Monday, June 2, 2014

Fwd: Letter #61 - 6/2/14

I love this picture! She looks great! 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 6:36 AM
Subject: Letter #61 - 6/2/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Dear family,

I'm kind of at a loss about what to write this week... Things were a little slower this week, though we did have a couple first lessons with some people from English, which were good. Unfortunately, things didn't work out with meeting with our other investigators except for one lesson with Lera yesterday. It seems like all our investigators are moving as slow as turtles, and their concerns are real stumbling blocks that Sister Parish and I almost constantly are thinking about. At least I can take comfort in the gift of discernment, knowing that God can make known unto us missionaries the thoughts, needs, and desires of those who we teach (Alma 10:17Alma 12:7, and others). We just need to live worthy of that gift, ask for it, and act on it.

Funny story from the week: Monday night for FHE we stopped by a woman in the ward named Nina. She invited all six of us missionaries over and also one of her friends. When we got there, she asked us to wash our hands and help a little with the cooking, and she pointed us into the bathroom. Sister Parish asked me where to wash her hands, the sink or the tub, and I pointed to the tub because (1) I didn't actually see that there was a sink, and (2) in a lot of Ukrainian homes, you just wash your hands in the tub. Well, she turns on the tub water, and all the sudden Nina comes running in, screaming at us to turn the water off. Why? Because she had put a pot of "compote" (it's like homemade juice that you make over the stove) in the bath water to cool it down. She asked frantically, "Did any water get into there?" (because it was unfiltered, dirty water), and we were like, "No, no, it's fine!" She was relieved and took the compote to the kitchen, but then Sister Parish and I just looked at each other with a terrified look on our faces because we were both almost positive that the bath water actually did get into the juice. Then the other missionaries showed up and we had to explain why were acting so weird, and I'm pretty sure we all prayed that we wouldn't get poisoned from the contaminated juice. The good news is that the compote ended up being delicious, no one got sick, and we had some pretty great laughs from it. :)

Another great story, this one a bit more spiritual, was that I went to my first temple sealing! There's a couple in the ward, Yuri and Yana with their 4-year-old daughter, that got baptized a year ago, and on Saturday afternoon they got sealed for time and for all eternity in Kiev Ukraine temple. :) The Spirit was so strong, and you should've seen the way Yuri and Yana were looking at each other. And then when their little daughter came in and got sealed to them... she was so cute and reverent and angels could have been surrounding her for all I know. It was so beautiful, the whole thing. I don't think I'll ever forget that sealing. Today I wrote President:

I wanted to thank you for giving us permission to go to our ward members' sealing this past week. Not only did it help us strengthen our relationship with ward members, but it was a very spiritual experience for me that helped me remember my ultimate goal for the people that I meet and talk with -- not just becoming our investigators, and not even just getting baptized, but receiving all the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for them through making and keeping sacred covenants (from baptism to sealing). Sister Parish and I both had the thought during the sealing, "We've got to find more of these people." More of the elect, more Yana's and Yuri's, more of God's children who He has promised to reach out to through us.

And finally, a little spiritual thought. Lately I've been trying to really seek the will and mind of Heavenly Father instead of just my own thoughts or the opinions of others. There's a lot of questions that come up in our lives, and though sometimes we're quick to go to friends or family or church leaders for answers, sometimes I think we forgot that we can ask the Source of all truth and information: God. Well, lately I've been more open and specific in my questions to Heavenly Father as I pray, and He has given me such amazing and specific answers in return -- sometimes in the very moment, and sometimes later as I'm studying the scriptures or just walking. We shouldn't be shy in asking Him questions; if it's important to us, then it's important to Him, and He loves us and therefore wants to answer our questions. Of course there's conditions and other principles related to this principle that you can study on your own, but I just wanted to encourage you to be more open and specific in your prayers and seek the personal revelation that the Holy Ghost is just waiting to grant you. D&C 76:5-10 isn't just a pretty passage; it's an eternal promise, and I'm a witness to it's reality, if only to a small degree.

K, love you all! Have a great week! And for all who are wondering (or maybe just Mom): yes, I'm still safe. :)

Sister Montgomery

PS -- The pic is me in Pusha-Voditsya from last week. So beautiful!