Monday, July 7, 2014

Fwd: Letter #66 - 7/7/14

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 5:26 AM
Subject: Letter #66 - 7/7/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Quick letter today because there's not a whole lot to say. Another slow week, but not as slow as last one. There were some happy coincidences / tender mercies, for example we had FHE at a member's house, and the daughter had invited her friend (who we taught the Restoration to a couple months ago), and we had a really great time together. We played and sang and talked about hymns, and the Spirit was super strong. Also, we had a lesson with a woman named Irina (50-something years old) who we met on the street awhile ago (who invited us over because she's met Elders before and really liked them), and the member we invited to the lesson happened to already know Irina since they've lived in the same area for a long time. They got along so great, and now Irina has a friend in the Church! Also, it was neat to see Irina's change of heart, even in the short span of a lesson -- she started off by saying she's not a very religious person and that she just likes being with us, and she ended by sincerely listening to our testimonies of prayer and even praying herself, thanking God for "what might be a new and good step in my life's journey."

We celebrated the 4th of July in the mission office at our first mission conference with President Packer and his family. If that conference was a "test" (which it wasn't, but if it was...) to see if the new mission president is "up to par," then President Packer passed with flying colors in my book. He is such a good man with a great heart, his wife is hilarious, and his children are adorable (two boys, 14 and 13, and two girls, 9 and 6). It was also amazing to see how he is perfect for this mission right now -- the little bit of counsel he gave us fit perfectly into the needs of the missionaries in this mission, and he probably doesn't even know it yet. Also, it's hilarious to me how much he and President Klebingat are polar opposites (controlling for Christlike attributes of course). It's really great though, and I wrote a little bit in my journal about why:

I've been reflecting on mission conference with President Packer and how different he is from President Klebingat and yet perfect for this mission right now. I realized that one thing I've learned on my mission is the value of differences and that there's not actually ONE best way of doing things, but the gospel allows for a variety of people to be governed by the same principles and yet still maintain their personality, talents, and experiences. More than that, God's love can still be whole and unchanging for ALL of His children, regardless of their differences.

As Moses 6:63 teaches, the Lord's creations themselves bear witness of this principle. For example, He created a greater variety of plants and animals than we can imagine, all with their different characteristics and purposes, in order to beautify and give variety to the earth. A bear isn't better then a monkey or vise versa, and yet they can both do things that the other one can't, and that's okay -- the bear just needs to become the best bear it can be, and the monkey needs to do the same, and neither must force or expect or even desire that the other one becomes more like himself. Also, snowflakes have always been a testimony to me of the uniqueness of God's creations, especially the human soul. That in itself leads me to be interested in, respect, and love all those that I come in contact with.

With that in mind, I hope we all pray and strive to have charity and see the beauty in everyone around us!

That's all I have time for. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Sister Montgomery