Monday, June 16, 2014

Fwd: Letter #63 - 6/16/14

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 5:41 AM
Subject: Letter #63 - 6/16/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Not much time to write today, but I'll do my best. Here's a couple highs and lows that I just sent President:

Highlight of this last week: our district finished writing a song for our bishop, and on Wednesday we stopped by and surprised him with it. It was to the tune of "The Piano Man" by Billy Joel and had lyrics like [this is translated], "Thank you for the business cards (that he printed for us) / and your willingness to always help us / We look to you as an example / While we look to you from below (because he's really tall)" and the chorus was, "Give us an assignment, Bishop / Give us an assignment right now / That's the reason why we're here / To lighten your load." He LOVED it, and it even made his wife cry as we played it (all six of us and a guitar crowded in his kitchen). It's incredible how much joy service can bring to all who are involved. Besides uplifting every single one of us, we're even more united now and I think it really increased Bishop's trust in us. That was so great!

On the other hand, it was a pretty rough week. In short, our investigators have been "blinded by the craftiness of men" (D&C 76:75). Yura, a very faithful member of another Christian church, has addressed the internet and his church's interpretation of the Bible far more intensely than he has addressed God in prayer in order to find out the truthfulness of our message (or NOT find out rather), and he doesn't want to meet with us anymore. Lera (a 16-year-old), after having what we considered a very spiritual lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ, straight up told us, "I honestly don't want anything to do with your church. It just seems so boring to me."

So yeah... that was pretty rough. But we also met with Polya, and though it because clear that we need to reteach our previous lessons (so that she understands better), her desire to know more and live according to the gospel is definitely there. And she said the prayer at the end of our lesson this week, and it was the first time she said a prayer with us in her own words (instead of "The Lord's Prayer" from the Bible), and it was so good. I almost cried I was so happy. Missionary work seriously brings you to the highest highs and the lowest lows, it's crazy. We also found some great new investigators, including a middle-aged woman Natalya who works at a hostel nearby our apartment and who is SUPER nice and open to our message. And so the work moves on.

My spiritual thought today is just going to be the words of a hymn that came into my mind during one of the hard moments of this past week. It's "Abide with Me," and you can even listen to a neat version of it here.

1. Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

2. Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day.
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!

3. I need thy presence ev'ry passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's pow'r?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Thru cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me!

My testimony of the comfort of the Lord grows every single day. As I wrote in my journal this week, "Being a missionary is hard, and sorrow for the sins of the world can be excruciating. But at least I'm not alone in this, and though the world may reject Him, at least the Lord is on my side." God has been faithful in buoying me up through all these recent trials, and I know that He will help each one of you too as you struggle with whatever it is you're struggling with.

K, that's all for today. I love you all! Have a great week, and I'll talk to you again when I'm 23! :)

Sister Montgomery