Monday, January 20, 2014

365 Days of Learning

Hey Everyone!! 
Thank you so much this last week with your advice both in all of your emails. I hope that you all have received your reply. If not my sincere apologies for lack of time!! Things are really starting to look up in our area both with our work and relationship. I thought for a long time that it would never work out but the sun is beginning to shine again!! (in more than one way). We are inviting everyone to be baptized and most are accepting!! I have set a goal to invite 40 people to be baptized this transfer and so far we are at 6!! There is still a long way to go but we are up to the challenge! 
These past couple of weeks have been learning weeks full of a lot of different experiences. At times I feel like am orange being pressed into juice but I know that with a little bit of sugar everything will turn out lovely!! 
This week has been crazy since we were in a little earthquake (literally little- just enough to make your heart race), we taught a homeless man (who is so excited to be baptized, change his life, and receive the Priesthood), and taught a lesson in a fish shop (this is crazy in the fact that I really hate fish so it takes a lot of endurance to stay). There were other crazy things that happened but these take the list.  
One experience that really shook me for a little bit took place while we were tracting. Lately we have been searching for lost members and have had a lot of success at finding and teaching them (one came to church yesterday!!). In the process of looking for one, we ran into a man who had been Christian but converted and is now Muslim. This is very rare here in Albania because so many are Muslim. He actually was talking to us in English so I understood 100 percent of what he was saying. To make a long story short, he tried to convince us that Christianity is all a lie and that Christ was only a prophet and nothing else. He could not conceive the idea that Christ is the Son of God or that modern revelation is possible. This was so hard for me to hear and no matter how hard I tried to explain the doctrine of the Godhead or bear testimony he just kept tearing me down and beating my words into the ground. It reminded me of Alma trying to teach king Lamoni about God, except for this time his heart was not open to hearing what I had to say. It was very sad for me but a good testimony builder for me to be grounded on what I know  to be true. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is His Son and the Savior of the world. I know that there is no other alternative. This is my testimony and I will always know these things to be true. 
I love you all and am very grateful for your many prayers and advice for me.  
Til we meet again, 
Motra Hawkins

P.S. I just hit my year mark on the 16th. Isn't it crazy that it's already been a year since I saw you last??

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