Monday, August 19, 2013

Fwd: Letter #20 - 8/19/13

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery
Date: Monday, August 19, 2013
Subject: Letter #20 - 8/19/13
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Woooooo! What a week! I'm pretty sure it's been the best week of my mission, not even kidding you. SO good!
First off, another six-week transfer has come and gone, and we got word about what's going down next transfer. I am staying once again in Voskresensky AND training again! Her name is Sister Cromwell and... that's all I know so far. Sister Zaretskaia is also going to be training elsewhere in Kyiv, making me a grandma by my third transfer! Didn't I tell you I was gonna have a lot of posterity by the end of this thing? :) I'm super excited to train again -- there's just something really neat about having the privilege to introduce someone to how amazing being a missionary is. However, I'm really gonna miss Sister Zaretskaia (just like I said I was gonna miss Sister Filipovska after last transfer...). :( This week especially we'd had a ridiculous amount of fun (and spiritual experiences) together, and we work so well together. And then right when we're in the groove of everything, we get split up! Oh well -- I'll just have to restart the groove with Sister Cromwell.
So why was this week so awesome? Well, for one, we doubled our investigator pool, from five to ten! Holy cow! Actually, I should say "Holy Ghost," because that's exactly how we did it. Ever since last Sunday, we've been obeying SO exactly and praying SO diligently, and we have been guided by the Spirit like never before. My testimony of prayer has grown so much, and we've really experienced what the Bible Dictionary says about it: "The object of prayer is... to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."
Those blessings were poured out upon us day after day as we went about seeking to do God's will -- we found receptive people, we taught with the power of the Spirit, and we knew where to go, who to focus on, and what to say. It was SO amazing. Our investigators are slowly but very surely progressing, and I'm nearly positive that we'll see at least one baptism this next transfer -- this area is just surging right now. Oh, and I get to rub it in Sister Z's face that I'll be able to stick around to see it while she's over in Svatoshinsky. :)
Well, I'll leave you with just one of the miracle stories from this week. I shall call it, "The Village Elect." I just wrote this to President, so here's the copied and pasted format...
Thursday night, Sister Zaretskaia and I planned to contact in the village area just west of our apartment. When we first got into the village, I felt the Spirit EXTREMELY strong. I was looking around for people to talk to or houses to knock at, but we didn't find anyone. We only had a little bit of time there before a lesson coming up, but as we were leaving, the Spirit just flat out told me, "There's an elect here." Pretty blunt, right? A little while later, I told Sister Zaretskaia about it, and we planned to go back the next day.That night, I was talking to Heavenly Father about it in my prayer, and I wanted to confirm it with Him. I asked, "So... is there really an elect in the selo [Russian for village...]?" He replied, "Yeah." I said, "Great... where?" And He replied (totally nonchalantly), "I'll show you." The conversation was in Russian, and I can still remember those nonchalant words... "Я покажу тебе." Hey, if God wants to lead us right to an elect, I'm not gonna complain. :) In my planner, in my list of investigators, I wrote: __________ (celo), having the faith that I'd be able to fill the name out soon.
The next evening we headed out to the village, but first read a passage of scripture together and said a VERY heartfelt prayer to find who God had in mind for us. I could tell God was as excited as we were, and I also got the feeling from Him, "You deserve this," because of our recent diligence in being exactly obedient. We headed to the village, talking to everyone along our path, and then in the exact spot where I felt the Spirit the strongest the day before, we found an older woman (Svetlana) and her young granddaughter (Vlada) sitting on an old tire in the field there. We went over to them, had pretty much half of the first lesson, gave them and taught them about the Book of Mormon, prayed with them (the little 8-year-old girl said such a precious prayer, AND in the name of Jesus Christ), and set an appointment for the next day. It was incredible. As soon as Sister Zaretskaia and I got far enough away, we got back down on our knees and thanked the Lord for that miraculous turn of events. (Oh, and later that night, I can't even tell you how good it felt to be able to fill out that blank line in my planner with the names "Svetlana" and "Vlada." :) )
We went back the next day for our appointment, but they weren't able to make it. Instead, we met the mother in the family (Svetlana's daughter and Vlada's mother), who is SUPER nice. The day after that, we had a first lesson at their house with the grandma and granddaughter, and they had already read the intro to the Book of Mormon. They're not ready to act right this instance, but I really feel like the more we meet with them, the more they'll feel the Holy Ghost testify to them of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They live by so many true and wonderful principles already, and I can't wait to give them even more!
Case in point: miracles happen, God lives, the church is true. :)
Alright, family and friends, have a wonderful week! Don't forget about the miraculous power of prayer! Love you all!
Sister Montgomery

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