Monday, June 10, 2013

Fwd: Letter #10 - 6/10/13

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 5:25 AM
Subject: Letter #10 - 6/10/13
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Hellllllo world!

I can't believe it was only a week ago that I wrote my last letter home -- it seriously feels like a month! Man, missions really mess with your sense of time. When I got to the MTC, I felt like I forgot my whole pre-MTC life, and now my MTC life seems like it was forever ago. Weird.

Well, this week I've gotten a lot more into the groove of things. I'm doing all those real-life missionary things now -- walking around the city with a Book of Mormon in hand, contacting on the street, tracting an apartment building once, teaching English class twice a week, and having lessons with anyone we can. There's a strong ward here, so we're really trying to work with the members to get referrals and help them share the gospel (since that's a lot more effective than just contacting). We also had a few lessons with a recent convert named Looba (a name that makes perfect sense in Cyrillic but which I just realized looks a little silly in English letters) that were great. I just LOVE teaching -- when I'm in someone's home getting to know them and teaching them about the gospel, it just feels so good, you know? It reminds me of that scripture, D&C 50:22, "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." There's nothing quite like nourishing others with the good word of God, be it a life-long member, a recent convert, an investigator, or a first contact.

We had some really cool teaching experiences this week. A lady named Lena came to church last week looking for help for a friend of hers named Genadi (he's paralyzed on one side, plus broke his hip, and he needs help at home). She's not a member, but she has a member friend that told her where the church was and to ask us for help. Anyway, Sister Filipovska and I talked to the RS President and she told us who would be good to help, and we set up the appointment.

So on Friday, we all went over to Genadi's apartment together -- me, Sister Filipovska, Lena, and the church member Maria. They talked amongst themselves about how Maria will help Genadi, and then Sister Filipovska took the opportunity to teach the gospel a bit, telling Genadi about our Heavenly Father and Savior, and how we can receive strength through prayer. I testified about what she was saying, and then Sister Filipovska offered a prayer. The Spirit was so strong, it was amazing. Afterward, I was standing by the doorway, and there was a mirror in front of me big enough for me to see myself and another person if they were standing beside me. I remembered a verse I had read that morning when the Lord said, "
Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of themň«╣ven so am I in the midst of you" (D&C 6:32). I smiled as I imagined the Savior standing right next to me, His reflection in the mirror. I didn't tell Sister Filipovska about that until later, after she told me that when she was praying, she felt as if angels were with us in that room. It was really neat that we both felt that way, and I know that the Spirit also touched Genadi and Lena.

Genadi agreed to have us come back to read and pray, and also Lena agreed to meet with us again, which we did this morning and had an INCREDIBLE lesson on the Restoration. She's an amazing lady. Unfortunately, we won't get to teach her more because she was just visiting Kyiv for a little while (she's originally from Ukraine but has lived in New Jersey for like 18 years, so she's going back there this week). But we gave her the address of the church nearest to her, and she's really interested in going there and reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. Man, what an awesome experience... some days are really tough, but it's lessons and moments like that that make it all worth it.

Well, you know how I usually include a funny story every week? Well, funny story... President Klebingat informed me (and six other first-transfer sisters) that I'll be training a new missionary next transfer! Yeah... crazy, I know. There's a ridiculous(ly awesome) amount of sister missionaries coming into the field soon, and there's not enough older missionaries to do the training, so the lot has fallen on all of us. Normally you're supposed to have 12 weeks with an older missionary, but I'll only have these 6 and then I guess finish up my training while simultaneously training someone else. Anyway, that announcement elicits quite a lot of emotions from me, the primary one being... fear. Yeah, I'm kinda freaking out. But not in a bad way... it's just become very obvious that there's no way on earth that I will be able to do what's asked of me by myself. BUT the good news is that I don't have to do it by myself, and in fact, I shouldn't try to do it by myself. This is God's work, and I'm merely His servant/laborer/employee. Deep down, I know that He can train me equal to this task if I trust Him, rely on Him, and do everything in my power to access HIS power. He knows Russian, He knows how to reach His children, He knows what I need, and He knows what He needs from me. If I'm connected to Him always, I can accomplish all that He asks of me, for His sake and for the sake of His children here in Kyiv who are searching for the peace that only the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can bring.

That's all for now. Have a great week, and keep praying for me and these people!

Sister Montgomery

PS -- President asked us last letter to do this "homework": "Review your patriarchal blessing, ask your companion and family at home and then make a list of your many gifts, talents and skills. Then determine for each one how you might best use it in fulfilling your purpose, in bringing souls unto Christ." So yeah, if you'd like to help out, just shoot me a quick email with some of the gifts, talents, and skills you've seen that I have. (You know, cooking, cleaning, sleeping... :) ) Thanks!

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