Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fwd: Letter #3 - 4/17/13

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 3:53 PM
Subject: Letter #3 - 4/17/13

Dearest darlingest Mumsie and Popsicle, (quote from "Wicked," the best musical ever...)
Hello! Good news... emailing got extended to 60 minutes every P-Day instead of just 30! Definitely less stressful for me. Still not a ton of time, but it's better!
Well, another week gone by. Not particularly the best week... I've been pretty sick with a sore throat, cough, congestion, lost voice, and all that good stuff. But I got some drugs from the doc and things are looking up. There's nothing quite like illness to make you grateful for your health. If you wouldn't mind praying for me to get (and stay) better, that would be much appreciated.
Last week I was feeling a little stagnant in my progress here, with the language and gospel and everything. We stay so busy here, but it's easy to lose productivity amidst the busy-ness if you're not careful. Or in my case, I think I just wasn't taking the time to decide what I wanted to be learning and then making steps to learn it. So anyway, since last Thursday I've been making goals for every day and planning every bit of study that I have, and things have been WAY better. I know what I want, and I plan how to acheive it, and then I do it! It's neat being in an environment that is constantly pushing you to do and be better, and yet not being overwhelmed by it. That's a hard balance to acheive, but I think that's usually how it is when we have the Spirit with us: we want to change and improve (and we do), and yet we're not devastated about the state we're currently in. Change is a wonderful thing, and I love that the Atonement makes improvement and progression possible by moving us forward while forgiving our past.
Oh, here's some funny stories from my district. Our district motto is YOSO -- "You Only Serve Once!" (a spoof off of the modern "eat, drink, and be merry" YOLO phrase [You Only Live Once]). I think it's hilarious. Also, since I'm the oldest one in the district (a whoppin 21 years old! - ancient, I know), they've taken to occasionally calling me "Babushka Montgomery," because "babushka" means "grandma" in Russian. Har har har. :) Man, I love my district -- they're hilarious and fantastic.
By the way, I tried out for a musical number with my "Praise to the Man" piano arrangement. They said yes to it (after I put some more phrasing to it), so I'll play it sometime somewhere for some event before I leave the MTC. I'll let you know. If it's a fireside, that's like 3000 people, so uh... we'll see how that goes.
We've had some pretty amazing devotional speakers lately. Greg Droubay came on Sunday, and he's the head of the media department for the church. He talked about the different advertising projects that the church has going on, particularly in New York City and London. In fact, he was in London just last week and met with all the missionaries there, so I wouldn't be surprised if Derek writes about this new initiative the Church has put out in London. Basically there's advertisements like EVERYWHERE. They're on 250 double decker buses, they're in all the major tube stations, they're in the major London train station, and they're even in the theater programs for the Book of Mormon musical. Brother Droubay told us about some on the Londoner's reactions, like one woman in the tube station who said to herself, "How did I get in a Mormon tunnel?" Another woman read all the posters on the way up an escalator (they showed different people with quotes about what their faith means to them), and was crying at the top. Brother Droubay asked her if she was okay, and she said, "That was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." The work of the Lord really is going forth, and I love how the Church is intent on bringing it to every single person in whatever way we can. (PS - One year ago today, I was walking the streets of London! Ahhhh good times :) )
Last night we had an even more amazing devotional... by Elder Richard G. Scott! It's always a surprise who's going to speak, and what a great surprise it was last night! He gave a very powerful talk about prayer and our relationship with our Father in Heaven, and at the end he left us an apostolic blessing (how cool is that?!) that those who are learning a language will be blessed with the gift of tongues to master that particular language, that we will be able to learn and grow from our companions, and that the mission will be a "rich and rewarding experience" to us. He closed his testimony with the words, "I know Jesus Christ lives, because I know Him." It was SO powerful, and I'm grateful that we have a living prophet and apostles who know Jesus Christ and lead His church with love and authority. After the closing song, Elder Scott got back up and said a few more words that were apparently too important to go left unsaid. A few of the things that I wrote down were, "The Lord has called you to succeed, not to fail," and also, "Heavenly Father knows who you are, He knows what you need, and He knows what He wants you to become." It was amazing, plain and simple. I came away with a greater testimony of the Lord's chosen leaders and also a greater desire to deepen my relationship with my loving Father in Heaven through prayer.
Last spiritual thought for the day: sometimes when I'm about to give a lesson to one of my investigators, and I'm not feeling particularly confident in my speaking abilities or whatnot, I always catch myself and think, "What am I worried about? This is the Lord's work! It's going to go forward no matter what, even with weak mortals like me. So long as I do my best and follow the Lord, I will succeed." Well, lately I've started thinking, "Why am I limiting that confidence to just a mission?" God cares just as much about the other aspects of my life, and everyone else's life for that matter. When I get home and continue my education, move forward in a career, and pursue a family, God will help me. He cares about each of us, and if we are striving to do what is right, especially in serving His children, He will bless us in whatever work it is we're doing.
That's all for today! By the way, for all who have written me and are awaiting responses, sorry I'm so slow! My P-Days are packed, but I do my best! Love you all!
Sister Montgomery

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