Monday, March 10, 2014

Fwd: Letter #49 - 3/10/14

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 5:38 AM
Subject: Letter #49 - 3/10/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Dear family and friends,

I'm currently in Chernigov sitting in a sketchy internet cafe surrounded by teenage boys playing video games instead of being in school like they probably should (but hey, I don't judge...). I've had a crazy last few days... President called Sister Batalova and I on Friday telling us that a Ukrainian Sister (Fedas) was being transferred to our mission from one of the Russian missions (due to a new Russian law) and that we would be serving in a threesome starting the next day until the end of the transfer (next Thursday). So we picked her up at the mission office on Saturday, only to have President ask me to go up to Chernigov with Sister Farnsworth because her companion had to go home early due to the new Ukrainian missionaries coming in. So we decided that I'd be in Chernigov the first week and Sister Fedas the second week so that I could say my goodbyes to Voskresensky, because I found out that I will be serving next transfer in Vinnogradar with Sister Parish. And to make things even more crazy and busy, we have Mission Leadership Council tomorrow morning (in Kiev, 2.5 hours from here), an exchange, then mission conference on Wednesday. And then I'll head back to Voskresensky on Thursday with Sister Batalova to finish up my last week like normal.

So yeah... things are pretty exciting around here. I don't know much about Vinnogradar at all except for it's in the northwest corner of Kiev (as opposed to Voskresensky in the northeast corner) and it's a ward in the Kiev Stake. Sisters were there for a few transfers but President pulled them out last transfer, so Sister Parish and I will be white-washing there (opening it for Sisters, new apartment, no investigators... yet). Sister Parish has been on a mission one less transfer than I have, and she's currently serving with Sister Hunsaker in Odessa, but besides that I don't know much about her either. Oh yeah, and I'm no longer Sister Training Leader. :( That's gonna be pretty strange to adjust to, but it's good that other Sisters will have the opportunity to serve in that calling.

If you're wondering about my emotions about all this, join the club. I haven't even had time to process everything in my brain. I knew I'd be leaving Voskresensky, but the emotions of it didn't really hit me until Saturday -- not only am I going to miss a LOT of people (ward members, investigators, Alisa, and definitely Sister Batalova), but I've been thinking a lot about the work that I've done there, the effort I've put in, how I've changed the area and how the area has changed me. I'm almost to my year mark (March 27), and the only places I've been are the MTC and Voskresensky... that just baffles me. I feel like this experience is preparing me for leaving Ukraine for good in October; I can't even imagine the thoughts that go though missionaries' minds the last few weeks before they head home. But all in all, I'm excited for the change and for what lies ahead in my future area(s). I know that it's the will of the Lord that I'll be serving in Vinnogradar, and I know He'll do great work though us there.

One exciting thing from this past week: we had FHE with the Klebingats on Saturday night with Elina and Viktor (and their youngest kids, Max and Emmik were there too). It was SO good. They got along super well with the Klebingats (who doesn't love the Klebingats?), and we had a very spiritual lesson about the Book of Mormon and then a delicious dinner prepared by Sister Klebingat. It was just amazing for everyone, and then on our way back we stopped by the temple and they walked around it together as a family, and they came to church the next day. Man, add them to the long list of people that I'm gonna miss...

I've still got to go write President, so I'll head out soon. Spiritual thought... today I read Alma 25 and found a theme about the words of the Lord being verified. Not only was Abinadi's prophecy fulfilled from decades before regarding the Amulonites, but Mormon (the one abridging this all) also makes note that, regarding the missionary efforts of the sons of Mosiah, "the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and that he had also verified his word unto them in every particular" (v.17). I thought about how true that has been for me in my mission (especially in seeing my setting apart blessing fulfilled every whit), and how I need to continue to trust in the promises of the Lord given through the scriptures, modern prophets, Preach My Gospel, Priesthood blessings, and personal revelation. When the Lord promises something, we can trust Him, and we should live in such a way to expect those promised blessings. "For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled" (Mormon 8:22).

Alright, have a wonderful week! Pray for me to get through all my hard goodbyes!

Sister Montgomery