Monday, March 28, 2016

Letter # 56 - March 28, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

Gezuar Pashket! Happy Easter! I hope that everyone had a great Easter in the States. It was a great Easter here. I have been here in Albania for a year this week! It has crazy how time has flown, and how much I have come to love this little country. 

Here for Easter, we all dyed eggs. We mostly dye them red in remembrance of the blood of Christ and we tap them against each other and whoever has the bigger crack in their egg has good luck for the rest of the year or something like that. 

But on Sunday, after a really crazy and long week we sat down and ate our little 2 dollar Easter meal of ham and potatoes and watched some Bible Videos. 

I was just so incredibly grateful for everything that the Savior had done for me yesterday. It is hard being a missionary sometimes, and for the last couple of weeks I have thought a lot about how hard missionary work is but yesterday I was just so happy to be a missionary. Because it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done! 

This last week, we had this amazing lesson with this woman who loved the "Hallelujah Video". She just starting crying and said, "I don't know how people just can't love Jesus Christ." Amen, sister.

Also, for those of who are wondering about my last transfer I am staying here in Tirane, 2nd and 4th ward with Sister Eliason. I am super excited to be here in the big city! 

I love you all! 

Motra J 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Letter # 55 - "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - March 14, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

I hope you enjoy the title of my email :)

This last week, we were out teaching the Restoration all day, every day. We were getting a little frustrated that no one seems to understand the need for the Restoration after a long night of Apostasy. It gets a little discouraging sometimes to be out all the time all day, when no one seems to understand that you aren't a JDUB or Catholic.

Then we got the new video for Easter with the new video-Hallelujah. I just want to say that although sometimes life gets a little hard, that the tomb was empty on the 3rd day. So we can be joyful knowing that someday everything will work out. 

Like Elder Holland said, "Whatever the question, the answer is always the gospel of Jesus Christ." I know that it is true. I am so grateful to be a missionary. Life is good-even when it is hard because we get to work with the Lord in His vineyard. 

Love, Motra Jackson 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Letter # 54 - March 7, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

This week was a great one. We got to see the new Easter video! One of the benefits of being a missionary is getting access to everything earlier. Since we don't get to watch movies, we get to see all the Church videos first. 

The new video is called "Hallelujah!" and it is amazing. It talks about Jesus Christ's resurrection and what it means for our families. We are so excited to show it to everyone.

This last week, we had an amazing lesson with 4 Muslim girls I had met on the street. We taught the Plan of Salvation and showed "Because He Lives" (last year's Easter video). Anyways, at the end I was certain that they would accept an invitation to be baptized. But they said, "No, we can't change our faith because are Muslim." 

The rest of the day I was upset, thinking about those Muslim girls and other problems. I realized later that all those things, their denial of baptism and other things were out of my control but I read this scripture in Nephi

"23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."

I love it when scriptures just speak to me! I felt like God was telling me to keep going and to worry about those things we can't control.

We also got to meet with President Weidmann this week and he said the same thing, "This is God's work not ours." So it was just a reminder for me to keep doing what God wants me to do-He has a bigger, better plan.

Well, I love you all. Miracles are real. God directs His Church here in Albania and I love being a part of it! 

Love, Motra J 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Letter # 53 - February 29, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

Everyone thinks we are nuns here. When we walk down the street, we are talking and every other sentence we tell people, "We aren't nuns!" or "We aren't Jehovah's Witnesses!" Then I was thinking about the missionaries in Utah, who can't go anywhere without people honking their horns or waving. What a different world! Someday people will understand who we are. 

This last week was a good one. Super rainy but good. We had a little testimony meeting yesterday for Fast Sunday and this little 11 year old got up and bore his testimony about the BOM. He started crying and it was so sweet. It reminds me that the Church is growing super slowly here, but the families that are in the Church will grow and grow. They are the pioneers here! 

One of the cool things about this week...we had a lesson planned so we took a member with us. During the lesson, one of the woman's friends unexpectedly showed up. I think she was more interested in the woman we were actually teaching. We were able to give her a BOM and she wants to meet with us again. She said, "I just feel so much stress in my life and I am just looking for peace." Over and over again, God has lead us to these people. Even when they don't get baptized, I am still certain that we were supposed to be meet them.

I am realizing more and more that missionary work is less of just baptizing (although it looks like that to people who haven't served), but more of doing what the Savior would do if he was here. He always taught, but he always served when he taught. So this last week as we took desserts to a nursing home, massaged an arthritic lady's hands, or taught a young mom how to read, I've realized those are statistics that can't be measured and reported. But when was it ever about statistics if Jesus would leave 99 to go after the 1? I just love being a missionary. 

Well, I love you all!! Zoti ju bekoft.

Motra J