Monday, April 25, 2016

Letter # 59 - The Best Law of Chasity Lesson Yet - April 25, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

Sorry, last week I totally spaced on emailing. I ended up watching a lot of Bible videos and basically falling asleep at the computer place-it was a long week so I was a little tired. But, I am a little more awake today. 

This week was a miracle week! I really enjoyed this week. They keep getting better and better here in Tirana. 

I will share a quick funny story before getting onto to the more spiritual part of the week. This last week, we had a lesson with our 10 year old investigator named Gabriela. We were teaching her the Law of Chasity-so we are just basically saying "Dress modestly, treat your body like a temple, and act nicely." 

Then she interrupts us and says, "Michael Jackson-he didn't keep the Law of Chasity. He didn't dress modestly or love his body like a temple. He didn't like his body and so he changed the color of it and cut off his nose and got new hair. If we all love our bodies, we won't die like Michael Jackson did." 

My companion and I were laughing so hard. It was the best Law of Chasity lesson I've taught on my mission.

I want to share a little experience that happened this last week that was really neat. But a little prelude to the story-I used to think missionary work was kind of miracle after miracle. That you walk form building to building, knocking on doors and although you do face rejection-you find that golden family who join the church and get baptized two weeks later. And missions are miracles after miracles-but they are miracles that I wasn't really expecting. 

I've learned that God's plan is so much better for us then what we could ever plan for ourselves and we are just instruments in that enormous plan. One of the best parts about a mission is realizing that the baptisms are really not the miracles-that the little changes, the little ways you see the Lord working with you day to day are the most amazing things.

This last Saturday-we had 3 lessons planned for the afternoon. We were hoping to get a hold of the Bishop's daughter for 2 of the lessons because we were meeting with a lady that she knew. Anyways, we called the Bishop who was a work-so there was no way he was going to be able to tell his daughter we needed her help. 

But we are sitting in the church, teaching another lesson and all the sudden the Bishop's daughter walks in and says, "Hey, I was waiting for some people and they never came so I just came to the church because I didn't know what else to do."

My companion and I just stared at each other in disbelief. The Lord literally sent us exactly who we needed in that moment. It might seem like a small thing-but for us it wasn't.

There are other things that happened this week-similar to this story. I was just amazed at how much God really watches out for His children.

I am certain that He has plans for all of us, and no matter how much we think we have messed up there is still always time to fix it all and get back on track.

Life as a missionary is awesome. I love you all!
Motra J 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

More Pictures - April 18, 2016

Our P-Day Adventure

Awesome Albanian Grandmas we did a service project with...

Yes, I am wearing Nike's.  My feet are completely falling apart!

Our Awesome District

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Letter # 58 - April 11, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

Again the wave of forgetfulness washes over me every time I try to write my weekly email. The one thing I did remember was to attach a picture of my favorite traditional food, stuffed peppers. It is proof, that missions can change people. Someone like me, who would have gagged, cried, then gagged some more to eat something like that, now loves food like that. Missions really can change people.

Well, what has been happening in my beautiful city of Tirana? Everything happens here! We are still working with Gabriella who is 10 and should be getting baptized in a two weeks. I have never had more fun teaching someone before, and we the lessons that we usually are nervous to give-Word of Wisdom and Law of Chasity are a breeze! 

One of the ways my testimony was strengthened this week was through prayer. It seemed like everything I prayed for, or we prayed for together worked out.
-We prayed outside a less actives house, that she would be inside and she was! 
-We prayed for what training we should give in Zone Training and we gave the exact training of the spiritual thought.
-I prayed to know what I should do about a certain thing, and about 5 hours later a Sister said something that was the exact answer to my prayer.
-We prayed to know what bus to use and we found the house we needed to find
-We prayed as we were running late to a lesson that the girl wouldn't be waiting at that church-and she ended up being late as well
On my mission, I have realized that God hears every prayer. It doesn't mean always mean he answers it the way we want, but I have seen that if I have just a little of patience, later I can see that He was planning something way better. Sometimes, I am just so overwhelmed that every little prayer I say, He helps me! It makes me grateful knowing that with all of His children, he is concerned for us individually. 

Missions are great. Albania is great. Albania is the only place where a old random grandmas in church can kiss and pinch my cheeks and call me "cookie" and I actually feel loved. Life is good and I hope and pray for all of you every day! You mean the world to me.

Motra J 

Also, we met the American Ambassador at a Zone Lunch! 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Letter # 57 - April 4, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

I am loving Tirana. I didn't think I would like being a big city, but there is so much to do and see and I am just loving it here! We spent the first couple of days trying to walk everywhere, and then on Wednesday we looked like little old grandmas because our feet hurt so bad. We are now slowly attempting to figure out the bus system. It has been eventful to say the least. The best part about being here is we aren't the strangest people on the street! So less people stare at us.

Funny moment of this week, we were teaching a Restoration lesson. We showed the 20 minute Joseph Smith video to her, and it was the end of a long day and as we switched the light off, I couldn't help just falling asleep. I totally passed out for the whole movie, but right when it was ended, I jerked awake, "And yes...I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet!" 

Anyways, this week has been awesome. One cool story, we are teaching a little 10 year old girl named Gabriella and she reads the Book of Mormon more than most older people. But we were teaching her the Plan of Salvation this week, and I was just so amazed at how well she was taking everything and how she just accepted everything we said. It reminded me that we are supposed to become like little kids-like it says in the scriptures. They are the sweetest ever and I have loved being able to teach them.

Missionary work is just awesome, like I say every other week. But there is an element of missionary work that I especially love. We plan every night at 9 pm. We have every hour planned out, we will be somewhere doing something. But then the next day, when we leave the house at 10 am-something totally different happens. We "coincidentally" run into people on the street, we manage to find the right house or be on the right bus, the Spirit prompts us to talk to someone. And this goes on until the end of the day so that when we come home at 9 pm, we can't help but say, "What happened today?"

I was reading this scripture and realized it answered how missionary work goes everyday...

"But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

That has been my mission in one sentence....being a witness everyday that there is Supreme Creator and he is working things out better than we could ever realize.

I love you all! 

Motra J