Monday, 29 September 2014

Transfer Madness

Hello everyone!
So, out of the e-mails I got.. I wanna say thank you all for caring! Yeah.. This whole health thing.. Sucks. I seriously am so frustrated. Being sick as it is sucks as it is.. But as a missionary you just feel like a worthless piece of crap. Haha, not actually.. But everyone has been telling me to go 50% and to take it easy and everything like that, but it's super hard. I hate it so much, I hate sitting and being like.. okay everyone else, have fun being real missionaries!!! Ugh! So dumb!! Anyway.. don't worry, I'm fine. Everyone takes super good care of me. President Weidmann is really good at calling me and texting me and checking up on me. 
I have to admit it was super cool to talk to the area doctor and hear that he had talked to Uncle Greg.. So rad, our family is famous. Haha.. but, I feel bad I wish that people weren't getting worked up about things and stuff. For me, the harder part is just not being able to do what I'm supposed to do. So, we'll get everything figured out and it'll all be good. Whatever. 
So.. last night was transfer calls. I was basically just excited because I was waiting to hear where everyone else would be going and stuff because we thought it was a known thing that I would be staying in 4th ward and training a new missionary. So.. President calls last night and he's like "Sister Vermunt, you're being transferred!" I was like.. what! Sister Pitcher was pretty shocked too.. because she started packing like 2 weeks ago. It was super funny, because he told her that she was staying in 4th. But yes.. I have been transferred to Tirana 3rd ward. So.. yeah. What. I love these people.. I don't feel like I'm ready to leave these people and stuff. People say that 3rd ward is a pretty difficult area. I'm going to join a sister that was just trained this last transfer.. Her name is Sister Coleman. I've heard good things.. So, I'm hoping that it's good. 

It's pretty hard for me to believe that my second transfer is over. It was both long and short at the same time. I learned a TON. Seriously.. I was writing in my journal the other day and I made a list of the things that I've gained.. I'm so grateful! Honestly, there were aspects of my transfer that really were so frustrating and difficult for me. But, it's unreal how much I learned. I'm so grateful. 

I'm so sorry.. I don't have too much to write today. Don't worry about me.. I'm living. The Lord loves us! I miss you all. 
Sister Vermunt

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Colds & Kidney Stones

Happy Monday everybody!

I hope this e-mail finds you all well and happy.. this past week for us Tirana 4th ward Sisters has definitely been a trying one.

So.. Sister Pitcher came down with a cold this week.. So literally we were pretty much in the house. all. week. I thought I was going to go INSANE. She slept a lot during the day because at night she couldn't really sleep.. So, I listened to talks, cleaned the house and learned Albanian words like all week.. Also, lots of calls were made to other missionaries so that I could stay sane. Honestly, it was really hard.. I feel like at any other time in my life I would have loved an excuse to chill at home in my PJ's all day.. But out here, I was like.. I don't even feel like a missionary anymore. I just wanted to go out and do stuff. It was super hard for me. 

But, a highlight of the week was that on Wednesday we had zone training and President Weidmann was there. The zone training was 7 hours! But I absolutely loved it. Seriously.. I have one of the best mission presidents ever. I have never met someone that exudes the Spirit as much as him. He's incredible. Everything that he does is with so much love for us and for the work and for the the Lord and it's just so inspiring. His example is amazing. My companion and I both noticed how he treats his wife. Seriously you guys, it's the cutest thing I've ever seen. He is always so concerned about her and whether she's comfortable or taken care of and he just treats her with this gentle kindness and every time I watch him do those little things for her I'm just like.. okay.. I want to marry someone like you. You're awesome. Anyway.. I love my mission president. 

