Monday, May 30, 2016

Letter # 64 - May 30, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

The summer heat has finally begun. To all of you future missionaries, let me just say that missionary work is not always the most romantic thing. Sometimes you lose 5 pounds in day just by sweating. (Definitely not something they teach in the MTC)

But life goes on, and so does missionary work. We had a great week.We had a lesson with a girl we had met on the street, and she starts crying in the middle of it. She turns to us and says, "Why am I even telling you this? I just met you." Of course, we is the SPIRIT.

It is just so interesting to see the way people react when they come in contact with that. I've realized more and more that we do nothing-just invite the Spirit to be there with us. Then people have their own choice to accept or reject that.

I love you all and want you to know how grateful I am for the gospel. 

Motra J 

Letter # 63 - May 23, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

Eni got baptized this week! It was one of the best baptisms I have seen on my mission. It was the best. She got up and bore her testimony about feeling trapped, not knowing where to go. But since she has found the church, she talked about finally finding that release.

D&C 123
 12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

Wow, I can't really express in writing what is it is like to see someone get baptized, but I think it is a small equivalent of how God feels every single day, watching His children grow and blessing them. There is really nothing better or more important than sharing the gospel. 

I love you all.

Motra J 

Our Apartment

Letter # 62 - May 16, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

It was a good week. We managed to avoid bad food, alcoholic drinks, and for the most part the crazy people of Tirana. But somehow every week they manage to find us on the buses. We don't quite blend in as Americans.

Our investigator, Eni, came to church this last week and got up in Relief Society telling all the sisters how lucky they are to have the gospel and how they need to share it with everyone around them. She has only known the church for about 2 months now, but the change that it has made in her life is dramatic. 

I am so grateful for my mission every passing day, the things that it teaches me and how it testifies to me every day that Christ lives and loves us.

I love you all. 

Motra J 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Letter # 61 - We've Got the Power - May 9, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

First off, I want to say Happy Mother's Day yesterday. I hope that you all had an amazing day-especially my mom who is the best.

Can I just say that I love missionary work? It is the best. This last week, we had to give a training in Zone Conference. Sister Eliason and I started planning on Thursday night-and our training happened to be on Friday morning. (Yes, we procrastinated just a little bit). But we sat there going through every Holland talk, watching inspiring Mormon Messages, reading random scriptures just trying to think of something to inspire the missionaries. We were pretty stumped at what we should say.

I can't remember exactly how the idea finally came to us, but we were reflecting on a past experience about two weeks ago when we were confronted by a less than happy father who didn't want his children to learn about the Gospel. Sister Eliason said, "There were two parts of me-one was the scared American girl who was only 20 years old but the other part of me was the missionary." That second part that helps us realize God doesn't ever leave his missionaries alone.

So, we ended up giving our training about the power that we have as missionaries. We were set about to have the authority-but our power depends on us. Just like a superhero-we can choose to exercise those powers to make the world a better place for those around us. Or we can let our kryptonites-disobedience get in the way.

I've realized that nothing is more powerful that a testimony from a missionary. I don't say that because I am a missionary, but just because for a short time we are the representatives of the Lord and He helps us out a little more. (We really need his help.)

Anyways, missionary power is awesome! I love being a part of His work! 

I love you all.

Motra J 

We went ice skating today :) And yes I am the shortest one in my district hahaha. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Letter # 60 - May 2, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

Soooo....I am just going to apologize now that my emails are going to get shorter each week. But this week was awesome. Like all the weeks on my mission, things are just getting better.

We saw a lot of miracles this week. I have one of those missionaries stories to share with you this week.....

About two weeks ago, we forgot our umbrellas and coats and it was a downpour of rain and it was 8 pm and we were super tired, wet, and cold. We got on the bus to go back to our house and my companion starts talking to this lady on the left. She tells us that she is looking for true happiness in her life.

Yesterday we actually got to have a lesson with her. We read from Moroni 7 with her,

Moroni 7 
40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?

 41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

We then talked about the power of hope with her. I just thought it was so neat-that we found this lady at the last part of the day, when we really didn't want to talk to anyone. 

There is a line in "Praise to the Man" that I really have come to believe, "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." It is so true.

Well, I love you all.

Motra J 

Also, we watched this video at Zone Conference and I thought it was hilarious...maybe I have been a missionary too long, but this song is sooooo true. I loved it.