3 Nephi 5:13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Beary Happy

Hello everyone!! This week has been a crazy one, but a fun one!! Motra Suko and I have been having a BLAST training Motra Hysa! She is from Vlorë, Albania and has incredible language skills ;) She is so excited to serve her people and I am honestly so blessed to work with her! She has been a convert of just 3 years as 3 years ago, her brother came home with a Book of Mormon and she LOVES to read so she was like, "Look! A new book!" She starts reading and goes to church. While she didn't understand a LOT of things, one thing kept bringing her back and that was the peace that she felt. She eventually came to know that this church was true and was baptized and has been preparing for a mission ever since! She is incredible! It's definitely been a lot of fun in this trio :)

Culture Shocks of the Week:
1. BEAR WORLD! Some animals you can find here in Kosovo are bears so we went out to Prishtina to Bear World to see all these bears that have been rescued.
2. Prishtina is a huge city here in Kosovo that LOVES America haha there's like a statue of liberty there in the center of the city. It was fun to see :)
3. VALLE DANCING! So the perks of having an Albanian companion is that after a long, tiring day, we break out into dance back in our apartment. Motra Hysa taught us Albanian Populore (Traditional) dance called Valle. It's a line dance where everybody joins hands and there are these off-beat steps and hops and all kinds of things. It is so fun!

So this week Motra Suko and I went out to Tirana to pick up Motra Hysa and ever since then, we have been out finding, working, and doing all we can to serve the Lord. It has been so fun! We have met with so many people going door to door and talking to everyone and have had some incredible lessons! Something I have loved is how much Motra Hysa truly can connect to these people here! That has been something super special to see! We are also teaching this girl who is preparing to get baptized this week so we are so excited! 

This past week I have been reading in Jesus the Christ and as I read about Christ's suffering, I was impacted at how much He truly suffered for US! For you! For me! After an evening with His apostles at the last supper, He went and suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. Right after that, He was betrayed after being sold for the price of a slave from one of His apostles, Judas Iscariot. After that, He went through completely illegal, inhumane trials all night and was sentenced to death because of the cry of the people! He suffered on the cross because He LOVES us! This is so real! While His death was such a sacrifice for us, He is risen! He was resurrected after 3 days and is risen. He lives! If you're wondering why we don't bear the cross, it is because it is the fact that He lives that we focus on! It is the hope for the future, the hope for tomorrow, and the hope that through Christ we can do all things that we focus on. The way we live; the way we act; the way we serve is how we display our faith in Christ. He lives and He truly is there for us! As we shared this video (https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/he-is-risen?lang=eng) with the girl that we are teaching this last week, I could see how she was impacted. Her family is Muslim but she is excited to follow His example and be baptized this week. I know that He is Hope. He is everything that is good. It is through Him that I can do all things. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all and hope you have a WONDERFUL week!!

Getting ready to pick up our trainee Motra Hysa :)

My CUTE companions: Motra Suko and Motra Hysa.



My mission president and his wife with us in Tirana.


We went up to see the statue where Elder Oaks dedicated the nation of Albania to the declaring of the gospel of Jesus Christ that I saw on my first day! It was so special! We read the dedicatory prayers of all 3 countries.

We had a young women activity making a wedding dress out of toilet paper. It was a SUCCESS!!!

We did some service picking up the trash in the streets here in Gjakova.

Maria had a BIRTHDAY!!

Me and the birthday girl!!

We saw this sign on someone's door tracting and left them a Word of Wisdom pamphlet letting them know, "We believe the same thing!!" haha


BOSTON in Prishtina!!!

The statue of liberty in Kosovo. I love it!


Motra Hysa and I entering bear world.


​Bear hug ;)









​BEAR WORLD :)

-- 
Mirupafshim! Të dua!
Motra Olsen

Letters:
Adriatic South Mission
Sister Natalie Olsen
POB 2984
Bulevardi "Gjergj Fishta"
Qendra "Alpas", Shkalla #5, Apt #14
Tirana
Albania

(If you can't send it with the POB box number, you can just send it without it. I'll still get it)

Monday, August 7, 2017

I'M TRAINING!!!

Hello everyone!! So as I was hiking the BEAUTIFUL Valbona hike today in Albania, I received a call from my president that my companion and I are going to be training a new missionary! She's from Albania and if you remember Anxhela....I skyped her in the MTC to have her help me with Albanian!! I am SO EXCITED!!! We are about to head out back to Albania to head to Tirana and pick her up so I don't have a lot of time today but like always...

Culture Shocks of the Week:
1. I'm going to be a mission "mom"!! (Meaning: I'm TRAINING a new missionary!!!(
2. THE MOUNTAINS here!! They are absolutely stunning! We went out to Valbona which is a famous site in Albania so I made sure to get tons of pictures :)
3. We went out to this city, Peja, this week and as we went into the city, we saw all these kids racing around on scooters around the center. It was the funniest thing!

So a special opportunity that we have here in Gjakova is that we help not only the members in the city of Gjakova, but also the members in another city Peja. Kosovo has just been opened for 5 years and a few years ago, Peja was opened but now it's closed. We get to go out to that city and visit the people out there. A special moment we had was actually bringing the Sacrament to the home of a family there. I felt such a peace and warmth as we sat around this little coffee table and the Sacrament was prepared and passed by the Elders. I just looked around and saw how at peace all the people were in that humble home. It was truly a special experience.

