Monday, February 17, 2014

Fwd: Letter #46 - 2/17/14

As you read this letter, let me remind you that Liz did an impromptu jam session with John Schmidt in front of 3 thousand people and thoroughly enjoyed it!  Read on and enjoy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Subject: Letter #46 - 2/17/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Dear family,

Today I'll start off with a funny story. Yesterday Sister Batalova and I went to go visit a woman in our ward that's in the hospital right now. (That's not the funny part... wait for it...) Well, we brought the guitar and sang some hymns for her and had a grand old time, and then we set off for our next appointment with some other members who lived about a 30-minute trolleybus ride away from the hospital. When we got onto the trolleybus, I started talking to the bus-ticket-seller person, a woman named Olya that I met about six months ago, and she noticed the guitar and asked if I played. Sister Batalova answered for me and said, "Yes, she plays! And she's super good! Play us a song, Sister Montgomery, come on!" The trolleybus was super crowded, and I knew that it would be super awkward to just randomly get out the guitar and start playing, and I didn't even know what I'd play... but somehow, with a lot of convincing, I suddenly found myself with a guitar on my lap and all eyes on me. And I played... some English songs, some Russian, some hymns, some non-hymns, and also "Шаг за Шагом" that I wrote y'all in "Letter #23 - 9/9/13."

I felt super awkward and thought that others felt awkward too, but when I tried to stop, Sister Batalova asked the crowd, "Do you want her to keep playing?" and a bunch of smiling faces nodded yes. Apparently they were bopping their heads and tapping their feet to the rhythms, and people were smiling and being super nice to each other. When it was finally our bus stop, all I could say was, "Our church is on Draizera 36, stop by sometime!" It was one of the most uncomfortable things that I've ever done, and afterwards I jokingly told Sister Batalova, "I don't know how I can both love you and hate you so much at the exact same time." But I can tell you this... we brought the Spirit to an entire trolleybus full of people and left them all happier than when they first walked on, and that was worth all the discomfort that I felt. I seriously think I'm going to remember that experience for the rest of my life... there's nothing quite like awkwardly playing random hymns on a crowded trolleybus in the middle of Ukraine. :)

I don't have a whole lot of time today (I should just stop announcing that since it should be assumed by now...), but for what it's worth, it was a pretty good week for me. We've still been keeping busy and happy, and we're working hard so that Sister Batalova gets to know the ward before I take off in a month. Our investigator Alina and her four kids came to a church activity on Saturday; that was pretty neat. Vlad pushed back his baptismal date but is still doing well with his commitments. We've got a neat FHE scheduled for Nela tonight. So... lots to keep us busy. :)

As for a spiritual thought... I heard a quote once that pride is concerned with who is right, whereas humility is about what is right. Keep that in mind when you find that others do things differently than you, and be willing to change if you find that "their" way is closer to the Lord's way than yours. Also, I've had a very spiritual week when it comes to repentance and forgiveness, and I want to testify of the reality of the peace that comes from applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is such a sweet feeling to receive forgiveness after sincere repentance, and also to offer others your forgiveness if they've wronged you. I encourage you to study and apply repentance and forgiveness in this coming week and beyond -- it will change your life, and it'll change you!

Sister Montgomery