So, it comes to Friday and Sister Pitcher had to sleep in again because she didn't sleep the night before.. and I just kind of sat on the couch and felt like I was up to my eyeballs with feelings of inadequacy and uselessness as a missionary. Seriously, I felt so guilty. Whether it was in my control or not.. It felt terrible. I just wanted to cry. So.. Sister Pitcher wakes up and we eat some breakfast. Toast and hot chocolate to be precise.. and about 20 minutes after eating I was like.. I think I'm going to be sick.. So yep. I got sick again! I was like.. no. I did this whole stomach flu thing last week.. I'm not doing this again! But I felt so nauseous so I was like.. okay, I'm going to go lie down and then we are leaving this house. Seriously. So, I took a nap.. which wasn't really a nap because I felt like death on a Popsicle stick.. and then I get up out of bed.. and I literally felt like I had been run over by a truck. My entire core just felt so tight and hurt so bad, my head was pounding and stuff and then I went to talk to Sister Pitcher and she was like "WHAT!" I looked in the mirror and my eyes were totally bloodshot. It was FREAKY. So.. she called the mission nurse.. Sister Andrews was like.. um, yeah I have no idea. So we decided that if I didn't feel better throughout the afternoon that I ought to go to the hospital.

I was absolutely determined not to go. So.. we left the house FINALLY :) We went and watched the Restoration with one of the Elders' investigators.. and seriously throughout that movie I just wanted to fold in half my back killed so bad.. I was like what is this nonsense. Then there was a baptism for 3rd ward after.. So that was nice.. But during the baptism the senior couple told me to go home and I wanted to throw a huge fit because I hate my house right now because I'd been in it all week.. Haha, so Sister Pitcher and I are about to leave and we're talking to Elder Rawlings and he's like.. Sister Vermunt, I'm taking you to the hospital. So.. much to my dismay.. the 4 of us go out to the Greek Hospital. It's a nice place. A lot nicer than the Foothills, let me tell ya! So they took some tests and stuff.. did some ultrasounds.. and they found that I have sediments and stuff in my kidneys. So, Mom and Dad.. don't freak out. I'm fine.. Don't you dare call the mission home or anything like that. Haha I have all my medications and things. My favourite ones to take are the pain killers.. I like those ones a lot :) So.. yeah.. this week.. Not my favourite. 

But, from all the talks I read and things I learned a lot of great things.. Developed my spirituality and things like that.. So, there's a plus. But seriously.. We're way taken care of here. Within minutes of hearing that I was ill and in the hospital President was on the phone with Sister Pitcher and things like that. So, yeah. Anyway.. gotta keep things interesting right? So.. each day I've been told to drink 5L of water.. Which I feel is absolutely impossible. But I'm working on it. 

I love you all!! Also.. I'm so excited to hear about the fact that I have a new niece.. I am not pleased, however.. that none of you have sent me pictures. PLEASE send me some.. It's hard not knowing anything that's going on over there! 

With much love from Tirana, 
Sister Vermunt 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Just another week

Hey everybody!

So, I'm going to start out and apologize if this e-mail is totally lame because honestly.. I don't even know where this week went and I feel like nothing happened!! It's so weird. 

As things become more familiar to me out here in Albania with the language and the area and things like that time has just really picked up.. missionary life doesn't seem weird anymore, it's just.. life. But, after last week being so rough, Sister Pitcher and I knew that something needed to change. So, in our weekly planning session last Friday we decided that before we placed any goals for our weekly key indicators we would pray about that number and ask the Lord if it was according to His will. It was a really neat experience for us as a companionship. There were some goals that we placed and I was like.. there's no way that's happening. But those ones were the goals that we made.. almost perfectly, some we even exceeded!! It was such a testament to me of the power of the Lord and the fact that this is HIS work and He all things can be done through dependence on Him. 

Our work right now is kind of in the middle, it's not crazy fast but not slow either. I'm grateful for the investigators that we have. But things are a little stagnant at this point in time.. I'm looking forward to a fresh week to be able to really put my head down and work harder. I know that the Lord gives us our difficulties every now and again so that we might more fully depend on Him and seek His direction. We definitely humble ourselves when we realize this work is impossible to do without His help every day. Our recently baptized investigator, File, is doing amazing! She came to an area broadcast for the Relief Society and she just LOVED it. She's doing so great and now we're teaching her son and her other daughter wants to get baptized as well! I know that as we teach people as families it is such a blessing because they can strengthen one another and really be examples to each other. It's our goal that our converts can one day go to the temple and make those sacred covenants with their families and be sealed together for eternity. Nothing would bring me more joy than to see that with the people I've worked with. 

