Monday, March 24, 2014

Fwd: Letter #51 - 3/24/14

Such a good letter!  Enjoy!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 7:20 AM
Subject: Letter #51 - 3/24/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Helllllllllllllo everyone!

Well, I'm currently sitting in yet another internet cafe, but don't worry -- this one is SO much less sketchy than two weeks ago, and it's in Vinograder. :) And funny story... I just watched two amazing Mormon Messages ["The Other Prodigal Son" and "Abide With Me"] and totally bawled my eyes out. I felt so awkward in a room full of teenage boys drinking soda and playing violent video games, but hey, they were good videos... :)

First off, I managed to get through all my goodbyes to Voskresensky this last week! I had an amazing last few days there, especially Wednesday... we had a great district meeting (we had a super tight district this last transfer, it was awesome) and then lessons with three members: Alisa (who, obviously, I'm very close to), Galya (another one of my favorites in the ward who I'm super close to), and Lena (yet another one of my favorites, and with whom I had my very first lesson in Ukraine!) It couldn't have been better, seriously. As I was driving away in the taxi Thursday morning, I was thinking about what would happen with the area and all the people I loved and taught, and the Spirit told me, "Leave it. It's in my hands." I responded, "Father, it was always in Your hands, and so was I." He agreed. :)

So, now I'm in Vinograder with Sister Parish! It is so interesting being in a different area. Even though it's just an hour away from my last area, and it's still Kiev, it has a totally different feel to it. It's super pretty, there's a lot more greenery, it's a bit cleaner, and the people (in general) are a bit nicer. The ward is about half the size of Voskresensky (about 70 active) and yet three times the size of Sister Parish's last branch near Odessa (we laugh about that; I say that it'll be nice to not have to worry about so many people, and Sister Parish is worried about keeping track of them all!)

Sister Parish is awesome! She was born in America but moved around a ton, lived in Germany for 10 years, then studied at BYU-I before coming on a mission. She's been out a transfer less than me, and she's super kind and funny. I've got a feeling we're gonna be good friends. :) We moved into a new apartment; there's a bathroom, kitchen, study room, and bedroom, and everything is beautiful and in good shape. And our landlady and her family are super nice. It's a little far from the ward building (which is the second and third floor of a building; I think a grocery store is on the first floor); about 15 minutes on transport and a 15 minute walk. But that's okay -- lots of opportunities to talk with people. :) Right now we're working hard to get to know ward members and find new investigators from talking with people and also calling former investigators, and we've already seen some good success. I have high hopes for this area!

Oh, here's a cute miracle story I emailed President:

On Saturday, my goal was to really strive and petition the Lord to accomplish our goals. We had planned to give a Book of Mormon out and get somebody's number, and I remembered that all through the day, including in most of my prayers. I also did my part and opened my mouth on the streets, transport, and in a member's home who had guests over. Nonetheless, by 8:30 p.m., no one had accepted the Book of Mormon or the invitation to know more. On the bus ride home, I sat in an empty seat and prayed that someone would sit next to me (it wasn't very crowded), but no one did. So there we were: 8:50 p.m. and a long empty sidewalk between us and home. And so we walked, and at 8:55 just before we reached our apartment, we stopped a young man who was wearing headphones and walking quickly. He stopped, we talked about family and the gospel for just a few minutes, and he accepted the Book of Mormon from us and gave us his number so that we could meet again. Just like that! I thanked Heavenly Father so much for answering our petitions, and it was a testimony to me of prayer and enduring to the end. The next day we had a similar experience; instead of "hanging out" at a member's house, we hit the streets for the last 45 minutes of our evening, talked to everyone on our path, and ended up having a great 30 minute gospel discussion with a man who also took a Book of Mormon and gave us his number. (Now if only women would stop to talk with us...) God is so good!

And... my internet time is almost up, so consider that my concluding spiritual thought. Never underestimate the power of prayer; I know that God answers prayers if we ask in faith and do our part!

Love you!
Sister Montgomery

PS -- Three days until my year mark! Where does the time go?!