it was a complete reunion. The little girl was so happy! It was so awesome and such a neat day! :) 

I have decided that making maps is super hard. especially on sticky notes. haha. For my last weekly planning I drew a ton of maps for our members that we visit, incase we had a white-wash at transfers. Maps are super hard to make, especially in Albania where addresses really don't work. haha, after every map I made I had to give it to Sister White and ask her if she could make it to the house or if she would get lost. That was super entertaining. 

Friday we played basketball with our investigators. It was a lot of fun. Sister White and I always end up being against each other in sports that we play. haha. We would guard each other the entire game, and one time I saw her coming and so i decided to hip check her. But she sorta had the same idea, and so it was a weird collision and then we were just laughing so hard that we couldn't play for a couple minutes. I also learned that I cannot do granny shots under pressure. nope, not all. 

Futbol on Saturday was a lot of fun! It was the funnest that it has ever been! I don't know why, maybe because it was considerably good weather and I wasn't sweating quite like a pig trying to pass a peach pit. So that was a small victory. It was a lot of fun though. I think it is so fun playing with little kids because then you think that you are a little kid with as much energy as they have...until you wake up the next morning being sore. but it is totally worth it. 

I visited my Albanian grandma for the last time on Saturday. She is the snazziest and sweetest nena ever. She was talking about how she loves reading the scriptures, but then she told us that "i don't read as much as I do now as I did when I did before." i told her that that is totally understandable because you are getting older and can't see as well or something like that; but she just starts to smile and laugh and then she says "no! I don't read as much because I have so many games on my ipad that i have to play." we could not stop laughing for so long. As we were leaving her house, I teased her telling her not to forget to read her scriptures. She smiled and said "oh yes, I will. After I finish playing. I will be playing from 3-6 pm" oh my heavens. what a lady. I love her! 

My last sunday went really well! So many people came to church and it was so good to see so many people at church! It was such a blast! Both of our investigators came to church and they loved it! After church we went to a member's house and ate such delicious byrek and tav kosi. It is so good. I am totally making byrek all the time when I get home. Later that night we also visited another family and they made us Albanian empanadas. It was delicious. :) 

I honestly don't know how to even begin to describe how I feel right now; and how the last 18 months of my life have been. I feel like I started my mission yesterday. That it was yesterday that I said bye to my family as I walked into the MTC to begin my training. Then it was last night that I landed in such a foreign land but however foreign to my mind it was ever so familiar to my heart.  I have absolutely loved my mission. With all my heart. It has been the most humbling experience of my entire life. Being reminded every single day of all of the weaknesses that I have, of so many things that are hard for me to do; and yet, God still loves me.  God doesn't love us because of our perfections, because they lack. But rather, God loves us because of our weaknesses, because we continue to work, we continue to try. It is through our weaknesses that God can see the affect of His Son's Atonement, as our weak things become strong. I am so grateful for my Savoir Jesus Christ and for His Atonement. I feel as though my knowledge has grown so much of the Atonement, and at the same time I have realized how little I know of the Atonement...but from what I do understand, I am filled with a never-ending gratitude for my brother and for what He did for me. I know that Christ lives. I know that He did so much for us because of His love for us and for His Father. I have been so blessed to have been able to teach people about Christ. To teach people of the happiness and the joy that comes from coming closer to Jesus Christ. I am going to miss this. Every day for the past week, as I wake up in the morning I feel this pang in my heart of knowing that it is coming to an end so soon. I am going to miss putting on this wonderful name tag every day. I am going to miss this wonderful place and these amazing people. But, I am so grateful that God has seen fit to send me to my promised land and to put so many amazing people in my life. I am blessed more than I deserve, but I am so grateful for God's mercy and for His love that He has blessed me so much. I know that my mission is not over. Yes, my mission as a full-time missionary is coming to an end; but my mission as a disciple of Jesus Christ is never going to end. It is only the beginning. I know this church is true. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and for the power that we can feel as we read that amazing and holy book. I am so grateful that the priesthood is restored. The Priesthood is Restored! That is why we are different, and that is why we are the true church. Without the priesthood being restored, we are just another church. But because the priesthood is restored, it needs to be told to all the world! God lives and Jesus is His Son. It is only through Christ that we are able to live such a wonderful life! Words will never express how I feel about this Gospel, and about my Savoir and Redeemer. But I want you to know, that I say with all of my heart and energy and love that I know. I know that what I have taught people for the last 18 months is true. I know it is true. 

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! Smile lots serve lots and treasure trials! I will see you this weekend. :) 

Motra Zollinger