I went on an exchange this week with our STL's. Sister Boettinger came down to 4th ward with me and Sister Pitcher went up to 1st ward. Sister Boettinger is from Kitchner, Ontario so it was fun to have another little Canadian with me. We went out to a farm and went to do "service". Which actually turned into us standing around.. waiting to have something to do and then being fed lunch. I was really hoping to be able to milk the cow.. But what do you do. Anyway.. this house has TONS of flies.. Seriously, I've never seen more flies in my life. I don't even know. But, she fed us lunch.. Which was soup, some chicken and some cake. So nice.. but.. kinda scary.. and guess what.. the next night. I was sick. Like, so sick.. So, I went to church on Sunday and one of the Elders was like.. "You look awful." I seriously was a whole other level of pale. Pretty ridiculous. But, yeah.. so all of Sunday we stayed in the house and I wished for death. But, the Elders came over at the end of the night and gave me a blessing. I'm actually not feeling nauseous today.. Just really sore from throwing up so much. Was it the food from the farm.. I'd like to say no.. But I'm not gonna rule it out. Haha. Man.. 

So, I mentioned a little while ago that I've been on this kick about changing and about character and things like that. I really want to develop into the person Heavenly Father needs me to be. I'm still studying that a lot and trying to be aware of the weaknesses of my character that I need to enhance. I've really enjoyed the things that I've learned.. But my friend James Clark sent me an e-mail this week and he said something that really hit me. He said, "we weren't called to this service because of what we have been or what we are. We are called because of what we will become." I think that the more that we all consider that we have the potential to become so much more than we currently are, we enable ourselves to progress at an accelerated rate and we allow the Lord to shape us in ways that can only be done through His divine power. I've learned that it's our personal responsibility to humble ourselves and invite the Lord into our hearts and give ourselves over to Him. I found this quote in a Book of Mormon manual, and it said "If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be." I know that this is true with each and every one of us and that our potentials extend beyond our understanding, it's our choice to become better.

I love you all and I hope that this week is a great one for all of you! Enjoy the snow. It's starting to cool down here and I could not be more grateful for that. 

With love from Tirana, 

Sister Vermunt

Monday, 8 September 2014

Well… Alrighty then

First off.. I'm super happy that the Stamps won the Labour Day game.. That's what I like to hear.

Roach problems
So.. this last week was ROUGH. Oh my goodness. I just don't even know how to explain it to you. The work was just.. difficult. Not cool. Seriously, after every stupid thing that would happen I would literally just be like.. "alright.. of course that happened." Haha, talk about a week of growing in patience. Seriously.. for example, this week one of our contacts called us and was like "Hey! Let's have a lesson! Do you have time today?" So, obviously I was so excited for this tender mercy. So we plan to meet and everything.. and then we try to call her because she was late and her phone was off.. I was like, oh come on. Haha.. and we tried calling her the rest of the week and she would just reject our calls each time. Not cool Mona.. Not cool. 

But yeah, the whole week passed that way. But hey.. It happens and I'm pretty sure it's just something that goes along with serving a mission. It was hard for me not to get frustrated sometimes, I was just like okay.. what am I doing wrong?? What's the problem here. Accompanied with a few other frustrations I was just not even sure that I was gonna make it through the week without having a little freak out. But.. honestly, I can say that the Lord provided me with every strength that I needed in order to keep moving forward with a cheerful heart. The personal studies that I've had in the past week were some of the most spiritual experiences that I've had on my mission so far. I know that the Lord cares for every one of us and truly lightens our burdens when we depend on Him for everything that we need. I promise you that it's true. My testimony of that has truly grown in this past month as I experience different hardships in missionary life. 

