Monday, September 23, 2013

Fwd: Letter #25 - 9/23/13 (Lena 16)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 4:51 AM
Subject: Letter #25 - 9/23/13 (Lena 16)
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Heya fam! I've only got time for one story today, but it's a good one.

Do you remember Lena (age 16)? We spent a lot of time with her back in June -- she's the golden investigator who would already be baptized if it wasn't for her anti-Mormon parents. Anyway, we lost contact with her in July because her phone number changes, but last week I realized that we had part of her address: a street and a building number. Sometime last week we found the building, only to see that it had 400+ apartments and we had no clue which one was hers. Nevertheless, we were determined to find her because, let's be honest, you don't just let a girl like Lena fall off the charts. I told Heavenly Father that night, "If you'd like to give us a hint as to where she is, that would be great. But just know that I will knock on all 400 of those doors in order to find her if I have to." His response was, "Yeah, start with that."

We went back a day or two later, when an all-knowing grandma "happened" to be on her balcony and "happened" to know which stairwell Lena's family lived in when I told her the surname. We started knocking on doors asking where the family lived, and we narrowed it down to a specific floor (4 apartments). Slowly but surely... On Tuesday we went back to the stairwell, hoping to finally find the long-sought-after apartment. We were nervous that Lena's anti-Mormon father would open the door (and then who knows what would happen...), but it was our only hope of finding her. We waited outside the stairwell to sneak in, and finally a man walked by and opened the outside door. We followed behind him and I asked if he happened to know where the ______ family lived. Turns out he was Lena's grandpa, and he invited us outside to have a little chat!

What proceeded was a very friendly conversation with Lena's grandfather during which we briefly explained our Christian beliefs and left a very good impression on him. And then as we were talking, Lena showed up! She had just come home from school, and right there she asked her grandpa's permission to spend the evening with us, which he granted. We went to the church and had a great lesson on the commandments, she stayed for English, and then we said goodbye. Oh, and this is the type of girl Lena is: despite not seeing the missionaries for two months, she has read the Book of Mormon and prayed every day, and during our lesson, she sought to understand and agreed to live every commandment we taught her. Absolutely incredible.

Little did I know that it would be a (semi-)final goodbye; we called a few days later and she told us (nearly crying) that her parents said she can't keep meeting with us. :( She thoroughly thanked us for what we've taught her, and I told her to keep living the gospel as best she can right now. It was a pretty hard conversation. However, I thank God for the miraculous turn of events that led us to find her again. It was absolutely the will of God that we had that final lesson with her -- she has now officially received all of the missionary lessons and committed to live all of the commandments, and I had the sweet opportunity of testifying to her of God's love and plan for her. I didn't know that it'd be the last lesson, but it couldn't have been a better one.

The natural man in us had every reason to not seek out Lena: all we had was a building number with 400+ apartment doors, one of them which would most likely be opened by Lena's anti-Mormon parents, and we could have shirked at the task. But we didn't. We tested and saw the literal fulfillment of 3 Nephi 14:7-8, "Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." Line upon line, precept upon precept, we were led to this amazing daughter of God in the best way possible, and we did for her exactly what her loving Father in Heaven wanted: taught her everything necessary for her to live the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as much as she can during this time of her life. "Remember, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10). It's our willingness to knock on 400+ doors that allows God to narrow it down to 20; if charity fuels our faith, God can truly work miracles all around us.

Take whatever you need from that story and use it to change your life. Know that great in the sight of God is your soul, and know that everyone around you is just as beloved to their Eternal Father in Heaven. Now go tell/show someone how loved they are! :)

Love you all!
Sister Montgomery

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