I just wanted to share with you a scripture that has impacted me this week: 3 Nephi 9:14 in the Book of Mormon says, "Yea, verily say unto you, if ye will come unto me yshall have eternal lifeBehold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoevewill come, him will receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."
I love this scripture and I have shared it a lot with the people here in Kosovo! Christ truly invites us always to come unto Him and He is just waiting to bless us, to embrace us, but we need to accept Him into our lives. We had a lady who has been feeling such guilt and fear for her future. We just shared with her this scripture and she just felt such a peace. Christ is ALWAYS reaching out to us. I love my Savior and He has always been here for me. When I feel helpless, hopeless, I pray and immediately I feel His embrace. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you tons!! Have a wonderful week!!!



This is my favorite.

We went out to eat at this restaurant and had the view of Gjakova!!

An advertisement for phone minutes...this is my favorite because when you have extra minutes, you can talk to your mom longer.




VALBONA!!!!




A waterfall at Valbona! Makes me think a little bit about Paradise Falls from Up :)





​I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!
-- 
Mirupafshim! Të dua!
Motra Olsen

Letters:
Adriatic South Mission
Sister Natalie Olsen
POB 2984
Bulevardi "Gjergj Fishta"
Qendra "Alpas", Shkalla #5, Apt #14
Tirana
Albania

(If you can't send it with the POB box number, you can just send it without it. I'll still get it)

Monday, July 31, 2017

HEY THIS IS NATALIE!!!

Hello everyone! I want to start off saying how my I LOVE GJAKOVA!! This place is honestly my new home and I love everything about it! Kosovo is SO special and I have a new family here! I don't even know where to begin! I want to share a little bit more about my companion Motra Suko: She is half German so I'm learning a little German (that's a joke. I still got a lot to learn in Albanian haha) and lives in Austria. She is super fun, knows a lot about essential oils (now I'm obsessed) and shares with me my obsession with peanutbutter so it's perfect :)

 

Culture Shocks of the Week:

1. First off: My face. I'll tell you why haha Gjakova is the place for weddings. People travel from ALL over: Switzerland, Germany, Albania, and all over Kosovo to Gjakova to have their weddings (or Dasmas) So there are always a line of cars with ribbons honking through the streets with people hanging out of the windows. There are beauty salons on EVERY corner to prepare all the brides and the nights are just blasting with music. It's super fun to be here during wedding season! So my companion and I needed to experience a little bit of the culture....we went into a beauty salon today and said, "Make us a bride" (Më bën një nuse) The girls LOVED it and let's just say I'm in shock. you can tell how huge the weddings are based off of my makeup.....so fun! 

2. The kids in the streets here play night games! It is so fun to be heading home at night and seeing all of these kids running through the streets playing their games.

3. We have been doing a LOT of tracting here and what I love about Gjakova that I haven't really seen in Albania is neighborhoods!! It's in the newer part of Gjakova built after the war.

 

So our days usually consist of appointments falling through and we end up going out and talking with everyone whether that be through tracting (house to house) or street contacting. I honestly have come to love it so much. We went out contacting yesterday and the people here are just incredible and I love talking with so many people but also sharing with them our Heavenly Father's love for them! It truly has been a special experience! Other than that, our little branch is super close with each other because we have about 7 active members. It has been such a blessing getting to know them and growing closer to them. We have been having little activities like playing volleyball and reading the Book of Mormon together and honestly these people here are my family!

 

I just wanted to share something with you that become real for me this past week. As I've been going and talking with so many people, there are a lot of Muslims here and they don't know a lot about Christ. As I have been developing a relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ, I desire others to have that too!  My entire life I have felt a connection to my Father in Heaven as I have treasured prayer. We pray to our Heavenly Father in Christ's name but I didn't feel as connected to Christ until my Senior Year. I then realized that that is how the people are here. They have a strong belief in God! Understanding more about God helps us understand why Christ was sent and why He sacrificed for us! God is our literal Father in Heaven. The means: He created us! We are His children. He is the Father of our Spirits but we are sent to earth to have the blessing of receiving a body as He has. He resides in Heaven and watches over us and does all that He can to bless us and to care for us because He is our Father! To know that I am a daughter of God is a way that I realize my worth and even if the world tells me otherwise. You are a child of God! He love YOU so much SO THAT He sent His Son, Jesus Christ so we have a light and a way in this life to grow, to experience joy, and to become like Him! All He wants is to bless us and give us all that He has just like any other parent or parental figure would. Sharing with the people here who God truly is has helped me come to know more of who I am, and who I truly am. We are children of God. We have a way to happiness and that hope is tangible because Christ's love is real. All that Christ does is according to the Father's will. Therefore, if we come to know Christ through becoming like Him and following His example, we come to know God, our Father in Heaven who loves us with all that He is.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Tell yourself in the mirror everyday that you are a Child of God because you are of worth. You are divine! Come to know Christ and you will come to know your Heavenly Father. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!


The sign for this meat shop is not big enough... :)


The church here in Gjakova.



Typical... :)


Your typical wedding car.


Loving the sun here in Gjakova :)





MY GIRLS! These are some members in the branch.

Tracting in the neighborhoods :) No I am not wearing white shoes.


BEFORE


AFTER! This is honestly how an Albanian bride looks like!

Me and my companion :)

The sweet girls that did our makeup.

Yes we look like dolls....I'm pretty afraid myself hahaha

​There was a fan and everything for the effects :)





-- 
Mirupafshim! Të dua!
Motra Olsen

Letters:
Adriatic South Mission
Sister Natalie Olsen
POB 2984
Bulevardi "Gjergj Fishta"
Qendra "Alpas", Shkalla #5, Apt #14
Tirana
Albania

(If you can't send it with the POB box number, you can just send it without it. I'll still get it)