Monday, 20 October 2014

A work of love

Hello again to my wonderful family and friends, 

This week was super busy and filled with so many things.. But it was a really great week. On Tuesday we had zone training and it was really good.. I love missionary meetings because they just get you pumped up to get out the door and be the best missionary you possibly can and just.. convert the whole world. During zone training we got a text from President saying, "Sister Vermunt, can you please come to the mission office at some point today." I felt like instantly nauseous.. It was like being called into the principals office or something. I instantly was like.. what have I done this week.. What have I done wrong.. But, it's all good because Doctor Greenwood was down visiting from Germany and wanted to see me. But seriously, scariest 2 hour waiting period ever. 

I'm feeling A LOT better, my pain is basically like all gone and I cannot even express how nice that is. I wake up in the morning and I'm so excited for that little 30 minute workout time that we have because I can actually do something now! Ah, so good. But yeah, I'm way happy about it. 

So.. this week was pretty crazy, and so amazing because Gena was baptized!!! Baptisms are great things.. I love them, but they're also super stressful. This week we went over to Gena's and talked to her about her baptism and she was like.. "Well, my new schedule for work 6:30-10:30 am and then from 3:00-7:00 pm." Our sacrament meeting is at 10:00 am.. So we were like PLEASE can you ask your boss to have Sunday mornings off, or get someone to cover you.. or something, we were just like pleading with her.. It was stressful. 

So, we left her house that day (like 2 days before her baptism) and were trying so hard to think of things that we could do to get her to the church as soon as possible.. We knew that she's totally prepared for her baptism though and she was SO excited and everything so we didn't want to push it off because of her work.. Here in Albania, bosses are not accommodating at ALL.. They know that everyone is just dying for work so they give people absolutely no leeway or anything. So, Sister Coleman and I went home and prayed so hard. We just prayed that her boss' heart would be softened and that she could be able to be there right on time in order to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

We called Gena that night.. and her boss said no. He wouldn't allow her to work at night or even allow her one less hour in the morning. I'm not going to lie, I was like.. What.. Why, Heavenly Father? This person is one of the most repentant souls I've ever met.. she's trying so hard, why?? I was disappointed. But, on Friday morning we had her baptism.. It was beautiful and she bore such a great testimony and she was just beaming she was so happy. She told us how when she first came to our church she told herself that she wasn't going to believe.. But the minute she prayed she knew in her heart that this church was the church of Jesus Christ.
This church is super sacred to Albanians, people have been healed here and things like that.

Then comes Saturday night and we are just like.. what is going to happen.. And we call Gena and she's like "I'll be at church at 10:00 in the morning! My husband is going to take my shift in the morning so that I can be there.. Oh and he wants to start having lessons with the missionaries, he wants to be baptized!" I don't think I've ever been so excited in my life! I was just like, oh my goodness!!!! What a blessing!! Her husband just saw that light and felt her genuine joy about being baptized. It was great, she was at church perfectly on time and she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. :) 

So, President Weidmann is incredible.. we had interviews with him this week and that was such a great opportunity to just talk to him and gain insight from him. He said that his goal is that his missionaries can have the same relationship with the Savior as the Savior did with His Father. I thought that was so profound, because if we have that relationship with the Lord we will only seek to do His will and only seek to do the things that please Him. President made some interesting changes in our mission this week.. One is that it is our mission policy now that Sister missionaries are the only ones to teach women. Any family or investigator that is not being taught with a male (husband or boyfriend or something) is to be given to the sisters. I was surprised because the fact of the matter is, girls are just way more accepting to listen and things like that. But I know that the President is so inspired and I can't imagine how great this will be that now Elders can focus their efforts on finding priesthood holders.

The other change that was made was that we have 7 things that we do at the end of the night when we plan for the next day. There's a few things but one of them is that we each read for 2-3 minutes out of the Book of Mormon. I LOVE doing this. It just brings in such a great spirit. What I do is just randomly open to any page in the Book of Mormon and read the first verse that catches my eye.. And it is literally always PERFECT for what I'm feeling or to describe that day. So, on Friday I opened to Alma 29:13 and it reads, 

"..and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full"

I wish that I could properly explain how much joy I have right now. I seriously, love my mission. Not because it's easy or that I'm seeing success in every way possible because there are still hard things. But honestly, I have never felt so much love for people before in my life. I just love being with them. My investigators and the members that I work with here are literally some of the most amazing people I've ever met. Everyday this past week we've gone to a baptism or activity with Ema, Trashegim, Aferdita and Illirjana and they are literally just like.. my people. I don't even know how to explain it. But I have SO much love for every person that I work with and I am just so happy. Truly, my joy is so full. And I just put it into the perspective of, if I know how much I love these people that I serve I cannot even try to comprehend how much love the Savior has for each of us. 

Gena and Trashegim!!! I love them so much

Sister Coleman and I are doing great together. I seriously love her. She's super sweet and kind and it's just so good to be with her. We both love these people and this work and it just.. works. I appreciate her SO much. Things are just really good right now. 

SJ Squared
We picked up two new investigators this week and they're twins. Their names are Sidorella and Besmira and they're so cute! They're here for school and they have a Catholic background but they're on a baptismal date for November 22nd. They came to church on Sunday and really liked it! And they came to a baptism and brought their boyfriends.. It was super exciting! Great things are happening in Tirana 3rd ward.. Seriously. 

I hope that everyone at home is happy and healthy, I love you all. Talk to you next week!

I love these missionaries so much
Motra Vermunt

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