Monday, October 28, 2013

Fwd: Letter #30 - 10/28/13

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 8:50 AM
Subject: Letter #30 - 10/28/13
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Hey everyone! Lots happening here in good old Voskresensky! Not so much with investigators (we've got a lot of good potentials though...), but we had a sudden random transfer last week, so I'm no longer companions with Sister Cromwell. But don't worry, I'm still in Voskresensky, and I even snuck "transfo" (transfer information) from President that I'll be in Voskresensky yet again next transfer with a new trainee. In the meantime, I'm companions with Sister Griffiths, BUT it turns out she's leaving this week to go home for health reasons, which means I'll have yet another companion for the rest of this transfer, and I don't know who yet. It'll be my fifth companion in my fourth transfer! I'll miss Sister Cromwell and her funny little quirks, and I've actually gotten pretty close with Sister Griffiths too in the whole four days we've been together. But look at the bright side -- I'll have lots of friends when I go home! :)

You know what I love about being a missionary? Being an official representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, and every day discovering the deeper meaning of that. I've had some powerful experiences this past week teaching by the power of the Spirit. Not only does the Spirit testify along with me as I speak, but He literally puts thoughts into my heart and gives me "in the very moment" what I should say (D&C 100:5-6). I've been so bold and full of love lately that I've even surprised myself.

Just the other night we stopped by a less active, and after making a little bit of small-talk, I got right into the gospel by saying, "I'm not speaking as Sister Montgomery right now. I'm speaking as a representative of Jesus Christ." From that moment on, it was D&C 68:4 at it's finest: "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." I expressed my and Heavenly Father's love for her and desire for her to return, I explained that she's been breaking commandments and I invited her to repent, I expounded pertinent doctrine, I invited her to act, I promised blessings from her loving Father in Heaven, and I warned of sin as the Spirit directed. Her choice was no different by the end of the conversation, but I had done the will of the Lord by bringing the Holy Ghost "unto" her heart (2 Nephi 33:1), and I pray that she'll remember those feelings and let Him in.

I don't relate this story to boast in the least; it's just such an honor and privilege from the Lord to hold this special calling, and it's something I've just barely realized is limited to only 11 more months. I am SO grateful to be here, doing what I'm doing, with the Power by which I'm doing it. Perhaps only those who have served full-time missionaries truly understand what I'm saying, but the rest of you can probably imagine.

We've had some interesting events happen in our ward lately. One young man (in his 20's), who I would describe as being "spiritually on fire" when I met him, chose to completely apostatize from the church because we eat meat, and he's discovered recently how opposed he is to that. He has forsaken the source of all truth because of... meat. I won't dwell here on how sad that makes me (I'm quite close with him and his wife, who has also apostatized with him), but instead, I'll contrast it with a very happy story. I wrote on 6/10/13 about a man named Genadi; he's paralyzed on his left side, his hip is broken, and he's got a hole in his skull where someone hit him with a hammer. (Okay, so far this is NOT a happy story, but hold on a sec...) Anyway, when I met him back in June, I wrote in my journal that his soul seemed as broken as his body, BUT... the Elders have been meeting with him since July, and he is a COMPLETELY changed man. I even went back over there about a month ago, and there was so much light in him. He is willing and totally ready to be baptized, but we're just working through things with his doctor and lawyers because of the risk involved (he still wants to do it though).

Anyway, all this has got me thinking about a passage in Ezekiel (yes, I randomly ponder Ezekiel in my free time... don't you?) It's Ezekiel 18:26-27 and it simply says, "When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive." That's a mission in a nutshell; while lost souls are finally finding truth in the gospel, seemingly strong members are stepping away from it. One of my favorite verses is 31 in that chapter, "Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Why will you die?! Why will you cut yourself off from the truth that can fill you and heal you? "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye" (v.32). Turn to God and watch as the Atonement of Christ transforms your heart, spirit, and life.

That's all for this week! Hope you have a great week!

Sister Montgomery

PS -- Attached is a nice picture of the Voskresensky gang (Elder Hangen, Elder Romney, yours truly, and Sister Cromwell)