Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fwd: Letter #65 - 6/30/14

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Christine Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Subject: Fwd: Letter #65 - 6/30/14
To: "" <>, "" <>, Kaye Williams <>, Auli Summerhays <>, "" <>, Tiffany Davis <>, Kelli Reed <>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 5:45 AM
Subject: Letter #65 - 6/30/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Dear everyone,

Hey there! Before I forget, here's the funny story I wanted to write last week. So... there's this wonderful old woman in my ward whose name is Ludmilla. She's super cute and nice, but she's also pretty old and kind of has Alzheimers and so often forgets things (like she'll say the opening prayer... and the closing one) :) Anyway, I just love this lady, and a few months ago, I read and gave her a poem I once wrote for a woman whose husband passed away, because Ludmilla also lost her husband a long time ago. (See the end of this email for the poem, and like usual, know that it's at least 78 times better than what Google Translate is going to give you...)

Anyway, the other week we stopped by her, and she got to talking about her son, and she said, "My son is Orthodox, and when he came by recently, he gave me this Orthodox icon," and she showed us this little icon of Saint Ludmilla or something like that. And then she added, "And you know what else? There's this amazing little Orthodox prayer that goes along with this, and even though it's not from our Church, it helps me so much. I read it every day and find so much comfort in it. Here, I'll read it for you." She then pulled out a little sheet of paper and started reading it, choking up a little on the words. But here's the hilarious thing -- it was MY poem that I had given her with MY name written on it! Sister Parish and I were dying of silent laughter, and we didn't have the heart to tell her what it really was. When she finished reading it out loud, she added, "See! Every church has some truth!" Oh man... that has got to be the most hilarious thing that has ever happened to me -- being quoted as an Orthodox prayer. :)

So... this week was super rough in terms of plans falling through left and right. We had a grand total of 2 member lessons and 1 lesson with an investigator (Larisa), and even that was kind of rough. But hey, it happens sometimes, and we're hoping and praying and planning and working for a much better week this week.

Just a few minutes left for a spiritual thought. I've been thinking a lot about how the mission has changed me, and I think more than anything else, it has increased my passion for service so much that I just crave it. I've found similar feelings in the scriptures from a few of the prophets:

Jeremiah 20:9 --"But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."

Alma 43:1 --"And now it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth."

Ether 12:2 --"And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him."

That is absolutely me right now, and that's who I'm going to be more than ever before when I get home. I've always enjoyed serving others before my mission, but I'd hardly seek out those opportunities, preferring instead to develop spiritually "on my own" (which, by the way, doesn't even begin to compare to the depth of developing spiritually within the context of others, especially considering how charity is the greatest of all the gifts of God, and how do you develop charity "on your own"? Food for thought.) But now... guess who's going to be the one going up to the Bishop and Relief Society president and missionaries asking how to help? Guess who's going to be the one seeking out lost sheep and new sheep and worn-down sheep? Guess who's going to waste and wear out her life in perfecting the Saints, proclaiming the gospel, redeeming the dead, and caring for the poor and the needy? The restored gospel of Jesus Christ has become a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I cannot rest or be restrained from building the Kingdom of God on the earth. If nothing else, my mission has kindled a spiritual fire that I pray will continue to grow and be with me until the day I die, and then some. :)

That's all for today. Have a wonderful week and 4th of July!

Sister Montgomery

PS -- Here's that great Orthodox prayer ;)

Послание с Небес
Написанное Сестрой Монтгомери

Дочка дорогая, для тебя пошёл сюда
Чтоб быть с тобой, нести твои тяжёлые бремена.
Хотел Я выражать тебе любовь твоего мужа;
Он отдыхает со Мной без бед, забот, греха.

Пока ты ждёшь туда вернуться снова быть с ним,
Не забудь, что буду рядом — Духом всем Своим
К тебе приду, Я исцелю, Я отдых дам тебе.
Такое обещание всем: придите ко Мне.

Дочка дорогая, мир да будет твоей душе —
Все твои невзгоды будут кратковременны.
И если устоишь в них, я тебя возвышу;
Тогда же ты узнаешь, всё тебе пошло на пользу.

Дочка дорогая, тебя Я так люблю
И благодарен Я за верность сильную твою.
Держись, Я говорю тебе, за вечную любовь;
Пребывай спокойно и знай, что Я ест Бог!