One thing that I've really been focusing on this week is character. In our district meeting my district leader talked about change and using the Atonement to become the people that the Lord needs us to be. I really thought about that and took it to heart. I found a talk by Richard G. Scott that was so awesome. It's called "The Transforming Power of Faith and Character." I have learned so much from reading it and pondering the things that Elder Scott teaches. But I wanted to share with you my favorite quote. He said, " We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming." I really loved that. We need to consistently make the small efforts each day to improve the things we want to work on. We need to have that vision of what we want to be each day so that we can do the little things consistently until they become habits, until they become strengths of our character.
Electricity wires… impeccable organization.I can't imagine why there is so many problems?!

I'm hoping and praying that this upcoming week is a little bit easier and that things can fall together a little better. But I know that no matter how the week goes, the Lord will provide me with the ability to endure. I know that the Lord truly blesses us and He teaches us through giving us trials. When we are obedient and doing all the things that He asks of us, miracles truly do happen. I'm so grateful for the gospel and for all of your support. You guys are wonderful and I hope that everyone is doing well!

Until next week!

Motra Vermunt

Monday, 1 September 2014


Well hey there everyone.. 
I'd like to just start off by congratulating myself that I made it through the month of August. Haha.. am I being dramatic.. yes.. But seriously, I'm so grateful that it's finally September. I'm so sick of vacation month. 
I'm so glad to hear that everyone is doing so well, I love seeing pictures of people from home. It makes me so happy to see all the fun things y'all do. 
This past week also went by relatively quickly. But the most exciting thing is that our investigator File got baptized!!!!! She's seriously so awesome. We were working with her and making sure that she was all ready for her baptism and that was awesome. It's incredible to see the growth that people make in such a short amount of time. She's so incredible. Any appointment we have with her she is always early or like exactly on time.. and when we're talking about Albanian's.. that's saying something. She was so excited on the day of her baptism, as we were waiting for her to step into the font she was all jittery and excited it was so cute! It was such a great day. Her daughters and her grandson came to the baptism and then on Sunday when she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, she brought her 16 year old son! We're hoping to start teaching the rest of her family. I would love nothing more than to give her whole family the gospel. Ah! It was great. 
As far as our other work goes.. Things really have been quite slow. People have been unable to meet and a lot of things have just been coming up which makes it hard to really get people progressing and things like that. Sometimes it's hard to keep the faith when you look ahead and you don't see much there. But, I'm confident that the Lord always has miracles waiting for those who truly desire to do good and those who are willing to submit to His will. 
My testimony is growing in ways that I never would have imagined. If there's one thing I've learned in these past few weeks is that this work requires the Spirit all of the time. Without it you really cannot do anything. I've literally noticed a difference when I talk with people on days where I really feel the Spirit with me. They might not necessarily accept what I have to say but I truly have seen that more people stop, more people are friendly and willing to at least listen. It's a huge blessing and testament to the fact that the Spirit really is the teacher, not me. 
What else can I tell you... Oh! Yeah, this is super awesome.. We have a cockroach problem in our apartment. What. the. heck. Haha, I was like okay.. no. Haha not cool. Every night we come in and we kill a few. It's so not my favourite thing.. But whatever. Hopefully we'll deal with that quickly. Seeing as there is a very good chance I'm staying her next transfer too.. I don't want to be roommates with those little buggers anymore.
I dyed Sister Pitcher's hair this week. So, that was fun. She needed a little pick me up so we went and bought some hair dye and it looks good. She felt so much better after. Okay, I get that we're sister missionaries and it shouldn't matter.. But I truly believe that a change in hairdo really can work miracles. We had a good time doing that so that was fun. 
Well, I miss you all! A few people mentioned that I've almost reached the halfway point of my mission and that is completely absurd to me.. I don't even know how that's possible! I feel like before we even know it I'll be on the plane ride back home. Ah, I don't even like to think about that. This past week I've really noticed how much I truly love this place. It's absolutely absurd and frustrating sometimes.. But these people are so incredible and I'm so lucky to be here and to be able to serve with the missionaries that I serve with. Seriously, I love being here. 
Alright, that's all I got for ya this week! Have a good one!!
Motra Vermunt